Wizards of the Coast (WotC) posted a Banned & Restricted Announcement today targeting Standard and Modern.
In a move to reduce the power of black in Standard, WotC banned The Meathook Massacre. Ian Duke wrote that despite the presence of black, WotC is seeing good diversity among competitive decks and strategies in the format.
The Meathook Massacre is the through line in all the Standard decks using black. The board clearing ability and the added life gain allows the black decks to control the board and stabilize against aggressive decks with one card. On top of it warping the format into different flavors of black midrange, the card also carries a hefty price tag. Duke followed up by writing that The Brothers’ War will shake up the format, but in the meantime, this ban will make the format healthier and more enjoyable.
In Modern, another companion hits the bin with the banning of Yorion, Sky Nomad.
WotC is banning Yorion on two reasons and neither are in regard to power level: dexterity issues and repetitive gameplay patterns. Duke said that Modern is in a healthy place with no deck taking up more than five to six percent of the metagame share. However, he wrote that the Four-Color decks with Yorion based around Omnath, Locus of Creation have a strong win rate and are likely to continue to rise in popularity.
Win rate aside, WotC is taking action on Yorion in part to physical dexterity requirements. Continuously shuffling and handling an 80-card deck can be problematic and those issues are only amplified when the deck is double-sleeved. A cumbersome deck to handle being the top deck would also lead to time issues as many matches involving the deck go to time. On top of that, Duke said player feedback about repeating triggers from the Yorion decks lead to long games with too much downtime between game actions.
Yorion joins Lurrus of the Dream-Den as banned companions in Modern.
Duke finished the article noting that no other action is being taken in any other format. While players were vocal about wanting bans and unbans in Pioneer and Legacy, those formats will stay as is for now.
Read the original announcement from WotC.