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Updates to the Historic Banned List

Today in an unannounced update, two cards were banned in Historic, one card was added to the Suspended List, and five digital-only cards received functional errata. This last point is a first for Magic Arena and has massive implications for how digital-only formats will be handled moving forward.

First up, Brainstorm and Tibalt’s Trickery are now banned in Historic. Brainstorm has moved on from the Suspended List to be permanently banned. Being placed on the Suspended List helped to push Historic in a “healthier” direction and as a result it has found itself on the outside looking in. Tibalt’s Trickery was a card that was on Play Design’s radar, but the recent addition of Throes of Chaos to Historic has made the combo far more reliable. As a result, Tibalt’s Trickery has been banned.

Memory Lapse has been added to the Suspended List. The powerful counterspell has become a card that blue decks are almost compelled to include in competitive events. It has been the most played card in both Best-of-Three ladder as well as Best-of-One. While there is a belief that removing Memory Lapse will improve the format, Play Design is less certain than they are with Tibalt’s Trickery, and so the counter lands on the Suspended List.

The next batch of changes deal exclusively with digital-only cards from Historic Horizons. These cards are receiving functional errata and Wizards of the Coast is leaving open the door for changes to cards with physical analogs in digital-only formats moving forward. From the announcement:

Currently, we are restricting these changes to digital-only cards, where there will be no conflict between a digital and printed version of a card. We would like to expand beyond this (for example, by rebalancing previously banned cards so they can be safely returned to play in digital formats only). There are multiple clarity and communication problems we will need to solve before we can consider those types of changes. This is something we plan to work on in the coming months and, since it bears repeating, would only affect digital formats.

Check out the article to see the changes to Davriel’s Withering, Davriel, Soul Broker, Faceless Agent, Sarkhan, Wanderer to Shiv, and Subversive Acolyte.

What do you think about the changes to Historic? Do you feel these bans will improve the format? How do you feel about digital-only errata when it comes to cards with a tabletop analog?

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