In today’s quarterly format update, the Commander Rules Committee announced two changes to the formats banned list. Worldfire has been unbanned while Golos, Tireless Pilgrim has been banned. The announcement also removed Rule 10 – that Commanders were subject to the Legend Rule – from the rule set of the format.
On Worldfire, the Rules Committee had this to say on Worldfire:
Worldfire was once banned due to the problematic interaction with floating mana and having access to your Commander. We want to foster a Commander environment where 8- and 9-mana spells are viable and likely to show up in a game, so we evaluate the expensive ones in that context. Unlike Coalition Victory and Biorhythm, which we continue to believe are problematic in that environment, the level of effort needed to make Worldfire effective is sufficient that we suspect it will not be as much of an issue. There are already cheaper ways to do similar things in the format. We believe the social contract and robust pregame discussions will keep Worldfire out of games in which it doesn’t belong.
Worldfire represents a style of spell – an expensive game altering effect – that many see as a hallmark of more social Commander play. This does leave the door open for other spells of this nature to one day find themselves off of the banned list.
On Golos, the Rules Committee had more to say:
Golos, Tireless Pilgrim has been a much-discussed card that is both popular to play with and unpopular to play against. There are many problems with the card, but the greatest is that in the low-to-middle tiers where we focus the banlist, Golos is simply a better choice of leader for all but the most commander-centric decks. Its presence crushes the kind of diversity in commander choice which we want to promote. You can drop in Golos and a few 5-color lands into a random deck and get all the ramp and card advantage you would ever want from a commander, with no worries about your mana base. Golos’ ability effectively reduces the commander tax to one and once you hit seven mana (with Golos assuring that you have WUBRG and helping you get there quickly), you don’t need to do anything for the rest of the game except cast spells for free—something we always want to be careful about. We’ve talked to the folks in Studio X and they understand the problems created by generically-powerful five-color commanders that don’t have WUBRG in their mana cost. We don’t expect similar cards to come from them in the future, so a surgical strike now makes sense. We understand that many players love Golos, so we don’t take this action lightly. In the end, the health of the format is our primary concern and we find Golos unhealthy. While Kenrith, the Returned King is a similarly flexible and popular commander for good stuff five color decks, we see it as a clear step down from Golos.
Here we see more of the Rules Committee’s philosophy, attempting to foster a more social environment. The rate on Golos, as well as its utility and ease of use in a five-color deck helped earn it a spot on the banned list.
What do you think of these bans? Did you have a Golos deck or are you eager to sleeve up Worldfire?