Wednesday, 21 July 2021 11:26

MTGA: Brainstorm suspended in Historic

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MTGA: Brainstorm suspended in Historic WOTC/JUSTIN & ALEXIS HERNANDEZ

Wizards of the Coast has suspended the card Brainstorm in Magic: The Gathering - Arena's Historic format.

The company says the decision to suspend the card is largely due to its high play rate and overall perceived dominance of blue-red decks.

"As we watched, we saw an interesting pattern emerge," the company says in the announcement.  "Though decks like Izzet Phoenix and Jeskai Control represented a metagame share that usually indicates a dominantly powerful deck, their win rates have generally been fair and healthy.  For example, Izzet Phoenix was approximately 30% of the metagame in the July Strixhaven League Weekend, which is a very high percentage for one deck to claim.  But its win rate there was only 51.5%, far from dominating or threatening.  This matches our internal data, which consistently showed Izzet Phoenix with a win rate a bit above 52% and Jeskai Control a bit above 51% in high-level Best-of-Three play."

While Brainstorm is being removed from Historic play, WotC is making it clear that the card is not banned (as was the case with fellow Strixhaven Mystical Archive card, Time Warp).

"While our most recent actions in Historic have been bans—such as those for Time Warp and Thassa's Oracle—those were cases where we had clear and convincing data showing the cards were problematic," WotC explains.  "In this case, the data is less clear, and that is exactly where we prefer to utilize suspension. We will continue to monitor the Historic meta closely to see if it reaches a point where reintroducing Brainstorm seems safe or if we should move to fully ban Brainstorm."

Follow the discussion on Facebook in the Magic: The Gathering Players Group.