The new Explorer format, which was launched just a few weeks ago, is on course to receive its first card restrictions. The wildly popular format is having one of its top decks nerfed into oblivion, while also taking out one of the most problematic cards at the same time.
Both Winota, Joiner of Forces, and Tibalt''s Trickery are now no longer legal in Explorer, putting an end to the numerous Naya Winota and Tibalt''s Trickery decks that have been dominant these early days of the format.
Winota, the joiner of forces, has been a major part of Explorer''s parent format, Pioneer. Decks often revolve around getting as many cheap non-Human creatures out as possible, before attacking with WInota out and putting enough powerful humans into play to finish the game in a single, decisive battle.
The problem with WInota is that all the answers to Pioneer''s aren''t in Explorer. Wizards has been keen to point out that this ban isn''t permanent, and Winota will be back once Explorer has gained more from Pioneer''s card pool and has options to deal with it. For example, the ban will be in place until the opening of this September''s Dominaria United, which allows Explorer to grow gradually over the summer.
The second restriction is a card that caused significant problems in a number of applications after it debuted in Kaldheim: Tibalt''s Trickery in 2021. Although it was intended to be a red counterspell with an element of chaos, it developed into a simple and simple way of cheating out permanents earlier than intended. For example, casting a zero-cost spell and then countering it with a Tibalt''s Trickery give you the possibility to put down an Ugin or the Spirit
Tibalt''s Trickery is a major glass cannon design; either you hit the big, splashy permanent you wanted to play and immediately win, or you don''t hit it and immediately concede. As that''s no fun to play against or with, a ban was in place. Because it isn''t really a part of the Pioneer format, and its prohibition has little to no effect on the progression from Explorer to Pioneer later down the line.
If you already own Winota or Tibalt''s Trickery before the prohibition comes into effect on May 12, and haven''t received compensation for them from previous restrictions (such as Tibalt''s prohibition in Historic) you will receive wildcards to apologise for the ban. This is particularly significant for Winota, since many people will have created multiple copies of her to play her in the Explorer metagame.