Announcement Date: September 28, 2015
Effective Date: October 2, 2015
Magic Online Effective Date: October 7, 2015
Dig Through Time is banned.
Black Vise is unbanned.
Chalice of the Void is restricted.
Dig Through Time is restricted.
Thirst for Knowledge is unrestricted.
Next B&R Announcement: January 18, 2016
Explanation of Changes
Wizards of the Coast examines tournament results from each competitive Constructed format. When a format becomes imbalanced, or too many games are not interactive, we examine the cause.
Here are our changes:
Over the past several months, the strategic diversity of Legacy has been diminished. Blue decks using Dig Through Time and various combo decks have occupied a greater portion of the metagame, pushing a lot of other decks out of the competitive scene. The problem is that other strategies tend to lose to the blue decks too frequently; they used to be more competitive, but now they fall behind when the blue decks reload for two mana using Dig Through Time. Dig Through Time is banned.
Some of the recent Legacy bans have been powerful card-drawing cards. Historically, Black Vise was a powerful card against those decks—and at times it was too powerful, limiting the metagame. Legacy decks are powerful enough that R&D does not think this is a likely problem, and the change might increase the diversity of the format. Black Vise is unbanned.
Workshop decks have become more and more popular. However, too many games are effectively decided by the first player's first turn. A major problem is that a turn-one Chalice of the Void for 0 deprives the opponent an opportunity to put Moxen on the battlefield. While players can adapt by not playing Moxen, the point of the format is to provide a place to play those cards. Chalice of the Void is restricted.
Dig Through Time has reduced the diversity of the format, though in a somewhat different way than in Legacy. In Vintage, it has replaced many other card-drawers, creating a less diverse format. Dig Through Time is comparable to other restricted card-drawers, and now shares that honor. Dig Through Time is restricted.
In 2009, blue-based artifact decks were dominating the format. There were not many options of cards to restrict, and we chose Thirst for Knowledge. This led to a much healthier metagame. However, six years later, a lot of cards have been added and the metagame is very different. The former dominating strategies are barely seen at all; the reason for the restriction is no longer evident. Thirst for Knowledge is unrestricted.