Community Awareness Banned and Restricted - September 2016

Hello! Welcome to PucaTrade's Community Awareness series. These articles are intended to keep our members informed about upcoming Magic events and how they might affect card values and trading. This article is in preparation of WotC's Banned and Restricted list update on September 26, 2016.


Modern has long been intended as a format in which you're not supposed to lose a game unopposed until turn 4, at least in theory. Decks like Affinity, Burn, Infect, Death's Shadow Aggro and Grishoalbrand are all capable of breaking that rule and winning a game fairly consistently by turn three. Many voices in the Magic community have spoken up regarding this shift in format speed. Will any of these decks see changes? Does the format as a whole need to be reevaluated?

Popular cards speculated as possible ban targets include Mox Opal, Inkmoth Nexus, Become Immense and Simian Spirit Guide. The effects that they offer to players are fast mana, resiliency, and cost reduction. Allowing for extra mana early in the game can usually change a game's outcome exponentially turn after turn. Turn one Sol Ring, anyone?

Mox OpalSimian Spirit Guide
Mox Opal and Simian Spirit Guide allow for faster mana than 'fair' decks can produce.

There has not been a consistent best deck in Modern since the banning of Eye of Ugin, so it's quite possible that all of the previously mentioned cards will remain legal in the Modern format for years to come.

In August 2016, beta members of Magic Online community reported that Bloodbraid Elf was legal in the Modern format. Prior to the announced bannings of Splinter Twin & Summer Bloom, they both showed up as such in MTGO's beta client. Consequently, players have started to speculate that BBE will follow a similar pattern and become unbanned. When Bloodbraid Elf was originally banned, Deathrite Shaman was still legal in the format. Because DRS is no longer legal, perhaps WotC thinks Modern is ready for the Elf Berserker again. Perhaps they also want there to be a strong answer for Jace, the Mind Sculptor, who has yet to see Modern play. While we shouldn't expect to see Jace in Modern now, or necessarily ever, they do make a great pair of options for deck builders.

Bloodbraid ElfJace, the Mind Sculptor
How many players would love seeing these two face off in Modern tournaments?

It's quite possible that Wizards is happy with the formats as they are, and that no changes will be made. Modern is full of powerful sideboard options, and no deck will likely remain number one for very long in the ever-shifting metagame. If there are changes, please keep in mind that values of the cards in question, as well as the values of card combo pieces, can change rapidly.

If you find yourself ready to initiate a trade for a card that was freshly banned or unbanned, please consider if the recipient would still like to receive the card before you send it to them. Many traders no longer need cards after they become banned or do not want cards at inflated values. If you committed to send an unbanned card prior to its unbanning, please follow through with your trade commitment. The PucaTrade team encourages you to treat other members of the PucaTrade community as you would treat a friend or neighbor: with kindness and respect.

Thanks for reading!
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