Modern is not the only Magic: The Gathering format getting a banning update today. Magic's Commander format is banning two powerful cards and unbanning one.
In the Commander Banned & Restricted update made in MTGCommander.net, it was announced that "Paradox Engine" and "Iona, Shield of Emeria" have been banned in the Commander format. They also unbanned the fun card "Painter's Servant".
The announcement explained why they banned "Paradox Engine", saying that the card "combines with cards which players already have heavy incentives to play, generating a great deal of mana with virtually no deck building cost. While we don’t ban cards which are only problematic if you build around them, Paradox Engine has clearly demonstrated that it doesn’t need to be built around to be broken."
Here's the explanation for banning Iona: "Iona, Shield of Emeria creates a negative experience for many players without the benefit of a positive application. We had previously considered its high mana cost sufficient to keep it from getting played, but deeper investigation demonstrated many ways of getting it onto the battlefield without paying that cost. Iona, Shield of Emeria is also an exemplar as the type of card which creates an experience we wish to discourage, namely shutting players out of games."
On unbanning "Painter's Servant": "We feel as though there are now more weird and fun uses for the card than there are dangerous ones. The card will provide deck builders with some additional paths to explore in expressing their creativity."
The EDH Committee went on to explain how the Philosophy Document update coalesce the important elements of how they think about Commander into a concise and clear set of ideals, answering the question "what is Commander?" "We haven’t changed the underlying philosophy of Commander: it’s specifically intended to be something other than a tournament format in which players consider each other’s experiences alongside their own," the announcement reads. "You’ll notice that we’ve eliminated categories for banning cards. We’d found that many folks misinterpreted them as hard criteria for banning as opposed the guidelines we always considered them. There might be some common threads among banned cards, but the primary reason cards get put on the list is that they challenge the positive experience we want to promote."
Do you think they made the right decision to ban "Paradox Engine" and "Iona, Shield of Emeria" and unban "Painter's Servant"? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.
Related: MTG Gets Tournament Rules Updates