While Commander’s grassroots origins make it different from many other Magic formats, it still has a ban list like the rest of them. However, since Commander is not a format with tons of tournament data to back up banning certain cards, some players are unsure why certain offenders end up on the list. Today, we’re going to look at Primeval Titan, examine why it’s banned in Commander and whether it would be safe to take it off the list.
The Titan is a six mana 6/6 with trample, and like the other Magic 2011 titans, it has an ability that triggers when it enters the battlefield and when it attacks. In Primeval Titan’s case, you tutor up two lands and put them onto the battlefield tapped.
This is incredibly powerful because it allows you to search up nonbasic lands — which is uncommon for most land-tutors. Magic is filled with many powerful utility lands, and every time a new one gets printed, Primeval Titan gets even stronger!
Primeval Titan in 60-Card Constructed Formats
The Wolf Run could allow you to quickly finish the opponent with a huge Titan. With Valakut, the Titan could assist you in quickly assembling Mountains to start triggering its effect multiple times a turn, at which point the game virtually ended.
The Titan has also been part of a tier one Modern deck since day one of the format. These “Amulet Titan” decks combine “Prime Time” with Amulet of Vigor. With the Amulet in play, the lands you search up enter untapped, giving you immediate access to them.
This deck can quickly ramp into the Titan, which often searches up Boros Garrison and Slayers’ Stronghold. This allows you to use the Stronghold’s ability immediately, allowing you to attack with the Titan and search up two more lands. If you get another Garrison and Sunhome, Fortress of the Legion, you can hit your opponent for sixteen as early as turn two.
Why is Primeval Titan banned in Commander?
At this point you might be thinking: “OK, but what does all of that have to do with Commander?” Well, we have now established a slew of powerful things the Titan can do in formats that have much smaller card pools than EDH. The combos and cards mentioned above are of course legal in Commander, too, but things get even sillier with more options.
Things can get even sillier when you search up a two-land combo, which the Titan allows you to do quite easily. If Primeval Titan was legal in Commander, it could assemble the following two combos just by entering the battlefield.
Keep in mind that these are just two examples and not an exhaustive list. This Titan can do a lot more, and all of it at a similar power level.
Should Primeval Titan be Unbanned in Commander?
Absolutely not. Not only is Primeval Titan incredibly powerful, many games would simply become a race to get Primeval Titan into play first. At worst, it gives you an incredible mana advantage that snowballs, and the titan’s ability to search up powerful land combos gives it incredible upside.
Additionally, Commander players love to blink and recur cards with powerful enter the battlefield abilities, and that means there are many decks out there that would find a way to trigger the titan’s effect even more frequently.
What do you think? Should Primeval Titan remain banned or should we be able to tutor up tons of lands with ease? You can hit me up on Twitter with your take, along with suggestions for cards you’d like to see me address in the future.
Jacob has been playing Magic for the better part of 24 years, and he especially loves playing Magic’s Limited formats. He also holds a PhD in history from the University of Oklahoma. In 2015, he started his YouTube channel, “Nizzahon Magic,” where he combines his interests with many videos covering Magic’s competitive history. When he’s not playing Magic or making Magic content, he can be found teaching college-level history courses or caring for a menagerie of pets with his wife.