Commander Ban List Update for July 8th, 2019


The Tentacled One
Copy/pasted from the MTG Commander site...

Sheldon Menery said:
Commander Banned List Update, 8 July 2019

Philosophy Document Update

Paradox Engine is banned
Iona, Shield of Emeria is banned
Painter’s Servant is unbanned

No changes.

The Philosophy Document update coalesces the important elements of how we think about the format into a concise and easily-digestible set of ideals, answering the question “what is Commander?” We haven’t changed the underlying philosophy of Commander: it’s specifically intended to be something other than a tournament format in which players consider each other’s experiences alongside their own. You’ll notice that we’ve eliminated categories for banning cards. We’d found that many folks misinterpreted them as hard criteria for banning as opposed the guidelines we always considered them. There might be some common threads among banned cards, but the primary reason cards get put on the list is that they challenge the positive experience we want to promote.

Paradox Engine is a card that has proven to be intensely problematic. Not only does it provide easy wins seemingly out of nowhere, it has demonstrated the potential to unintentionally wreck games. Easily inserted into any deck, it combines with cards which players already have heavy incentives to play, generating a great deal of mana with virtually no deck building cost. While we don’t ban cards which are only problematic if you build around them, Paradox Engine has clearly demonstrated that it doesn’t need to be built around to be broken.

Iona, Shield of Emeria creates a negative experience for many players without the benefit of a positive application. We had previously considered its high mana cost sufficient to keep it from getting played, but deeper investigation demonstrated many ways of getting it onto the battlefield without paying that cost. Iona, Shield of Emeria is also an exemplar as the type of card which creates an experience we wish to discourage, namely shutting players out of games.

Painter’s Servant is a card that’s been discussed for a long time and it’s time to take off the shackles. We feel as though there are now more weird and fun uses for the card than there are dangerous ones. The card will provide deck builders with some additional paths to explore in expressing their creativity.

Many thanks to the Commander Advisory Group for the input and insights into putting together this update. Their presence continues to add great value to the format.