April Banned and Restricted List Announcement

Today Wizards announced the update to the Banned and Restricted Lists for tournament formats. Nothing was banned in Standard despite the strength of Mardu Vehicles and Felidar Guardian-Saheeli Rai combo. Nothing was banned in Modern. Legacy and Vintage saw key cards added to the list.

Sensei's Divining Top is banned in Legacy.

Gitaxian Probe and Gush are restricted in Vintage.

Aaron Forsythe took time to state the position of Magic R&D.

On Legacy:

In Legacy, Miracles—a deck that is focused on combining Counterbalance and Sensei's Divining Top to control what opponents can or (mostly) cannot resolve—has been the best deck in the format for some time. We were hopeful that this would change over time, but it has not. That alone is not necessarily enough to move to ban a card from the deck, but Sensei's Divining Top comes with its own host of issues that center around the timely conclusion of matches in a tournament setting. The necessity of repeated Top activations to play the card slows down match play and leads to tournament delays. Coupled with the power of the Miracles deck, this is reason enough for us to take action on Top. Therefore, Sensei's Divining Top is banned in Legacy.

On Vintage:

In Vintage, the metagame has come to a bit of a standstill as Monastery Mentor decks face down their main predator, Workshop decks. The primary issue seems to revolve around the prevalence of free draw spells for the Mentor deck that let it churn through its library for no mana while creating an abundance of tokens. We believe by removing these free draw spells—and the perfect information that comes with Gitaxian Probe—we will significantly weaken Monastery Mentor–based strategies. Hopefully the move away from "free" spells in the Mentor decks will lessen the impact of the Workshop deck's various Sphere of Resistance effects, opening up the metagame.

On the lack of changes to Standard:

In Standard, as we stated in the last Banned and Restricted Announcement, we are still watching the format closely—particularly the interaction between Felidar Guardian and Saheeli Rai, as well as the dominance of Mardu decks featuring Heart of Kiran. We have not seen the movement in the format we had hoped for with the Grand Prix in the latter half of the season, but we still believe we need to gather more data—particularly with an eye toward the effect of Amonkhet on the Pro Tour. Amonkhet has a number of exciting and powerful cards, both proactive and reactive, and too much can change with the introduction of that set. We don't want to ban something that might ultimately not have been a problem, or, worse, create a potentially worse problem due to lack of information. We need to let the players loose on this format and hope things turn out well—an outcome we believe is possible. However, if that does not happen, we will re-evaluate the situation a few weeks after the Pro Tour.

These bans go into effect today. The next Banned and Restricted List announcement will be on June 14, 2017 and will take effect June 19, 2017.



Update: Although the official website has crashed the Rules Committee has updated the Commander Banned List. Leovold, Emissary of Trest is banned while Protean Hulk is unbanned.


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