Ten Minute Magic (January 13th, 2016) – January 2017 Banned and Restricted List Updates, Aether Revolt Full Set List Reveal
Join Joseph Dunlap and Joe Butcher in this week’s episode of Ten Minute Magic, a bi-weekly podcast format that highlights recent news in the world of Magic: The Gathering and looks at recent content on Manaleak.com.
This is what’s been going on in Magic: The Gathering this past month…
1. Banned and Restricted List Update
Last Monday brought the most recent update to the Banned and Restricted list, a week ahead of schedule, and with it came some surprising changes. No cards were unbanned in this iteration, however, 3 influential Standard cards in the form of [c]Smuggler’s Copter[/c], [c]Emrakul the Promised End[/c] and [c]Reflector Mage[/c] were banned from the format. With the removal of only three cards, Wizards managed to either significantly weaken or downright remove certain archetypes from competitive play and the rock-paper-scissors format that came with it.
Wizards’ reasoning for each card within Standard were as follows:
Emrakul was banned due to being able to end games far too easily for what she was. “She was the world- ending, all-powerful monster she was in the story, which was too much for Standard.”
Copter’s ban was due to it being far too efficient at what it did and showed up in too many decks, therefore diminishing the format’s diversity and range of viable decks. Wizards believe that by removing this, Sorcery-speed and Planeswalker strategies may be more competitive post-ban. Previously the ‘copter showed up as a full playset in almost all top decks, diminishing the effectiveness of such strategies.
Finally, [c]Reflector Mage[/c] was banned due to Wizard’s data showing that the winrate for Blue-White Flash decks was too powerful against the rest of the field. It had been a generally dislike card since the days of [c]Collected Company[/c] and, whilst other cards were considered for the chopping block, Reflector Mage kept reappearing as the main perpetrator.
In regards to Modern, two new cards were banned: [c]Gitaxian Probe[/c] and [c]Golgari Grave-Troll[/c].
Gitaxian Probe being banned was due to it producing too many Turn 3 kills due to giving perfect information, and a free card, to decks that needed to think strategically about whether to go ‘all in’ or not. Essentially, decks that ran Gitaxian Probe started the game at 18 life and a 56 card library. Wizards summed up the problem as: “Ultimately, it did too much for too little cost.”
[c]Golgari Grave-Troll[/c], along with Dredge on the whole, was slammed for forcing Modern into an unhealthy position by becoming a Battle of Sideboards. Alongside the printing of [c]Cathartic Reunion[/c] and [c]Prized Amalgam[/c], Dredge became too much to deal with for most decks. However, the real offender of this deck was the Dredge mechanic itself, and therefore Golgari Grave-Troll, which only came off the banlist in 2015, had to go.
The final change to the Banned and Restricted list is the timing of the announcement and a slight change to the schedule from here on out. January 9th was earlier than anticipated for bannings, to give time for people to accurately test for Aether Revolt. This change also brings the announcement that updates to this list will be made more frequently: twice per set instead of quarterly. One will occur during the week prior to a new set release and the second will be made five weeks after the Pro Tour. This gives Wizards a lot of breathing room in order to assess and control the meta to maintain healthy formats.
2. Aether Revolt Full Set List Revealed
The new set, Aether Revolt had its final cards revealed on 6th January to complete the new Kaladesh Block set. Being a small set, it is designed to support the larger Kaladesh while introducing a few of its own mechanics. The new mechanics for this set are Improvise and Revolt.
Improvise follows the same framework as the Convoke mechanic from Ravnica. Artifacts can be tapped to pay for a generic mana in the spell’s cost after mana abilities have been activated.
Revolt works by checking to see if a permanent under your control has left the battlefield on that turn, in which case the Revolt mechanic triggers. The mechanic includes an intervening key clause in its oracle text in the form of the word ‘if’. A permanent you control must have left the battlefield before the card with Revolt is triggered, otherwise, it will not occur. Effects brought on by Revolt range from card advantage to token generation, to +1/+1 counters.
3. Manaleak Articles of the Week
- Luke May starts a new podcast: The Magic Misplay
- Kaladesh Standard Budget Magic Deck: Mono-Black Foundry (Only 3 Tix), by Joseph Dunlap
- I Assumed That My Opponent Had Given Up – Wisdom Fae Under the Bridge by Graeme McIntyre
Thank you for joining us in Ten Minute Magic. We would love to hear your feedback on the presentation, format, and length – as well as the topics discussed – so please leave a comment with your thoughts and we look forward to hearing from you. You can also connect with us on Twitter (@joseph_dunlap and @darth_mulligan), or follow @TenMinuteMagic to keep in touch and send us topics throughout the week that you would like to hear us cover.
Joseph and Joe