It’s not uncommon for Wizards of the Coast to ban certain cards and sets from Magic: The Gathering as time goes on, it keeps the game fresh as new sets are released and it prevents anyone from creating a deck so powerful in competitive or tournament play that they just can’t be touched. Sometimes players don’t have an issue with it, other times it confuses the hell out of them and makes them wonder why WotC even bothered to make a card to begin with if it can’t be used. Well, two specific cards just got unbanned by the company, starting February 14th online and February 19th in physical play, “Bloodbraid Elf” and “Jace, The Mind Sculptor” will both be allowed in action.
As the company says themselves on their website, the cards were banned “because they were simply too good.” Below is a snippet from the page which describes the reasoning for being put back into play and the changes that have been made since. While they may not be game-changing cards now, we’re guessing there will be plenty of players determined to give them a proper test in tournament play moving forward. That is, until the sets they come from are eventually phased out from play as well.
As the rest of the format has caught up in power level, these two cards have been on R&D’s short list of cards to reexamine for unbanning. We’ve been closely monitoring the evolution of the format over the last several years and chosen this as the best time to make a change. This is the right time for several reasons:
- Modern’s return to the Pro Tour, shining a spotlight on the format, makes this a great time to revisit past decisions and see if they still make sense in the current era.
- The data we gathered both from the Pro Tour itself and from the several weeks of Magic Onlineplay as pro players tested for the event have helped us cross-check our decisions against what’s doing well in the real world.
- Compared to other B&R windows, this one has the maximum amount of time before another Modern Pro Tour. This will allow the format to breathe and evolve without immediately undergoing the pressures of the world’s top competition.
- The reprint of Jace in Masters 25 will provide greater availability for our player base.