Card bans hit multiple formats in latest MTG banned and restricted announcement

Magic: The Gathering's Pioneer, Modern, Explorer, and Legacy formats all receive card bans as Wizards of the Coast tries to balance the field.

In both Pioneer and the Magic: The Gathering - Arena Explorer format, the cards Karn, the Great Creator and Geological Appraiser received bans.

"Karn's range is so broad, it can facilitate convoluted infinite combos that make the format less approachable, at little to no opportunity cost," states WotC in the announcement.  "Additionally, Karn's ability to naturally suppress artifacts is likely keeping a spread of interesting cards from being played."

As for the card Geological Appraiser, the company says that "being able to win the game on the spot on turn three with Geological Appraiser after creating a single Treasure token puts a bit too much pressure on folks to be a good thing for the long-term health of the format."

Smuggler's Copter was unbanned in Pioneer.

As for Modern, Fury, a card found in a number of competitive decks including Scam/Evoke and Cascade Rhinos, has been banned.  Up the Beanstalk was also banned.

"Removing Fury will impact both the play rate and win rate of Rakdos Evoke," states the company.  "Players are currently using four or more copies of "undying" effects like Not Dead After All to rebuy Grief or Fury. Without Fury, the opportunity cost of playing so many undying effects increases, reducing consistency in the deck and becoming a real cost to include."

"While removing Fury from the format will certainly impact the usage of Up the Beanstalk, we don't believe that to be enough," continues WotC.  "It is remarkably difficult to interact with the two-mana enchantment profitably, as the card replaces itself immediately, with players often playing a free spell on the same turn since they get such a great return on the deal. It is particularly telling when players have concluded that cascading into Up the Beanstalk is more advantageous than the zero-mana options like Crashing Footfalls and Living End. For these reasons, Up the Beanstalk is banned in Modern."

Monastery Swiftspear, a very popular burn and prowess strategy inclusion, is now banned in Pauper.

"It's what kicked off the huge influx of red in the first place, synergizes with the "bottle two" spells, does a good job of dodging two-toughness removal, and generally makes for the most explosive draws—when your opponent's hand has two or three Swiftspears, you quickly feel behind," explains WotC's Gavin Verhey.

The collectible card game's Standard, Legacy, and Vintage formats were untouched in this latest round of card bannings/unbannings.

Barry White

Barry White is a longtime Magic: The Gathering player, having started in 1994 shortly before the release of 'Fallen Empires.' After graduating from the University of Nevada, Reno, he went on to a 15-year journalism career as a writer, reporter, and videographer for three different ABC affiliate newsrooms.