Arriving on Thursday, July 7, the next game update brings several adjustments to cards—individually and in support of deck diversity. Additionally, Grinning Ignus will be banned in Alchemy effective July 7.
Gains "Cauldron Familiar can't block."
Removed "Whenever a creature an opponent controls dies, gain 1 life."
Cauldron Familiar and Meathook Massacre have shown themselves to be too strong versus conventional creature-based decks in Historic. Cauldron Familiar effectively shuts down creature combat, and Meathook Massacre punishes the opponent for trying to build a board state to get around Cauldron Familiar. We are hoping these two changes make other creature-based decks more competitive against Food decks.
Dragon's Rage Channeler
Delirium effect now +2/+0 (from +2/+2)
Dragon's Rage Channeler is one of the most powerful cards in Historic, especially in the Arclight Phoenix deck, and we are hoping to make it easier to interact with in combat and with removal.
Delirium now deals 4 damage (from 6 damage)
Unholy Heat too easily undermines red's weakness to large creatures. This change is meant to make high-toughness creatures stronger against red in Historic.
Winota, Joiner of Forces
Now triggers when one or more non-Human creatures you control attack; unbanned in Historic.
Winota, Joiner of Forces was too difficult to beat both in the early and late game when triggering multiple times per turn. By restricting it to triggering once per turn, we are keeping the explosive potential of the card but are allowing other decks to overcome it if they develop a strong board position.
Banned from Alchemy
One of Alchemy's guiding lights is to keep the format fast, fun, and dynamic. While combo decks can be a fun and healthy part of metagames, this deck fell outside these format goals. We discussed rebalancing (and may do so at a future date), but each change we've considered so far would effectively eliminate this combo, so we've decided to ban the card instead.
Past sets in Standard and Alchemy have supported decks built around +1/+1 counters, and we're buffing those cards to better support cards like Brokers Ascendancy, Sanctuary Warden, and Falco Spara, Pactweaver from Streets of New Capenna. These changes aim to make cards originally designed for Limited more competitive in Constructed, and to buff other cards that have not made an impact in Standard and Alchemy.
Now distributes two +1/+1 counters each of up to two target creatures you control (up from one).
We added flexibility to Bretagard Stronghold to make it better in games where it is more important to have a single big creature and games where only one creature is likely to be in play versus removal.
Entering the battlefield now distributes two +1/+1 counters among one or two target creatures; activated ability cost changed to W, Tap (reduced from 4W, Tap)
Dueling Coach's ability was too expensive and heavily relied on other cards to be worth activating. The changes are aimed at making it a more self-sufficient four-mana creature and even stronger when combined with other cards.
Fall of the Impostor
Costs GW (from 1GW)
We are buffing a removal spell for the +1/+1 counter deck since synergistic decks often have trouble including interactions that don't contribute to the deck's strategy.
Now four +1/+1 counters if kicked (from two +1/+1 counters)
Costs 1GW (from 2GW); activated ability costs GW (from from 1GW); now 4/3 (from 4/4)
Costs 1B (from 2B)
Costs 3B (from 4B); now 3/3 (from 2/2)
We are aiming to give +1/+1 counter decks more options to win through blockers with these four changes.
Costs 3G (from 4G); now 3/3 (from 3/4)
Since Iridescent Hornbeetle has a unique effect for +1/+1 counter decks, we are making it more efficient for Constructed play so players building these decks have more options.
When triggered, Moss-Pit Skeleton's last ability now returns Moss-Pit Skeleton to your hand at the beginning of the next end step (as opposed to the top of your library).
Costs 2B (from 3B); activated ability costs B (from 1B)
We are aiming to give +1/+1 counter decks more options for card advantage with these two changes, especially versus control decks.
Gains ward 2
Changed "each attacking creature" to "each creature you control" on the second ability:
Since Oran-Rief Ooze has a significant deck-building cost, we felt it did not need the additional restriction of having to have creatures attack alongside it.
Now 5/5 (from 4/4)
Buffing Tanazir Quandrix to 5/5 will give it better defensive utility against the four-power Dragons, Angels, and other flying creatures in Alchemy and make it more threatening while attacking with its last ability.
Instants, Sorceries, and Wizards
Decks built around instants and sorceries often have very few or no creatures to interact with. We are buffing creatures and other cards that synergize with instants and sorceries to encourage more decks that are easier to interact with.
Costs 2R (from 4R); now 3/2 (from 3/4)
Costs UHR (from 1UHR)
Costs 2R (from 3R); now 2/2 (from 3/3)
Costs 1R (from 2R); now 2/1 (from 2/2)
We are making these four creatures more efficient to give decks built around instants, sorceries, and creature type Wizard cards more options to play and build decks with.
Master of Winds
Now 1/5 (from 1/4); triggered ability changes to "base power and toughness becomes 5/1 or 1/5 until end of turn"
Master of Winds's stats were not competitive with other flying creatures at the same cost. Since many flying creatures have four power, this change will let Master of Winds profitably block those creatures and attack for more damage.
Costs 1U (from 2U)
Rowan, Scholar of Sparks // Will, Scholar of Frost
Rowan starting loyalty now 3 (from 2); Rowan ultimate now -5 (from -4)
Will starting loyalty now 5 (from 4); Will ultimate now -8 (from -7)
It was too difficult to have Rowan and Will stay on the battlefield to make use of their passive, so we're increasing the starting loyalty to make them easier to protect.
Cost for level 3 now 1UR (from 3UR)
Most of Sorcerer Class's power was in level 2, and level 3 was often not worth reaching due to its high cost. We are reducing the cost to reach level 3 to make the card a more consistent win condition given its high deck-building cost.
We added haste to Umara Mystic to let it scale better into the late game when played with other cheap instants and sorceries in the same turn.
Quality of life Changes
We are adding "nonland" to Painful Bond so it doesn't add misleading text to lands in your hand.
Added "up to one"
We are adding "up to one" to Obscura Polymorphist so you aren't forced to exile a creature if it would be disadvantageous to do so.