Announcement Date: July 19, 2018
Effective Date: August 17, 2018
No changes have been made to the banned card list for the Standard format.
Ghetsis (Black & White—Plasma Freeze, 101/116 and 115/116) is now banned in the Expanded format.
Hex Maniac (XY—Ancient Origins, 75/98 and 75a/98) is now banned in the Expanded format.
Puzzle of Time (XY—BREAKpoint, 109/122) is now banned in the Expanded format.
Wally (XY—Roaring Skies, 94/108 and 107/108; Generations, RC27/RC32) is now banned in the Expanded format.
No new rule changes have been made.
Next Announcement Date: October 18, 2018
Details of Changes
No cards were banned from the Standard format. It will be an extremely rare occurrence for cards to be banned from the Standard format.
Four cards were banned from the Expanded format. The reasoning for these changes is below:
The overall goal of the Expanded format is to have a fun environment where players can enjoy using a wide variety of strategies. Ghetsis and Hex Maniac were identified as cards that stifle creativity and prevent several kinds of strategies from being viable. These cards also have the potential to make a major negative impact on an opponent before they get a chance to take their first turn, which can lead to a frustrating experience. Wally enables a combo with Trevenant that creates similar problems, so it falls into this category as well. Without these cards in the environment, hopefully gameplay will become more enjoyable.
Puzzle of Time is a flexible card that can be used in a wide variety of strategies. Its usage rate is quite high in popular decks, and it enables a lot of powerful combos. Removing this card from the environment will affect how many decks are constructed, which will hopefully make the Expanded format feel fresh and different.
Tournament results will continue to be analyzed to maintain a healthy play environment. In particular, the Expanded format will be aggressively monitored because there are so many cards and potential combinations available to use.