Hey! Hayes the Hayes here to explain the new MTGO rules changes for both 1v1 and multiplayer in Commander. The official post can be found here for reference.

The changes starts off with Bryan Hawley of Magic R&D explaining that on MTGO most Commander players are playing 1v1 and that the current standardized banlist popularized by the Rules Committee is heavily slanted towards Multiplayer play, leading to somewhat unstable and unfair 1v1 matches.

Starting May 10th MTGO will be supporting EDH more with constructed ques and a somewhat more competitively geared constructed league where players can win Event Tickets and Play Points.

In addition, both Multiplayer and 1v1 EDH will be sharing the same ban list.

“To be perfectly clear, this banned list is only intended for Magic Online Commander. We respect the community roots and oversight of the Commander Rules Committee, and the creation and support of this format is in no way intended to impact paper Commander.” – Bryan Hawley, MTG R&D

Even if Magic R&D does not vocally intend to overreach the Rules Committee I think through this action players will be getting a new type of EDH through MTGO and if people online start to like the new proposed changes in bans (most notably Sol Ring and Mana Crypt) there might be more pressure on the RC to make changes. If R&D was really trying to stay out of the RC’s way I think they could have made 1v1 commander a defined format online separate from multiplayer. Do note as well that this announcement in no way recognizes the 1v1 French EDH community, which has been the go-to community for years for 1v1 EDH.

I personally really like the banlist changes and think MTGO is a good testing ground for trying out new banlist configurations. Let’s take a look at what the new MTGO banlist for EDH will look like starting May 10th.

The MTGO Ban List

This list is geared towards 1v1 play more (because more people play 1v1 on MTGO) but Bryan says that WOTC will be studying the format carefully and it should not come to a surprise if a few days/weeks later that new bans/unbans are announced. Here is the list for now, divided by sections:

Fast Mana

Black Lotus


Gaea’s Cradle

Mana Crypt

Mana Vault

Mishra’s Workshop

Mox Emerald, Mox Jet, Mox Pearl, Mox Ruby, Mox Sapphire

Sol Ring

Tolarian Academy

“While mana acceleration is integral to many Commander decks, these cards accelerate mana too quickly and too early in the game, leading to uninteresting and uninteractive gameplay. Especially without the social pressure and political nature of multiplayer, these types of cards create runaway games at too high a rate.”

Preach it! I fully agree with this assessment for 1v1 Commander. I’m curious to see how the removal of most fast mana from EDH effects powerful decks like Storm and other abusive combo archetypes. I’m also interested to see if green will get stronger because of its ability to ramp, or if the ramp it already has is ‘fair’.

Combo Enablers

Bazaar of Baghdad



Food Chain

Gifts Ungiven

Hermit Druid

Protean Hulk

Survival of the Fittest

Time Vault


Yawgmoth’s Bargain

I don’t see a problem with this list prior to testing the format. Most of these cards are either single card combos or cards with very low converted-mana costs that can easily accelerate into combos all by themselves. I think its hilarious that Protean Hulk made the list, even after its recent unban in paper.

Oppressive Commanders

Arcum Dagsson

Braids, Cabal Minion

Derevi, Empyrial Tactician

Edric, Spymaster of Trest

Erayo, Soratami Ascendant


Rofellos, LlanowarEmissary

Yisan, the Wanderer Bard

This part of the ban list is much more subjective but I agree with this starting list. If any of these Commanders Resolve and the owning player untaps with them there are wayyy to many ways that the game is probably over. I’m very surprised to see that Leovold, Emissary of Trest is not on the list.


Ancestral Recall

Back to Basics




Library of Alexandria

Mana Drain

Mind Twist


Natural Order


Oath of Druids

Serra Ascendant

The Tabernacle at Pendrell Vale

Time Walk


Limited Resources

Painter’s Servant

Sensei’s Divining Top (because of time issues)

Trade Secrets

What do you think of the bans? I’m a little concerned that this will create a divide between MTGO and paper EDH. Overall though I think this is a positive change and I can’t wait to test a new EDH format online. I think WOTC did a decent job with this initial banlist, and I’m open to changes in the future. You should be expecting 1v1 Commander Content soon here from us at Commander Society! Check back soon.



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