Early Bans, Baldur’s Gate Clues, and Sweet Decks

Early Bans, Baldur’s Gate Clues, and Sweet Decks

Early Bans, Baldur’s Gate Clues, and Sweet Decks

The Wizards did it again! A few days after the end of the Explorer Metagame Challenge, and before bringing the new –and celebrated– format of MTGA to Pioneer, they already announced bans…

That’s right, let’s say goodbye –for now– to Winota, Joiner of Forces and –surely forever– to Tibalt’s Trickery.

The reasons for Winota’s ban are obvious: an explosive strategy that “presents overwhelming boards” and that, unlike what happens in Pioneer, since Explorer has a smaller card pool, it is impossible for opponents to handle.

Wizard clarified that Winota’s situation will be “temporary” and they explained this in the official statement: “AQs this is our first Explorer ban since the format’s launch, we want to reaffirm our intentions that cards banned specifically in this format will become playable again as we realign the ban list to match Pioneer. One of Explorer’s primary goals is fidelity to the Pioneer experience, so we intend to maintain this ban for only as long as it proves necessary. When additional cards are introduced to the format, they will naturally change Winota’s relative standing. As such, we currently plan to unban Winota and reevaluate her position shortly after the release of Dominaria United this fall.”

The case of Tibalt’s Trickery is different, simply because it “creates an extremely negative experience when playing against the card, and its play rate is growing quickly. As a result, Tibalt’s Trickery is banned in Explorer.”

“Since Tibalt’s Trickery is currently not a mainstay of Pioneer play, this ban will not be reevaluated as aggressively as Winota’s”, Wizards explained.

Repercussions of the bans

Players, streamers, and content creators all voiced their opinion of Wizards’ announced bans.

Maro’s Clues for Commander Legends: Battle for Baldur’s Gate

Mark Rosewater (applauses, please) laid out a number of “clues” before the Commander Legends: Battle for Baldur’s Gate spoilers begin:

First up, here are some things you can expect:

• a returning mechanic that feels apropos for D&D makes use of a new card type

• a card capable of making an Ox, Boar, or Goat

• the word “seven” appears on two cards and the word “nine” appears on one

• a new legendary colorless artifact token named Volo’s Journal

• a 10/10 creature with flying and trample that you can cast for G

• a lord for Demons, Devils, Imps, and Tieflings

• the character we got a lot of complaints about not being in Adventures in the Forgotten Realms gets a card

• three legendary creatures that are Gods

• a card that enhances all creatures with mana abilities

• a spell that can copy something X times

Next, here are some rules that will be showing up on cards:

• “This spell costs 1 less to cast for each opponent you’re attacking.”

• “That artifact becomes a 0/0 Homunculus artifact creature with flying.”

• “Whenever you cast a spell you don’t own,”

• “If you control neither creature, draw three cards.”

• “you don’t lose the game for having 0 or less life.”

• “Tokens you control have ‘T:”

• “Then choose a third player”

• “where X is the total mana value of Dragons you control.”

• “put a number of time counters on it equal to its mana value.”

• “you may cast your commander from the command zone without paying its mana cost.”

Here are some flavor words in the set:

• Devour Intellect

• Homunculus Servant

• Bigby’s Hand

• Gathered Swarm

• Avoidance

• Vicious Mockery

• Blood Drain

• Mantel of Inspiration

• Animate Chains

• Death Ray

Finally, here are some creature type lines in the set:

• Legendary Creature – Halfling Knight

• Legendary Creature – Tiefling Barbarian

• Legendary Creature – Gith Warrior

• Legendary Creature – Dragon Peasant

• Legendary Creature – Vampire Elf Rogue

• Legendary Creature – Bear Warrior

• Legendary Creature – Devil Noble

• Legendary Creature – Human Boar

• Legendary Creature – Cat Devil

• Legendary Creature – Elephant Angel

Check out the Commander Legends: Battle for Balder’s Gate debut on May 17 at 9:00 am PT on Twitch and YouTube.

Decks from Last Weekend

Standard: Naya runes won the $500 Cash GGtoor M:TG Arena Duel #12. Everyone knows the power of Naya Runes, and Andy Monsalve (Blue Robot) explains it in this article

So, we introduce a different deck that astonished the world (?) last weekend: IZZET LAND DESTRUCTION.

Deck (60)
Arcane Bombardment
Burn Down the House
Field of Ruin
Cleansing Wildfire
Stormcarved Coast
Riverglide Pathway
Expressive Iteration
Memory Deluge
Flame-Blessed Bolt
Big Score
Thundering Rebuke
Voltage Surge
Otawara, Soaring City
Hall of Storm Giants
The Celestus
Fading Hope
Shatterskull Smashing
Spikefield Hazard
Prismari Command
Sokenzan, Crucible of Defiance
Lier, Disciple of the Drowned
Sideboard (15)
Memory Deluge
Smoldering Egg
Fading Hope
Burning Hands
Tempted by the Oriq
Battle of Frost and Fire
Out of the Way
Lier, Disciple of the Drowned
Reckoner Bankbuster

In Explorer, lots of decks reach 7-0 in the Metagame Challenge. Here is a list of options (without Winota)

Deck: Mardu Greasefang by Muse

Deck (60)
Sorin, Vengeful Bloodlord
Voldaren Epicure
Stitcher’s Supplier
Bloodtithe Harvester
Kroxa, Titan of Death’s Hunger
Greasefang, Okiba Boss
Fatal Push
Lightning Axe
Deadly Dispute
Can’t Stay Away
Skysovereign, Consul Flagship
Parhelion II
Fable of the Mirror-Breaker
Inspiring Vantage
Concealed Courtyard
Blightstep Pathway
Brightclimb Pathway
Needleverge Pathway
Den of the Bugbear
Sacred Foundry
Godless Shrine
Blood Crypt
Takenuma, Abandoned Mire
Sideboard (15)
Graveyard Trespasser
Reidane, God of the Worthy
Fatal Push
Redcap Melee
Portable Hole

Deck: Rakdos Sacrifice by Keven Wild

Deck (60)
Ob Nixilis, the Adversary
Cauldron Familiar
Unlucky Witness
Kroxa, Titan of Death’s Hunger
Mayhem Devil
Fatal Push
Deadly Dispute
Fatal Grudge
Witch’s Oven
Experimental Synthesizer
Oni-Cult Anvil
Dragonskull Summit
Castle Locthwain
Fabled Passage
Blightstep Pathway
Den of the Bugbear
Hive of the Eye Tyrant
Haunted Ridge
Blood Crypt
Sideboard (15)
Valki, God of Lies
Voltage Surge
Claim the Firstborn
Legion’s End
Soul-Guide Lantern
The Meathook Massacre

Next Weekend: Arena Open

Next weekend we’ll have the new Arena Open on MTGA.

Day 1 – Streets of New Capenna Sealed (Best-of-One and Best-of-Three)

Day 2 – Streets of New Capenna Player Draft (Best-of-Three)

For this Arena Open, Wizards have adjusted some of the gem rewards from Day 2 to Day 1, giving more players more rewards even sooner:

Gem rewards on Day 2 for earning 0–5 wins have all been reduced by 5,000 gems.

Earning seven wins on Day 1 in Best-of-One now also awards 5,000 gems in addition to Day 2 access.

Earning four wins on Day 1 in Best-of-Three now also awards 6,000 gems in addition to Day 2 access.

Earning one win on Day 1 in Best-of-Three now awards 1,500 gems, up from 1,000.


Event start: May 14 at 6 a.m. PT (13:00 UTC)

Signup end: May 15 at 3 a.m. PT (10:00 UTC)

You’ll have three hours to complete your current run, but you won’t be able to join after this deadline. Matches in progress will be allowed to finish.

Event end: May 15 at 6 a.m. PT (13:00 UTC)

No new matches begin after this time, but matches in progress will be allowed to finish.

Format: Streets of New Capenna Sealed Best-of-One and Best-of-Three

Entry fee: 25,000 gold or 5,000 gems (for both Best-of-One and Best-of-Three)

By Juani Salas

Twitter: @juasalas

Twitch: /SrMagicPotato

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