Changes effective January 2004

Banned & Restricted Announcement

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Announcement Date: December 1, 2003
Effective Date: January 1, 2004

Standard

No changes

Extended

Type 1

Type 1.5

(All cards on the Type 1 Banned and Restricted Lists are banned in Type 1.5.)

Explanations in Brief

Here are explanations of the changes from Magic R&D:

Extended Bannings

Ancient Tomb
Years of watching constructed metagames evolve has taught us that efficient ways to generate fast mana are always a problem. Ancient Tomb simply adds too much speed to the environment.

Goblin Recruiter
Goblin Recruiter's ability to stack an arbitrarily large portion of your deck allows goblin-based combo decks to kill as early as turn 2. That's too fast for a healthy environment and the Recruiter is one of several casualties of our effort to eliminate realistic turn 2 kills from the environment.

Grim Monolith
Grim Monolith has to go for essentially the same reasons as Ancient Tomb. Things happen too quickly when the available mana acceleration cards are this good.

Hermit Druid
The current crop of reanimator decks are winning the game by turn 2 and they all depend on dumping their entire library into the graveyard with Hermit Druid. The Druid simply does too much, too fast.

Oath of Druids
In our effort to make sure games last more than two or three turns, we felt we needed to get rid of Oath of Druids in addition to fast mana and combo enabling cards. Oath of Druids effectively ends the game on turn 2 against almost all creature decks, making it essentially impossible to have a healthy environment as long as this card is legal.

Tinker
Tinker is both a tutor and a mana accelerator, so we've been worried about it for years. The recent release of Mirrodin added many powerful artifacts to the environment and put Tinker decks over the top (as evidenced by Pro Tour New Orleans).

Type 1 Restrictions

Burning Wish
Most “tutors” are restricted in Type 1 because it defeats the purpose of restricting a card if you can play four copies of an efficient way to go get it. Since the most powerful cards in Type 1 are sorceries (Yawgmoth's Will, Timetwister, Balance, Mind Twist, etc.) it was possible to play the equivalent of four copies of any one of these simple by moving it into your sideboard. Interestingly, Cunning Wish was left off the restricted list because the one extra mana combined with the fact that Type 1 has less powerful instants than sorceries means it does not appear to be a problem.

Chrome Mox
Time has shown that fast mana is even more powerful in Type 1 than in other formats.

Lion's Eye Diamond
Some fast mana cards are easier to abuse than others, but recent advances in deck design have shown that even the drawback on Lion's Eye Diamond isn't severe enough to balance a zero-mana artifact that gives you three mana.

Further Discussion

For a more in-depth explanation of the reasons behind these bannings and restrictions, tune in to Randy Buehler's “Latest Developments” column on MagicTheGathering.com this Friday (December 5th).

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