June 2012 Banned & Restricted Update – Land Tax Unbanned in Legacy, Griselbrand & Sundering Titan Banned in EDH/Commander

The DCI has announced their quarterly updates to the Banned and Restricted lists today, and Land Tax has been Unbanned in Legacy, and Griselbrand and Sundering Titan have landed on the EDH/Commander Banned list! There are no changes in any other format.

Standard, Extended, Modern, Block Constructed, Vintage
No changes.

Land Tax is Unbanned.

Griselbrand is Banned.
Sundering Titan is Banned.

So Delver of Secrets, Ponder, and Snapcaster Mage will all continue to live untouched in Standard, contrary to many other writers’ opinions. Of this the DCI specifically says:

The DCI looked at the results of competitive Standard events. We found that while a high percentage of the participants played WU Delver decks, that the win rate of those decks was very close to par. For instance, in a recent MTGO PTQ, the win rate of WU Delver decks against non-Delver decks was a bit under 51%. In general there are decks that the Delver deck is strong against, and decks that it is weak against, but on average the deck tends to get results close to average. Additionally the number of people playing high level Standard events is the highest ever.

Looking at the Magic 2013 card set, it appears that there may be more tools for other decks than for the UW Delver deck, though time will tell if this bears out. The DCI will continue to observe how this plays out, but is taking no action.

In EDH/Commander, both Griselbrand and Sundering Titan got the axe, essentially for being non-interactive cards. EDH caretaker and judge Sheldon Menery noted:

Griselbrand was relatively simple choice. We knew all along it was pretty busted. While we had a glimmer of hope that the batch-of-seven card draw would help mitigate the obvious problem of a player being able to draw so many cards immediately (like Yawgmoth’s Bargain, unlike Necropotence), it simply didn’t. Griselbrand’s lifelink ability allowing you more resources to draw cards with coupled with being a creature and therefore easier to get into play (not to mention repeatedly) for far less than his mana cost, led to quite degenerate game states.

Sundering Titan has long been a card on the edge. The decision to get rid of it came from the combination of two points. One, it simply created undesirable game states. It was too easily both intentionally abused and unintentionally game warping, especially since its ability triggers on both entering and leaving the battlefield. Two, there has been a fair amount of community distaste for the card, and we agreed that the card overwhelmingly creates a negative experience for players. Listening to the ever-growing and ever more-involved community is important to us.

There’s an M13 card Worldfire that’s been generating some talk. We’re going to keep a close eye on the card after its release to look at its impact and potential impact on the format, but there’s no reason to panic and pre-ban it. Banning cards is about what they do, not about what they might do, so like we did with Griselbrand and despite what we see as a likely outcome, we’d like to see some evidence of it first.

UPDATE: According to Trick Jarret (Wizards’ employee), the new B&R list will now go into effect June 29, 2012, rather than July 1, 2012. This means Land Tax will now be legal for Grand Prix: Atlanta!

Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!