This year is Magic The Gathering also called Magic 30th birthday. Magic has been around for thirty years and that says a lot about this trading card game. It has had a big influence on many people’s lives including myself. I wouldn’t be the person I am without some of its influence. So to bring some more tabletop game and TCG coverage to LOGNET I decided to talk about it and the Modern Ban List briefly.
Magic was originally shown off back at Gencon on August 5, 1993. The game has multiple formats with specific legal cards and some rules that have kept the game alive. Throughout the years formats have come and gone like Extended, Block Constructed, and Prismatic. Even with those gone, there are still plenty of different formats that could “tickle your fancy” with my favorite being Legacy. To many people Magic The Gathering has always been about the gathering and the chance to meet new people and make great friends. I personally have always loved Magic and I’m sure I always will. The designer Richard Garfield even proposed using a custom Magic card called the Proposal.
There are currently more than 25,000 unique Magic cards, to which hundreds are added each year. Cards are sold in a variety of languages and products, including booster packs and preconstructed theme decks. It is even said that there are around 49,998 total unique English-language Magic cards when separately counting cards with unique printings like alternate art or cards reprinted in several editions. The game has lasted for 30 years and I’m sure it will be around for many more years.
August 7th, 2023 B&R Announcement
Wizards of the Coast recently made a Banned and Restricted (B&R) Announcement for a couple of formats. It didn’t come as a surprise to people, because we knew about the impending announcement. After the Pro Tour: Lord of the Rings (LOTR was the most recent Msgic set) many expected that they would see at least The One Ring and maybe even Orchish Bowmasters get a ban in the Modern format. Both cards especially The One Ring seen a lot of play and many people believe the card is too powerful for Modern. Some have even asked for a ban on the elementals that came out in Modern Horizons 2 set. This is because of their “free” nature of being cast. Wizards of the Coast shocked everyone when they didn’t ban anything at all.
Instead, they unbanned Mind’s Desire for the Legacy format. They also unbanned Preordain in Modern. While uncommon for cards to be unbanned it’s not unheard of. Other cards have come off Magic’s ban list and essentially disappeared into obscurity with little to no effect on their respective formats. Golgari Grave-Troll is one that came off and ended up going back on the list. I’m in the small camp of not wanting anything banned at all, but I wanted to see a lot more unbanned. We will see what effects these cards have before too long if any effects at all.
Why Do Cards Get Banned?
For people who aren’t hip to trading card games and why certain games ban cards I’ll explain some. When it comes to Magic cards can get banned for multiple reasons. When cards are “broken” as people call them sometimes, they are put on the list to keep the game fun. Obviously, people’s opinions differ a lot of the time. If a card or cards show up in too many of the top decks of a format, they can eat a ban. When a card to “too unfun” sometimes that can land it on the ban list as well. There is a plethora of reasons different cards can come and go from formats, but those tend to be some big reasons.
Let’s Get Crazy
When I originally had the idea of writing this Magic article I was going to sit here and tell you the cards I wanted to see come off the ban list. Specifically for the Modern format, which tends to be the one that I and my friends play the most. My Magic team (Team Nemesis) had a lot of differing opinions which is good. The world would be a boring place if we all had exactly the same opinions and thoughts. Then I decided instead of naming individual cards to become legal again in the Modern format, just unban everything. You might think that’s just insane and you might be right for some of the cards. A lot of the cards have been on the list long before the “power level” of the current Modern format.
Modern Horizon sets especially Modern Horizons 2 bring an influx of cards into Modern and the other eternal formats. Many people complain about the elementals from MH2 being too powerful and a few other things too. I believe Wizards of the Coast needs to redo the Modern Ban List. I feel many cards on the list would be fine, so why not just make everything legal again? Not permanently, but make everything legal then over time ban stuff again that needs banning. This would essentially reformat the Modern ban list and make it more in tune with what it should be in this day in age. There are plenty that would be fine and like some others drift off into obscurity.
In my entire Magic history, I think there was only one time I wanted something banned and that was the general consensus of the community. Cards like Preordain are on the list that some (including Magic Pros) think aren’t as powerful as some of the draw spells we have now. The list has a bunch of fun cards I believe could come off the list and provide new archetypes to the format. Obviously, current decks could get more powerful and consistent, but some of the current metagame decks might not even exist. So, I say let’s get crazy and unban everything in Modern. Let the format shake-up, then ban accordingly to make a much better and up-to-date list. Stay tuned for more tabletop and Magic content in the future!