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Myra the Magnificent MtG Art from Unfinity by Eric Wilkerson

May 13, 2024 Banned and Restricted Announcement

All cards that bring a sticker or an Attraction into the game are banned in Legacy, Vintage, and Pauper!

The scheduled Banned and Restricted Announcement for Magic: The Gathering is now here! Since the changes to the Standard rotation cycle to every 3 years, Wizards of the Coast has also decided to have specific dates for Banned and Restricted Announcements once a year and a small window after the release of each new set.

This announcement encompasses all formats, and this time, MTG Arena is unaffected (no Wildcard compensations) as only Legacy, Vintage, and Pauper gets a change. The next announcement has also been confirmed for June 24, 2024 after Modern Horizons 3. Check out the full announcement below, as it also contains a report on the state of all formats!


Announcement Date: May 13, 2024

Legacy, Vintage, and Pauper:

All cards that bring a sticker or an Attraction into the game are banned. For a full list of cards, click below.

Sticker Cards

Attraction Cards

Pauper:

All That Glitters is banned.

Effective Date for Tabletop and Magic Online: May 13, 2024

The next banned and restricted announcement will be June 24, 2024. The list of all banned and restricted cards, by format, is here.


Legacy and Vintage

All cards that bring a sticker or an Attraction into the game are banned.

________ Goblin has become a reasonable card to play in Legacy, and that’s leading to some awkwardness in tournaments. Not only do Goblins players need to create and bring a sticker deck, many decks that feature clones such as Phyrexian Metamorph feel obligated to bring sticker decks on the off-chance they’re able to copy ________ Goblin. Players must present these decks at the start of every match regardless of whether they have any cards in their deck that can interact with them.

The primary goal behind making some cards in Unfinity legal was that sticker cards and Attractions could be played in Commander, but there’s no existing way to make a bunch of cards legal in Commander and not Legacy. We had thought the power level of those cards was low enough that if people tried them in Legacy every now and then, it’d be a fun surprise. We missed on ________ Goblin, though, and now tournament players feel obligated to interact with the sticker mechanic.

We think that this is not a healthy or fun dynamic to happen in paper or digital play, so we have decided to ban every card that creates a sticker or an Attraction card. We considered banning all side decks, but that is more difficult to align with how that functions between Gatherer, digital, and tabletop.

When we released Unfinity, we knew that its partial legality in Magic‘s broader formats was an experiment with risks. The concept of widening a set’s appeal to more players is at its core a good one. Moving forward, we won’t be revisiting this kind of experiment any time soon.

Standard

Standard has been a large focus of ours for the past year, and we are happy with where the format is after the conclusion of Pro Tour Thunder Junction. We were not surprised to see an Esper Midrange deck full of independently powerful cards command the highest play rate at the Pro Tour, but the results of the tournament proved that it can be attacked and is a healthy part of the metagame. The Top 8 proved to be diverse with six different decks, including creative decks such as White-Black Bronco and Four-Color Legends commanding strong win rates in the tournament.

We are happy so far with the impact of Outlaws of Thunder Junction in standard. As the twelfth set in the environment, it faced the biggest uphill battle to get its cards into decks, finishing the cycle of fast lands and with many individual cards making their way into sideboards and main decks. We hope the more balanced mana base can provide a more even baseline to breed more creativity into the format.

Our next banned and restricted announcement following the release of Modern Horizons 3 will be the window in which we will consider banning cards in Standard. To reiterate some of our philosophy, we intend to only make changes to Standard once a year during the summer, unless there is an extremely warping outlier. We will be closely watching the metagame leading into the next banned and restricted announcement.

Pioneer

Pioneer remains in a healthy state after Pro Tour Murders at Karlov Manor.

The breakout Rakdos Vampires deck from that Pro Tour utilizing Vein Ripper has proven that it is not a fluke and continues to be an important part of the Pioneer metagame. Its prevalence has contributed to a decline in Izzet Phoenix’s win rate, a deck that we’ve been monitoring coming out of the Pro Tour given its large degree of success there.

The biggest shake-up coming out of Outlaws of Thunder Junction was a large metagame increase in Mono-Black Waste Not decks utilizing the brand-new Kaervek, the Punisher. Kaervek is a massive card-advantage engine alongside all of your interactions that commit crimes and another strategy that can meaningfully play four copies of Go Blank as a powerful option against the front-running Phoenix.

For now, Pioneer is in a great place where playing any macro-archetype is viable—aggro, control, midrange, or combo, with tools for each strategy to address one another.

Modern

This probably comes as no surprise with Modern Horizons 3 right around the corner, releasing June 14, 2024.

Naturally, we expect that Modern Horizons 3 will impact the format, and I’m personally very excited to see the brewing and experimentation that comes out of the set.

The last action we took, with the ban of Violent Outburst, has left the Modern metagame in a healthy state to absorb Modern Horizons 3. The play and win rate of various cascade strategies has come back in line to a place we’re happy with.

There were murmurings and concerns of Leyline of the Guildpact enabling a variety of Scion of Draco strategies, even around the time we last discussed the format. The community has experimented with many of them, but what emerged as the most popular and strongest strategy, a five-color take on the traditionally two-color Izzet Murktide deck, has settled into an appropriate win and play rate.

Enjoy your Modern Horizons 3 Prerelease!

Legacy

With the banning of all sticker and Attraction cards, we expect a small shake-up in the Legacy metagame. When we last discussed the format, we mentioned that we’re keeping an eye on Orcish Bowmasters and how much influence it had on Legacy’s core blue-centric gameplay. Clearly, Bowmasters, and Grief as well, is a big player in the Legacy metagame, and they are cards that we’ll continue to monitor for their long-term net fun as inclusions in the format.

Grief has popped up recently as a powerful alternate form of attack in Reanimate decks, giving those strategies a lean tempo game as well as the ability to go way over the top by Reanimateing more traditional targets like Atraxa, Grand Unifier.

Historically, Modern Horizons sets have had the ability to influence Legacy, so we’ll see how the format evolves as it absorbs Modern Horizons 3.

Vintage

With Vintage, we continue to have a philosophy similar to Legacy, where community sentiment can be just as powerful as data and tournament results. We are keeping our eyes on Lurrus and Urza's Saga. Also, like Legacy, we are eager to see how Vintage incorporates cards from Modern Horizons 3 and will watch the format after its release.

Pauper

All That Glitters is banned.

Click here to read Gavin’s full Pauper explanation.

Alchemy

Alchemy is in a healthy state, with the Alchemy: Thunder Junction set released last week adding the new heist keyword. Alchemy is Arena‘s fastest-changing format, and with this upcoming set rotation, it will experience its largest change to date. With so many cards shifting out, it will be a surprising few months as the format redefines itself.

Explorer

Each card banned in Pioneer that is available on MTG Arena is also banned in Explorer.

Historic

With the addition of many powerful new cards from Outlaws of Thunder Junction, we continue to see a rich and diverse set of decks being played in Historic. Just look at Stoneforge Mystic as an example, which gave support to Equipment-focused decks, an archetype mostly missing from the format before.

Modern Horizons 3 will bring a huge infusion of new tools to Historic. To continue to curate the power level of the format, we will be pre-banning a few cards from the set before the release, but most of them are coming to Historic. We will make the full pre-ban announcement once all the Modern Horizon 3 cards have been revealed.

Timeless

Since the last set release, several new decks have emerged in this format. Reanimate supports multiple new deck archetypes, often getting back cards like Troll of Khazad-dûm or used with Sorin, Imperious Bloodlord and Vein Ripper for powerful threats. Archive Trap is seeing significant play as players explore mill-based game strategies in Timeless. Mana Drain has also been a powerful addition to several decks but so far has been held in check.

Like Historic, Modern Horizons 3 is certainly going to change this format considerably. We will not be banning or restricting any cards in Timeless before Modern Horizon 3 releases but will make appropriate changes once the dust settles.

Brawl

We recently spent some focused time reviewing Brawl balance and double-checking that popular commanders are being handled properly by our matchmaking. We have also investigated how powerful non-commander cards in the rest of the Brawl deck affect the play experience. This review included both new additions like Mana Drain and perennial discussion points like Paradox Engine. So far, the data shows that our matchmaking-focused approach is handling these cards well and giving players appropriate opponents. We will continue to monitor our matchmaking to see if more action is needed as more powerful cards are added to the game.

Iroas, God of Victory Art

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