Mtg commander banlist

Mtg commander banlist DEFAULT
DateBannedUnbannedOther Notes
September 2021Golos, Tireless PilgrimWorldfire• (minor change) Previous Rule 10 (commanders are subject to the legend rule), which was redundant, is removed. (Actual gameplay doesn't change from this.) Rule 11 renumbered to Rule 10.
July 2021Hullbreacher• Dungeons are legal.
April 2021• Learn cards cannot retrieve Lesson cards, due to no sideboards.
June 2020Cleanse • WotC announcement on these bans
Crusade • Commanders now "die" like other creatures. If a commander has an ability which triggers on it dying or going to exile, it will trigger before heading to the command zone.
Invoke Prejudice
Pradesh Gypsies
Stone-Throwing Devils
May 2020• Commander banlist no longer uses Vintage banlist as a baseline. (e.g. Lurrus of the Dream-Den is banned in Vintage but not in Commander.)
April 2020Flash
Lutri, the Spellchaser
July 2019Iona, Shield of EmeriaPainter's Servant
Paradox Engine
April 2019• Added Rule 0: These are the official rules of Commander. Local groups are welcome to modify them as they see fit. If you'd like an exception to these rules, especially in an unfamiliar environment, please get the approval of the other players before the game begins.
• Rule 13 reworded for clarification: Abilities which bring card(s) you own from outside the game into the game (such as Wishes; Spawnsire of Ulamog; Karn, the Great Creator) do not function in Commander.
March 2018• Brawl format is introduced as a Commander variant that uses only Standard-legal cards.
December 2017[temporary: Silver border cards] • Silver border cards were legal for 45 days (December 1, 2017 to January 15, 2018). The cards that were banned during this time were: Ashnod's Coupon, Double Cross, Double Deal, Double Dip, Double Play, Double Take, Enter the Dungeon, Magical Hacker, Mox Lotus, Once More With Feeling, R&Ds Secret Lair, Richard Garfield, Staying Power, Time Machine.
April 2017Leovold, Emissary of TrestProtean Hulk• Oathbreaker format introduced. (date uncertain; it was sometime in 2017)
September 2016• The optional sideboard rule (allowing a 10 card sideboard) in House Rules on was removed.
January 2016Prophet of Kruphix• Rule 4 (mana generation restriction) removed; decks may now generate mana of any colour.
March 2015• The "tuck rule" was changed. If your commander would go into the library or your hand, you may choose to put it into the command zone.
January 2015• Face down commanders still deal commander damage when they attack.
September 2014Braids, Cabal MinionKokusho, the Evening Star• "Banned as Commander" is eliminated.
Erayo, Soratami AscendentMetalworker
Rofellos, Llanowar Emissary
June 2014[cards of type Conspiracy]
February 2014Sylvan Primordial
September 2013• Optional section on replaced with House Rules section. (The main impact of this change is that there won't be any endorsement of sideboards as an 'official optional' rule.)
• Tiny Leaders created as a variant format. (date uncertain; it was sometime in 2013)
April 2013Trade SecretsStaff of Domination
January 2013• Confirmation: Extort adds no colored mana symbols to a card outside of its reminder text, and therefore is legal for play in Commander decks of any color or colors (as long as the card it appears on is otherwise legal, of course).
September 2012Kokusho, the Evening Star (as General)Kokusho, the Evening Star• Before this update, Kokusho was banned (since February 2008). It became legal in the 99 with this update.
Primeval Titan
June 2012Griselbrand
Sundering Titan
September 2011Erayo, Soratami Ascendant (as General)Lion's Eye Diamond• Before this update, Shahrazad was allowed as an exception to the "Commander follows Vintage banlist" rule.
June 2011Worldgorger Dragon
December 2010Emrakul, the Aeons Torn• "EDH" is now called "Commander" by Wizards, with the announcement of their original Commander set to be released in June 2011.
• A general's color identity amended to include symbols in the textbox, so cards like Thelon of Havenwood can be a general now.
June 2010Channel
Rofellos, Llanowar Emissary (as General)
Staff of Domination
Tolarian Academy
May 2010• Re-clarified "Wish rule" that wishes may retrieve cards from the sideboard if the optional sideboard rule is in use.
December 2009Painter's ServantGrindstone
September 2009Riftsweeper• The command zone is adopted for generals. (Generals now move to the command zone instead of Exile.)
June 2009Fastbond
Gifts Ungiven
Braids, Cabal Minion (as General)
March 2009MetalworkerCrucible of Worlds
TinkerRofellos, Llanowar Emissary
December 2008Time Vault
September 2008GrindstoneTest of Endurance• Card-specific rules removed (e.g. Rune-Tail, Kitsune Attendant).
Lion's Eye Diamond
Protean Hulk
June 2008Limited Resources
February 2008Kokusho, the Evening Star
Recurring Nightmare
November 2007Beacon of Immortality
July 2007• Riftsweeper errata'd so it can't target generals in removed-from-game zone.
March 2007Coalition Victory• Duel Commander (aka French EDH) created as a variant format. (date uncertain)
Rofellos, Llanowar Emissary (as General)
November 2006Heartless Hidetsugu (as General)(Updates from here and earlier are from various sources: Dreamwizards, Alaska Magic.) (Might not be reliable?)
Kaervek the Merciless (as General)
Niv-Mizzet, the Firemind (as General)
May 2006Yawgmoth's Bargain
February 2006Heartless Hidetsugu (as General)• (Date for this Kaervek the Merciless ban is uncertain.)
Kaervek the Merciless (as General)
Niv-Mizzet, the Firemind (as General)
December 2005Crucible of Worlds• Rune-Tail, Kitsune Ascendant is errata'd to trigger at 1.5 times your initial starting life.
Shahrazad• The alternate casting cost on Fifth Dawn's Bringer cycle is exempted. (They can be played in mono-colored decks, this gets reversed on September 2008.)
October 2005[Unique Portal/Starter cards]• Starter Level sets Starter 1999, Starter 2000, Portal, Portal Second Age, and Portal Three Kingdoms become legal in Vintage (and thus Commander).
April 2005Ancestral Recall
Black Lotus
Chaos Orb
Falling Star
Library of Alexandria
Mox Emerald
Mox Jet
Mox Pearl
Mox Ruby
Mox Sapphire
Panoptic Mirror
Sway of the Stars
Time Walk
Worldgorger Dragon
[Ante cards]
October 2004Beacon of ImmortalityBurning Wish• Wishes and Ring of Ma'ruf can only fetch cards that were exiled during the course of play.
Cunning Wish• (Date for this Beacon of Immortality ban is uncertain.)
Death Wish
Enlightened Wish
Living Wish
Ring of Ma'ruf
May 2003Burning Wish• Basic lands unrestricted.
Cunning Wish• (Date for this Ring of Ma'ruf ban is uncertain.)
Death Wish
Enlightened Wish
Living Wish
Ring of Ma'ruf
October 2002Test of Endurance• Basic lands were restricted at this time. Nonbasic hate was out, so Blood Moon, Back to Basics, Primal Order, and Ruination might have been banned at this time as well.
[Collector's Edition]• Life totals begin at (200/number of players). Any player who takes 21 points of damage from a single General loses the game.
[Poker cards]• Cards unique to Starter 1999, Starter 2000, Portal, Portal Second Age, and Portal Three Kingdoms are not legal in Vintage, and thus are not legal in Commander. This gets reversed in October 2005.
[Silver border cards]
[Unique Portal/Starter cards]
July 1996• "Elder Dragon Legend Wars" (by Jesus M. Lopez) is published in The Duelist.
June 1994• Adam Staley creates the "Highlander" format (date uncertain). (source)

Genomancer wrote: We've got something for everyone today, including one relatively straight-forward change and two updates which may be more surprising.

Erayo, Soratami Ascendant should not be played as a General
The exemption making Shahrazad acceptable for play is removed.

Lion's Eye Diamond is unbanned.


Starting with the least contentious issue: Shahrazad. Historically, the {W}{W} sorcery was allowed as an example of an interesting, crazy card. It provided a potent tool for aggressive decks such as white-weenie, but most importantly it highlighted the fact that the Commander games (and rules) can differ significantly from "tournament stable" formats.

Unfortunately, Shahrazad was instead used almost exclusively to troll other players by forking it, recurring it, and otherwise drawing out the game in byzantine ways. While there are lots of cards which can be used to do the same thing, Shahrazad was only allowed because of a special exemption to the rules. Since one of our aims is to keep the rules lean, and this extra rule was a net negative for most groups, it has been removed. We don't think many tears will be spread for its loss but, as always, if your group doesn't mind the occasional subgame, feel free to keep playing it!

Erayo, Soratami Ascendant

Listing Erayo as the third example of a legendary creature unwelcome in the commander role is likely to raise more questions. Some people will argue that other legends are more deserving of hate, but we feel that Erayo is a flagship example of a general whose sole purpose is to decrease interactivity. We don't think she's ever used to make games more interesting: the deck (and Erayo decks are pretty much identical) plays the same every game, requires fairly narrow answers to disrupt, and when it wins does so very early in the game.

Worse, it's not always obvious to newer players that the game is over when Erayo flips, and they suffer through many turns of waiting to "actually die". Strategies like this, which win in confounding and non-obvious ways, often cause poor play experiences because they exacerbate the difference between players' understanding of the game.

Is Erayo the most powerful early game mono-blue commander? It doesn't really matter.. what matters is that adding her to the banned list sends the clearest message that generals *like this* shouldn't be played... they make for boring games.

Lion's Eye Diamond

Unbanning Lion's Eye Diamond is also likely to cause some hue and cry. There is a small but vocal segment of the commander player base who say that all fast mana like Sol Ring and Mana Crypt should be banned to balance the format... a complaint which rather misses the point. Our aim is not to make commander an unbreakable tournament format... it continues to be (and hopefully always will be) chock full of crazy powerful plays which you, the players, are trusted to explore rather than exploit. The rules page and list of unwelcome cards is there to help players avoid *accidentally* ruining games... and LED's presence on the list wasn't accomplishing that.

LED was originally banned as an example of a two-card infinite mana combo (with Auriok Salvagers), but like Worldgorger Dragon its presence on the list is increasingly incongruous. There are many two-card combos which actually kill multiple players in a single turn, and most players new to the format don't see LED and think "Ah, inifinite mana combos are kind scummy." Additionally, there are interesting ways to use LED and, consistent with our philosophy on blacklisting cards, most of the boring uses of LED are easy to distinguish from its interesting applications. It enables commanders late in the game, and expensive commanders in particular because they tend to be played later when hands are smaller.

One possible source of problems with LED is its synergy with various tutors, which may be a good or bad thing. As with any change to the list, we'll keep a weather eye out and if it turns out to be a signficant force for degeneracy or repetitive games, we have no problems admitting we're wrong and sending it back into exile. Honestly, we don't think taking it off the list will have much impact other than makes the list one card shorter.


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Banned Cards

If a card appears on the banned list for your chosen format, then you may not include that card in your deck or sideboard. Doing so makes your deck illegal to play in any sanctioned tournaments for that format.

Cards are usually banned from play if they enable a deck or play style that heavily skews the play environment. What does that mean? If the card were legal, a competitive player either must be playing it, or must be specifically targeting it with his or her own strategies.

Some cards are banned because they have proven to simply be too powerful in their respective format. While hundreds of hours are spent rigorously playtesting sets before their release, the complexity of Magic makes it nearly impossible to accurately predict all the ways the new cards interact with older ones.

Cards whose art, text, name, or combination thereof that are racially or culturally offensive are banned in all formats. This list is a work in progress. Click here for the list.

Restricted Cards

If you wish to use a card that’s on the restricted list for your chosen format, you may include only a single copy of that card, counting both your main deck and your sideboard. Currently, only the Vintage format uses a restricted list.


2-Cards banned as a commander only (yet still playable in a deck)

You can’t have any of these following cards in a Duel Commander game.

This is in addition to points 2) and 3) in this document.

  • Only cards that are playable in sanctioned Magic The Gathering formats are legal in Commander, and, therefore, in Duel Commander.

  • That excludes special border cards like:

    • Gold-bordered cards (World Events promo cards / ...)

    • Silver-bordered cards (Unhinged / Unglued / Unstable / Holiday cards / ...)

    • Scroll-looking cards that likeConspiracies.

    • Square-cornered cards (Collector’s Edition / ...)

    • Oversized and other miscellaneous cards such as Planechase Planes, Archenemy Schemes, Vanguard cards, Helvault cards, etc.

  • That also excludes the cards that use the “Ante” word :

  • That also excludes physical abilitiescards that areFalling Star andChaos Orb.

  • The fast subgame card (which is not an effect, but is a real card)Shahrazad is also excluded.

  • Also, this implies cards marked offensive by Wizards of the Coast. Clickhere for the list. This list is a work in progress.

These cards can’t be your commander, but are still allowed in your 98-99 cards in your decklist.
This is in addition to points 1) and 3) in this document.

  • Akiri, Line-Slinger is banned as a commander only.

  • Arahbo, Roar of the World is banned as a commander only.

  • Ardenn, Intrepid Archaeologist is banned as a commander only.

  • Asmoranomardicadaistinaculdacar is banned as a commander only.

  • Baral, Chief of Compliance is banned as a commander only.

  • Breya, Etherium Shaper is banned as a commander only.

  • Bruse Tarl, Boorish Herder is banned as a commander only.

  • Derevi, Empyrial Tactician is banned as a commander only.

  • Edgar Markov is banned as a commander only.

  • Edric, Spymaster of Trest is banned as a commander only.

  • Emry, Lurker of the Loch is banned as a commander only.

  • Esior, Wardwing Familiar is banned as a commander only.

  • Geist of Saint Traft is banned as a commander only.

  • Inalla, Archmage Ritualist is banned as a commander only.

  • Jeska, Thrice Reborn is banned as a commander only.

  • Keleth, Sunmane Familiar is banned as a commander only.

  • Krark, the Thumbless is banned as a commander only.

  • Ludevic, Necro-Alchemist is banned as a commander only.

  • Marath, Will of the Wild is banned as a commander only.

  • Najeela, the Blade-Blossom is banned as a commander only.

  • Oloro, Ageless Ascetic is banned as a commander only.

  • Omnath, Locus of Creation is banned as a commander only.

  • Prime Speaker Vannifar is banned as a commander only.

  • Ragavan, Nimble Pilfereris banned as a commander only.

  • Reyhan, Last of the Abzan is banned as a commander only.

  • Rofellos, Llanowar Emissary is banned as a commander only.

  • Rograkh, Son of Rohgahh is banned as a commander only.

  • Tasigur, the Golden Fang is banned as a commander only.

  • Teferi, Temporal Archmage is banned as a commander only.

  • Thrasios, Triton Hero is banned as a commander only.

  • Tymna, the Weaver is banned as a commander only.

  • Urza, Lord High Artificer is banned as a commander only.

  • Vial Smasher the Fierce is banned as a commander only.

  • Winota, Joiner of Forces is banned as a commander only.

  • Yuriko, the Tiger's Shadow is banned as a commander only.

  • Zurgo Bellstriker is banned as a commander only.

You can’t have any of these cards in a Duel Commander game, in any zone of the game.
This is in addition to points 1) and 2) in this document.


Commander banlist mtg

sushiske28 days agoDeckbuilding, Historic, Modern, Pauper, Pioneer, Standard, Vintage

Last updated on October 7, 2021

Dark Heart of the Wood | Illustration by Mark Tedin

Dark Heart of the Wood | Illustration by Mark Tedin

The “Banned and Restricted” announcements for MTG are pretty polarizing within the community. An important part of the formation and maintenance of constructed formats, it’s a huge part of the Magic ecosystem and has a lot of chatter around it.

But what is it? Why is it? Where is it? Who is it? Who am I? Who keeps eating my cereal at night?

These are all important questions that you’ll find the answer to both here, and at the back end of a breakfast-related existential crisis. So, let’s just do it here instead! Nobody needs to know about the cereal.

This is going to be super long, so buckle up and get ready for what is probably the most comprehensive thing you’ll ever read on the history of banlist discussions! That’s the goal, at least.

In the words of a 90s icon, much like Magic itself, lets-a-go!

Or. even better: Wah!


The Latest B&R Announcement

If you’re just here for the latest announcement, here it is!

Effective Date: September 24, 2021



Omnath, Locus of Creation

Why Are Cards Banned?

Work a Double

Work a Double | Illustration by Carl Frank

Some cards are bad for the ecosystem of a format, some cards are egregious in their power levels, and some cards are just disliked by WotC.

Wizards has a ban philosophy, which you can try to figure out by scouring articles all over the internet and ending up down a hole of design philosophy, old formats, and eating ice cream at 4 am wondering what it all means.

But I did all of that work for you! On a blanket level, Wizards bans cards for one of reasons below:

  • Because they’re just egregiously powerful. Oko, Thief of Crowns, for example.
  • The card is too powerful for a specific format. Things like Wrenn and Six being banned in Legacy but not in Modern or the War of the Sparkplaneswalkers that are restricted in Vintage.
  • The card leads to “unfun” gameplay.
  • The card is too efficient.

It could also be the every-present fifth reason:

  • In the interest of competitive diversity.

The thing is, play design is hard. As seen recently with Oko, Thief of Crowns, one wrong stat can make a card absurdly powerful and there’s no way to patch or errata said mistake unlike in video games.

Wizards sometimes needs to innovate so they make new ideas that may be too strong for the game. Banned and restricted lists are filled with these card designs.

The cards need to go so they don’t end up overrunning the format. And sometimes newer strategies break older cards, so the older cards get banned while the newer cards still get sold. Honestly, I don’t see any correlation between new sets and wanting people to play with new cards, and profits and…

“Mom, I’m gonna have to take the ice cream again!”

But, seriously, we all make mistakes. And the banned and restricted articles are a great insight into why these cards are broken, and what they’ve done to their formats. Honestly, the day a new B&R article drops is like Christmas for some of us. Especially when the metagame turns into what it’s become recently. I don’t even need to name the format. You know.

I don’t particularly agree with all of these decisions, like the banning of my sweet, sweet Splinter Twin. But Wizards are experienced and they can be very right sometimes. They do also miss the mark sometimes, though. Faithless Looting was an issue for years and was only banned in 2019. But if we didn’t believe in the game we wouldn’t be here.

Who Does the Banning?

Omnath, Locus of Creation

Omnath, Locus of Creation | Illustration by Chris Rahn

For all of the official formats other than Commander, Wizards of the Coast bans the cards on their blog. Commander bans are made by the rules committee and are posted onto the official Commander rules committee website.

Any other format usually has its own committees or council to ban the cards.

Ban Announcement Dates

We have no clue.


… Other than “Mondays.”

So, the Wizards banlist announcements used to give a date for the next announcement, but now we get an announcement a week. Sometimes even a day before? Whether this is good or bad, I don’t know. But sometimes we just get announcements saying, “There’s gonna be an announcement soon!” and go with it.

This means that cards are banned quicker but also that we have no preparation for these cards getting banned. We can still say that the cards are always banned on Mondays, though.

Official Banlists

Rules Lawyer

Rules Lawyer | Illustration by Dmitry Burmak

So, I think that’s it from me. Now, it’s time for me to spew a bunch of cards that are banned in formats for your pleasure.

I apologise, in advance, for the amount of spewing.

Especially in Standard.

(Blame Wizards)


The Standard format uses the most recently released Magic sets.


This format lets you dive deeper into Magic’s history, allowing cards from Eighth Edition to today.


While Modern lets you play cards from as far back as 2003, Vintage lets you play cards from any set in the 20+ year history of Magic!



The following cards are restricted, which means you can only have one of them in your main deck and sideboard combined:


Allows cards from all legal sets but bans certain cards for power level reasons.


The following cards are banned from the format:

  • Cards with the Card Type “Conspiracy.”
  • Cards that reference “playing for ante.”
  • Cards whose art, text, name, or combination thereof are racially or culturally offensive.
  • 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
  • Golos, Tireless Pilgrim
  • 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
  • Yawgmoth’s Bargain


These cards are banned in block-constructed tournaments, separated by block:

Innistrad-Avacyn Restored Block

Mirrodin Block

Masques Block

Urza Block

Tempest Block

Mirage Block

Ice Age Block


The following cards are banned in Brawl and can’t be included in your deck or used as your commander:


All cards in the Pauper format must have been printed at common rarity in a Magic set or product. Common promo cards are only legal if the card meets that qualification. If a common version of a particular card was ever released in Magic, any version of that card is legal in this format.

The following cards are banned in this format:


Pioneer is a new-ish nonrotating format featuring cards from Return to Ravnica and forward. The following cards are banned:




Historic Brawl

Timeline of Bans in MTG

All right. Let’s take a look at the banlist update from July 2nd 2018 (before we started getting regular updates because of the turbulent nature of recent card design) to now.

September 24, 2021


September 13, 2021


September 8, 2021


July 22, 2021


July 12, 2021


June 16, 2021

June 10, 2021


May 20, 2021


April 13, 2021


Historic Brawl

February 15, 2021






Cascade Rules Change

January 14, 2021


October 12, 2020




September 28, 2020


August 24, 2020


August 3, 2020





July 13, 2020





June 1, 2020



May 18, 2020




April 13, 2020


March 9, 2020





December 2, 2019


November 18, 2019





November 11, 2019


November 4, 2019


October 21, 2019




August 26, 2019




July 8, 2019


June 27, 2019


May 20, 2019


January 21, 2019


July 2, 2018


Banlist Trivia

The B&R list has lots of myth, trivia, and legend around it. For example, there have been more cards banned in Standard since 2017 than before 2017. This is absolutely insane, and I’m not going to keep going on about power creep, but it’s definitely a telling statistic.

Also, the artist with the most cards banned in any format is Mark Tedin, which is very interesting. He’s probably the most powerful Magic artist. It really makes you think about how many of the most iconic cards have been helmed by his art. Rob Alexander and Volkan Baga are tied for second with nine cards each.


Finale of Revelation - Illustration by Johann Bodin

Finale of Revelation | Illustration by Johann Bodin

Well, that’s it from me today. I hope you enjoyed our time together. Do you have any opinions about the banlist, or any cool trivia? Did you like what you read? Let me know down below in the comments.

If you’re enjoying what we do, then feel free to become a member of our Patreon! It helps us continue making lengthy stuff filled with content and (in my case at least) prevent existential crises about the design philosophy of Wizards of the Coast. Just as an example.

Thank you for reading my compendium on bans, restrictions, cardboard, and ice cream, and I hope to see you again. Have a good one!

Block ConstructedLegacyModernMTGMTG banlistMTG banned and restrictedMTG banned cardsMTG BrawlMTG cardsMTG collectionMTG CommanderMTG FormatsMTG PauperMTG PioneerMTG restricted cardsStandardVintage

Two Tarmogoyfs in a trenchcoat
Ays—or 'sushi' for those who'd like to call them so—has been playing Magic since 2017. Draftsim's connoisseur of memes—and the person responsible for those hilarious MTGGoldfish Video Intros a while back—can be frequently found slinging cards in Legacy, Modern and Penny Dreadful, or concocting their next plan for world (meme) domination.

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You can remove the implants as easily as you can insert them. This is my first time in this field, so, dear audience, I ask you to forgive me if there are mistakes and non-standard expressions. I am 35, married for 10 years already, my wife is three years younger than me, but does not look a bit.

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