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MTG Commander banlist

For fans of Magic: The Gathering's biggest format, here's the complete MTG Commander banlist, including all banned EDH cards.

MTG Commander banlist - Ancestral recall card art, a man in Asian-inspired armour casting electric magic

If you’ve made it to this page, chances are you’re looking for the MTG Commander banlist. This format’s chunky decks and titular commanders mean keeping up with what’s legal can be extra important, with new releases regularly offering new potential for banned cards.

With a trading card game as large and long-running as Magic: The Gathering, game-breaking combos are inevitable. That’s where the MTG banlist comes in. Wizards of the Coast updates its various banlists every year, so it’s worth checking regularly to see what’s changed – especially after new MTG sets arrive, packed with new potential MTG Commanders. After all, nobody wants to rock up with their prize new deck, only to find out they can’t legally play it.

Here’s all the details on the MTG Commander banlist:MTG Commander banlist - Wizards of the Coast Gifts Ungiven card art, a female alien looking at small figurines

Latest MTG Commander banlist update

The most recent update from the Commander rules committee was the August 2023 quarterly. No extra cards were banned. In June, the RC acknowledged fans’ concerns about Mirkwood Bats and Orcish Bowmasters, but in August, said these cards hadn’t made as much of a splash as some players feared.

There hasn’t been a new addition to the Commander banlist for multiple years. In 2021, two cards were banned: Hullbreacher, for its brutal combo with wheel effects; and Golos, Tireless Pilgrim for being too generically powerful, and stifling deck diversity.

MTG Commander banlist

  • Ancestral Recall
  • Balance
  • Biorhythm
  • Black Lotus
  • Braids, Cabal Minion
  • Chaos Orb
  • Coalition Victory
  • Channel
  • Emrakul, the Aeons Torn
  • Erayo, Soratami Ascendant
  • Falling Star
  • Fastbond
  • Flash
  • Gifts Ungiven
  • Golos, Tireless Pilgrim
  • Griselbrand
  • Hullbreacher
  • Iona, Shield of Emeria
  • Karakas
  • Leovold, Emissary of Trest
  • Library of Alexandria
  • Limited Resources
  • Lutri, the Spellchaser
  • Mox Emerald
  • Mox Jet
  • Mox Pearl
  • Mox Ruby
  • Mox Sapphire
  • Panoptic Mirror
  • Paradox Engine
  • Primeval Titan
  • Prophet of Kruphix
  • Recurring Nightmare
  • Rofellos, Llanowar Emissary
  • Shahrazad
  • Sundering Titan
  • Sway of the Stars
  • Sylvan Primordial
  • Time Vault
  • Time Walk
  • Tinker
  • Tolarian Academy
  • Trade Secrets
  • Upheaval
  • Yawgmoth’s Bargain

MTG Commander banlist - Wizards of the Coast Time Walk card art, a woman with her back to us, holding a weapon on a disc of glowing runes

MTG Conspiracy cards

25 cards with the Conspiracy type are banned in Commander, as they’re banned in all constructed MTG formats. The full list of Conspiracy cards banned in MTG Commander is:

  • Adriana’s Valor
  • Advantageous Proclamation
  • Assemble the Rank and Vile
  • Backup Plan
  • Brago’s Favor
  • Double Stroke
  • Echoing Boon
  • Emissary’s Ploy
  • Hired Heist
  • Hold the Perimeter
  • Hymn of the Wilds
  • Immediate Action
  • Incendiary Dissent
  • Iterative Analysis
  • Muzzio’s Preparations
  • Natural Unity
  • Power Play
  • Secret Summoning
  • Secrets of Paradise
  • Sentinel Dispatch
  • Sovereign’s Realm
  • Summoner’s Bond
  • Unexpected Potential
  • Weight Advantage
  • Worldknit

MTG Commander banlist - Wizards of the Coast Black Lotus card art

MTG ante cards

Nine cards that reference ‘playing for ante’ are banned in MTG Commander, because they don’t work within the rules. Playing for keeps in a four-player game is probably a bad bet anyhow. The banned MTG ante cards are:

  • Amulet of Quoz
  • Bronze Tablet
  • Contract from Below
  • Darkpact
  • Demonic Attorney
  • Jewelled Bird
  • Rebirth
  • Tempest Efreet
  • Timmerian Fiends

MTG Commander banlist - Wizards of the Coast art of Mox Ruby

Offensive MTG cards

The MTG Commander banlist includes cards that are racially or culturally insensitive. This is a universal ban that applies to sanctioned tournaments in all formats, and their images were removed from Wizards of the Coast’s database in 2020. The seven cards currently included in this ban can be found here.

Does there need to be a Commander banlist?

More recently, some fans and Magic commentators have suggested that the Commander banlist may be superfluous. This is because the EDH community is strongly bound by a social contract, dictating what cards players should and shouldn’t play.

Unlike other MTG formats such as Modern and Standard, where people regularly just want to locate and then play the best Standard decks, Commander players, outside of cEDH, are less focused on winning at all costs.

Most matches will involve some form of  ‘Rule Zero’ discussion, where the players talk about the relative power levels of their decks, and try to find a rough equilibrium that will ensure everyone has a chance at a good game.

Such discussions often keep powerful but not banned cards like Mana Crypt out of casual games. On the flipside, if all participants in a game agree, there’s nothing to stop someone using Golos as their Commander, or even a made-up card they created themselves.

Given this casual multiplayer aspect of Commander, the efficacy of its MTG banlist is called into question. They provide a useful list of potentially problematic cards, but given that that list is in no way comprehensive, just how useful really is it?

These discussions often also suggest splitting regular Commander and cEDH into different formats, and using the banlist only for the latter.