ABOUT PREVENTIVE CHANGES AND EMERGENCY SITUATIONS
This note was initially published in a shorter form on some forums a few months ago, we thought it would be a good idea to have it shared here, on our official support.
It is always very important to share common terms so that there is no room for confusion.
Preventive change(like a preventive specific card being banned) is about taking a decision (like adding a card to a Banned and Restricted list) before the context of its applicability even goes live. In our case, this would usually be before some new cards are made globally legal and usable by players.
A preventive ban, for example, probably never happened before in competitive Magic the Gathering. The main issue with such decisions is the lack of data, which forbids factual and objective debate material for everyone, for us as for you all.
Emergency updates are about taking decisions out of any planned schedule. An emergency card ban, for example very rarely happened in Magic the Gathering. One of the quickest examples so far is Mind’s Desire being banned and restricted in Vintage and Legacy (called “Type 1” and “Type 1.5” up to 2004), a few days only after Scourge extension was released.
Emergency updates can help fixing totally unbalanced situations with data proofs, or when major tournaments are coming. Its main drawback is still the need for extensive communication, in order to reach the lesser implied players, who more rarely read us.
The Duel Commander Rules Committee does not use such preventive changes. Such moves are always bad moves for they deny the needs for proofs and rely on “theory crafting”, which is way more debatable and way less reliable.
As for emergency updates, our communication tools are weaker and less visible than the ones Wizards of the Coast has at disposal (like Social Media, or Magic Arena home announcements, for instance). This prevents us from reaching the majority of players, most of the time, therefore creating frustration and confusion.
Our position about emergency updates is not intangible (as opposed to our position on preventive changes) but will apply to almost the majority of situations, and shall be challenged only for certain extreme scheduling constraints.
As a starting example for those statements, all companion-keyword cards (including Lutri, the Spellchaser) and the new cycle of conditionally free spells (when controlling one’s Commander) cycle (including Fierce Guardianship) will be naturally legal in Duel Commander at least until May 25, 2020. We are aware that those cards are new and strong, but we’re expecting data and tournament feedback.
Until then, in those hard times, stay safe and stay home, take care of yourselves.