Primeval Titan being banned in Commander doesn’t make sense to me anymore.

I could easily say something like “Sylvan Primordial is more egregious and Treasure Tokens exist”, but I think the conversation goes deeper.

Primeval Titan has been a powerhouse in pretty much every format its been legal in. Standard and Modern with Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle and Scapeshift, Field of the Dead, you name it. If there’s a land worth exploiting, Primeval Titan will be involved somehow.

And that’s fine.

I don’t know what it is about powerful cards and the adversity towards them, but I don’t like garbage. I’m sure there’s a place somewhere for someone, and that’s totally cool, but that place isn’t here, nor is it with me. I like it when my cards do things well, and Primeval Titan fits the bill perfectly.

Now, one of the problems with cards like these is how difficult it is to keep it legal when very strong lands can and will continue to be printed. The age-old argument is that it’s easier to ban the enabler than the enabled, and I can see that. My counter argument is rather simple;so what?

Is this really the most egregious thing going on right now in the format? Is it really something we’re worried about when cards like Atraxa, Grand Unifier, are doing similar things in the context of functional explosiveness? Are we seriously going to say Urza, Lord High Artificer doesn’t do the same thing, in a color just as good, in a more compact and arguably more supported archetype? 

Hell, let’s bring the scope outward a bit more; What exactly changes when Primeval Titan is unbanned?

At worst, a new enabler makes the already powerful lands even more powerful. Maybe Summoning Trap and Scapeshift see an uptick. The meta may have to adjust a bit; maybe some more land destruction, incidental or overt. Maybe I get to grab Command Tower so I can cause a ruckus on Commander Twitter. At best, we have yet another tool for the vast Commander toolbox, and it’s another card in our 99-card arsenal. Green decks become ever so slightly more consistent, while other decks can probably utilize the extra utility in general. Field of the Dead becomes pretty annoying if the whole table decides to not interact with it, I guess. Gifts Ungiven might become part of the discussion because we love having our cake, eating it, and not tipping the server.

This brings me to a bit of a side-theory: Sub-formats of Commander are very healthy, and pushing them further can contribute to better iterations of banlists and format health. 

Formats like Canadian Highlander and the recently talked about Pre-DH are great. They add another dimension to an already existing and popular format, and allow lesser-played and sometimes obscure cards to shine, and possibly become more well known and played. cEDH in particular is incredibly good at highlighting the more capable strategies. Casual Commander, whether the players admit it or not, is forever influenced by cEDH.

None of this is bad, nor will it ever be.

The whole basis of the Primeval Titan discussion stems from how multiple formats look, and how it can fit into so many decks without really damaging anything, despite potentially shaking things up a little bit. I want to see more ambition when it comes to casual Commander. I want to see more challenges of not only banned cards being unbanned, but unbanned cards being banned, or cards like Lightning Bolt seeing more play. 

Commander has so much broken and absurd things going on. A single 6/6 for six won’t hurt.

Anthony Lowry (they/he) is a seasoned TCG, MMORPG, and FPS veteran. They are extensively knowledgeable on the intricacies of many competitive outlets, and are always looking for a new challenge in the gaming sphere.

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