We read and analysed a lot of feedback to determine what players wanted, which characteristics of the mechanics they wanted to get rid of and which characteristics they liked, and three major axes came to light:
A lot of players no longer wanted two or more objects that could be cast multiple times from the command zone.
A lot of players did love the colour options the mechanics offered. As we often mentioned, the mechanics allowed players to play colour combinations that didn’t see a lot of quality commanders, and it was probably the main reason why the mechanics were seemed as interesting by everyone.
Should a fix happen, a lot of players would have liked to have the possibility to individually play the commanders, as some of them were reasonable and interesting cards on their own, and still offered build-around options.
We also read and analysed the most possible options that we could think of or were suggested by various members of the community (either on Discord, Facebook, private messaging, or face-to-face talks). None of these solutions were perfect, so in the end we went for the one that offered the best balance in terms of keeping what made the characteristics interesting while bringing it close to single commanders in regard to power level, and the one that best matched the aforementioned axes.
As the new rules state, players picking more than one commander in their command zone (whether they’re Partners, Friends Forever, Partners With, or any other future variants allowing multiple cards in the command zone) will now have to choose which one they want to cast each game, and won’t be able to cast both multiple times. So you will now have to choose carefully which commander you cast first, as you won’t be able to cast the other one for what remains of the game. The one you cast still follows all of the dedicated Commander rules, of course. For the second game and beyond, if any, you can choose to cast the other one, or the same one anew.
For instance, if you’re playing Livio, Oathsworn Sentinel and Malcolm, Keen-Eyed Navigator, you can play game 1 with only Livio, Oathsworn Sentinel, game 2 with Malcolm, Keen-Eyed Navigator only, and game 3 with either of them. Or you can also play all three games with the same one.
Also, you don't have to choose at the beginning of the game, since the “lock” happens when you cast a commander for the first time each game. This also means that if you’re using specific cards to move one commander from the command zone to your hand (such as Command Beacon or Hellkite Courser do) before casting a commander from the command zone, it won’t lock the other one. So these cards still function as they always did.
Of course, this new rule means some of the commanders that were previously banned because they were part of the mechanics concerned by this rules change will no longer remain banned. All those that were banned mostly because they were too strong with a second commander but would be fine on their own get an “out of jail” seal and are back to the format. On the other hand, those that were banned because they were already too strong on their own (such as Vial Smasher, the Fierce or Akiri, Line Slinger, for instance), or key components of specific archetypes and combo outlets (such as Thrasios, Triton Hero), will remain banned.
The following commanders hence remain banned: