Commander Rules Committee declares silver-bordered cards temporarily legal for Commander games

Discussion in 'CPA/WOTC Magic Issues' started by Oversoul, Dec 3, 2017.

  1. Oversoul The Tentacled One

    Here's the announcement:

    Others will have their own reactions (or just disinterest) on this one, but here's mine...

    Firstly, I love silver-bordered cards. I own a complete set of Unglued. I was a bit less enamored of Unhinged but Unstable is looking like it will probably be the best silver-bordered set so far. I think that these cards are great fun and I've enjoyed using in the past. I'll be buying a few boxes of Unstable. I say this not just to put my silver-border cred on display, but because that's in contrast to what some vocal Magic personalities have put out there in the past, decrying these sets as a waste of time and as lacking value. I know not everyone likes these cards, but I do like them. Really.

    Secondly, I am vehemently opposed to this announcement. I think that it is reckless and stupid. I'm a fan of silver-bordered cards, but I'm also firm in my belief that they must be reserved for environments that are designated specifically for them. Because as fun as the cards are, the one drawback, the one horrendously obnoxious thing about them is when a group is trying to play a normal game of Magic and someone jumps in with silver-bordered cards without prior agreement from the rest of the group.

    I know that a lot of Commander players will consider this to be a fun experiment and would tell me to lighten up. Something, something "spirit of the format" and all that. :rolleyes: Fine. If that describes you, then go sit in a lotus position, say your mantras, and meditate on the spirit of the format until you get it out of your system. Done? Great.

    Commander is a format in which many players, maybe even the vast majority of players, keep their decks for years, gradually tinkering with their exact lists, refining them for both gameplay and aesthetic considerations. This isn't something that just happens, by coincidence, and which the Rules Committee is choosing to ignore because they weren't thinking of it. It's the core selling point of the format! I forget how many times I've been told that Commander decks are personal expressions, that the card selection is artistic in some way. I don't get to play Commander much myself, but I've had the same deck for well over three years, coming up on four. Some players have been refining their own Commander decks for over a decade. Taking your decklist, meticulously refined over a matter of years, and going, "Well, I guess I'll swap a bunch of stuff out for a month" would feel very annoying.

    Because the format is so wildly popular and has become the primary mode of playing Magic for some players, relying on the "official" ban list to keep things sane has been the default. I like analyzing ban lists, and I've made no secret of my disagreement with the Commander Rules Committee's ban list.

    The Commander Rules Committee is not officially sanctioned by WotC and they have not actual authority, so all of their clout really just comes from their prestige within the community. Historically, they noted that their ban list was just to provide convenient guidelines and that individual playgroups should ultimately take the reins. They encouraged people to ban card within their own groups if they thought those cards were problems. They've since shifted their language to calling their list "official" and, to most players, it sure seems to be. Because when so many of us, rather than playing in private groups, are playing Commander at local game stores and such, it helps to have some well-known list to point at. The RC have been trusted to curate the format responsibly. So even if not every player agrees with every decision, letting the most visible, longest-running decision makers do their thing has been the usual course of action.

    I do not think that temporarily allowing silver-bordered cards constitutes responsible curation of the format.

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