Wizards Confirm Next Banned and Restricted Announcement to be Made June 1st, with Companion Mechanic Changes!

Yorion, Sky Nomad Art by Steve Belledin
Yorion, Sky Nomad Art by Steve Belledin

Wizards of the Coast has just confirmed that the next Magic: The Gathering banned and restricted announcement will be made on June 1st, and will be discussing changes to the Standard and Historic formats. In a shocking twist, they allude to some sort of change to the Companion mechanic as a whole!

The announcement has now been made! Check out the post to see what cards are banned and how the Companion mechanic have been affected.

Check out our predictions on the upcoming announcement here!

Companions have warped the landscape of every Magic format in which they are legal, dominating eternal formats like Legacy and Vintage (see the recent Banlist update for those formats here, with my commentary to provide you context, even if you don’t know much about them) and homogenising the top decks in Standard and Historic. Numerous articles and videos have already been made arguing that Companion is a bad mechanic in its current state:

It sounds as though Wizards, influenced by these complaints and the widespread outcry against Companion from pros and regular players alike, has reached the conclusion that the mechanic as a whole is too good, and to implement some kind of nerf is their best solution.

Suggested Companion Fixes/Nerfs

Various people, including pros, have suggested changes to the mechanic already, and it’s entirely possible that we’ll see one of these implemented:

  • If you reveal a Companion at the start of the game, draw one card less in your starting hand (unclear how this would affect London Mulligans). I suspect this is the most likely change, as it leaves Companions in a pretty powerful state, and is simple/easy to understand.
  • If you reveal a Companion at the start of the game, draw one card less in your starting hand (unclear how this would affect London Mulligans) and add your Companion to it (making it vulnerable to discard effects). This fix was suggested by Jim Davis on this video (I’ve linked to the time stamp).
  • If you reveal a Companion at the start of the game, put a card of your choice on the bottom of your library, and then put the Companion card in your hand – essentially like an additional London Mulligan, but the card goes to the bottom rather than being shuffled in. Suggested on this reddit post. Other fixes are suggested there also, such as exiling a card from your hand as an additional cost to casting a card from the Companion zone.
  • Pro Matt Sperling suggests that Companions cripple Sideboards by preventing other cards from being placed in them. This would heavily impact every best-of-three format but not really damage them in best-of-one, except by preventing “wishboards” (see this article for an explanation of what those are, and the key cards which rely on them in Standard).
  • The Companion mechanic could be mass banned either from certain formats or as a whole. I believe this to be highly unlikely, but possible.

Discussion

  • Do you think Standard and Historic need any cards banned, for the health of those formats?
  • If so, which particular cards?
  • What change/s to Companion would you be most happy with, if any?

Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

Drifter

Drifter

I'm MTGAZone's content manager! I'm an infinite drafter and offer draft coaching alongside my articles. Visit https://mtgazone.com/drifter/ or follow me on twitter to stay tuned!

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Chrysologus
1 month ago

Should just be the first card you draw each hand.

WayGroovy
1 month ago
Reply to  Chrysologus

So put it on top of your library after mulligans?

Pvtjoker3
1 month ago
Reply to  WayGroovy

Companion in standard I fell is fine. The problem currently is all the mana cheating. Lukka,Winota, and fires of invention. If you actually had to pay the cost of the spells you played all this wouldn’t be a problem. Also stop with all the planeswalker garbage and get back to what magic was during onslaught block.

Tim Richmond
Tim Richmond
1 month ago
Reply to  Pvtjoker3

Absolutely! The deck becomes impossible to play against if you can’t even strategize for what’s on the board because the player can cast anything with any amount of mana without paying it’s cost.

Liam
Liam
1 month ago
Reply to  Chrysologus

I do not think you should have to put the companion card in your hand, that is the opposite of the point of companion. I think you should just have to draw one less card. I really hope Wotc does not do anything else with companion, i really liked the og companion.

Umori
Umori
1 month ago

companion isn’t broken and doesn’t need changes. its easy af to beat and shodden up a stale meta. one of the best mechanics in years

Umori
Umori
1 month ago
Reply to  Umori

Shook not shodden*

DR
DR
1 month ago
Reply to  Umori

Nobody agrees with you at all. And the data demonstrates you’re wrong. It’s awful

tristanfey
tristanfey
1 month ago
Reply to  DR

The mechanic is fine. Its the balance of the cards themselves that is off. Basically if adjusted the CMC and or/make harsher deck construction limitations it would be fine.

Lanier1902
Lanier1902
1 month ago
Reply to  DR

You can’t blame Umori though since he’s a companion himself.

Sam Fry
Sam Fry
1 month ago
Reply to  Umori

MaRo?

humbug14
1 month ago

Ban the Companions. Ban Teferi. Ban Agent of Treachery.

Quinn (@Quinn61570468)
Reply to  humbug14

Ban all the things that you dont like!

captian bacon
captian bacon
1 month ago
Reply to  humbug14

Companions aren’t the issue theres1 companion that’s a issue. If they just made compaions apply color identity to ur deck theyd be fine cause then u would have a 4/5 color hyper removal angent of trechery decks…

Edo
Edo
1 month ago

imagine they unban oko to fight lukka

Jordan Jackson
Jordan Jackson
1 month ago
Reply to  Edo

That would be the greatest thing ever

Markus
Markus
1 month ago

I suggest to ban Agent. Alone it is Not a good Card but with companions and winota it is amazing. On the other side the companions are weaker without Agent…

Graphix
Graphix
1 month ago
Reply to  Markus

I 100% agree, ban Agent that will lower the power of a lot of cards.

Nero
Nero
1 month ago
Reply to  Graphix

Agent with Thassa 100% disgusting

BadAtPickingNames
BadAtPickingNames
1 month ago
Reply to  Nero

Thassa? I agree that AoT is disgusting but the Thassa combo isn’t even close to meta.

Colin Batchelor
Colin Batchelor
1 month ago

I would start with just banning Fires of Invention and then see what happens.

Graphix
Graphix
1 month ago

I haven’t had a problem facing Companion decks, honestly gives me some knowledge about what they are doing and I adjust my strategy. It doesn’t warp the game anywhere near what planeswalkers do.
If you want cards to ban start with Fires of Invention, Winota, and Agent of Treachery. Those have caused more unstoppable game warping effects.
Don’t do a “consistency” ban like you did with Once Upon a Time.

Quinn (@Quinn61570468)
Reply to  Graphix

In my own personal experience companions aren’t that bad. However, I do see the problems they pose. All they really need to be balanced is mostly a shift from the 8th card in hand that can’t be dealt with until it etbs to the 7th card in hand that can be discarded after reveal. Basically I am fully in favor of the first change

AJ Amherst
AJ Amherst
1 month ago

Glad I used one of my 50 accounts (I made when they were handing out free drafts) to build my mono black Lurrus deck for this $ tournament. $5 Welcome bundle. After this weekend (when they ban my deck) I’ll probably go back to playing Eternal.

John Sikora
John Sikora
1 month ago
Reply to  AJ Amherst

you realize when they ban cards in standard they give you wildcards for them? no reason to cry over a card getting banned and it is unlikely they ban companions based on the suggestions floating around for companions

BadAtPickingNames
BadAtPickingNames
1 month ago
Reply to  AJ Amherst

Why would your deck get banned? It doesn’t sound like it will.

Zeyaad Pandey
Zeyaad Pandey
1 month ago

A suggestion I have seen floating around and one that I think should be added here as it is probably the cleanest with the biggest impact. Adding color identity deck restrictions to companions, as with commanders. Removes a lot of power from the top companion decks and makes the remainder more predictable and easier to counteract, or nerf further with bans if required. Also 2 colours decks have worst mana than 3 colour decks tbh. Example: Yorion loses Lukka, Fires and Uro. Keruga loses Fires and Bonecrusher, Lurrus loses Kroxa, Claim the first born and Zenith Flare. Gyruda loses the… Read more »

gilgamesh
gilgamesh
1 month ago
Reply to  Zeyaad Pandey

Aggro players would love that. Obosh would be pretty much unaffected and Lurrus would stay very strong. I don’t think it does enough.

Zeyaad Pandey
Zeyaad Pandey
1 month ago
Reply to  gilgamesh

I agree that Obosh stands out, but it is easier to hate out. Same with Lurrus. Also it will be a different environment, and there is still a possibility for bans as well.

captian bacon
captian bacon
1 month ago
Reply to  Zeyaad Pandey

Obosh is powerful yes but as I obosh player I’ve won way more game without him touching the field then with hes a late game answer that about it if compaions weren’t a thing I’d only change like 6 cards in the deck and run 2 of him in the main

gilgamesh
gilgamesh
1 month ago
Reply to  captian bacon

Obosh as a companion works because you will always have exactly one of him, and as an extra card no less. No risk of drawing multiples in your starting hand, no risk of not being able to find him when you need him. If companions weren’t a thing and you were just running 2 in the main instead you’d just lose that consistency and without that I just can’t see how he’s better than Torbran (remember, Torbran also interacts with your Anax tokens and Stomp, not to mention Steamkin and Robber, the first of which is still a must-have red… Read more »

Wulf
Wulf
1 month ago
Reply to  Zeyaad Pandey

This is a change that would never happen because it gets rid of the ability to play hybrid cards as intended, which is something Magic’s design team is very against (the reason commander has it is because it started as an unofficial format)

Zeyaad Pandey
Zeyaad Pandey
1 month ago
Reply to  Wulf

You could still play mono colors because of the hybrid aspect.

captian bacon
captian bacon
1 month ago
Reply to  Wulf

They need to apply a color restriction to ur deck it literally answers every problem with standard. That being the 4/5 color yovion agent decks…

ArtyF
ArtyF
1 month ago
Reply to  Zeyaad Pandey

I don’t think that’s happening, it would ruin the companion mechanic as a whole, the goal here is to limit it, not destroy it.

Ashutosh madhu
Ashutosh madhu
1 month ago
Reply to  Zeyaad Pandey

The issue is not the companions deck restrictions. The issue is that their abilities in formats with significantly less cards compared to commander are way too fast and make the decks way too consistent for other competitive strategies to be effective against them. Companions are not broken in Commander, but are broken in every other format. What they should do is just outright ban companions in formats like pioneer, vintage, legacy, and standard. If they want to change the mechanic itself they should make it so that the players have to reveal the companion they’re using and instead of drawing… Read more »

mattk
mattk
1 month ago
Reply to  Zeyaad Pandey

Yea I agree with this bc all these decks are cluster fucks of colors like one time I played against rdw lurrus but they are also concerned about yorion in standard and this wouldn’t affect that deck At

Yalisa
Yalisa
1 month ago

I think they need to ban agent of Treachery, companions are not bad, but this expansion has reduced the versatility of the decks and it’s only about playing aggro or stealing permanents, causing almost every other card unplayable.

Mathewvn
Mathewvn
1 month ago

Lol, reading through the muck is entertaining, I personally think they should stop banning cards that form a meta, aswell as listening to whiny players who lack the imagination and creativity to construct decks to kill meta and form a new meta. There is always a way around every deck and play style you just have to find it.

Dan
Dan
1 month ago
Reply to  Mathewvn

And I bet you are playing lukka fires and spent all that money

Liam
Liam
1 month ago
Reply to  Mathewvn

Yeeeees

Jerry
Jerry
1 month ago

Banning agent will hardly make people as happy as they think lol.
Gruul Lukka decks cheating out end raze and rhoanas instead instead of agent. lol.

Landon Cain
Landon Cain
1 month ago
Reply to  Jerry

The only thing making lukka as good as it is is the ability to run 4 agent as the only creatures in your deck so you can guarantee you hit an agent. end raze and rhoanas aren’t good without other creatures on board, and running other creatures means you can guarantee either of those off of a lukka sans using scry to do it, and that’s still not a 100% chance to hit what you want like agent has been.

Critic
Critic
1 month ago

Personally, I kinda like companions. Then again I am mostly a standard player and understand they are having a more adverse effect on older formats. I hope the Nerf isn’t too harsh. I agree that companions probably need harsher restrictions or reduced effect but honestly certain cards such as agent I think are more concerning for standard. (Not that I think agent is unbeatable but have to build your deck around stopping it or minimizing it.) Honestly I was very doom and gloom about fires but while still a very good deck hitting around a 1/3 of the meta it… Read more »

Diego
Diego
1 month ago

I think the Companion mechanic should be banned from Commander. Beyond that, meh.

RT
RT
1 month ago

What are the cards most likely to be banned? Should I craft them before June 1st so I get my wildcards back?

mtgazone
Admin
1 month ago
Reply to  RT

Last time they gave us a heads up before the update went live, so we could craft it before the ban. Likely to be the same here.

Troy
Troy
1 month ago

Only play cedh because I lost interest in the 60 card formats since after original Theros rotated the way wizards is constantly shaming competition and making consistant reliable decks nerfed isn’t helping the health of the game I’ve had games where i win on turn 1 and lose on turn 1 but I’m not asking them to ban cards why print something that’s going to get auto banned? Why make standard a dull format banning cards that really shouldn’t be honestly when esper control decks ran the meta during rtr no one wanted to ban thoughtseize or supreme verdict or… Read more »

tasp (@_tasp_)
1 month ago

Companions are busted, no doubt about it, not because they’re incredible cards but because they’re very good cards that you ALWAYS have in hand, cannot be interacted with before they are played, and generally just make already good decks even better. That said, if I had to choose between banning companions and banning T3feri and/or Fires, I’d take a T3feri/Fires ban any day of the week.

SFP
SFP
1 month ago

The companion mechanic is not broken

The cards don’t do broken things

Stop bitching

John Mattson
John Mattson
1 month ago

I have nearly lost all interest in playing at all because of the companion mechanic. Aside from the guaranteed card advantage and the lack of ability to interact with them while in exile, they make the games so repetitive and further narrow the types of decks that are viable. Allowing the controller to put their companion on top of their deck after mulligans seems to be the best fix outside just banning them, and would probably restore balance to the game (non-companion decks could be competitive again). It is likely they wouldn’t be so overpowered, and see less play in… Read more »

Ron
Ron
1 month ago

I’ve really enjoyed brewing with all the different companions but have hated playing against the same Yorian/Agent of Treachery deck over and over again so much so that I haven’t played any standard in the last week and have no intention of going back until this play pattern has been changed.

MO
MO
1 month ago
Reply to  Ron

yeah agent of treachery decks is whats wrong with the meta, ban him plz…also im tired of seeing lurrus Cauldron Familiar decks, so much triggers, always having to accept makes the game long and boring..