Banned and Restricted - August 3, 2020
Hello All! Another Emergency article coming in today! Wizards has just dropped a BOMBSHELL announcement today. Here's the link to the full announcement: https://magic.wizards.com/en/articles/archive/news/august-8-2020-banned-and-restricted-announcement
In the style of the previous announcement we'll cover each format and it's impact. Lets get started.
Wilderness Reclamation is Banned
Growth Spiral is Banned
Teferi, Time Raveler is Banned
Cauldron Familiar is Banned
WOW. Just WOW. I didn't see this coming. Neither did anyone here at TSJ. We all thought that since rotation is 6 weeks away, that the standard format was going to be the same Rec and Bant Ramp and Sac Decks until then. But I have to say, good on WotC for at least doing this now, making the last bit of standard bearable, and dare I say much healthier.
The only lasting impactful ban here is Cauldron Familiar. Since Wilderness Reclamation, Teferi and Growth Sprial are rotating out, Cauldron Familiar was positioned to take hold of the rotation. While yes Rakdos Sac and Jund Sac would lose a fair bit of cards from their lists, their core strategy remains in tact. Sure the decks change, but they still had the consistency of Cat Oven as a value engine, and in Jund's case, a multitude of ways to generate food. Well no more! With the Value engine of Cat Oven being dismantled, the deck loses even more power come rotation. I think that for the time being, the deck will still be somewhat playable, but come rotation I think it loses a little too much to retain its consistency, barring some new tools in Zendikar Rising.
Where does this leave standard? Well since these changes are effective immediately, this puts the standard format into a little bit of turmoil. I'm sure that there's decks that could be played now that couldn't before because they were prayed upon by Rec and Ramp, but If you're looking to make a successful climb to mythic this month in standard, or maybe playing in a tournament, I'd recommend going with either Mono Red, Mono Green or Mono Black as your decks of choice. Generally speaking, in a new format, aggro reigns king, as the consistency and speed of those decks is enough to break through the chaff easily. I expect the same here. There will be some sideboard changes to these decks for sure, but generally should be a good climb.
Inverter of Truth is Banned
Underworld Breach is Banned
Walking Ballista is Banned
Kethis, the Hidden Hand is Banned
REJOICE! As we covered in our last B&R article, the unbanning of Oath of Nissa was one that wasn't what players wanted. Players were really calling for bannings of the top decks in the format, it was a 100% combofest, and no one was enjoying playing this format. The top 3 decks at the time were all combo, and there was potential for a 4th to come up with Oath of Nissa's unbanning. Lo and behold, that's exactly what happened. Now we're in a much better place. With these bannings, the top 4 combo meta is now abolished, and we should see the format diversify again and become much healthier. This is very exciting because we have Pioneer masters coming to Arena soon, as well as Pioneer itself as a format! As for where the format goes, I'm not sure. Mono black aggro has been a main stay in the format for a while, so I expect that to be a powerful contender moving forward. We most likely will be seeing the return of Burn, Sultai Delirium, and Niv to Light as top contenders, which frankly is exciting. It feels like a very healthy and diverse top of the format, but not to mention that mono green stompy, spirits, there's so many different decks to look at in the format, I'm very excited for the future of Pioneer.
Wilderness Reclamation is Suspended
Teferi, Time Raveler is Suspended
This is the one I'm very excited for. Wizard's reasoning for making these bans now is because with Jumpstart's release, and Amonkhet Remastered coming out very soon, there's been a ton of strong decks emerge and they want to make sure that the format remains healthy, but they do have enough data and information to make these bans at this time.
Wilderness Reclamation is one of the cards that Wizards mentioned in their last B&R when they banned Nexus of Fate. They wanted to see if the format would become healthier with leaving Reclamation in, and taking out Nexus (which we knew wasn't going to be the case). Well it basically turned into standard. Temur Rec laid waste to the format. It was the standard list, with a couple card additions from Jumpstart, and better mana. It was being heralded as the best deck in the format once again by many, and it still wasn't any more fun to play against.
The same can be said for 3feri. The reasoning for it being banned in standard is the same as it being banned in Historic. It makes interaction worse, and is not fun to play against.
I'm incredibly excited for this format change, as now there's only 1 boggy man to worry about, and that is Goblins. I would have liked to have seen Muxus also get the axe here, but I think we'll have to wait another cycle or two before that happens. Expect to see a rise in UG Ramp or Sultai Ramp once again, in addition to goblins. Outside of that, the other decks that were good are still going to be good here too.
Teferi, Time Raveler is Banned
Well. I don't have much to say about brawl. Teferi can't catch a break, but I'm less enthused about this card being banned in Brawl. It does make the format less fun for sure, but as a singleton format, the odds of seeing the card are lower, but it's still not as fun when you do see it. Mind you this is only for Standard Brawl. I believe that Teferi is still unbanned in Historic Brawl.
Well, that was a shock. I barely even had time to digest the changes before starting to write about this. These changes are effective immediately so get in there and start playing some magic! Drop me a comment down below on your thoughts on this announcement, and what decks you're excited about seeing come up in the new short term standard, as well as other format!