June Banned & Restricted Update Won’t Impact Modern, Pro Tour In Amsterdam

Play Design Team Lead answers questions about latest B&R on Weekly MTG

Path to Exile illustrated by Calder Moore

Andrew Brown, the Play Design Team Lead and Game Architect for Magic: The Gathering, joined Blake Rasmussen on today’s Weekly MTG stream to review and answer questions regarding yesterday’s Banned & Restricted announcement.

Brown mostly reiterated what his article from Monday said in reference to banning all cards that create stickers and Attractions in Legacy, Vintage, and Pauper. He did say the Play Design team considered just banning ________ Goblin, as it was the main offender, but the members didn’t like that route as the same problem could return if another sticker or Attraction card became playable with a future card. He also wasn’t interested in using errata to fix the problem, specifically because the team doesn’t want dice rolling to be prominent on a tournament caliber card (which is how the card function on Magic Online due to there being no sticker or Attraction decks available on the digital client).

________ Goblin Chicken Troupe Finishing Move

The other major issue Brown addressed was the timing of the next schedule B&R update falling a few days before the Pro Tour in Amsterdam. The Pro Tour on June 28 will feature Modern Constructed and Modern Horizons 3 Draft two weeks after the release of the set. However, the next B&R falls on June 24 and many players were concerned Modern could see changes two days before decklists for the Pro Tour were due. Brown emphasized that the June 24 B&R update will not impact Modern. It is mainly directed at adjusting Standard, if the format requires it, and potentially Pioneer.

With yesterday’s announcement not touching Modern, Brown talked about multiple cards players petitioned should be banned. Brown said The One Ring has positive effects on the format and leads to longer games which outweigh concerns with the play pattern of resolving multiple copies to repeat the invulnerability it gives the caster. Play Design is largely happy with the card as it isn’t seeing crazy play rates or win rates.

The One Ring Grief Orcish Bowmasters

Brown noted that Grief has acceptable play and win rates in Modern and it props up an entire deck (Rakdos Midrange) so it has a higher bar to clear to take action on it. Unlike Grief, Orcish Bowmasters is in a bunch of decks and isn’t propping up any of them on its own. While Orcish Bowmasters does push out a lot of one-toughness creatures and has some unsavory play patterns when each player casts one, it is safe for now but Play Design will continue to have its eyes on it.

Leyline of the Guildpact Primeval Titan Violent Outburst

Leyline of the Guildpact has led to a lot of brewing and experimenting in Modern which has been a positive. The only real negative from the enchantment is that it works with all of the pitch Elementals from Modern Horizons. Play Design keeps watch on Amulet Titan as a deck, because it has an extremely high skill ceiling which can lead to high win rates, but the win rate is often balanced by play rate dragging it down overall. Brown said the team is also happen with where Temur Rhinos ended up after the banning of Violent Outburst.

Treasure Cruise Amalia Benavides Aguirre

Pioneer wasn’t touched as the format is in a good spot and with RCQ season featuring Pioneer, there would need to be significant problems to take action on the format at the moment. While Treasure Cruise has a history of being banned in Constructed formats, the data shows the powerful delve spell is within the lines of Pioneer and allows the Izzet Phoenix deck to exist. A card with the reputation of Treasure Cruise will, of course, stay monitored as the format evolves. Amalia Benavides Aguirre stays on minds of the Play Design members due to the issues with draws it creates, but the benefits of having a creature toolbox deck in the format outweighs the downside of undesired draws.

Lastly, Brown and Rasmussen touched on something Gavin Verhey wrote in the B&R that mentioned a card printed as a common in Modern Horizons 3 that would likely need to banned in Pauper. The card was not named or described, but it was said that it would be previewed by Ryuji Saito (Pauper MTG on X) on May 23.