Reevaluating the Commander Ban List: Part 2

Chris Hoffman
August 04, 2023


Back to it, The Commander Ban list. We last left off With Braids cabal Minion which means today we start with…


Chaos Orb

Chaos Orb feels like un-set card. "Flip the card at least one foot in the air" is the kind of thing I would expect to see next to an effect to give a creature +1/2 +½. As such it’s banned not just in Commander or Legacy but also Vintage. This is probably one of the strangest cards to hit a “normal” set. Does it need to be banned? Probably, but if a playgroup allows Un-cards, they should allow this too. 


Coalition Victory

Coalition Victory is a gimmick card. It's another 8 mana I win card. This one has two conditions for functioning, having a land of each basic type, and having a creature of each color. However the current rulings state that multiple types on lands and multiple colors on creatures count. So if you have a Nylea’s Presence or similar land that counts for all land types, and a 5 color creature, then that’s it. I feel that this is in the same boat as Biorhythm in a big mana "I win" card. So I also don’t think this should be banned. Coalition Victory is harder to cast than biorhythm, and requires more going right in order to function. Biorhythm can be flung out by an elf deck pretty quickly, coalition victory more than likely takes more time. Its also an 8 mana sorcery! Play interaction!



Channel Deserves to be banned in every format its banned in. In legacy this card is banned, where 2 mana and 15 life casts an Emrakul or whatever other colorless colors you want to cast. If this card wasn’t banned there would almost certainly be a Mystic Forge artifact combo deck of some variety floating around. Fortunately we don’t live in that reality. This card is too good when 20 life is the starting total, and when there’s an extra 20 life to play with things get very good very fast. Even at its worst, an early channel in Commander can pump out a bunch of value artifacts or creatures with the ability to pay for any permission that stands in your way.


Emrakul, the Aeons Torn

This card is banned in Commander and it took some pondering to figure out if I think it should stay banned in the format. Obviously it is easy to cheat into play through a variety of methods, but the thing that breaks this card so that it should remain on the list is its protection. It’s not just a large threat that destroys boards, it's relatively difficult to deal with. It also returns to deck if it ever dies so for now I’ll say that this should still be banned. Though this is an interesting call.


Erayo, Soratami Ascendant

Erayo, Soratami Ascendant is a card I had to look up. Is it good? yeah, it is good, very good even. Casting 4 cheap spells to flip it is easy to do, then you tax everyones first spell for the rest of the game. Thus we have a card that is generally unfun to play with. I tend to lean toward keeping unfun cards banned and I think sticking to that is fine. Hard counters attached to sticky permanents are very strong. 


Falling Star

Falling Star is chaos orbs red cousin. Keep it banned for the same reasons, with the same exception of allowing it in games that un-cards are allowed in.



Fastbond is probably the best ramp anyone can ever ask for. An extra land for the cost of a life is a very low opportunity cost and the lands can come from anywhere, including the yard. So stripland locking everyone in the pod is an easy early option. Fastbond should stay banned as the advantage it can provide early is unbelievably strong, when we get to ban suggestions we will return to more cards that this would apply to.



Flash allows you to instant speed a creature. Famously Protean hulk to instant speed a combo out for 2 mana. Banned in legacy, banned in commander. It’s an interesting card in theory, perhaps a version that exiled the creature if the cost wasn’t paid would be more reasonable. We are keeping this one banned obviously.


Gifts Ungiven

4 mana dig for 4 cards. Two go to hand, two to the yard. The rub is usually it doesn’t matter which two go where as you will get all of the effects anyway. I’ve dealt with storm players using this card and its as powerful as it sounds. So powerful that in vintage it’s limited. For Commander tutoring for 4 cards should cost a bunch more than 4 mana. How much? I don’t know, so we are keeping it banned.


Golos, Tireless Pilgrim

Golos, Tireless Pilgrim is a card I really like; however, I get it. Field of the dead is strong, the activated effect on Golos is SUPER powerful. I think that this card would be fine if it could only tutor basics to the field, or maybe getting a land to hand. Golos is simply too efficient for commander which is strange to say for a 5 mana creature. BUT ON THE OTHERHAND ITS A COLORLESS CREATURE! Keep it banned, play more fun land grabbing commanders. 



Griselbrand is an insane card if you can cast him. Good news on that front, legacy players figured that out and have a few decks about it! Show and Tell and Reanimator both whip this big guy into play on the cheap. Unlike in legacy, commander players tend to have more life to play with, so while a legacy sneak and show player may draw 14 cards, an edh player can draw 28 without any issues at all. 28 cards is ALLOT. So we are keeping this banned. Maybe all the hits from sneak and show will be banned someday. (I am not advocating for the banning of atraxa grand unifier) (probably).

Tune in next time where we will cover even more cards and I make even more people question my opinions on magic the gathering cards.