31, Aug, 21

Should Sol Ring Be Banned in Commander?

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Let’s talk about Sol Ring in Commander.
Article at a Glance

We’ve all been there.

It’s the first turn of a game of EDH. You’re excited to try out your brew and hoping to win a few games. But then, someone at the table goes.

“I cast Sol Ring.’

Immediately, the table identifies them as the threat player. They’re already ahead on mana, therefore you need to do all you can to slow them down. And that’s the problem, the number of resources it can take to collectively restore balance to the table. Usually, if a Sol Ring goes unchecked early on, it can take over the game.

Even with familiarity comes controversy and debate. Mostly, we see that debate in Sol Ring, one of the most important cards to ever feature in the Commander format.

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Why Do People Want to Ban Sol Ring?

It’s included in every Commander product (even in Commander 2021 Edition) and it’s the first card we pick out when building a new deck. It’s unofficially the tenth card when it comes to discussing the Power Nine and is a hallmark in Vintage Cubes. And, it’s in every Commander deck possible given the mana demands are effortless, why wouldn’t you run it?


But that is the issue, you have to run it because you know other players will. If you don’t, you are guaranteed to fall behind. And if we’re talking about banning Sol Ring, you have to add Mana Crypt and Mana Vault into the equation. Granted, it’s a singleton format so the chances of seeing a turn one Sol Ring is slim, but it’s that potential that can harm play experiences within the format.

Sol Ring is a lot like Brainstorm in Legacy, it’s such a huge player in the format that banning it would cause a community outcry, regardless of whether the card is healthy for the format at not. Sol Ring has a huge identity in Commander and removing that identity is bound to cause issues. But at least in Commander, you do have the option to add Rule Zero/House Rules to your playgroup if you fancy a change. This doesn’t provide the best alternative, but at least it’s an option if you’re really fed up with the artifact.

There may be a breaking point with fast mana in Commander, but until then, Sol Ring isn’t going anywhere. As they say — if you can’t beat it, you may as well be it.

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