Iona, Shield of Emeria

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Format Legality
1v1 Commander Legal
Archenemy Legal
Block Constructed Legal
Canadian Highlander Legal
Casual Legal
Commander: Rule 0 Legal
Custom Legal
Duel Commander Legal
Highlander Legal
Legacy Legal
Leviathan Legal
Limited Legal
Modern Legal
Oathbreaker Legal
Planechase Legal
Quest Magic Legal
Vanguard Legal
Vintage Legal

Iona, Shield of Emeria

Legendary Creature — Angel


As Iona, Shield of Emeria enters the battlefield, choose a colour.

Your opponents can't cast spells of the chosen colour.

NV_1980 on Kaalia Comp

4 months ago

I would replace Iona, Shield of Emeria (which has been banned from EDH) with Isshin, Two Heavens as One to make Kaalia trigger twice with every attack. Kaya's Ghostform is an excellent method to give Kaalia a new life once the current one is spent.

Caerwyn on Alternate Ban List

7 months ago

Starting with the easier question, you are simply wrong about Iona, Shield of Emeria versus Void Winnower. Void Winnower is a symmetrical effect which hits everyone on the battlefield. Iona, on the other hand, has a really, really problematic interaction with the Colour Identity rules--you can play an Iona and basically force a mono-colored player into "Draw, Pass" for the rest of the game.

It has nothing to do with how "unfun" she is as a card. Rather, the specific rules of Commander interact poorly with Iona--Iona becomes a problem regardless of what zone she is in because a player can use her to weaponize Commander's rules in a way no other card really allows.

Coalition Victory is a bit of a holdover case, but the same basic idea--you can weaponize "always have 5 colors worth of permanents ready to be cast" to eliminate the challenge of fulfilling one element of the card's victory condition. Unlike other combos, where you have to still combine abilities, all Coalition Victory cares about is "hey, did you happen to play a five color commander? If you do, no reason not to include this card also."

That is the problem you ignored and are still ignoring--Commander has fundamentally different rules which create fundamentally different problems other formats lack. That is something that should be taken into account when making a banlist--and is something you simply did not.

Caerwyn on Alternate Ban List

7 months ago

Reintroducing Banned as Commander would be a solid addition to the game. They also should utilise “Banned as Companion” since that is a more elegant fix than simply declaring an entire ability does not work.

Your “banned in the 99” discussion, however, betrays a lack of knowledge of how the current banlist operates - something that is pretty important to both understand and address if you are proposing something new.

The Rules Committee has two primary reasons for banning a card - the card does not function well with the rules of Commander (usually cards that do not work well in multiplayer or interact weirdly with colour identity) or the card provides such value it would appear in every single deck which could run it. Coalition Victory, for example, falls into the former category, not the latter - it is not banned for its power, but because of how it interacts with the rules of the specific format.

Ignoring that first category is a massive failing in your proposed banlist. It means you miss out on Iona, Shield of Emeria (which can lock entire players out of the game due to colour identity restrictions), Hullbreacher (which functions poorly with multiplayer and the prevalence of wheels), Trade Secrets (which, in multiplayer, allows two players to conspire in a way that leaves the others at an incredible disadvantage), etc.

Now, the argument can be made that fast mana and tutors fall into the second category of “are an auto include in any decks that run them” (or would be if price was not a factor). But that discussion only has value if you also realise there are other format-specific reasons to ban cards, and it is rather difficult to take your proposal seriously when it seems to exhibit lack of knowledge on format design.

DrukenReaps on Alternate Ban List

7 months ago

Abaques I suppose I could go either way with banned as commander. It was part of the rules when I started and I thought one of the simpler parts tbh. Allows the removal of things that would be too consistent and too strong without their complete removal from the game. Though I can see where it's yet another rule on top of a mountain of rules lol.

sean360 My table is pretty casual but we see a number of these cards too. I think the ones here that show up on a casual table are worse there than when at a competitive table. Like everyone has Sol Ring but when you're the only player that didn't play it in the first few turns... that can be pretty ugh xD or vice versa lol.

The Iona, Shield of Emeria and Leovold, Emissary of Trest when they weren't banned showed up for a bit too at my table. I think they are in that area where I don't want to see them every game but seeing them is fine. Like are they actually worse than me pulling out one of my two card combos on turn 5/6? (Which with a ban list like this those combos are slowed down, maybe turn 8.)

I do wonder if there's potential for this philosophy for bannings to weaken certain colors too much? Like this nails my best ramp for Kozilek, the Great Distortion and should neuter black in general, given that color has many of the strongest tutors. The question also comes to my mind about cards in green like Rampant Growth. If fast mana is going, does that count?

DrukenReaps on Alternate Ban List

7 months ago

I've never really been a fan of the ban list used for commander. I don't think it addresses potential problem cards the right way. There's always going to be a new problem card printed. I also think there's cards stuck on there that use to be scary and just aren't now. Like when Worldfire came off and no one really cared lol. So I wanted to just go through the mental exercise of designing a new ban list. First thing is I wanted to bring back the old "banned as commander" and therefore have 2 ban lists. The argument I heard most against this is that it's complicated but we play the most complex deck design game in MTG. I think people can handle 2 ban lists. For the banned from the 99 part of the list I was thinking I'd focus on fast tutors and fast mana. Like I said there will always be more problem cards. Many that aren't banned are arguably stronger than banned ones currently. For example Godo, Bandit Warlord + Helm of the Host is arguably easier and more consistent than Cromat + Coalition Victory.

So here are the 2 lists, they do not contain everything. Just wanted to start the idea and see people's thoughts.

Banned as Commander- Braids, Cabal Minion Emrakul, the Aeons Torn Griselbrand Iona, Shield of Emeria Leovold, Emissary of Trest

Banned from the 99- Mox Emerald Mox Jet Mox Pearl Mox Ruby Mox Sapphire Black Lotus Channel Sol Ring Mana Crypt Mana Vault Worldly Tutor Enlightened Tutor Personal Tutor Vampiric Tutor Demonic Tutor Mystical Tutor

I would also simply declare that Companion doesn't work in Commander. So you can play your Lutri, the Spellchaser if you so desire. I think this mechanic as a whole was poorly thought out and poorly tested, hence the changes and bans across multiple formats.

Poolplayer on Angel of Death Blender

11 months ago

Serra Paragon is too rich for my blood. I really like the recycle effect from the graveyard, but I can't bite at almost 7 dollars each for MTGO per angel... Iona, Shield of Emeria + Liesa, Forgotten Archangel + Twilight Shepherd will have to help round out the creature renewal from the grave. I needed more card draw so Inspiring Overseer + Scroll of Avacyn help get me there. Again, if I had Paragon to work those cards twice over that'd be great. And we're at 80 cards.... There's fluff in this but you can't have a one path victory only or you'll always fall flat.

I'll take some critique.


FauxFaux on Card creation challenge

1 year ago

Iona, Desecrated by Ruin

Legendary Creature - Angel Eldrazi

Flying, Vigilance, Double Strike, Ingest 10

Whenever ~ enters the battlefield or attacks, exile a card from a graveyard. You and permanents you control gain protection from the mana cost, colors and types of each card exiled with ~.

Whenever you cast a spell, or a permanent enters the battlefield under your control, exile it.


"Little is known of Iona's fate; The effect of the Eldrazi still permeates the very will and spirit of Zendikar. Perhaps, in a way, it too is trying to remove all trace of the Blind Eternities."

I like to think both Iona, Shield of Emeria and Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger are two of my most disliked cards. Most shuffle Titans in their entirety, mostly. But Painters Servant and Iona still makes me growl.


wallisface on Pure Lifegain

1 year ago

Some thoughts

  • Most Modern decks typically can't justify running more than 4 cards costing 4-mana, and often run nothing above this. You've got a whopping 16 cards costing 4-or-more, which is going to lead to some really slow/clumsy plays. In particular, all those cards costing 6-or-more mana (Angelic Skirmisher, Devout Invocation, Mass Calcify, Iona, Shield of Emeria) have no chance at all of being cast in a game with your current landbase (You'll have ~50% odds of having 6 lands by turn 9, which is longer than any magic game will take, and also pretty-bad odds). I would suggest just keeping 3-4 of your 4-mana cards, and ditching the rest costing this-or-above.

  • Even once you reduce the mana curve, you will still need to play more lands. With 21 lands, your odds of getting 4 into play in any reasonable time is still really poor. I'd suggest going to 23 minimum, but probably 24 is the correct number here.

  • A word of warning that lifegain is one of the absolute weakest mechanics in magic, and without some massive payoffs for gaining life, it's never really worth it. I would suggest if you want to pursue a lifegain based deck to use cards like Righteous Valkyrie and Speaker of the Heavens as your build-around cards, as these are some of the very few cards available that make lifegain actually worth playing. An example budget decklist using those cards is here on mtgGoldfish. In any case, I would advise strongly against "gaining life just for the sake of gaining life", as this pretty-much always means your cards aren't doing more productive things, like establishing a stronger board-position, and usually just means the deck sets itself up for failure.

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