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.
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…
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.