Discover the reasons behind the banned cards in Archon format on this page. If you have any questions or disagreement with the explanations provided, feel free to reach out to us on our Discord and ask for clarification or initiate a discussion for a possible unban.

Banned in Archon

Ancestral Recall

Back in Alpha, developers had no idea what the cost of different effects in Magic should be because there was no reference point. They suspected that Ancestral Recall might be undercosted, so they included it as a rare card to mitigate its impact on the average game. Nowadays, we know that drawing three cards for only one mana, without any additional restrictions, at instant speed is significantly undercosted. This is why Ancestral Recall is banned in Archon.

Black Lotus

When you play Black Lotus, you gain a significant advantage over your opponent in terms of mana, which often leads to quick victories for the player using this artifact. If Black Lotus were legal, every deck archetype, including aggro, control, and combo, would likely want to include it in their deck.


Converting life to mana at a one-to-one ratio is too powerful for Archon. While Channel is already problematic in most other formats due to the presence of other powerful cards, its ability to be used with a commander at all times makes it even more problematic in Archon. Therefore, it is not surprising that Channel is also banned in Archon.

Chrome Mox

As a zero mana Mox that provides colored mana, Chrome Mox has earned a place on the banlist for Archon. The drawback of having to invest a second card as soon as Chrome Mox enters the battlefield is mitigated by the constant access to a commander. As a result, Chrome Mox would likely be included in almost every deck, as it allows you to cast your commander earlier than usual and then stays in play to provide additional mana.

Deadly Rollick

Part of the infamous Commander 2020 free spell cycle, we believe that Deadly Rollick goes against one of the core principles of the format by providing players with more mana than intended by the game design at no cost.

Although its mana cost is high, the strength of Deadly Rollick lies in its ability to be cast for free when you control a commander. The plays that this enables often result in game-winning tempo swings, especially in decks with low-mana value commanders that can easily convert these swings into advantageous game states. In addition, in a format where most decks always have access to at least one creature, the card is rarely useless, and when it is, the player holding it is usually in a winning position.

For these reasons, we believe that Deadly Rollick not only warps games, but also the format by favoring low-mana value commanders (and, specifically, partner commanders). Therefore, it is banned in Archon.

Deflecting Swat

Deflecting Swat, the red part of the free Commander spell cycle from Commander 2020, is often compared to Misdirection. While tapped out, it allows you to protect your permanents from spot removal, manipulate targeted draw or discard spells from your opponent, or use it as a counterspell. Since you normally do not pay mana for this effect, it comes with a significant tempo swing. Unlike Misdirection, Deflecting Swat does not require you to pitch a card in order to use it for free, which results in two major problematic aspects:

  1. It goes against a core principle of our format: gaining access to more mana than intended by the game design should only be allowed when that access is achieved by trading meaningful resources. In this case, the mana is virtual and tied to the spell, but there are still no meaningful resources traded for an effect that is normally priced at five mana or one card in hand.
  2. It can generate massive card advantage from a game state where the opponent is (rightfully) not expecting it, leading to "gotcha" moments that decrease the competitiveness of the format.

The comparison to Misdirection even shows that Deflecting Swat is inherently stronger than Misdirection. It has a wider range of use, such as redirecting spells with multiple targets like Kolaghan's Command, Cryptic Command, or Mystic Confluence, or redirecting abilities like Wasteland, planeswalker abilities, or abilities triggered when a permanent enters the battlefield. The constraints for casting it for free are also easy to achieve, as you only need a commander on the battlefield to do so. This favors commander-centric strategies, commanders with low mana cost, and commanders with the partner ability. However, with a converted mana cost of three, Deflecting Swat is not overpriced and can still have a decent effect-to-invested-mana ratio without any commander on the battlefield.

For breaking core principles of Archon and warping games around itself, we propose a ban for Deflecting Swat in Archon.

Dig Through Time

Dig Through Time allows the player who cast it to choose two cards from the top seven of their library. This effect is particularly strong, as it allows the player to see a large portion of their deck and, in the case of Dig Through Time, is paired with the powerful Delve mechanic, allowing the card to be cast for as low as UU later in the game. In Archon, the cost of filling the graveyard to a significant amount is minimal due to the presence of fetchlands and low-cost spells, which quickly fill the graveyard. Additionally, the ability to delve only part of the cost when casting Dig Through Time at instant speed during the opponent's turn allows for a very flexible spell that enables the caster to find the cards they need. The low opportunity cost, combined with the high power level and tutor-like nature of the card, leads to its ban in Archon


Entomb can lead to explosive starts in dedicated decks that use the graveyard and reanimation spells to get huge creatures or creatures with key abilities onto the battlefield. This strength can result in quick, non-interactive games. In addition to these obvious benefits, Entomb also enables a range of other strategies that want to have certain cards, like Life from the Loam, in the graveyard.

In general, the effect of moving a specific card directly from the library to another zone (tutoring) is one of the strongest effects in the game. This strength is multiplied in Archon, a singleton format, as it dilutes the idea of having only one copy of each card in the deck by adding virtual copies of the card to the deck. Most tutor effects are limited by various restrictions, such as cost, cast restrictions, the destination of the tutored card, or the legality of the target cards.

However, Entomb bypasses all of these hurdles by being an instant that can search for any card in the graveyard at the low cost of one black mana. These advantages and the explosiveness of the card justify its banning in Archon.


Fastbond breaks a core principle of Magic by allowing a player to play any number of lands on each of their turns, while coming with the minimal downside of paying a small amount of life. With access to cards like Crucible of Worlds or Ramunap Excavator and a fetchland, land-centric strategies can play a nearly unlimited number of lands as early as turn one. Even without recursion, Fastbond enables the player to accelerate into early commander casts and recasts. Because it provides disproportionate mana acceleration without a meaningful cost, Fastbond is banned in Archon.

Fierce Guardianship

Fierce Guardianship is part of the Commander 2020 free spell cycle. Once you have (one of) your commander(s) on the battlefield, you gain access to a free negate effect.

Like the other free spells, Fierce Guardianship obviously violates the philosophy of Archon, which states that "gaining access to more mana than intended by the game design should only be allowed when that access is achieved by trading meaningful resources." As a result, the discussion surrounding the card has primarily focused on the power of the negate effect and how easy it is to set up in decks played in Archon.

While Negate itself is not a premier card in Archon, the printing and play rate of Force of Negation have shown that getting a negate effect for free makes it a staple in almost all blue decks. Setting up Fierce Guardianship is also very easy for many already powerful decks that feature cheap commanders and even easier for most played partner combinations. For these reasons, Fierce Guardianship is banned in Archon.

Gaea’s Cradle

In creature-heavy, green decks, Gaea's Cradle provides the fastest mana acceleration. The way it produces mana leads to snowballing, as Gaea's Cradle can produce more mana for more creatures, increasing the power level almost exponentially. This allows for game-ending moves in the early turns with little opportunity for interaction. Although the opponent can interact with the creatures, Gaea's Cradle itself is a land, severely limiting interaction possibilities. Decks that play Gaea's Cradle can easily mitigate the requirement of having at least one creature in play and can include this powerful card at no real cost. Due to the limited opportunity for interaction, explosiveness, and inadequate cost-benefit ratio, Gaea's Cradle is banned.

Hermit Druid

Hermit Druid is one of the historically best 1-card combos in the game. It allows you to mill your entire library in one turn and enables combos from the graveyard with Dread Return.

The downside of not being able to play basic lands is hardly an issue for creature combo decks that want Hermit Druid, as they already play close to zero basic lands. These decks also already include lines that rely on getting their deck into the graveyard with the help of cards like Celaphid Illusionist and Nomad en-Kor. Hermit Druid would give these decks a one-card combo tool while also not adding much to the rest of the format.

Imperial Seal

Imperial Seal allows the player casting it to tutor any one card to the top of their library, giving access to a silver bullet or game-finishing card for the low cost of a single mana and two life. Because it provides high consistency for a very low mana investment, Imperial Seal is banned in Archon.

Jeweled Lotus

While the power level of Jeweled Lotus is far from that of Black Lotus, it still violates one of the core principles of the format by granting access to three extra mana without requiring the player to trade meaningful resources for it. It also greatly increases the variance of games, as casting a powerful commander on turn one is often a game-winning play that generates too much of an advantage. This leads to non-games that are solely decided by whether this card is drawn or not.

In addition, Jeweled Lotus benefits certain decks more than others, as the fewer colors a commander has, the more powerful Jeweled Lotus becomes. This is especially problematic in the case of commanders that only require generic mana to be cast and cheaply-costed planeswalker commanders like those featured in Commander Legends.


Karakas' second activated ability leads to two problems.

  1. Karakas is not only a repeatable answer for many opposing creatures, but it also answers a large portion of commanders in the format. In addition, Karakas can also be used to benefit strategies that use legendary creatures and their "enter the battlefield" or "leave the battlefield" triggers.
  2. Furthermore, Karakas is a land that can produce white mana and has no drawback besides being a legendary permanent, which on the one hand limits potential interaction and on the other hand minimizes the deck construction costs for white decks in general. Overall, the play pattern goes against the spirit of Archon and Karakas is therefore banned.
Library of Alexandria

Library of Alexandria offers the potential of drawing a card every turn for the low cost of tapping it, thus skipping its mana production. The opportunity cost of including Library of Alexandria is very low, as its floor is a colorless mana source, while its ceiling is game-winning by itself. Because it has the potential to create immense amounts of card advantage without investing meaningful resources, Library of Alexandria is banned in Archon.

Mana Crypt

Mana Crypt has similar reasons for being banned as the Moxen. It doesn't cost any mana and provides its player with a tremendous head start in every game they can play it. A Mana Crypt on the first turn generates a game-winning advantage. Its drawback is often mitigated by the fact that the game usually ends way before its effect becomes relevant.

Mana Drain

Once a pillar of many Vintage decks, Mana Drain not only provides the powerful counter effect of Counterspell, but also adds a substantial resource swing in favor of the player casting it by generating mana. The added tempo that Mana Drain generates, in comparison to other counterspell options, pushes it over the edge. Normally, tempo advantages gained by counterspells are achieved by trading a low mana value card for a card of higher mana value, but the added mana of Mana Drain creates scenarios that are too swingy. For this reason, Mana Drain is banned in Archon.

Mana Vault

While other ritual-like effects are found on instants and sorceries, forcing the user to spend the mana the turn they play it, Mana Vault allows the player to "pay ahead" and bank the mana for a later turn. A turn one Mana Vault enables the caster to have five mana available on turn 2, which can create very strong boards ahead of the curve. In addition, the artifact type of Mana Vault makes it easily abusable by artifact-centric decks. Because of this, Mana Vault is banned in Archon.

Mishra’s Workshop

Mishra's Workshop has the significant downside of only being able to pay for artifact spells, but these are some of the most abusable card types in Magic. When combined with the fact that it is a land, allowing it to be a repeatable source of mana over several turns, the drawback is negligible in decks focusing around the artifact card type. Because of its over-proportional mana acceleration capabilities, Mishra's Workshop is banned in Archon.

Mox Diamond, Mox Emerald, Mox Jet, Mox Pearl, Mox Ruby and Mox Sapphire

Part of the notorious 'Power Nine', the Moxen are arguably some of the best cards in the game that provide access to mana. However, they do so at almost no cost, and therefore are banned in Archon.

Mystical Tutor

Mystical Tutor allows the player to search their library for any sorcery or instant card and put it on top of their library at instant speed, for only one mana. This provides a high level of consistency for a low cost, making it a powerful tool in any deck. However, this power comes at a cost and Mystical Tutor is banned in Archon for breaking the core principle of requiring meaningful resources to gain access to more mana than intended by the game design.

Natural Order

For only four mana, Natural Order allows you to search your deck for the biggest green creature and put it into play, while sacrificing one of your own creatures as a cost. The combination of reduced mana cost and tutoring for a specific card makes this card too powerful, leading to its ban in Archon.

Oath of Druids

Oath of Druids not only allows players to cheat on mana cost by putting huge late game threats onto the battlefield, it also fuels the graveyard while doing so. While it has a symmetrical effect, the decks playing it can easily break parity while opponents cannot play around a resolved Oath of Druids without killing their own deployed creatures, sometimes even their own commander. Since resolving an Oath of Druids trigger for the deck playing it usually results in a game-winning board state for only two mana, Oath of Druids is banned in Archon.

Price of Progress

The usual rate for two mana burn spells is four damage at most, often with an additional cost. Price of Progress often not only matches but exceeds this damage cap, providing too much damage that often ends the game for the investment, leading to its banning in Archon.

Protean Hulk

Protean Hulk, when combined with the card Flash, provides an additional way to enable the already popular Cephalid Breakfast combo. The cost of this combo is just two mana, as you only need to cast Flash, making it possible to execute as early as turn 2. For this reason, Protean Hulk is banned in Archon.

Sol Ring

When you play Sol Ring, you are far ahead of your opponent in terms of mana, which frequently results in quick victories for the player using this artifact. If Sol Ring were legal, every deck archetype, including aggro, control, or combo, would want to include it.

Strip Mine

Strip Mine is a powerful card that can destroy any land. Its repeatable effects often make the game revolve around it. The effect is not a fair one-for-one exchange as it targets the most important land in a scenario, leading to a situation where the opponent cannot cast spells and has no chance of interaction. Strip Mine is banned because it is a land card with low cost, yet it has immense power and leads to a miserable play experience, as the opponent cannot protect against it.

Thassa’s Oracle

Thassa’s Oracle provides an alternative win condition in emptying the own library before resolving its trigger. What makes it so problematic is, for one, its low mana cost, but also its resilience to interaction. When going for a Thassa’s Oracle win, the player attempting to win can cast Thassa’s Oracle, and while it’s enters the Battlefield trigger is still on the stack, emptying their library with some other means. This can only be stopped by stifling the trigger, which is a rare effect, or countering the attempted self-mill. In the latter case, the player casting Thassa’s Oracle does not win, but also doesn't expose themselves to a potential loss due to an empty library. For providing an easy alternate win condition with a low cost, Thassa’s Oracle is banned in Archon.

The Tabernacle at Pendrell Vale

Lands are notoriously hard to interact with in Magic. While we have access to tools like Wasteland and Blood Moon, these are not consistently present or tutorable by most decks, allowing The Tabernacle at Pendrell Vale to be a highly consistent threat on the battlefield. By skipping a land drop, it provides the player playing it with a substantial mana advantage, forcing their opponent to invest mana to keep their board alive, thus, stalling the game and providing the opportunity for the player to catch up to an aggressive board state. The low intractability, paired with its high board impact, resulted in the banning of The Tabernacle at Pendrell Vale in Archon.

Time Vault

Time Vaults design intends it to skip one of your turns to later use its effect to gain two turns in a row. However, it is worded in such a way that untapping it via some other means results in the player controlling it gaining extra turns. As untapping artifacts repeatedly is easy to come by, it can create infinite turn loops easily, thus leading to its banning in Archon.

Time Walk

For a very low cost, Time Walk allows a player to take an extra turn. In a game that involves a constant build-up of resources over time, a full turn's additional development turned out to be far more powerful than Magic's early designers had imagined. Several cards that grant additional turns have been printed since Time Walk, but always at a much greater cost. Therefore Time Walk is banned.


Tinker gives the player casting it access to their strongest Artifact for the low cost of three mana. The downside of sacrificing a single artifact doesn’t warrant its immense power of tutoring and cheating on mana, which is why Tinker is banned in Archon.

Tolarian Academy

Being not only part of one of the most powerful card cycles of Magic's history, Tolarian Academy is widely considered the most powerful of the five. It also has a snowball mechanic to it, stronger even then its counterparts since artifacts usually do not have color restrictions in terms of casting them. This enables explosive starts and grants blue decks access to a very high amount of mana at almost no cost. Tolarian Academy also is a land and is therefore difficult to interact with. Because of the limited chance for interaction, explosiveness and inadequate cost-benefit ratio, Tolarian Academy is banned.

Treasure Cruise

Treasure Cruise is, in the later stages of the game, an Ancestral Recall-esque card at sorcery speed. It provides too much card advantage for the low mana investment needed and setting up a feasibly large graveyard to reduce its cost to only a single blue mana is easy to achieve. For this reason, Treasure Cruise is banned.

Vampiric Tutor

Vampiric Tutor allows the player casting it to tutor any one card to the top of their library at instant speed, giving access to a silver bullet or a game-finishing card for the low cost of a single mana and two life. For providing high consistency for a very low mana investment, Vampiric Tutor is banned in Archon.

Banned as a commander

Derevi, Empyrial Tactician

Derevi bypasses the Commander tax and lends herself to a rather easy opportunity to build oppressive stax-type decks, where her ability is used to circumvent the disadvantages for her player. This is problematic from a balancing and a fun perspective, therefore Derevi is banned as Commander in Archon.

Edgar Markov

Edgar has a passive ability which can’t be negated. Each vampire becomes a two for one - with no way for interaction. Edgar Markov would lead to a less diverse metagame and poses the active threat of pushing control strategies out of the meta. Therefore he is banned as Commander in Archon.

Emry, Lurker of the Loch

Emry, Lurker of the Loch was printed in Throne of Eldraine, a set infamous for having many powerful and format-warping cards—like Oko, Thief of Crowns and Once Upon a Time—which were banned in many other formats.

While WotC does not use non-evergreen keyword abilities for non-core sets, Emry basically has affinity for artifacts.This means that she often only costs one blue mana to cast, as decks playing her as the commander run a high density of cheap artifacts. This cost reduction also affects the commander tax, which makes her player able to still cast her for little mana even if she keeps getting removed over the duration of a game.

Her ability to recur artifacts from the graveyard also makes it difficult for the opponent to permanently deal with problematic artifacts like Winter Orb, and it also allows the Emry player to grind games by recurring cheap artifacts for value. She also enables a large amount of infinite combos that, being artifact-based, can be easily tutored up in a blue deck.

For cheating on commander tax and for the high redundancy and consistency of the decks she was played in, Emry, Lurker of the Loch is banned as a commander in Archon.

Najeela, the Blade-Blossom

As probably one of the most powerful five-coloured Commanders ever printed, Najeela, the Blade-Blossom was introduced to the game with the release of Battlebond in 2018.

In contrast with the Ninja archetype, which was not very competitive before Yuriko was released, Warrior was already a common tribe with a large amount of powerful cards prior to the printing of Najeela. As a result, it did not take long for players to build not just efficient tribal variants of the deck, but also goodstuff/midrange versions, as Najeela was not powerful only at the helm of tribal decks. Being able to play any card regardless of its color, while also having a cheap commander that can finish games in a reasonable amount of time, means that Najeela was also an excellent choice for five-coloured midrange strategies.

The most problematic builds, however, were those focused on the tribal plan. Being able to run a high density of efficient one-, two-, and three-drops, in combination with Najeela’s first ability, meant that these decks were able to flood the board and attack lethally very quickly. Her second ability also fitted aggressive gameplans perfectly, as it could be used as a mana sink, often resulting in lethal damage even once her controller’s hand had been played out. This ability even allowed the deck to run combos with Derevi, Empyrial Tactician and Druids’ Repository to finish games even faster. While Najeela is a small creature and she can be easily dealt with, decks running her as a commander were so fast that opponents often struggled a lot to do so on time.

Due to these reasons, and to maintain a fair and healthy play environment, Najeela, the Blade-Blossom is banned as a commander in Archon.

Oloro, Ageless Ascetic

Oloros passive ability would grant such a massive boon, that running an aggro strategy would not be feasible against him. An unbanned Oloro would nullify each aggro deck playing against him, which would lead to less diverse meta. Therefore, Oloro is banned as Commander.

Uro, Titan of Nature’s Wrath

Ever since Uro was printed, decks featuring it as a commander have remained overwhelmingly powerful in Archon. As it can be cast over and over again, Uro works as a one-card engine that generates an insurmountable resource advantage, giving its player extra mana, extra cards, and extra time to exploit them. As if that were not enough, once its player is able to escape it, Uro also becomes an efficient finisher that quickly closes games. While Uro decks do need to fill their graveyards in order to activate its escape ability, they usually do so easily by playing a mix of cheap counterspells and efficient cantrips.

Uro decks are extremely resilient against a broad variety of strategies, as they always have a readily available source of life gain, ramp, and extra cards, as well as a powerful blocker. All of that is also backed up with a suite of counterspells that provide protection both against the opponent’s threats and for the deck’s own one-card combo. While some effective interaction against Uro does exist, it is hard for most decks to run a consistent amount of it without hurting most other matchups. Trying to fight Uro on the board is often a losing battle, as well, as removing him either with spells or by blocking usually still leaves the Uro player in a favorable position due to its enter the battlefield and attack triggers. As a result of all this, fair aggro and control decks have been pushed out of the format.

For these reasons, we consider that Uro is too strong for the format.

Urza, Lord High Artificer

Urza has been a large part of Magic's history, so, when he was printed in Modern Horizons, he fulfilled many player's dreams to have one of the most powerful and iconic characters in the game's history finally realized in card form. Unfortunately, Urza lived up to his reputation and Urza, Lord High Artificer is arguably one of the most powerful mono blue commanders ever printed.

In a vacuum, Urza is very powerful for his mana cost. For just four mana, you get a 1/4 body, an artifact token whose power and toughness are equal to the number of artifacts you control, an ability that lets you tap any of your untapped artifacts in play for a blue mana, and, to top it all off, you can pay five mana, shuffle your library, reveal the top card and cast it until the end of the turn.

The reason Urza's abilities are troublesome is that they are in the colour blue, which is historically the best one to pair with artifacts due to the large number of tutors available to it. This leads to massive mana advantages for the Urza player with little to no effort and without  committing any additional meaningful resources to the board outside of playing the game normally. Winter Orb is a specifically problematic card in combination with Urza’s second ability, as you can tap it at the end of your opponent’s turn to be able to untap all of your lands at the beginning of yours, thus creating non-games.

Interacting with Urza is also hard to do, as usual anti-artifact cards such as Stony Silence and Null Rod don't do anything to stop his second ability due to Urza himself being the source of the mana ability.

All in all, Urza shares a number of the same fundamental issues that led to the banning of other mono blue commanders, like Emry, Lurker of the Loch; Baral, Chief of Compliance; and Jace, Vryn’s Prodigy. Explanations for why those cards are banned are available on this page, and they provide further context and reference to Urza’s ban.

For breaking several principles of the format and being prone to creating non-games, Urza has been banned as a commander in Archon.

Yuriko, the Tiger’s Shadow

Yuriko’s ability bypasses the restrictions for the repeated casting of your Commander. She ignores the Commander tax and the resulting aggro deck is too strong to be effectively answered by a control deck. Yuriko is banned as a Commander.

Banned as a partner

Bruse Tarl, Boorish Herder

As one of the original Partners, Bruse Tarl is one of the few Partner Commanders which offers access to two colors, in his case, the two most aggressive colors in our format. Pair this with his ability to enable his paired commander to attack for large amounts, thus skipping top end cards in your deck, Bruse Tarl offers too little restriction to not be considered as a partner choice for aggressive lists. This is why it is banned in Archon.

Jeska, Thrice Reborn

There are several reasons why Jeska, Thrice Reborn is a problematic partner commander. Firstly, decks with her at the helm can outgrind most other strategies by simply casting her multiple times from the command zone, as her static ability allows her to become an ever-growing threat. This problem is then exacerbated by the fact that she is often played alongside another low cost partner, which makes it easy for her to come into play with a high number of counters rather quickly, meaning that she is also exceedingly good at stopping aggressive decks in the early turns of a game with her minus ability.

Moreover, her first activated ability means that Jeska decks can close games very quickly, making them revolve around her and punishing the opponent for not being able to remove every single creature. At the same time, her second activated ability also means that playing small blockers to stop potentially lethal threats is usually futile. As a result, Jeska decks can often use cheap pump spells (such as Berserk, Rancor, or Scale Up) and creatures that can grow quickly (like Monastery Swiftspear or Sprite Dragon) to achieve turn 3 or 4 kills that can feel unfair, as they come out of nowhere. This is a result of her being designed for multiplayer Commander, and not for 1v1 formats. While some of the latter feature similar strategies (e.g. Modern Infect), these decks are built around very specific card combinations, whereas Jeska lists can usually win off any 3/X creature.

Finally, we believe that Jeska would not be an overpowered commander if it were not for her Partner ability, as most of the cards that make her so strong are not red. Because of this, Jeska is banned as a partner only.

Keleth, Sunmare Familiar

Esior/Keleth has been a controversial deck since the release of Commander Legends. After carefully considering it, we have decided that Esior doesn’t do much on her own and that Keleth is by far the more problematic of the two commanders, as she enables very linear and consistent play patterns that are really hard to play around. The same problems arise when Keleth is played alongside Yoshimaru, ever Faithful and Rograkh, Son of Rograkh, which leads to very stale, repetitive games and points once again to Keleth being the problem.

On top of that, Keleth’s mana value of 2 enables any deck playing him to develop a very strong position with as little as two lands, which results in yet another advantage when it comes to mulliganing.

However, we still think that a deck with only Keleth at the helm could be an interesting mono-White option, an archetype that hasn’t been very present in the format lately.

For these reasons Keleth, Sunmare Familiar is banned as a partner in Archon.

Vial Smasher the Fierce

Like a number of the other commanders on this list, Vial Smasher the Fierce was not created for a 1v1 format like Archon. As a result, the main downside of her ability—its inherent randomness—is nullified when you have only one opponent. This, combined with the lower life totals and with cards with a high converted mana cost that can be cast for cheap or even for free, means that Vial Smasher decks were able to deal an unfair amount of damage very quickly.

Moreover, having the partner ability, she could also be paired up with other powerful commanders, such as Tymna or Thrasios, to create versatile decks that had her as a potent finisher while also being able to rely on a wide array of tools to deal with most situations. This also allowed Vial Smasher decks to run even more spells that could abuse her ability, which pushed her even further beyond into unfair territory.

For these reasons, Vial Smasher the Fierce is banned as a partner in Archon.

Banned as a companion

Lutri, the Spellchaser

The companion mechanic from Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths is a reward for imposing an extra restriction on how you build your deck. In the case of the companion card Lutri, the Spellchaser, the deck-building restriction is to play singleton. The idea is to reward a player for choosing a diversity of different cards rather than multiple copies of the most efficient card for the job. This makes a lot of sense in most formats, where it often dramatically alters the way a player would choose to build their deck in exchange for starting the game with an extra powerful card.

In Archon, however, the Singleton deck-building restriction is already built into the format rules. This means that there is no trade-off against how one would normally build a deck. Any deck including both blue and red would benefit from including Lutri at no deck-building cost.

This isn't in line with the design intent of the companion mechanic, and we believe it will create a large imbalance between decks capable of including Lutri and those that can't. Therefore Lutri, the Spellchaser is banned as a Companion in Archon.