Wizards Confirm MTG Arena Ban and Restricted Announcement on July 13th

by in Magic: The Gathering Arena | Jul, 8th 2020

Wizards of the Coast have teased a huge announcement for MTG in July 2020. On July 13th, 2020, MTG Arena (and MTG) will see a new Banned and Restricted announcement. Standard is safe for now, as is Brawl. But Historic, Pioneer, Modern, and Pauper are all going to be seeing cards added to the chopping block!

Unfortunately, Pioneer and Modern are only on MTGO and MTG (tabletop), so we’re going to focus on the possible biggest hits for Historic and Pauper. I’m genuinely surprised there aren’t going to be any bans for Standard though. Wilderness Reclamation is a card I’ve been expecting to take the banhammer for months now. It’s overwhelmingly powerful and is as equally disruptive as Teferi, Time Raveler, in this writer’s opinion.

The Historic/Pauper Situations

Let’s talk Historic! I love Historic as a format, as it’s just close enough to Modern/Pioneer to scratch that itch. Cards from across the well, history of MTG Arena are available to use. So when we saw MTG Arena’s going to be dropping a ban in July 2020, we’re pretty curious about what it could be. What is interesting is that there are three cards that are “suspended” in MTG Arena’s Historic meta. Fires of Invention, Agent of Treachery, and Winota, Joiner of Forces are in the Suspended pile. 

What does that even mean? It means we can’t use it in decks, but it’s not officially banned. It’s still under discussion about what its fate will be. Fields of the Dead was formerly suspended, but since its removal, it feels like it is in every single deck, for good or ill. The Historic banlist isn’t exactly a long one:

Nexus of Fate can still be played in best-of-three, but it hasn’t changed how frustrating it is to play against. At least in BO3, players can try to sideboard answers to it. It’s time to speculate though! None of these cards is a sure thing, but we’re going to talk about them anyway. Historic’s ban list could be as simple as putting those three cards officially on the banlist. 

But what if that isn’t the play? Another potential card is Wilderness Reclamation, which again, should probably be banned in Standard. It’s power in Nexus of Fate decks is absolutely unreasonable. Bant Nexus is vile and is possibly the most frustrating deck I’ve ever played against. I admit I’m guilty of spamming Nexus of Fate in BO1 until it was banned. However, when it was moved to BO3 only, I stopped playing that format entirely.

It’s not fun to play, or play against. So, Nexus of Fate/Wilderness Reclamation are definitely potential targets. But what about the other top deck, Gruul Aggro? I don’t think there are any cards in that deck that are too bad, at least, not ban-worthy. Maybe Embercleave? There’s talk of Burning-Tree Emissary as well if both of the top decks get hit.

I think Nexus of Fate is probably the most likely candidate. That won’t affect the BO1 crowd, but it will hammer the upcoming major for August. However, Wilderness Reclamation getting banned would make me overwhelmingly happy. But what Pauper?

That ban only hurts certain events in MTG Arena, July 2020, or otherwise. It’s likely going to be more Blue/Blue-oriented bans though. I’m thinking it’s going to be Mystic Sanctuary. That common land that can let you put an instant/sorcery back onto the top of your deck? Oh yeah, that’s evil. Frantic Inventory is another possibility, with how much card draw you can get for 2 mana at instant speed.

Pauper’s a really hard format for me to predict since I so seldom check it out. We’re going to keep our eyes on it though, you can be sure. Next week, when the ban comes out, we’ll be right here to tell you what’s getting banished to the shadow realm!


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