Memory Jar is so broken.
Time Spiral is so broken.
Voltaic Key is so broken.
Island is so broken.
Notice the trend? All the above cards are "broken." "But what’s so broken about an Island?" you say. Well, let me tell you. There are so many uses for an Island, it boggles the mind. Not only does it have a 0 casting cost, but it’s not a creature, so it can’t be easily eliminated. And, unlike creatures, it doesn’t have summoning sickness, so you can use it the turn it comes into play. Plus, it gives you blue mana for an activation cost of only TAPPING it, which can’t be countered. Speaking of countering, you can’t counter Islands, but they can be used to cast all sorts of counterspells against your opponent. Sounds a lot like a Mox Sapphire to me, but instead of being worth $200, you can get a truckload of these for FREE! Now, what’s the deal with that?!?!?! Don’t even get me STARTED on Mountains!
Okay, before you walk away muttering about my sheer insanity, let me enlighten you as to what my point is: banning. Time Spiral and Mind Over Matter both got banned because they made High Tide have powers reaching the cosmos. Why, in the name of all things holy, did they just not ban HIGH TIDE? Was that card to "bad" to ban? In that case, why ban Voltaic Key when you can ban Grim Monolith, Phyrexian Colossus, and Mana Vault?
The answer, in my opinion, is money. You remember, of course, when Time Spiral was THE rare to get. There was one person who was willing to trade me SO much for it, but I valued it much too highly. Then, it was banned. I THINK I still know where it is.
WotC gets you to buy their products for that choice rare, but then they cancel it so they don’t have to actually GIVE you anything for your money.
But what about Voltaic Key? Well, they’ve banned the High Tide (of UBC, that is). Why the new trend? Well, we all know that we’re not DYING to get a Grim Monolith or Phyrexian Colossus; though they WOULD be nice, we’d much rather sink our teeth into the choicest meats of Rishadan Port, Dust Bowl, Masticore, and Powder Keg. So, Grim Monolith and Phyrexian Colossus are solid cards that are used in several deck-types. No need to ban them; just get rid of the High Tide.
So, what about Memory Jar? Well, I believe that it was a mistake. Well, maybe mistake is too kind of a word; perhaps "idiotic shortsightedness" might be better. I hear that as soon as it came out, it was dominating tournaments. What’s with that? A month later, it’s banned. I’ve never even SEEN the card, let alone do I know how it kills in a turn (something to do with Megrim?)! That card didn’t have the chance to make a deck-type, it didn’t have the chance to become a choice rare, and it really wasn’t popular enough to arouse interest with every player.
So, I bet you’re wondering what my point is, aren’t you? Well, I’ll admit that it’s a point that points out the lack of point. Get it? Good.
As the above examples show, there appear to be three reasons why the DCI might ban a card: money, fairness towards the environment, other. Now, I know that three categories doesn’t really sum it up, and that ever-present "other" makes an infinite amount of categories within itself, but I thought it was a nice point to bring up. My opinion on Yawgmoth’s Bargain (I know no one asked for it, but everyone’s talking about it; might as well be part of everyone) is that if it IS banned, it will because of the same reason Time Spiral is. It’s a choice rare that, when it hits the board, spells almost total doom for your opponent. It’s been out for long enough to jack its prices, and the absence of it will really only affect Bargain decks, as Time Spiral really only affected High Tide (as far as I know).
Or, maybe my point is that basic land is broken. They’re the best Magic cards out there, and they have the most efficient price. Hey, maybe if they banned Islands, Mountains, Swamps, and Plains, everyone would play green, and then it really WOULD be the only choice! 🙂 (Someone wake me up when my dreams end.)-Daniel Crane, who really IS still the Newbies’ Lawyer when the need arises, but is temporarily resting the title to assume other positions