Wizards of the Coast (WotC) targeted Historic in today’s surprise update to the Banned & Restricted List by banning cards, suspending a card, and rebalancing digital-only cards.
Headlining the changes is the banning of Tibalt’s Trickery and the suspension of Memory Lapse.
Tibalt’s Trickery in conjunction with Throes of Chaos changed a once-borderline combo deck into a consistent and difficult-to-interact-with deck that warps Best-of-One play and is still problematic in Best-of-Three. WotC doesn’t see a possible path forward with Tibalt’s Trickery in the format, so the card is skipping suspension and going straight to an outright ban.
Memory Lapse is being moved to the suspended list due to its power level and ubiquity in the format, showing up as the most-played nonland card in the Historic Arena Open and in Best-of-Three ladder play. Much like Brainstorm before it, the Mystical Archive inclusion was as close to a must-play in blue decks as there has ever been in the format. Despite Brainstorm being moved to the banned list in today’s announcement after living on the suspended list since July 21, Memory Lapse is still getting the suspension treatment even though the format doesn’t appear to be able to handle the card in a healthy way.
On top of the bans and suspension, WotC is taking action on Historic by rebalancing digital-only cards that came to MTG Arena from Jumpstart: Historic Horizons. The first two rebalances impact Davriel’s Withering and Davriel, Soul Broker. By changing Davriel’s Withering and the -3 from Davriel, Soul Broker to only be able to target creatures an opponent controls, they no longer work to establish a loop with Vesperlark that often could end games in a draw.
The three other rebalances are buffs to Faceless Agent, Sarkhan, Wanderer to Shiv, and Subversive Acolyte. WotC is looking to strengthen tribal decks by changing Faceless Agent from a 2/1 to a 2/2. Sarkhan, Wanderer to Shiv is having his second ability improved from a  loyalty cost to a [+1], effectively making the card advantage ability add loyalty. Lastly, Subversive Acolyte is having its mana cost shifted from BB to 1B so it can go it in more decks, while having its toughness bumped up a point in combination with the second ability giving the creature +3+2 instead of +3+3 to make its new form still resemble Phyrexian Negator.
Brainstorm leaving the format permanently by joining the banned list will grant players wildcard reimbursement, as should the banning of Tibalt’s Trickery. The article doesn’t mention any reimbursement policy for the digital-only rebalances, despite the fact that Davriel’s Withering and Davriel, Soul Broker no longer work in the most-common deck they were crafted for due to the interaction with Vesperlark no longer working.
The article also states that Standard will not see any changes until at least after the release of Innistrad: Crimson Vow. WotC’s internal data points toward not needing any bans.
Read the original article from WotC.