Announcement Date: June 7, 2022
Effective Date: June 7, 2022
The list of all banned and restricted cards, by format, is here.
As noted in previous updates, we want Pioneer to provide as diverse an experience as possible, built out of an ever-growing collection of Standards past.
Over time, it has become clear that Naya Winota is suppressing diversity as its power and consistency have drastically reduced incentives to play other linear creature-based strategies. Not only is it a resilient midrange deck that can leverage many of the powerful mana creatures available in the format, but its explosive draws involving the deck's namesake can create unassailable battlefield states as quickly as turn three.
Due to its large metagame share, high win rate, and ability to create frustrating removal-check gameplay,
Although we recognize that there are several other powerful card-draw spells in the format, notably
To lower the win rate of the wide variety of Izzet decks and bring them further in line with other strategies in the format while maintaining what makes them special in Pioneer,
It's worth noting that we will continue to align Pioneer ban announcements with action in Explorer. This means that
While we're choosing to make changes only to the Pioneer banned list at this time, we did examine and discuss the health of each of our competitive play formats. For each of those other formats, we found the metagames to be in a generally healthy state, characterized by moderate play rates and win rates among the most played decks, and good variety of choice among competitively viable decks. Below is a short summary of our "no changes" decisions for several formats.
Our data from the platinum and higher MTG Arena ladder shows the Standard metagame as being in a healthy spot. Various three-color mid-speed decks are the most played archetypes, the most popular of which (Esper and Grixis) each occupy about 10% of the ladder metagame. Jeskai variants (featuring either
All in all, this indicates potential for the metagame to continue evolving, and the current state already reflects good levels of diversity.
The Modern metagame continues to show great playstyle diversity, with aggro, tempo, combo, control, and ramp all represented in the ten most played decks. The most played deck, Izzet Murktide, represents about 10% of the Magic Online metagame and hovers right around a 50% win rate. The top decks show strengths and weaknesses against each other, and there looks to be plenty of room for less popular "rogue" decks to be successful.
Since the ban of
As always, data on Vintage tends to come in relatively small sample sizes, but we're not currently seeing anything that indicates changes being necessary. Recent Magic Online Vintage Challenge events show generally good diversity in decks and strategies. New additions from Modern Horizons 2 and other recent sets continue to show up, and there appears to be healthy potential for experimentation at the individual card level. As always, we'll continue listening to community feedback.