September 27, 2013, DCI Banned & Restricted List Announcement

Posted in Feature on September 16, 2013

By Erik Lauer

Erik Lauer is a senior game designer who works on final game design and development. Recently, he has led the Return to Ravnica, Modern Masters, and Theros development teams.

Announcement Date: September 16, 2013
Effective Date: September 27, 2013
Magic Online Effective Date: October 2, 2013

Magic Online Pauper 
Temporal Fissure and Cloudpost are banned.

Standard, Modern, Legacy, Vintage 
No changes

Changes to Magic Online-only formats are now announced monthly in the Magic Online Community Group blog.

For the complete list of all banned and restricted cards by format, click here.


Explanation of September 27, 2013, B&R Changes 
Erik Lauer

Recently, powerful decks in Pauper full of the "free spell mechanic," such as Cloud of Faeries and Snap, combine with Cloudpost to generate a lot of mana. Adding card-advantage creatures such as Mnemonic WallMulldrifter, and Sea Gate Oracle give a constant flow of cards. This also means that Temporal Fissure not only bounces a lot of your opponent's creatures, it allows you to recast the card-advantage creatures. With the Temporal Wall deck, this makes a loop. Other than permission decks, most decks have a hard time interacting with this strong deck.

The DCI looked into which cards were making this so difficult to deal with. First, the storm mechanic has few answers in Pauper. In our Gatecrash updateEmpty the Warrens and Grapeshot were banned. While we knew Temporal Fissure was also powerful, it was less strong than those two. Rather than ban the card, we choose to see how the metagame would shake out. In small amounts, the Temporal Fissure deck is interesting. But, in large amounts, it narrows the competitive metagame.

The second problem is Cloudpost. Without much downside, Cloudpost both accelerates your mana and gives a single land that taps for multiple mana, converting the "free spells" into mana generators. While other lands, such as the Ravnica bouncelands, can tap for two mana, they have larger drawbacks. When Cloudpost was banned in Modern, The Urza lands (Urza's MineUrza's Power Plant, and Urza's Tower) turned out to be strong enough to make a competitive Modern deck. We believe that scaling back to that level might make a more dynamic metagame for Pauper as well.

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