With every new Magic: The Gathering set comes new updates to the Banned and Restricted List, the list that governs the cards that players are allowed to use in Standard, Modern, Legacy, Vintage, EDH/Commander and Pauper, and Aether Revolt is no exception. What is very unusual about this Banned and Restricted List update is that it comes before Aether Revolt's pre-release events, when typically Wizards of the Coast updates the Banned and Restricted List on the first Monday following pre-release events.
The following cards have been banned from Standard for the following reasons:
- Emrakul, the Promised End: "Created to be scarily powerful, Emrakul, the Promised End delivered on that promise too well. Emrakul faced too little resistance and ended games too easily. She was the world-ending, all-powerful monster she was in the story, which was too much for Standard."
- Smuggler's Copter: "Simply put, Smuggler's Copter is too efficient and shows up in too many decks, diminishing the format's diversity. We want Planeswalkers, sorcery-speed removal, and a variety of vehicles to be viable options, and believe removing Smuggler's Copter will allow them to flourish again. Of the top archetypes in Standard, very few didn't play four copies of Smuggler's Copter, stifling many creative, fun options. Smuggler's Copter was the result of a new card type pushed too far, and, as such, is now banned."
- Reflector Mage: "Our data showed the White-Blue Flash deck was too powerful against the field, and Reflector Mage has been on players' lists of most-disliked cards since the days of Collected Company. Other cards were discussed to check White-Blue Flash, but Reflector Mage came up time and time again as both frustrating and a targeted way to diminish the White-Blue Flash deck."
- Gitaxian Probe: "Gitaxian Probe increased the number of third-turn kills in a few ways, but particularly by giving perfect information (and a card) to decks that often have to make strategic decisions about going "all-in." This hurt the ability of reactive decks to effectively bluff or for the aggressive deck to miss-sequence their turn. Ultimately, the card did too much for too little cost."
- Golgari Grave-Troll: "Dredge, the mechanic and the deck, has a negative impact on Modern by pushing the format too far toward a battle of sideboards. With the printing of Cathartic Reunion and Prized Amalgam, the deck once again became unhealthy for the format. While those cards were discussed, the real offender always has been the dredge mechanic itself."
In addition, Wizards of the Coast will be updating the frequency of Banned and Restricted List updates beginning with Aether Revolt, updating the list the first Monday following a new sets pre-release events, and five weeks after that sets Pro Tour, also on a Monday. Wizards of the Coast feels that this new timeframe will help to keep organized play "healthy and fun".
These changes will go into effect for the paper variant of Magic: The Gathering on January 20, 2017, and for the digital Magic: The Gathering Online client on January 11, 2017.
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What are your thoughts on the updates to the Banned and Restricted List? Do you agree with the cards that Wizards of the Coast has banned from Standard and Modern? Let us know in the comment section below.