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Part 4 – Understanding the Banned/Restricted List
by Secret Squirrel
 

Magic has an extensive Banned and Restricted list for its formats. What's a banned or restricted card? Well, a banned card is a card that for whatever reason has been "banned" from a format. This means that you cannot play this card in that format. A "restricted" card means that you can only have one copy of said card in your deck/sideboard.

Why are cards banned? Well that depends. Skullclamp was banned in Type 2 because it was insanely powerful. Crop Rotation was restricted in Type 1 because it was part of deadly Tolarian Academy deck. Generally a card is banned if it is in many decks (clamp was in every Top 8 deck while it was good) and over powers the environment, or if it's part of a broken combo that is unhealthy for the environment.

It's fair to say that cards are restricted/banned fairly infrequently, so don't worry about half your collection suddenly becoming illegal. (Although, you may have to worry about that if you only play Type 2..)

The list is updated four times per year (sometimes no changes are made, but there is always an announcement): March 1, June 1, September 1, and December 1. Be sure to check the official site (or the boards) for any updates.

You can always find the Banned and Restricted List here:

http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=judge/resources/banned

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