Sunday, January 24, 2016

Wizards policy on Modern Bannings

Hi Everyone!

I read in an article recently that talked about the history of bannings in Modern. I read an article that said Wizards states that every ban is in the interest of format diversity and that many cards like Wild Nacatl and Bitterblossom come back after a few years. Their conclusion is that because the format doesn't rotate Wizards needs to use the ban list to shake up the format.

I have to say I disagree with this sentiment. The purpose of the ban list was never to "shake up" formats. It is to protect the format from degenerative cards that hurt the format. Let's look at one ban that I read about being a "shake up" ban, Wild Nacatl. It was banned because the only viable aggro deck was Zoo (stated by Wizards). I don't know if this was the best ban (it was unbanned after all) because it was to hurt a specific deck. I don't agree with this kind of ban.

Twin is a ban that happened because if a deck had red and blue cards it was instantly better by adding twin. The combo didn't take a lot of cards to execute and didn't require a deck be built around it. It was like having Time Vault and Voltaic Key, it was an easy two card instant win, so no matter what your deck did it was a good option. 

Pod was banned for the same reason as Twin. If you're playing (creatures in Pods case) your deck gets instantly better by playing with Pod. I argued when Pod was banned that Twin was a better ban because of the way Pod at least required a deck be built in a manner to be able to utilize Pod. Twin just needs two combo pieces and that's it.

Anyway. It seems that Twin and Pod were banned for the same reason. Looking at earlier bans I think the policy was more along the lines of "this deck is too good". Hopefully we see cards like Deathrite Shaman, Bloodbraid Elf, Ancestral Visions, and maybe even Jace off the banned list someday if Wizards has changed their reason for bans in Modern.

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