In an unexpected move, Magic: The Gathering has banned Bridge from Below in Modern, effective July 12, 2019 in paper formats and July 8, 2019 at 12 p.m. PT on Magic Online. The next banned and restricted announcement will be August 26, 2019. No other changes to the B&R list were made to any formats.
The ban came as a surprise to many players, who were railing against the newly printed Hogaak, Arisen Necropolis to be banned instead, which is part of the Bridge from Below deck. According to Wizards of the Coast, the Bridge deck had “high overall win rate, fast wins, and few unfavorable matchups”. The deck even posted an overall win rate on Magic Online of over 60%. Here’s how dominant the deck has been according to WOTC:
“In recent weeks, Hogaak Bridgevine has been the most played Modern deck on Magic Online and has earned over three times as many 5-0 League trophies as the deck with the next most. It has only two unfavorable matchups among the other ten most played decks and a high win rate against lesser played "rogue" decks. Especially telling is its Game 1 win rate of roughly 66%, requiring most decks to sideboard heavily against it.”
Bridge wasn’t the only card that was considered for the ban. They also looked at banning Hogaak, Arisen Necropolis and Altar of Dementia. WOTC ultimately decided to ban Bridge because they believed it is the most likely card to become broken again as more graveyard synergy cards are released.
Personally, I thought Bridgevine was a pretty interesting combination deck and fairly well balanced before Modern Horizons was released. It seems like Hogaak was the real culprit that put Bridge over the top in a new powerhouse deck for the meta, so I’m a bit surprised they preemptively banned Bridge instead. Players have also been expecting a Stoneforge Mystic unban sometime in the future, but alas, nothing so far. There was no mention in the B&R update of any potential unbannings being looked at.
What do you think of the Bridge from Below ban? Leave us a comment below! You can view the B&R announcement here.
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