One key to the continued health of Magic is diversity. It is vitally important to ensure that there are multiple competitive decks for the tournament player to choose from. Why? If there were only a single viable deck to play, tournaments would quickly stagnate as players were forced to either play that deck or a deck built specifically to beat it. In addition, different players enjoy playing different types of decks. If there are plenty of viable options to play, there will be more players at more tournaments.

To help maintain the diversity and health of the Magic tournament environment, a system of banned and restricted lists has been developed. These lists are made up of cards that are either not allowed at all, or allowed only in a very limited manner.

It's important to note a couple of things: First, these lists apply only to Constructed formats and not Limited formats. Second, the banned and restricted lists are format-specific, so a card that is banned in Modern may still be legal to play in Standard.

Banned Cards

If a card appears on the banned list for your chosen format, then you may not include that card in your deck or sideboard. Doing so makes your deck illegal to play in any sanctioned tournaments for that format.

Cards are usually banned from play if they enable a deck or play style that heavily skews the play environment. What does that mean? If the card were legal, a competitive player either must be playing it, or must be specifically targeting it with his or her own strategies.

Some cards are banned because they have proven to simply be too powerful in their respective format. While hundreds of hours are spent rigorously playtesting sets before their release, the complexity of Magic makes it nearly impossible to accurately predict all the ways the new cards interact with older ones.

Cards whose art, text, name, or combination thereof that are racially or culturally offensive are banned in all formats. This list is a work in progress. Click here for the list.

Restricted Cards

If you wish to use a card that’s on the restricted list for your chosen format, you may include only a single copy of that card, counting both your main deck and your sideboard. Currently, only the Vintage format uses a restricted list.

Standard Banned Cards

Revised: September 24, 2021

The following cards are banned:

Vintage Banned and Restricted Cards

While Modern lets you play cards from as far back as 2003, Vintage lets you play cards from any set in the 20+ year history of Magic!

The following cards are banned from Vintage play:

  • 25 cards with the Card Type “Conspiracy.” Click here for list.
  • 9 cards that reference "playing for ante." Click here for list.
  • Cards whose art, text, name, or combination thereof that are racially or culturally offensive are banned in all formats. This list is a work in progress. Click here for the list.
  • Chaos Orb
  • Falling Star
  • Shahrazad

The following cards are restricted, which means you can only have one of them in your main deck and sideboard combined:

Block BANNED CARDS

Block play requires a Constructed deck, which must contain a minimum of sixty cards. All cards in your deck must be from a single block of Magic releases.

The following cards are banned in block-constructed tournaments:

BRAWL BANNED CARDS

The following cards are banned in Brawl and cannot be included in your deck or used as your commander:

Note: The regular Standard banned list does not apply to Brawl. If a card from a Standard-legal set isn't listed here, it's fine to use.

Historic Banned Cards

What Suspension Means

Suspending cards is our way to incorporate Magic's history of using bans and restrictions to address issues with the current meta while allowing greater flexibility to adjust as a digital-first format.

For gameplay purposes, a suspension works like a ban, in that the card will not be legal to use in the format while it is suspended. But unlike how we handle banning cards, we plan to use the flexibility that a digital format provides to move cards onto and off the suspension list on a regular basis. Suspension isn't a final verdict; it's an indication that we think this card may be causing issues, and we'd like to see what the meta looks like without that influence.

Suspension is also a temporary measure. Some may be returned to the playable pool (likely because we believe changes to the current Historic environment provides the appropriate answers or countermeasures), and the rest will move to being fully banned.

The following cards are banned:

The following cards are banned from Historic Brawl:

Magic Online Banned and Restricted Policies

Formats unique to Magic Online have their own Banned and Restricted lists. Those lists are maintained on the format pages themselves. Use the links below to view any of those pages.

For formats that exist in tabletop as well as Magic Online, banned and restricted announcements are announced on Mondays by Tabletop Studio (R&D), and are effective on Magic Online at noon Pacific Time on the following day.

When a card is banned or restricted, players using the newly banned card in a league have until the Magic Online effective time to finish their league courses. At that time, any remaining players with newly illegal decks will be removed from the league with their entry option returned to their collection. If a card is unbanned or unrestricted, players can join existing leagues with decks containing those cards after the update.

MAGIC ONLINE COMMANDER

Build a 100-card singleton deck around a Commander, typically a single legendary creature.

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FREEFORM

All sets and cards are allowed in this 40-card minimum format.

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MOMIR BASIC

Decks must have exactly 60 basic lands and one “Momir Vig” Vanguard card.

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PLANESWALKER

Limited to gold-bordered cards, available in Magic Online Planeswalker deck packs.

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