Magic: The Gathering Bans Controversial Card From Historic Format
Magic: The Gathering‘s recently concluded Strixhaven Championship tournament has proven to be an eye-opening experience for Wizards of the Coast and observers alike. The competition, aimed primarily at fans of MTG Arena‘s exclusive Historic format, allowed participants to build decks using every card ever released for the popular tabletop game’s digital version, including so-called Mystical Archives printed for Strixhaven: School of Mages.
That term refers to a number of sorcery and enchantment reprints found most commonly in collector’s edition booster packs of the expansion which boast incredibly powerful ongoing or one-time effects. In Time Warp’s case, any player casting the 5-cost blue spell is able to grant themselves an extra turn straight after their first, essentially denying their opponent the opportunity to counterattack.
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Somewhat unsurprisingly, this meta-defining effect resulted in 5 of the Top 8 decks entered into the championship containing at least one copy, with the entire Top 4 being near identical in composition and game plan. Whenever a single outlier such as this starts dominating the competitive scene, Wizards says it prefers to hold off on issuing bans and adopt a wait-and-see approach instead, though has decided to take more direct action this time around.
As confirmed in the developer’s latest Banned and Restricted announcement, Time Warp has been exiled from Historic effective immediately, meaning any existing builds containing it will be considered invalid upon next logging into Arena. This more proactive directive is a result of internal data showing a lack of bad matchups for Jeskai Turns, leaving it completely unchecked.
For now, at least, the prohibition doesn’t extend to Magic: The Gathering‘s Standard format, but that could well change in the future.