Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Reaction to Sept. 20 Banned List Announcement

I love that this came out on Sept. 18th, we're all so impatient as Magic players!

September 20 Banned/Restricted List Announcement

Primeval Titan is Banned.
Worldfire is Banned.

Kokusho, the Evening Star is legal in the 99, but not as a General.

Sheldon Menery explains:

To me, this is vindication three months later.  You'll recall (or click a link) that says I predicted KK's unbanning three months ago, for the previous announcement, and it turns out I was just wrong on timing.  Still feel good about my Kokusho buys!

Worldfire isn't really a surprise.  I hadn't played against it, but I can see it being a very unfulfilling ending to a game.  Suspend tricks likely abounded.

Primeval Titan is banned...and this is not a bad thing.  I said in my M13 set review that Mwonvuli Beast Tracker would more often than not go find Primeval, and the thing is, there's very few instances where finding PT was the wrong play, no matter if it's the Tracker, Fauna Shaman, Green Sun's Zenith, etc.  Every time I did something to find the Titan, I'd get super far ahead on mana and win the game.  His effect was overpowered, unique, and repeatable.  Primeval allows you to find any two land and pop them right into play...and really, that's a backbreakingly good effect.

Here's some things that come close to Primeval's power...but really, they aren't close.
Knight of the Reliquary - Exchange a Forest or Plains for any land, and right into play.
Scapeshift - sac everything you have, but get everything you want.
Weathered Wayfarer - One land at a time into hand, but a powerful and repeatable effect. (Not even half of PT, and this guy is the closest on the list)
Land Tax - Can find three lands at a time for your hand, but only basics.
Sylvan ScryingReap and Sow - The cards that gave TwelvePost its name, this can tutor up the land you want.
Crop Rotation - This costs an extra card, but to get that one land you need, might be worth it.
Expedition Map - Three colorless to find that special land.
Seedguide Ash - Says Forests, not basic, so the dual lands and the shocklands are fair game.
Skyshroud Claim - same, but for only two, yet they aren't tapped!
Boundless Realms - EPIC RAMP but basics only.
Explosive Vegetation - Less epic.

I'm on board with Primeval's banning.  I've lost count of the games where I had a Green Sun's Zenith in my hand, dying to get to seven mana, so I could get PT into play.  For such a utility card, GSZ because terribly focused on one creature.

Surprisingly to me, my Kraj deck and my Yeva deck didn't have a PT in either, so only three come out of my 15 decks.

I'd like to take a moment and address the philosophy of the RC, as described by Sheldon.
The Rules Committee's goal for Commander is for it to be different than other Magic games. Where competitive formats seek to balance the playing field for all styles and strategies, we want to encourage a style of game that is more open and directed towards all players having a good time regardless of who wins. This is summarized as: "Create games that you'd love to remember, not the ones others would like to forget."
This is a great summarization of something you may or may not have experienced.  When you do something different, when you create something impossible in other formats, you have a better experience.  Maybe that experience involves Genesis Wave.  Maybe it involves infinite mana.  Maybe you want to assemble all of the Stations and start making factory noises as you chain the whole table away.  Who knows?

Go build something different, and have a nice day. :D


  1. I agree with you totally. My momir deck will miss him but he wasn't the star of the deck but you are right on how the tracker will go find the titan 90% of the time.

    Great article though!

  2. I'm not surprised at the banning of worldfire. It can end games too quickly to be enjoyable for EDH. As for the prime time, that doesn't surprise me too much either. Grabbing a pair of utility lands just by dropping is insane in any format. Thanks for informing us on this, especially since I tend to forget to check the rulings.