New Commander rules

city of shakarThe Commander rules committee (RC) presented three changes to the Commander/EDH format yesterday:

  1. The Commander specific “partial Paris” mulligan rule is removed entirely.
  2. Rule #4 regarding mana (i.e. if you were to add mana to your mana pool of a colour not in your general’s colour identity, it becomes colourless instead) is removied entirely.
  3. Prophet of Kruphix is removied entirely.

Source: MTG Commander forum.

I won’t add much on point three, Prophet of Kruphix is – as the RC explains – one of those cards that tends to warp the game around itself – once a Prophet of Kruphix hits play, the other players are forced to kill it, steal it, copy it, or lose to it. It is by all acounts disgustingly powerful, and the ban is well deserved. As the RC also points out, this is the first card ban in EDH for two years, the ban list is thus growing at a slow pace.

Regarding the first point, about changing to the multiplayer variant of the Vancouver mulligan – meaning that you will draw an opening hand of seven cards, mulligan into a new seven if you’re not happy, then six, then five and so on, and scry 1 if you end up with less than seven cards, I’m not sure what to think. Sheldon Menery came back on to Commanderin’ for another interview episode which was released yesterday as well, and in it he explains the process. Apparently, two of the other players in the RC are great with maths, and they constructed a script for computing starting hands. The difference of the number of “unplayable opening hands” was negligible between the partial Paris variant and the Vancouver variant, in a couple of hundred thousand games.

On paper, all is well. I recommend that you give the episode a listen, I even get a good answer to my question about the “spirit of the format”.

15Regarding the second point, I think the change is justified thanks to the new colourless spells in Oath of the Gatewatch. Previously, if you tapped a City of Brass and chose “white” in your Edric, Spymaster of Trest deck, the mana would become colourless instead – a slight upside these days.

This rule also meant that Zedruu could lock non-white decks out of playing most of their spells with Celestial Dawn (all the spells are white, but the lands tap for colourless mana instead), thanks to rule #4. Pretty counter-intuitive, and I’m not sad to see this go. The change actually makes Celestial Dawn a pretty good card still – but in Sen Triplets instead of Zedruu.

So overall, two good changes, and one that at least streamlines the rules between EDH and other formats. All said and done, good job by the RC, as usual.

What do you think of these changes? Leave a comment below!

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  1. Grim Lavamancer

     /  January 20, 2016

    Yes, well. Prophet of Kruphix really had it coming.

    Regarding the removal of the mana generation rule, I’d say good ridance to that as well. Not only would it have added needlessly confusing gameplay with the addon of colourless mana, it was rather counter intuitive to begin with. And since it very rarely came up it only served to make the format more complicated than it needed to be.

    The mulligan rule is probably the one that’s going to have the biggest impact on the game since you no longer can optimize an already good hand, which as far as I’m concerned is a good thing since it will add some more variation to the game and require some extra attention during the deck building phase (personally I’ll probably remove some of the more expensive cards in my decks and replace them with cheaper variants that doesn’t hurt as much to get stuck with on your starting hand). Another good thing about this change is that it will be easier for players of other formats to quickly learn the basics of EDH, since it will play a little bit closer to standard Magic. I’m really looking forward to see how this plays!

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