Banned and Restricted - Jan 9th 2017

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Posted on Jan. 9, 2017, 2:08 p.m. by Bovine073

Link (AHHH!)

That's a lot of bannings. What does everyone think about this?

Announcement Date: January 9, 2017

Effective Date: January 20, 2017

Magic Online Effective Date: January 11, 2017


Emrakul, the Promised End is banned.

Smuggler's Copter is banned.

Reflector Mage is banned.


Gitaxian Probe is banned.

Golgari Grave-Troll is banned.

Next B&R Announcement: March 13, 2017

When was the last time three cards have been banned in Standard? How will these bannings affect standard and modern?

For Standard, bye-bye, Vehicles (maybe it will still be psuedo-playable?)! U/W flash receives a huge hit. GB Delirium and Marvel have suffered huge losses as well.

For Modern, Gitaxian Probe banning affects infect, delver, suicide bloo/zoo, pyro ascension, and more. GGT Ban cripples Dredge (again).

Char-You says... #2

Notably, no bans in Legacy. I would have thought Top would be going, but I guess wizards just truly doesn't care about the format.

The reflector mage ban is surprising. While it's a pain, I would expect something else out of flash to get hit that was more central to the deck's plan and basically no other plan, ie Avacyn. Emrakul I feel everyone saw coming if wotc wanted to do a standard banning at all.

January 9, 2017 2:20 p.m.

AgentGreen says... #3


Definitely puts a crimp on vehicles. Flash is hurt but not dead. Delirium is definitely dead, Marvel is still a thing thanks to Ulamog.

I totally didn't see this coming

January 9, 2017 2:21 p.m.

Lame_Duck says... #4

I believe that last time that anything was banned in Standard was 2011 with Jace, the Mind Sculptor and Stoneforge Mystic and the last time so many were banned at once was 2005 when a shit-ton of things got hit at once due to affinity's absurd brokenness.

January 9, 2017 2:22 p.m.

GeminiSpartanX says... #5

I'm not sure 3 cards have ever been banned in standard tbh. With the printing of Fatal Push, standard now has a really good answer to copter, so this ban is even more surprising. I didn't even think reflector mage was seeing much play recently either, but I could be wrong. I'm kinda glad I traded away my Emrakul recently, as the price is going to tank since it doesn't hold up well in Modern compared to original Emmy. I'm interested to see how Infect will change with the loss of probe, but I have a feeling it will still be viable. Modern dredge will still be a deck, swapping out the trolls for the next biggest dredger, but perhaps this will hurt it's consistency enough for it to be a little more beatable.

January 9, 2017 2:22 p.m.

AgentGreen says... #6

On a side note; good thing I offloaded my foil copter when I did

January 9, 2017 2:23 p.m.

saj0219 says... #7

In all fairness, I have been paying zero attention to the standard meta, so my surprise doesn't mean much, but still... I'm surprised.

I had long been operating under the assumption that it took Jace, the Mind Sculptor and company broken-ness to get a standard ban, and I didn't think Emrakul, the Promised End was there... Shows how much I know, I guess.

Reflector Mage is most surprising to me though - if it was okay in the world of Collected Company, I would have thought it was okay for anything.

January 9, 2017 2:24 p.m.

KillDatBUG says... #8

That Reflector Mage ban might be the single worst ban of all time. Just.. WHY?

January 9, 2017 2:36 p.m.

GeminiSpartanX says... #9

I was thinking the same thing saj0219. R.Mage at instant speed seemed way better than R.Mage a sorcery speed.

January 9, 2017 2:36 p.m.

Char-You says... #10

Reflector Mage is the strangest ban that's happened in a long time, but it's fine. I'm just under the assumption that Wizards did some sort of testing here and know something we don't. I'm really happy to see that they aren't afraid of standard bannings. It helps them sell more new product, it helps the format "rotate" without actually rotating 9 times a year, and the post-PT ban availability will help keep broken modern decks in check. I think that this is the best ban announcement there's been in all the time i've been playing.

January 9, 2017 2:37 p.m.

AgentGreen says... #11

saj0219 Hindsight is 20/20, and I think that WoTC was too scared to throw a ban down because of the 2-set rotation every year. Now that the experiment is dead in the water, I said they had to get more aggressive in the bans; and this is the way to start.

January 9, 2017 2:39 p.m.

mathimus55 says... #12

DevoidMage I was at GP Louisville and while Miracles was at the top tables most of the time, with Leovold, Emissary of Trest getting more and more common it might be a new counter to those decks. Also, outside of BBD miracles was CRUSHED in Top 8. I want to see Top go as well, but I can see why they'd rather lift up all the other decks than just crush the one.

On the Reflector Mage banning, Huey Jensen and a few other pros made comments along the lines of "I guess they knew about the decks we discovered..." regarding Mage, so maybe they found UW flash to just become crazy good or a new deck that makes everything else invalidated? It's been a good card since it was printed, with some of this new stuff coming out with Aether Revolt maybe they knew it was too good officially.

January 9, 2017 2:53 p.m.

TheDevicer says... #13

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January 9, 2017 2:56 p.m.

golffore297 says... #14

Well looks like I'll be playing more Darkblast and Golgari Thug in Dredge.

Also RIP keeping zero and Inkmoth only hands in Infect.

January 9, 2017 2:58 p.m.

Argy says... #15

I play Vehicles.

They aren't dead because they got some new toys and Heart of Kiran can fit into Smuggler's Copter's position quite easily, with a few tweaks.

Glad to see the end of Emrakul Marvel decks.

Reflector Mage feels a little strange, but it did make games tricky to win.

January 9, 2017 3 p.m.

GoldGhost012 says... #16

I'm assuming that the Jeskai deck that uses the Saheeli infinite combo was very strong during Future Future League testing and relied heavily on Reflector Mage. Plus, in a format where Emrakul and Copter are gone, Reflector Mage has one of the most powerful effects for tempo and control decks for an excellent cost.

I doubt Marvel dies because they can just play Ulamog instead of Emrakul. It's less of an "I win button" but it's nothing to sneeze at.

Delirium actually might benefit from the Emrakul ban, because the deck can still do powerful things thanks to Ishkana, Flayer, and Mindwrack and it's worst matchup has been nerfed.

January 9, 2017 3:17 p.m.

Smileycorp says... #17

"Bye-bye U/W Flash"

This is completely untrue UW flash doesn't suffer that much of a hit from this.

Also your thread was uploaded mere minutes before mine, which got shut down because of it.

January 9, 2017 3:23 p.m.

JohnnyBaggins says... #18

Considering I don't give a flying fuck about Standard, I shouldn't say I'm surpised but I'm surprised. Not about the banns in particular, but about how bad Wizards became at judging card quality. Jesus.

January 9, 2017 3:23 p.m.

AgentGreen says... #19

GoldGhost012 Flayer, mindwrack and Ishkana provided only two things to Delirium; bodies to absorb sorcery removal; and blockers to stall while you get Emrakul.

Delirium leaned heavily with the monster Eldrazi, and with her banned I can't see the deck surviving

January 9, 2017 3:25 p.m.

Ej1997 says... #20

Fuck wizards at banning emrakul

January 9, 2017 3:25 p.m.

xanlaneron says... #21

Surprised - TBH there is a lot of window on removing copter and negating its effect but I guess they want to shake up the standard meta meh

January 9, 2017 3:27 p.m.

tpmains says... #22

While all of these cards are good, in terms of standard, I don't really see any reason why they should have been banned. There are ways to deal with them in pretty much every color.

Also, Reflector Mage was one of my favorite cards. I'm surprised and sad to see it go.

January 9, 2017 3:40 p.m.

Araganor says... #23

I agree with the copter ban, more for format variety than power level though. Literally any deck running a decent amount of creatures could run 4 and it probably would make their deck better. It just gets boring. Same thing with Gitaxian Probe; it makes decks less diverse, because (almost) every combo deck in modern is going to want four every time.

Reflector Mage, I'm less convinced. If they were going to ban it, why not when Collected Company was still a thing?

January 9, 2017 3:54 p.m.

maddoxmtg says... #24

The reasoning behind Copter is solid. It was almost required as a 4 of to be truly competitive which shut down creativity in standard. That is what that format is all about. Being creative and finding new ways to win. I am more curious about how people feel about Probe and GGT? I know dredge is officially dead now, but what about Git Probes affect on modern? Is combo going to be harder up now for good ways to see interaction?

January 9, 2017 3:57 p.m.

golffore297 says... #25

So my theory about why all the Standard bans is a direct result of them switching standard back to a longer rotation. Because of this longer rotation, Wizards is going to do more to shake up the format, including more aggressive bans. This is their test run of such aggression.

January 9, 2017 3:58 p.m.

HairyManBack says... #26

GoldGhost012 - I think you might of hit the nail right on the head.

But I'd also agree with Araganor. Mage and not CoCo? Stupid to me.

I feel bad for Emrakul players. That's gotta sting.

January 9, 2017 4:01 p.m.

Yeah now I have to settle for Wharf Infiltrator to fuel my discard outlets. Geeze!

January 9, 2017 4:03 p.m.

Gandolfini says... #28

I think the Emrakul which needs to be banned is the one that completely blocks mill strategies in Modern.

January 9, 2017 4:10 p.m.

There was a Standard ban? Holy shit. I suppose this is what I get for not playing Magic in like I dunno, six months? But, that being said, I saw Grave Troll getting rebanned because dredge was making Modern a wee bit too fast, mind you, I still won't get back into the format for a number of reasons. All this being said, after reading the reasoning behind the bans I'm once again frustrated with phrases such as "lack of fun" and "on players' dislike list". I also feel that these bans show that WotC have demonstrated poor set design by pushing a more creature focused Standard with few options for interaction. Perhaps this will push them to a more even design philosophy?

Gitaxian Probe is... interesting. I agree, but I'm sad to see it go. I still don't think it will do enough to slow the format down though. Aggressive decks still have way too much staying power right now. That being said, Fatal Push is coming.

January 9, 2017 4:11 p.m.

Rogue_Titan says... #30

I can understand emrakul, that ruined the game. It's game over once she came out. The copter was in everything. But the mage? All he did was ruin the tempo of your opponent. More than likely it wasn't going to win the game. If he was at flash speed yeah I could see maybe. But still. It's ridiculous.

January 9, 2017 4:13 p.m.

Flash_Flayer says... #31

Really Wizards Gitaxian Probe nobody uses it for its mana

January 9, 2017 4:15 p.m.

JohnnyBaggins says... #32

January 9, 2017 4:20 p.m.

I guess it takes a Standard banning for me to log in again... Emrakul and LooterScooter are fine bans, and Reflector Mage is a little odd but not worth getting your panties in a bunch. I'd rather have a weaker UW Flash than have a little more fun with my jank Panharmonicon deck.

Does Probe actually do much? It'll just slow down some of the faster decks, right?

I'm happy to see that Wizards is showing that they're ok with banning Standard cards, and will be reevaluating their decisions more often. While some of these bans aren't entirely expected, I think it'll ultimately lead in a good direction.

January 9, 2017 4:28 p.m.

I disagree with the probe, if they do that give us something like it for draw. (I have wanted to make a storm deck for so long... RIP me)

January 9, 2017 4:36 p.m.

AgentGreen says... #35

One thing alot of people are overlooking is that WoTC will be doing potentially two waves of bans. One normal; and one 5 weeks after the set's PT event.

So if Marvel is a thing and dominates the PT; it may get shuttered before Amonket

January 9, 2017 4:37 p.m.

BioProfDude says... #36

Smuggler's Copter I get. It's in virtually every deck and the ONLY reason I got a playset (just go the last one, and that stings a bit) was to be able to stay competitive. There are indeed ways to deal with the copter as an opponent, but putting in removal only for the copter is silly.

Emrakul, the Promised End I get because people have figured out how to get her out way too quickly, and she ends games once out.

Reflector Mage by itself is terribly annoying and definitely disrupts game flow. Reflector Mage getting blinked by cards like Essence Flux SUCKS at a whole new level of suck.

Personally, I think Spell Queller would have been a better target for banning, but I'm not crying even a bit to see Reflector Mage go away. It's blinking the card that truly made it evil.

January 9, 2017 4:39 p.m.

PureIce22 says... #37

Okay, so I can see the purpose of banning Copter, But Emrakul? That was the big thing about Eldritch Moon, and it badly hurts Marvel and Delirium in Standard, and It ruins the motto about the story pieces being banned in standard! What have you done Wizards??

Also Modern Banning-wise, Probe was such a staple in the format ever since the beginning, yet they choose to ban it 'Now'? Why now, when you could have answered the storm archetype back in 2013? Very Confusing.

About GGT, Wizards, is this your way of saying NO to any form of graveyard decks? You could have simply banned Prized Amalgam and Cathartic Reunion in modern instead (Which is what was mentioned in the article...), or banned something like Bloodghast or Narcomoeba which was the real threat in recurring Amalgam.

I don't know what to think about the future of MTG. At this condition, all relevant strategies will be answered in modern, and even in Standard, sure it is for more "fun", but Why?

Just Why.

January 9, 2017 4:56 p.m.

JohnnyBaggins says... #38

In all my time playing Magic, I have not been so pissed before. Not once. Wizards stupid policiy of pushing creatures to the point where it's ridiculous to play actual spells has finally backfired and now they're trying to shovel their own shit. Sure. Go ahead and have an entire fucking standard block ruined by two green instants that keep pushing your already amazingly pushed creatures to a point where it's just ridiculous and a blue fucking creature and not give a flying shit about it but ban a format beyond recognition where people just invested money into.

Keep printing bullshit limited sets that are approximately zero fun to play and just to make sure people still rip your nonsense, randomly hide 100 dollar bills in the pack. Sure, unban Golgari Grave Troll and JUST DAMN RIGHT DIRECTLY BAN IT AGAIN right when people started to invest money into that new super sweet deck.

I'd shit my pants laughing if it wasn't so incredibly sad. This company has no idea what it's doing or where it's going with the stuff they're doing but sure, go ahead, but without me. I'm so done. Keep pushing this game beyond recognition, take away all the fun spells and print them as ETB triggers on creatures. That sure as hell is fun. Mana Leak? Lightning Helix? Man, that stuff's too good. Let's rather print a rhino that does that or a flash spirit. Just in case creatures weren't good enough already. Let's remove four mana sweepers from the sets and rather print CREATURES! We have Control decks that run twenty creatures because these things are so good that they make any removal spell, no matter how bad, look playable. Oh, and while we're at it, let's print 10 planeswalkers per block and make them so ridiculously good that there's no way but playing them while making sure burn spells keep getting worse and just not print planeswalker removal that is playable to begin with. That PPTQ two weeks ago was the last sanctioned event you ever saw my DCI. This is so much bullshit and I'm so done.

Fuck me dead, I'm so unreasonably angry it hurts.

January 9, 2017 4:59 p.m.

Atony1400 says... #39

Well, fixes submitted........

January 9, 2017 5:13 p.m.

Araganor says... #40

JohnnyBaggins Sadly Wizards is more concerned with getting more money out of PTQ grinders and making all magic games a creature grind-fest that are "entertaining" to watch on stream. Until more people stop playing standard, this will only continue.

Until then, might I suggest commander? At least they are printing some semi-decent stuff there.

January 9, 2017 5:19 p.m.

Jhed1 says... #41

The banning of Gitaxian Probe makes combo weaker on the whole in modern. Ironically the deck it effects the least is Infect - which in keeping with the Golgari Grave-Troll banning of wanting to attack the highest meta % decks which I assume was the goal hitting dredge hard with the latter.

The problem I find with this is if turn inconsistent turn 2 decks were a blight on the format than Simian Spirit Guide & Goryo's Vengeance needed to be removed.

Modern is so creature heavy right now that what makes infect busted is Blighted Agent - If they had to have Slip Through Space available to just count to 10 with 0 interaction because lol phyrexian mana, lol pump spells it would be a lot more reasonable, what difference does playing with perfect information have? Their spells cost 1 mana at most, and play with Noble Hierarch so unless you have a mix of 3 CMC removal/counter magic you can't win on the stack anyway.... why they decided to gimp decks that already had a hard enough time seeing play is beyond me.

January 9, 2017 5:21 p.m.

Flash_Flayer says... #42

I am an infect player what should i play instead of gitaxian probe in my deck.

January 9, 2017 5:59 p.m.

Just thinking with Smuggler's Copter is there a creature in Aether revolt that could make this thing bonkers? I'm thinking the same with Reflector Mage. With their testing they had to of found a major combo with blinking mage back and forth. Doing that and clearing the opponents board resulting in gg and sad players.

Edit: they probably dont want Smuggler's Copter + Siege Modification

January 9, 2017 6 p.m.

frogkill45 says... #44

Emrakul, the Promised End - Agree, too many mechanics to easily play this card and win the game. Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger will replace him in most decks.

Smuggler's Copter Agree, if you didnt run a playset of this in standard your deck was considered "not competitive enough" One card cannot dominate the format. Its basically the same reason they banned Splinter Twin in modern.

Reflector Mage Debatable, I really haven't played much standard, i do play this card in modern bant humans. he is good, but deserving of a ban is questionable. His effect is unique and is hard to replace. Possibly Panharmonicon had something to do with it.

Gitaxian Probe Agree, but i would agree all Phyrexian 1 drop spells should go. Except Gut Shot because 2 life for l damage seems like a fair trade imo. Become Immense would have also been a good bann choice.

Golgari Grave-Troll Agree, wish it was Cathartic Reunion instead but ill take what they willing to give us. Power curve of dredge is real good right now with the luck draws.

January 9, 2017 6:12 p.m.

Rogue_Titan says... #45

January 9, 2017 6:12 p.m.

HSF117 says... #46

Sweet well I'm really glad I haven't played standard for 6 months and not actually competitively since RTR rotated out and just when I wanted to start playing standard again have the best card in the standard deck that I wanted to play get banned. Oh yeah and I also thought that I wanted to try a different modern deck instead of burn which I have always played. And I thought that dredge would be fun since I like reanimating things. But nope. I mean I understand I guess, and it doesn't mean that the decks are totally unplayable now, still kinda sucks though.

January 9, 2017 6:14 p.m.

maddoxmtg says... #47

No, McSleuthburger siege modification makes copter strictly worse. It is good because it dodges sorcery speed removal. You attack and your opponent can't do anything about it. I am more curious about how it would have been pushed down by cards like Fatal Push which is also and answer to Infect. it kills everything they have. costs 1 and is an instant. they drop a glistener turn 1 only to pump it for the turn 2 and lose it for 1 mana. cool i just 5 for 1'ed you.

Flash_Flayer, are you running Manamorphose? might be worth a look.

January 9, 2017 6:14 p.m.

JohnnyBaggins says... #48

Araganor Don't even get me started on this bullshit PPTQ System, the ridiculousness of their "supplementary" products like the Modern/Eternal Masters or how incredibly desperate it is that they keep putting a single or two legacy playbale in every Commander set just that everyone needs to buy that stuff. I can not express how fed up I am with what this game has become. A stupid fucking cash cow that needs to be dumbed down until you puke.

It's easy to have a format look EXACTLY how you intended if you just ban all the fun out of it and don't print fun cards anymore.

January 9, 2017 6:15 p.m.

Yea maddoxmtg you probably are right. With it being always a creature it is way easier to target.

wonder if people will try Sky Skiff instead now. I mean it is worse all around but still flying crew 1. Or maybe skiff and Heart of Kiran (since it is legendary)

January 9, 2017 6:27 p.m.

maddoxmtg says... #50

JohnnyBaggins, then leave. Stop playing. If you don't like the direction then don't play. Go play an LCG or something.

McSleuthburger, I don't play standard and haven't since KTK block so I really don't know how to speculate. I don't think we will see a straight replacement for Copter. It was the versatility and the ubiquity that killed it. It was creatively oppressive.

January 9, 2017 6:33 p.m.

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