EDH - French Banlist
Welcome in this topic dedicated to EDH based on the French banlist.
I: Banlist and rules
First of all, this is the French banlist and the specific rules:
Back to Basics
Crucible of Worlds
Library of Alexandria
Sensei’s Divining Top
Staff of Domination
The Tabernacle at Pendrell Vale
Banned as Commanders
Braids, Cabal Minion
Erayo, Soratami Ascendant
Rofellos, Llanowar Emissary
Rules which differ from the multiplayer banlist:
-Players start the game with 30 life.
-There is a replacement effect ruling for tuck effects (e.g., if your General is Hindered, you may choose to put it back in the Command Zone).
As you can see, this banlist is dedicated to the 1vs1 variant. The main difference with the multiplayers banlist are:
Emrakul, the Aeons Torn, Recurring Nightmare, Metalworker, Sway of the Stars, Upheaval, Griselbrand are not banned.
Strip Mine, Sol ring, Mana vault, Mana Crypt are banned.
The first consequence emerging from these banlist & rules is that aggro decks are competitive and red is a real color (^^). If cards like Sol ring and Mana vault are banned, it’s in order to prevent brainless and unbalanced games. On the other hand, with the French banlist, Emrakul, Metal Worker or Upheaval are not banned but not played because they are too slow.
Then, if you are not an EDH-player in 1vs1, you should forget that EDH is a fun format.
With the introduction of an organized structure and prizes, competitive EDH has rapidly grown in France, on MtgSalvation and on Cockatrice.
There is nowadays an EDH League in Paris, big tournaments (more than 60 players) in Saint-Nazaire, a French National Cup planned to take place in Vitry-en-Perthois on the 10th and 11th November and several tournaments organized on MTGSalvation and in others countries.
II: The Metagame:
It is very difficult to give a precise overview of the metagame because, unlike in other formats, there are dozens of playable commanders and we do not have a regular update of the results of big tournaments. The ranking below is based on popularity online and IRL, performance in tournaments and eventually also on my personal opinion.
Aggro-Control: Edric, Spymaster of Trest
Aggro-Combo: Ezuri, Renegade Leader
Control-Combo: Iname, Death Aspect
Control: Grand Arbiter Augustin IV tapout
Aggro-Control: Geist of Saint Traft
Aggro-Combo: Animar, Soul of Elements
Control-Combo: Karador, Ghost Chieftain
Control: Nin, the Pain Artist
Control: Vendilion Clique
Control: Grand Arbiter Augustin IV prison
Control: Wydwen, the Biting Gale
Control: Ruhan of the Fomori
Control: Olivia Voldaren
Aggro: Isamaru, Hound of Konda
Aggro: Lyzolda, the Blood Witch
Aggro: Skullbriar, the Walking Grave
Aggro: Doran, the Siege Tower
Aggro: Rafiq of the Many
Aggro: Radha, Heir to Keld
Aggro: Rhys the Redeemed
Aggro: Horde of Notions (zoo version)
Aggro: Uril, the Miststalker (zoo version with 0 Aura)
Aggro-Control: Jenara, Asura of War
Aggro-Combo: Teysa, Orzhov Scion
Aggro-Combo: Rafiq of the Many (poison version)
Control-Combo: Zur the Enchanter
Control-Combo: Jhoira of the Ghitu
Control-Combo: Enchantments (Rhys the Redeemed or Jenara, Asura of War)
Control-Combo: 5 CC Loam
Ramp: Azusa, Lost but Seeking
Ramp: Maelstrom Wanderer
Thus, we have 32 competitive commanders. Thirty-two commanders having the potential for winning a tournament. This is EDH: a format where you can play seven rounds and face seven different decks.
The Top 16 of the last Saint-Nazaire tournament is a great example, since it showed 14 different decks.
As presented above, I consider that four decks constitute the 1st Tier:
He has dominated competitive EDH for ten months, however, for two months, the deck can hardly make a breakthrough on Cockatrice (the MTGO for EDH players) and is fewer and fewer played, IRL as well as online. Edric is roughly the 50/50 pack against every deck, provided that it is well mastered. Its worst match-up are red-based commanders: Nin, Radha, Lyzolda, Olivia, Ruhan, etc.
-Grand Arbiter Augustin IV tapout:
This is a trustworthy one, no matter what your metagame looks like. It's a deck that is highly resistant to aggro and which is good in the mirror-control (except for the Clique match-up).
The match-up versus Edric, swarm version, is however negative, but is 50/50 versus the goodstuff version. This deck does not have any horrible match-up, it is just slightly negative against combo decks and when faced to a great start of Ezuri.
This deck has basically a good match-up against aggro and recent updates gave him nothing but positive: Kokusho and Recurring Nightmare are unbanned, and Avacyn offered us Cavern of Souls.
Although he is little known by players, given its raw power the deck deserves to be considered a 1st Tier deck.
The design of the deck is straightforward:
(1) play Iname as soon as possible,
(2) put all the Spirits of the deck into the graveyard,
(3a) play a revival spell,
(3b): the secondary plan is to play with the graveyard until you find a revival spell.
The deck has a bad match-up versus Draw&Go control, and drops when it has to face a Iona early played (via the combo Survival of the Fittest + Loyal Retainers) or because of a well played graveyard-cleaning spell.
It's a regular deck with regard to its startups. Its build is equivalent to Elfball in Legacy, with few lands, elves to accelerate, and Ezuri together with some Lords to boost everyone. There are also some secondary plans, such as Primeval Titan and Natural Order in particular.
The main advantage of this deck is to be positive against Edric. Apart from this match-up, it has the potential for winning against all decks except Nin and dragons.deck.
III: Dragons.deck and Geist
In recent weeks on Cockatrice, the "Dragons.deck" are experiencing a real boom.
The term "dragons.deck" refers to the earlier EDH builds, with a rather high curve, and having the big dragons from TimeSpiral or Legends as commanders.
The build is always straightforward. There are artifact accelerators, a lot of Pyroclasms and Wraths, some draw and spoilers as top of curve. These decks have a very positive matchup against aggro, and 50/50 against Edric.
There are two suitable Commanders for this build, Griselbrand and Thraximundar, and three that come close: Godo, Bandit Warlord, Memnarch (where there are bounces instead of pyroclasms) and Maelstrom Wanderer (which is however a bit below the previous four because cascade is too uncertain, you may as well reveal a mana artifact or a spoiler). If this trend continues on future tournaments, Aggro decks will have more and more difficulties to get the first places. However, as you know, Magic is quite a Rock-Paper-Scissors game: two kinds of decks will benefit from the arrival of Ramp/Control in the metagame.
First, the aggressive draw&go control decks, like Wydwen or Vendilion Clique, and Doran because, as strange as it may seem, a 5/5 played on the 2nd turn can be quite resistant to a Pyroclasm while putting pressure on your opponent.
At the same time, Geist is gaining popularity online, so be prepared to see him IRL. Despite the fact that the deck has always a slightly negative match-up against Edric, the hexproof abiliy and the raw power of the commander are an excellent weapon to fight other decks.It's a positive commander versus control tapout decks, draw&go and Dragon.deck. It's okay against aggro. In addition to Edric, its bad match-ups are Combo, Zur, Animar and Iname. Two builds are possible for this commander: a version which is like aggro Delver or CawBlade in standard; and a more control version playing slightly more creatures and more counterspells. The latter version is better versus combo and ramp decks, at the expense of the match-up versus Edric and Aggro.
Wydwen was not immediately played in EDH, as for a long time players have preferred Vendilion Clique for its aggro/control qualities or Oona for its colors.The first time the Commander made a breakthrough was in Lille, just over a year ago, played by Eths.
Then, for no reason, no one played the deck anymore and we saw it again in the high places only at the 2011 EDH French Cup with the Top 8 of Maxime Lenglet. Thus in November, everything was clear for all the players: "Wydwen is the best control deck."
But they didn't anticipate that Doran players would change for Karador, nor the popular success of the swarm version of Edric, the arrival of Geist in the metagame and the bans of Bitterblossom and Mana Drain.
With the arrival of these three bad matchups and the loss of the two best cards in the deck, Wydwen players have preferred to choose other Commanders than trying to adapt the deck.
Six months after these events, I offer my Wydwen list which aims to be competitive:
1 Ancient Tomb
1 Bloodstained Mire
1 Bojuka Bog
1 Cavern of Souls
1 Command Tower
1 Creeping Tar Pit
1 Darkslick Shores
1 Drowned Catacomb
1 Flooded Strand
1 Marsh Flats
1 Misty Rainforest
1 Polluted Delta
1 Riptide Laboratory
1 Scalding Tarn
1 Sunken Ruins
1 Tectonic Edge
1 Underground River
1 Underground Sea
1 Verdant Catacombs
1 Watery Grave
14 Snow-Covered Island
1 Snapcaster Mage
1 Vendilion Clique
1 Venser, Shaper Savant
1 Jace, the Mind Sculptor
1 Nihil Spellbomb
1 Runechanter's Pike
1 Umezawa's Jitte
1 Vedalken Shackles
1 Careful Consideration
1 Cryptic Command
1 Diabolic Edict
1 Essence Scatter
1 Fact or Fiction
1 False Summoning
1 Flash of Insight
1 Forbidden Alchemy
1 Force Spike
1 Force of Will
1 Go for the Throat
1 Into the Roil
1 Jace's Ingenuity
1 Mana Leak
1 Mental Misstep
1 Muddle the Mixture
1 Mystical Teachings
1 Remove Soul
1 Skeletal Scrying
1 Snuff Out
1 Spell Pierce
1 Spell Snare
1 Think Twice
1 Ancestral Vision
1 Chainer's Edict
1 Compulsive Research
1 Decree of Pain
1 Demonic Tutor
1 Gitaxian Probe
1 Innocent Blood
1 Inquisition of Kozilek
1 Night's Whisper
1 Sign in Blood
SB: 1 Wydwen, the Biting Gale
It is a classic bicolor one, the best bilands, a lot of Islands to optimize Vedalken Shackles and some functional lands:
Bojuka Bog, Riptide Laboratory, Wasteland, Tectonic Edge, Cavern of Souls and Creeping Tar Pit.
There are only two lands entering tapped in the build, because the tempo is very important, and even not playing Creeping Tar Pit is an idea to consider.
I decided not to play Tolaria West because I think the card is slow and expensive, moreover the land enters tapped. The deck is meant to have a low curve, so we have to play a minimum of this kind of land. It is possible to add Dust Bowl but the land would only be useful in matchups which are already positive for us. Then, just like Tolaria West, its ability is expensive to activate and in addition it produces only colorless. I prefer not to play it.
No surprises: they are the best in this color and with flash. The surprise is rather that I have decided not to play Dark Confidant, because this creature is too fragile, it will get its anti-creature most of the time.
I say it again, there are Edric and Ezuri in the format, consequently all good lists have something to kill a creature in the early turns. This is the very argument which can be applied to Creeping Tar Pit: you can wonder about playing or not this land because in addition to the loss of tempo it causes, there is always the risk that animating it would benefit to the soft anti creatures of your opponent.
Only one, the best of all time. Jace V1 is also possible if there are many control decks in your own metagame but I decided not to play it because it stays too rarely an entire turn in play against an EDH RX or Edric. Both Lilianas are bad in the deck, the V1 because it's too expensive for a tutor effect and the second because it's counterproductive in the deck.
Nihil Spellbomb is here because it greatly improves the matchup versus Grave.deck. With Bojuka Bog and Demonic Tutor, it gives us 3 outs to a threat in the opposite graveyard. To this, we added all the cards used to dig in the deck. Finally, when we need a anti-graveyard, we found it most of the time.
Vedalken shackles: the card has lost a little bit of its power last year, but it remains a key card for control decks thanks to the flexibility proposed.
Umezawa's Jitte and Runechanter's Pike: The Pike is probably one of the best cards in the deck, if your opponent is not prepared for it, this card will very often win the game with one attack. It can be fetched with Muddle the Mixture and Demonic Tutor. As regards Jitte, I was torn between it and the BG sword, but after some tests, the Sword was judged not strong enough. Jitte is better to win the race, saving the pvs (in some matchups it is essential) and remains an anti-creature. If we played the BG sword, it would be difficult with this list to take advantage of its benefits. Untap the lands, ok, but to play what? In late game the discard is unnecessary, finally its only useful advantages are the protections... We can do without. It is better to keep as long as possible the equipments in hand, in order to prevent the opponent from taking them into account in his calculations.Expedition map is not in the list because its impact is too weak in an Agro-Combo - Fish metagame. What would you fetch against Edric or SuperZoo? Maybe a Wasteland? It's quite unimpressive.
Sorceries and Instants.
To counter the rising popularity of Geist, I play Diabolic Edict, Chainer's Edict and Innocent Blood; to this is added Decree of Pain, which is great in this matchup, against several aggros and especially against Edric.
In addition we have the best anti-creatures in these colors: Smother, Damnation, Snuff Out, Disfigure and Dismember. I choose not to play Black Sun's Zenith because I find it requires too much mana.
You probably heard that Wydwen, unlike an EDH like Nin, produces no CA, and it's its main flaw. That's why I play a lot of draw spells and cards either to dig in the library or to sort the top of it.Finally, as in all control decks with blue, I play counterspells. Nothing special in it, besides the fact that I do not play Memory lapse because I prefer Dissipate in the current metagame.
You will find below Wydwen's matchups. Some are theoretical because I have not had time to test them all. To simplify understanding, I will use this key:
+ +: Favorable matchup
+: Slightly favorable matchup
=: Balanced matchup
-: Slightly unfavorable matchup
--: Unfavorable matchup
Aggro-Control: Edric, Spymaster of Trest =
Aggro-Combo: Ezuri, Renegade Leader +
Control-Combo: Iname, Death Aspect +
Control: Grand Arbiter Augustin IV tapout +
Aggro-Control: Geist of Saint Traft =
Aggro-Combo: Animar, Soul of Elements +
Ramp-control: Thraximundar +
Control-Combo: Karador, Ghost Chieftain =
Control: Nin, the Pain Artist =
Control: Vendilion Clique -
Control: Grand Arbiter Augustin IV prison --
Control: Wydwen, the Biting Gale =
Control: Ruhan of the Fomori +
Control: Olivia Voldaren =
Aggro: Isamaru, Hound of Konda ++
Aggro: Lyzolda, the Blood Witch ++
Aggro: Skullbriar, the Walking Grave +
Aggro: Doran, the Siege Tower -
Aggro: Rafiq of the Many ++
Aggro: Radha, Heir to Keld + +
Aggro: Rhys the Redeemed +
Aggro: Horde of Notions (zoo version) =
Aggro: Uril, the Miststalker (zoo version with 0 Aura) =
Aggro-Control: Jenara, Asura of War =
Aggro-Combo: Teysa, Orzhov Scion +
Aggro-Combo: Rafiq of the Many (poison version) +
Control-Combo: Zur the Enchanter ++
Control-Combo: Jhoira of the Ghitu +
Control-Combo: Enchantments (Rhys the Redeemed or Jenara, Asura of War) --
Control-Combo: 5 CC Loam -
Ramp: Azusa, Lost but Seeking =
Ramp: Memnarch +
Ramp-Control: Griselbrand =
In an article, Vhailor had demonstrated "the illusionary control" that is in fact the Wydwen deck.
Theoretically, the deck looks like a control deck but it is not, we should consider it rather like a Vendilion Clique deck. We should not try to control the board with Wydwen, as it is impossible, we do not generate enough CA so after a while we will be overwhelmed by the forces of the opponent. The best strategy with Wydwen is to be aggressive. Once you have an opportunity, play your commander and race!
I put an "=" sign for the Edric matchup, which is true for the goodstuff version. In the other hand, Wydwen is still negative against the swarm version, as this version of the deck gives unpredictable results: sometimes it can do nothing and sometimes it will play Edric on the second turn with a backup of two free counterspells...
I also put a "=" for Geist while the deck is pretty well equipped to confront the commander. The difficulty is that there are two versions of the deck. Faced with the aggro version, we need an opening hand with at least one anti-creature to be sure that our Cruel Edicts certainly kill Geist, while facing the control version, every anti-creature card which targets is a useless card.
The matchup is normally positive versus Ezuri unless your opponent plays a Cavern of Souls quickly. In this case, nothing is lost because you still have the anti-creatures, bounces and Wydwen. The matchup will however become 50/50 or even slightly negative.
Versus Karador, we must be aggressive while digging in the library for an anti-graveyard. Two cards are particularly annoying for Wydwen: Survival of the Fittest and Stinkweed Imp.
For the bad matchups, we have enchantment decks like Rhys or Jenara, I think you see why. Black and blue do not handle this kind of permanent and we will have a lot of useless cards in the deck. What is more, as those commanders are also used in an aggressive strategy with creatures, we can't throw away our anti-creatures from our opening hand.
The GAA prison matchup is hard because it will produce enough mana to play without being worried about soft counters and, above all, Wydwen has no way to handle Winter Orb. This card will offer the victory 90% of the time.
The 5CC loam matchup is slightly negative, never let Humility, Intuition or a planeswalker be resolved. If you see that your opponent starts making heavy manipulations with Loam, race with your planeswalker.
Finally, the deck also has a slightly negative match up against Doran Aggro because it is a deck with several threats: creatures, planeswalkers, discards, equipments, enchantments, etc. It is difficult to find an oppotunity to play our commander.
Overall, Wydwen has good matchups or balanced matchups in the metagame, so this is a deck to play in the coming weeks.
That's all for today, the next news will be issued for the end of July.
Have a nice day and thank you for reading.
News translated from French by “Samba”