Banned and Restricted Announcement – January 15, 2018

January 16th, 2018

Standard:

Attune with Aether is banned.

Rogue Refiner is banned.

Rampaging Ferocidon is banned.

Ramunap Ruins is banned.

Effective Date: January 19, 2018

Magic Online Effective Date: January 15, 2018

Next B&R Announcement: February 12, 2018


  • Zombie

    I’m just so glad I don’t play Standard anymore.

    Standard is rapidly becoming worse than Mirrodin-era Type 2, and it’s all Design’s fault.

    But hey, at least WOTC is investing more time and money policing twitter for trolls than improving their game /s

    • Silver

      To be fair, it was just kadalesh that was broken. (and enmrakul). They have printed a couple of awesome and balanced sets. And besides coco, there wasnt any balant mistake in standard befoe kadalesh

      • Hedronal

        Baby Jace comes to mind.

      • Zombie

        Every single set in Standard, and one set from pre-rotation, currently has a card banned in Standard, save for Amonket block (Which isn’t even a big deal any more since blocks are 2 sets apparently for some reason that WOTC keeps flip flopping on).

        That is a monumental, earth-shattering failure on Design’s part.

        There are SEVEN banned cards in Standard right now.

        SEVEN.

        Who in their right mind could honestly just shrug that off?

        How could Design fail that spectacularly?

        And for the record, Standard has been on a massive downward spiral since Fate Reforged (possibly even just the printing of Siege Rhino), so don’t even give me that bull.

        • VexzonSafeguard

          It starting to feel like Yu-gi-oh.

          • Zombie

            Key designers were forced out by the community or simply left after Khans of Tarkir.

            Richard Garfield is coming back for Dominaria.

            If Core Set 2019 and Dominaria flop, it might hurt Magic’s consumer confidence too much to recover.

            If Magic’s creator can’t even halt this downward spiral with Dominaria then all hope is lost.

            People are actually getting fed up with the direction Design is taking magic, and Dominaria will be the deciding point.

            I’ve been playing this game for nearly 20 years now and if Dominaria is just more of the same bad design, I might just sell my collection and abandon the game because that shows me they aren’t willing to save the game’s future.

            I’ve already sold my Power / Burning Oath deck (Foiled out and valued at ~$17,500) and am currently down to 1 Legacy deck, 2 Modern decks, and 1 EDH deck.

            I’ll reinvest in Magic when I’m confident Wizards actually gives a s**t.

          • Neojames82

            Wow they are bringing back Mr. Richard?! Damn, they better not mess things up then with Dominaria.

          • Zombie

            Yeah, Richard Garfield is one the design team for Dominaria, which is why I refer to it as Magic’s last hope to get out of this slump.

    • Edward

      Actually they are spending time and money to improve the game. Mark Rosewater stated they made an entirely new team of people called Play Design whose purpose is to “create fun and balanced tournament formats”. Starting in Dominaria they essentially build and play test decks far ahead of time to make sure Standard is diverse and so they won’t have to ban so much just to get people to play other decks.

      • Kahai

        future future league has existed for a long time.

        • eltratzo

          future future league was just a few guys who met now and then to try and figure standard out in addition to their main job. play design is a group of fulltime playtesters mostly recruited from high level tournament players. let’s hope that large difference will be visible in future sets

      • Zombie

        Yeah I’m not gonna hold my breath.

        They could just hire better designers and not have horrifically warped Standard environments that are dominated by “Literally Just All of the Value” Creatures.dek

        Designers of the past got it right.

        CLEARLY their current team is garbage.

        • Edward

          I guess we will see with Dominaria. I hope they stray away from creature heavy themes for a little while. I want some good instant/sorcery builds. Spell Mastery making a return would be great and maybe a decent Prowess sub-theme.

          • Zombie

            They don’t need to change the way they’re doing creatures.

            Value creatures are completely fine as long as there are counterweights.

            The problem has been just creatures simply getting better over time and spells getting worse over time.

            Wizards is afraid to print strong spells because they don’t think new players are mentally capable of dealing with spell-slinging decks, whether they’re trying to pilot them or play against them.

            Why do you think we’ve never seen any spell on the levels of Treasure Cruise/Dig Through Time again? Wizards is afraid to push spells again.

            All they need to do is just not suck at designing a magic set like Khans of Tarkir and prior, and then we’re gucci.

          • Edward

            Oh I wasn’t saying they should stop making value creatures. I just meant the themes have been heavily reliant on Creatures lately. Explore, Raid, Enrage, Embalm/ Eternalize, Exert, -1/-1 or +1/+1 counters, and Crew. These are all things from the last 2 blocks that are used by creatures or rely on creatures. SOI and Kaladesh block were all much less reliant on creatures and had more mechanics that could be used on both creatures and noncreature spells without relying on creatures. I definitely agree they need to go back to Khans and before in terms of design. Khans block had a great mix of powerful creatures and noncreature spells that both were heavily impactful on standard. Some even see play in other formats.

          • Zombie

            But that ties into creatures getting better over time while spells get worse.

            We’re constantly getting powered down, strictly worse spells in Standard while creatures get more and more power tacked on, whether it’s in their aggressive costing or their abilities.

            It started right after Khans. The creatures kept getting pushed, but they reeled back on the spells after Treasure Cruise and DTT.

            Admittedly, TC and DTT were both horrifically overpowered. But what Wizards should have done instead of panicking and dropping spell power like a rock afterwards is just redesign their sets’ spells from the ground up and distribute that power, rather than frontloading it on cards like Fatal Push, which blew every other card in the set out of the water in terms of widespread playability.

            Wizards needs to up the power level of spells as a whole, but also maintain a balance of that power between the spells in the set.

            That requires printing niche silver-bullet spells that answer otherwise uninteractive set mechanics, strong reprints that fit set themes, and aggressively dropping CMC for most spells to make more than 2% of them even remotely playable outside of Limited.

            … all the while using cards like Dig Through Time as a guiding tool to show them how far NOT to go.

            Cards like Fatal Push – pretty good.

            Game-warping cards like Dig Through Time that get banned in Eternal formats – very bad.

            And keep in mind this is coming from a player who plays far more creature-heavy decks than spell-slinging decks in every format I participate in.

            Well, save Pauper. There I play Mono Blue Delver because I’m evil.

          • Neojames82

            I love playing creature decks but yeah, they really need to make some good; cheap and usable fun instant and sorcery spells again. Wouldn’t mind at all making a red-mono damage deck or a fun sac/boom black/red deck or how about some nice comeback of counter blue (maybe not super powerful blue back in the day). Variety is the spice of life and sadly WotC seemed to forget that.

  • Nick

    But why ramunap ruins. It’s not that much of a game changer!

    • Elizabeth

      Isn’t Ruins what pushed Ramunap Red over the edge? I thought that’s where the name came from.

    • N282

      The said in play testing after they removed Energy, Red had a 60%+ win rate against most decks

    • Zombie

      Ramunap Ruins literally makes the deck.

      It’s called Ramunap Red.

  • Jude

    Slowly we see standard and not kaladesh block constructed

  • Deadly Berry

    Starting 2018 with 4 new bans in Standard hahaha… utterly pathetic. Just leave my EDH alone and I won’t care what happens with your warped, dysfunctional “competitive” formats.

    • The_Good_O

      Not all competitive formats are dysfunctional, standard is recovering from all the changes that WotC has done to it in response to the reaction the players gave from the original changes that WotC intended.

      • Giby86 .

        Standard is a trainwreck. Modern is just way to expensive if you mean to play somewhat seriously. Legacy is a small niche not at all supported by WotC, and more expensive than Modern. Vintage is non-existant. Pauper is the best competitive format, but again, zero support from WotC, which makes it hard even figuring out what cards you can actually play. CEDH is an abomination. Which competitive format is NOT dysfunctional exactly? Frontier? Canadian Highlander?

        • The_Good_O

          How are they dysfunctional? You are simply stating your opinion about each format. All of this is opinionated. Even my opinion that they are not dysfunctional. I suggest looking more into Modern, there are several competitive decks that are a few hundred dollars. While that hurts to pay for that up front, you will not have to spend any more later other than tournaments. Honestly thats only a little bit more than some standard decks. Wizards should definitely support pauper, but once it receives support it will no longer be cheap. Could you please give more examples of how they are dysfunctional? ex. How is CEDH an abomination? (Super expensive, but most people will allow proxies).

          • Giby86 .

            Legacy and Vintage are dysfunctional because they have a monetary barrier to entry that effectively keeps out everyone except those who were playing when you could find duals in booster packs, and people with the resources to dish out thousands of dollars for ONE deck. Modern is dysfunctional for pretty much the same reason, because playing a format is not the same as buying a single deck and hope that it remains competitive forever. Meta changes, decks evolve, bans happen, so to keep playing any format you have to be able to adapt, which, in Modern’s case, means spending ludicrous amounts of money. CEDH is an abomination because EDH was created with the specific reason of not being competitive, so a competitive version of an eminently non-competitive format is just wrong. Luckily, it isn’t supported by anyone, really. And pauper, well, pauper is played with common cards. Common cards are not expensive. Even things like Bolt and Urza’s lands are nowhere near the cost of Standard or Modern staples. You can easily buy a tier 1 deck for less than a hundred bucks, and that’s not likely going to change. And if it does change, it’s easily in Wizard’s power to keep the price of staples down, simply by reprinting them. Reprinting, say, Gurmag Angler is not the same as reprinting Damnation, it can be done easily and painlessly. But as of now, Pauper IS dysfunctional because Wizards, for some absurd reason, refuses to unify MTGO printings with paper printings, and streamline the format.

          • The_Good_O

            It looks like we will have to agree to disagree here. While it would be nice to not have higher prices on cards, competitive cards will always be more expensive. Blame players, not the formats themselves. We are the ones that price cards, if we think a card is too expensive, we won’t buy it and the price goes down. I would like to explain how I feel Modern is actually a great format; as it is the format I currently have the most experience in. First off, the price can be an issue starting off, but bans in modern do not actually happen that frequently, and if your deck receives the ban hammer, most cards from decks can fit into another deck unless you are playing a combo deck. Even then, lands (which are the most expensive parts of most decks), can be swapped in between decks and their price is very unlikely to drop. Modern as a format does not have a single deck that is better than the others. Each deck has checks and counters. Decks like death’s shadow are strong and resilient, especially to bans. If say the creature death’s shadow was banned, the deck could easily be swapped to a delver deck or a control deck in those colors. You can also play one deck forever, as burn is always good unless wizards makes some broken cards for it or against it whic is highly unlikely. On another note, CEDH is an abomination when faced against non competitive EDH decks. When against other CEDH decks, the games are quite fun and interactive. Playing with high powered cards in a “vintage-lite” format is pretty sweet and a good break from other formats. Overall I would like to ask if the problem of price is a format problem or is it a problem for Wizards and the players? In the end I would say that it is our fault for paying for expensive cards (definitely guilty) and wizards fault for being reluctant to reprint these expensive cards (though in recent years they have done way better). Basically, I would not say that price alone makes formats dysfunctional. If fact, some of these formats are very balanced, healthy and are functioning quite nicely. One time payment for a deck hurts up front, but in the long run is not as bad as it would seem. Metas change, but not as quickly as you’d think.

          • Giby86 .

            I think the most important point of discussion is the last: is the price of cards enough to label a format as dysfunctional? And whose fault is it if cards cost as much as they do?
            On the first point, I think that yeah, the cost to enter a format has everything to do with how healthy a format is. There was a video from Tolarian Community College a while ago, where the Professor goes to his LGS and spends the amount of money an average modern deck costs, to see how much stuff he can purchase. The results are stunning, and eye-opening on just how much of “an issue” the price really is, for ONE single deck. It’s just bonkers that LANDS cost as much as they do, and while you’re right that they are an investment, as they don’t rotate, don’t get banned and retain their value, I don’t want to “invest” in Magic, I just want to play. This is a disincentive to play the format, pure and simple, and I’m inclined to consider any format, as good as it may be, that asks me to dish out a thousand bucks for a deck, pretty dysfunctional.
            Now, whose fault is it that cards cost as much as they do? I don’t think there’s an easy answer here, but let me try. Yes, you’re right, as long as players continue paying 100 dollars for a piece of cardboard, people will continue selling them for that price, but that’s only part of the problem. A very deeply rooted issue is that Magic draws interest both from people who want to just play the game, and from collectors and investors. Those groups have different desires: as a player, I would love for Damnation to be at 5$, but if you have invested money in that foil playset you do not want it to drop in price. WotC is trying to appease both groups by balancing reprints and premium versions of coveted cards, but this just isn’t good for the players: if WotC decided to make modern an affordable format, it would be easy, as they could just reprint fetches and key cards in regular sets. They could print Modern Masters sets and not put out a MSRP that is double the regular cards for ABSOLUTELY NO REASON WHATSOEVER. They could give away actually useful, expensive cards as FNM promos instead of garbage tokens. If they don’t do any of this is because they value collectors/investors as much, if not more, as actual players, and so we, the players, are left with scarcity of needed reprints, and even when they do happen they’re in limited edition sets or ultra-rare lottery cards, so the effect on the secondary market is very very little. I don’t want to get into the reserved list argument, and consequently into legacy and vintage. But modern? Modern’s barrier of entry is fixable, by Wizards, with a few moves. If it doesn’t get fixed, it must mean that Wizards doesn’t really care that much, and that’s sad, because I’m sure you’re right, and the gameplay itself is actually fun, engaging and diverse. It’s just not enough if most players get scared away by the sheer amount of money they have to pay up front.

            Oh, and CEDH is an abomination regardless of context. It is literally the exact opposite of what the format was meant to be. It’s like having an olive branch and using it to stab someone in the eye.

          • The_Good_O

            Lol, that’s a funny comparison about CEDH, but I honestly would still have to disagree. But yes, Wizards can reprint more cards. Especially the FNM promos. That change made me sick to my stomach. If we could have fetchlands as FNM promos, or more reasonably; shocklands, that would be a much appreciated change and it would lessen the barrier to entry for modern. Wizards is a company and for the sake of their longevity, they must please all their customers (talking about the investors, collectors, and players here), and this is why we don’t see expensive cards drop very low. Many players would love to see $5 modern staples, but many players would get upset because their money was “wasted”. Also, because wizards is a company, they throw most of their support at the format that makes them the most money, which is standard. Standard is a necessary “evil” because it is the cash flow for magic. Packs have to sell and that is the tried and true way of getting packs to sell. I do understand the appeal of standard, but I do not enjoy the process of buying and selling a deck, which is necessary if one desires to stay in standard. Either way, there are problems with MTG, but it is still the game we love and the diversity of the player as and game is what makes it so great. While we should communicate to wizards about these problems, we also have to give them some slack because they have to do things we don’t like so they can stay running as a company.

          • Giby86 .

            Yeah. Well, I guess my main grievance is that in a card game, investors and actual players should not be regarded equally. I have built a respectable collection of cards throughout the years, with quite a lot of value in it, but I would gladly, gladly exchange most of that value if it would mean that more players get access to the cards they want and can play the formats they love, because I consider myself a player and not an investor. What’s sad is that WotC has no intention to make a stand for the players, instead giving us a half-baked, cowardly reprint policy that leads to enemy fetches, snapcasters and damnations being reprinted in a premium, limited set built entirely to rip off players.

          • The_Good_O

            I agree with you, most players do as well. But sadly, companies care about investors because money.

          • Giby86 .

            I know, and I still think that it’s an oversight on their part. They would make so much more money if people were actually playing all formats. Instead, they choose to protect the secondary market off of which they don’t make money, at least not directly. There is a serious problem in customer trust right now, with 2 Masters sets a year, stupid Wallmart bundles, low cardstock quality, lottery cards…they’re alienating their player base, and I don’t see any financial profit in this.

        • Kameenook

          Modern is not too expensive to play seriously, it has a huge investment up front but that investment over time pays for itself in comparison to standard, where you’re still paying a lot for decks during each rotation.

          • Giby86 .

            I’ll say here as well: go find the video of Tolarian Community College where the Professor takes the money an average modern deck costs and spends it all on tabletop games. That’ll give you some perspective on just how expensive modern is. It doesn’t really matter if standard is ALSO expensive, does it.

          • Kameenook

            It’s a moot point as far as Magic is concerned if both formats are expensive, the point goes that insofar for magic modern would end up being cheaper than standard. That’s not to say doing what he does and buying a bunch of tabletop games won’t be a good investment, especially if they’re something you enjoy.

          • Giby86 .

            The point is that you cannot ask new players to dish out a thousand bucks of one deck and pretend it’s “not too expensive”. And WotC knows, that’s why they’ve been trying to reduce the price of staples for the last few years. The problem is that they’re ALSO trying to keep investors happy, and to rob players by selling them needed reprints at an unjustifiable premium.

          • Kameenook

            Yes you can’t ask them to do that of course, but over time it should be that players are able to gravitate towards that format. If you keep new players in standard for long enough, they will end up shelling out that much or more, a losing proposition for them.

  • Giby86 .

    First ban disaster was Urza. Then Mirrodin. Then Kaladesh. Can we just acknowledge that Wizards just cannot do an artifact-themed set and move on?

    • Red_Five_Standing_By

      The problem with Kaladesh really is not the artifacts. Its the free energy.

      • Giby86 .

        Yeah. And Urza’s block was technically about enchantments. But still!

    • Theblue ant

      And Mirrodin: The Sequel, which had Phyrexian mana, Infect, and the swords/ living weapons which got Stoneforge banned.

  • Pocketfulofgeek

    I mean can we at least acknowledge how much explanation Wizards put into this announcement? That was a long article to explain the banning of 4 cards. That deserves credit in itself regardless of your opinions on standard currently.

    • Zombie

      Now all we need is an explanation regarding why they even had these design failures in the first place.

      • Deadly Berry

        Wizards will never admit that they screwed up. In their current shameless state they would go as far as blaming the players for making use of those combos. Any part time designer can see the issues with the cards currently in the banlist.

      • Giby86 .

        We have it, actually…they’ve never had a team devoted exclusively to testing in a competitive environment, composed of people who, you know, play competitive Magic and actually know what the heck they’re doing. They have one now, so we shall see.

        • Zombie

          They should have had one this entire time. That’s just extremely poor oversight/arrogance to not have it.

          • Giby86 .

            Sure, but they work so ahead of time that any decision they make is going to be seen years after. It’s like watching Alpha Centauri: you’re actually looking at what it looked like 4 years ago. Poetic, if you’re so inclined.

    • Giby86 .

      This level of transparency is the only reason people still have a modicum of trust for R&D at this point…

  • PrissyRose

    and wizards does something it should have done a long time ago, might actually play standard now seeing it wont be a one deck meta anymore!

    • Kameenook

      Two deck meta as you could have seen from the bannings, Temur Energy and Ramunap Red were both decks anyone wanting to have a good chance of winning were defaulting too.

  • Grant Scholz

    For me, my greatest disappointment is Wizards’ complete and utter contempt for maintaining their gatherer website.

    You can no longer rate cards.
    You can no longer comment.
    There are typos and
    THERE ARE LITERALLY IMAGES MISSING!
    That’s not even mentioning the broken search algorithms that end up with no results.

    • Giby86 .

      And you can’t search for pauper legality, which is unreal to me.

    • Kahai

      I have bitched at WotC for years since they broken Gatherer. I have intentionally gone to their website to complain about it in surverys. They honestly don’t care about players.