Ban list for commander

I don't see any announcement for Trade Secrets. Why has it been banned? Is there any mention of this card from Wizards, a card they made specifically for Commander?

  • 5
    Trade Secrets was not made specifically for Commander. TS was originally printed in Onslaught.
    – Brian S
    Nov 15, 2013 at 20:06

3 Answers 3


Commander/EDH is a community-moderated format. Its banned list is not managed by Wizards of the Coast or the DCI. Official announcements from the EDH Rules Committee an be found on mtgcommander.net.

In this case, the April 2013 banned list announcement explains (emphasis added):

Trade Secrets is much like Limited Resources in that has some issues in a multiplayer environment. It isn't a problem when one player draws four cards and another draws eight. Trade Secrets is a problem when both players decide to draw 80 cards and effectively turn a four-player game into a two-player game. It just doesn't add enough to the format to justify the games that it single-handedly ruins.

Duel Commander, also known as "French" 1-on-1 EDH, has a separate rules committee and banned list. You can find their official postings on duelcommander.com. Trade Secrets isn't banned in Duel Commander, since it's not a problem outside multiplayer formats.

  • I was just about to post the fact that EDH isn't WotC moderated. I think this is an important point when it comes to the ban list.
    – SocioMatt
    May 3, 2013 at 19:02

It breaks multiplayer commander.

Two players in cahoots draw as many cards as they wish (including Reliquary Tower, or some other way to extend their max hand size).

There are other things, but I believe this is the primary reason.

  • I agree. I think this card was too "chummy" and was causing severe unfunness when two players worked together to beat the rest of the table. Plus it was played in every blue deck just because of how good the draw was.
    – SocioMatt
    May 3, 2013 at 18:45

This card can literally just kill you and hand the win to an opponent, it never should be played.

The moment it resolves, they choose to draw 52 cards and you lose as a state based action.

  • When they draw 52, you draw 104 and deck out, it is on resolution so there is no chance for priority to flash out labman etc
    – Vorac1ty
    Feb 24, 2020 at 11:13
  • 1
    Trade Secrets doesn't work that way. Either player isn't required to draw additional cards. The targeted player must draw at least two cards, though. Feb 24, 2020 at 12:18
  • 1
    You missed the "up to" part.
    – GendoIkari
    Feb 24, 2020 at 18:41
  • When you can draw "up to" 4 cards each time, you can just choose to draw 0 over and over again, you are not forced to draw any cards at all.
    – Andrew
    Nov 24, 2020 at 14:01

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