Companions have been wrecking Magic formats left and right. From Standard to Legacy, nothing has been the same after Ikoria release.
Wizards of the Coast just announced an important update concerning the mechanic, so let’s take a look at it.
UPDATE: The announcement is live! Learn all about Companion Changes and Standard Bans here.
Companion Changes Announcement
Official Magic the Gathering Twitter account tweeted the following announcement on May 26th.
There are two important facts here:
- update to the Banned & Restricted list for Standard and Historic
- addressing the Companion mechanic
You can expect the final announcement on June 1st, on the official MTG website.
Banned & Restricted List Update
There are bans coming to both Standard and Historic formats. We don’t know what those will be, however here’s our best guess.
Teferi, Time Raveler
If Wizards want to change Standard the most, by banning only one single card, they should definitely ban Teferi.
You might think that Teferi doesn’t warp the metagame that much. He’s only played in blue-white decks anyways, most of which are already pretty powerful on their own.
However, Teferi massively affects what cards can be played in competitive Standard decks. You just can’t play two drops that don’t have an immediate effect or some kind of protection. They’ll just get bounced by Teferi and you’ll suffer a massive tempo loss, which you cannot afford in the current Standard.
Secondly, Teferi’s passive ability really dictates which types of instants you can play. If Teferi does get banned, we might see more counterspells and instant speed removal spells in the metagame.
Fires of Invention
Fires of Invention ban would be another major hit to the best deck in Standard – Jeskai Yorion Lukka. Besides that, it’s worth mentioning that Fires is an inherently unfair Magic card.
If you have something to play in the same turn, it is effectively free. Free spells? Broken.
On your very next turn you can play two spells equal to the amount of lands you have, then use your lands to pay for abilities. That’s effectively tripling your mana, which is – once again – broken.
Fires should probably never be printed in the first place and now is the perfect time to ban this enchantment.
Speaking of broken enchantments, Wilderness Reclamation is guilty of same sins as Fires of Invention. It pays for itself the turn it comes into play and possibly even generates extra mana. Every next turn it simply doubles your mana.
You might argue that Temur Reclamation is the only deck that plays it and that it isn’t that strong.
However, that’s mostly because Teferi is keeping it in check (somewhat). It’s really amazing how this card is still played so much, despite the presence of Teferi, which completely negates this strategy. That should really tell you something about Reclamation’s power level.
With Teferi gone, it would also make sense for Reclamation ban as well.
Agent of Treachery
Agent of Treachery is a fair Magic card. For seven mana, you should get a powerful effect, and Agent certainly delivers on that front.
In general, Wizards would rather ban broken enablers like Lukka and Winota, than payoffs like Agent. However, given that those two cards were just released in Ikoria, we might see Agent getting the ban instead.
So those are the four cards we expect to get hit by the ban hammer. Tell us your predictions in the comments bellow.
The second part of announcement is about Companion changes. Mark Rosewater, MTG Head Designer, already talked about possible changes to this mechanic on his Tumblr.
So all in all, we can be pretty sure that companion will work differently.
We don’t know what those changes might be, but here’s some speculation of what may happen.
One of the most soft solutions would be for companion to start in your hand instead of your sideboard. This way, they become vulnerable to discard spells.
Next possible change would be that you’d start with 6 cards + your companion. This would eliminate the card advantage that companion provides, but still guarantee you the access to companion every time.
It’s also possible that Wizards will just ban the most oppressive companions altogether, but given the wording in announcement, we doubt that’s the case.
What do you think the changes will be? Let us know in the comments bellow.
Whatever the final decision might be, you can expect it to have a big impact on Standard, possibly even on older formats. Hopefully, the change will be for the better.
For more Magic news, give us a follow on our Instagram or Facebook page. You’ll get updates about spoilers, daily deals on Arena, new bans and MTGA codes. Speaking of which, you can find all currently available Arena codes here.
That’s all for today. Until next time, have fun and may your favorite cards avoid the bans.