Wizards of the Coast announced this evening that they have scheduled a Banned and Restricted update for next Monday, June 1. The update will impact “the Standard and Historic formats,” they said, and “will also address the Companion mechanic.”


Companion is one of Magic’s newest—and most controversial—mechanics. It was introduced in April with the release of Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths on exactly 10 cards, all rare creatures, and immediately upended every single Constructed format (except for Pauper). So much so that it even managed to get a card, Lutri, the Spellchaser, banned in Commander on the same day it was announced.

Lurrus of the Dream-Den made its way to Legacy and Vintage where it went on to become omnipresent. Nearly half of the top decks included it as their companion, compelling Wizards to ban the card from those formats last week. A second companion, Zirda, the Dawnwaker, had also began making waves thanks to its combo with Grim Monolith and Wizards was concerned enough to preemptively ban it in Legacy, as well.

Meanwhile, in Standard, Yorion, Sky Nomad quickly became the go-to companion. It slotted into Jeskai Fires, an extremely strong deck before Ikoria’s release, and turned the deck into the clear best deck in the format (along with help from Lukka, Coppercoat Outcast, also from Ikoria).

The Magic community has been vocal in its dislike of how companions have impacted Constructed formats and Wizards acknowledged the communities concerns in last week’s Banned and Restricted update. “We are aware of some players’ concerns about the frequency at which they encounter decks using companions across several formats,” they said. “While we’re not currently seeing problematic win rates in Standard, Pioneer, or Modern from decks using companions, we are looking at overall metagame share and potential for repetitive gameplay.”

Wizards went on to emphasize just how seriously they were taking the impact of companions. “If we see signs of long-term health issues resulting from high metagame share of companion decks,” they continued, “we’re willing to take steps up to or including changing how the companion mechanic works.”

It appears that another week was enough for Wizards to come to some kind of decision about the future of the companion mechanic. That decision will be revealed next Monday in the second Banned and Restricted update in three weeks.


While Yorion, Sky Nomad has helped Jeskai Fires ascend to the top of the Standard format, it hasn’t done so alone. Rather, Ikoria’s most powerful addition to the deck was Lukka, Coppercoat Outcast, which enables the deck to tutor multiple Agent of Treachery and steal its opponent’s permanents.

It is extremely rare for a brand new card like Lukka to get banned a month after its release. Even Hogaak, Arisen Necroplis lasted over two months in Modern before getting banned—though it did get Bridge from Below banned a month earlier. A more likely outcome is that Wizards takes a similar approach to Hogaak in Modern two years ago and bans a pre-existing combo piece—Agent of Treachery in this case—in order to give Lukka more time (and other new set) to settle into Standard.

Standard Jeskai Lukka

Companion (1)
Yorion, Sky Nomad

Creatures (3)
Agent of Treachery

Planeswalkers (12)
Narset, Parter of Veils
Teferi, Time Raveler
Lukka, Coppercoat Outcast

Spells (4)
Aether Gust
Shatter the Sky

Artifacts (1)
Glass Casket

Enchantments (24)
Omen of the Sea
The Birth of Meletis
Omen of the Sun
Fires of Invention
Elspeth Conquers Death
Shark Typhoon
Lands (36)
Castle Ardenvale
Castle Vantress
Fabled Passage
Hallowed Fountain
Raugrin Triome
Sacred Foundry
Steam Vents
Temple of Epiphany

Sideboard (14)
Aether Gust
Dovin’s Veto
Glass Casket
Deafening Clarion
Mystical Dispute
The Wanderer
Dream Trawler


Historic has proven to be an exciting and powerful format—but not powerful enough to withstand Ikoria’s release. Since then, Winota, Joiner of Forces has proceeded to take the format by storm by shredding people’s life totals.

Historic Winota decks are extremely creature-focused in order to take full advantage of Winota’s ability to put humans directly into play and attacking. It basically gets to play Umori, the Collector as its companion for free while still consistently sneaking huge, indestructible attackers like Haktos the Unscarred into play and doubling its creatures’ damage output with Angrath’s Marauders. Oh, and since humans are indestructible, they’ll be attacking next turn as well.

Winota already got banned in Brawl last week for similar reasons so Wizards is more likely to address the problematic card directly in this case by banning Winota, Joiner of Forces.

Historic Naya Winota

Companion (1)
Umori, the Collector

Creatures (36)
Winota, Joiner of Forces
Adanto Vanguard
Angrath’s Marauders
Bonecrusher Giant
Haktos the Unscarred
Legion Warboss
Llanowar Elves
Fauna Shaman
Thalia, Guardian of Thraben
Gruul Spellbreaker
Lands (24)
Clifftop Retreat
Rootbound Crag
Sacred Foundry
Stomping Ground
Sunpetal Grove
Temple Garden
Ancient Ziggurat

Sideboard (14)
Knight of Autumn
Shifting Ceratops
Baffling End
Redcap Melee
Remorseful Cleric
Goblin Ruinblaster

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