Should WotC Allow All PW to be Commanders?

Commander (EDH) forum

Posted on Jan. 12, 2018, 3:55 p.m. by Jacella__2583

Hi, guys! I just wanted your guys' input on whether Wizards should allow PW to be Commanders, since they made them all legendary and removed the planeswalker rule, and why you have that opinion.

 Personally, I'd love it if they were to have them be able to make all planeswalkers able to be played as generals because who wouldn't want something like a Sarkhan Unbroken EDH deck?

cklise says... #2

I'd say it's worth experimenting with. However, I would say that Doubling Season has to go, at the very least.

January 12, 2018 4 p.m.

Pieguy396 says... #3

That sounds about right to me. Having a Doubling Season combo available without having to draw a PW to go with it seems absurd.

January 12, 2018 4:04 p.m.

DrukenReaps says... #4

Wizards doesn't make the rules for commander they have left that job with the guys that came up with the format in the first place. Though I'm unsure if all of them still take part in the committee.

That aside my play group already decided to allow planes walkers as commanders. No one has done it yet but the option is there. I think what stops everyone is that creatures are more easily abused still.

January 12, 2018 4:08 p.m.

DrukenReaps says... #5

For the guys saying Doubling Season would need to be banned all I can say is what about all the commanders that combo with one other card for a win?

Sydri, Galvanic Genius + Aetherflux Reservoir

Niv-Mizzet, the Firemind + Curiosity or Ophidian Eye

And there are others but none of the planes walkers would be 2 card win combos while these are.... Some absurd effects sure but remember it is sorcery speed and doubling season has to come out first.

January 12, 2018 4:14 p.m.

Suns_Champion says... #6


January 12, 2018 4:21 p.m.

I think it would be ok provided people dont come up with a way to consistently put them in play turn 1. If that happens depending on the walker, I could see it becoming a problem, a turn 1 Tibalt, the Fiend-Blooded is a joke, but a turn 1 Sorin Markov is a little unfair.

January 12, 2018 7:07 p.m.

Azdranax says... #10

I dont see too many planeswalkers being all that competitive as commanders, especially in a multiplayer format, so why not allow them? Id imagine Ashiok, Narset and Tamiyo being fairly viable, but they would all still be subpar compared to Teferi based on the ultimate. The Chain Veil would probably skyrocket in value though.

January 12, 2018 10:41 p.m.

MagicalHacker says... #11

I'd be okay with Doubling Season being banned if that were the requirement to make all planeswalkers legal as commanders. Would any be broken? Old Nicol Bolas or Karn could be a Leovold, but only old Tezzeret seems like straight up OP, and even that is debatable.

January 13, 2018 8:16 a.m.

K34 says... #12

They'd be giving up the option to win through commander damage, also there's one downside. Upsides might include the ability to exile someone's entire deck with Jace, the Mind Sculptor

January 13, 2018 8:55 a.m.

sonnet666 says... #13

For people on the "ban Doubling Season" hype train here. Here are all the commanders that go infinite with a single card:

Ad that's not even counting all the cards that are essentially a 1 card combo in and of themselves, like:

Or all the commanders who win the game automatically if you can get a simple infinite mana combo off, which are too many to list here.

My point is that Commander is already super broken on a competitive level because the RC doesn't care about banning competitive cards. Having Doubling Season with PW commanders doesn't even come close to the level of broken that's already possible in EDH, and it would be stupid to ban it. (Especially since it's a lot harder to cheat out a 5 mana enchantment than a lot of the combos I listed above.)

On another note, I think Nissa, Vital Force would make a super awesome Gaea's Cradle commander.

January 15, 2018 10:19 a.m.

sonnet666 says... #14

January 15, 2018 10:21 a.m.

K34 says... #15

I've been saying it for years. The banlist shouldn't even exist.

January 15, 2018 11:26 a.m.

Jacella__2583 says... #16

I completely agree with those who say that it should be allowed, and that there shouldn't really be a banlist, or at least a Wizards regulated banlist. Maybe we should petition to have them legalized since one can argue that they are legendary already?

January 15, 2018 1:36 p.m.

lilgiantrobot says... #17

No, just like I don't want Gaea's Cradle or any other legendary permanent to be a commander.

January 15, 2018 1:51 p.m.

DrukenReaps says... #18

lilgiantrobot since you are the only comment that says no I am truly interested in your reasoning. We already have 5 walkers that are commanders. So why not the rest? They are planeswalkers so they are the characters that are most likely to lead an army into battle. To me the flavor is just so strong there is no reason not to. Power level isn't really a worry as creatures are much stronger in general.

For those saying they should be allowed because they are legendary that reasoning is silly... that is like allowing Alhammarret's Archive... They should be allowed because of flavor. They are leaders and in some cases have built worlds. Commander is a very flavor based format, it explains the deckbuilding restrictions really well.

January 15, 2018 3:13 p.m.

scatteredsun says... #19

No way. It's much harder to kill/control a planeswalker than it is to kill/control a creature.

That being said, I wouldn't mind if they tried a temporary thing like they did with Un-cards.

January 16, 2018 10:39 a.m.

sonnet666 says... #20

scatteredsun, You realize PW's are the only permanents you can destroy directly combat damage right?

In order to kill a creature you either have to spend a kill spell (loss of card advantage) or hope your opponent is willing to block. On the other hand attacking an opponents PW will cost them a card at no cost to you. Pretty much free card advantage.

In a CA focused format like Commander PW's are at a distinct disadvantage, which is part of the reason you see them so infrequently.

January 16, 2018 10:59 a.m.

HangDoll says... #21

I think what people who are saying "No, doubling season should be banned because X, Y and Z combo" are missing the problem. First it heavily skews the power of a Planeswalker in favor of green. This is a problem. Sure its not always going to be just game winning on the spot, depending on the walker, but the primary point of EDH is to have fun. And with a two card combo like that that is not only degenerate but also heavily restricts what you should be playing to a very specific color, this is a problem. Also all those infinite combo commanders listed above are extremely oppressive commanders.

But lets see who would be the best planeswalkers to use with doubling season. Samut, the Tested, Sarkhan Unbroken,Tamiyo, Field Researcher, Vraska, Relic Seeker. And over these, Tamiyo would be the least fun to play against. While some of the listed cards other people have listed have problems asociated with them, they don't quite have the advantage that something like Tamiyo has. Look at her!Draws cards, taps down permanents and gives you a ancestral visions+omniscience? She will just lock people up in a stacks board more effectively than any other commander while also drawing you cards. You could reliable tun her with stasis and winter orb without fear! I think she'd be miserable to play against without doubling season. But with it? Pff... yeah, no.

January 18, 2018 12:41 p.m.

cdkime says... #22


If you are running an aggressive deck, wasting a turn to attack a planeswalker puts you behind--and every chance your opponent has to build makes it more difficult for a swift, overwhelming conquest of the board. If you are running a defensive or combo deck... Well, good luck having the firepower to punch through their defenses.

Using your combat stage to kill a planeswalker is far, far worse than burning a kill spell and being a card down.

Beyond unrestricted permanent removal, very few cards directly interact with planeswalkers. Hopefully you are playing Black, and enjoy your removal at Sorcery speed, because that is pretty much your only option.

Ultimately, I think their difficulty to remove makes for a worse meta. Having a few legal planeswalkers is fine--they are not so common as to be that big of an issue--but once you start having multiple people at the same table using a planeswalker for their commander, that will start to cause issues.

January 18, 2018 1:17 p.m.

MagicalHacker says... #23

Planeswalkers get dealt with very quickly in the multiple playgroups I play with (total of about 30-40 people that are in separate metas).

The reason Doubling Season is different than the other 1-card combos you listed, sonnet666, is because creature removal is very common, while enchantment/planeswalker removal is not.

Before you say "Then people should play more enchantment removal", please see what Mark Rosewater said: "Make the players do something they inherently want to do, not something you, the game designer, force them to do." Based on that ideology, we should not justify poor banlist decisions on the idea that players need to respond to lack of oversight.

However, my real reason for saying Doubling Season needs to be banned for planeswalkers to be allowed as commanders is so that we can get rid of the number one reason people don't want to see planeswalkers as commanders. If people stop saying, "But it ults immediately if you have Season out," then more people will be open to the idea of planeswalkers as commanders.

When it comes to allowing planeswalkers as commanders, it doesn't matter if Doubling Season needs to be banned for game balance, because it needs to be banned for PERCEIVED game balance.

January 18, 2018 2:05 p.m.

sonnet666 says... #24

MagicalHacker, "Dies to removal" has been shown time and time again to be a really ineffective argument for not banning something.

I would never say that people would start running more enchantment as a way to balance out Doubling Season for a couple of reasons. A) Artifact/Enchantment removal is already the second most common form of removal after creature removal, and is played in nearly every deck that can get it. And B) just because something can be removed, doesn't mean it's not worth banning if it's broken.

However, Doubling Season + PW's is way less threatening than half the stuff I listed, several of which can't be answered by removal, at all. Anything less than a counterspell can't answer AdNaus, Boonweaver, Hulk, or Doomsday, and those are one card combos, that work in any deck. How are these legal if the quality of removal plays ANY factor into a banlist decision?

What you really hit the nail on the head about was this: "it needs to be banned for PERCEIVED game balance." The RC doesn't ban based on what's actually overpowered in their format, they ban based off of what the average player perceives as overpowered. Most players don't understand how casting Ad Nauseam during your opponent's end step is near guaranteed to win you the game, so it doesn't get banned. Which is unhealthy for the format since it makes for chasm-like disparity between competitive players and casual ones.

If, as cdkime said, "the primary point of EDH is to have fun," why is any of the shit I listed legal? And if single card "combos" that win the game purely based on deck construction are legal, why can't a mid-range enchantment that would go with a lot of new commanders need to be illegal?

All I'm saying is the banlist is half-assed right now at best, and compared to what's NOT on it, Doubling Season is nothing to worry about.

cdkime, No cEDH deck wins through combat damage, and you can split attacks between PW's and their controllers. Even outside of cEDH, Commander is rarely a damage race if you're not playing 1 on 1. Setting aside one creature's damage for a turn to pick up a free card in a 40-life, multiplayer format is going to be an upside in all but the the most casual of metas. There's a reason there are so few PW's that are considered good in commander, and the fact that you need to defend them is a major part of that.

January 18, 2018 4:46 p.m.

cdkime says... #25


First off, to clarify, I was not the one who said the primary point of EDH is to have fun. I personally have no problem with ultra-competitive play, and would rather not have that quote attributed to me!

Moving along, I continue to disagree. First off, you are wrong--you are not setting aside one creature's damage to deal with the planeswalker--you are setting aside an assault sufficient to overwhelm their defenses/make them decide the planeswalker is not all that worth protecting.

Further, there are a large number of decks that find planeswalkers irritating. Voltron decks want to deal commander damage as often as possible--a turn wasted on a planeswalker can be quite significant. These decks often focus on their one large cannon, and might not be wide enough to otherwise deal with the planeswalker.

Slower decks and control decks might only contain non-offensive creatures/creatures that are important to their combos. They physically might not have the firepower to overwhelm an opponent's blockers.

In multiplayer, attacking is not always a good idea. Your attacking to destroy a planeswalker might leave you open to a vicious assault from another player.

Regarding cEDH, with the exception of doubling season shenanigans, planeswalkers are generally mediocre cards, and I do not foresee many being used in cEDH play. While most planeswalkers tend to be strong enablers, they are not often victory conditions themselves, and most are too slow for cEDH.

But in casual? Part of what limits their utility is how unreliable they are to draw. Essentially always having your enabler on the field is pretty strong in a more casual setting--arguably game-breaking. Will planeswalker decks ever be super powerful? I doubt it.

But will they be super prevalent? Yes. People love the things, though I cannot fathom why. Every single deck would have to be prepared for the now-more-prevalent walkers. Upheaval is part of Magic--new sets disrupt decks slightly--but the underlying rules do not change, and old decks tend to stay relevant. Such a massive change to the format's fundamental rules would likely have drastic repercussions, and upset a system that is currently quite balanced and generally resilient to change.

January 18, 2018 5:50 p.m.

sonnet666 says... #26

cdkime, My bad, I meant to quote HangDoll.

Anyway, I'm not really sure what we're disagreeing about at this point. You've listed a lot of reasons why people will play PW's and why there might be situations where someone might find attacking them inconvenient. Sure, ok.

I never meant to say that PW's are bad in casual play or that they shouldn't be played. My point was just that they are at a disadvantage with other types of permanents since you don't need to spend cards to destroy them, just tempo. That's always going to be a disadvantage in a game focused on card advantage. (It also makes it unfair to equate having a PW as your commander to having a legendary artifact, enchantment, or land as your commander, which was what my original post was about.)

As far as aggressive strategies not wanting to waste their attack, remember that commander is a multiplayer format. The voltron player doesn't have to be the one to take out the PW. There are other players. From the perspective of the PW's controller, there are still multiple points in the turn cycle where they can lose a permanent at no card cost to their opponent. That's still problematic.

And the thing about them continuing to have an effect over multiple turns...? I'd much rather have an enchantment with an activated or repeated triggered ability, honestly.

Again, my point was never that PW's are bad and should feel bad. I run Tezzeret the Seeker and Elspeth, Sun's Champion in two decks, myself. All I'm saying is that, as a permanent type, they're disadvantaged in this format.

January 18, 2018 7:01 p.m.

HangDoll says... #27

My concern isn't that its broken but that it funnels people into one color. I wouldn't mind seeing walkers. But Doubling season tips the scale too heavily in green's favor.

January 19, 2018 3:30 p.m.

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