This update to the banned and restricted lists featured a few significant changes to Pioneer and Modern format. The new updates included the following moves:
- Karn, the Great Creator and Geological Appraiser were banned in the Pioneer format.
- Smuggler's Copter was unbanned in the Pioneer format.
- Fury and Up the Beanstalk were both banned in the Modern format.
- Monastery Swiftspear was banned in the Pauper format.
The two cards banned in Pioneer were of no shock what-so-ever to anyone currently playing the format. Karn, the Great Creator was a metagame breaking card that allowed players to search their sideboards for answers to threats and win via combo strategies. Geological Appraiser was clear mistake from the very first day The Lost Caverns of Ixalan was legal in Pioneer. The card basically allowed players to win the game on turn three fairly consistently through a Discover combo.
However, the unbanning of Smuggler's Copter was a bit of a surprise. This card was among the first cards banned in Pioneer (see "Pioneer Format Bannings"), and now, it's back. WotC staff believes the Pioneer format has evolved enough that it can absorb the impact of this powerful vehicle card.
The Modern bannings were a long-time coming. Fury has been the oppressive force behind Rakdos Scam decks for quite a while, and needed to go so that certain creature decks could be competitive in the format. Up the Beanstalk was just a mistake, where designers clearly hadn't factored Fury and Solitude into their decision to allow this card to be legal in Modern. Up the Beanstalk essentially negated the drawback to the Evoke cost on these cards by allowing the player to draw a card upon evoking these creatures. Up the Beanstalk was too good in Omnath decks, and now it is banned.