As promised last week, Wizards of the Coast has today published the latest update to Magic: The Gathering‘s Banned & Restricted list. As usual, a number of cards have either been prohibited from being played or placed under suspension (more on those later), but the biggest announcement this time around for most is undoubtedly the changes being made to Companions.
For those who have yet to dive in and explore what Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths is all about, Companion is a brand new keyword introduced with the latest Standard expansion that, to put it lightly, has been causing a number of balance issues ever since its introduction. By meeting various deckbuilding requirements listed on each Companion creature, their user not only gains access to a powerful effect but the ability to summon them from outside any individual match (or Sideboard).
While clearly intended to be powerful staples of the current Standard cycle, their higher-than-expected prevalence in both casual and competitive play has prompted Wizards to take action. Effectively immediately for tabletop and being brought into effect on June 4 for digital formats, the new Companion rule now reads as follows:
Once per game, any time you could cast a sorcery (during your main phase when the stack is empty), you can pay 3 generic mana to put your companion from your sideboard into your hand. This is a special action, not an activated ability.
Will this be enough to rein in the power level of popular picks such as Lurrus and Zirda? We’ll just have to wait and see on that front, though other adjustments outlined in this month’s update are assuredly much more straightforward. In order to bring down the win rate of certain Standard decks, Wizards has banned (and suspended) the following cards:
- Agent of Treachery is banned.
- Fires of Invention is banned.
- Agent of Treachery is suspended.
- Fires of Invention is suspended.
Happy with the tweaks? Think they don’t go far enough? Let us know your thoughts on Magic: The Gathering‘s upcoming card nerfs in the usual place below!