Since the first release made under the new ownership, each new set of cards has required some balance changes. Since that process takes some time, we often have banned a particular card or card combination using the ban tools available in the system. We do this because we can make the changes instantly without having to make a new release and going through the process. In the past, and indeed with the latest ban of Southern Monk, it has only been used to temporarily suspend the use of an overly OP card while we work on a balance change.

However, these tools could also be used to "shake up the meta" or to simply "tell a story" rather than just to correct balance. Other CCGs use rotation to do this. I am not a fan of rotation personally, but I am a huge fan of variety. So, in the future, don't be alarmed when you see periodic bans of single cards. It will not necessarily mean there is a nerf coming. It could very well be that there are other cool cards that the card in question is preventing from getting play, or to manipulate the meta to line up with the story being developed. Such plot-only related bans will be short lived and will be clearly marked as plot devices. In such cases, your cards will be back in full swing in weeks not months, but may lead to other cards being added of buffed in the next client update.

Jonathan Bjork
Shadow Era TCG