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Expressive Iteration Banned in Explorer and Pioneer

Magic players were hoping for a ban in Pioneer and Explorer, but they may not have expected a ban quite like this. On Tuesday June 7,  Wizards of the Coast announced the banning of Expressive Iteration in Pioneer and Explorer, and Winota, Joiner of Forces in Pioneer. The Winonta ban was expected, as it was a card with a oppressive win and play rate. The banning of Iteration on the other hand was quite the shock to players.

Expressive Iteration was a multi-format staple that immediately found itself an auto-include in any red/blue deck. It allowed a player to look at three cards at a time, often times letting players avoid drawing extra lands in the process. No one doubted it’s power, but people were surprised to see it ultimately take over in almost every format it was legal. Iteration is insanely powerful in decks that want to play Arclight Phoenix, Dragon’s Rage Channeler, and the newly added Ledger Shredder.

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Overall, Iteration found itself powering up these spell-based strategies to a problematic level. Players found it to be more powerful than cards like Treasure Cruise and Dig Through Time because of it’s low mana cost. Being able to do the same thing as though high-cost delve cards made Expressive Iteration just a hair too good.

Expressive Iteration is banned in Explorer as well as Wizards moves toward aligning the Explorer ban list with the Pioneer ban list. The ultimate goal for Explorer is to eventually become Pioneer on Arena. Slowly but surely, the two formats will come together to become one unified Pioneer format. Just without Expressive Iteration.


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