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Ex pro MTG player has a fix for Modern’s One Ring problem

Magic: The Gathering commentator and former pro player Cedric Phillips suggests that the busted One Ring card should be restricted in Modern.

MTG One Ring bounty - Wizards of the Coast art of the One Ring

The One Ring has been a terror in the Modern format ever since it was printed. An incredible protection spell and source of card draw, it’s only become a more vital MTG card as time goes by, getting gradually pricier and pricier, to the point where one copy now costs well over $100. Former pro player and Magic commentator Cedric Phillips has offered a solution: make the card Restricted.

Modern doesn’t currently have a Restricted list like Vintage, which limits players to one copy of a card in their deck. Right now, it’s the MTG banlist or nothing. But in a tweet on Thursday, Philips suggested that Restricting the One Ring would be the best way to fix the problem.

They argue that right now “the outcome of games involving The One Ring is often just watching someone chain them together or hoping the person with it bricks off” and that restricting rather than banning the card would make for more interesting deckbuilding and gameplay moments as people try to make the most of or play around a single copy of the card.

MTG banlist - the MTG card The One Ring

Phillips points out that a restricted One Ring might be good from a secondary market perspective too, providing the best solution for the largest number of people. It’ll be good for people who can’t afford a full playset of the card, who won’t need to, and it’ll be better than banning the card for those who have splashed out – because the card won’t lose all of its value.

And finally, the former pro points out, it would be flavorful. “It’s quite literally in the name,” he writes.

Personally, I think a lot of these arguments hold water. But my concern with this solution is that you might be able to pull together a similar case for every problematic card that shows up in Modern. One copy of a broken card is always going to be less of a threat to a format than four, and create gameplay focused around combatting that single copy.

Restricting, rather than banning The One Ring, could set an unhealthy precedent that then gets used everytime Wizards is under pressure to ban something. I’m not keen on Modern becoming something close to a singleton format, and I think if cards are too strong, they should generally be banned. So if it were to happen, I’d want Wizards to communicate very clearly that this was a special case, a one-off.

However, this isn’t likely to come up, because it doesn’t seem likely that The One Ring will face a ban (or restriction) anytime soon. We just had the latest banlist update and the card wasn’t even mentioned.

It appears that its not even on the radar, unlike Nadu, the latest busted card in the format, which is so good that even the Pro Tour champion who won with it has said it should be banned.

For more Magic content, check out our MTG release schedule guide, and our list of all the MTG Arena codes that still operate.