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This Week in Magic: December 8, 2023

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Banned and Restricted Lists Updated

The big talk of the week had to be the various banned and restricted announcements! In case you missed out on the details, the following changes were made:

For many players, these changes were largely unsurprising. The B&R discussion during the Weekly MTG stream hinted strongly at the cards that were banned in Pioneer and Modern, and many players wanted all of them gone. In the case of Pauper, many players were asking for Monastery Swiftspear to be banned, so this was also an unsurprising change for those who play the format of commons.

The big surprise here, however, was the unbanning of Smuggler's Copter in Pioneer! The card was banned very early in the format's life for how ubiquitous it was in aggro and midrange decks across the board. Now the format has shifted greatly in the four years (yes, it's been that long) since Pioneer's inception and Wizards thinks it's time to give it a chance once again! Players scrambled to find copies and run them through MTGO leagues and various other events. It's going to be fun seeing how things shake up in the coming weeks!

For the full details of the B&R reasoning, check out the official announcement on Wizards' webpage here. Additionally, Gavin Verhey has provided a detailed explanation of the changes to Pauper on behalf of the Pauper Format Panel. You can find the written explanation here or the video version here.

First Look at Murders at Karlov Manor

While Monday brought many players big news for playing numerous formats, Tuesday brought us our first look at Murders at Karlov Manor! Primarily for stores to get an initial impression of how a set looks, this first look brought us a number of card previews, artwork that will be used with the set, and even the first story for the set! The intention is to showcase the whole murder mystery vibe, and they're going all out, going so far as to provide puzzles coming with the prerelease that will help preview the future of Magic!

One of the cooler things shown off is the reprinting of Lightning Helix! This brings the famous burn spell into Pioneer and will no doubt have a notable impact on the format going forward. Additionally, Wizards showcased a couple sweet new showcase frames in the form of the magnified frame for Story Spotlight cards, as well as the dossier frame for a variety of cards. Some of those dossier frame cards will even feature a specialty invisible ink foiling to them that reveals extra little tidbits on the card!

You can check out all the details over on the mothership right here and get excited for the upcoming set! Want to get some preordered yourself? You can get some right here on CoolStuffInc.com on our Murders at Karlov Manor set page!

Timeless: A New MTG Arena Format

One of the more popular ways to play the game on MTG Arena has proven over time to be Historic, the format where you get to play anything and everything that comes to the client. Well... almost everything. As it happens, with the help of releases like Mystic Archives and Enchanting Tales bonus sheets needing to hit Arena for Limited parity, we've seen a number of truly busted cards come online and get banned quickly, meaning they can't get played anywhere. As it happens, Arena has run several "No Banned Historic" or "Almost No Banned Historic" events. Turns out they've proven quite popular - so popular in fact that they're getting their own format called Timeless - a place that allows you to play just about everything and includes a Restricted List a la Vintage in paper and MTGO.

You can find all the details including what's legal and what's not here. Check it out, it's going to be quite exciting for those who like high power zaniness!

North America Eternal Weekend Legacy Event Caps

Eternal Weekend is happening this weekend in North America and to the shock of many, the main Legacy Champs event reached its cap of 950 players! This is a great showing of how many players remain dedicated to one of the oldest ways to play Magic today. CardTitan, the company running the event, was able to extend that cap to 1045 players. This allowed many sitting on a waitlist to join in the games to compete for an original painting of Lightning Bolt and other prizes.

Make sure to check out CardTitan's Twitter page to find out more info of the goings-on at the event, including coverage!

Decklist of the Week


With the new Banned and Restricted update, players were excited to try cards with less broken cards in their format. What they were arguably more hyped to jump onto was to try making the latest unban in Smuggler's Copter in the new format. The card has already posted some early results thanks to Magic Online's Pioneer Preliminary events. The winner of one of the two events on Tuesday following the unban was won by a Rakdos Sacrifice list running not a full playset but a solid 3. This helps clear out your dead draws and get solid damage in. It feels great to pitch a Cauldron Familiar only to get it back later down the line. There's a number of lists in each Preliminary thus far, but time will tell if Smuggler's Copter remains a staple in all of these lists long term. For now, though, it's great fun to play with!

Paige Smith

Twitter: @TheMaverickGal

Twitch: twitch.tv/themaverickgirl

YouTube: TheMaverickGal

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