Banned and restricted cards

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To help maintain the diversity and health of the Magic tournament environment, the DCI has developed a system of banned and restricted card lists.

Description[edit | edit source]

  • Banned cards cannot be played.
  • Restricted cards can be played but are restricted to only one copy in the deck. Only the Vintage format uses a restricted list.
  • The lists apply only to Constructed formats and not to Limited formats.
    • The only exception are cards playing with ante or with conspiracy card types, as Magic Tournament Rules has additional rules specified on those cards: Ante cards are banned in all sanctioned events, and limited event featuring sets having conspiracy cards (i.e. Conspiracy and/or Conspiracy: Take the Crown) can only be used in non-rated casual-level events.
    • Ante itself is banned by default inside Comprehensive rules as well. Unless all involving body explicitly allows it, no games can play with ante or cards playing with ante.
  • The lists are format-specific, so a card that is banned in a format may still be legal to play in other formats.
  • Currently, bans, or lack thereof, as well as cards being unbanned, are announced on a regular basis in coherence of a Pro Tour event, the next date of announcement, which set at least one month away of the current announcement, is also announced along the banlist announcement.
    • Currently, most of the banlist announcements are made 2-5 weeks before a Pro Tour event commences.
    • Previously, it was announced on the a specific date (previously, the 20th of each three months, later changed Monday after each prerelease events). On revision in January 2017, the lists were also announced on the Monday right after prerelease, as well as 5 weeks after the respective expansion's Pro Tour. It was scaled back and further revised to current form in August 2017's, after receiving player's feedback.

Banned[edit | edit source]

Banned cards are cards that are not allowed in a particular tournament. Wizards of the Coast and the DCI control the bannings for their officially sanctioned formats Legacy, Vintage, Standard, Modern, as well as all formats played on Magic Online.

For formats involving rotation (i.e. Standard and now retired Extended), banned cards will be unbanned automatically if the respective card is being rotated out.

Mark Rosewater currently holds the record for the designer who has created the most banned/restricted cards.[1]

Commander[edit | edit source]

The Banned list for the Commander format is maintained by the rules committee at MTGCommander.net, not by Wizards of the Coast.[2]

For commander's varient format (such as 1v1 Commander and Brawl), the respective governing body of that format (including but not limited to WotC) manages their respective banlist.

Restricted[edit | edit source]

Restricted cards may only be included once in a deck or sideboard in the Vintage format. Vintage is a format that is supposed to allow players to use as many cards as possible that have seen print, so powerful cards are restricted instead of banned.[3]

In the past, cards were restricted in more than just the Vintage format; Standard format also once saw restricted cards. Currently, the DCI prefers to ban troublesome cards in all formats other than Vintage in order to simplify each format. This preference for banning also removes the luck element of overpowered cards, such that games are not reduced to the winner being determined by who drew a restricted card first.

Currently restricted[edit | edit source]

Currently restricted cards:

  • Ancestral Recall has been restricted since January 1994 for providing very powerful card drawing.
  • Balance has been restricted since April 1995 for providing very cheap and powerful mass destruction.
  • Chalice of the Void has been restricted since October 2015 for creating a continuous free counter to Black Lotus and Moxes, making a decidedly unfun play environment.
  • Black Lotus has been restricted since January 1994 for providing powerful and cheap mana acceleration.
  • Brainstorm has been restricted since June 2008.
  • Channel was previously banned and has been restricted since October 2000 for providing powerful and cheap mana acceleration.
  • Demonic Consultation has been restricted since October 2000 for being a cheap and powerful tutor.
  • Demonic Tutor has been restricted since March 1994 for being a cheap and powerful tutor.
  • Dig Through Time has been restricted since October 2015.
  • Fastbond has been restricted since October 1996 for providing powerful and cheap mana acceleration.
  • Flash has been restricted since June 2008.
  • Gitaxian Probe has been restricted since April 2017 for providing cheap card drawing and looking opponent's hand.
  • Gush has been restricted since April 2017 for providing cheap card drawing.
  • Imperial Seal has been restricted since 20, October 2005, the same day when Portal series' (including Portal Three Kingdoms which this card appeared) card being legal in Legacy/Vintage, for being a functional reprint of already-restricted Vampiric Tutor.
  • Library of Alexandria has been restricted since May 1994 for providing powerful card drawing.
  • Lion's Eye Diamond has been restricted since January 2004 for providing cheap and powerful mana acceleration.
  • Lotus Petal has been restricted since October 1999 for providing cheap and powerful mana acceleration.
  • Mana Crypt has been restricted since October 1999 for providing cheap and powerful mana acceleration.
  • Mana Vault has been restricted since October 1999 for providing cheap and powerful mana acceleration.
  • Memory Jar has been restricted since March 1, 1999 for providing very powerful card drawing. It is the one of the only two cards that has been the subject of an emergency ban/restriction in any DCI sanctioned formats (the other is Felidar Guardian in Standard).
  • Merchant Scroll has been restricted since June 2008.
  • Mind's Desire has been restricted since July 1, 2003, the same day the card for being legal in DCI sanctioned format, as R&D considered the combo deck building around this card is overpowered and difficult-to-stop for Type 1 and Type 1.5 format. It is the only card that has been the subject of restriction that is effective on the same day when a new card is legal in DCI Sanctioned tournament.
  • Monastery Mentor has been restricted since August 2017.
  • Mox Emerald has been restricted since January 1994 for providing cheap and powerful mana acceleration.
  • Mox Jet has been restricted since January 1994 for providing cheap and powerful mana acceleration.
  • Mox Pearl has been restricted since January 1994 for providing cheap and powerful mana acceleration.
  • Mox Ruby has been restricted since January 1994 for providing cheap and powerful mana acceleration.
  • Mox Sapphire has been restricted since January 1994 for providing cheap and powerful mana acceleration.
  • Mystical Tutor has been restricted since October 1999 for being a cheap and powerful tutor.
  • Necropotence has been restricted since October 2000 for providing very powerful card drawing.
  • Ponder has been restricted since June 2008.
  • Sol Ring has been restricted since January 1994 for providing cheap and powerful mana acceleration.
  • Strip Mine has been restricted since January 1998 for providing free uncounterable non-specific land destruction.
  • Thorn of Amethyst has been restricted since August 2017.
  • Time Vault has been restricted since September 2008. It was previously restricted in January 1994 and then banned in March 1994, but was unrestricted and unbanned in April 1996 because it received errata to fix it. It was restricted again in September 2008 because new errata reverted it back to its old powerful form.
  • Time Walk has been restricted since January 1994 for providing a very powerful effect.
  • Timetwister has been restricted since January 1994 for providing very powerful card drawing.
  • Tinker has been restricted since October 1999 for being a very powerful tutor and providing mana acceleration at the same time.
  • Tolarian Academy has been restricted since January 1999 for providing cheap and powerful mana acceleration.
  • Treasure Cruise has been restricted since January 2015 for providing very powerful card drawing.
  • Trinisphere has been restricted since March 2005 for creating a necessary but decidedly unfun play environment.
  • Vampiric Tutor has been restricted since October 1999 for being a cheap and powerful tutor.
  • Wheel of Fortune has been restricted since March 1994 for providing very powerful card drawing.
  • Windfall has been restricted since January 1999 for providing powerful card drawing.
  • Yawgmoth's Will has been restricted since October 1999 for providing very powerful graveyard recursion. Some players consider this card to be the most powerful card ever printed.

Previously restricted[edit | edit source]

  • Ali from Cairo was restricted in January 1994 for having a powerful effect on the game. It was unrestricted in April 1996 because more powerful cards were printed and there are many solutions to the card.
  • Burning Wish has been restricted from January 2004 to September 2012 for being a cheap and powerful tutor.
  • Berserk was restricted in January 1994 for having a powerful and sometimes game-ending effect. It was unrestricted in April 2003 because the power of creatures, with which it works, has been low in the format for many years.
  • Candelabra of Tawnos had been restricted from May 1994 to October 1997.
  • Copy Artifact had been restricted from March 1994 to October 1997.
  • Dingus Egg was restricted in January 1994 for its combo with Armageddon. It was unrestricted in May 1994 because it was no longer considered powerful.
  • Divine Intervention was banned from August 1994 to October 1999.
  • Feldon's Cane had been restricted from May 1994 to October 1997.
  • Gauntlet of Might was restricted from January 1994 to May 1994 for providing powerful nonsymmetrical mana acceleration.
  • Hurkyl's Recall was restricted in October 1999 for enabling a powerful combo. It was unrestricted in April 2003 because the combo cards it worked best with were also restricted in October 1999.
  • Icy Manipulator had been restricted from January 1994 to March 1994.
  • Ivory Tower had been restricted from May 1994 to October 1999.
  • Maze of Ith had been restricted from October 1994 to April 1999.
  • Mirror Universe had been restricted from August 1994 to October 1999.
  • Mishra's Workshop had been restricted from June 1994 to October 1997 for providing powerful mana acceleration.
  • Orcish Oriflamme was restricted from January 1994 to February 1994, because the misprinted Alpha version provided a powerful effect in aggressive decks.
  • Recall was restricted in September 1994 for providing graveyard recursion of powerful cards. It was unrestricted in April 2003 because more powerful cards are now available.
  • Regrowth has been restricted from March 1994 to May 2013 for providing cheap and powerful graveyard recursion.
  • Rukh Egg had been restricted from January 1994 to February 1994 for its combo with Wrath of God.
  • Sword of the Ages had been restricted from August 1994 to April 1996.
  • Thirst for Knowledge has been restricted since July 2009 to September 2015.
  • Underworld Dreams had been restricted from August 1994 to October 1999.
  • Yawgmoth's Bargain had been restricted from October 1999 to August 2017 for providing very powerful card drawing.
  • Zuran Orb had been restricted from November 1995 to October 1997 for providing cheap life gain in Necropotence decks.

References[edit | edit source]

External links[edit | edit source]

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