MTG bans Once Upon a Time, Smuggler’s Copter, and Field of the Dead in Pioneer format

The bans aren’t a huge surprise.

Field of the Dead MTG
Image via Wizards of the Coast Magic: The Gathering

Wizards of the Coast banned Once Upon a Time, Field of the Dead, and Smuggler’s Copter in today’s Banned and Restricted announcement for the MTG Pioneer format.

The bans are in response to several Pioneer Player Tour Qualifiers (PTQs) that were held this past weekend. According to WotC, data from these tournaments and league play revealed these cards to be detrimental to the meta. 

“As a result, we’re choosing to ban Smuggler’s Copter, Field of the Dead, and Once Upon a Time in Pioneer,” said Ian Duke of WotC. “We believe that these changes will result in greater diversity among aggressive decks, a clearer role in the metagame for reactive and controlling decks, and a push toward better color balance among competitive decks.”

Here are the reasons listed by Duke as to why Once Upon a Time, Field of the Dead, and Smuggler’s Copter were banned.

  • Smuggler’s Copter was prevalent in Mono-Black Aggro and various other aggressive decks.
  • Field of the Dead dominated in Pioneer, just like it did in MTG Standard. 
  • A large number of players brought Green decks to the PTQ’s, relying on Once Upon a Time. 

Not on the list, was Oko, Thief of Crowns. But he is on the hot seat. 

Most players in the Magic community are happy with the trio of bans today. Players who had crafted around Smuggler’s Copter weren’t thrilled about it being banned but understood why it was.

“These bans make sense,” said a Reddit user. “I was hoping they would give Copter another week after Field was banned to see if midrange and control could handle it. But it was also just everywhere.”

Banned and Restricted announcements are dropped on a weekly basis, even if no cards are banned. The next MTG Pioneer B&R is on Dec. 9.