The Cards Wizards Will (Probably) Ban on Monday

Bans are incoming. Time to speculate.

Here are some of my predictions (and hopes!) for the upcoming Banned & Restricted announcement. 


With the Mythic Invitational approaching on August 28th, it makes sense to me that Wizards are keeping a closer eye on this format. 

The Fate of the Suspensions

Historic’s suspended list functions similarly to a ban, in that the card is longer legal in Historic. However, once on the list, R&D monitors the card before choosing to either ban it officially, or return it to the format. This decision is made before the next big Historic event.

Currently, Agent of Treachery, Fires of Invention and Winota, Joiner of Forces are all on the Historic suspended card list. 

I believe that Agent of Treachery and Winota, Joiner of Forces will be moved to the banned list. Days after Agent of Treachery was sent to the suspended list, Winota got suspended as well. In that small amount of time, WotC deduced that even without Agent of Treachery in the format, Winota was a fundamentally broken Magic card.

Fires of Invention

Throne of Eldraine, Rare

Fires of Invention - Throne of Eldraine - magic

Fires of Invention fractured Standard for a long time—however, if Agent of Treachery is sent to the shadow realm, there may be room for Fires of Invention in Historic. This card cheats on mana and has produced monotonous games and formats in the past. Whether or not Fires of Invention is banned is dependent on what they decide to do with Agent of Treachery, and if bans for Wilderness Reclamation and Nexus of Fate are explored.

New Suspensions

Assuming all cards hit the suspension zone before the ban zone, I expect to see Nexus of Fate and Wilderness Reclamation suspended in some combination. One of them will absolutely go, but I think suspending both is the best option. 

Burning-Tree Emissary

Double Masters 2022, Common

Burning-Tree Emissary - Double Masters 2022 - magic

No matter how they change Historic, Gruul Aggro always seems to be one of the most popular and successful decks. There’s nothing “broken” about the deck per se, it’s just really good at applying pressure to every level of deck. While I expect this could change as more cards are added to Historic, I think Burning-Tree Emissary would be a good piece to hit. This card is the key to the most explosive and oppressive starts, and a suspension could go a long way. 


Haha, good one.

The current Historic banned list is fine with me, and I don’t expect to see any of these cards getting unbanned anytime soon.


“Inverter? I hardly know her!”

Said no one ever, because it’s all Pioneer has been doing since Theros: Beyond Death dropped.


Dimir Inverter

Market Price:$227.67

Maindeck, 60 cards

Sortsort deckCreature (9)

  • 4Inverter of Truth
  • 2Jace, Vryn’s Prodigy
  • 3Thassa’s Oracle

Planeswalker (4)

  • 3Jace, Wielder of Mysteries
  • 1Narset, Parter of Veils

Sorcery (4)

  • 4Thoughtseize

Instant (19)

  • 2Censor
  • 1Cling to Dust
  • 4Dig Through Time
  • 2Eliminate
  • 4Fatal Push
  • 2Hero’s Downfall
  • 4Opt

Land (24)

  • 2Choked Estuary
  • 4Drowned Catacomb
  • 4Fabled Passage
  • 2Fetid Pools
  • 6Island
  • 2Swamp
  • 4Watery Grave

Sideboard (15)

  • 2Narset, Parter of Veils
  • 1Ashiok, Nightmare Muse
  • 1Collective Brutality
  • 2Cry of the Carnarium
  • 2Damping Sphere
  • 1Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet
  • 3Mystical Dispute
  • 2Negate
  • 1The Elderspell

I believe Dimir Inverter is why we’ve seen a dip in Pioneer event attendance recently. It genuinely felt like the format had been forgotten about, and I’m personally super happy to see it on the list for upcoming changes. 

New Bans

We’ll be saying goodbye to either Inverter of Truth or Thassa’s Oracle next week. If Inverter of Truth is banned, decks like Lotus Breach will get to continue existing, but Dimir Inverter as we know it will be nerfed out of existence. If Thassa’s Oracle is banned, both Lotus Breach and Dimir Inverter will still be able to win with Jace, Wielder of Mysteries (or other win conditions). While Jace isn’t an ideal win condition, allowing these decks to continue in a watered-down version may be the solution R&D chooses to go with.

Dig Through Time

Commander: Streets of New Capenna, Rare

Dig Through Time - Commander: Streets of New Capenna - magic

Dig Through Time has skated by largely due to the lack of fetch lands in Pioneer. It’s easy to say that this card is only powerful because it helps dig toward a two-card combo. In the short term, if they ban a Dimir Inverter combo piece, Dig Through Time will be fine in the format. But this is not a realistic long-term plan. I think the decision on whether or not to ban Dig Through Time should be based on whether Wizards is okay having to reevaluate this decision every time a new set is released. I do not believe it will be banned in this cycle, however it will definitely be on a watch list.

Once the best deck in the format is defanged, we have to consider what takes its place. In Pioneer this makes room for Niv-Mizzet Reborn, Fires of Invention and Winota decks to rise. I don’t believe these decks are too overpowered for Pioneer—however, the Yorion-Fires of Invention-Lukka, Coppercoat Outcast trifecta still exists, and could become a problem in the future.

Unban Possibilities

Smuggler’s Copter, Field of the Dead and Oath of Nissa are all on my list of potential cards to unban.

Smuggler’s Copter

Commander: Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty, Rare

Smuggler's Copter - Commander: Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty - magic

I think we’re unlikely to see a Smuggler’s Copter unban. It’s a good card (probably too good), but it would give aggro decks a chance of being playable again. However, since it’s a colorless powerhouse, it will probably be put into every deck interested in attacking, which is why it was banned in the first place.

Oath of Nissa

Oath of the Gatewatch, Rare

Oath of Nissa - Oath of the Gatewatch - magic

Oath of Nissa has a lot of potential, and would go directly into Winota, Joiner of Forces decks as well as most other green decks. The card is strong, but not inherently powerful. However, it enables a lot of powerful decks, and could just be too dangerous to let loose. 

Field of the Dead

Core Set 2020, Rare

Field of the Dead - Core Set 2020 - magic

Market Price: $19.63

Field of the Dead is definitely a manageable card in Pioneer. It’s only boring to play against when it takes over a format. One of the largest issues with powerful, colorless lands is how flexible they are, so even if Field of the Dead has optimal builds centered around it, the potential for other random decks to utilize it is there. That means there’s a risk in unbanning it, if you also ban a piece from Inverter combo and/or Lotus Breach. On the other hand, if the format remained as it currently is, I do not believe Field of the Dead would be as oppressive as it was when it was initially banned.

Since Pioneer seems to have taken a back seat in terms of competitive Magic, it would be good to see a format shakeup to test things out before it’s needed for tournament play again. 

Hopes and Dreams

Unban Felidar Guardian, ban Saheeli Rai.

Ban Agent of Treachery.


Splinter Twin

Modern Masters 2015, Rare

Splinter Twin - Modern Masters 2015 - magic

Market Price: $8.30

New Bans




Hopes and Dreams



Modern, but Boring

New Bans

Arcum’s Astrolabe: It makes for boring and repetitive gameplay.

Urza, Lord High Artificer: If a card doesn’t have enough room for flavor text, it’s probably broken. In Urza’s case, it’s definitely broken, and enough cards have paid the price for Urza’s sins. While these decks are not as powerful as they were when Mox Opal was legal, the turns are lengthy, not particularly enjoyable, and feel oppressive.

I don’t know if bans will be made based on how oppressive a deck or card is, or based on how stale things have become. I don’t love calling for bans, but change is needed when a format stagnates like this.


Bridge from Below

Ultimate Masters, Rare

Bridge from Below - Ultimate Masters - magic

Bridge From Below can come back now that Hogaak, Arisen Necropolis is well and truly exiled from Modern.

Hopes and Dreams

Ban Veil of Summer: This card should not exist outside of Vintage and Legacy.

One of my hotter takes is that they should unban Umezawa’s Jitte. It could be fine! Theoretically.


New Bans

Market Price:$57.14

Maindeck, 60 cards

Sortsort deckCreature (9)

  • 2Dinrova Horror
  • 3Mnemonic Wall
  • 4Mulldrifter

Sorcery (1)

  • 1Compulsive Research

Instant (17)

  • 2Ephemerate
  • 1Ghostly Flicker
  • 4Impulse
  • 3Moment’s Peace
  • 2Mystical Teachings
  • 1Prohibit
  • 1Pyroblast
  • 1Reaping the Graves
  • 1Unwind
  • 1Weather the Storm

Artifact (11)

  • 4Bonder’s Ornament
  • 3Expedition Map
  • 4Prophetic Prism

Land (22)

  • 3Cave of Temptation
  • 2Island
  • 1Remote Isle
  • 4Thriving Isle
  • 4Urza’s Mine
  • 4Urza’s Power Plant
  • 4Urza’s Tower

Sideboard (15)

  • 1Weather the Storm
  • 1Ancient Grudge
  • 3Blue Elemental Blast
  • 1Dispel
  • 1Doom Blade
  • 1Exclude
  • 3Red Elemental Blast
  • 1Scattershot
  • 3Stonehorn Dignitary

I expect something from the Tron deck to go. The deck has dominated this format and could stand to see a power reduction. My guess is Expedition Map or Ghostly Flicker go, with Ephemerate in third place—that way, the deck can continue to exist, just in a less consistent and repetitive manner. 

Boros Metalcraft decks are on my watch list after the Tron decks get hit.

Mystic Sanctuary: The fact that this card is a common is insane. Its power level is incredibly high for Pauper. 


No cards will be unbanned.

Hopes and Dreams

Ban Urza’s Tower and be done with it.