Eldrazi Winter: Modern Banlist Analysis

KevinJones

The current modern format is a rather polarizing one. Various Eldrazi decks dominated Pro Tour Oath of the Gatewatch in Atlanta, Georgia last month. They also dominated the SCG open in Louisville two weeks later. If you’re reading this you probably have heard the stats. The Channel Fireball Eldrazi deck took 10 of the top 25 slots at the PT. 40% of the top 25 was one deck. UR Eldrazi took 2 slots in top 8 and won the event. A slower, black based processor Eldrazi deck, played by Frank Lepore also top 8ed. In Louisville, 4 Eldrazi decks made the top 8. A whopping 7 more made the top 16. The breakout deck of the event was Andrew Tenjum’s UW Eldrazi deck that showcased the power of Eldrazi Displacer with Drowner of Hope and Eldrazi Skyspawner and well, basically whatever your opponent had in play that you wanted to tap. I played the deck myself. And while my 6-3 finish wasn’t good enough to make the cut to day two I did really enjoy playing the deck. Two of my losses were UW mirror matches. My inexperience really showed as I made questionable plays in both of those matches. The mirror match is very complicated and I’ve played it several times since. I’ll likely be playing the deck in Detroit, possibly with a light splash of green for World Breaker, and I look forward to some grindy mirrors. As much as I could talk about the Eldrazi mirror for hours, I’m going to do something slightly different. It’s possible that GP Detroit will have already happened by the time you read this one. In that case the next large modern event will be after the April Banned and Restricted List announcement that coincides with the release of Shadows over Innistrad. So what I’m going to do is take a look at the banned list and see what cards on it could help make modern great again. So let’s get started, each card will have a brief explanation of its applications in the format both in general and against the Eldrazi menace.

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Ancestral Vision: I’m not sure this card specifically could combat the Eldrazi deck very well. It’s not likely that a blue midrange deck is very good right now. However, Blue Moon decks have been hanging around the periphery of the format. UR specialist Benjamin Nickolich top 8ed the most recent SCG Classic with Blue Moon. That’s after an 11-4 finish with the deck at SCG Louisville. Vision would be a huge boon to this deck, which does have some game against the Eldrazi decks, at least the UW one. Although the matches the deck loses are the fast games where Eldrazi comes out strong, not longer grindy games. Ancestral Vision dominates the midgame and Eldrazi tries to put you away before then. Also, if Chalice of the Void is a card Eldrazi plays going forward they can blank your visions with a 0 mana chalice. Verdict: strong maybe

Ancient Den (and the other 4 artifact lands): Affinity is one of the decks in the format that can compete with Eldrazi in its current form. These cards would probably change the deck slightly while making it way too fast and way too good. I was a teenager during the summer of Ravager Affinity and I never want to deal with that again.
Verdict: Please don’t unban these

Birthing Pod: Turn two pod, turn 3 pod away my mana creature and get Painter’s Servant. Too bad you might be dead to their board by then. This deck would probably be pretty good against Eldrazi. It is really good and does restrict both creative space within the format and design space for new sets. Podding into Reflector Mage is probably absurd. I’ve always liked the challenge of beating this deck and I’ve never really considered it too good. So, personally, I would be okay with it coming back but I seriously doubt it’ll happen.
Verdict: Probably not but I wouldn’t mind

Blazing Shoal: This card is broken in half. I think Monoblue Shoal Infect would beat Eldrazi pretty badly. It would be nice to see a deck beat up on the scourge of the format but I think it would also beat up on everything else too.
Verdict: Not trading one broken deck for another, no thanks!

Bloodbraid Elf: As much as I hate this card I actually think it could be fine. Even when this card was in modern it’s power was exaggerated by the frequency at which it was cast off Deathrite Shaman. Deathrite Shaman is way too good, fast mana, versatility, easy to cast. Sees play in way too many decks. This card is an awesome force in midrange mirrors. The tension between elf and counterspells dictates that it won’t be played in RUG midrange decks, at least in their current iteration. The problem with elf is that it’s so good in Jund decks that its legality renders other BGx Rock decks obsolete. It could help Jund keep up with the two for one Reality Smasher provides, a crippling blow to the attrition based midrange deck that usually outclasses its opponent by a card or two.
Verdict: It would probably be fine. But if this card was unbanned I would prefer some new tools for blue decks to have different angles. Splinter Twin and Jace, the Mind Sculptor come to mind. Also Stoneforge Mystic.

Chrome Mox: Fast mana by any other name is still a disaster. This one provides card disadvantage so it wouldn’t go in every deck but I think it’s too good anyway. Imagine Grishoalbrand with this card. It could help blue decks combat Eldrazi in the early turns. It wouldn’t be truly scary unless a way to refuel showed up again, Treasure Cruise, Jace, Ancestral Vision. That mitigates the opportunity cost of the imprint and allows your two mana on turn one to pay off since it kept you alive til turn 4. But I don’t think speeding half the format up by a whole turn coincides with Wizards’ vision for modern. That’s more the type of thing they’ve been trying to avoid. So I doubt this is getting set free anytime soon.
Verdict: Fast mana is too scary. But don’t worry, Chrome Mox, your friends Simian Spirit Guide and Mox Opal might ultimately join you in exile.

Cloudpost: Enough people complain about Tron that I can’t imagine an infinitely more broken type of Tron land to be an acceptable thing for the format. I played in the pro tour that this deck was legal in. And while it was a good matchup for my Splinter Twin deck, I did feel like it was way too good and way too consistent. Glimmerpost making it harder to go under you makes this even more of a slam dunk.
Verdict: No way.

Dark Depths: I never really thought about this card as a candidate for an unban. That’s probably cause the Hexmage combo is busted. Also, the addition of Thespian’s Stage gives that deck more consistency and it’s probably too easy to play this with Urborg in the format.  I haven’t forgotten how good Thopter Depths was. And I doubt Wizards wants to remember this any more than we do.
Verdict: Weird, expensive card that makes an easy to include but hard to interact with combo? Never getting unbanned.

Deathrite Shaman: This is a one mana planeswalker. Fetchlands make this card totally absurd and if you are both playing it and only one of you has drawn it that provides an unbelievable advantage. There’s times when it’s power is mitigated but it is generally very good and very consistent. Also speeds the format up and can foster blowout games.
Verdict: Maybe this is the best creature ever printed. I don’t think the shaman’s return will solve any of modern’s problems. Not happening.

Dig Through Time: I think it’s my bias towards interactive blue decks that heavily informs my opinion but I never really felt like this was that big of a deal. Cruise is one blue for three cards which allows people to play decks with low land counts and super high velocity (the versions of UR Delver that legacy and modern saw when Cruise was legal). Dig on the other hand has a double blue mana cost and doesn’t slot into every deck that can produce blue mana. People don’t splash for Dig Through Time. The decks that gained the most from Dig were decks like Scapeshift and Splinter Twin. It’s possible that unbanning this card would cause people to mess around with Jeskai Asendancy again and that was a really broken and not fun deck. Dig is likely too slow to make an impact against most Eldrazi draws and there’s nothing to get that helps you against something like Tron in a reasonable time frame. Turn 3-4 is often too late against the good Tron draws. And it’s even more difficult to cast the Dig and also have mana to deploy what you selected.
Verdict: Broken draw spell is exactly that. Not happening but a man can dream.

Dread Return: The number of things that this card can return that are way too good increases every year. Griselbrand is the main culprit. The question that really remains is whether or not this card is an upgrade over Goryo’s Vengeance. Most of the bets targets are legends anyway. But you never really need to draw this card, unlike vengeance. You can just kill yourself until you hit some Bloodghasts, Narcomoebas, and the Dread Return. There’s already not enough sideboard space in modern. I’m not sure if this will demand more space for graveyard interaction than Living End and Griselbrand Vengeance already do but I would rather just not have to deal with this one. The decks it’s played in are weird and not fun.
Verdict: Unsure whether it would be broken or not but would rather not chance it.

Glimpse of Nature: Elves is already a powerful deck to a degree. It’s magic online percentages were over 50% post bannings and it won a Grand Prix last summer. It also has a decent to good Eldrazi matchup. I don’t think giving it a great matchup against everything is a good idea. Glimpse can fuel truly degenerate turns in legacy, exactly where it belongs.
Verdict: No way, so broken.

Green Sun’s Zenith: This card is so innocuous on the surface. It’s just a tutor for silly green creatures that scales well. It lets green decks always have fast mana and late game fatties. It also lets them play hate cards maindeck and reliably have them in game one, often on turn two for something like Gaddock Teeg or Qasali Pridemage. Modern seems to me like a format that punishes efficiency and consistency. Blue cantrips, Green Sun’s Zenith, Stoneforge Mystic. All of these have been banned for being a little too good and a little too consistent. Also, this is a level of interaction that is usually an opportunity cost of playing green, not a major draw to the color.
Verdict: There’s worse cards legal and others on the Banlist that deserve to come off way less than this one. But this is probably a little too good at each spot on the curve.

Hypergenesis: Arguably the most broken card on the list. Banning all the 3 mana cascade cards might’ve been a better fix in the first place because Living End is also a ridiculously powerful card with cascade. At least with Living End you have to do some work to make it good. This card wins you the game when you cast it most every time. The counterpoint is that your deck is filled with so many stupid expensive things that you likely can’t win without casting it. Luckily you have 12 ways to do it and Simian Spirit Guides to do it on turn 2.
Verdict: Nope times 1,000! Scariest card on the list in my opinion.

Jace, the Mind Sculptor: I love this card. It was in my deck for my first ptq win. I played it in standard forever. I’ve top 8ed 3 legacy opens, all 3 were with Jace in my deck. This card is in the conversation for my favorite magic card of all time. I would love if this card was legal. But I just don’t think it can happen. I think the card would be fine in the current modern format. Too slow against burn, infect, and affinity. Often irrelevant against Tron. Only really shines against midrange decks and other blue decks. The problem with unbanning this card is one I hate to cite. Unfortunately that problem is the financial fallout from such a thing happening. Jace would be upwards of 200 dollars and people would be buying them out and trying to spike the price even more. Maybe this is actually okay since Jace is less likely to be a 4 of than something like Scalding Tarn. Finding 2 or 3 Jaces for your Blue Moon deck is likely to run you about the same as 4 Tarmogoyfs would. I think this card also tends to warp metagames around it. So generally, Jace being legal will eventually lead to an absurd amount of Jace mirrors. This is something I like a lot but I’m a drastically unhinged human being. The average modern player is likely to hate a Jace revival as much as they hate Eldrazi if not more. Unbanning Jace doesn’t really solve a problem and might potentially create some more problems that are much more frustrating. That’s why I don’t think they’ll do it.
Verdict: Very unlikely but I’m very hopeful, albeit unrealistically so.

Mental Misstep: Did any of you reading groan when I whined about how much I want my blue mirrors back? Did you groan because you hate my articles or cause you think Jace is unfair? If it was the latter then I implore you to look up this magic card, provided that you don’t know what it does already. This is a broken magic card. It’s a free counterspell that only costs two life and no extra card. It’s a cool card, very brave design and super effective in blue decks for things like taking back the play from an aggressive deck. However, that’s not all it does. You see, it’s free. It’s not actually blue most of the time. Any deck can play it. And the extreme amount of missteps in the formats it’s been legal in (excluding standard) essentially means everyone should play it. The best answer to misstep was your own missteps. Legacy Goblins struggled with misstep and Swords to Plowshares. So they played their own to protect their Lackeys and Vials. This is horrendous, essentially every deck looking to interact early (which is almost every deck) has to play Mental Misstep because everyone is and you need to be able to have yours so you can keep up with the efficiency they’re afforded. This is the absolute last card I would ever unban in an eternal format.
Verdict: Not even a sliver of a chance.

Ponder/Preordain: I’m going to lump these two together even though it’s likely that one is more dangerous for combo decks and the other for smoothing the draws of interactive decks. They were both deemed way too good at making blue based combo decks efficient and consistent. And I do agree that they were definitely good at doing exactly that. I’m just not sure it’s a problem anymore. The scary one was storm and we all know that Wizards takes repeated action to keep that deck in check. Rightfully so, to an extent. I think Rite of Flame is too good of a card for modern. Seething song is debatable but it’s also probably a little too explosive. I don’t really know any rational people (sorry, Bryant) who actually like when storm is the best deck. But the point of this is that the cantrips weren’t really the problem so much as the explosive mana was. If you really wanted to cripple UR Storm you could just ban Manamorphose. I think that would stop them from being able to fix their mana mid going off and would also stop them from going off from no base frequently. If your opponent’s deck contains Tarmogoyf, Liliana of the Veil, Thoughtseize, and Abrupt Decay you’re going to need a plan to beat them with your Splinter Twin deck. It doesn’t matter how many cantrips you draw most of the time. And the times where Ponder gets you there on the fourth card when you’re facing down lethal are just a part of the game in my opinion. I think Wizards tends to be surgically precise with their bannings and unbannings. They do these things when something is really a problem or conversely, when they’re sure something wouldn’t be a problem. They do it to fulfill their vision of a format. I think their vision is more important than  the subtle shifts that lead to things being “probably okay.” I don’t think it’s cost effective to monitor these shifts and trends from Wizards’ perspective. I don’t see there being a clear reason to unban these cards other than to explicitly make cards like Delver of Secrets, Young Pyromancer, and Monastery Mentor and decks like UR Delver or UR Storm better. There isn’t likely a reason why any of us would really care about this and I don’t think there’s a reason they would either.
Verdict: I think they could unban these but I don’t see it happening cause it doesn’t really serve any purpose.

I don’t want this to be a lesson in the futility of the ban list, I want the ban list to be a tool they use, somewhat liberally, to manage formats. But that goes both ways. Banned cards are a resource the same way that new cards are. And just because they proved to be too good at one point doesn’t mean they’re always existing in the specific set of conditions where they were originally broken. I would like to see cards come off the list and maybe even go back on. Unbanning something just to ultimately have it get banned again isn’t a mistake that leaves you with egg on your face. It’s a failed experiment. Failed experiments are awesome! They mean you’ve learned something. Arguably you learn more when you fail than you do when you succeed. Something like the Golgari Grave Troll unban is so bizarre to me. Sure, the card isn’t likely a problem without Dread Return. If it were then the Stinkweed Imps and Golgari Thugs that already existed in the format would’ve at least hinted that there could be a problem. But, it’s not a solution either. Except to set a precedent that they unban something every couple years. Its the opposite of courageous management of the banlist. Grave Troll is the safest card possible to unban. At least when they unbanned Bitterblossom the card had almost all the pieces it had in its previous era of dominance. It could’ve theoretically been a dangerous unban given the card’s history. The only thing missing was Ancestral Vision. Cards are so much better on their own now that Bitterblossom isn’t what it used to be. The raw power of a few things can overwhelm the beautiful and cohesive synergy that Faeries always showcased so well. Blossom is a great unban, it’s now a role player in the format as a sideboard card in Grixis decks and Faeries is a playable modern deck. A few tiers below 1 but still a deck that can be played in the format. Grave Troll is the kind of card that is only played if it’s broken in half. They’re never unbanning something totally broken so it feels like a cop out of sorts to me. I think it would be good for card prices as well. If cards rotated on and off of the list then a ban or rumored ban wouldn’t immediately tank prices since, in addition to casual appeal and other formats, there’s some hope the card could come back to modern. I really like modern, or at least I want to. The format has always given me enough success that I feel comfortable but never too much so I’m always still hungry in modern. I still think there’s challenges to explore, matchups to figure out, etc. But there’s a scary trend in recent months. Modern is fractured, there’s too great a gap between the linear aggressive decks and the big mana decks. The high power level, broken mana, and brutal efficiency of Eldrazi perfectly exploited this gap. Now Wizards will have to slide back in and ban something again, likely Eye of Ugin, and return the format to some semblance of normalcy. But to what end? Does Wizards want Infect, Affinity, Burn, Tron, and Abzan Company forever? Is anything better than those decks always too good? I think so, and here’s why. There’s a huge hole in the middle of the format. Midrange decks can’t really beat the inevitability of Tron without trying really hard and consequentially hurting their percentages against the linear aggressive decks (Affinity, Infect, Burn,). In the rare cases where they can do this they’ve likely sacrificed some sort of their midrange identity and thus become really weak to something like UW Control, Abzan Company, or even GW Bogles. So something that can beat the top end and the bottom with relative consistency is going to be super attractive to anyone who favored something in the middle previously. Cause here’s the thing, Eldrazi isn’t that good. Sure, there’s a bunch of absurd draws and Eye is really really broken and stupid. But the deck mulligans a lot and sideboarding can be tough. There’s higher variance than most decks have in modern. If Eldrazi plays Eldrazi then Eldrazi will win. So many people are playing this deck because the other options in modern are really bad. Also they only appeal to a certain playstyle. Splinter Twin still existing doesn’t stop this from happening but it’s entirely possible it happens in a way that exposes the immediate problem (Eldrazi Temple and Eye of Ugin) instead of the larger problem which is that the format is all kinds of messed up. This absurd percentage of Eldrazi decks is the result of a void being filled. There were two very different but still very powerful strategies for modern before the pro tour. One was to be a fast aggressive deck. There’s a few ways people did this. Infect, Affinity, Zoo, and Burn are all great examples of this type of deck. The other strategy was big mana. Tron was the main big mana deck but there was also Scapeshift and the weird BW controlling Eldrazi deck. It’s very difficult to build a fair blue deck with game against those aggressive decks and the big mana decks. Consequentially, there’s no blue deck for Jund type decks to prey on and they’re left struggling to beat Tron and flipping coins against the aggressive  decks. So these two pillars of the format are incredibly tough to prepare for at the same time. Very few cards are maindeckable and good against both types of decks. This creates a vacuum in the middle of the format, the banning of Splinter Twin makes this much more obvious but regardless, the format was ripe to be broken by whatever is good against the aggro decks and Tron. Enter Eldrazi, disruption, a fast clock, and broken mana. Everything needed to fill the gaping void between these two modern strategies is showcased in the Eldrazi decks. So, those are my thoughts on the modern format and this is why the banning of Eye of Ugin won’t actually solve the problem. It’ll solve the Eldrazi problem but then the format will likely be messed up still. I can’t wait to see what the April B&R announcement holds. Anyway, back to the list, we are getting close to the end.

Punishing Fire: There’s no reason to have this card legal because the Grove of the Burnwillows combo is really broken, invalidates entire decks, and is not fun to play against at all. Also, trying to exile the Punishing Fire in response can be very complicated. While being a pretty interesting and cool card, Punishing Fire is way too good for a format that is mostly creature based.
Verdict: No way.

Rite of Flame: I think this is way too good of a ritual to ever be unbanned. It also has the added bonus of being really broken in multiples. It reduces variance and skill when going off with Past in Flames and decreases UR Storm’s reliance on Pyromancer Ascension and Goblin Electromancer. Also, Wizards has always kept Storm in check and that’s probably a good thing. That’ll also be very unlikely to change, regardless of public opinion. I do think that everyone generally agrees that Storm shouldn’t have Rite.
Verdict: Not going anywhere.

Second Sunrise: One of the only things worse than Storm being good is Eggs being good. Also, I already get too many draws. Next.
Verdict: My friend once ate an entire sandwich while his eggs opponent went off in a PTQ. I would rather ban sandwiches from life than unban this card from modern. I love sandwiches.

Seething Song: Unlike Rite of Flame this card isn’t objectively broken. It’s a strange card in that it’s an expensive ritual. It does do a lot to help storm decks go off from almost no base though. Very good with Past in Flames as well. I also would hate to get Through the Breached on turn 2. That’s a huge problem and I’m glad that this stays where it is. Although, there could be some situations where this card is legal and still relatively unplayed outside of one or two decks.
Verdict: Keep it banned and keep Storm down. Also, too good in the Grishoalbrand deck.

Sensei’s Divining Top: The Counterbalance/Top lock is an important part of legacy because there’s a lot of disgusting and unfair things going on in that format. It’s necessary for a system of checks and balances to exist. Countertop is that in legacy. This would be dreadful if it was modern legal. You can’t have people playing a format with that much shuffling already and have Top be legal. Well, you can, but it should never be a pro tour format and rarely should be a GP or open format as well. And that’s exactly how legacy works. Also, it would be silly because the aggressive decks would rarely be able to beat the lock while Tron and Eldrazi would be almost totally unaffected.
Verdict: Nope, too many draws already. Unban something that makes my blue decks faster, not slower.

Skullclamp: This card was truly busted and I would never ever advocate for its legality with any hint of seriousness in my voice.
Verdict: Hahaha, moving on.

Splinter Twin: Oh boy, this is a tough one for me to get into. UR Twin was one of my favorite decks of all time. I loved the flexibility and the ease with which the deck switched roles. I never once believed they would ban this card in modern. This combo set the bar for acceptable in the modern format. The “turn 4 rule” that is so often mentioned when talking about combo decks in modern is based on the Splinter Twin combo as well as the goldfish draws of the aggro decks like affinity, infect, and burn. The fact that this deck was always well combatted and never felt too good just added to the surprise when it got banned. I honestly believe that this card and this deck’s presence in modern was a good thing. It held the format together and gave an incentive to play midrange GBx decks, historically a bad matchup for twin decks. The banning created this void that further exacerbates the disparity between the big mana decks and the linear aggressive decks. I don’t think this will get unbanned but I definitely believe it could safely. I would even go so far as to say it would help the format as a whole.
Verdict: Please?

Stoneforge Mystic: Disclaimer! Unpopular opinion incoming. I think this card is totally fine. Burn decks already have a wealth of creature removal and things like Atarka’s Command to help when something goes wrong. Affinity can kill it or fly over the Batterskull. Infect doesn’t care about lifegain. Tron will Ulamog or Karn it just like everything else. It’s been a long time since a UWx midrange/control type deck has been good in modern. Other decks could play it too and that could be what’s holding them back from freeing the best squire ever. Burn decks could board them for the mirror. They would invigorate decks like GW Hate Bears, UW Control, Jeskai Midrange, even Abzan could play the card. This card is either irrelevant or too slow against most of the format. I think, as long as Jitte stays far away from being legal, Stoneforge could come back.
Verdict: Pretty Please?

Summer Bloom: I always kinda hated Amulet Bloom. It was the deck that did the most disgusting things in modern by a pretty wide margin. It was also a close matchup for twin, despite many people saying twin was a huge favorite. Bobby Fortanely putting 3 Primeval Titan s into play in one turn in the finals of the Cincinnatti open was what finally sold me on a ban. His opponent, Jeff Hoogland, had a high life total and double Path to Exile and he just died anyway. That’s pretty unbelievable considering the turn began with Bobby having nothing but 5 or 6 lands and an Amulet of Vigor. I want Amulet to stay because it’s a very cool deck and it’s pretty tough to play. I liked seeing those who put the efforts in to learn the deck get paid off. But overall, it’s really quite oppressive. I’m fine with this one staying where it is.
Verdict: Way too soon to lobby for an unban. Everyone’s scars are yet to heal. No way.

Sword of the Meek: I used to think this card was way too good but I have since changed my mind. The combo is pretty slow and requires you to play two cards with very little individual utility (sword and Thopter Foundry). Also, Abrupt Decay is a convenient, cheap, and relatively widely played answer to the combo. I would love to hit the drawing board if this card and Stoneforge got unbanned.
Verdict: Honestly, this card would probably be fine. There’s definitely more oppressive things legal.

Treasure Cruise: Wizards wasn’t okay with legacy decks becoming 20 cantrips, 12 threats, 18 lands, 6 removal spells, and 4 Cruises. The high velocity that this card fosters is an environment that many players and banlist arbiters hate. Modern gut warped by Treasure Cruise (and Dig Through Time) in ways similar to how it happened in legacy. These formats are ones in which I tend to do well. So while I can recognize some of the flaws inherent in the legality of Treasure Cruise or Dig Through Time I also enjoyed these formats and was never the one complaining. I think it’s almost guaranteed that this card will never get unbanned. Delve is a really stupid and broken mechanic. I want everyone to know how I feel about broken decks and broken formats in general. In a format with a clearly dominant deck many people seek to complain. I just want to encourage people to enjoy these formats. The mirror matches can be skill intensive and awesome. Also, this type of thing is pretty rare in magic. Eldrazi, UR Delver with Cruise, CawBlade, Faeries, even Jund. These dominant decks, with the exception of Jund, have also had super interesting mirror matches. “Breaking it” is often the goal many teams and players have going into an event. It’s pretty sweet when it finally happens.
Verdict: No chance anyone is delving 7 and drawing 3 in modern ever again. No way.

Umezawa’s Jitte: Wow, we’ve finally reached the end. This article took a long time to write and I’m glad to have gotten through the whole banlist. This last card is pretty interesting. Jitte is easier to  combat than it used to be. Abrupt Decay, Kolaghan’s Command, bigger creatures, creatureless decks, etc. All these things mitigate the dominance of a card like Jitte. You could never unban this card and Stoneforge Mystic. I think Jitte is likely the more powerful card but I also believe most people would prefer Jitte being legal to Stoneforge being legal. The inevitability and uniformity of Stoneforge for Batterskull is very frustrating to people. Tutoring up a Jitte is similarly broken and there’s no way they would ever unban both cards. Jitte on its own is just unbeatable in creature mirrors and might be the best limited card of all time. In a different direction, Stoneforge was just reprinted while Jitte is from a small set 12 years old. The perfect type of card to be targeted for a buyout. There’s a world where an unban of Jitte leads to a buyout and 200 dollar Jittes. If they had to unban one I think Stoneforge is simultaneously safer and more exciting. But the most likely outcome is both stay banned.
Verdict: Probably not but you really never know!

In closing I would just like to thank everyone for reading. It was a long one and I appreciate you sticking with it through both parts. Next article will likely be some Shadows talk as well as a farewell to my favorite flying friend, Mantis Rider! Thanks again, see you next time!

-Kevin Jones-

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