That speaks more to the dearth of 2010's reprints than to the true functionality of the cards. Modern doesn't even get the hilarious Null Brooch + Ensnaring Bridge combo.As someone who rarely plays creatures with the intention to attack, let alone dedicated aggro decks, Ensnaring Bridge does seem a bit of an odd choice. It is one of the tournament appearing cards, along with Goryo's Vengeance, that sells for $40 dollars per card and the absence of which would reshape the Modern field to some extent if we could get Modern to start at 9th rather than 8th.
I've long been torn on Soul Spike. It seems like they deliberately designed the perfect card for Necropotence in the retro set for the block defined in part by Necropotence, which is inspired. But that also probably pushes Necropotence over the top, for my dreams of it ever being allowed unrestricted in any established format. But more to your point, I don't think that design space in the abstract is (or should be) a motivating factor for card bans. Sway of the Stars is one of those cards that is sufficiently cumbersome that if someone can make it work, I can respect that. I've said the same about Biorhythm and Coalition Victory on the Commander ban list: if someone actually pulls it off and isn't thwarted by anyone else at the table, bravo for that person and maybe the rest of the table should up their game.Cards like Soul Spike and Sway of the Stars, while not format impacting at the tournament level, would change the design space for the format in what I would vote to be a healthy way.
I consider that my reminder to get that Kaervek's Spite deck built already. Barren Glory is awesome.Cards like Commandeer and Sunscour I would genuinely miss though, in my casual world of dropping Barren Glory for the win.
Ponder and Preordain are are less extreme cases of the same problem posed by the cards in Legacy, alongside Brainstorm, although Brainstorm is far more egregious. It's a multifaceted problem that isn't intuitively obvious, and it probably only matters for highly competitive environments. Analysts in Vintage and Legacy have gone to great lengths in examining the nature and scope of the issue, and it gets unhelpful labels like "turbo xerox", "The Blue Shell", "blue stew", and "the cantrip cartel." A summarized, conservative description seems to be something like...On the off chance that Wizards does not move Modern start at 9th in the February 12th announcement , those advocating an Ancient Stirrings ban do seem to have a stronger argument from my point of view. I have played against the card some, and it never seemed a powerhouse, though in the much more competitive tournament scene it does seem to be the best and most efficient card finder in a lot of practical competitive scenarios. I think Ponder and Preordain are acceptable, so my views on the matter differ from WotC in the abstract, yet given the bannings of those types of cards in Blue, which theoretically has the best card advantage and finding outside Black, a similar ban for consistency on Ancient Stirrings in Green seems reasonable.