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January 15 Banned and Restricted Announcement

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Today it was announced that effective January 19 (and January 15 on Magic Online), four cards will be banned from Standard. Attune with Aether, Rogue Refiner, Rampaging Ferocidon, and Ramunap Ruins are being added to the Standard banned list, continuing the fall out from Kaladesh Block. There have been no announced changes to any other format, aside from Un-Sets ending their trial run in Commander.


Ian Duke, from Play Design, goes into detail as to why these changes were made. Energy decks were a dominant force in Standard for nearly half a year and by removing these cards, and not other elements, R & D believes they can hamper the deck's ability to run a four-color mana base while also allowing other Energy decks to thrive. As for Red, while it was not the most played the data Wizards examined showed it may have been the best deck in the format. Ramunap Ruins was removed to limit the deck's reach while Rampaging Ferocidon was taken away to allow decks that may be good against Red to thrive.


The aggressive use of the Banned List for Standard continues. Starting with the trio of Reflector Mage, Smuggler's Copter, and Emrakul, the Promised End, Standard has endured the most bans it has seen in quite a while. However the level of detail present in today's article showcases the way Play Design is thinking and, once the team has a chance to work with cards before release, could improve the overall health of the game.


The next Banned and Restricted List announcement will be on February 12, after Pro Tour Rivals of Ixalan. The changes, if any are made, will go into effect on February 23, to allow Grand Prix Lyon to not be affected by an abrupt change to card legality.


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