On February 15th, Wizards of the Coast released an updated banned and restricted list for Magic. In case you missed it, or are unsure about anything on the list, I am here to give a quick summary of what all this means for the game and the meta.
It is worth noting that there are no changes to the Standard format. The only changes to the game have been to the Historic, Legacy, Modern, Pioneer, and Vintage formats. While all these cards are banned now, don’t toss them out the window just yet. They could always come back in the future once the meta is better suited for them.
In Modern, five cards took the hit: Field of the Dead, Mystic Sanctuary, Simian Spirit Guide, Tibalt’s Trickery, and Uro, Titan of Nature’s Wrath. The major reason for these bans is to create a more balanced meta, since Uro has been dominating the scene for so long. Field of the Dead and Mystic Sanctuary were often bogging down game times in the middle for control decks, and Tibalt was making Oops! All Spell decks way too powerful.
In Legacy, we only have three cards banned: Arcum’s Astrolabe, Dreadhorde Arcanist, and the infamous Okos, Thief of Crowns. Okos and Dreadhorde Arcanist were limiting the meta with their power level, so they have taken the boot. Arcum’s Astrolabe was also breaking the meta by allowing too much access to colour variation, as well as card draw.
In Historic, only two made the ban list: Omnath, Locus of Creation, and Uro, Titan of Nature’s Wrath. Both of these cards have seen a lot of presence in the meta, and have become very overplayed, and overpowered.
In Pioneer, five cards were banned: Balustrade Spy, Teferi, Time Raveler, Undercity Informer, Uro, Titan of Nature’s Wrath, and Wilderness Reclamation. Uro has proven to be too powerful for the format (as with everywhere else). Teferi and Wilderness Reclamation have proven to be two equally powerful deck builds, but over stayed in the format. Balustrade Spy and Undercity Informer have been big contenders in the Oops! All Spells decks, making it easy to mill an entire library.
However, there is one silver lining in all these bans. In Vintage, there was one card unbanned: Lurrus of the Dream Den. This card will offer lots of opportunities to new decks (especially our Dimir Rogues friends).
The Cascade Rule
The biggest rule change is the restriction of the Cascade rule. The Cascade rule is as follows:
“When you cast this spell, exile cards from the top of your library until you exile a nonland card whose converted mana cost is less than this spell’s converted mana cost. You may cast that spell without paying its mana cost if its converted mana cost is less than this spell’s converted mana cost. Then put all cards exiled this way that weren’t cast on the bottom of your library in a random order.”
The newest restriction on this rule is in response to the use of double-sided cards. When you activate the Cascade ability and you exile into a double-sided card, you are not able to cast the back side of the card onto the field. Only the front facing card can be cast.
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