Wizards of the Coast brings out the ban hammer for Magic: The Gathering's Standard and Modern formats with hard hits to both.
The company is removing three widely played cards from Standard, a format comprised of only the game's most recent sets. Headlining the bannings is the card Emrakul, the Promised End from Eldritch Moon. The card represents one of the strongest and most feared beasts in all of Magic's history and the card did its job a bit too well, leading to what many players consider to be the worst Standard environment in years.
" Emrakul faced too little resistance and ended games too easily," WotC wrote in the card ban announcement. "She was the world-ending, all-powerful monster she was in the story, which was too much for Standard."
Kaladesh's Smuggler's Copter, another card that found its way into the mass majority of Standard decks also received a ban from the format. WotC's justification for the banning is that the card "is too efficient and shows up in too many decks, diminishing the format's diversity."
Finally, Oath of the Gatewatch's Reflector Mage also received a Standard ban. A favorite amongst control players, the white-blue creature had the capability of locking down games thanks to "blink" mechanics such as those from cards like Eldrazi Displacer. The card is most often played in a deck called Blue-White Flash but wasn't the only card from that deck to be considered for banishment.
"Other cards were discussed to check White-Blue Flash, but Reflector Mage came up time and time again as both frustrating and a targeted way to diminish the White-Blue Flash deck," claims WotC.
Magic's Modern format sees the re-banning of Golgari Grave-Troll. The card was un-banned in January of 2015 and, two years later, finds itself back on the format's ban list. The re-introduction of the card into Modern proved much to powerful for decks that rely on the game's "Dredge" mechanic, as pointed out by WotC.
"Dredge, the mechanic and the deck, has a negative impact on Modern by pushing the format too far toward a battle of sideboards," the company states. "With the printing of Cathartic Reunion and Prized Amalgam, the deck once again became unhealthy for the format."
The fairly popular blue card draw engine Gitaxian Probe also received a Modern banning. WotC says the reason for banning the card is simple: "Ultimately, the card did too much for too little cost."
None of Magic's other WotC-supported formats including Vintage and Legacy received any new card bans or un-bannings.