Instead of looking at a new Commander brew, I decided to take a look at the ban list. Note that we are not talking about the Dual Commander ban list, we are talking about the ban list featured on Wizard’s official website.
I’m going to go out on a limb and say that Commander is one of the most balanced formats in Magic today. Yes, you can do some amazingly powerful things and get into some really complex and crazy board states, but there is almost always a way to answer what’s going on. Many of the Commander players in my area stated that they want to see specific cards banned because they may seem oppressive. Cards like Animar, Soul of Elements and Kaalia of the Vast are extremely powerful and sometimes busted commanders, expecially Animar, but you have ways to deal with them in every color. It may seem hard to deal with cards like these, but you can do it.
However, I do think that the cards about to be featured on this list should leave the format. These cards either warp the game around them, lock people out, or just don’t fit in the Commander theme. They take over the game over time, or just end the game right on the spot. They are either unfair, or unfun.
Granted I have played with these cards because they are amazing, but I will not be sorry and will happily replace them if they do get kicked out of the format. This list goes from least ban-worthy to most ban-worthy. Just because it’s the least ban-worthy doesn’t mean it’s not obnoxiously powerful. These should all leave the format in my humble opinion.
Top 5 cards in Commander that should be banned
Let’s take a look at these stupidly busted cards that need to go.
5. Blightsteel Colossus
Blightsteel Colossus is by far the least egregious card on this list. It still completely destroys the board state and warps the game around it. If you don’t deal with this card immediately, which is hard because it’s indestructible, you are going to die. There are no ifs, ands, or buts about it. You will die to this card.
This card is on here because it doesn’t fit the Commander mold. This format is meant to be a casual and fun format. It’s about the epic struggle for power and the crazy board states. This card doesn’t really fit that. It immediately changes the game and will knock down any player that doesn’t play blue or white (and black in corner cases). Red and green mages will find it almost impossible to deal with this card.
It turns all of this crazy build-up that you and your opponent have been doing for turn after turn into nothing. It’s one of the ultimate feel bad cards to lose to. Plus, with the many ways to cheat out artifacts and creatures, it’s easy to get out early and consistently. It changes the game and just is not a healthy card to have in the format.
4. Iona, Shield of Emeria
Iona, Shield of Emeria is an awful card to play against. Once she enters the battlefield, she locks your opponent out of playing most of their spells, and destroys their chance to come back. You can reanimate her early, and end the game before your opponent even had a chance to do anything of note. If your opponent is playing her and you’re playing a mono-colored deck, you better hope that she never enters play, cause you’re not going to be playing Magic for long.
Much like Blightsteel Colossus, she falls into the “unfun” cards in the format. She locks your opponents out of the game and will destroy any sense of fun from every other player at the table. Unless you’re a heartless monster and don’t like friends, I advocate not playing this card. It ruins the spirit of the format, and the fun.
3. Serra Ascendant
She is just a one mana 6/6 flyer with lifelink. Having access to her turn one will end the game. It will be next to impossible for any player to come back after she connects a couple of times. Many of the good removal spells in the format cost two or even three mana, which gives her free reign for a couple of turns. In those couple of turns, she will wreck your opponents face, and keep you out of reach from anything your opponent can do for the rest of the game. Even if they can get rid of her on turn three or four, the damage has already been done. Its a crazy unfair card and warps the game around it in the early turns, and has done too much damage for the late game to matter. It’s just not the right card for the format and should be ushered out immediately.
2. Deadeye Navigator
This guy is the biggest combo enabler in the format. No question about it, the amount of times I have see people lose to this card is absurd. He is almost impossible to kill as well as whatever creature he is paired with. He almost blanks any removal spell as he can protect every creature on the board by blinking itself and blinking the creature that’s being targeted. With him in play, you pretty much don’t need to cast many more spells before you win the game.
Beyond blanking removal, he enables so many enter the battlefield based combos. Any creature that untaps more than two lands and him nets you infinite mana. Solemn Simulacrum and him will ramp you out harder than any green-based deck. Paired with Angel of Serenity, your opponent will never have creatures ever again. This card is an absolute nightmare to play against. It creates some of the most degenerate board states in the game, and should quietly leave the format.
1. Prophet of Kruphix
Prophet of Kruphix is beyond busted. Its a hybrid of Seedborn Muse and Teferi, Mage of Zhalfir, and ends up being leagues better than both of them in Commander. She allows you to hold up countermagic while being able to advance your board state, which is really hard to deal with. It’s easy to protect and easy to get out of control. The game warps around her, because if you don’t answer this card, you are going to loose.
Once your opponent resolves her, they will climb ahead of you quickly, as they are able to do anything they want to do at any time. Any opponent with her in play will have a huge target on their head, and will probably be able to deal with anything that is thrown at them as long as she is still around.
In these colors, she is arguably the best thing to be doing. If you’re in these colors, your going to be playing this card no matter what you’re doing. She is just too good not to be playing. She creates just as degenerate of board states as Deadeye Navigator and is just as easy to protect. She warps the game around her in the ugliest of ways and will catapult you so far ahead of everybody else. She’s overpowered, degenerate, and unfair.
She absolutely needs to leave the format as soon as possible.
Well there you have it, those are my thoughts on the ban list and what cards need to be put on said list. Like I said earlier, I do believe Commander is one of the most balanced formats in the game. These blemishes, though, stand out and can turn almost any fun game completely sour. If these cards get banned soon, don’t be surprised. There are plenty of other powerful options to take their place that are not as broken, but still will provide the same type of effect. Once these cards have left, I think Commander will be an even sweeter format than it already is.
Thank you guys for checking out this week’s article. Next week we will have an all new Commander brew for us to discuss and what not, featuring a new card from Dragons of Tarkir, no less. If you have any thoughts on this list, or other cards that you think should have been on here, let me know in the comments below.
See you soon, my friends.