For one reason or another, Wizards of the Coast snuck in a little mini B&R announcement into the December 8th MTG Arena Announcements article. If you missed it, don’t worry we have you covered. The announcement was very heavily focused on Alchemy, so this Banning felt a bit odd to see here, but at the same time, probably didn’t warrant a full B&R announcement.
Historic Brawl Bans
- Agent of Treachery is Banned
- Field of the Dead is Banned
- Ugin, the Spirit Dragon is Banned
For anyone who does play Historic Brawl, this is a pretty big deal. I don’t even play all that much of it, but it’s still a pretty impactful banning. WotC did say that they did consider their new rebalancing tools for these cards, but at the end of the day, the original integrity of the cards wouldn’t be maintained and either be unsatisfying, or not address any of the problems.
Their main reasoning for the bannings are that these cards were over popular in many main decks and either exploited or pushed against some of the core tenants of the format. The ones mentioned are having a game plan focused around a single permanent, Singleton Deck building, and Color restrictions.
Agent of TreacheryAgent of Treachery is a card that is very polarizing. Some people love it, many don’t. However which way you slice it, the card is very strong and in a singleton format where consistency of removal spells is scattered at best, WotC thought that this was too much.
Field of the DeadField of the Dead was honestly a card that lasted too long. As much as I love this card, it definitely was a plague on the format. The consistency of multiple zombies in a turn just for playing lands is too good to pass up. The diversity of lands that we see in Arena today makes it such that this card slots into nearly every deck.
Ugin, the Spirit Dragon
Big ol’ Papa Ugin, the Spirit Dragon rounds out the list. This powerful planeswalker is one that really breaks the “Color Restriction” bit pretty blatantly. Getting to 8 mana is a trivial feat, and it’s even possible to cheat this into play with multiple cards. Having blanket access to a few powerful removal effects is just too much for WotC in the format.
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If you’re still playing Historic Brawl, what are your thoughts on these bannings? I think that they’re fine hits for sure, but I think that the real problem is with Golos, Tireless Pilgrim and Esika, God of the Tree giving nearly free access to the rest of their respective deck’s most powerful cards. Let us know what you think in the comments!