Wizards of the Coast has banned Arcum’s Astrolabe in Magic: the Gathering’s Modern format.

Also banned: Nexus of Fate and Burning-Tree Emissary in Historic, as well as Expedition Map and Mystic Sanctuary in Pauper. And Oath of Nissa was unbanned in Pioneer.

“Over the past several months of Modern’s metagame, we have seen a rise in popularity and win rate of multicolor decks using Arcum’s Astrolabe, with some variants approaching 55% non-mirror match win rate,” Wizards said. “While these decks have taken on several different forms, their common game plan is using Arcum’s Astrolabe to play powerful cards across several colors. As a result, Arcum’s Astrolabe has become one of the most played cards in Modern.”

The card’s strength lies in the fact that it allows these decks to play multiple colors without having to dramatically alter their manabases. “Arcum’s Astrolabe makes this tradeoff come at too low of a cost,” Wizards said, “as one Arcum’s Astrolabe can often mean excellent mana for the rest of the game.” Not only that, but it doesn’t really even “cost” a card because replaces itself by drawing a card when it enters the battlefield, as well as counting as a cheap artifact for cards like Urza, Lord High Artificer.

“In short, Arcum’s Astrolabe adds too much to these decks for too little cost, resulting in win rates that are unhealthy and unsustainable for the metagame,” Wizards concluded. “Therefore, Arcum’s Astrolabe is banned in Modern.”

Arcum’s Astrolabe was banned in Pauper late last year for the same reasons it has now been banned in Modern. And Wizards said that they are “keeping an eye” on the card in Legacy, as well. “[A]lthough at present the play rates and win rates of Arcum’s Astrolabe decks don’t warrant action” in Legacy, Wizards said, “We’re aware of concerns among the Legacy community on this point but want to be consistent with our philosophy of only resorting to bans when a card or deck reaches problematic win rates that can’t be solved by natural metagame forces.”

Arcum’s Astrolabe joins Hogaak, Arisen Necropolis as the second card from Modern Horizons to be banned…in Modern. Modern Horizons, which was released last summer, was intended as a way for Wizards to introduce powerful cards to Modern without running the risk of those cards breaking Standard.

One of the best decks in Modern to leverage Arcum’s Astrolabe was Bant Control, which used it to play cards that cost double Green, double White, triple Blue—all in the same deck, despite up 14 of its 25 lands producing no more than a single color of mana.

Modern Bant Control

Creatures (8)
Ice-Fang Coatl
Uro, Titan of Nature’s Wrath

Planeswalkers (5)
Teferi, Time Raveler
Jace, the Mind Sculptor
Teferi, Hero of Dominaria

Spells (18)
Path to Exile
Mana Leak
Archmage’s Charm
Force of Negation
Cryptic Command
Supreme Verdict

Artifacts (4)
Arcum’s Astrolabe
Lands (25)
Breeding Pool
Field of Ruin
Flooded Strand
Hallowed Fountain
Misty Rainforest
Mystic Sanctuary
Snow-Covered Forest
Snow-Covered Island
Snow-Covered Plains
Temple Garden

Sideboard (15)
Veil of Summer
Aether Gust
Celestial Purge
Disdainful Stroke
Rest in Peace
Ashiok, Dream Render
Mystical Dispute
Timely Reinforcements
Shark Typhoon

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