Wizards of the Coast has unbanned Preordain in Magic: The Gathering’s Modern format. They also unbanned Mind’s Desire in Legacy.

This was the first of Magic’s now yearly Banned and Restricted updates. Earlier this year, Wizards updated Magic’s Banned and Restricted schedule so that there would only be one scheduled update each year, timed to happen just before previews begin for the Fall set, as well as small windows for minor updates reserved for shortly after a new set releases.

In anticipation of Wilds of Eldraine, Wizards felt that the Standard bans issued earlier this year have left the format in a good place. Therefore, in today’s announcement, they focused on other formats and expect that the next Standard update won’t be until the scheduled 2024 update.

Preordain Unbanned in Modern

Unbanning a card is a relatively rare event in Magic—many cards have sat on the Banned and Restricted list well after they were banned despite the shifting metagame that might warrant their return.

Initially, Preordain was banned in 2011 because of the consistency it gave Izzet combo decks like Storm and Splinter Twin, which were format staples at the time. By slowing the decks and the format down in general, Wizards hoped to prevent games from ending by Turn 4, to give more decks a chance to thrive in a format that wasn’t decided so quickly.

With the release of the Modern Horizons sets, Modern has a much faster and more interactive format, featuring games that are not decided in the first few turns of the game. There are many more ways to interrupt combos and extend games these days, so Wizards feels that Preordain is safe to return to the Modern format. Part of this confidence comes with the knowledge that cards like Orcish Bowmasters can keep players looking to draw a ton of cards in check.

That isn’t to say that there are some cards on the radar for potential Modern bans. The team at Magic HQ is paying close attention to two cards from The Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth, The One Ring and Orcish Bowmasters. Both cards are exceptionally powerful but haven’t had enough of an impact to warrant a banning—yet. There’s always the possibility of future bannings to include these two cards but they are safe for the time being.

Mind’s Desire Unbanned in Legacy

Originally banned from Legacy six days after its release on May 26, 2003, Mind’s Desire was recognized as an exceptionally powerful card and one that highlighted some of the problems with the storm mechanic. Since its release more than 20 years ago, two new card types have been released, Battles and Planeswalkers, along with thousands of cards that can disrupt and interact with cards like Mind’s Desire.

Wizards also wants to bring back certain iconic combos to Legacy and they believe that Mind’s Desire is the safest option. Once again, the presence of  Orcish Bowmasters in the format played into Wizards’ decision. Given the proclivity of combo decks to want to draw cards to help find their combo pieces and the punishing nature of the Bowmasters is enough to let Mind’s Desire back in.

Wizards of the Coast will continue to monitor the format as players start to brew decks with both unbanned cards, while also keeping a close eye on both The One Ring and Orcish Bowmaster. It might be a few months until players find out whether or not these cards are too punishing for Eternal formats, but until then, keep drawing cards and making Orc Army tokens.

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