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September 2015 Commander EDH Banned List – Battle for Zendikar

Like clockwork, the EDH Rules Committee provides us with a Banned List and or Rules Changes for our format shortly after prerelease events. A day after Battle for Zendikar’s prerelease weekend, committee member Ban Ki-moon posted that no changes will be made to the Banned List or the Rules for EDH/Commander. I can dig it. My playgroup has continued to be fun and entertaining even with several appearances of watch list A-listers Prophet of Kruphix and Iona, Shield of Emeria.

Iona Shield of Emeria EDH Banned List Discussion

Before I continue, I would like to take a short tangent to discuss watch list resident, Iona, Shield of Emeria. I have a theory that Battle for Zendikar has lowered the possibility for the dreaded color hoser to appear on a future ban list. BFZ has introduced a chunk of colorless spells and eldrazi that provide new weapons for those facing her in their meta or playgroup. Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger and Scour from Existence can exile her permanently from the game. In the right deck, Breaker of Armies, Titan’s Presence and Gruesome Slaughter could also provide adequate removal. Battle for Zendikar also has the artifact Aligned Hedron Network that will exile Iona into the penalty box while the network is on the battlefield. You may not like to hear this, but, these new answers, along with previous commander resources like Duplicant, Spine of Ish Sah, and All is Dust should be enough to keep Iona from ever seeing her name on the rules committee banlist. Sure, it is kind of boring packing hate in your 99 when you would rather build around flavor and your own game plan, but if she is in your playgroup or meta, how can you not make room for these type of answers?

End tangent. Continuing on with our September 2015 Ban List announcement was a short paragraph from the RC about the Vancouver Mulligan. Here is an excerpt…

There will be no rules changes this round, but given the success of the mulligan tests in Vancouver this year we are taking a close look at the Commander mulligan. Our unique “EDH mulligan,” aka, Partial Paris, has always been a great tool to help ensure that each game of Commander was fair and memorable as possible, but it has always had its downsides as well. We believe that the Vancouver mulligan might fill many of the same roles as Partial Paris while alleviating some of those downsides. We’ll be making our final decision on whether to switch in the next cycle, so until then any input that players can provide will be read and appreciated!

My playgroup utilizes Partial Paris. We even allow for the first mulligan to be “free”, meaning, set aside 5 cards, draw 5 cards. I am a huge fan of Partial Paris and believe that it helps immensely with the possibility of getting mana hosed. If I draw seven cards with only one land, I usually set aside six and draw six, ensuring that I should make my first four land drops. At one of my local game stores, Commander night utilizes the Vancouver mulligan and it works out okay. This was implemented to prevent spikey players that only used mulligans to dig deeper in their decks for combos or nut draws. It seems that the RC will be playtesting either a Partial Paris mulligan with a Scry effect or just the Vancouver mulligan over the next few months. While I wouldn’t be opposed to adding a scry effect to anyone starting a game with less than seven (7) cards, I would rather not see a change made that would remove Partial Paris from our format.

So what are your thoughts on the rules committee’s announcements? Does your playgroup use Partial Paris, Vancouver or other Mulligan rules? What are your thoughts on Iona, Shield of Emeria and the new removal that can exile her? Convinced? Not convinced? Still think she needs to be banned? Please comment below!

On to the next!

Here is a link to the September 2015 EDH Banned List Update

Here is a link to Magic the Gathering’s Mulligan Rules.


    • RTM on October 24, 2015 at 2:03 am
    • Reply

    I love “Commander Shuffle” as i tend to call it. Like you said in your article, i’d oy throw back cards to ensure i had 3-4 lands. The rest, no matter how eclectic or disparate, makes the game.
    I understand if they want to implement the vancouver method in sanctioned competetive play to limit those ‘abusers’ (tek tsk guys, come on) but to ban the Partial Paris method from all play would not be wise.
    My playgroup follows standard EDH play, we have no house rules. But if this change would occur we are keeping commander shuffle

  1. We are also using Partial Paris, and no matter what the Rules Committee is going to decide, we’re keeping it.

    Then again, we’ve never taken the rulings of the Committee without a rather large grain of salt, so there’s that. Fun is foremost on our minds when we play Magic, and if we do not agree with them, we just do our own thing. As far as I know, they even actively encourage this so that’s alright.

    We’re actually pretty effective at self-regulating our decks. Sure, sometimes something really unfun happens, but normally, the “offender” then works on their deck to ensure it doesn’t happen again.

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