Card bannings have become an inherent part of every format in Magic: The Gathering. Expecting things to be banned, demanding that be the case, and the inherent tinge of regret that comes from investing in a soon-to-be-banned card have all become part of the experience.
However, a lot of these cards stay banned for a long time, and while that might make sense in some formats, it always feels a bit odd in Commander, where the power level is inherently all over the place anyway. It’s for that reason, and that reason alone, that we think it’s time to unban Primeval Titan.
What is Primeval Titan?
Before we dive on in, and we realize this is redundant for a lot of people, but it’s worth looking at what Primeval Titan is, what they do, and what they’re looking for in their next long-term partner. You know, the important things you should consider when building a deck and picking your cards.
Primeval Titan is a six mana Green 6/6 with trample that reads, “Whenever Primeval Titan enters the battlefield or attacks, you may search your library for up to two land cards, put them onto the battlefield tapped, then shuffle.”
It’s basically the ultimate ramp engine on a creature, and while that doesn’t seem inherently absurd, the issue lies with the fact that it doesn’t specify basic lands anywhere on it, which allows you to do some very silly stuff.
Why is Primeval Titan banned?
According to an old blog post on the Wizards site, “Primeval Titan was banned because fighting over who gets to get land combos and way more mana was tiring.” That’s pretty vague, and reads as though the main reason it was banned is because people are annoying. While that’s probably fair enough, they do dig into it to explain that the banning was more about the kind of gameplay the cards encouraged.
You’re probably aware that a lot of Commander games last roughly three hundred years, and that’s just the average time too, with some games going far longer. It can be annoying to have to sit there while someone fetches through their deck every turn just to find another couple of lands. It’s that kind of thing, combined with some of the silly combos you can do like making a Marit Lage or bolting people to death with Valakut, that make Primeval Titan kind of silly.
The potential for mischief and game-winning things is very high, and getting one trigger on entry along with one every time you attack is obviously very potent. But, does it still need to be banned?
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Why should Primeval Titan be unbanned?
Our argument here is obviously in favor of unbanning good old Primeval Titan here, and it’s for a pretty simple reason: Commander has gotten substantially more powerful since it was initially banned nearly a decade ago. That’s an awful lot of time, and in that time we’ve had new decks every year, nearly every set has brought in new tools for the format, and we’ve had more Masters sets and Horizons sets that have introduced cards too powerful for Standard, but things that don’t always even make an impact in Commander.
Primeval Titan is still really powerful, sure, but there’s plenty of interaction that can mess around with it and stop it from having the absurd effect it’s capable of. Even just general land hate cards are more than capable of toning down its effect, just plonk out something like Blood Moon and see how quickly that Primeval Titan just becomes a basic 6/6 with trample that finds Mountains.
There are a plethora of cards out there that simply make Primeval Titan look kind of cute, rather than the game-ending essential threat it used to be. It’s a different landscape, if you’ll indulge the pun, now. So, we think it’s time to free Primeval Titan from its cage and it’ll be doing just fine, it’s gotta gotta be down because we want more lands. You know?
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