Cover Knot35

Breaking Down the EDH Ban List: What Cards Made the Cut?

The Importance of EDH Ban List

EDH Ban List

The EDH or the Elder Dragon Highlander format of Magic: The Gathering has gained huge popularity among players all over the world since its inception in the early 2000s. The game is not just about players attacking one another and draining life; it is also about strategy and planning, and of course, having fun. But in such a dynamic and intricate format, it is essential to have rules and regulations that maintain balance and prevent the game from being broken. This is where the EDH ban list comes in, which plays a critical role in ensuring the format remains fair and enjoyable for all players.

The ban list is a set of cards that are deemed too powerful or game-breaking to be played in EDH format. The selection of cards is based on a variety of factors such as how the card interacts with the game, how it affects the overall dynamics of the format, and how often it is used. The ban list is created and managed by a committee of experts who have been playing the game for decades and understand the nuances of the format. The committee is responsible for reviewing and updating the ban list regularly, as and when necessary, to keep things in balance.

So, why is the EDH ban list so important? For starters, it ensures that decks are built with a sense of balance and not just filled with the most powerful cards available. A ban list makes players think twice about the cards they include in their decks, promoting more creative and interesting deck building. It also prevents games from being dominated by a single overpowered card or strategy, providing for a wider variety of gameplay styles and strategies. This allows players to experiment with different decks, styles, and strategies without fear of getting crushed by a single unbeatable deck.

Another crucial aspect of the EDH ban list is that it encourages players to follow the same rules across the world. As a result, players from different regions or countries can come together and play without any confusion or misunderstanding. A uniform list ensures the format is the same everywhere, making it easy for players to find games and make friends across the globe.

Moreover, the ban list helps preserve the health of the format. Magic: The Gathering is a constantly evolving game, with new cards being added with each release. While this is exciting for players, it can also have a significant impact on the game’s balance. By regularly reviewing and updating the ban list, the EDH committee can ensure that new cards do not break the game. This means that the EDH format remains fresh and exciting with each new release, making it a highly engaging and long-lasting format for players to enjoy.

Finally, the EDH ban list is essential for the game’s overall appeal and respectability. It ensures that the game is not only enjoyable but also respected by both players and non-players alike. By maintaining balance and fairness, EDH is seen as a format where skill, strategy, and creativity are highly valued. This helps to attract new players to the game, adding to the already impressive pool of players across the world.

In conclusion, the EDH ban list is a critical aspect of the Elder Dragon Highlander format. It helps to maintain balance, prevent game-breaking strategies, preserve the health of the format, and promote fairness and creativity. The ban list is reviewed and updated regularly, ensuring that the game remains fresh and exciting for all players. It also helps to attract new players to the game, adding to the already impressive community of players who love the format.

Controversial Bans in EDH History

Banned Cards EDH

For those unfamiliar, EDH or Elder Dragon Highlander, now commonly known as Commander, is one of the most beloved casual formats in Magic: The Gathering. Fans rave about its multiplayer experience, varied deck-building restrictions, and its unique philosophy. EDH has its own banlist, which includes cards that are simply too powerful or would break the format’s archetype. However, some cards banned in EDH history were controversial and has sparked intense debates among players. Here are some of the most controversial cards banned in EDH history.

Gaea's Cradle

1. Gaea’s Cradle

Considered the most expensive card in the original banlist, Gaea’s Cradle is a legendary land that taps for a green mana for each creature one controls. It is a powerful card that some consider an auto-include in any green creature-based deck. Gaea’s Cradle has been banned in EDH format since its inception, but some argue that it should be unbanned as it is not as broken as other cards on the banlist.

Primeval Titan

2. Primeval Titan

Primeval Titan is a creature card with a converted mana cost of six. Once on the battlefield, it can search for two land cards and put them onto the battlefield tapped. It is a powerful ramp card, and its ability to fetch certain utility lands makes it a versatile inclusion in any deck. Primeval Titan was a staple in EDH format until it was banned in 2017 due to its consistency and the ease with which it can generate a lot of resources.

Primeval Titan caused controversy among players who believe that it wasn’t as powerful as other cards on the banlist, such as Emrakul, the Aeons Torn. Players made the argument that Emrakul’s game-ending powers could be seen as more unfair and thus should be banned ahead of Primeval Titan. Some hope that it will be unbanned someday due to its unique ability and its iconic status in Magic’s history.

Prophet of Kruphix

3. Prophet of Kruphix

Prophet of Kruphix is a creature card that has a converted mana cost of five and grants one an extra mana during a turn. Its most significant effect is that it allows one to untap all of one’s lands and creatures at the beginning of each player’s untap step. It is powerful in that it allows one to take multiple turns in a row, creating scenarios where one player’s turn could last for minutes on end. The card was banned in 2015, months after its release due to its oppressive nature and the fact that it can take over games without interacting with other players.


4. Griselbrand

Griselbrand is one of the most infamous creatures ever printed in Magic: The Gathering. It is a creature card with a converted mana cost of eight that can draw seven cards and pay seven life each time it attacks or blocks. It’s a powerful utility card and, when used in the right deck, can quickly become game-breaking; hence, it was banned in EDH in 2013. Some players believe that Griselbrand’s ban is justified, while others argue that there are other cards that have as much potential for abuse in the format.

Despite being controversial, banned cards in EDH have helped balance out the format and make it more fun for everyone. It is always essential to note that the card banning decision is always subject to revision, which means there is always a chance that a banned card may be unbanned in the format someday. It is up to the community to continue the discussion on which EDH cards stay banned and which ones deserve to come off the list.

Impact of newly added cards to EDH banned list

EDH banned list

The EDH (Elder Dragon Highlander), or Commander format, is a variant of Magic: The Gathering that allows players to use a singleton deck led by a legendary creature. This format has its own ban list of over 40 cards that are deemed too powerful, game-breaking, or unfun to play against. From time to time, new cards are added to this EDH banned list to maintain game balance and diversity. In this article, let’s explore the impact of some recent additions to this list.

1. Hullbreacher


Hullbreacher is a new card from the Commander Legends set that became an instant hit in EDH due to its disruptive and oppressive nature. This 2-mana creature has flash and a triggered ability that allows its controller to draw a card and create a treasure token whenever an opponent would draw a card outside their draw step, which happens a lot in EDH. Hullbreacher completely shuts down many popular EDH strategies such as wheels, tutors, and card advantage engines.

According to EDHREC, Hullbreacher was played in more than 30% of blue decks and had a high win rate of around 60% before it was banned. Its presence in the format caused frustration and homogenization, as many decks were forced to run similar answers or risk losing to Hullbreacher. With the banning of Hullbreacher, EDH players can expect to see more diverse and creative decks that focus on interactive gameplay rather than individual power.

2. Tainted Pact

Tainted Pact

Tainted Pact is a powerful tutor card from the Time Spiral Remastered set that allows its controller to exile their library until they reveal a card of a chosen type, putting that card into their hand and shuffling the rest back. This effect is similar to the more popular Demonic Tutor or Vampiric Tutor, but with the added benefit of being more flexible and potentially drawing multiple cards.

However, Tainted Pact is also a double-edged sword in EDH, as it requires players to have a singleton deck in order to avoid accidentally exiling their combo pieces or win conditions. Many EDH players have made the mistake of blindly using Tainted Pact and losing the game because of it. Therefore, Tainted Pact was banned to promote the spirit of the singleton format and reduce the risk of unintentional self-mill or self-exile.

3. Mana Crypt (reversal)

Mana Crypt

Mana Crypt is a classic card from the original Magic: The Gathering set that provides its controller with an extra two colorless mana at the cost of dealing 3 damage to themselves on a 50/50 chance at the beginning of their upkeep. This card has been a staple of many competitive EDH decks due to its fast ramp and efficiency.

However, with the recent printing of Arcane Signet and Jeweled Lotus, many EDH players have argued that Mana Crypt is no longer necessary or healthy for the format. In addition, the random damage aspect of Mana Crypt can be swingy and feel unfair in casual or multiplayer games. Therefore, the EDH Rules Committee decided to ban Mana Crypt for a trial period of one year to see how the format evolves without it.

The banning of Mana Crypt has received mixed reactions from the EDH community, with some players feeling that it is a step towards a more balanced and accessible format, while others feeling that it is unnecessary and restricts player choice. Only time will tell if the absence of Mana Crypt will cause a significant shift in the power level and diversity of EDH decks.

Top decks affected by EDH ban list changes

Top decks affected by EDH ban list changes

As with all games, the format of Elder Dragon Highlander (EDH) undergoes changes, and the year 2021 was no exception. The committee in charge of the game constantly tweaks the game to ensure things don’t get too stale, and players have to evolve their gameplay tactics to keep up. As such, some cards get banned, and others get unbanned. And these changes greatly affect the top decks in the format.

For instance, one key change in 2021 banned the usage of the “Hullbreacher” card, and this change affected some of the best decks in the format. Popular decks like “Leovold, Emissary of Trest” got severely impacted and became less potent ever since Hullbreacher was banned. Similarly, another popular card that went under the banhammer was “Painter’s Servant.” This card was an integral part of some popular decks like “Golos, Tireless Pilgrim,” and its ban was also a significant blow to those decks.

Another popular deck that got dealt a significant blow by the 2021 ban changes was “Urza, Lord High Artificer.” This deck utilized the “Mystic Forge” card along with Urza to great effect. However, Mystic Forge got banned in 2021, sending the Urza deck spiraling down the ranks.

Perhaps the biggest blow to the EDH format was the banning of the famous “Flash” card. Flash was a part of a strategy that used the “Protean Hulk” card to great effect. The Flash-Hulk strategy terrorized the format for years, and its banning meant that a popular and potent gameplay style in the format vanished virtually overnight. Popular decks utilizing this strategy, like “Tasigur, the Golden Fang,” and “Tymna the Weaver/Ravos, Soultender” took massive hits in their viability.

Lastly, the disruption of the Flash-Hulk strategy meant lack of a strong combo decks to contain other popular archetypes present in the format. The banning of flash led to the resurgence of some popular combo decks that utilize the likes of “Food Chain” and “Ad Nauseam.” Decks like the “Korvold, Fae-Cursed King” have now become potentially stronger given that sufficient precautions are taken while building the deck in the wake of the Flash-Hulk disruption.

All in all, the 2021 ban changes to the EDH format meant massive alterations in the top decks of the format. Players specializing in the decks affected by the bans will have to come up with new strategies to compensate for the banned cards. While it might take some time to adapt to the changes, one thing is for certain – the changes will inevitably lead to new and exciting gameplay potentialities in the future.

Strategies for building a deck around the EDH ban list

strategies for building a deck around the EDH ban list

As an avid EDH player, you are aware of the EDH ban list that dictates which cards are allowed in your deck. To build a deck around the EDH ban list, you must come up with a solid strategy that will help you circumvent the banned cards while ensuring your deck remains effective and competitive. Here are some strategies that you can use:

Create A Theme-Based Deck

Create A Theme-Based Deck

The first strategy that you can use when building a deck around the EDH ban list is to create a theme-based deck. Since there are over 20,000 cards in the Magic: The Gathering game, you have a lot of options to choose from when building a theme-based deck. For example, you can create a color-themed deck focused on a specific color or you can create a tribal deck that focuses on one creature type. In doing so, you can create a deck that is unique, fun to play, and still competitive, even with a few banned cards.

Use Alternative Cards

Use Alternative Cards

If a card that you want to use in your EDH deck is banned, you can opt to use alternative cards instead. There are many cards that are similar to banned cards or that achieve similar effects. Therefore, you can swap out a banned card from your deck with an alternative card that is still effective and fits with your deck’s strategy. For example, if a specific card that helps you draw cards is banned, you can look for a similar card with the same effect but a different name to fill in the gap.

Use Less Popular Commanders

Use Less Popular Commanders

Most players tend to use popular commanders such as Urza, Lord High Artificer or Yawgmoth, Thran Physician in their EDH decks. However, these commanders are often banned since they are too powerful and can dictate the entire game. You can consider using less popular commanders that are still powerful but less likely to be banned. These commanders can often be surprising, and your opponents may not know how to counter them. Additionally, since they are less popular, it will be easier to find their cards and build a deck around them.

Use Cards That Are Not On The Ban List

Use Cards That Are Not On The Ban List

Another crucial strategy that you can use when building a deck around the EDH ban list is to focus on using cards that are not on the ban list. Most of these cards tend to be less powerful and are considered weaker than banned cards. However, you can still create a well-rounded deck by using an adequate amount of cards that are not on the ban list and the considered banned cards. These cards will still have a powerful impact on the game, but combined with other cards, they can create a balanced, effective deck.

Create Your Own Ban List

Create Your Own Ban List

The final strategy for building a deck around the EDH ban list is a bit unconventional but still very effective. You can create your ban list. Create a deck that contains banned cards that demonstrate a sense of balance with the other cards in your deck. Then, with your playgroup, come up with a list of cards that you all agree you will not use in your games. With this approach, it’s almost like starting a new meta with your friends, allowing you all to have fun playing with your favorite decks with banned cards included.

In conclusion, building a deck around the EDH ban list may seem daunting, but there are many strategies that you can use to create a viable deck. Whether it’s creating a theme-based deck, using less popular commanders, alternative cards, or creating your ban list, there are many ways to build a deck that is effective and fun to play. Be creative, and don’t be afraid to try out new strategies. And remember, the most important thing is to have fun playing the game you love with the people you love.