MTG Arena artwork for the Explorer banned card Tibalt's Trickery

[Update]: MTG Arena is getting the Commander focused Battle for Baldur's Gate set on July 7th.

As the very first step on the long journey towards Pioneer, MTG Arena recently added the Explorer format which features all of the currently available cards from Return to Ravnica and onwards. However, since the fledgling Explorer format doesn't have the same breadth of cards and strategies as Pioneer, Wizards of the Coast pledged to balance it separately in order to make sure no deck becomes too dominant.

Good thing too, because only two weeks have gone by and already Wizards of the Coast has felt compelled to issue some bans! The first of these should come as no surprise given that we're talking about Tibalt's Trickery, the bane of pretty much every constructed format in MTG Arena. Tibalt's Trickery is being banned not because it's too powerful though, but rather because it creates a large amount of non-interactive games that are decided by pure random chance. Those games also tend to be incredibly boring for both sides, so good riddance as far as I'm concerned!

The second ban is Winota, Joiner of Forces, a Pioneer staple and the terror of many unoptimized strategies. While she peacefully coexists with the rest of the meta decks in Pioneer, in Explorer's limited card pool Winota has ended up being far too powerful and currently sports both a high winrate and a high playrate.

As such, Winota is being temporarily banned. How long she will remain sealed away, that still remains to be seen, but Wizards of the Coast will be revisiting her position shortly after the release of Dominaria United this Fall in order to see if the hopefully stabilized Explorer meta will be able to handle her better.

Both bans will be going live on May 12th, and much like the previous ones, will give you back appropriate wildcards for each copy of the banned cards. The only exception is if you've already received wildcards from the last time both cards were banned in other formats, which is fair enough.

Once the next big announcement arrives I'll make sure to let you know. Until then, you can read a little bit more about the bans over at the MTG website.