Magic: The Gathering: Hullbreacher Banned In Commander

Hullbreacher has been a thorn in the side of casual and competitive Commander, the format deemed the "most popular" in Magic: The Gathering by Wizards of the Coast's Head Designer for Magic, Mark Rosewater. since its release in December of last year. With its ability to stifle drawn cards and create a mana-producing Treasure token for each card not drawn, it's a card that's been steadily abused with "wheel" effects – or spells or abilities that remove players' hands and have them draw anew. Generally, if Hullbreacher is played at the right time, the game ends there… just not in the way most of the table would like, for the most part. Casual Commander play in Magic: The Gathering has been ravaged by the existence of Hullbreacher in certain public metagames, even if competitive play isn't quite as hit by its presence.

The full art for Commander Legends' Hullbreacher, a recently banned card for the Commander format in Magic: The Gathering. Illustrated by Sidharth Chaturvedi.
The full art for Commander Legends' Hullbreacher, a recently banned card for the Commander format in Magic: The Gathering. Illustrated by Sidharth Chaturvedi.

However, all of that changes today. The Commander Rules Committee has officially announced the ban of Hullbreacher from the format, and with it nothing else. The reasoning behind this ban is fairly simple:

Hullbreacher has been a problem card since its release. Its ostensible defensive use against extra card draw has been dwarfed by offensively combining it with mass-draw effects to easily strip players hands while accelerating the controller. That play pattern isn't something we want prevalent in casual play (see the Leovold ban), and we have seen a lot of evidence that it is too tempting even there, as it combines with wheels and other popular casual staples. The case against the card was overwhelming.

As to the potential of banning similar cards such as Narset, Parter of Veils or Notion Thief, the Commander RC has decided not to for a variety of reasons, for now, but instead keep them on watch in the case of enough shenanigans to warrant these ends. Do you agree with the Commander RC's decision to ban Hullbreacher in this casual Magic: The Gathering format? Let us know in the comments below!

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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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