A few days ago, Wizards of the Coast announced some major bannings in Pauper, and also that there would be another Banned and Restricted announcement to cover other formats. Today we got that B&R and Boy oh Boy is it a big one. Let’s get right into it and check out what’s happening.
- Alrund’s Epiphany is BANNED
- Divide by Zero is BANNED
- Faceless Haven is BANNED
- Ragavan, Nimble Pilferer is BANNED
- Memory Lapse is BANNED (From Suspended)
- Teferi, Time Raveler has been Rebalanced and Unbanned
Truth be told, I did NOT expect that Standard was going to be touched at all. Historically, when a new set is about to be released, they hold of on banning anything from Standard to see how the set impacts the format. While we know that Alrund’s Epiphany and Faceless Haven got rebalanced for Alchemy and were presumably on the watch list, Divide By Zero was not one that I saw coming.
We’ve all seen the scourge that was Izzet Turns in Standard in some form, which Alrund’s Epiphany was a big part of. Same goes for Divide by Zero, being one of the strongest “counter spells” in the format. In conjunction with Lier, Disciple of the Drowned it was very hard to resolve anything. Faceless Haven really was the main means for Mono Colored Aggro decks to counteract these control strategies, and with the nerf to control, this made a ton of sense.
Legacy is very powerful format. With the addition of Modern Horizons 2, there was a major power spike in the Izzet Delver decks, lead by Ragavan, Nimble Pilferer. Often times, this deck would snowball it’s advantages in the early game with Ragavan, backed up by cards like Daze and Force of Will, which lead to it having a really high win rate. The team will be monitoring the format closer over the coming weeks and will make any other adjustments if needed.
For Historic, Memory Lapse was on the suspended list for a few months at this point. The format is such that it got MUCH healthier without it, and blue control decks continue to be a contender in the format. The team felt that it would be more detrimental to the format to have Memory Lapse back, so it’s now being Banned.
What’s REALLY interesting is that Teferi, Time Raveler got rebalanced and is being Unbanned. Now this version of Teferi is one of the strongest planeswalkers ever printed. It’s a power house in Modern and Legacy, and it was a menace to play against. It’s cheap mana cost and prohibitive passive ability really made it a must kill target, and if you couldn’t deal with it, the game was basically over. Let’s take a look at the new and improved Teferi, Time Raveler.
The new Teferi is now 4 mana instead of 3, starts with 5 Loyalty instead of 4, and his passive was changed to: “Your Opponents can’t cast spells during your turn”. I believe that these changes are nice, and will make the card less prohibitive to play against. The difference between 3 and 4 mana is quite large in terms of board development. Putting Teferi at 4 means that control decks now need to choose between playing Teferi on curve, and casting a Wrath of God to deal with a built up board state.
The Passive rework is nice as well, as this accomplishes a lot of the same things the original Teferi’s passive did, but allows opponents to play with cards on the stack on their turns in order to deal with him. Finale of Promise and Dreadhorde Arcanist were mentioned by the team. I believe that despite the nerfs, Terefi will still see play in Jeskai and Azorius control decks.
What are your thoughts on the bannings? Did you expect some of these? What would you have liked to have seen been banned or unbanned? Let us know in the comments!