Commander ban list: What is banned and restricted in the Commander and why

Commander ban list: What is banned and restricted in the Commander and why

Magic: The Gathering is a game where you collect cards, build decks, and duel other players on your schedule. The game has a wide array of cards and playing formats that you can use at your convenience. Commander is an exciting way to play Magic that a lot of people are getting into these days. However, when using this format, there are some cards on the Commander ban list that you cannot use.

Commander ban list
Magic: The Gathering competitive deck. Photo: @wizards_magic
Source: Instagram

Commander is an exciting, unique way to play Magic that focuses on the legendary creatures, big plays, and battling your friends in epic multiplayer games. In the Commander format, each player chooses a mythical creature who will act as the leader of their deck. You can then play using a 99-card deck that contains cards of their Commander's colours.

Who controls the Commander ban list?

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The Commander Rules Committee maintains the banned list for the format at MTGCommander. This ensures that there is only one ban list, which would not be the case if everyone was allowed to create a ban list.

Which cards are banned and restricted in the Commander?

When playing the game, it is vital to ensure that there are multiple competitive decks that the players can choose from. This is to avoid stagnation due to playing using a single deck. To maintain the diversity and health of the magic tournament, the developers came up with a banned and restricted lists system.

The banned and restricted lists that make up the EDH ban list are made up of cards that are not allowed in the game, or cards that are allowed in a limited manner. These lists apply to Constructed formats and not Limit formats.

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Another thing worth noting is that the lists are format-specific. For example, a card that is banned in Modern may still be legal to play in Standard.

Commander banned cards

If a card is part of the Commander ban list, you cannot include the card in your deck or your sideboard when playing. What makes a card part of the Commander banned list? If having a card on your deck or your play style will heavily skew the play environment, then having the card is illegal.

Other cards are banned because they are too powerful for any one player to use. Also, offensive cards are prohibited in all formats. Here is the MTG banned list for cards that aren't allowed to be used in Magic: The Gathering.

  • Ancestral Recall
  • Balance
  • Biorhythm
  • Black Lotus
  • Braids, Cabal Minion
  • Chaos Orb
  • Coalition Victory
  • Channel
  • Emrakul, the Aeons Torn
  • Erayo, Soratami Ascendant
  • Falling Star
  • Fastbond
  • Flash
  • Gifts Ungiven
  • Griselbrand
  • Hullbreacher
  • Iona, Shield of Emeria
  • Karakas
  • Leovold, Emissary of Trest
  • Library of Alexandria
  • Limited Resources
  • Lutri, the Spellchaser
  • Mox Emerald
  • Mox Jet
  • Mox Pearl
  • Mox Ruby
  • Mox Sapphire
  • Panoptic Mirror
  • Paradox Engine
  • Primeval Titan
  • Prophet of Kruphix
  • Recurring Nightmare
  • Rofellos, Llanowar Emissary
  • Shahrazad
  • Sundering Titan
  • Sway of the Stars
  • Sylvan Primordial
  • Time Vault
  • Time Walk
  • Tinker
  • Tolarian Academy
  • Trade Secrets
  • Upheaval
  • Worldfire
  • Yawgmoth's Bargain

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Why is Primeval Titan banned in Commander? This card is part of the Commander ban list MTG because players would fight over who got the land combos and the mana.

Why is Tinker banned in Commander? Tinker was added to the MTG commander ban list because the card always popped up in broken artefacts in the past.

Restricted cards

If a card is restricted, it means that you can only use a single copy of the card for both your deck and the sideboard. Currently, only the Vintage format has a restricted list.

  • Ancestral Recall
  • Balance
  • Black Lotus
  • Brainstorm
  • Chalice of the Void
  • Channel
  • Demonic
  • Consultation
  • Demonic Tutor
  • Dig Through Time
  • Flash
  • Gitaxian Probe
  • Golgari Grave-Troll
  • Gush
  • Imperial Seal
  • Karn, the Great Creator
  • Library of Alexandria
  • Lion's Eye Diamond
  • Lodestone Golem
  • Lotus Petal
  • Mana Crypt
  • Mana Vault
  • Memory Jar
  • Mental Misstep
  • Merchant Scroll
  • Mind's Desire
  • Monastery Mentor
  • Mox Emerald
  • Mox Jet
  • Mox Pearl
  • Mox Ruby
  • Mox Sapphire
  • Mystic Forge
  • Mystical Tutor
  • Narset, Parter of Veils
  • Necropotence
  • Ponder
  • Sol Ring
  • Strip Mine
  • Thorn of Amethyst
  • Time Vault
  • Time Walk
  • Timetwister
  • Tinker
  • Tolarian Academy
  • Treasure Cruise
  • Trinisphere
  • Vampiric Tutor
  • Wheel of Fortune
  • Windfall
  • Yawgmoth's Will

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What is the 1v1 Commander ban list?

Commander ban list
Magic: The Gathering deck of cards. Photo: @wizards_magic
Source: Instagram

While the game is played on paper, an online video game exists called Magic Online Commander 1v1. The standard rules apply. The only exception is that if you have only one opponent, each player begins with a 30 life. If there are two or more opponents, each player starts with a 40 life.

You can download the game on Steam and start exploring the fantasy world. The 1v1 Commander ban list includes the cards that are in the duel Commander ban list plus the following:

  • Back to Basics
  • Balance
  • Baral, Chief of Compliance
  • Channel
  • Derevi, Empyrial Tactician
  • Doomsday
  • Edgar Markov
  • Edric, Spymaster of Trest
  • Food Chain
  • Hermit Druid
  • Humility
  • Karakas
  • Mind Twist
  • Moat
  • Natural Order
  • Oath of Druids
  • Strip Mine
  • Sensei's Divining Top
  • Serra Ascendant
  • Survival of the Fittest
  • Sylvan Library
  • The Tabernacle at Pendrell Vale
  • Winter Orb
  • Zur the Enchanter

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The Commander ban list is a list of cards that cannot be used when playing Magic: The Gathering. The restricted list includes cards that one is only allowed to use once when playing.

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