The Magic: The Gathering’s Commander format is now more popular than ever. A multiplayer format in which players design decks around the legendary creatures of their choice, this singleton format is known to cater to all types of players, from casual newcomers looking to play on a budget to more seasoned veterans.
While this legend-driven format has access to a massive card pool containing cards from all of the game’s history, Commander has a decently sized ban list that contains several potential commander options. So today, we’re going to take a look at the forbidden legendary creatures of the Commander format and see exactly why they’ve been removed.
Braids, Cabal Minion
First printed in Odyssey, Braids, Cabal Minion is a 2/2 black human minion for four mana. With a single ability, Braids declares that at the start of each player’s upkeep, that player sacrifices an artifact, creature, or land.
While it might not seem like much at first glance, when paired with cards that are synonymous with “Stax” strategies, braids can quickly block games and bring them back to snail pace.
Emrakul, the Torn Aeon
A die Strongest Eldrazi to never see the impression, Emrakul, the Aeon’s Torn is a 15/15 colorless for fifteen mana of any color. Uncontrollable and forcing his controller to take another turn after entering the battlefield, Emrakul is a terrifying menace with protection from all colored spells and the 6 Annihilator.
Due to its raw power and the fact that the card could be played in virtually any deck, it is believed that the card was banned to avoid potential homogenization of decks.
Erayo, Ascendant Soratami
Erayo, Soratami Ascendant is a legendary mono-blue, two-mana creature that was imprinted in the Saviors of Kamigawa. As the card enters the battlefield with just over a 1/1 with flying, if its controller plays four spells in a single turn, Erayo is returned, becoming the enchantment, the essence of Erayo. .
This enchantment provides an incredibly oppressive ability, automatically countering the first spell cast by each opponent each turn. Since this effect is quite easy to activate and abuse while commanding, the card has been banned.
Rofellos, emissary of Llanowar
A 2/1 Elven Druid for only two green mana, Rofellos, Llanowar’s Emissary is a forbidden card for its stellar mana production. Able to be tapped to produce one green mana for every forest its owner controls, Rofellos is able to pump up mana at absurdly fast rates.
When paired with the consistency of being available in the command zone, it’s not hard to see why the card was banned.
One of the most iconic demons in Magic: The Gathering, Griselbrand is a 7/7 with steal and lifelink for eight mana. Griselbrand’s main attraction is its activated ability which allows its controller to pay seven life at any time to draw seven cards.
While the payout for seven hit points in most formats is quite high, since the starting hit point total in many formats is 20, the Commander’s starting hit point total is 40. makes this cost much more negligible, eliminating a large part of its risks.
Iona, Shield of Emeria
While Iona, Emerald Shield is expensive at nine mana, this mono-white angel has been banned from the Commander format for his ability to completely close entire decks.
A 7/7 with theft, upon entering the battlefield, Iona allows her controller to choose a color. Once chosen, that player’s opponents cannot cast spells of the chosen color. This means that Iona can effectively negate an entire monochrome deck, resulting in unpleasant experiences at the commander’s table.
Léovold, emissary of Trest
Leovold, Emissary of Trest is a 3/3 Sultai Elven Advisor who has been banished for his ability to lock entire tables out of a Commander’s game. Preventing opponents from drawing more than one card each turn, Leovold has devastatingly teamed up with “wheel” effects and cards like Teferi’s Puzzlebox. These would cause each player to discard their hand, drawing new cards for them, however, only Leovold’s controller would actually draw the extra cards while others were left with nothing.
Due to the consistency with which this oppressive strategy could be used with Leovold, the card was quickly banned.
Lutri, the spell hunter
Lutri, the Spellchaser stands out on this list, having been banned prior to the card’s official release. While far from a broken card, costing three mana and copying a single instant or sorcery upon entering the battlefield, Lutri’s ban was due to the card’s Companion ability.
Companion allows the card to function the same as an additional commander as long as your deck meets the requirements of the companion at hand. While most companions place restrictions on the types of cards that can be used in their decks, Lutri simply requires that a player have no more than one copy of each card, except for basic lands. in his deck. As Commander is a singleton format in which this is already a deckbuilding requirement, if Lutri had not been banned it would simply function as an additional card available to those playing both blue and blue. Red.
Golos, tireless pilgrim
The most recently banned card in Commander, Golos, Tireless Pilgrim format has gone from being the most popular commander in the game to being no longer legally playable.
Artifact creature for five mana, upon entering the battlefield, Golos can search for any land in its controller’s library, putting that card directly into play. Additionally, for the cost of seven mana (including one of each color), Golos essentially allows its controller to roll the top three cards from their library without paying their costs. As Golos could effectively repair his mana and allow players to use all legal cards in the format, he functioned as a strong, open option that could facilitate countless strategies.
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