Winota banned on Arena again.
In the first Banned and Restricted announcement to affect Explorer, Tibalt’s Trickery and Winota, Joiner of Forces are banned in Magic Arena‘s newest eternal format, Wizards of the Coast announced today.
Explorer is Arena’s true-to-paper eternal format that’s intended as a pathway to supporting Pioneer on the digital client. The format features all Pioneer-legal cards found on Magic Arena. This makes the format similar to Pioneer with several key omissions.
Format staple decks like Jeskai Ascendency and Lotus Field Combo don’t have the cards needed to be functional in Explorer. Other top strategies, like Naya Winota, are nearly unaffected in the transition from Pioneer to Explorer.
Winota midrange lists have performed well on the ladder and lack some of the natural checks that keep them from being as powerful in Pioneer. Without some of the combo decks or strong Mono-Red Aggro pieces available in Explorer, Winota has been a dominant force in best-of-one and best-of-three queues.
A Winota ban isn’t intended to remain forever. Since the goal of Explorer is to become Pioneer, as the card pool grows and the format aligns greater with Pioneer, Winota will be unbanned. But because Explorer is an incomplete format, it needs its own ban list during its early stages for the health of the format.
Winota will be reevaluated after the release of Dominaria United in the fall, according to Wizards.
Tibalt’s Trickery is a combo card with a bad win rate but has been a problem for players to play against in best-of-one. The card leads to either a quick win or a concession at the slightest bit of interaction. Because of the number of nongames the card produces, it will be banned in Arena.
The bans will go live during the May 12 update. Players will be given back wildcards for copies of Winota or Tibalt’s Trickery crafted before the update is live.