JULY 2015 RULES - BANNED/RESTRICTED UPDATE
Over the last three months, Duel Commander events have been more numerous and more populated. The player activity on all media was also very intensive. Such dynamics are very positive for the format and we hope that it will keep on going.
👉 Individual card changes:
Mystical Tutor is now banned.
Apart from Mystical Tutor, we are currently keeping a strong eye on several other cards. In order to bring you the most and clearer information we can, we created a public “watchlist”, that is divided into two categories, in which you’ll find all the cards that we think endanger the format stability. The Red List will be made of cards which ban is to be soon or very probable, and the Orange List will be made of less dangerous cards, still within acceptable bounds.
Sensei's divining top is placed on the Red List.
👉 Rules changes:
The command zone rule has been modified.
A commander will now be able to be put back to the Command Zone instead of going to its owner’s hand. This recent rules change has been added to multiplayer Commander recently. We chose to also have it apply to Duel Commander. This rule (named “Tuck Rule”) becomes now:
Tuck rule : the commander can now be put back to the command zone any time it should go the the graveyard, to exile, to the library, or in its owner’s hand.
👉 Other changes:
👉 Don’t forget to check out our Current Lists page for a recap of all the currently banned cards.
Further individual explanations:
Mystical Tutor is a card that really favoured combo and control decks to the detriment of aggressive decks, which is the opposite of the re-balancing decisions that our comitee turns to. Some of its interactions were formidable (miracle keyword cards) and it was really making players take too much advantage over the 99 unique cards rule, allowing players to include powerful but situational cards (like Armageddon / Upheaval) with lesser risks. Seeing it banned also opens other unbans in the long run.
Sensei's divining top was banned in Duel Commander in 2011. We rencently allowed it again, four months ago, in order to evaluate its impact in a new game format. Making it avalaible again didn’t have the expected positive effects. It has the exact opposite. Its power and inavitability greatly improve decks that are already top-tier in the current metagame (that are: control and combo). This card didn’t bring anything positive to the game dynamics, we chose to place it on the Red List. This will probably end with a new ban again, soon.
Dig through time is a card we think is dangerous for the balance of Duel Commander archetypes. Its power has no match and regarding the singleton building rule of the Duel Commander, this card is even more dreadful, for it always offers a lot of possibilities to anyone using it. Its cost reduction is very easily and quickly usable by combo and control decks, that need to be tempered for such a game format. Banning Mystical Tutor allowed us not to take immediate decisions regarding this particular card.
Gaea’s cradle is a very popular card among Duel Commander decks. It fully integrates into creature-intensive strategies, and for this reason it contributes to the range of this format. On the other side, it is very often a source of unbalanced games, and is relatively unbeatable for other creature-based decks. Its easy playability in Duel Commander makes it really interesting in major tier decks such as Marath, Will of the Wild, Prossh, Skyraider of Kher, or Animar, Soul of Elements. We do not wish to see those decks annihilate any other one form the field. For those reasons, we keep an eye on this card, rather for its effect on the diversity of the format than for its raw power.
We decided to remove Tasigur, The Golden Fang from the Orange List (previously named the Watch List). It is true that we are aware of the power that the card has, but the recent results and performance of Tasigur decks make us think it does not require to be specifically watched. We also promise not to ban it when the next update of this list occurs (which should be for the release of Battle For Zendikar) in order to safely allow people who would want to try building and playing around it to do so.