Cranial Ram Banned In Pauper Before Release Of Modern Horizons 3

Pauper Format Panel pre-bans powerful equipment

Cranial Ram illustrated by Allen Williams

The Pauper Format Panel (PFP) has made the unprecedented decision to ban Cranial Ram before the release of Modern Horizons 3 on June 14.

Cranial Ram

Because Pauper is a community-driven format, the PFP was able to pre-ban the common from Modern Horizons 3 that is too close to two cards already banned in the format: Cranial Plating and All That Glitters.

Cranial Plating All That Glitters

Gavin Verhey, Principal Game Designer for Magic: The Gathering and member of the PFP, reiterated many times in the announcement that pre-banning is not something that will happen with formats like Standard, Pioneer, or Modern and that the PFP does not intend to do it again. In addition to Cranial Ram closely resembling two problematic cards from Pauper’s past, the PFP is taking action before the set’s release because it would negatively impact two major Pauper tournaments.

Pauper is the format of choice for the Magic Online Creator Showdown on June 15, the release weekend of Modern Horizons 3, and the massive Paupergeddon tournament in Pisa, Italy on June 21-23. With Grixis Affinity already being a top deck in Pauper, the PFP wants to prevent these events from being overrun with Affinity. If they let Cranial Ram enter the format, the PFP would have to ban it after it ruined those events.

Grixis Affinity is also getting a new card from Modern Horizons 3 — Refurbished Familiar — so there is no need to power up the deck even more when it is a Tier 1 strategy.

Refurbished Familiar

Read the official announcement from WotC or watch Verhey’s Good Morning Magic video on the topic below.