Eye of Ugin was banned in Modern this week!
… Ancestral Vision and Sword of the Meek were un-banned!
The macro storyline here is this: The Eldrazi deck in Modern was too good. It was the best on a number of dimensions, but most folks looking in would identify a deck full of Sol Rings pumping out de facto undercosted threats. Something was going to give (and almost certainly from the mana front).
So the jig was going to be up one way or another. The only question was whether Eldrazi Temple was going to be banned, or the Eye.
Patrick makes a great case that Eye of Ugin was the “right” ban. While both Eldrazi Temple and our card at hand make for “Mox” mana draws for the Eldrazi, Eye of Ugin contributed to non-competitive games from both sides. The obvious one is any game where an Eldrazi player gets say three Eldrazi Mimics in his opening hand with Eye of Ugin… It’s just a ton of free mana on the first turn that can turn into an immediate kill.
… But what about from the other side?
It is also a Legendary Land. The power level of Eye of Ugin makes Eldrazi players want to play lots of copies of this card. So what happens when you only draw Eye of Ugins? Gross, right? Double-edged sword, sure… But if one of the two lands was going to get banned, Eye of Ugin is a good choice because it leads to bad play experiences for both Eldrazi decks’ opponents… And the Eldrazi players themselves (at least sometimes).
Plus: Eye of Ugin creates an Inevitable end game that is simply not desirable for a card that is also a Sol Ring.
The banning of Eye of Ugin did not happen in isolation.
In addition both Sword of the Meek and Ancestral Vision were un-banned. This podcast features lengthy discussions of both cards, their performance in older formats, and a ton of potential brewing ideas.
All this and a “read the card” moment that (hopefully) an official Top Level Podcast fact checker would have caught. Can you find it? Maybe you* can be the official Top Level Podcast fact checker!
All this and Lodestone Golem in “Why Eye of Ugin was Banned”
* Just kidding. This is not a real position.