Despite growing concern among the Magic: The Gathering community that Wizards of the Coast has been somewhat heavy-handed with the banhammer as of late, the developer certainly doesn’t appear to be in agreement. The company has stated numerous times in the past that it would rather introduce new cards intended to counter prevalent meta decks instead of permanently removing them from play, though clearly, many are so problematic that only the latter action is enough to halt their dominance.
Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths‘ introduction of Companions, for example, has proven to be controversial due to each of the 10 cards sporting its keyword proving to be more powerful than even Wizards could have predicted. Despite banning the worst offender in Lurrus of the Dream Den, the developer was eventually forced to rework Companions altogether.
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The quest to achieve a perfectly balanced meta continues on July 13th with a further update to MTG‘s Banned & Restricted list and while it’s unlikely to have as much of an impact on the affected formats as those mentioned above, a number of candidates have already been put forward by fans. According to Wizards’ initial announcement, Historic, Pioneer, Modern and Pauper will all be impacted by next week’s changes, with the likes of Nexus of Fate and Wilderness Reclamation – which when used in tandem can result in a game-winning combo that’s notoriously difficult to counter, as well as Dimir Inverter and Arcum’s Astrolabe potentially headed for the chopping block.
With Core 2021 being no more than a week old, however, it’s probably safe to rule out any cards from that set from being retired but never say never. As always, be sure to let us know of any problem Magic: The Gathering cards you think need a time out in the usual place below!