Opinion: The Commander Banlist Shouldn't Exist Because Existence Is Fundamentally Meaningless And I Didn't Ask To Be Born

Naomi Krause • July 13, 2023

Castaway's Despair | Art by Chris Rahn

Look, we all know that Commander at its core is a casual format in the same vein that life is a casual format where trying to assign true purpose to any idea is a futile gesture. Who cares if Griselbrand is legal? Who cares if consciousness is an illusion? Entropy marches ever on, regardless of our arbitrary observations or rulings on the tuck rule.

The Commander Advisory Group is inherently biased, as the idea of anyone experiencing reality objectively is inherently impossible. At best, we can achieve universal subjectivity, and I don't trust that subjectivity to tell me that Biorhythm is objectively "unfun".

We had a Banned as Commander list and they decided to get rid of that. We had an ozone layer and they decided to get rid of that. What's the point in any of it? If God is real, how could they allow Prophet of Kruphix to be banished for eternity? The answer is simply that we do not know and we never will, so wasting our short, insignificant lives on endless speculation accomplishes nothing.

Players have often questioned the group's decisions by simply asking "Why?" Why was Golos, Tireless Pilgrim kicked to the curb but the Fierce Guardianship cycle wasn't? Why is it permissible for my opponent's Simic deck to drop 12 lands per turn, but not for me to Balance the field? Why does that dude still use giant anime titty playmats at my LGS? But asking any question beginning with "Why" is a fool's errand. There is no Why, there just Is.

I used to believe in the mass delusion of the CAG as a naive child, but after my best friend gave me a pack for my birthday and I pulled a Primeval Titan that I've never been able to play, how could I? How can their authority be anything other than a petty game of Dress-Up on the decaying flesh of a dying world? Braids, Cabal Minion's inclusion on the list is simply formaldehyde pumped through its mummified veins.

Please don't interpret this article as a cynical cry for help amidst an uncaring void. From one perspective, the fact that life doesn't matter is beautiful. We don't have a set destiny, our lives aren't predetermined, and we are free to choose our own Rule 0 Commanders with our playgroup's permission because I want to build a Lutri, the Spellchaser deck, god dammit.



Legendary Creature — Cephalid Noble Tap an untapped Cephalid you control: Tap target permanent. {U}{U}{U}: Tap all creatures without flying. “No one can fight the tide forever.” 3/3