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EDH Banned List Rant!

March 1, 2011

I just finished reading Brian DeMars newest article on Star City Games. There is a disclaimer at the top of the article which states the following:

Disclaimer: This article is meant to be conversational in tone, and the opinions, suggestions, and perspectives put forward are my own and likely will not be shared by everyone. As I’m writing this, I’m well aware that many of the changes that would make me happy are unlikely, or even impossible, to take place—but, nonetheless, all of these talking points are things that I personally would view as positive. So, enjoy the article, and feel free to agree or disagree with me.

While I respect Brian DeMars opinions in the vintage format, and I find his articles informative and amusing. This particular article really irritated me. Brian began speaking about certain qaums he has with Magic, and other opinions which I agreed with. In other cases however, I was completely disgusted with his opinion on what he feels should be Banned In Commander/EDH. I would like to quote this as well considering I feel it really important here.

7. Fix The Commander Banned List

Now that Wizards has taken over the Commander format and is going to support it with decks, promos, and unique commanders, it is my opinion that it is high time they actually fix the banned list. There are multiple cards allowed in the format that are way too powerful, uninteresting, and most importantly not fun. Off the top of my head:

(In order of most egregious offenders to super egregious but not as bad offenders)

Sol Ring
Mana Crypt
Yawgmoth’s Will
Land Equilibrium

These cards are so powerful that they dramatically skew how games play out when they are drawn and cast. By having a Sol Ring or a Mana Crypt in the opening hand, a player is so far ahead from a player who doesn’t. Basically, Commander is a format that should play out like a slower Legacy, and cards like Sol Ring, Mana Crypt, Yawgmoth’s Will, and Necro are cards that are specifically much too broken for Legacy (they are at the pinnacle of good Type I cards), and all of these cards get even better because players start with an extra 20 life.

Do you know what kind of decks really enjoy starting at 40 life? Decks that cast Necropotence and Yawgmoth’s Will!

Mindslaver and Land Equilibrium are on my list as well. Mindslaver is the best victory condition in the format, and it’s so easy to recur. Land Equilibrium is perhaps the best multiplayer victory condition because it simply leads to game states where all of the other players combined cannot play the game anymore.

Rather than the flawed standard of “let the players police themselves,” the format should have rules and guidelines that everybody agrees upon that create a fair playing field for an experience that can actually be described as playing a game of Magic—not watching somebody play solitaire in a five-player game.

Just fix it already—there isn’t a single competent Magic player I’ve talked to in the past two years who think that Sol Ring or Mana Crypt are even remotely fair or balanced in this format. Ban them. If you want to play with Sol Ring, there’s always Vintage…

Sway the Stars, Coalition Victory, and Biorhythm are banned, and Sol Ring, Mana Crypt, and Yawgmoth’s Will are legal—it’s actually so stupid that it makes my head hurt to write that sentence on my computer.

1) Sol Ring & Mana Crypt. First and formost, these are mana accelerators, most EDH Games, don’t really have any advantage to them until turn 10 or so, pretty much the games I have seen, and Played having those cards out does not given you an over powered advantage in Commander. Let’s face facts here, we are dealing 100 card decks, not 60 card decks with 4 copies of each and breaking a format. this is a casual & multiplayer game. There aren’t Sancationed Tournaments for Commander, there is nothing wrong with having a sol ring or mana crypt out on the table. I honestly feel that this opinion you have is the most asinine thing I have read by you.

2) Necropotance is what it is. If you don’t have an answer for it, than expect to lose. again I state we are dealing with 100 card decks, and only 40 life, so unless you can some how pay 98 life and break the format like it did back in the Black days of standard then so be it.

3) Yawgmoths Will…I love this card, that is all I am going to say about that.

4) Land Equilibrium like Necropotance, if you let it resolve or stay on the field it is your own problem.

5) As for the people who say Sol Ring and Mana Crypt are too powerful, they 1) Obviously don’t own one, or they wouldn’t whine so much and 2) It’s a staple in the format just as much as what it is in vintage. and lets face facts here, EDH/Commander or whatever you want to call it is just causal vintage.

Here is the current EDH Banned list in case anyone was wondering:

* Ancestral Recall
* Balance
* Biorhythm
* Black Lotus
* Coalition Victory
* Channel
* Emrakul, the Aeons Torn *NEW*
* Fastbond
* Gifts Ungiven
* Kokusho, the Evening Star
* Karakas
* Library of Alexandria
* Limited Resources
* Lion’s Eye Diamond
* Metalworker
* Mox Sapphire, Ruby, Pearl, Emerald and Jet
* Painter’s Servant
* Panoptic Mirror
* Protean Hulk
* Recurring Nightmare
* Staff of Domination
* Sway of the Stars
* Time Vault
* Time Walk
* Tinker
* Tolarian Academy
* Upheaval
* Worldgorger Dragon
* Yawgmoth’s Bargain

In other words, Wizards choosing to support this format doesn’t mean they need to fix anything, these cards on that list are more broken and over powered in this format then in others, and it makes perfect sense that they leave it at that.


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