MTG Lurrus Companion banned in Vintage and Legacy formats, Standard bans on hold

No bans in Standard and Modern may lead to a frustrated player base.

Ikoria Lair of Behemoth Magic The Gathering
Image via WotC Magic: The Gathering

Wizards of the Coast revealed bans in the Magic: The Gathering formats Vintage, Legacy, and Brawl today. 

Lurrus of the Dream-Den has officially become the first Companion from the Ikoria: Lari of Behemoths set to get banned in a Magic format. Despite the controversy over the creation of Companion cards in Standard, WotC left its most popular format alone in today’s Banned and Restricted announcement, banning four cards across three formats. 

Lurrus of the Dream-Den was banned in two Magic formats today, making history since it’s unusual for a newly-released MTG card to get banned in Vintage. The companion was also banned in Legacy, which is a step toward a possible upcoming ban in Standard and other Magic formats. 

“While this set of changes has focused on Legacy, Vintage, and Brawl, we’re continuing to watch the evolution of the metagame in each other format, including Standard, Pioneer, and Modern,” WotC said. “If changes become needed in other formats, we’ll provide those separately in a future announcement.”

Despite opinions from casual players and pros that state companions have created an unhealthy meta in multiple formats, WotC feels that the Standard format has a “diverse and dynamic metagame.” But the six most-played decks at the Red Bull MTG Arena Untapped qualifiers this past weekend each contained a companion, with the exception of Temur Reclamation. 

WotC acknowledged player concerns today, noting that the Banned and Restricted team is aware of those worrying about a large number of companions being played in multiple archetypes. 

“We are aware of some players’ concerns about the frequency at which they encounter decks using companions across several formats,” WotC said. “While we’re not currently seeing problematic win rates in Standard, Pioneer, or Modern from decks using companions, we are looking at overall metagame share and potential for repetitive gameplay.”

Players who are calling for companions to get banned in formats like Standard and Modern will have to wait, though.

“If we see signs of long-term health issues resulting from high metagame share of companion decks, we’re willing to take steps up to or including changing how the companion mechanic works,” WotC said. “For now, metagames need more time to evolve before we can determine whether changes are necessary.”

WotC wants to give the metagame in these formats more time to develop before issuing any further bans, similar to the circumstances surrounding Oko, Thief of Crowns in Standard last fall. With a lack of tabletop tournaments in conjunction with minor digital events due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s unknown whether the meta in these formats will evolve further over time.