Formerly MTG’s flagship format, in recent years, Standard has been seriously struggling. Growing stale thanks to overpowered, but not necessarily broken cards, while prices soared, the format lost its luster. With many players happily switching to Commander, this didn’t seem like the end of the world. Thankfully for Standard MTG fans, however, Wizards is now on a quest to save the format with reworks and bans.
To do this, Wizards of the Coast is implementing several sweeping changes. One of which is an overhaul to the way that bans work. As announced in a recent Weekly MTG stream, bans will now be a predetermined yearly occurrence. Alongside this, shorter ban windows will exist three weeks after a new set’s release, just in case. Through this new model of bans, Wizards hopes to provide more consistency to players in the long term.
In the short term, however, this idea unfortunately isn’t as useful as some players had hoped. Thankfully, however, all hope is not lost, as Wizards is pushing a Standard specific ban next week. Taking place on the 29th of May, this ban has many players excited, as the format seriously needs a shake-up. As you can imagine, Wizards of the Coast have been frustratingly and typically tight-lipped about what’ll be banned. That was, at least, until recently, at least, as many expect that a new Daily Deal may have just leaked some of the soon-to-be-banned cards.
Dubious Daily Deals
Typically, on any given day, the Daily Deals on MTG Arena aren’t all too much to write home about. The best that players can usually expect is a small pile of free gems and gold or a discounted pack. Alongside these rare and generous deals, there are always plenty of cosmetic card styles to purchase at slightly discounted prices.
Today’s deal is thankfully one of the generous former options, with 505 free gold up for grabs. While this is certainly nice, unusually, this isn’t the Daily Deal’s more intriguing offer. That honor instead falls to a pair of cosmetics for Reckoner Bankbuster and Fable of the Mirror-Breaker.
At the very surface level, these are just nice cosmetics to see in the shop as they’re highly played cards. Looking a little bit deeper, however, many players presumed this was typical Wizards teasing. MTG personality Fireshoes, for instance, joked on Twitter that this Daily Deal practically confirmed the upcoming bans. “Looks like Bankbuster and Fable are the bans! PS Stonks!”
While many players were quick to make this amusing remark across social media, it soon appeared to be a lot more viable. A few short hours after the Daily Deal went live, Reckoner Bankbuster and Fable of the Mirror-Breaker were removed from the lineup. More so than these cards just being Daily Deals, this move suddenly raised a lot of eyebrows.
While we can’t deny that this is an interestingly obvious choice from Wizards, technically, there’s no guarantee these cards will be banned. Considering they are some of the most prevalent and problematic in the Standard format, however, it wouldn’t be a surprise. Subsequently, many MTG players on social media were quick to make this suggestion.
“Fable and Bankbuster on sale? All but confirmed banned”Novas73
“Fable and Bankbuster have been removed from my daily deals. anyone else. If this is the case, RIP Fable and Nankuster heavy standard Rakdos decks.”u/StencilHobo
“What is this? ‘Soon-to-be-banned deals?’”u/Dryblas
At the end of the day, there’s no telling exactly what will be banned come May 29th. It’s possible, for instance, Wizards will elect to only ban one card. Alternatively, Wizards could ban every land that was due to rotate out in September. Ultimately, unless a massive leak happens, there’s no telling what’s on the chopping block… Oh… A massive leak has happened.
Posted on Reddit by u/Sea-Mushroom-9180, it has been claimed that the upcoming ban list has been leaked. This leak was supposedly obtained by datamining the banned and restricted website. According to Sea-Mushroom-9180, the website “always gets scraped for info 7 days early, it’s happened like 5 times now.”
As a result of this data mining, Sea-Mushroom-9180 claimed to have the entire list of what’ll be banned on the 29th. While this is obviously very exciting, it’s important to maintain some skepticism. This is, after all, a leak. More so than normal, ban ‘leaks’ have a history of being fake. Subsequently, do not take this as a 100% fact. Also, if you’d want to hear about the bans from Wizards firsthand, consider this your spoiler warning.
*Author from the future here! On today’s DailyMTG, host Blake Rasmussen has stated that the ‘leaked’ ban list that surfaced on Reddit this morning is fake.
“Its so fake. It looks like it was written by a decent AI generator, but it is not real. When people say they can scrape the site for B&R announcements, its not really true. We don’t leave text of the announcements on any sort of public server this far in advance. Even if you could get to it, its just, its not real. So, no, the leaks are not true.”
Blake Rasmussen 4:50 into the video
Either way, this fake ban leak roused the entire MTG community into the early hours of the day, and many do wish that this fake ban announcement was the real deal.
To get right into the ‘leak’, according to Sea-Mushroom-9180, eight cards will be banned from Standard on May 29th. All but two of these cards were due to rotate out soon before Wizards changed Standard to a three-year rotation. As you can see from the list below, the bans affect a number of MTG decks, not just the menace of Rakdos midrange. Subsequently, Standard should be in for quite the shake-up.
Here are the Standard cards supposedly being banned on May 29th
- Atraxa, Grand Unifier
- Fable of the Mirror-Breaker
- Invoke Despair
- Plaza of Heroes
- Raffine, Scheming Seer
- Reckoner Bankbuster
- The Wandering Emperor
- Wedding Announcement
A Faulty Fix?
Considering these ‘bans’ haven’t even happened yet, it’s obviously a little hard to judge whether or not this move would fix Standard. If these bans are true, the format will certainly be in for one hell of a shake-up, with new decks and strategies emerging. That’s the hope, at least, as otherwise, all this will seem like quite a waste.
If Standard is shaken up into having an interesting, diverse, and balanced metagame, this change will have obviously been fantastic. Unfortunately, however, even if this happens, all of Standard’s woes won’t be cured. At the end of the day, the format is still prohibitively expensive. Thankfully, the three-year rotation should help with this but that is not a cure-all fix.
Ultimately, Standard has a long road ahead of it, if it ever wants to return to its former glory. Hopefully, with the right help from Wizards of the Coast, that won’t be an impossibility.
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