Scheduled Banned & Suspended Announcement

10th Nov 2022 James White

Classic Constructed

There are no changes to the Classic Constructed format.

Classic Constructed

The Classic Constructed format was showcased at the World Championship and Calling this past weekend. Both of these events demonstrated an excellent level of overall metagame diversity and top 8 hero representation, with 5 different heroes in the top 8 of the World Championship, and 6 different heroes in the top 8 of the Calling!

Based on the diversity of the metagame and diversity of performance, we are happy to move forward into the Dynasty season with no changes to Classic Constructed.

World Championship Metagame

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World Championship Top 8

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Calling San Jose Day 2 Metagame

Calling San Jose.jpg

Calling San Jose Top 8

Calling T8.jpg


The following changes are effective as of November 11, 2022:

  • Aether Wildfire is banned
  • Aether Icevein is suspended until the next banned and suspended announcement (January 30, 2023)
  • Hypothermia is suspended until Iyslander becomes Living Legend
  • Storm Striders moves from suspended to legal

*Suspended cards may be unsuspended earlier than the specified time frame.

Blitz Changes

Blitz was showcased as part of the World Championship main event and also the 336 player Battle Hardened that ran alongside Worlds on Sunday. Despite the recent suspension of Storm Striders, Iyslander was the most represented Blitz deck in the World Championship at 30.3% of the metagame. She also put 4 players into the Battle Hardened top 8.

The counter point to Iyslander's prevalence was the emergence of a natural predator in the form of Prism, who was the Blitz deck of choice for 4 of the World Championship top 8 competitors, while also feasting on the Ice Queen in the Battle Hardened top 8, with Prism players finishing 1st and 2nd.

Although the World Championship weekend demonstrated the format has room to evolve, we are mindful that Storm Striders' return is a significant boon for Iyslander, rewinding to the set up which saw her lead the field during Skirmish season 5. To offset this we are suspending Aether Icevein, a card that every Iyslander deck runs a minimum 4 copies of, and often the maximum 6 copies. There are numerous alternative Wizard Ice Fusion cards available to fill these slots, that offer interesting effects while affording opponents more scope of counter play. We also note that removing Aether Icevein will soften the impact Amulet of Ice has on the game state.

Additionally, we are suspending Hypothermia from the format until Iyslander attains Living Legend status. Iyslander's ease of playing Hypothermia at instant speed can cause negative game play experiences for decks that are reliant on attacks gaining go again. In Classic Constructed there is more opportunity for decks to sideboard to adjust their strategy when playing into Iyslander, a luxury not available in the Blitz format. As such, we believe the Blitz format will be more enjoyable and diverse, without the current prevalence of Hypothermia being played at instant speed.

A noticeable consequence of removing Storm Striders from the format was the disappearance of Kano. Sentiment towards Kano (and combo decks in general) is always polarizing, but we believe that Kano and combo decks in general, are a valid archetype to exist within the format and one which a good number of players enjoy having the option to play.

Kano has consistently been one of the top Blitz decks since the inception of the format. Over that time, as the card pool has grown, we have banned and suspended a number of cards to curb the speed at which Kano can reliably assemble his combo kills, while allowing him to remain part of the top echelon of heroes within the format. The results from San Jose would indicate that Kano without Storm Striders is a step too far, and we would like to see Kano return to the format with the reinstatement of Storm Striders.

In keeping with our philosophy over recent times to purge Blitz of card combinations that enable reliable kills within the first 2 turns of the game, we are moving Aether Wildfire to the banned list.

Of note, the dev team is happy with how Aether Wildfire has performed in Classic Constructed, giving Kano an appropriately powered tool for the adult hero format. Aether Wildfire is a good example of a card that has served its intended application well for Classic Constructed, but lands above rate when let loose on young heroes in the Blitz format at this time.

We are also happy that fans who are looking forward to playing with the Emperor will have access to Storm Striders, which is consistent with the equipment used during internal development of the Emperor.

We will be keeping a close eye on the Wizard class as we head into the new year, with a view that additional changes may be required on January 30 to get the Wizard heroes in the sweet spot for 2023.

Next Scheduled Banned and Suspended Announcement

The next scheduled banned and suspended announcement is January 30, 2023 (EST).