Katie Bates, Rich Stein, and Zach Barash contributed to this article.

It’s that time again! The now, um, eight-times-a-year announcement of updates to the Banned and Restricted lists for Magic: the Gathering. This whole announcement situation has become hard to follow, but the tl;dr is that the time has come and Wizards has made their decree. Check out the changes below and our expert commentary on the impact to each format afterwards.

Here’s what’s changed: Aetherworks Marvel is banned in Standard. No other changes to any formats.


It should come as no surprise that Aetherworks Marvel is the latest victim of the banhammer. For four mana and a shockingly low energy investment, Ulamog can end the game on turn four (or you can miss, hit a Woodweaver’s Puzzleknot, and try again next turn). Aetherworks Marvel was the primary villain of Standard nearly as soon as it was printed, back before any cards were banned. While it took a backseat to the now-illegal Copycat combo, the deck only had to make minor changes to switch from a turn-four guaranteed kill to a turn-four reasonably-likely-but-still-random kill.

Aetherworks Marvel is banned not only for the health of the format today, but for the next fifteen months of Standard (Kaladesh isn’t even halfway through its time in Standard). Its presence in the format makes it incredibly dangerous to print any powerful 7+ drops, and while the new Nicol Bolas isn’t as powerful as an Eldrazi titan, it’s another incredibly powerful turn four play.


The lack of bans for Modern is good. The format is perhaps more diverse now than it has ever been. Sure, it has a best deck in Grixis Death’s Shadow—but that deck is beatable, a tiny percentage of the metagame, and one of many top tier decks.

Modern is a very different format place than it was on January, when Gitaxian Probe and Golgari Grave-Troll were banned. There are fewer decks like Infect able to kill on turns two or three, and Dredge is less reliable without Golgari Grave-Troll. The addition of Fatal Push has dramatically changed the format, redefining it around creature mana cost rather than toughness in the Lightning Bolt era.

Looking forward, the metagame could eventually become unbalanced, but right now, Modern is no need for a shake-up. It does need more reprints of cards like Mishra’s Bauble, Noble Hierarch, and Through the Breach, though.


The lack of bans for Legacy is less than surprising. The recent Sensei’s Divining Top ban really shook the format, and it’s still settling. Miracles was the top deck of the metagame for many years, so expect the change to take a while to settle. We can at least see how things play out in Vegas this weekend.

There have been whispers that people want to see Delver of Secrets banned, especially since Grixis Delver has taken over as the top dog post-Top ban. Delver is an extremely strong creature, but Legacy is not ready for another ban. Because the card pool is so deep, the format evolves at a much different rate than Modern or Standard. We’ll see how the metagame develops over the next few months.


Storm Crow is still unrestricted. Make of that what you will.


The commons-only format has been gaining popularity and attention recently. After Peregrine Drake was banned following its downshifting to common in last year’s Eternal Masters, the format seems to have settled down into an interesting balance.


Despite the pleas of top pros, Glorybringer has not been banned from draft. Neither has Pyramid of the Pantheon, but I suggest pretending otherwise.

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