What is a ban watchlist?
Simply, these are cards that have a higher than average chance of getting banned in the Modern format. The reasoning for each will be included with each entry in the form of:
Card Name (Banworthy category – likelihood of banning on a scale of 1 lowest to 10).
Players have been asking for a while but without a Modern Pro Tour (the previous driver of many bans) it wasn’t a huge issue.
As of 7/19/17 the Modern Pro Tour is back!
So here we are:
The unOfficial Modern MTG Ban Watchlist
Last update: 7/19/17
1. Simian Spirit Guide, Mox Opal (Fast mana – 6/10)
There are 2 playable sources of fast mana left in Modern (sorry Chancellor of the Tangle). SSG lives and dies solely on its importance to Ad Nauseum combo. If another way to cast Lightning Storm presented itself, bye bye Mana Monkey.
There is always something from Affinity just below the current “Problem Card” in Modern. “Fixed” Chrome Mox is still probably too good but there’s almost assuredly something ahead of it.
Decks impacted: Ad Nauseum, Living End, Goryo’s Vengeance, Affinity, Lantern Control, RW Prison
2. Street Wraith, Mishra’s Bauble (0 mana cantrip – 8/10)
Gitaxian Probe (RIP) got the axe for basically the same effect at sorcery speed. SW is uncountable, instant speed and an integral enabler of a dominant deck (Death’s Shadow).
Bauble is the less likely of the two to get hit because the delayed trigger isn’t quite as impressive but having a mini-Brainstorm effect with fetchlands is undeniably powerful.
Decks impacted: Death’s Shadow, Delirium decks, Living End
3. Vizier/Devoted Druid/Duskwatch Recruiter (Resilient fast combo – 6/10)
Vizier + Druid = Infinite mana. Activate Duskwatch Recruiter until you find Walking Ballista. Cast Walking Ballista for X=100. Kill you.
Sounds convoluted (it is) but between Collected Company and Chord of Calling the deck is surprisingly consistent. Probably too consistent. The fact that it also requires multiple hate pieces to successfully attack gives me Birthing Pod flashbacks and we all know how that ended…
Decks impacted: Counters Company, fringe combo decks
5. Death’s Shadow (High meta share – 1/10)
1 mana 10/10 in a format where the land base does damage to you AND on color with the most powerful disruption spell ever printed that also does damage? SEEMS GOOD. And it is.
The salad days of Death’s Shadow’s undisputed title as the Best Deck are probably behind us. The metagame has adapted but if event results start showing 35%+ Death’s Shadow variants in top finish spots, we could revisit it.
Decks impacted: Death’s Shadow, 8Rack sideboards (RIP)
6. Eldrazi Temple (Fast mana – 4/10)
Lands that tap for more than 1 mana allow broken things to happen every time they appear from Mishra’s Workshop in Vintage, City of Traitors/Ancient Tomb in Legacy to Urza Lands and Eldrazi Temple in Modern.
The thing that separates Eldrazi Temple from the Urza Lands is that it is always online. Play Eldrazi Temple, cast Eldrazi Mimic. Play 2, cast Thought-Knot Seer. Play any third land, cast Reality Smasher.
Having them side by side in what is arguably the best deck (Eldrazi Tron) is where problems occur. 16(!) lands that tap for 2 or more mana means that traditional land destruction is largely irrelevant because you have 2 parallel tracks and disrupting both requires multiple specific hate cards in sequence.
Decks impacted: Eldrazi Tron, Eldrazi Taxes, any deck with Eldrazi in the name
7. Codex Shredder/Ghoulcaller’s Bell/Lantern of Insight (Slow and boring – 7/10)
Honestly this wouldn’t have even made a runner up list before the Modern Pro Tour announcement but now this deck is on the chopping block for sure.
It isn’t too good or too hard to hate, it is slow. Painfully slow. If you love the deck, the time to save it is now: stop playing it at Comp REL events.
Matches are agonizing to watch on coverage and a few top 16 finishes in large events would probably be the final coffin nail. Events need to proceed in the allotted time and decks/cards that derail them will get banned.
Don’t believe me? Look no further than Sensei’s Divining Top, a pillar of the Legacy metagame, banned for taking every. single. round. to time.
Deck impacted: Lantern Control
We will be maintaining the list and archiving past versions as items come and go but this page will always house the most current version.