Magic: The Gathering Commander July 2020 Update: No Changes

Commander is one of those major Magic: The Gathering formats that needs to update every so often, even if whole sets don't necessarily follow a rotation schedule. Today, the Rules Committee for the format spoke about their updates for the quarter, which included no changes – at least, nothing that wasn't already announced in the last three months prior to this update.

The artwork for Command Tower, a card from the Commander's Arsenal limited-edition release for Magic: The Gathering. Illustrated by Adam Paquette.
The artwork for Command Tower, a card from the Commander's Arsenal limited-edition release for Magic: The Gathering. Illustrated by Adam Paquette.

To start, the cards that Wizards of the Coast has banned game-wide for their offensive and racist depictions have been banned in Commander as well. These cards, which we covered the mass-banning of only a few weeks ago, show stereotypical depictions of an offensive nature of varied people, in a manner that could be taken as problematic.

The updated artwork for Crusade, a Magic: The Gathering card that has been banned game-wide for its offensive connotations between mechanics and lore.
The updated artwork for Crusade, a Magic: The Gathering card that has been banned game-wide for its offensive connotations between mechanics and lore.

Following this information, the Commander Rules Committee also announced their separation from the Vintage ban-list. A few weeks ago, Wizards of the Coast banned Lurrus of the Dream-Den from Vintage outright, in a move that hasn't happened in any similar vein in years (the furthest most cards get is restricted in the format). Because Lurrus is much more manageable in Commander, the Rules Committee decided to split their ban-list and merely adopt a few of its tenets instead. Cards which involve manual dexterity, the ante, subgame-producing cards, and cards with the Conspiracy subtype are all still banned, and the rest of the player-driven Magic: The Gathering format's ban list remains as it was prior to this announcement, but with the distinction that it is different from Vintage's list.

The artwork for Lurrus of the Dream-Den, a card from Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths for Magic: The Gathering. Illustrated by Slawomir Maniak.
The artwork for Lurrus of the Dream-Den, a card from Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths for Magic: The Gathering. Illustrated by Slawomir Maniak.

Beyond these changes, no other cards were banned from the format, and everything remains about the same as it has been in Commander. It's relevant to note that commanders do now die and enter exile like other creatures now, but can be moved to the Command Zone after they hit the prerequisite graveyard or exile zone (moving a commander to the hand or library will pre-emptively still prompt an optional replacement effect as it has ever since the rule's conception). What do you think about Commander? Does the Rules Committee do enough to help this format along? Are there cards you wish were banned or unbanned in this Magic: The Gathering format's update? Let us know what they are in the comments below!

About Joshua Nelson

Josh Nelson is a Magic: The Gathering deckbuilding savant, a self-proclaimed scholar of all things Sweeney Todd, and, of course, a writer for Bleeding Cool. In their downtime, Josh can be found painting models, playing Magic, or possibly preaching about the horrors and merits of anthropophagy. You can find them on Twitter at @Burning_Inquiry for all your burning inquiries.

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