The January 25 Banned and Restricted List Update

Hot on the heels of last week’s update to the Pauper banned list, Wizards of the Coast announced changes to Standard, Legacy, Historic, and Alchemy today. Notably absent from the update was Modern – a format where some players had expected action in light of both Modern Horizons 2 and Lurrus of the Dream-Den overhauling the format.

In Standard, Alrund’s Epiphany, Divide by Zero, and Faceless Haven have been banned. Blue control decks and single color aggressive decks have been a dominant force in Standard since the last update in October of 2021. In that time, both Epiphany and Divide by Zero have been staples in control in allowing blue decks to go over the top with ease while also limiting options of other midrange and control decks. In order to open up Standard some and give other strategies a chance to shine, the blue cards got the axe.

Faceless Haven is a creature land of a different color. The Arena Ladder has been rife with mono color aggressive decks that can lean on the resiliency of Faceless Haven to further their game plan. In order to hamper mono-green and mono-white aggro while not removing them entirely, Faceless Haven has been banned.

In Legacy, Ragavan, Nimble Pilferer has been banned. In a tale that seems to repeat itself every time the Legacy banned list is revised, Blue-Red Delver of Secrets tempo decks have been the best deck in the format, with a non-mirror win rate over 56% in the Magic Online leagues. These decks lean on powerful sculpting and free defensive spells in Daze and Force of Will to press their advantage. Ragavan is the latest early threat to receive a ban in an effort to curtail Delver decks.

In Historic, Memory Lapse has been banned (moving off the Suspended List) while Teferi, Time Raveler has been unbanned after its rebalance for Alchemy. It now starts with one more starting loyalty, costs an additional generic mana, and the static ability has been changed to “Your opponents can’t cast spells during your turn.”

Speaking of the Alchemy Rebalances, you can find a full list of the updates here. Many of the changes are centered around making the Venture mechanic from Adventures in the Forgotten Realms more powerful and relevant.

These bans (and rebalances) take effect on January 25, 2022 for tabletop and on January 27, 2022 for Magic Online and Arena.

What do you think of these bans? Do you think something should have been banned in Modern? What about Legacy?

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