Announcement Date: February 12, 2018
Jace, the Mind Sculptor is unbanned.
Bloodbraid Elf is unbanned.
Effective Date: February 19, 2018
Magic Online Effective Date: February 14, 2018
The list of all banned and restricted cards, by format, is here.
Next B&R Announcement: April 16, 2018
Jace, the Mind Sculptor was unbanned by WoTC this morning, along with Bloodbraid Elf. Jace was originally banned in the Standard format back on July 1, 2011 (and was subsequently banned in Modern 2 months later in September 2011). The consensus within WoTC, and players in general, was that Jace was unhealthy for the tournament field. The numbers seem to back this up, as it dominated Grand Prix Singapore with 88% of the decks in Day 2 containing multiple copies of Jace.
I know quite a few Modern Mill players that are very excited to be able to drop JtMS in their decks to once again wreak havoc on the battlefield (me being one of them!).
However, even though the Modern format has more relevant answers to Jace these days, one has to wonder if maybe this unbanning has something to do with driving demand higher for Masters 25.
Accompanying Jace back to Modern, is Bloodbraid Elf. Who else is excited to use Bloodbraid Elf again? I know I am! Originally banned on January 28, 2013, WoTC's reasoning for banning Bloodbraid Elf at the time was somewhat of a cop-out: "...the dominance of Jund is making it less so overall. The DCI looked to ban a card. We wanted a card that top players consistently played four copies of in Jund, but ideally was less played in other top Modern decks. That would give the best chance of creating a more balanced metagame."
That's kind of hogwash if you ask me. Let's not even get into bannings in the first place, better R&D could prevent some of these, but that's a much longer post for another time. Until then friends, have fun milling and cascading to victory!
Check out this info-graphic from Visualizing Magic:
Let us know what you think about these unbannnings in the comments below.