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Magic: The Gathering Makes Oathbreaker Its Newest Official Format

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The community-favourite Oathbreaker format for Magic: The Gathering has now been officially acknowledged by Wizards of the Coast, joining the likes of Pioneer, Modern, and Commander as an ‘official’ way to play the Game.

Formats are different rulesets that change how Magic is played, adjusting things like card pools and life totals to provide different experiences. With this acknowledgement by Wizards, Oathbreaker could be in line to receive some official support and product releases specifically for it.

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While Oathbreaker is now an official format and listed on the official MTG site – meaning Wizards can host events, release products with it in mind, and include it on digital platforms like Magic Online – it’ll still be managed by the Oathbreaker Rules Committee. This group makes decisions on behalf of the format, such as banlists, mechanics interactions, and other necessary rulings, and will remain discrete from Wizards of the Coast.

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Oathbreaker is very similar to Commander in a lot of ways, including the colour restrictions placed on decks, the singleton nature, the eternal cardpool, and being a social, multiplayer format. However, instead of a 100-card deck built around a legendary creature like Commander, Oathbreaker tasks you with building a 60-card deck led by any Planeswalker card and a ‘Signature spell’ – an instant or sorcery you can cast from the Command zone.

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The current banlist for Oathbreaker is very similar to Commander’s, with a few key differences. The biggest by far is the banning of Sol Ring, the most common card in the entire Commander format. Other fast mana cards you often see in Commander are banned here, too, such as Ad Nauseam, Jeweled Lotus, and Mana Crypt.

It also has the usual starting life total of 20, rather than Commander’s 40. While Oathbreaker still embraces jank and the shared play experience like Commander, all of these differences come together to make Oathbreaker a more focused, streamlined format as every point of damage and every card needs to matter in some way.

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No announcements have been made by Wizards as to its plans for the Oathbreaker format, however it likely won’t be long until we start seeing it creep out in places such as Magic Online and in-person events.

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