Banned and Restricted 10/12/2020
Updated: Oct 15
Hello All! Wizards of the Coast just dropped a BOMBSHELL of an B&R announcement today! After a very polarizing Grand Finals weekend tournament, Wizards felt that now is the time to take actions against some of the cards that the community has been calling for. This B&R hits a few different formats so we'll be taking a look at everything and implications going forward for each of the formats!
First off lets start with Standard:
Omnath, Locust of Creation is Banned
Lucky Clover is Banned
Escape to the Wilds is Banned
This is surprising but not that surprising. Omnath was a card that has been deemed far too strong since it's release a few weeks ago. The 4 Color Omnath decks were dominating the format and was the final straw for Uro getting banned. Despite this, the deck still saw a LOT of play, and it even took on a new form in 4 Color Adventures. This past weekend was the Grand Finals event and we saw around 73% of the field playing Omnath in some capacity. These are numbers rivalling Oko. Omnath, while a really awesome card, was one that was too pushed and needed to go.
Wizards also took action against Adventures by hitting one of their engine pieces in Lucky Clover. Being able to double up on adventure spells was very powerful and considering that the deck didn't lose anything in rotation and has many months to refine and improve the list, Wizards felt that it was going to be too powerful a deck to be left in the format with Omnath. While this ban does not kill the deck, it does bring the power level back into line with other decks.
The last card banned is Escape to the Wilds. This card was one that I didn't personally see coming, but it definitely makes sense with their logic. It's a card that is a really great bridge between early ramp and ramp pay offs, such as Genesis Ultimatum or Ugin, the Spirit Dragon. While Omnath was banned today, leaving something as powerful as Escape in the format would prove to be too much and it would definitely become dominant.
What does this mean for Standard? Well, the big bad boogie man decks have been abolished. This opens up a lot of potential for the format to spread its wings a bit. My prediction is that UB Rogues or Mill will be a contender for a viable strategy. The tools given to these decks are rather scary. They can be very fast, and have the ability to even steal threats out of the graveyard. On top of that, we don't have too much of a way to combat this type of strategy. We don't have an Elixir of Immortality to reshuffle cards back into our deck to stall out Mill. The only thing that we can do is find a strategy that abuses the Graveyard for value. The only deck at this point that comes to mind is some form of BR or Grixis control, featuring Kroxa. I also expect that we'll see Mono Red still be rather strong as well, as it's generally very strong with a rotation happens. This is really what the rotation should have looked like a few weeks ago, but this is the next best thing. Hopefully this is truly a resetting of the Standard power scale, and we should have a healthier format going forward.
The next format that was touched was Historic.
Omnath, Locust of Creation is Suspended
Teferi, Time Raveler is Banned
Wilderness Reclamation is Banned
Burning-Tree- Emissary is Unsuspended
Omnath not getting any love this patch at all. The format was seeing a TON of Omnath and Wizards decided it was not healthy for the meta share to be that shifted towards Omnath. Considering as well that the Ramp tools are even stronger than standard, they felt that it shouldn't be in the format. I agree with them in this regard, and hopefully the format will be a bit healthier from this change. It's not banned yet, but we'll see how the format shakes up afterwards. I fully expect it to be banned in a few months time.
Speaking of cards that are fully banned, Both Teferi, Time Raveler and Wilderness Reclamation have been banned in Historic. This is a good change, and overall the format has been much better since those cards have been suspended.
The last change that was made to Historic is a card that was put on the suspended list around the same time as the previous 2. Burning-Tree Emissary coming off suspension is really exciting! The power level of Historic has gone up since it was put on the suspended list, and BTE's return to the format should bring back one of the most consistently strong decks out there, Gruul Aggro. The Historic format is up in the air at this point, and with Kaladesh Remastered coming soon, it should even get crazier!
Lastly we have Standard Brawl
Omnath, Locust of Creation is Banned
I'm not the biggest Brawl player ever, but apparently Omnath was dominating. It's still going to be legal in Historic Brawl.
Let me know your thoughts on the Banned and Restricted Announcement today and where you think the formats are going to be going. What decks are you interested in for Standard and Historic? Make sure to follow for more content, head over and check out our YouTube Channel for videos and we'll see you in the next article!