Last week, during their announcement of Pauper bannings, Wizards of the Coast declared there would be another ban announcement on 01/25/22. They did not, however, specify which formats they would change. This left many players speculating what could change.
Alchemy will not receive any bannings as it is a digital format and cards receive nerfs rather than bans. If it is included in the upcoming banned list announcement, it is possible that Key to the Archive, Inquisitor Captain, or Fearsome Whelp will be changed, which Alan Gadbois wrote in detail about.
Historic may be impacted by the upcoming announcement as well. Cauldron Familar posed problems during its time in Standard, which led to a ban. Its combo with Witch’s Oven proved to be powerful in Historic as well.
Standard will almost certainly not receive any changes as Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty is soon be released and will inevitably shake up the Standard metagame.
There’s a possibility that Modern cards are on the chopping block too. The format is quite diverse currently, although there’s one Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths card, in particular, that’s arguably too good for the game.
If there are to be changes made to the Modern banned list in the upcoming announcement, let’s speculate as to what they could be.
Prime Suspect #1 – Lurrus of the Dream-Den
The companion mechanic as a whole was so overpowering that for the first time ever, WOTC made an errata to an entire Magic: the Gathering mechanic. But even with the major nerf, Lurrus of the Dream-Den is still causing problems.
The main problem with Lurrus is that its companion deck-building restriction is not that big of a hindrance in a format like Modern. Modern decks are fast. The majority of decks naturally play cards with low mana costs just to keep up with the metagame.
This makes Lurrus of the Dream-Den a free inclusion in many decks.
A Consolation Banning – Mishra’s Bauble
The most commonly played card alongside Lurrus of the Dream-Den is Mishra’s Bauble. It serves as a free way to draw cards every turn by replaying it with Lurrus.
Banning Mishra’s Bauble also acts as a way of nerfing Dragon’s Rage Channeler decks. Hammer Time, Death’s Shadow, Burn, Jund, and many more decks are playing the Cat Nightmare.
Is it Time to Ban Ragavan Nimble Pilferer?
Ragavan, Nimble Pilferer, is undeniably good. Many players would say it is too good. Although I wouldn’t be opposed to banning the Monkey Pirate, I don’t think it is necessary. I wrote about this in detail in my article, Ragavan is a Perfectly Acceptable MTG Modern Card.
Will WOTC Unban Anything?
Wizards of the Coast did not specifically state that they would be banning cards in the upcoming announement. They only said there would be changes. This leaves open the possibility that cards could come off the banned list.
Birthing Pod is a fan favorite card. It makes for fun, gimmicky, toolbox decks that play a wide range of creatures. But WOTC banned Pod in 2015 because “Birthing Pod decks won significantly more Grand Prix than any other Modern decks [in the last year] and compose the largest percentage of the [Modern metagame].”
Modern changed drastically since 2015. As a whole, the format is more powerful. I have no doubt that Birthing Pod would be playable in today’s metagame, but I don’t think it would be as egregious as it was in 2015.
Many players may disagree with me, but I think it’s time to give Deathrite Shaman another chance in Modern. I wrote a detailed analysis as to why, which you can read here.