Monday, 03 August 2020 15:30

Eight more cards banned and suspended in new B&R update

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Teferi, Time Raveler is now heavily restricted. Teferi, Time Raveler is now heavily restricted. MAGIC UNTAPPED

The newest Banned & Restricted update has been released today, and one card in particular has been hit very hard across multiple formats. Teferi, Time Raveler has been banned from two formats, and suspended in a third. Read on to find out why.

Four cards in total have been banned from the Standard format. Ramp decks featuring Growth Spiral and Wilderness Reclamation have proven to be very powerful, and they make up an outsized portion of the metagame at both the standard and top levels of the game; both cards have been banned as a result, to try and move ramp decks back down into a more reasonable position in the metagame. Similarly, Black-Red Sacrifice decks have seen a very high win rate over a long period of time, partially due to the powerful combination of Cauldron Familiar and Witch's Oven; Cauldron Familiar is being banned to try and blunt the win rate of these decks. Lastly, Teferi, Time Raveler is being banned from the format, after repeated feedback that the card was too limiting; the card was previously kept in the format to help combat Wilderness Reclamation decks, but with that card now banned, Wizards of the Coast feels that Teferi's time has come as well.

The Pioneer format also had four cards banned. While no one deck has been dominating the format, combo decks in general make up a large portion of the metagame, and players have given feedback suggesting that these decks limit deck-building options and make the format less enjoyable. Wizards has also noticed a steady decline in player participation on Magic Online, and decided to make some drastic changes to blunt the more powerful combo decks. The cards that are being banned are Inverter of Truth, Underworld Breach, Walking Ballista (which is powerful when combined with Helios, Sun-Crowned), and Kethis, the Hidden Hand. Wizards hope that these bans will lead to more midrange, control and aggressive decks.

Two cards that were banned from Standard are being suspended in Historic, as well. Temur Reclamation decks are proving to be very popular, appearing in 10% of best-of-three matches, with high win rates; to try and offset this, Wilderness Reclamation is being suspended. Additionally, Teferi, Time Raveler is appearing in over 20% of best-of-three games and is showcasing a lot of power, and will be suspended in this format.

Finally, Teferi, Time Raveler is being banned in Brawl as well. This card is one of the format's most popular commanders, appearing in over 10% of decks, and has one of the best win rates to boot.

Unlike previous announcements, this update will go into effect immediately, due to the increased focus on digital play formats. Future updates are not guaranteed to be immediate-release, as Wizards of the Coast is trying to balance advance notice and agility. The full Banned & Restricted list can be found here.