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May 18 Banned and Restricted List Update

The May 18 Banned and Restricted List Update has arrived and with it, some Companions are leaving Vintage and Legacy. The following changes are effective May 18 for tabletop and Magic Online play, and May 21 for MTG Arena play.

Lurrus of the Dream Den is banned in Vintage.

Lurrus of the Dream Den and Zirda, the Dawnmaker are banned in Legacy.

Drannith Magistrate and Winota, Joiner of Forces are banned in Brawl.

The headliner here is the ban of Lurrus in Vintage. Vintage is a format where cards are rarely banned for power level reasons and instead they are restricted to only one copy per deck. Given that a spot on the restricted list would have no impact on Lurrus’ viability, the decision was made to ban the creature outright.

In Legacy, the dominance of Lurrus decks necessitated a change. Lurrus’ deckbuilding condition was not a huge hurdle and decks packing the Companion were winning around 55% of their Magic Online matches. Zirda combo decks focused on Grim Monolith and generating an unbound amount of mana, were seen as the heir apparent to Lurrus decks and as such the Boros Companion was banned before it could take over the format.

In Brawl, Drannith Magistrate was banned as it runs contrary to the philosophy of allowing players to cast their Commander. Winota was banned due to the its increased prevalence in the format as well as the repetitive nature of the deck.

The May 18 announcement concluded with a note regarding Modern, Pioneer, and Standard. These formats are being watched for issues regarding the consistency of certain Companion decks, as well as those decks’ potential dominance. Wizards wants to see the metagame drift towards an “equilibrium state” before taking addition steps. While there was no promise of future action, it was implied that if problems continue in these formats, steps would be taken to solve them.

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