Banned and Restricted Announcement – February 12, 2018

February 12th, 2018

Modern:

Jace, the Mind Sculptor

Jace, the Mind Sculptor is unbanned. Buy Jace, the Mind Sculptor

Bloodbraid Elf is unbanned. Buy Bloodbraid Elf

Effective Date: February 19, 2018

Magic Online Effective Date: February 14, 2018


  • Magus of the nooB

    Just trolling around.

  • Dylan Boyd

    Jace is about to shoot up in price.

    • Kevan Kramer

      But he is also getting a reprint as well. I wonder how much of a price spike it will actually be.

      • AHunter

        Reprint as mythic was alway a joke. Even more in a “””master”””” set

      • Dylan Boyd

        I mean OG Jace from Zendikar shot up $30 the day the unbanning was announced.

  • Mathos

    Looks like Wizards wants to sell more Masters 25 boxes…

  • Erik López Barcelar

    Jace tms is ok but sfm? oh boy thats just too broken… Wotc surely aint trying to sell that sweet Masters 25 boxes

    • Zombie

      Unlike JTMS, Stoneforge would completely break Modern in half.

      Every Midrange/value deck would run it and Batterskull.

      That is not an understatement.

      Company would run it, Chord would run it, Abzan would run it, Jund would morph into Jedi and run it, Mardu would run it, UW and Jeskai and Esper Control would run it, EVEN DEATH’S SHADOW WOULD RUN IT.

      Stoneforge + Batterskull is a powerhouse play in Legacy and Vintage, let alone MODERN.

      JTMS is a lot safer than people think.

      If you’ve played as much Legacy and Vintage as I have, you’d also hold the same opinion of Jace.

      He’s an insanely powerful card, obviously. But is he broken? No. Are there plenty of “broken” cards in Modern? Yes.

      • Erik López Barcelar

        There’s a thousand ways to get rid of her as soon as she hits the battlefiled (or even before actually), and her ability requires you to tap her, meaning there’s a whole enemy turn in between. That’s a lot of time in Modern, way too many things can happen. Also she’s based on equipments, her most broken combo is basically giving you an equipment, and we all know this format has plenty of artifact hate. Postsideboard any competitive deck would have little trouble dealing with her and her cute phyrexian pet.

  • AHunter

    Oh boy. This can’t be good.

  • BusinessmanGinger

    I feel like this unbanning can go one of two ways.

    1: Both JTMS and the elf are going to break the format by making anything Jace is in really powerful and the elf will make Jund a broken deck again. If this is the case, hopefully Wizards will realize this very quickly, now that Modern is back at PTs again helps, and potentially ban both of them again.

    2: Not much will change in the meta because both are 4 cmc and having anything that high without an alternative cost usually won’t do too well right now just because the format is so fast with Humans, Shadow shells, Storm, Affinity, Burn, etc.

    • AHunter

      Not it’s not going to do any of those thing : it’s just every (I really mean every) midrange deck is going to splash for jace,and it will create a lot of feelbad games were it was close until jace it the board.
      I’m not sure about BBE. Hopefully it make jund a deck again.

      • BusinessmanGinger

        I agree that almost every midrange deck is going to play Jace, but like I said, the format now is very fast and aggressive so the top tier decks that I mentioned will usually do well against them just because they can push out threats and get in significant damage very quickly. I will agree with you that the midrange decks that exist now will be oppressed by Jace and it will essentially be a race to see who can get him out first, but those decks don’t accurately show what the format is geared towards right now.

        • AHunter

          Yes I kinda agree of agree with you,this is want i meant : I do not think JTMS is going to break the format (it could,but i do not think so) it’s just going to destroy diversity :
          Fast aggro vs midrange (with jace 50% of the time) vs control jace vs combo (Nobody can play jace in combo right?… right?) vs the rest,with a much lower % winrate.
          Maybe BBE is also broken and it will “”balance”” the color pie,but i doubt it.

          • BusinessmanGinger

            Oh ok, that makes more sense, yes I totally agree with you then.

  • Aarhg

    I wonder if this wil mean that Bloodbraid Elf is also going to be in Masters 25. That would be nice.

  • Johan K

    Interesting to see price history on Jace over the last few days leading up to this announcement..

    • TJ

      That’s because a few weeks ago when they showed the booster box, they could see Jace.

      • Johan K

        More availibility — price hike? Uhh.. Sure! I would assume people wanted to sell them off with more cards around.

        • TJ

          You missed my point. With the box spoiled, it wasn’t to far off that they would unban Jace and so those who had to money to buy out others, did so

  • CrimsonVanguard

    As a person who owns two Bloodbraid Elves, I’m okay with this.

  • TJ

    Considering the primary and significant reasons for Masters Reprints are for draft and occasionally supplement other formats, everyone jumping in the Jace unbanned thing is funny. They also just printed to Middle Finger to planeswalkers with The Immortal Sun. The Elf is different entirely

    • Kahai

      A masters set is primarily a reprint and secondarily a draft set.

      Master’s sets are not the best draft experience, and while drafting them are fun, there is just too much of an imbalance in any particular Master’s set to the drafting as the primary design of the set. They are directly about reissuing cards in a draftable form.

      • TJ

        My understanding is that all masters set are built, for the most part to draft.

        • Kahai

          Yes, you can draft them, and they are designed to be drafted, but if the purpose was to make an awesome draft experience, they’d never reprint a lot of cards, because they make drafting less fun.

          Just think about anyone who drafts and plays against a goyf or a JTMS, they are either going to have the exact right spell to deal with it and be lucky enough to draw it in time, or start to lose very fast.

          Master’s sets have always been about reprints first, and draft second.

          • Kameenook

            Honestly if you play against a goyf you’re just going to laugh at the 0/1 that might be a 3/4, maybe a 4/5 late game. JTMS on the other hand….

          • TJ

            What, the 70-95$ rate died to doom blade?

          • Kameenook

            We were talking about draft I believe but yeah in limited it’ll die to a lot more than that too

          • TJ

            Definitely, they do tend to have decent spot removal

    • AHunter

      “They also just printed to Middle Finger to planeswalkers with The Immortal Sun.” I hope this a joke… I really do.
      A 6 mana “do nothing until next turn” artifact is NOT a good answer to (arguably) the most powerful planeswalker of all time
      And it’s that people do not know it’s not going to get banned in the next 6 months,it’s just that if you are playing blue without.. this,you are at severe disavantage

      • TJ

        I many formats turn three for the sun isn’t hard. Plus the numerous cards that can make it indestructible and shroud and it’s even worse. I had a Naya deck that could turn 3 Avacyn. The biggest thing is knowing how and when to drop it.

        • BusinessmanGinger

          Your right, in formats like Commander, Vintage, and Legacy, it’s easy to get out, but in Modern, which is most of what people are talking about on this page, I can only see the Immortal Sun being viable in Tron decks and most of the time they won’t even main board it in since turn 3 Tron wins are consistent enough to be a top tier deck without having to shut down other walkers like LotV. Modern is very fast and aggressive right now and having an artifact that would only be used as a backup to shut down maybe 2 walkers doesn’t seem very viable.

          • TJ

            It will probably still see consistent sideboard as a just in case. Main boarded not often, but still, it’s a big middle finger to any super heroes decks right now.

          • DJ Pad

            Why would you run Immortal sun in modern? It’s too expensive for anything other than Tron, and Tron is better off playing Karn, Ugin, All is Dust etc. to deal with other planeswalkers (not to mention the nonbo with Karn and Ugin…)

  • Kameenook

    And now I come here to read more Modern is dead posts and WotC is all cash-grabbing and don’t know what they’re doing. Hopefully it’ll be entertaining

    • Kahai

      Considering JTMS never saw modern play, i think the format will be fine. The BBE unbanning has more juiciness in my opinion. :3

      • Kameenook

        I think they’ll both be fine in all honesty. But I’ve consumed enough of this through multiple platforms at this point it’s just a popcorn watch party

        • Coby Clennon

          They should both be fine in theory. Not every control deck, depending on how you define “control”. I was expecting the Stoneforge as well, but honestly that would’ve been more harmful to the format. Deaths shadow would’ve became esper or 4c to fit in anywhere from 2-4 of them, for a sword or two. Notably light/shadow. They’re already a pain to
          Play against, let’s not give all their big creatures pro- path to exile. Jace, while very good, isn’t a win con, meaning he can’t be built around. BBE in turn checks those control decks so they have to really fight to get to Jace and to keep him.

          • Kameenook

            Jace is a wincon, just going to go out there and say that, he is.

          • Coby Clennon

            Have you played him? I do. I play 3 if him in legacy. He’s good, damn good. But no he’s not. Him sitting on the board won’t win me the game. He’ll help a ton, but he won’t give me that W, I still need to do other things. That’s how people loose is thinking he’s the end all be all.

          • Zombie

            “I play 3 if him in legacy”

            Why.

          • Coby Clennon

            I run jeskai stoneblade? Most lists are more control, splash red for a couple bolts and sideboard options (red elemental blast, wear // tear, and that’s just 2 notable examples), which runs 2-3 Jaces normally, just to make sure we always have a Jace on board. Jace helps me keep answers in my hand, as well as thin my deck so I can get my wins. It may not be as good as legacy grixis delver, but I get more wins than losses most times and more importantly, I enjoy playing it.

          • DJPad

            He wins games all the time in miracles. Have you ever ult’ed him? It’s not hard to do in a control shell.

          • Kameenook

            The point is he is a wincon. He doesn’t have to be, that’s why he’s versatile, but if you brainstorm a few times until you have complete control, fateseal into ultimate is a wincon. Doesn’t mean you have to use him as one but he is one if you need him to be

      • xxxx

        Jace warps the meta quite strong. Every control deck has to play him now. Lantern control is dead for example. People will either play a jace deck or try to be faster (so maybe more affinity or grishoalbrand type of decks). Tbh I think bloodbraid may be fine. I would have liked to see SfM unbanned instead of jace. Jace is a horrible card to play against. Takes a huge amount of time to brainstorm every turn and you have to play the game out often even though jace has already won the game 99%. I really don’t like that card. If they wanted to make u control decks stronger they should have just reprinted counterspell in dominaria imo.

        • Kahai

          People that use brainstorms as a stall tactic are horrible players. lol

          Counterspell will never be reprinted in standard, it’s too ‘stronk’.

          ~~~

          My stance on modern is that the format should remove the ban list for a period and ban as the meta changes.

          In my opinion there are plenty of cards in the banlist that shouldn’t be there anymore, but opinions of people don’t change like that.

          • DJ Pad

            Honestly, if wizards wanted to make modern better they should just reprint Force of Will and Wasteland in standard (maybe after ramunap excavator rotates).

            Those two cards alone keep a lot of degenerate stuff from happening in Legacy, and are a big reason why it’s the best format. You could probably get rid of half the modern ban list alone by doing that. Of the the top of my head: Artifact lands, Blazing Shoal, Cloudpost, Chrome Mox, Eye of ugin, Dark Depths, Glimpse of Nature, GSZ, Punishing Fire, Second Sunrise, Summer Bloom etc.

        • Zombie

          “Lantern Control is dead”

          Except for its expert pilots still performing extremely well and still brewing against Jace with moderate success?

      • DJPad

        I mean, JTMS has never had a chance to see modern play until now, it was on the ban list at the inception of the format. It’s impossible to say what impact he’ll have.

        • Kahai

          He WILL shift the meta, but he will not cause as much drama as he did in standard, there simply weren’t enough cards to deal with him in that original environment, but with all of modern available, he will be played, but he wont be every deck.

          • DJ Pad

            Of course not, no card is in every deck. That being said, if you’re playing blue, you’ll probably have to have a pretty good reason to not run some number of JTMS.

    • Zombie

      JTMS is going to be a powerhouse in Modern without a doubt, but will he ruin the format? F*** no.

      Jace is less of a threat to Modern than Deathrite Shaman and Splinter Twin, and people still want those unbanned but JTMS banned again.

  • PrissyRose

    my favorite part about this is people dropping hundreds of dollars for a playset of Jace the Mindsculptor just for it to get banned latter this year lmao.

    Its nothing more than a way to sell boosters for Masters 25

  • Deadly Berry

    They’ll be banned again by the end of the year.

    • Kaiser

      Bloodraid elf is very fine now, Jace in other hand….well i belive he will be banned again in 6 months

  • ShadowXx

    I wish they would unban Deathrite Shaman…

    • Dylan Boyd

      The 4 I have would greatly appreciate that

      • ShadowXx

        My previous reply was meant for you. Oops

    • ShadowXx

      Same here. I haven’t played in a while, but maybe I should pick up a play set or 2 on MTGO.

    • PrissyRose

      the safe cards to unban would have been Bloodbraid (which they did), and I would argue Stoneforge Mystic which would be interesting for sure but not shift the meta to much (though may restrict how good equipments wizards would print latter).

      Deathrite Shaman is a one mana planeswalker which is relevant all game, like people argue for it to be ban in Legacy lol it shouldnt return to modern

      • Coby Clennon

        I actually was expecting bloodbraid and Stoneforge. Though looking at it, Jace was a safer pick. The two top decks, tron and deaths shadow, won’t run either. Shadow could’ve become 4c or esper to force a few mystics and a sword in. Jace, while good, isn’t a win condition and can’t be built around, while he does fit into a couple decks (scapeshift, jeskai)

      • Zombie

        Stoneforge is actually a far less safe unban than JTMS.

        If you pay attention to a ton of the “No Ban Modern”, many decks that run both SFM and JTMS end up having games where SFM is actually what carries the entire deck.

        The simply fact of JTMS being in Modern is that, while he is incredibly good, he is absolutely a risk to play on curve.

        He is much harder to protect outside of Legacy/Vintage.

        I think with the existence of JTMS in Modern, cards like Disrupting Shoal are going to turn into Modern’s Force of Will.

        The reason JTMS is so backbreaking in Legacy is because he’s easily protected by cards like FOW when he resolves. Legacy players are able to tap out for Jace on Turns 3-4 because they can still interact without mana investment.

        • PrissyRose

          this is a fair assessment

    • Zombie

      Stoneforge Mystic and DRS would have completely broken the format over their knees.

      Every deck would either have 4 Deathrite Shaman or 3-4 Stoneforge Mystic that also ran a sword/Batterskull package.

      It would literally be a nightmarish hellscape of midrange valuetown decks.

      DRS and Stoneforge can never exist in Modern as long as Jace does, now.

      If they get unbanned, Modern becomes Legacy and you can basically play Deathblade-lite.

      That’s not ok.

      • DJ Pad

        Unless they unban punishing fire :P.

        Personally I’m not sure why a deathblade type deck is somehow not good for modern?

        • Zombie

          Because Deathblade would completely dominate Modern.

          The format wouldn’t have any other way to fight it except other Stone/Deathblade decks.

          Every fair deck would just become Stone/Death.

          • DJ Pad

            Not if punishing fire was legal…

          • Zombie

            That just proves my point even more. It would all cause Modern to spiral and deform into literally just “Legacy-Lite”.

          • DJ Pad

            What’s wrong with that? Legacy is a far superior format.

          • Zombie

            Modern’s superior popularity over Legacy would suggest otherwise.

          • DJ Pad

            Not really. More players play standard than modern, but nobody in their right mind would suggest that Standard is better right now than modern. The cost of entry is likely the largest factor in the number of players playing any given format, not the quality of the format.

          • Zombie

            Standard is actually rapidly losing players to Modern.

            I play weekly at the largest store in Texas, and our Modern FNM and Modern tournaments (SCG events, PTQs, etc.) have equal, if not greater, numbers of attendees compared to our Standard events.

            Standard is tanking in popularity because of Wizards’ ****-poor handling of design and bans. Consumer confidence is suffering, and Standard is as well as a direct result.

            Cost of entry into Modern, versus buying into a single Standard environment, is obviously higher up front.

            But the thing about Modern is that while the upfront entry cost is 2-3x that of a Tier 1 Standard deck (If you want to buy a Tier 2 to Tier 1 Modern deck), you likely will never have to make another serious purchase for that deck again.

            Modern has a higher face value but Standard will cost far more money over time. If you want to keep up with Standard every rotation, you’re looking at thousands of dollars in cost, versus a single investment of roughly $500 – $900, that will last you years and years of game time.

          • DJ Pad

            And yet standard still has considerably more players worldwide than modern.

            I wasn’t arguing the quality of Standard, or even the long term economics of it, but rather pointing to the fallacy of your argument that modern is better than Legacy because Modern has more numbers.

            The vast majority of players who played both will overwhelmingly admit Legacy is a far superior format, and arguably the best competitve constructed format. The issue is that decks are typically 2-4k and reserve list cards create a much larger barrier to entry. If you look at long term costs as you did with standard, Legacy is probably cheaper than modern.

          • Zombie

            So you’re arguing that buying into Modern for a tier 1 deck at around $1000 peak, without further investment, is somehow “arguably” cheaper than Legacy’s $2k MINIMUM buy-in for a deck of equal strength relative to format?

            Obviously you could go run out and buy Manaless Dredge for $400 or less but you’re just going to lose to a Rest in Peace in 90% of your game 2’s at any tournament ever.

            Legacy’s barrier to entry is massive cost and card availability. It is not more popular than Modern, and likely never will be. And up until the Jace unban (which has left people uncertain due to a current lack of serious data) nearly everyone considered Modern the most balanced and fun format to play. In addition to having a far lower barrier to entry than Legacy, and having nearly 10 times the number of viable competitive decks than Standard and Legacy combined.

            Modern is essentially the perfect format. Legacy is Delver + Friends, Standard is the weakest constructed format with the smallest card pool.

            And this is all coming from someone who plays Vintage (Pimped Burning Oath), Legacy (Deathblade, D&T), Modern (RUG, Kiki, UWR, Jund, Burn), and drafts a personal foiled cube on the weekend in 2 8-man pods (Personalized Vintage cube), and who’s been playing for the better part of 20 years.

            Modern > other formats.

            And it’s not even close. Time will tell with the Jace unban (My PO is that Jace is far more fair than people give credit, there’s scarier things in Modern already), but Modern was already the healthiest format of them all before the unban, and it will likely continue to be so.

          • DJ Pad

            You’re arguing against points i’m not making. I never said Legacy didn’t have a larger buy-in. My argument was that is fact why less people play it (which is what you’re arguing as well), despite it being a superior format to modern, standard etc.

            Legacy is not Delver and friends. The fact you think it is shows your ignorance of the format. There are dozens of wildly different decks that can take down large tournaments. I have 20 legacy decks that all play quite different from each other and can take down tier 1 decks on a given day. Legacy is a much more interactive format in which deckbuilding, metagaming and decision making play a far greater role in success than in modern.

            Legacy decks often last decades, even longer before they lose their spot in the meta. Even then, skilled pilots of a tier 2-3 deck often can easily beat average tier 1 pilots. Most decks that are good now were good 5-10 years ago aside from a handful of cards (manabase etc. all the same). Modern is a format much more susceptible to flux, with players that seem to call for bannings anytime a deck win a big tournament. Entire decks are often banned into irrelevance every 6 months to a year.

            The fact that people have finally reached a point where they don’t consider modern awful for the first time in it’s existence in the last 3-6 months shows it has a lot of catching up to do.

            You’re in the minority of players who played both Legacy and Modern if you think Modern is even close to better.

          • Coby Clennon

            Boys boys. You’re both pretty. But in all seriousness. Legacy might be better to play for the people playing it, but the buy in will never ever attract the crowds modern or standard does. And modern hasn’t been awful, I’ve been playing it since return to rabbits, mostly white-blue-red decks. Most players have always said it’s enjoyable to play. But up until about a year ago it was largely the same 8 or so decks doing well. Now we have roughly twice that that can do well. Much more so than legacy to be fair. And DJ, that statistic is inheritantly wrong. Legacy delver makes up roughly 11% of legacy, which is a rather large meta of it. That being said there’s only about 20 tops tier 1-2 decks in legacy, and that’s only if you count decks hat are 2% of the meta tier too, which a fair amount of legacy players I talk won’t consider it playable unless it’s at 4-5%, simply cause the “top” deck is so much of it. Yes legacy decks last forever, I’ll be playing some version of stoneblade till I die, but the buy in for duals and force of wills dissuades a LOT of players, and will continue to do so the further away we get from them being originally printed, so to say it’s inheritantly better when it’s just not drawing crowds for that reason is a little backwards. Don’t get me wrong. I love legacy a lot. But unfortunately…

    • DJPad

      Deathrite was more problematic than Bloodbraid elf towards the homogeneity of the format. The problem is, if Deathrite was unbanned, you’d like see a huge part of the metagame being G/B/x decks again (too much).

      • ShadowXx

        Yes, but what if they unban some great cards in other colors at the same time?

        • DJ Pad

          Impossible to say what would happen, but put it this way, Deathrite Shaman is in discussion for banning in legacy, so it may be a longshot to be back in Modern anytime soon.

  • Nick-nick

    So I vsited my LGS to get some cards today and asked about the JTMS situation. They told me Starcitygames just bought all of theirs few days before the announcement. Just a coincidence I suppose… And yeah, after selling enough packs of Masters 25 they’ll do the bannings again.

    • TJ

      Jace was spoiled when they released the image of the booster box, so one could make a safe assumption. However, they kept printing Goyfs and they finally ranked it price, from 130$+ to about 70 now

    • Deadly Berry

      They reprinted Deathrite Shaman in Eternal Masters too and I doubt anyone expected it to get unbanned. My guess is that Wizards passes them info under the table.

      • Kahai

        there’s been rumors and news of insider trading from WotC to high end sellers (or wholesalers) for years now. This is just evidence toward those rumors.

    • Zombie

      JTMS could never be unbanned without an additional reprint.

      People will complain no matter what happens.

      If WOTC was going to ever unban JTMS, there is no better time than now with a reprint coming soon.

  • Kaiser

    After see a lot of match i still belive Jaice is super busted for Modern. UW control or miracle is just too powerfull with him. Maybe tournaments tell another story but even BR Elf isnt enought to win againts him. If Jaice Brainstorm 2 times in a match, its over, there is not chance to win againts that.