Questioning the Iona Banning

Commander (EDH) forum

Posted on March 16, 2022, 2:53 p.m. by Wuzibo


I took a few year hiatus from the game. One of the last things I did was pick up an Iona, Shield of Emeria for my kaalia deck.

Upon returning to the game, i have learned she has been banned from the format. Ok, fair enough, she is quite strong.

But then I looked up why she was banned. "Because locking mono-colored people out of the game isn't fair/in the spirit of the format/whatever."

Bullshit. Pure bullshit. She should be unbanned or Leyline of the Void and Rest in Peace should be banned because they completely lock out a mono-red artifact/graveyard player. I used to play daretti. The whole reason I switched to Kaalia was because of Leyline of the void and Rest in Peace coupled with the fact that mono-red doesn't have enchantment removal, which simply stopped me from playing my deck with no recourse. I played Daretti, Scrap Savant but Feldon of the Third Path, Squee, Goblin Nabob and Squee, the Immortal, and Heiko Yamazaki, the General all are similarly just boned hard with no recourse by it.

"But you can still Introduction to Annihilation, Nevinyrral's Disk, Oblivion Stone, or Scour from Existence it."

Ok, yeah, and the mono-colored player could do that to Iona. Or, they could run Mycosynth Lattice and make everything colorless so she becomes irrelevant. So why is she banned?

There is literally no justification for Iona being banned that doesn't also justify the banning of other cards.

"It's unfun"

So is sire of insanity and being slaverlocked and stax.

"It prevents players from getting to play the game"

So do the enchantments i mentioned above, sire of insanity, and slaverlocking. So does stax.

"It's overpowered"

Yeah, so is everything with annihilator.

At the very least, Leyline of the void should be banned until they print a mono-red enchantment removal card because it makes it so mono-red graveyard decks don't get to actually play their deck and get to only play a half assed gimped version of it, and it can start the game on the board. This is exactly why they said they banned iona. "its not in the spirit of the game to basically lock one mono-colored player out of the game". Except theyre not "locked out". They can still play lands and colorless artifacts and try to find a land based or artifact based answer to Iona. Same as me with my daretti deck when the game started with Leyline of the Void out. Sure, i couldn't use my graveyard stuff, and even if i ulted my commander, it wouldn't do anything, so i might as well not play him, but i can still just hardcast all my artifacts and stuff.. You couldn't cheat out iona turn 1. You can't put RIP out turn 1. Leyline can be on the board turn zero, so there isn't even an argument that the red deck should be winning before leyline hits the field. So like, Iona doesn't actually lock a mono-colored player out of the game. It just feels that way. The same as permanent enchantment based graveyard hate does to mono-red.

Also, Iona should be unbanned, because according to most people mono-white is the worst commander color, so Mono-white needs something strong, or they should follow their reasoning for the ban to its logical conclusion and ban a bunch of other stuff. If they had just banned her for a generic "she's too strong" i would have accepted it, but they didn't. They gave a reason that is the exact reason I found playing Mono-red graveyard artifacts no fun at all.

Just Reban "painter's servant".

shadow63 says... #2

Iona would make it so the mono colored decks unable to play at all. If someone plays rest in peace against your graveyard deck you still can play the cards in tour hand

March 16, 2022 3:01 p.m.

TypicalTimmy says... #3

Lots of people have your exact same opinion.

Me personally? I'm fine with her as a Commander or tucked away in the +99

SO LONG AS the table is more than 1v1.

Hell even in a 1v1, if your opponent wants to run a mono white Iona deck and I'm running something like Golgari, go for it. Take like 10 turns to drop her and name black and I'll Beast Within her.

It sucks when it's 1v1 and they name the color youre playing. Might as well scoop. But in a 4-player pod? There's so much interaction that I don't see her as an issue.

Gaddock Teeg is worse, imo

March 16, 2022 3:23 p.m.

plakjekaas says... #4

The reason white is the worst in commander, is because the things it does best, are unfun to play against. Stax, boardwipes, pillowfort, blinking, people dislike playing against a deck that leverages white's strengths. Bringing back Iona is not going to fix that problem, for obvious reasons. White doesn't need more powerful stuff, it needs more fun effective tactics, to lose the image of "mono white can't do anything so it will drag everyone down to its level and we can all have no fun in a game that lasts twice as long as it should."

March 16, 2022 3:45 p.m.

Wuzibo says... #5


Someone starts the game with Leyline of the Void out. What does my mono-red artifact deck do against that to actually enable my recur combos? Goblin Welder and Goblin Engineer are now useless. Myr Retriever is now useless. Daretti, Scrap Savant is now basically useless, only good for a free "faithless looting" each turn. Feldon of the Third Path is useless. Crucible of Worlds is now useless. Scrap Trawler is now useless. Trash for Treasure does nothing. Ichor Wellspring loses half its value. Buried Ruin is just a wasteland at that point. Codex Shredder Grindstone and Millstone now have to be used to mill other people or are useless. They got put into my deck to help me mill myself for a good Scrap Mastery, which is now also pointless.

So yeah, I guess i can still play them, but why would I? They no longer do what they're supposed to do. I wouldn't even bring this up if there was red enchantment removal, but there isn't, so for a mono red graveyard player, Leyline of the Void is as opressive and unanswerable as Iona Vs any monocolored deck

TypicalTimmy Fair enough. I had it played against me too. Before i ran kaalia and had daretti, someone dropped it and named red because i got my hand revealed a turn ago, or maybe the top card of my library was revealed or something. everyone saw i had obliterate or jokalhaups or something in my hand and i had dsteel forge on the board, so i was gonna wipe everyone else and win in the meantime. Somehow lattice hit the board so i obliterated anyway. Even in a 1v1 though, i technically could have still handled it just by using colorless stuff. Maybe that's just an advantage of artifacts - not being gimped by iona.

plakjekaas it sure would help the situation. Maybe not in a 'fun' way, but it would help. It's not "fun" when my carefully constructed combo that i made "uncounterable" is still just countered anyway, for free, because, you know, blue. So ban Mindbreak Trap too.

March 16, 2022 4:42 p.m.

TypicalTimmy says... #6

My personal opinion is that no Commander should be banned.

I understand cards in the +99 because they can become a problem with lack of diversity and T2 instant win combos and whatever, but the way I see it is this: You want to sit down and play a Commander who receives a ton of hate? Be my guest. Shuffle up and let's see what you got.

March 16, 2022 5:17 p.m.

shadow63 says... #7

Yeah but you can still play feldon against graveyard hate. Sure hes gonna just be a vanilla 2/3 but you can still cast him attack and block. Against iiona on the other hand you don't even get to cast it.

March 16, 2022 5:29 p.m.

Niko9 says... #8

I mean, the real problem is the kind of ephemeral nature of EDH bans in general. Some things get banned, others stick around, and there is no solid lines that say, this is what gets banned. It's a casual format, and that means that any bans will always be something popping up, seemingly out of the blue. After a modern tournament or something they can look a the decks analytically and say, this deck overperforms and something needs a ban. But how would you do that for a bunch of people playing at home? You can't really, not even with EDHrec, because you don't have a closed system. So many players are out there and never put their decks up or even care.

Really, EDH bans are more based on emotion than anything else. It's a group of people who decide what feels bad, and it leads to every and any ban being divisive.

I guess I just like to think of the banlist as the pirate's code. It's more what you'd call guidelines : ) Because if taken verbatim, by nature it will always be arbitrary.

March 16, 2022 5:45 p.m.

Wuzibo says... #9


I picked up Kaalia. It is hard for me to find a table where i'm not instantly the biggest threat at the table, and that's not even for stuff that's "unfun" to play against. It's just how aggro she is. I don't even run land destruction outside Myojin of Infinite Rage and Obliterate, which i have to hard cast, since i like to keep it casual-ish. I don't misplay them though. I blow up lands once kaalia is out, so then i win in short order, and i'd only obliterate if i was also casting Boros Charm at the same time or had something to make at least kaalia indestructible so it wasn't just making the game an hour longer. I guess that's not hate. That's just fear. Sheoldred is more "hate" inspiring.


Well there you go. Vanilla 2/3. Useless. Dies to bolt. Will probably be a waste to swing into someone because in all likelihood by the time i've cast him they have something bigger because they're running a lot more creatures they intended to bring to combat. If i use him to block i will probably just lose him and i'll really only be prolonging the inevitable. Might as well build a flavor text deck at that point. That way i can get a vanilla 2/3 for a lower mana cost or maybe even a 3/3 or 4/4 for the same cost.

That's not in "the spirit of commander". It just shuts down my strategy with very few counterplay options on my part to re-enable my strategy. Same as iona. There are answers to her, even if youre playing a mono-color and she names that color. Spine of Ish Sah, right? Mycosynth Lattice makes her a vanilla 7/7. It's just shutting down your primary strategy, which ostensibly included casting spells of a certain color or colors like most MTG decks do. Against Iona you can still cast nevinyrrals disk or O stone still. She doesn't stop that, so it's not That big a problem. You could still cast your sol ring and ornithopter or solemn simulacrum or your ramp myr. Ramp into a big artifact creature like Blightsteel Colossus. You can still do that. You can still play with Iona out. Yeah you're gimped, but it's not over. You're not actually hard locked out of the game. Especially now that they have intro to annihilation and scour from existence. I was playing back in the day when those weren't even things. There's colorless creature removal so she doesn't actually lock you out.


Fair enough. If they just said "it's arbitrary", I'd accept it a lot more. I don't put up some of my decklists because they're basically the same as something else, just with some minor tweaks usually due to what cards i have available to me. The only one i've really considered adding is my kaalia deck. Not enough people believe in the power of Sunforger, and I have not seen one person running the Hilarious "Tap to win at the cost of a quarter of your life" combo that is Heartless Hidetsugu and Gisela, Blade of Goldnight.

I just wish the rules committee would choose to balance around competetive play all the time instead of only some of the time and then leave it up to casual players to decide what they don't want at their table, and be more consistent. Like why is it fine that Palinchron isn't banned but Paradox Engine is. With a few lands that can tap for 2 mana (Caged Sun), it can usually just turn into infinite mana right then and there. You cast palinchron, bounce it, recast over and over again, Blue Sun's Zenith yourself, draw every card in your deck. Put zenith back as the only card in your deck. Draw it with a draw spell you drew. blue sun's zenith someone else for infinite... rinse repeat.

Half their bans make sense. The other half just make the RC look like salty bad players.

March 16, 2022 7:24 p.m.

Niko9 says... #10

Ha, I totally agree. "It's arbitrary, we want to make the game better, and we can always be wrong, but we are going to try" that's all I want to hear, really : ) Giving reasons for every ban just leads to a constant backpedaling of what makes a card need a ban.

March 16, 2022 7:40 p.m.

DrukenReaps says... #11

I think the strongest argument for her ban vs most of the other things you bring up is that she can be the commander. This makes her much more consistent than say rest in peace. In all honesty though I'd prefer to nix the entire ban list. Maybe have a few things banned as commanders, I understand some of these cards are truly nutty broken, but nothing banned from the 99.

March 16, 2022 10:43 p.m.

plakjekaas says... #12

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.

March 16, 2022 10:54 p.m.

Niko9 says... #13

To be fair though, it is different for a player to pick problems with the RC because, unless your group rule 0's things, they have a say in your games. Questioning their decisions does not come off as entitled, in my opinion at least, especially for someone like the OP who is being directly affected.

March 17, 2022 8:15 a.m.

shadow63 says... #14

If your graveyard deck can't deal with graveyard hate you just have a poorly built deck.

March 17, 2022 8:33 a.m.

Guerric says... #15

They banned it at the same time as they unbanned Painter's Servant, so the Rules Committee was definitely thinking about that combo. That being said, I agree with you. Iona isn't a one drop and takes some work to get out, and the combo with servant isn't any more game-breaking that Solemnity + Decree of Silence, which I play as a win con in my Tuvasa the Sunlit deck ([Primer] Enchantress's Pillowfort: A Tuvasa Guide). If you get that combo off you just win and move on to another game. I'd honestly prefer anyone playing that combo to even a single Stax or MLD piece, and those are all legal, so there seems to be a weird standard for banning cards because they are "salty." That being said I have never played Iona and wouldn't, so I have no personal feelings or stake about this, it just doesn't make a lot of sense to me logically.

March 17, 2022 10:35 a.m.

Wuzibo says... #16


Banned from the thread. I'm a way better player than you and apparently have a lot better reading comprehension.

I wasn't complaining about graveyard hate in general. Did I mention Relic of Progenitus or anything which just exiles cards from graveyards? No. I was talking about enchantment based graveyard hate that permanently prevents graveyards from existing coupled with the fact that red doesn't have enchantment removal. Since you're going to strawman me, you're banned.

plakjekaas "Play Rule of Law"

I'm in mono red, Don't tell me my decks are poorly built and then tell me to run cards illegal for my deck. Also, rule of law wouldn't stop them from hardcasting mindbreak trap on my turn as their one spell for the turn. It would, however, stop me from casting Overmaster to make a spell uncounterable.

I didn't say "ban every card that ever spoiled my fun". That would mean banning Ulamog, Kozliek, Nezukar, every legendary sliver, Relic of Progenitus, and a lot more. I meant a card that "locks a certain type of deck out of the game" in the same way iona "locks a certain type of deck out of the game". And both those ways aren't actually locks out of the game, they're just both huge inconveniences. Even if somehow iona was out turn 1 and blue was named, the mono blue player could do exactly the same thing you suggested I do to the leyline player - so Iona isn't actually a problem, right? I never said that was "the only thing my deck can do", but it is what it is designed to do. The deck isn't designed to pump 100 mana into a red X spell or win with big creatures. It can, but it's not designed to. Just like the mono blue player vs Iona. They designed their deck to win by casting blue spells. They can win without casting blue spells, but, it's not designed to do that. That's not what it does most efficiently.

If a deck doesn't function because of a single card in play (Iona), it's poorly built. Right? Didn't you just say that?

Maybe consider the holes in what you're saying before you comment on my skill level or deck building ability.

Guerric Yeah I know it's mostly just the painter's servant thing, but it feelsbad i can't play with my cards anymore and they can't give a good reason for it.

March 17, 2022 12:27 p.m.

legendofa says... #17

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.

March 17, 2022 2:40 p.m.

plakjekaas says... #18

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.

March 17, 2022 4:46 p.m.

shadow63 says... #19

Salty much?

March 17, 2022 4:49 p.m.

Wuzibo says... #20


I'm not saying that others shouldn't be able to lock me while i can lock others. Seems like other people picked up on that, but you didn't for some reason.

I'm saying that if i can't lock others in a way that is very difficult for them to respond to, they shouldn't be able to lock me in a way that is very difficult for me to respond to. Iona was my way to lock others. Leyline was the way i was locked. If one goes, both should go. If one stays, both should stay. How'd you miss that?

When i mentioned Leyline of the Void and Rest in Peace as locking a deck out, I specifically said that mono-red has no enchantment removal and I was playing mono-red graveyard artifacts. I said so multiple times. Why wasn't that clear to you?

When i mentioned Mindbreak Trap, it was because that person said trying to play into iona as a mono-colored deck when youre the named color "isn't fun". So i brought up how Minbreak trap countering "uncounterable" stuff is unfun. I guess I should have just said "Having your spells countered is unfun" to keep it simple.

In your "heliod" example, white has no shortage of cards able to exile enchantments. If you chose not to run them, that's on you. You can't say the same about mono-red because red does not have an enchantment removal spell. In your "Juri" example, your commander isn't something which is designed to bring stuff back from the graveyard. Daretti is. And Rakdos has ways to deal with enchantments. Mono red does not. So neither are a fair comparison. Try again

You're suggesting I Chaos Warp the Leyline? use the one card in red capable of dealing with an indestructible non-creature permanent to deal with 1 "destructible" enchantment? Not only that, but Chaos Warp can backfire. I've used it specifically for that reason on turn 2 against a leyline that started out. The guy topdecked ulamog, blew up the one open plains as he came in to prevent a path or stp. It was turn 2. He went after me in turn order, so Ulamog didn't need haste, he could just start attacking. He attacks the guy with white mana to prevent a path, making him sac all his lands. He won, because of chaos warp. And another time, due to an unlucky shuffle, the card i chaos warped came right back out.

I started this thread by saying "if Iona is banned for this reason, leyline of the void should also be banned for the same reason, or, if Leyline isn't worthy of a ban, iona should be unbanned." So you're wrong about how I started this thread. I wasn't arguing for "leyline and RIP to be banned and Iona to be unbanned". I was arguing "ban them all or ban none". I wonder what caused that confusion.

I just want some consistency from the RC. If they're going to ban Iona for shutting down decks in a way that some can't really interact with, LoV and RiP need to be too because they shut down graveyard artifacts in a way some graveyard artifacts decks can't really interact with. You tried to justify LoV and RiP not being banned. I then used your justification for that as justification that iona shouldn't be banned as well. You then tried to justify Iona being banned. I used that justification as justification to ban Leyline and RIP. If i sound hypocritical, it's specifically because I'm turning your and the RC's hypocritical arguments against themselves. It's not that hard to follow.

March 17, 2022 6:04 p.m.

Wuzibo says... #21

Correction, they didn't blow up the land with ulamog. There just wasn't an open mana for it on turn 2 because normally there's not a way for an ulamog to be out on turn 2. Either way, the point is there.

March 17, 2022 6:56 p.m.

Chaos Warp and Enchanter's Bane exist for red enchantment removal

However, I do recognize what your real issue is. I personally believe that Iona died for the sins of Painter's Servant. If the banning/unbanning wasn’t the same announcement they were within an announcement of each other. At the time servant Iona combos were widely feared so in an attempt to open up new place space they unbanned servant at the cost of banning iona who in my circles was on the decline in popularity.

In addition, this feels like the type of banning that the RC uses as a play pattern litmus. “We don’t like X play style therefore to encourage others not to do X we will get rid of Y”

March 17, 2022 10:28 p.m.

Gleeock says... #23

My answer.. I think it is weapons-grade baloneum (baloney/balogna). But take my opinion with a grain of salt, I am one of those players that keeps insisting that the "ban list" should keep shrinking until it is non-existent.

Jeez, "entitled" seems to be a buzzword on here, I've had the same thing insinuated at me recently... I think questioning awkward rules is not entitlement, it is what a good community should do.

March 17, 2022 10:49 p.m.

plakjekaas says... #24

When you mentioned Mindbreak Trap I was that person, and I had only said at that point that white needs more fun ways to win and not more powerful ways to slow down the game. I was arguing for more fun, you responded with "bringing back unfun helps, but not in a fun way. Counterspells aren't fun, so ban unfun". That's a bit of a non-sequitur, to both my and your own words.

The point of my examples was: I dealt with the problem permanents that prevented my most effective strategy, in a way that my deck wasn't designed to do, but forced through without access to the specific tools to remove the problem permanents. I didn't let it ruin my day, I didn't give up on my deck. I improvised, and found a way. It doesn't matter I ignored options, my focus strategy was hosed by a single permanent and it didn't prevent me from having fun. Contrary to every story you told about your mono red artifacts. You don't seem to believe it's possible, yet I did it. That was the point. How'd you miss that?

"If i sound hypocritical, it's specifically because I'm turning your and the RC's hypocritical arguments against themselves."

No, if you sound hypocritical, it's because you state something and then defy your own words in the same argument. That has nothing to do with me or the RC. Like this:

"I specifically said that mono-red has no enchantment removal"

"I Chaos Warp the Leyline? use the one card in red capable of dealing with an indestructible non-creature permanent to deal with 1 "destructible" enchantment?"

How is it relevant that the enchantment is not indestructible if you don't have any other answers for it anyway? Warp removes the enchantment, everytime you said red has no enchantment removal, you were wrong, and wilfully so, because you have examples at the ready of how you used it before! When you need to make your case, however, red has no enchantment removal, and when you're called out, your removal is suddenly too important to use on the card that you say single-handedly disables your entire deck. Of course it can backfire, it literally has chaos in its name. Say, 8/85 chance of hitting something worse, vs. 100% chance of not playing the game when you don't. You even mentioned Mycosynth Lattice as a way to deal with Iona, that also makes the Leyline Abradeable. Liquimetal Torque does the same. That, plus all the colorless removal spells you listed in the original post, is an awful lot of ways to do something you say you absolutely can't. Most of which you've already shown you're familiar with. That's hypocrisy.

Now how relates all of that to Iona? "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. 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."

"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."

But you cleverly ignored the commander part in every response, only replying to what you thought I said was wrong. Y'know, refuting an argument, whereas the real subject of the argument was not addressed or refuted, but instead replaced with a false one. That's the textbook definition of that strawman, that you tried to ban a commenter for. With a little ad hominem on top. It's ok for you to do, but when someone else does it to you, it's suddenly a bannable offense? I like that projection, in relation to the original topic. Hypocrisy.

"I'm not saying that others shouldn't be able to lock me while i can lock others. I'm saying that if i can't lock others in a way that is very difficult for them to respond to, they shouldn't be able to lock me in a way that is very difficult for me to respond to." Exactly. You're arguing an either/or situation and you swing against whichever one you're challenged on. You don't have an opinion, you're fine with anything that's not the way things are now. You want to argue, you don't want to understand. Like a toddler whose toy was taken away and vindictively wants their friend's toy taken away too if they're not getting theirs back.

March 18, 2022 2:30 a.m.

Fritzn says... #25

Personally I don't have a problem with Iona being banned. I've seen a Meren deck go against an Iona deck and get mostly shut down, almost win, but still lost. It was a good match. I've seen combos that completely shut other players from playing anything and everything (forget one piece but Drannith Magistrate was one part).

I rambled, my point is: I don't care. if I wanted to include Iona or any banned card, I'd just talk to my playgroup. same with silver bordered cards, because I love silver bordered cards.

March 18, 2022 1:13 p.m.

Wuzibo says... #26


If chaos warp counts as enchantment removal for red, Scour from Existence and Introduction to Annihilation are colorless creatuere removal, so Iona doesn't need a ban. You and the RC are simply ignoring those cards which apparently aren't worth running to deal with a card that they say Single-handedly shuts down the entire deck.

I ignored the part where she can be a commander because she's trash as a commander. It doesn't matter that she can be your commander. She is a lot less oppressive as a commander because then she has to be hardcast. That's why i was ignoring it. It's ridiculous. There's also plenty of enchantment and just general recurrence to bring leyline back.

On top of that, Mycosynth doesn't go away after you kill her. She can come back and will still have no effect. There's plenty of artifact recurral so you can get nevinnyrals or O-stone back. Or put a counter on your o-stone so o-stone doesnt die. Eventually you will tax iona out of existence. She's very expensive when she's a commander, unlike the potentially free leyline. Blow up their rocks and she can't hit the field. After an o-stone, you say she's coming back, but o stone kills their rocks too, so is she actually?

If "it causes an unfun time" is reason to ban something, then stax, land destruction, Grand arbiter augustin the 4th, and sen triplets should be banned too.

Also, at no point did i say that leyline locked me out from playing the game or winning. The deck was more than capable of winning with leyline out. Just like a mono-colored deck is more than capable of winning with iona out. Leyline just locked me out of playing the deck with its main strategy, in the same way as Iona does.

Your argument seems to be "Mono red has answers to Leyline and RIP, therefore, they aren't a problem." So I am saying "Mono-colored has answers to Iona, therefore, she is not a problem." I ask a question, you answer, I show why that answer is no good. Thats how a socratic dialogue works.

I essentially asked "what is "banworthy" that makes iona banned?" and then, when someone gave me a response, I showed why that was no good pointing out counterexamples which would also be banworthy. This is like when meno gave socrates a definition for virtue that was "rule over human beings", which meant it would be virtuous for slaves to rule over their masters, something which meno knew he couldn't justify. In these situations, you give an answer, I give a counterexample, and then you have to justify the counterexamples in a way which does not also justify the example. If you can't, you have to cede that your response is invalid or the conversation is over because you're not rational.

The whole "like a toddler" thing gets you banned from the thread. This is a game. The rules of games are supposed to be enforced fairly. In boxing, for instance, you can't add weight to your gloves because that lets you hit harder. So one boxer uses weighted handwraps and tapes a small heavy steel plated lead disk to his palms to add weight to his hands. The other boxer sees this, calls it out to the ref, and the ref does nothing because "that's weight in the glove, not a weighted glove". So the guy returns to his corner, dumps sand in his gloves for weight and tapes them up so it doesn't run out, and then gets DQ'd. Then he says "this is bullshit, the rules aren't being applied fairly/evenly." They would be absolutely right. I'm doing that. That's not childish. That is clearly delineating the rules, sticking to them, and expecting others to stick to them. Contrast this with what you and the committee are doing by just saying, "no that's different because 'Reasons'." But not being able to give a good reason. To the child, you could explain "no you got your toy taken away because you misbehaved. Your friend did not misbehave, so he should not have his toy taken away." This is not the situation with Iona and Leyline. A better "child with a toy" analogy would be two children who get into a fight but only one child being punished by having his toy taken away. Leyline can do the same things as iona, so if one gets banned for the things it can do, both should be banned. If the argument is that leyline doesn't need a ban because there are responses to it, well, there are responses to Iona too, so Iona does not need a ban.

The only valid reason is the painter's servant unbanning. Thats it. You're wrong for saying anything else, and so was the rules committee. You're contributing nothing to the discussion. The people parroting "Because painter's servant was unbanned." Are doing more for the conversation than you because at least they can justify their comment.

Fritzn I feel that. I kind of did the same thing in reverse. I started running Jester's Cap with copy effects and just banned RIP and Leyline myself, along with everyone else's wincons until they said they'd stop running RIP and Leyline if I took out cap. I like that idea, but i'd like it more in the opposite direction, where there is a small banlist and players are free to add to it in the form of a "house banlist".

fadelightningmm I've chaos warped a leyline only for the person to topdeck leyline and put it right back out. I haven't run it since they changed the rules around it so it doesn't shuffle commanders away anymore. It burned me too many times to be considered valid, and shuffling commanders away was the only thing it really had going for it after that. That was around the time they released Scour from Existence and thats just better so i slotted that in instead, but I understand what you're saying. There's still the argument that if i can do that, then the mono-colored player can use Scour or Introduction to Annihilation to deal with iona, but i guess that's different because "reasons". Enchanter's Bane also isn't really removal. That's like calling Smokestack removal. It can remove stuff, sure, but it might not be any time soon.

I agree completely with it being because of Painter's Servant. I like that answer, since it's the only one that makes sense. I just wish they would have said that instead something that also justifies banning so many other cards. The effect, the rule change would be no different, but i wouldn't mind it.


Thanks, man! Me too.

March 18, 2022 4:13 p.m.

Snap157 says... #27

I agree, she shouldn't be banned. However, consider this; there will ALWAYS be a "silver bullet" card for your deck (i.e. Rest in Peace, Energy Flux, Winter Orb). The reasoning for Iona's banning is that shes a silver bullet answer to an ENTIRE COLOR, meaning that she provides an "insta-lose" situation with any mono color player at the table.

March 18, 2022 5:18 p.m.

Welcome to the RC doesn’t know how to make a ban list. There’s a number of videos on YouTube and podcasts that support that conclusion. There’s no reason Coalition Victory victory should be banned. There’s no reason Biorhythm should be banned when Shaman of Forgotten Ways exists. Prophet of Kruphix shouldn’t be banned for “warping the entire gameplay around it” when Dockside Extortionist does that now and has eluded bans.

The RC picks hills they are willing to die on to “prevent problematic play patterns”. They ban certain cards so that players see the type of card that leads to problematic play hoping players won’t play similar cards instead of banning the cards outright. Showcase bannings and rule 0 allow you and your play group to create the rules to the format you like.

March 19, 2022 10:25 a.m.

ZendikariWol says... #29

The difference between Iona and other hate pieces is that a monocolor player would need to make major deckbuilding concessions to fuck with Iona- that is, playing colorless removal, which is pretty much always very bad to play.

With other hate pieces, even a monocolor player need only put on-color removal in their deck: conventional, efficient removal. Most people are not going to run colorless removal because it's dreadfully inefficienct, which leaves those players with no way to interact with Iona.

There aren't many mono-red answers to enchantments, except Chaos Warp and Enchanter's Bane, off the top of my head, but they exist and are reasonably efficient cards that will be useful in a normal game, even if your opponent isn't hating you out. Not so for colorless answers to Iona.

March 19, 2022 3:27 p.m.

Wuzibo says... #30


Any removal spell that can give your opponent that same permanent back for free, or an eldrazi titan for free, is not good or efficient. Even if it is successful, it goes back into their library, where they can just draw it again and put it back out, or tutor it out. I have chaos warped leyline of the void only for it to come right back out.

Enchanter's Bane is also not removal, and it at best puts the leyline player on a 10 turn clock. the RIP player will be on a 20 turn clock. That's assuming they don't have any lifegain, which they probably do because they're playing white, and they have plenty of ways to respond to an enchantment like that, so they could kill it before it becomes a problem to them. They start with 40 life. Having to pay 2 per turn cycle to keep me locked down isn't so bad. It's not a bad card, but it doesn't do what red needs, which is get rid of the enchantment. It's not an answer to enchantments. It's a tax on an enchantment. If they can pay the tax, it doesn't really do anything. They can also just get rid of the thing causing the problem for them/taxing them. You can't just Generous Gift a Disenchant. So, really, the options available to red to deal with enchantment based hate pieces are only colorless.

Chaos Warp and Enchanter's Bane are efficient? Compared to what? 2 or 4 extra mana to exile something as opposed to just putting it back in their library and potentially giving them something for free is more efficient. It's commander. There's usually so much mana flying around, you need good effects, not cheap effects. Efficiency is important, but, it actually being a solution to the problem and not just a bandaid is important too. Beast Within, Generous Gift and Anguished Unmaking are more efficient for the same cost as chaos warp. Seal of Cleansing is more efficient in the same card type and for the same cost as Enchanter's Bane. i can't run any of those in mono R, though. Introduction to Annihilation is more efficient since it actually gets rid of it permanently. Destroying something is efficient at about 3 mana. Exiling it is definitely efficient at that level, and is maybe efficient at 5 mana. Shuffling it back into their deck would be efficient at like, 2 or 1 mana, but not at 3. For three mana, it needs to be destroying it. On top of that, it gives them a permanent- and not a generic 3/3 - so it should be cheaper if it was "efficient". Efficiency is effect over cost, not just cost. If it was just cost, Shock would be as efficient as Lightning Bolt.


I'm fine with silver bullets. They're good for the format. People should have to build around them. That's why i didn't like the rule change where people couldn't lose access to their commanders by having them shuffled away. That was a silver bullet to people who built a deck overly dependent on the commander. Voltron - the archetype built around commander damage - can build around this by just including some other creatures in the deck and throwing all their voltron equipments on them and winning with regular damage in the event their commander got Condemned or Chaos Warped. Yisan can play around Stranglehold even without removing it by just being a good green deck in the traditional sense, having strong creatures and the ramp to cast them. I build around "everything" to the degree it's possible. My daretti deck could play around graveyard hate by just being a good artifact deck in general. Get some ramp, throw Winter Orb Vedalken Orrery and Unwinding Clock out and just cast stuff on their turns to keep growing your board. Kaalia functioned without Kaalia because i played in a pod with marath who could blow her up in response to me trying to equip her. So I ran enough ramp to just hardcast everything and "Angel, Demon, and Dragon Tribal" is good enough on its own.

Iona is a silver bullet, yes. She's not "insta lose" though. You could still hit her with anything colorless. Her + painter's servant is actually "Insta lose".


Yeah that's exactly it. In 2012, this ban would have made sense. Now it just doesn't. There's so much more to do in magic now. There's so many more answers. I know people hate on them, but Scour from Existence and Introduction to Annihilation are two of the most important cards ever released for this format because they now give exile type removal of any permanent to all the colors. It is watering down the color pie a little bit, but, they're expensive enough it doesn't really detract from white. They still get to do it for much cheaper. They're not really better options than most other things, but, to colors that don't have access to those effects, it's huge. It gave every color a way to deal with problematic indestructible stuff, and a way to deal with problematic things that keep coming back.

March 19, 2022 7:36 p.m.

ZendikariWol says... #31

You're right in part, Wuzibo, I agree that Bane is a rocky answer but I think you're going Christmas dreamland with your opinions on Warp. It could, in a like 1 in 75 chance, flip the same permanent, but the odds that it hits anything nonland are rather low in most decks. I'd guess most decks run around 25 nonland permanents, and generously only 5 of those are rocks. 1 in 5 are your odds of flipping any nonland permanent in this hypothetical, granted more creature-heavy metas will make Warp a less reliable pick.

But either way, there is a massive, twofold challenge of scope here. First, Iona is different from other hate cards because rather than dunking on a particular color or strategy, she dunks on monocolor decks, hard stop. She hits vastly more decks much more reliably than any hate card ever could, or should. Second, hate cards appear in nearly every deck, so having answers to them is necessary at every table. Players will be unprepared for Iona, because it is one commander, which you will not see at one in 20 tables.

You should not play bad cards to hate on one commander, that's a bad idea and it feels bad to play, but if you don't pack answers for Iona, you will be unable to play the game (once again, assuming you're playing one color). That's the problem.

March 19, 2022 10:21 p.m.

Wuzibo says... #32

ZendikariWol i know it's unlikely to flip the same permanent, but it happens to me.

I guess that Iona is a little oppressive given the scope of what she can affect, not just a whole deck archetype but a whole color regardless of archetype except artifacts. I don't agree that they will be unprepared for iona. That's kind of the idea on deckbuilding. Your deck should be able to respond to a variety of situations, and the sideboard is there to pump it up a little if it can't by taking out some stuff to make it fare a little better against stuff it struggles against.

Introduction to Annihilation and Scour from Existence aren't that bad, and wouldn't be included in a deck purely to hate on Iona. It's included because it's targeted exiling, which is the strongest form of removal in the game. There are usually more efficient removal spells, but, there aren't many more efficient removal spells that get rid of indestructible. Making stuff indestructible is a big part of the game anymore, so a good way around that is a helpful thing to have.

March 19, 2022 10:50 p.m.

ZendikariWol says... #33

Wuzibo this may be a meta thing, but indestructible doesn't really show up where I play, ever. Like, ever ever: what even grants indestructible, Darksteel Plate? What indestructible stuff are you running into?

Anyhow, what I think we may disagree on fundamentally is that colorless removal is bad and not worth running in the average monocolor deck. 5 mana to remove a permanent is not just a bad rate, it's very bad. And if we agree on that, then the idea of a commander that will hard-shutdown your deck if you don't run very bad cards to board against it is a dreadful prospect.

March 20, 2022 11:05 p.m.

Wuzibo says... #34


5 mana to exile a permanent and give a land back is bad in white but, in the other colors that don't really have access to exile effects, that's one of the most efficient exile effect they have access to - being able to hit any target permanent. It's not just "removing" a permanent. Chaos Warp and Generous Gift remove permanents. Doomblade removes creatures. Even bolt and Whipflare remove creatures. Sometimes, they just don't do it, though, and you need an exile effect, because it's just going to be brought back from the graveyard or regenerated, or the lesser "destroy" and "damage" based removal doesn't affect it.

Let's say I'm playing vs an alesha deck or purphuros or something and i really need them to stop bringing squee back because they're abusing him for an etb. Destroying him just doesn't work. This is mainly about mono black, mono-red, blue, and maybe green. If youre in orzhov or mardu you can use utter end and stuff like that. That is better. If i can run that, I do. No argument there. However, having an exile effect or two in your deck that can just hit anything is very nice. To be fair anyone could just run relic and exile the graveyards when he hits the graveyard, but that's kind of less efficient because they can blow up you relic before squee hits the graveyard. It's an ace in the hole or something like that. I'd be much more apt to agree if it was 5 mana to "destroy". Then it would be bad, no doubt. In like, white and white color combos, yeah, this would be bad. In like, mono blue, red, or black even, this isn't bad. Blue can't just exile a target permanent. Black, like red, also has very few cards to deal with enchantments. I think the main thing they can do is find ways to make the enchantment controller sac it, or like Debt to the Kami, which might not work if they have two enchants.

I get that it is expensive. That expensiveness is worth it just due to the sheer amount of versatility and power it offers. It's exiling any target permanent for 5 mana. It's not just "removing" it. Removing something can be as simple as nuking it with 3 damage from Marath, Will of the Wild. Generous Gift or Beast Within are "removal" of any target permanent for 3, but they only destroy. They don't exile. You are paying the 2 extra for the exile. That's worth. I think most people consider Generous gift and beast within efficient because the cost is 3 mana and giving the opponent a 3/3 to kill anything. This is 5 mana and giving the opponent a land to exile anything. Giving a land can be bad sometimes, but, to deal with a threat it's pretty worth it, and you know it will just be a land. Outside landfall, that's not a problem.

I'm running into Darksteel forge, the little lieutenant dude in white who makes commander creatures you control indestructible, avacyn, Sliver Hivelord, and general big indestructible creatures who I need more than a chump blocker for, Like Ulamog or Blightsteel. I might also want to not give them a graveyard or death trigger, or i might know they have a big reanimator spell on the scale of Scrap Mastery or something that returns all creatures from a or all graveyards to play. I might just want to stop them from getting delve fuel. One opponent might have Tariel out and untapped. I don't want to send Kozilek, Butcher of Truth to my one opponent's graveyard because that will be the only creature in the graveyard, tariel can be tapped in response to it hitting the graveyard, and then he gets it. There's a lot of situations where you just need exile instead.

March 21, 2022 3:33 p.m.

ZendikariWol says... #35

Wuzibo, it sounds like you want to run graveyard hate, not 5-mana spells that exile one creature. Think about the cards you listed: Purphoros, Squee, not only are you trading down on mana, you are also giving them a card back w/ Introduction to Annihilation. I really think you're overestimating it, and even beyond that, the fact that it is, thus far, the only colorless removal spell you've even tried to defend says that running a package of colorless removal to board against one commander is far from feasible.

March 22, 2022 11:09 a.m.

Wuzibo says... #36

"The only colorless removal i've tried to defend". I've already brought up scour. There are only two colorless removal spells. Introduction to Annihilation and Scour from Existence.

I'd defend running Scour from Existence too. You're paying 2 extra for instant speed and giving nothing in return.

There is nothing else to defend. That's why i haven't defended anything else. So that has no bearing on its feasibility.

It also isn't "to board against one commander." They're cards you can use in literally every game because they can exile any target permanent. Run graveyard hate? why do that when i can run permanent hate that gets the job done and offers more versatility? What actually sounds like the more "unfeasible" strategy, there? Running graveyard hate that is kind of just a dead draw vs a non-graveyard deck, or running a spell that does what the yard hate would do which i can also use to answer any threat on the board? It could always be blue artifacts. They don't care so much about getting stuff out of the graveyard. This answers their Darksteel Forge. This answers an enemy Zurgo Helmsmasher on your turn. This could answer Iona. This could answer emrakul if they were legal in the format. It's even a way to deal with a Bound in Gold or Darksteel Mutation. It's good vs every indestructible commander and every protection from colored commander. It even deals with stax. What's important too is that it has a permanent effect and it is not a permanent. Grafdigger's Cage can be blown up or countered, just like Relic of Progenitus and Rest in Peace. However, the colorless spells can only be countered. There's nothing to blow up. Scour can even deal with Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth to stop a Sheoldred, the Whispering One, or a Rogue's Passage. Sure ghost quartering them would be much better, but if you drew one and not the other, and that's what's killing you...

You framing this as something people run just to deal with iona is wrong. That would be like saying people only run RIP for the Helm of Obedience combo. That's not true at all.

March 22, 2022 12:38 p.m.

ZendikariWol says... #37

You... may be in the minority, Wuzibo.

Scour and Intro are not played cards, and EDHrec will support me on this, just look at the numbers. The reason for this is simple: they are insanely overcosted. There are two non-colorless decks where I think Intro is worth running (and Scour is right out), which I also got when I checked EDHrec: Mizzix of the Izmagnus and Vadrik, Astral Archmage, because they can reduce its cost to 0. That is sweet, and those colors don't have a lot of good enchantment removal, so tbh I'd run it there, but unless I drop its cost substantially, it's not a playable card at 5 mana because 5-mana one-to-one removal is very bad.

Looking at the top 100 instants, 8 (Cyclonic Rift, Return of the Wildspeaker, Force of Will, Dig Through Time, Inkshield, Expansion / Explosion, Magma Opus, and Sublime Epiphany) meet or exceed 5 mana. They largely fall into two categories: 1- cards you can choose not to cast for 5+ mana (Cyclonic Rift, Force of Will, Dig Through Time, Expansion / Explosion, and Magma Opus), and 2- the three others: a card draw spell, an ultra-fog, and a modal spell which, to your credit, is removal, but it's removal that draws you a card, makes you a token, and bounces an opponent's creature. So.

What I'm saying is it takes a LOT of sauce to be a worth-running 5-mana removal spell, in fact I was surprised not to see Windgrace's Judgment in the top 100, which is up to three Intros without the card draw clause. It is a bad card, mate. Scour is worse.

March 23, 2022 11:38 a.m.

Wuzibo says... #38


It's not bad in colors that need a way to answer a permanent they normally don't have a way to deal with, like red or blue and enchantments. Returning a strong enchantment to hand when it has a strong etb tied to it as a tempo play is kinda meh.

I'm not surprised it doesn't get played much. It only makes sense if you don't have a good way to deal with stuff otherwise. Most color combinations do have more efficient stuff. In like, mono red, when you have damage and destroy artifact effects, it isn't bad to deal with enchantments and indestructible stuff. Black could run it for enchantments, but for indestructible or even enchantments, it could just make them discard the enchantment with a Duress or something, so that would be more efficient, or use something that does -1/-1 counters. Blue could just counter whatever the problem is. or return it to their hand and then counter it. White can exile or destroy anything, and green can at least destroy anything, and im pretty sure they have an exile effect or two, but mono green might want it for dealing with indestructible creatures or something, since a lot of their creature removal is "fight" based. They can usually ramp into it without much issue, but yeah, it is bad in white and green, and it's inefficient in blue and black.

So it makes sense in red, and maybe black and blue and only a deck that cares to remove stuff. If you can just win fast, it doesn't really matter. But it has a use. It's not bad. It's just niche.

March 23, 2022 5:15 p.m.

ZendikariWol says... #39

I don't think we're going to agree that these cards are or are not good, Wuzibo, but we must be able to agree that a monocolor deck, unassisted, can't win if Iona hits play. There are apparently only two spells in a monocolor deck's roster that are able to deal with her, and whether or not they're reasonable or efficient cards, the odds that you'll draw them are wholly unreliable. Can we agree on that?

March 23, 2022 6:25 p.m.

Wuzibo says... #40

Yeah sure. The odds that you draw any 2 cards are low, and monocolored will always struggle vs an iona if they're playing the named color. In a 1v1, when she would be most oppressive, she can be close to a game over and you would need colorless in your deck or it's basically just over.

Those two aren't the only two ways to deal with her though. You can still use o stone or nevvinyrals or even an All Is Dust. There are artifact creatures, vehicles, and equipment you can still be putting out put out to at least be playing, and they fit into different decks Brass Squire and Wurmcoil Engine. Eldrazi can be cast too, and Spine of Ish Sah. You can get out an ornithoper and Darksteel Forge too. In any color. Blightsteel Colossus or Darksteel Colossus is a thing too. Most ramp is colorless and colored mana can be an issue so colorless big creatures that are kind of win cons on their own are pretty good.

She wasn't even that popular prior to the ban, so if she was so strong, why didn't more people run her? It's like blightsteel with haste enablers as a commander just oneshotting. It sounds so strong, but it's not easy to pull off reliably, and if there's a blue player at the table, they might not allow it to resolve if it hits one of their colors. Someone else might deal with it for hitting one of their colors. She might get caught up in a board wipe because someone else is going wide.

1v1 it would be a problem, since then in competitive everyone would have to build around the possibility of iona, which is format warping. But for the vast majority of players out there she was a rare kind of stax piece to play around and blow up to continue the game.

March 23, 2022 8:07 p.m.

Gleeock says... #41

You can play decks that line up well against Stax too. Who cares about "casting spells" if you play Oath of Druids early for example, or just Atla Palani, Nest Tender, or a low curve before the angel is a problem. There are more ways too cook this goose than removal that you can easily establish before this problem hits the board

March 23, 2022 10:14 p.m.

Wuzibo says... #42


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.

March 24, 2022 12:29 a.m.

Gleeock says... #43

& 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

March 24, 2022 8:15 a.m.

Wuzibo says... #44

Zurgo Bellstriker voltron flies under stax and control. you can play ramp turn 2 and cast little equipment like Lizard Blades or something before most people have played more than ramp. Then your stuff is on the board. Equip and cast more turn 3. Even a turn 2 Winter Orb doesn't stop that.

March 24, 2022 4:11 p.m.

ZendikariWol says... #45

It doesn't really matter when Iona comes down, she stops monocolor decks from playing the game, unless their strategies revolve around activated abilities. That is the problem and I haven't heard any compelling evidence to the contrary. She does, in fact, die to removal, but if you're playing monocolor she dies to a statistically negligible amount of spells anyhow. There are almost no answers to a card that pretty much locks your deck.

March 24, 2022 4:48 p.m.

Wuzibo says... #46

"statistically negligible amount of spells."

Red has Chaos Warp for enchantment removal, so most enchantments capable of locking down a mono red strategy should be banned because that's a statistically negligible number of spells. If they're not, the mono-colored player can't play around it. What is the likelihood they draw 1 specific card out of the 99? So stax enchantments should be banned because if youre playing mono red you have a statistically negligible amount of spells with which to respond to a card that locks your deck. Leyline of the Void and Rest in Peace must go to support mono-red artifacts. Deafening Silence must go to support red storm. They don't have a way to respond to these cards that lock the deck except a statistically negligible amount of spells.

March 24, 2022 5:23 p.m.

Gleeock says... #47

How are several strategy types (more than just activated abilities), even available in monocolor not compelling evidence that Iona is not the worst workaround? I played against her a ton because one of my playgroup had her in Sisay (where Paradox Engine was the worse boogeyman) & another player had her in Kaalia & this magic Christmasland of her being an insurmountable monocolor lockout never happened. If anything a high CMC stax piece like that garnered so much hate & one player would seemingly unaffected by stax because someone in our playgroup always fielded a deck that didn't really need to cast badly, so all it really did was make THAT player run away with the game unopposed while anyone who was "locked out" would just chip damage the the Iona player. Anyway, banning is mostly dumb in a format that wants the players to govern themselves.

March 24, 2022 8:53 p.m.

Caerwyn says... #48

Well, since you very clearly like the idea of locking people out of their games, I am going to indulge your desire and lock this thread.

Several of your posts are hostile and actively insult or denigrate other players. That kind of conversation is not welcome on TappedOut--please try to keep things civil in the future.

March 24, 2022 10:05 p.m.

This discussion has been closed