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February 2014 Commander EDH Banned List – Born of the Gods

What Cards are now Banned in EDH? Four times a year, Magic the Gathering™ Players hold their breath in anticipation of the next problematic cards to receive the ban-hammer. For Commander/EDH, these announcements are released by a separate governing body, the EDH Rules Committee. We can usually expect to see the Banned List updated shortly after the prerelease of a new block or expansion set.

Sylvan Primordial Banned in EDH Commander

Sylvan Primordial has been banned

In February 2014, a little less than a year after the last card to get the axe, there is a new addition to the ban list: Sylvan Primordial. For many, Sylvan Primordial was a solid replacement after the banning of his cousin Primeval Titan in September 2012. The rules committee felt that “Sly’s” ability of mana ramp for the caster combined with non-creature spot removal versus each opponent was unjust and unfun.

In the opinion of this Magic the Gathering™ writer, I am split on the subject of banning Sylvan Primordial. There have been quite a few times I have watched an opponent ramp into S.P. on turn 4 or 5 and cause early game havoc by popping mana rocks or crippling mana bases while they collect a forest for each dastardly deed. I can’t really say that I will miss the guy, however, there are worse shenanigans that can warp a friendly game of EDH. I would have been okay with Sylvan Primordial staying in the format. It doesn’t really matter to me either way.

One of the good things about Sylvan Primordial was his monetary value. Beginning EDH players had access to a powerful green fatty for the low price of one buck ($1.00). It was predominantly in the more competitive circles that the Primordial was abused. The more experienced and tuned the EDH decks, the nastier this guy became.

So how will I replace Sylvan Primordial in my Commander Decks? Currently, S.P. resides amongs my Slivers and in my Vhati il-Dal EDH. Replacing him in my Sliver EDH Deck will be easy. Since I am already running Bane of Progress, I think I will give Archetype of Endurance a try. In my Vhati deck however, I am undecided.

What are your opinions on the banning of Sylvan Primordial? Please click reply and post your thoughts below.

Here is the official press release from the Rules Committee as posted by Genomancer on MTGCommander.net:

It’s been almost a year since the banned list for Commander was altered, as we feel the format continues to grow, games are reasonably diverse where their players want them to be, and we want to keep the banned list as short as practical.

That said, there is one card which has drawn an increasing amount of ire over the past year. We feel Sylvan Primordial is causing far more problems than its contributions justify, and that the format will be better off without it. It meets many of the heuristic markers for a banned card, insofar as it invalidates many other creatures as search targets and causes arguments about whether its use is degenerate or reasonable. It can be easily accelerated into on turn 4 or 5 (before players are expected to have extensive defenses or threats online), at which point it turns a reasonable ramp deck into uninteresting games.

If the card was just a big ramp, or just utility destruction, or just spot land destruction, it would likely be fine but by combining both factors it becomes ubiquitous, frequently overwhelming, and repetitive. After some debate in previous seasons, the committee members all voted in favour of removing it from the format.

Here is a link to the official February 2014 Banned List Announcement posted by Genomancer.

Bitterblossom Price Sky-Rockets

One more news worthy event takes place in Modern and the announcement of the un-banning of Bitterblossom. Bitterblossom is quite prominent in EDH as a token producer to fuel sacrifice effects such as Contamination. A little more than a week ago, an EDH player could have picked up a copy of Bitterblossom for about $20. With the news of the un-banning, this card has sky-rocketed to over $85. This price gouge is terrible news for anyone (like myself) that was contemplating on getting this black enchantment for their Commander decks.

Duel Commander Banned List

Less than a week ago Wizards announced a string of bannings for it’s competitive Commander format, Duel Commander. It is very important to note that “EDH/Commander” and “Duel Commander” are two separate formats with two separate ban lists. Since most of us casual players and local game stores use the original EDH/Commander rules set forth by the Rules Committee on MTGCommander.net, I have opted not to go into depth on the Duel Commander bannings. However, if you do play this format here is a link to their press release: Duel Commander Banlist Update.

Next EDH/Commander Banned announcement should be in April 2013 with the release of Journey into Nyx.

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