Early MTG Banned and Restricted announcement removes powerful Artifact from Pauper

In an unusual move by the Magic: The Gathering Pauper format panel, a Modern Horizons 3 Artifact Equipment was added to the Banned and Restricted list before the set was released. 

Prebans aren’t normal in MTG, but with a set as powerful as Modern Horizons 3, what was normal isn’t anymore. The first pre-ban targeted 13 Magic cards for the MTG Arena Historic and Brawl formats. A second pre-ban was announced on June 6 by principle designer Gavin Verhey, who is also a member of the Pauper Format Panel (PFP).  Many in the MTG community called it when Cranial Ram was previewed during MH3 spoilers, and today it became official, with the Artifact Equipment getting added to the MTG Banned and Restricted Pauper list. 

Artifact equipment living weapon in MH3
The Living Weapon won’t be breaking the Pauper meta. Image via WotC

The move to emergency ban Cranial Ram is “unprecedented,” according to Verhey, and “not something players should expect to happen again in Pauper or any other competitive format anytime soon.”

So why did the PFP choose to ban Cranial Ram before MH3 was even released?  The Living Weapon compares to Cranial Plating, which has “dominated multiple formats in Magic history,” according to Verhey, and is similar to All That Glitters which was recently added to the MTG Banned and Restricted Pauper list. 

Cranial Ram is undoubtedly a broken MTG card within the Pauper format, able to attach itself immediately to a token it creates while gaining +X/+1, where “X” is equal to the number of Artifacts you control. And it only costs two mana to move it to another creature. With the Magic Online Creator Showdown taking place on June 15 and a Pauper tournament included in it, the PFP decided to pre-ban Cranial Ram before it got to dominate the meta. 

“If we left Cranial Ram legal, it would almost certainly be the deck of the tournament, and instead of letting the dynamic format shine with new Modern Horizons 3 cards, it would become warped around Ram—a card we would likely ban the following week, invalidating the decklists of the tournament,” said Verhey. 

The MTG ban on Cranial Ram will go into effect immediately on June 6 for the Pauper format only. Players can still abuse the Artifact Equipment within the Modern Horizons 3 Limited Draft and Sealed formats, along with Commander and Modern. 

We will be happy to hear your thoughts

Leave a reply

Cheats Little Alchemy