DCI Bans Jace, Stoneforge Mystic Unless You Really Love Them

Posted on Friday, July 1st, 2011 by GyantSpyder
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Posted in mtg

Duelists’ Convocation International, the governing body of Magic: The Gathering sanctioned tournaments, issued its semiannual banned and restricted announcement last month, forbidding players of the Standard tournament format from including tournament powerhouses Jace, The Mind Sculptor and Stoneforge Mystic in their decks for sanctioned matches, with one exception – if they really, really love them.

We’ve been looking at tournament results, playtesting, and event attendance, and we can tell that the format is in trouble,” read the official statement. “Jace and SFM are having a destructive effect on Standard – too many players are playing them, and the ones not playing are feeling pressure either to play them as well, or to stop attending tournaments altogether. It’s a vicious cycle of Caw Blade and Darkblade at the top tables, which might be fine for an adult with a full-time job, but which is just not the right thing for a young teenager to be expected to do. Kids should have an opportunity to be kids and not lose their childhood like that.

It’s a skill-intensive format, to be sure. Some might even call it a fun format. But fun at what cost? We really have to think about the long-term health of Magic, and making sure that players want to play Magic in a sanctioned tournament environment that is pleasant and respectful for all players.

So, we’ve decided to ban Jace, The Mind Sculptor and Stoneforge Mystic – and forbid players from from playing them.

Outside a committed, loving relationship, of course. If you really, really, love them, then how can it be wrong in the eyes of the DCI? The DCI would never want to stand in the way of love. We’re all about love – we love everybody.

After all, in the right sort of relationship, playing Jace is natural and something consenting GrandPrixers can enjoy.

But if you’re not one of those people, and you just want to snag a couple of Jaces and pop together a Caw Blade deck, make no mistake, you are hellbanned.

Players have had mixed reactions to the new restriction.

Many players claim to have switched entirely to Valakut, like Stu Yuku of Montauk, NY. But when Friday Night fell, Yuku was spotted by DCI-employed private detectives sleeving Sword of Feast and Famine.

Can love be forged on the battlefield?

Can love be forged on the battlefield?

Tom Jilke of Madison WI professed his love for the constructed staples, only to find his relationship wasn’t what he thought it was when Level III Judge Janet Layne looked deep into his eyes and DQed him from Midwest Regionals.

DCI adherent Thomas Thomahas has brewed a powered-down Magic Online Caw Blade deck using Jace Beleren and Kor Outfitter that he calls “JusttheTip.dec.” When asked how Jace, The Mind Sculptor showed up in his 4-0 Premiere Event decklist, he claimed it “just slipped in there.”

Aaron Forsythe, head of Wizards of the Coast R&D, showed sympathy with the players, “It can be hard to live with a DCI banning, but in the end it’s really for the best. You think you’re going to be having fun with Jace and Stoneforge, but then everybody’s doing it, and it just comes to a bad end. We’re asking our players to say no to that little Jace-voice inside of them and think and play responsibly.

Mark Rosewater, head designer of Magic: the Gathering, played Devil’s advocate. “Restrictions breed creativity, sure,” he said. “But sometimes, you just need to shove your Batterskull out there or +2 and fateseal all over someone’s face.”

In the face of rising noncompliance with the ban, DCI officials were debating a measure to soften the ban, making it technically legal to play Jace, along as you only put him on the bottom of your deck. At press time, whether the DCI will let players adopt “the bottom exemption” had not yet been decided.