Golos Banned!

Banning Golos sent shockwaves throughout the EDH community. Few if anybody was expecting such a decision from the rules committee. When the news came across the phone, I was surprised. I immediately went to the internet to confirm. My playgroup had some strong opinions on the banning and it was not positive.

I do have to ask if this banning was really necessary? This ban occurred shortly after another ban. In July of 2021 Hullbreacher was banned. Now two months later we have another banning. Rapid bans in succession is not good for the format unless EDH is in severe distress. I don’t think it was and there is a concern about how heavy handed the rules committee may become should they exercise using the ban hammer more often.

It is also concerning that the rules committee felt they had to ban the most popular commander in the format according to EDHREC. Being the most played commander this will shake up play groups as players will scramble to make another EDH deck to replace their Golos decks. Golos decks have a lot of diversity. It’s intriguing to see what will replace those decks. Commander decks can get more expensive as the format grows and prices rise. By banning out a commander at the height of its popularity can upset card economy and force players to spend more cash to develop another deck. These fallout effects are often not good, especially for players on a budget.

I will be honest. I am a nobody in the magic community. Still even a nobody can have an opinion. In my opinion, Golos shouldn’t be banned. In my circles Golos was one of many strong decks that saw play and was no more broken than other decks in the format. I also believe if your playgroup has not done so recently, then it’s time to have what is a rule zero talk with your playgroup. The rules committee has updated their website so there is no longer a “rule 0”, but the philosophy of rule zero is expressed on their site as follows

Commander is designed to be a malleable format. We encourage groups to use the rules and the ban list as a baseline to optimize their own experience. This is not license for an individual to force their vision onto a play group, but encouragement for players to discuss their goals and how the rules might be adjusted to suit those goals.


If Golos was in your play group last week, then what has changed now? Was it intolerable last week? If not, then why is it intolerable now? Is it because the rules committee said so? As a group take the time to discuss and determine if you should continue to allow Golos as a commander in your playgroup. Remember, the ban list is only a guide. Make it work for your playgroup and what the group will enjoy.

Some groups will be fine with Golos. Others will not. No matter how your playgroup decides to deal with Golos… neither is wrong. As a group you have a right to decide. If you play among a local game store where players are constantly arriving and leaving, then unfortunately you may not have the flexibility to unban Golos for your group. You can still ask if you can play it. If you do, then I would suggest trying not to play the most powerful version of the deck. Doing so may create ill will in a local game store environment and may not be healthy for it.

Banning Golos sent shockwaves through the EDH community. Whether you like the banning or not, you will have to deal with the current environment it created. I suggest you have a discussion with your playgroup about the Golos banning and make a decision about the card that is best for your playgroup. Having a rules committee is good to have. However, EDH is decentralized for fun. Like the Pirates’ code in The Pirates of the Caribbean think of the rules committee as more of “guidelines” and do what is best for your group.

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