Anyone who has waited in the Explorer line knows about two decks designed to quickly turn an opponent from living to extremely dead and furious. Let’s look at how these cards gained their fatal reputation and why MTG is removing them from its newest format to understand why so many players are likely breathing a sigh of relief and raising glasses.
Magic: The Gathering has issued the first Banned and Restricted list update for Magic Arena’s brand-new Explorer format, focusing on two early troublemakers that have already felt Wizards of the Coast’s wrath. As of May 12th, 2022, Winota, Joiner of Forces, and Tibalt’s Trickery will be banned from Explorer.
Winota is a legendary Red and White Mana monster from Ikoria that costs four to cast and allows a player to rummage through their library’s top six cards and play a Human creature for free when a non-Human creature strikes. Non-Human creatures, such as geese and elves, seem to be among the greatest and most dependable sources of additional mana (a process known as ramping). This implies that by turn three, Winota might be hitting the board and triggering off a player’s aggressive goose, plopping a Kenrith, the Returned King, or Tovolar’s Huntmaster for free and leaving the unfortunate opponent frantically looking for the surrender button.
MTG Arena’s Banned and Restricted List was released on May 11th.
Winota, Joiner of Forces, and Tibalt’s Trickery are no longer legal in the new Explorer format, according to Wizards of the Coast. In MTG Arena, the Explorer format is a timeless format that is preparing the way for the Pioneer format. It does not include any MTG Arena digital-only cards or cards that have been rebalanced, unlike the Historic format, which is also everlasting.
Winota will be reassessed when Dominaria United is released in the autumn, although Tibalt’s Trickery may be put on hold for a little longer due to his lack of prominence in the Pioneer format. Although many gamers would have you think Winota may be equally as harmful in Explorer’s cardboard version, neither card was banned in Pioneer.
MTG Arena events with a purpose.
The Arena Open and two Play-At events will be held in MTG Arena throughout the month of May. SNC Sealed and Draft will be featured in the Arena Open from May 14 – 15. Best-of-one and best-of-three matches will be played on day one, with only best-of-three matches on day two.
The first MTG Arena Play-In tournament of 2022 kicks off digital organized play. This is a qualifying tournament for the May Qualifier Weekend. On May 21, players will participate in phantom Sealed New Capenna matches, which will be best-of-one. All players that achieve six victories will be invited to the Qualifier Weekend on May 28 and 29.
On the 27th and 28th of May, a second Play-In will be held. The phantom Sealed SNC tournament is a best-of-three format. Players who win four games will be invited to the May Qualifier, which will be held on May 28 and 29.
New MTG Arena events in Capenna.
In May, there will be five New Capenna MTG Arena events, each exhibiting the golden era Showcase card styles for a variety of cards. Each of these events is part of The Rise of the Five Families Festival, which includes best-of-one gameplay in Alchemy Singleton and a unique emblem.
“You may cast an instant or sorcery spell from your graveyard once per each of your turns by sacrificing a creature in addition to paying the spell’s other costs.” Exile a spell cast this way instead of putting it in your graveyard.”
“Whenever you strike, target attacking creature Connives,” says the Rise of the Obscura symbol. “Whenever a creature under your control enters the battlefield, Scry one,” says the Rise of Cabaretti symbol. Draw a card instead if this is the second time this ability has resolved this round.”
“Whenever you sacrifice a creature, you may return a target creature card from your graveyard to the battlefield tapped,” says the Rise of Riveteers symbol.
“You may cast spells from the top of your library by removing a counter from a creature you control in addition to paying their normal costs,” says the Rise of Brokers symbol.
Magical May happenings during the week.
Midweek Magic tournaments begin on Tuesday at 10 a.m. CT and finish on Friday at 1 a.m. CT each week.
- 3–5 May: New Capenna Bot Draft
- Standard: 10–12 May
- Artisan: 17–19 May
- On the Brink: May 24–26
- May 31 to June 2: Historic Pauper
MTG Arena events in May Quick Draft.
Prototype Bots draft MTG Arena events. Players will be matched up against each other when the Draft is completed.
- April 29 through May 13 in Kaldheim
- May 13 to 27 in New Capenna
- Strixhaven is open from May 27 through June 10.
- New Capenna: 10–24 June
- Midnight Hunt in Innistrad runs from June 24 to July 8.
Metagame Challenge for MTG Arena.
With the release of SNC, the MTG Arena Standard Metagame Challenge is back. Starting on May 27, players may register for the event, which will go until May 30. With up to seven victories in the tournament, a total of 30 SNC booster packs and gold may be gained.
The Explorer Metagame Challenge, which takes place from May 6 to 9, is also open to players.
Events in the MTG Arena.
SNC From May 20 to 23, construction began.
May 27–June 2: Turf Brawls
April 28 to May 20: New Capenna, sealed
May awards for MTG Arena Ranked.
The May MTG Arena Ranked season begins at 2 p.m. CT on April 30 and ends on May 31.
- One SNC booster pack in bronze
- Gold: 500 gold and one SNC booster pack
- Gold: Two SNC booster packs, 1,000 gold, and a Sleep with the Fishes-themed card
- Platinum: Three SNC booster packs, 1,000 gold, a Sleep with the Fishes card style, and a Hostile Takeover card
- Four SNC booster packs, 1,000 gold, a Sleep with the Fishes card style, and a Hostile Takeover card style.
- Five SNC booster packs, 1,000 gold, a Sleep with the Fishes card, and a Hostile Takeover card style in Mythic.