Your MWL team has been hard at work behind the scenes, fine tuning the next update to the banned and restricted list for the Standard format. We are aware that it’s been a long time coming, so we drew lots on who would be forced to leave the safety of our subterranean bunker to give you an update on our work.
Although work for this update began shortly after the release of Uprising, various factors delayed its development. The rotation of Creation and Control and the Lunar Cycle and the powerful, faction-defining cards in them was an opportunity to reduce the size of the MWL by unbanning or unrestricting a number of cards which are no longer problematic. This meant our initial test lists were compiled using a ground-up approach, in which every card that was not deemed to be irredeemably broken was taken off the list. This required extensive testing to ensure that they could be safely reintroduced into the card pool. Several testing cycles later, and not all of these cards will make it into the final list.
Secondly, the gap in competitive events between Worlds and the start of the Store Championship season meant there was a dearth of tournament data from which we could evaluate any problems present in the Uprising Standard meta. Up until March, the only meaningful data we had was from German Nationals. The postponement or cancellation of many tournaments due to the COVID-19 pandemic has further set back our data collection, although we believe we have a much better grasp of the metagame by now (in part thanks to the incredibly useful rnd-interface.com, which playtester Errant Mage put together).
Lastly, the shrinking of the list due to rotation has allowed us to consider making some format changes to the MWL itself. These are still being evaluated, so I will refrain from giving you a preview of them now.
We realise that the current situation has made players impatient for a shake-up in the meta. Although this update has taken longer than we anticipated, the sheer scope of the changes and the impactful cards we are considering freeing means it needs to be tested thoroughly before it is finalised. We expect this process to take a minimum of one more month, and possibly two.
We’re very grateful to our playtesters for jamming game after game in a long and gruelling testing cycle. Playtester recruitment is still open, and will remain open for the entirety of this testing cycle. We welcome applications, not just for MWL testers, but for product testers as well. Product testers work with the Development team on new cards. They are currently working on System Gateway, our upcoming new player product, more details for which will be revealed soon! Please click here to apply for MWL testing, or here to apply to join product testing!