Iona, Shield of Emeria

Legendary Creature — Angel


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

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

plakjekaas on Why are people calling for …

1 month ago

It's just a Commander that can only do annoying stuff to others. Not just once, but whenever anything happens with it, there's a huge bummer enclosed for one player at the table. Not bannable, but something to sigh at whenever someone reveals it as their Commander. Like Tergrid, God of Fright  Flip, like Hokori, Dust Drinker, nobody who runs this at the head of a deck has fun in mind for the entire table, just annoyance for anyone who isn't them. I don't think that's the way to play a casual format, but I don't need a ban to explicitly tell me that. But they have banned Iona, Shield of Emeria so who knows what the RC will decide on it.

That being said, my prediction is that when you build the deck, and it does the thing a few times, it will get boring for the pilot soon enough that it won't be that much of a problem in the long term. I think the format has self-regulated worse cards than this before and it's more clout than this Commander deserves to be called out for instabanning.

Niko9 on Why are people calling for …

1 month ago

Azurenere Welcome to the site!

And as to Lord Xander, the Collector I mean, there's obviously no power level issues so it must be a feel bad issue, and I could kinda see that. Each of the abilities are okay on their own, but it does combine three very hated effects, in which I dare say that the sacrifice ability is maybe the least of them. Players can get peeved at discarding, and they can get tilted as they watch their favorite cards get milled, and sacrificing is never fun, so when you put all these on one body, you are kind of lining your deck up to take half of every part of the game away from someone.

I have zero problems with it. It's a card that always gives you the options of what to keep, only affects one player, and is 7. I'd say that it looks more like a semi-lame commander and not broken, but there are definitely ways to break it with sacrificing effects, but still, 7 mana. They've banned Iona, Shield of Emeria as a purely feel bad card, so it's a thing I guess.

LunchBox1211 on dragon tribal is glorious

1 month ago

I've got a few decks that may be of interest. Seek and Destroy is a Dragon Tribal deck that wants to try and cheat Drgons in with the Commander's attack trigger. FUS RO DAH across the multiverse is, admittedly, more of a dice rolling deck, rather than a purely Dragon Tribal deck, but I'd still say it counts, since it wants to play a ton of dragons to hit face with. Or pull off an infinite combo and deal infinite damage to all opponents. U.S.A.F. is half Dragon Tribal, half Angel Tribal (you can ignore the Iona, Shield of Emeria. My playgroup lets me play her, but she is technically banned in commander). It still has a bunch of the tribal staples, though, and is one of my favorite decks to play. Just a bunch of Angels and Dragons, hitting people for a bunch. Armata Strigoi, Werewolves of ArmeNaya, Night of the Werewolves, In a Skyforged Dream and Killing Ground are all tribal decks, but not Dragon Tribal. They are Vampires, Werewolves, Werewolves, Angels and Knights, respectively.

As for the three you added, assuming that they are Crosis, the Purger, Dragonlord Dromoka and Darigaaz Reincarnated, you could run all 3 of them. I personally wouldn't run Darigaaz (unless he was the commander), but if you are in a removal-heavy playgroup, or you just really like that ability, go for it. I can give advice, but the choice (and deck) is ultimately yours. For cuts, I'd recommend replacing Enduring Scalelord with Dragonlord Dromoka.

As for the help, you are welcome! I hope what I say is helpful.

Gleeock on Questioning the Iona Banning

2 months ago

& cheating her out that early with kaalia is a rough example... because kaalia early cheat will be hard knocks no matter what, kaalia'ing out Rakdos the Defiler can be nastier, but this does not make a ban discussion.

There are just more & more viable decks & strategies that are making Iona, Shield of Emeria more inconsequential unless the Iona player was already in a perfect lockdown/winmore situation anyway. There is also more access to "play opponents cards" strategies as another example, there are a ton of freeplay noncast, plain old aggro to the face. There are more solutions to big-clunky stax pieces than ever that, again; range beyond tunnel-visioning to removal as the only means to dealing with it. Thus, I see it as a poor banning as I see building stax workaround as a component of diversifying deck types

Wuzibo on Questioning the Iona Banning

2 months ago


Thanks man. I think more cards in the card pool is usually a good thing, and for a social format it's best to leave as much up to the players as possible. She doesn't also protect herself besides disabling removal from that spell type. You could always have board based removal, like a Karn Liberated. Or you could do like you said and have a strategy that doesn't work off casting and use her high cost to get it in before she is in.

I think her most egregious example would be a kaalia player dropping her turn 2 by having an opening hand with Sol Ring and a Rakdos Signet, Mountain, Plains, Lightning Greaves and Iona, Shield of Emeria. This lets your 7th card be whatever, and it doesn't matter what you draw. i don't know if there is some unholy strategy that lets you cast her turn one with greaves. You would be hard pressed to get iona out from the command zone turn 3 unless you start the game with most of your ramp. 3 plains, Sol Ring Mind Stone, Thran Dynamo. That's best case scenario, and it probably won't be until later. It is doable, though. But those are extreme. I don't think you'd see either of those situations in most games involving those two.

To ban it for every player is why i don't like it.

plakjekaas on Questioning the Iona Banning

2 months ago

You didn't specify which deck you were playing when you bashed Mindbreak Trap. You were arguing that Iona would help the situation in the same paragraph, I assumed you were playing white. Rule of Law wouldn't prevent the Trap from being cast, it would prevent your plays being "countered for free, because, you know, blue" because 4 spells in a turn under Rule of Law is kinda hard to realize. Red Elemental Blast breaks the Mindbreak Trap in mono red.

Of course the blue player could play many artifacts to get out under Iona. If it's right to play Wurmcoil Engine in your deck, 40% of your deck will likely be colorless cards and you will shrug about Iona the way Ardenn, Intrepid Archaeologist shrugs about Null Rod. Just because you're not effected doesn't mean the card is not breaking something.

I once had a Heliod, Sun-Crowned mono white +1/+1 counter deck that really relied heavily on the Commander's ability to generate those counters. Then the Mogis, God of Slaughter player ramped out an Erebos, God of the Dead on turn 3, and got mana screwed after, never gathering enough devotion for my Swords to Plowshares to solve this Indestructible enchantment that was blocking out the very tactic I built my deck around. Now I know there's a few cards in white that could exile enchantments, but I'm not playing Forsake the Worldly when Shinewend has a similar function with a lot more synergy with my deck. My opponents wouldn't touch the player with Erebos, because it seemed to be completely immobilizing me. Yet I got by with a Mother of Runes, a True Conviction and my commander for player removal and went on to win that game after the Mogis player died.

My Juri, Master of the Revue deck got Leyline of the Voided, rendering all my Nether Traitor clones and Blood Artist variants useless for what they were supposed to do. Yet Ophiomancer, Goblin Bombardment and Impact Tremors made for a fast enough clock to make the leyline player regretting making themselves a target.

So yes, I think you're a bit of a drama queen for complaining this much about single card counterplays for your main strategy and how they shouldn't exist because you want to be able to do unimpeded what your deck is supposed to do.

Especially because at the same time, you started this topic to argue bringing back a card that does exactly that to others in a different deck you play.

You've said in this topic that Rest in Peace shouldn't exist in the format because specifically your archetype can't deal with it. At the same time you said Iona, Shield of Emeria being unbanned would "help the situation". You're both salty about being locked and advocating you should be able to lock others. And yet you don't see what's wrong with that, despite your superior reading comprehension.

legendofa on Questioning the Iona Banning

2 months ago

The thing about Iona, Shield of Emeria is that it's very likely for more than one deck to share at least one color. Leyline of the Void and Rest in Peace shuts down graveyard decks, which would be unusual to see more than one of in a given pod. Sire Of Insanity fits only into + decks and isn't legendary, which means it's not as ubiquitous. Stax will get softbanned from many casual groups and can't be controlled without banning at least 4-5 cards, and probably more than that.

Iona will almost always shut down at least 1.5 decks, and isn't unreasonable to affect every deck at the table aside from the mono- that it's leading. If you're in a pod full of graveyard decks, Rest in Peace is a power play. If you're in a pod full of decks with , Iona is a power play that you always have access to. After all, the only ways for Iona to be a threat to only one player is if no more than one person brings a multicolor deck, and the multicolor deck shares no colors with any other deck; or if at least one person brings a colorless deck.

Basically, Iona has a greater reach than the Rules Committee would like, and is uniquely able to be a Commander. The intent was to ban Iona, Painters' Servant and Servant was deemed to have more general interest and utility.

plakjekaas on Questioning the Iona Banning

2 months ago

Wuzibo Buy some Chaos Warps

I'm getting a lot of "I get locked out playing my favorite deck so I wanna lock out players too"-vibes. The one difference between Iona and all other problematic cards you named, is that Iona can be your commander, making sure you still have access to it after Oblivion Stone etc. That's where it differs from Leyline of the Void which, yes, can be in play from turn 0, but there's going to be a lot of games where it won't, and it probably won't return after the O-stone.

Iona's also a creature, making sure cards like Ephemerate will customize the color chosen to whatever you need whenever you need it, protecting it from removal in the process.

If you want to lock people out of casting spells, there's still plenty of ways to do it, but it's by combining cards together, not 1 card that does the entire thing for you. With Palinchron you need a mana doubler, with Heartless Hidetsugu you need a damage doubler and a way not to die, with Lavinia, Azorius Renegade you need Knowledge Pool, with Decree of Silence you need Solemnity.

With Iona, Shield of Emeria you need nothing. With Paradox Engine you basically need anything, it's not restrictive enough in its synergies to not be overpowered, while leading to 20 minute turns where one player gets to play all the magic while the others get to watch.

If you're scared of Mindbreak Trap, just play Rule of Law. If your deck doesn't function because of a single card in play, it's badly built. You could still go Sol Ring into Thran Dynamo for Wurmcoil Engine t3 and kill the leyline player. That also stops it from being a problem. Those are all cards that would be amazing in a Daretti deck and doesn't need to break the color pie to get you out of a sticky situation. If you can only do Junk Diver Scrap Trawler loops, that's way more of a restriction on your deck and way easier to devise a backup strategy for than "playing a monocolor".

The rationale for banning Iona is that it leads to a play experience the rules committee wants to discourage, which is locking people out of playing the game. That's paraphrased from the ban article. Not locking out from winning, which is what you're talking about. Also, discourage, not prevent. You can still do it, but a flagship commander for that strategy that, no matter how you build her, it's gonna cause that bad time, that gets banned. Braids, Cabal Minion is banned for the same reason.

Your rationale of "they can now ban cards because they lead to unfun gameplay? They should ban every card that ever blocked my fun then" sounds very entitled, and hard to agree with. It makes you sound as much of a salty bad player as you blame the RC to be.

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