Our resident Modern expert, Shawn, is on break for two weeks which means you get GUEST POSTS! Today I’ll be checking in with our spies at Wizards of the Coast. You may not know this, but we have some of the world’s top secret agents embedded at Wizards of the Coast. We wouldn’t do anything so vulgar as spoil cards from the upcoming expansions (they’re awesome) or tell you how many times a day someone high-fives Mark Rosewater (a lot) but we do have something special to share with you today: a preview of the SOI Banning announcement.

What follows was obtained from the desk of Aaron Forsythe himself who was distracted by a rousing game of Mouse Trap with Yichao and Tabak. While they were all watching the silver marble make its way down the adorable contraptions, our spies found Forsythe’s rough draft of the official banning announcement that will follow the release of Shadows Over Innistrad. Take this with a grain of salt, as Forsythe may have decided to change direction since we obtained this information, or since we have published it.

April 4, 2016 Banned and Restricted Announcement DRAFT

Announcement Date: April 4, 2016

Effective Date: April 8, 2016

Magic Online Effective Date: April 13, 2016


Blood Moon is banned.

Inkmoth Nexus is banned.

Kitchen Finks is banned.

Mental Misstep is un-banned.

The list of all banned and restricted cards, by format, is here. The full list of cards banned in Modern is here.

Next B&R Announcement: July 18, 2016

Explanation of Changes

Wizrds of the Coast examines tournament results from each competitive Constructed format. When a format becomes imbalanced, or too many games are not interactive, we examine the cause.

Here are our changes:


There is a massive competitive imbalance right now in Modern. Our research shows that since the release of Oath of the Gatewatch and the subsequent Pro Tour, the collection of Eldrazi Aggro decks account for nearly one in every four decks at competitive Modern events. This is, obviously, an unacceptable situation.

Our intention was to create a deck that would be competitive in Modern and also showcase some of the new cards created for Battle for Zendikar and Oath of the Gatewatch. We did not expect the deck to make up 25% of the field. In fact, we expected it to make up at least 50% of the field.

There are too many decks in Modern which are able to combat the Eldrazi menace. Players have a false sense of hope that they can stay in the game long enough to stabilize against the unspeakable horrors of an Eldrazi onslaught. Decks that use small creatures to hold the Eldrazi at bay and gain life have become increasingly popular as a way to combat cards like Thought-Knot Seer and Endless One. These decks should not be able to survive long enough to fight back.

For those reasons, Kitchen Finks is banned from Modern.

Another hindrance to the Inexorable Tide of Eldrazi devastation is the highly successful Affinity deck archetype. Affinity accounts for nearly 10% of the field and is very strong, showing up once in the Top 8 of Grand Prix Bologna. Affinity is also an affordable deck since it does not rely on fetch lands and many of the cards in the deck have been reprinted in sets like Modern Masters. The existence of Affinity as a deck is clearly preventing the further spread of new and diverse versions of the Eldrazi Aggro deck.

For those reasons, Inkmoth Nexus is banned from Modern.

Many of the best removal cards in the format cost one mana to cast. Examples include Path to Exile, Gut Shot, Lightning Bolt, and Thoughtseize. Additionally, a large number of utility spells in the format cost one mana, such as Ancient Stirrings, Faithless Looting, and Noble Hierarch. We feel that these cards prevent the growth of diversity of the Eldrazi swarms.

For those reasons, Mental Misstep is un-banned in Modern.

Last, but certainly not least, when we made our announcement back in January, due to a clerical error we forgot to ban a specific card that the community had almost unanimously come out in support of banning. It isn’t often that we allow the community collective to dictate this level of policy, but in the spirit of working with our players and catering to their desires, such as having a Modern Pro Tour every year, we will take their concerns more closely under advisement going forward.

For those reasons, Blood Moon is banned in Modern.

In terms of Magic, Shawn Massak is a Modern enthusiast, with a penchant for tier two decks, counterspells, and pre Eighth Edition frames. In terms of life, Shawn lives in Brighton, MA where he works as an employment coordinator for people with disabilities, plays guitar in an indie-pop band, and spends his free time reading comics, complaining about pro-wrestling, and wishing his apartment allowed dogs as pets.

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