Wizards of the Coast released this update on 5/5/17 as a follow up to their original release about the new MTGO 1v1 Commander Banlist article. So we at EDHREC are now releasing this update to our own article which can be found over here detailing the changes and it’s application.
I know that’s a lot of linking in a few sentences. Still with me? Fantastic! Now there are some things I’d like to Bring to Light
From the new announcement by Wizards:
We’ve heard your reaction to the Magic Online Commander update and will be adjusting our plan to accommodate. It was never our intent to disrupt the paper multiplayer Commander community and the format you play at your local game store or at home with friends. We fully support the Rules Committee’s work to make multiplayer Commander the best it can be and will do our best to support their effort.
On May 10, we will update the Magic Online Commander format with the new banned list and begin 1v1 Commander leagues as planned. We want to start gathering data on this format as soon as possible so we can start refining it. This includes updating the banned list and evaluating the match structure (one game versus best-of-three and match length). This does mean that all Commander play on Magic Online will use the updated banned list for a short period of time.
My initial reaction is pretty simple: Great! They heard what the players were saying and are responding to it. WotC had a reputation (whether you agreed or not) that they could be distant or out of touch. Lately however, they have done a fantastic job of reacting and listening to the player base. For those of you who felt WotC had fallen away from listening to the players, the past few weeks should at least be a comfort on that front. Stating that they don’t plan on replacing any existing ban list or format could be one of the best things they did.
In the previous announcement Wizards announced they would be bringing a 1v1 Commander banlist to MTGO for all Commander leagues and 2-player ques. This sent huge waves out and created some confusion about what banlist would be used for multiplayer and what would happen to other banlists like traditional Rules Committee paper, French or Leviathan lists. Today they clarified 100% that the standard for MTGO Commander matches would be the new 1v1 Commander list. They do this in interest of making the format as enjoyable as possible for the majority of their users, who as they cited were playing head-to-head matches.
The announcement goes on:
With the Magic Online deployment of Hour of Devastation on July 5, however, we will add another Commander format with a second, separate banned list. When this happens, one format will endeavor to match the official Commander rules and banned list for multiplayer Commander as published at MTGCommander.net while the other will feature a Magic Online specific banned list tailored for 1v1 matches and will feature League and event support. Essentially, multiplayer Commander and 1v1 Commander will be treated as separate formats.
This is what everyone wanted. Even here at EDHREC we received a huge response from the player base with a resounding message: what about the multiplayer fans? What do we do? Now we have an answer. WotC will roll out support for the ban list that paper players have grown used to.
One of the worries that had started to circulate was that WotC would try to take over the Commander format, which we noted in our original coverage. This should bring a huge sigh of relief to those who were worried about that possibility. Not only did the update again point out they want to respect the Rules Committee and their work, but that they are going to support and feature the traditional multiplayer banlist for paper.
This really is a great move by Wizards of the Coast. The 1v1 and multiplayer crowds are very different with very different goals so seeing them respond and react this way should reassure you. If you prefer not to get locked out by Leovold, Emissary of Trest you can rest easy now. In the same light if you were planning on playing Recurring Nightmare you still will get to do some real dirty things. This creates a rare win/win for the player base. As I stated yesterday, the format appeals to so many different types of players. There still is something for you on MTGO(or will be soon) no matter what your preferred play style is.
What do you think of the new announcement? Is this what you think Wizards had planned the whole time or was it truly a Chain Reaction? Do you maybe think there still will be too many banlists and variants to track? Let us know in the comments!