Category: EDH – Commander


The Commander/EDH Ban List, Part 4

For those of you who’ve read the previous parts of this review, if you look back to them, they’ve been updated to have the pictures. I just prefer that format to the format I tried for the first three parts, which is why this one is coming up a bit later than I’d like.

In the final part of my review of the Commander/EDH ban list, I look at everything else I haven’t quite yet looked at; creatures, artifacts, and lands. So, without further waiting, let’s start off with…

Karakas is a Legendary Land that either taps for white mana, or you tap and return any Legendary creature to it’s owner’s hand. As it can either bounce an opponents commander or bounce your own to prevent it from being killed, it’ll let you let have to pay your generals additional costs, which is why it’s banned. I can understand it, but it seems like being limited to white would balance it out a bit, or maybe it’s banned because of the advantage playing white would give you on top of having access to Day of Judgment and Wrath of God alongside this.

This card is, unsurprisingly, banned in Commander, seeing as it’s also on the Legacy Ban List and on the restricted list in Vintage. It’s just too broken a card to have in even this format.

Lion’s Eye Diamond isn’t as broken as Black Lotus, but it also provides 3 mana for no mana, for discarding your hand when you use it. It’s also very good for getting some mana to cast your commander, and Jin-Gitaxis eliminates the downside to getting the mana as he’ll draw you 7 at the end step.

Metalworker is ridiculous. 2 mana for each artifact in your hand? It wasn’t as good then due to mana burn, but with the new rules in place Metalworker needed to be banned, easily making up the difference in an adjusted commander’s cost or just making any X cost ridiculous.

Painter’s Servant is banned because of Grindstone, as seen here. Due to the fact that everything shares a color, Grindstone grinds through an entire deck for 2 mana. Deserves to be banned for that reason, milling out a player for 3 mana, and then using voltaic key to untap the grindstone and mill out another player, using a total of 11 mana to kill 2 players.

Panoptic Mirror is banned due to the fact that during each of your upkeeps you could simply copy any card that lets you take an additional turn, therefore having infinite turns because of an imprint card. Also deserving to be banned.

Protean Hulk is mostly banned because you could search tons of 0 drop creatures and one creature with converted mana cost 6 if you wanted to; as it’s a mix-and-match ability, it can search out creature combo pieces, as long as they add up to converted mana cost 6. I agree it should be banned, as I hate running into infinite combos.

Staff of Domination is a very versatile card, being able to do one of 5 things, the first being untapping itself for 1 mana, which is the main reason it’s banned. Having infinite mana with this card gets you infinite life and infinite cards, as well as tapping down every opponent’s creature, all packed into a 3 drop artifact.

Time Vault with Voltaic Key gives you infinite turns, as it allows you to untap it without skipping a turn and untap it every turn. The ban list is basically there to kill every really, really simply combo, especially simple and cheap combos, like this one, or the Painter’s Servant + Grindstone combo.

This, with Rofellos and Channel, was part of Wizard’s effort to kill big mana sources that come from single cards. Adding 1 blue for each artifact is very good, and I understand it being banned, but I’m not sure how necessary it was for it to be banned.

Uh. This card… isn’t really good. There’s an infinite mana combo with him, but there’s far more efficiant ways to do it, and as he’s banned it’s not even worth going into, but look at any of these, they’re better. The combo was Worldgorger Dragon + Reanimate dead, but it’s not really good, and the Worldgorger has to be discarded before the combo can even go off.

However, that’s the last card on the ban list! I’m not sure when, with this influx of Innistrad spoilers showing up, but I’ll actually be taking a look at infinite combos that work in Commander at some point soon. But until then, peace.

2 life and a mana to pump out a creature whose converted mana cost is the sacrificed creature’s converted mana cost +1. Just… wow. Birthing Pod didn’t see much play when Jace and Stoneforge were running around ruining the format, but now with a bit more creativity in the format (alright, so Cawblade is still winning a large percentage of the format) Birthing Pod is seeing play, and a bit of success, at least at FNM’s and Local tournaments. However, this -is- Commanding Opinion, and I have to say, it’s a damn good card in Commander as well, albeit one copy being difficult to hit in a 99 card deck. Voltaic Key lets you pod twice in both Commander and Legacy (but I have a feeling you won’t play Pod in Legacy), letting your Birds of Paradise horrifically mutate into a Blade Splicer or whatever CMC 3 card fits your fancy.

All in all, I believe that Birthing Pod is a great card, and I think it’ll see a good amount of play in Standard after the rotation and downfall of Cawblade; though Venser may take the reins as the Blue/White Control Deck in the format.

Stonehewer Giant is possibly my favorite card out of Morningtide. As a 5-drop he’s far more balanced than the now infamous Stoneforge Mystic, despite the fact he constantly searches and throws equipment onto your creatures, eliminating even the necessity of paying equip costs. However, as he hasn’t been in standard in a very long time, I prefer to use him in my mono-white Kemba, Kha Regent Commander deck, alongside Stoneforge Mystic for my equipment tutoring. He’s a great card in EDH, 5 mana not being difficult to get to, and was a good card even in Standard when it was legal. They still go for 3-5 USD these days, so don’t have too many qualms about picking him up, he’s worth it.

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