Wizards of the Coast has just made a change to the Banned List for their digital game client, Magic: The Gathering Online, banning Peregrine Drake from the popular Pauper format.
For those who aren't aware, Pauper is a variant fan-made Magic: The Gathering format in which players are limited to only using common-rarity cards, with decks in this format tending to be much cheaper than those in Standard, Modern, and Legacy and Vintage as a result. Pauper has gained steam as a budget alternative to those formats, not only because of the low price of the decks, but also because the format allows for a greater variety in decks and strategies than other formats. The popularity of the format prompted Wizards of the Coast to eventually add support for the format to Magic: The Gathering Online, with the caveat that card legality was to be decided by printings in Magic: The Gathering Online product and not real-world paper sets.
Until recently, Peregrine Drake was illegal to use in Pauper, as it was printed at uncommon rarity in Urza's Saga and Planechase 2012; however, it saw a printing at common-rarity in Eternal Masters and quickly gained prominence in the Pauper format. Historically, the "free spell" mechanic that Peregrine Drake uses has been considered to be broken, and as a result it hasn't been revisited since the Urza block in the same manner. Instead in Mirrodin when looking at the same space, they gave you the mana to your mana pool instead of untapping lands, which had proven to be an issue with multiple mana lands, especially with Tolarian Academy.
These changes to the Pauper banned list will go into effect on November 16, 2016, when the digital client is down for scheduled maintenance. At the time of these announced changes, Blue/Red Drake decks accounts for 23.47% of the metagame (in comparison, Blue/Red Drake decks only accounted for 4.64% of the metagame on July 04, 2016, just two-and-a-half weeks after Eternal Masters was made available on Magic: The Gathering Online).
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What are your thoughts on this banning? Do you support it and think it's healthy for the Pauper format? If not, why? Let us know in the comment section below.