Skip to content

May 2024 Banned List Update

Posted on:May 6, 2024
GladiatorMTGA May 2024 Format & Banned List Update
The One Ring, Veli Nyström (2023) & Reanimate, Michal Ivan (2024)

    The time has come for another look at the cards in the Gladiator format and their impact on the health, stability, and enjoyability of the best fan-created 100-card-singleton format on Magic the Gathering: Arena

Banned List Update

Banned in Gladiator

The One Ring


Effective immediately - Tuesday, May 5th 2024

Discussion and Voting

The following is a breakdown of the cards that were discussed during this format update.

The One Ring - BANNED

GladiatorMTGA May 2024 Format & Banned List Update
The One Ring, Veli Nyström (2023)

Viewing from a narrow “power level” viewpoint, it can be argued that the power level of The One Ring is high but not unreasonable compared to the entire Gladiator format. However, the council also considered the additional axis that The One Ring’s play patterns are often repetitive and generally don’t lead to more interesting magic being played. While a number of counterplay options certainly exist, there is a very narrow subset that can answer every facet of The One Ring, and continue to do so without being vulnerable to answers themselves.

Reanimate - BANNED

GladiatorMTGA May 2024 Format & Banned List Update
Reanimate, Michal Ivan (2024)

I don’t think anyone would question Reanimate as one of the most powerful card effects of all time, being 1 mana to return any creature from any yard directly to play. As we continue to get more cards from the catalogs of Magic history it is always in the council’s mind to see how each of them affect how the format plays. Considering the continued strong performance of Rakdos Reanimidrange even before the card was previewed, Reanimate has been under close scrutiny since its reveal. The council believes that Reanimate offers too powerful of a tool relative to its extremely low cost of inclusion.

With all of this in mind we feel it is important to remind people that the Ban List is not a place where cards go to die. There may be a day where Reanimate rejoins the card pool depending on how the format develops and how the community develops strategies to face the Reanimator lists that dominate the top tables currently.

Thassa’s Oracle & Tainted Pact - NO CHANGES

GladiatorMTGA May 2024 Format & Banned List Update
Thassa's Oracle, Jesper Ejsing (2020)
GladiatorMTGA May 2024 Format & Banned List Update
Tainted Pact, Benjamin Ee (2021)

Both of these cards have been in the council’s eye before, and will likely be again as Gladiator continues to develop, due to the combo’s relatively narrow requirements for answers as well as demonstrable power in other Magic formats. At this time, the council does not see the same combination of pervasive play and consistent success in this format and community.

Thassa’s Oracle

Tainted Pact

Blood Moon - NO CHANGES

GladiatorMTGA May 2024 Format & Banned List Update
Blood Moon, William Phifer (2023)

Blood Moon has made considerable impact on other Magic formats by attacking manabases and creating non-games of Magic. We have not seen the same effect in Gladiator.

Mana Drain - NO CHANGES

GladiatorMTGA May 2024 Format & Banned List Update
Mana Drain, Florey (2024)

Mana Drain is one of the most powerful Blue cards in the history of Magic - and it’s perfectly alright for Blue to have good cards. When Mana Drain was spoiled, the council wanted to make sure to give it a good look as play went on, and it has not shown itself to be problematic at this time.

Looking Forward

Modern Horizons 3 looms large in the future of Arena releases. The council will be keeping an eye on both incoming cards to our format as well as the currently-banned cards that may now be a closer match for the new power level of the Gladiator format.

As always, we urge everyone to maintain a civil and respectful discourse surrounding this announcement. If you have any questions or require further clarification, please do not hesitate to reach out to me or one of the other council members. We’d be more than happy to talk.

Thank you for your continued support and dedication to the Gladiator format.

See you in the Arena, Gladiator 💖