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There have been a lot of discussions recently regarding what cards should or shouldn’t be banned in Magic: The Gathering‘s Modern format. Many cards have been talked about including Faithless Looting, Ancient Stirrings, Mox Opal, and Krark-Clan Ironworks. In an article released today, Wizards of the Coast has declared Krark-Clan Ironworks banned in Modern.
In the article, it is mentioned that WotC needed to ban a part of the KCI deck that has been gaining popularity in the Modern format. The deck revolved around endlessly sacrificing artifacts to Krark-Clan Ironworks (the namesake of the deck) to produce tons of mana all while it retrieves more artifacts from its graveyard thanks to Scrap Trawler. Eventually, there would be enough mana and recursion to ping KCI’s opponent to death with a singular Pyrite Spellbomb being looped over and over. It was a deck that could win quickly, but the combo itself took forever to play out.
In addition to the above, WotC was concerned with its performance. Over the past year, the deck has shown great promise with an impressive number of Top 8s throughout the year culminating in GP Oakland where KCI was literally half of the top 8 decks.
So, bearing KCI’s tedious nature and outstanding performance in the Modern format, WotC decided to ban its key piece and namesake card Krak-Clan Ironworks.
Also in the article, WotC explains that they are keeping an eye on Mox Opal and Ancient Stirrings.
These two cards allow certain decks to have access to fast mana and/or consistent card selection, things that other decks can’t have as easily or as consistently. Opal was an important piece of KCI, but it was also used in Hardened Scales Affinity, Affinity, and fringe artifact-centric decks such as Cheerios. Banning Krark-Clan Ironworks instead of Mox Opal means these other decks aren’t crippled.
Ancient Stirrings was also used in KCI but banning it would mean crippling Tron, Hardened Scales Affinity, and Amulet Titan when they really haven’t done much to deserve the ban.
Ultimately, Modern players no longer have to worry about the consistent and fast combo kills coming from KCI. It will be incredibly interesting to see where the format goes now that KCI is banned in Modern.