I've been busy with life, and Football season, and other games as of late, so I haven't been around Magic much the past couple months, which is also why this post is a couple of weeks behind the announcement. I'll also catch up on the set reviews (and they'll probably be better, since the two sets i'm missing have been out for long enough to do some testing) in the near future.
As most of you have heard, or for those of you who were like me and haven't heard yet, Primeval Titan has seen his last days in EDH for the foreseeable future. Rather than going into detail about my thoughts on the reasons behind the bannings, I'll quote Sheldon (of the EDH Rules Committee), and his post on the reasons, I'll also include a link to his post on the forums announcing the changes at the end of this article.
The days of casting Primeval Titan on turn two are now limited to Cube Drafting (which also has recently resurfaced on MTGO, so any of you who have an account there should really check it out, it's a great deal of fun.), and casual table-top magic. Here's the portion of the original post pertaining to the reasonings behind this long-time favorite of the format was forced into early retirement:
One of the concerns that we've had recently is the overrepresentation of heavy ramp strategies, to the point where it makes up a large proportion of the aggregate decks out there. While we think ramp should be good - this is battlecruiser Magic, after all - it's probably a little too prevalent and needs reining in a bit. With that in mind, we're banning the most egregious offender, Primeval Titan.
This decision won't be universally popular. Primeval Titan is dripping with awesomeness, and we ourselves are big fans of the card. But its ubiquity and effect on games couldn't be ignored and sad though we are to see it go, we think it will make for a more interesting and diverse format.
That's the official reasoning and thoughts on the topic, so i'll leave personal speculation out of it.
As for our new (read: old) best friend Kokusho, the Evening Star , here is what they had to say about him:
It's appropriate that Kokusho comes off at the same time as Prime Time goes on, as Kokusho was originally banned along the same lines. His presence had a similar warping effect on the format in the early days, with too many decks reusing the Dragon over and over (even if it didn't start in their deck!). However, in the intervening time, graveyard hate has become stronger and the overall level of creature power has risen to the point where we're comfortable - moreso after some testing - that it won't have the same impact.
He remains banned as a Commander because the mechanics of being a Commander allow him to circumvent the best method of dealing with him - the aforementioned graveyard hate. Getting him into exile as a creature is the end of it. As a Commander, it's license to start again.
So for the above reasons, we now have an old friend back into the mix of things. I agree with the first point they make, I think bringing Kokusho back for us lessens the blow of losing Primeval Titan .
Now that we're caught up on the main changes (I should probably mention Worldfire was also banned with the new update, but we all saw that coming); I want to write a small amount on a few cards that will become more relevant, and should be included into everyone's decks.
With the departure of Primeval Titan , the main card that I feel loses value is Green Sun's Zenith . When I approach deck-building, any deck that included the Zenith was primarily assuming it was targeting the Titan, and the lack of him as an option weakens this card significantly, and may lead to a revival in popularity of Chord of Calling , which has seen decreased-play since the printing of the Zenith.
With the arrival of Kokusho, the Evening Star , a lot of things should change. First and foremost, as the original post alluded to, players will need to include more graveyard hate than they were previously, as black decks will definitely want to be utilizing Kokusho's synergy with being reanimated, and then sacrificed. One of the black cards that has already seen a lot of play, but will see a lot more play now is Corpse Dance . Corpse Dance has always been a popular card in decks seeking to play around with the reanimation aspect of the game, often utilizing Yosei, the Morning Star in decks such as Teneb, the Harvester . Adding Kokusho into this mix will only make these strategies stronger, and most likely a little more popular. One other card that you should watch out for, is Rite of Replication . Even if it is your own Kokusho, anyone playing blue that game can cast this on it, and not only kill it, but drain for a whole bunch. This play, among many others similar to it, will cause you to want to increase the amount of sac-outlets ( Diamond Valley , Culling Dais , Greater Good , and so on) you want to run by a little. If you were only running between two and four of them before, you may want to up that to somewhere between four and six depending on what else your deck is trying to accomplish.
That about covers everything I wanted to cover about the bannings, I apologize to those of you who actually cared about the banning of Worldfire , but short of those of us playing Jhoira decks, I don't think it affected too many people, and for most people, it was probably a positive change. On top of those things, it was also a relatively new card, so I don't feel it deserved as much attention as the other two aspects of the announcement.
Thank you to everyone for reading, I want to say that I'm sorry for the lack of set reviews the last few months, I will get back on top of those shortly.
Finally, for those of you who want to see the original article regarding these changes, here is the link: mtgcommander.net/Forum/viewtopic.php?f=1...