We decided that the watchlist in its current form will be removed. The high frequency of set releases demands faster reactions and the watchlist lost its purpose by being outpaced. This decision was support by 7/8 council members, one being abstain. We replace the current watchlist announcements with ban and unban announcements, which will result in a 3 month periodicity. Finally, we will include statements on cards that we consider ban or (trial) unban worthy in the foreseeable future.
Changes to the present banned list, effective 15.02.2023:
Uro, Titan of Nature’s Wrath (5 for unban, 1 for ban, 2 abstain) Uro was initially banned on the 15/05/2022, following the announcement on 01/05/2022. Since then, a plethora of sets has been released and the overall quality of threats and answers has increased. Is Uro still over top and deserves a ban? Uro may just slot into already thriving decks such as scapeshift, lands or 4c good stuff piles. It may also enable UGx based control decks, for example Bant or Sultai. We want to see if Uro still deserves a ban and monitor its impact on the format closely. We hope it will open up the format for more controlling decks, and draw our conclusions if it doesn’t. It will be unbanned for at least 3 months.
Balance (5 for unban, 1 for ban, 2 abstain) Balance has been on the banned list for quite a long time. We think that balance could act as a powerful equalizer for control decks, while parity can be broken in artifact or enchantment centric decks. For now, it might be an interesting build around or inclusion for decks that are not widely spread, hence we want to give the card an opportunity to prove itself for at least 3 months.
Review of 2023: Following the corona pandemic, the year 2023 saw many small scale and medium scale events. In addition, four larger tournaments took place: 2x Finland with 48 and 60 participants, 1x 46 players in Slovakia and 1x in Germany with 63 players. Across these Tournaments, aggro, tempo, midrange, control and combo decks made top 8 finishes. Everything from mono color to 5c decks was present. We are a comparatively small format in the mtg community, which means that player preferences have a large impact on tournament results. Given the results of 2023, we conclude that deck diversity and balancing are in an overall good state.