With the release of the Battle for Zendikar, all sanctioned formats and the group that oversees the Commander format announced their updates to banned and restricted lists as well as any pertinent rules changes. Much like the previous rules update (and the one before), this one has very little notable details of mention. Part of this is due in no small part to the fact that PAX Prime prevented the Oracle (card errata) from being included in this quarterly update, though the article spelling this out indicates there will be some the next time around.
The following changes are:
Dig Through Time is banned.
Black Vise is unbanned.
Chalice of the Void is restricted.
Dig Through Time is restricted.
Thirst for Knowledge is unrestricted.
Functional Errata and Relevant Rules Changes
As previously mentioned, the Oracle part of this rules update is absent. As a result, there aren’t any actual card changes of note. The comprehensive rules changes are likewise fairly sparse, mostly outlining all of the new abilities added in the latest set and clarified how face down cards in exile behave with the Ingest ability and adjusting to make Devoid work act as characteristic-defining ability.
Rules-wise, there are only two rules areas of note:
- The Vancouver Mulligan rule is now officially in effect, whereby if you end up with a starting hand of less than seven after mulligans, you are now able to Scry 1.
Curiously, the update from Wizards didn’t so much as imply that the Vancouver Mulligan will also apply to Commander games as it explicitly states it to be the case. Since the Rules Committee themselves hadn’t made any annoucement to that end, we inquired with them directly on their forum to get clarification. In short, the Vancouver Mulligan does not actually apply to Commander; this tidbid in the Wizard’s update is incorrect. At least for the time being.
- Secondly, they further clarified the step-by-step process of casting a spell, using the example of making it more explicit that you can’t cast a creature using Bestow if your creatures have flash because it won’t be a creature at the time you announce it. It’s all very under the hood stuff that will almost never have any impact on most games, but they desired to clarify it all the same.
That’s about it, really. There will be some grumbling on the Legacy circuit about Dig Through Time (although many players saw that one coming), and many others will be scratching their head at Commander not banning anything while a series of cards are continuing to be problematic in many casual metas. Of course, all this likely means is that the next update will be worth watching all the more.
The explanations of the non-Commander Banned & Restricted changes can be found here.
The Commander announcement can be found here.
The full list of rules clarifications can be viewed here.