Effective June 23, 2024, we’re introducing the following changes to Pauper Duel Commander (this does not affect multiplayer):
Esior, Wardwing Familiar is banned.
Rograkh, Son of Rohgahh is banned.
• Commander damage is abolished.
All cards that bring a sticker or an Attraction into the game are banned.

Esior, Wardwing Familiar
Esior is arguably the strongest partner available in our format. Initially we weren’t sure if it’s problematic enough to be banned, but as we’ve gained more experience with it and observed the metagame, we’ve concluded it indeed is. Costing only 2 mana, it’s an efficient blocker that’s very hard to remove, it protects your more important commander, ensures you have something to play early on, and it’s good at stealing/protecting initiative and monarchy.
When combined with Dargo it creates a very fast yet resilient voltron deck. When combined with Armix it creates an unusually powerful control deck that’s resistant to bad draws.
It simply does too much when it takes up only a half of the command zone.

Rograkh, Son of Rohgahh
Rograkh and Keleth have proved they’re simply too fast and consistent to be a healthy part of the metagame (with the pairing taking down several tournaments in multiple communities), so we’ve decided to take an action on them.
For the sake of simplicity we didn’t want to ban the specific pairing, but rather one of the commanders. With Esior now banned, we believe Keleth should be a perfectly fine part of the format, while Rograkh could still be problematic when paired with Dargo, hence our choice.

Commander damage
The most contested decision this time was removing the rule which causes you to lose the game if you’ve taken 21 damage from a single commander. The proponents of this change argued in favour of it this way:
• In has no impact on the vast majority of games, but still requires tracking up to 4 extra numbers (if partners are involved).
• No other 1v1 Commander formats have such a rule.
• It makes voltron decks harder to interact with because lifegain doesn’t work against them.
• It encourages voltron decks to rely on commander damage, which makes games more one-sided (not including other sources of damage makes voltron faster, but once the commander dies, it’s more difficult to stay in the game in a meaningful way).

Stickers and Attractions
We’ve unanimously decided to ban sticker and Attraction cards for multiple reasons:
• They’ve become banned in all WotC-maintainted formats as well as Duel Commander.
• As WotC themselves admitted, they should’ve stayed in the realm of silver border.
• When played optimally, they create logistical issues even if neither player has sticker cards in their deck (because it’s optimal to use sticker sheets even if just for the bluff).
• It brings paper and MTGO card pools closer, which will be especially important if MTGO allows playing Freeform Commander with 25 life.
• The strongest sticker cards are likely too powerful.