Hey, everyone! This is Jared Saramago from the HEX R&D team, here to talk about the Watch and Ban List updates for February 2018.
You can view the entire Watch/Ban List for each format here.
One of the consequences of our decision to do more frequent updates to the watch/ban list of each format is that there will sometimes be an update that contains little to no changes for us to announce. This just so happens to be one of those updates. Let’s go over why we decided to maintain the status quo for each format in more detail:
Showcased in the popular Fight Night events, the Rock format has grown into a more diverse and compelling environment since Choir of Lumos was placed on the Ban List. Last month’s champion updates (found here) have also had an impact on the format. Adoni-Zeddek had been nearly ubiquitous in the top decks of Rock events prior to the changes, but reducing his effectiveness has allowed other decks in the format a chance to compete. Still, the Blood/Diamond decks have remained quite popular and are still performing consistently well. We want to give the Rock meta a chance to settle and react before we take any action, but we will be monitoring the success rates of the top decks carefully.
The Dead of Winter Standard format has seen a variety of viable control and ramp focused decks achieve success in constructed events like the HEX Bash. However, we expect the recent update to Haraza’s Banner to shake up the Standard format once again by reintroducing some more aggressive and tempo-based deck options back into the environment. (Details on that change here.) Therefore, we opted not to make any further changes at this time. We will continue tracking the impact of the Haraza buff on the Standard format as we consider whether to make future adjustments.
The banning of Lazgar’s Vengeance and Hideous Conversion from the Immortal format has lead to one of the most varied and open environments in the format’s history. We expect that it may take some time for any consensus ‘top decks’ to materialize as everyone explores the possibilities that this new landscape has to offer. As such, we wanted to remain ‘hands-off’ for now, but we’ll be keeping a close eye on the Immortal format as it continues to evolve.
That’s it for now. Thanks for reading. For a sneak peek into what’s coming next time: we will likely be adding a new segment to the Watch/Ban List for the new Siege Defense format. This will allow us to regulate what cards defenders can put into their AI piloted Siege Defense decks to create a more balanced experience for everyone. (Check out our Siege announcement for more details here.)
Until next time!
HEXSirSleepy | Jared Saramago
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