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New MTG Modern ban hits Rhino decks hard

The Magic: The Gathering card Violent Outburst has been banned from the MTG Modern format, as Wizards looks to weaken the cascading Rhinos deck.

MTG card art showing three purple guys

Wizards of the Coast has announced a new Magic: The Gathering banlist change, this time striking down a card from the MTG Modern format. Violent Outburst, a cheap Cascade Instant spell that plays a pivotal role in one of the top Modern decks, has been banned.

This is one of several MTG Cascade cards that enables the powerful Temur Rhinos deck, which Wizards says is becoming too dominant, and needs to be taken down a peg, with one of its best cards relegated to the MTG banlist. In case you’re unfamiliar, what seems like a fun, RNG-powered mechanic, Cascade, gets taken to new heights of power when players manipulate their decks so that only one spell can be hit by the Cascading effect.

In the Modern format’s Temur Rhinos deck, that’s Crashing Footfalls, a zero-cost Suspend card that makes two giant rhino tokens, and can be cheated out by this deck as early as turn three. Because of the way mana costs are calculated in Magic, MTG Modern players can load their spells with useful early interaction like the split cards Fire//Ice and Dead//Gone, and still hit Crashing Footfalls off of three-cost Cascade cards like Shardless Agent or Demonic Dread.

The MTG card Violent Outburst

But not Violent Outburst anymore. What seems like a fairly innocuous change is deeply impactful, for the simple reason that Violent Outburst can be played at instant speed. Until now, this let Crashing Footfalls decks leave mana up to play Outburst, then untap with rhinos which can start pummeling immediately.

Worse still, the deck ran the MTG Counter spell Force of Will, a zero cost counter that could effortlessly protect Violent Outburst if necessary.

The MTG card Crashing Footfalls

According to Wizards’ announcement, “removing Violent Outburst from the format will necessitate Cascade players to adopt Ardent Plea or Demonic Dread and force them to play on their own turn more often”. The company says this change will bring Temur Rhinos decks down to “an acceptable level of metagame share, much like the Fury ban did to Rakdos Midrange.”

We have some concerns that, much like the Fury ban, hampering Temur Rhinos will leave a gap for the next best Modern deck to achieve supremacy. If that happens, we can expect to see Yawgmoth or possibly Amulet Titan or Murktide Regent take a hit in the next banlist update, which is taking place on May 13, 2024.

You can find Wizards of the Coast’s full banlist update, with the designers’ thoughts, on the Magic website. The TLDR is that the only other change is Ponder is no longer Restricted in the MTG format Vintage. But who really plays Vintage in paper? It’s full of some of the most expensive MTG cards around.