wrenn and six
7, Oct, 22

MTG Players Discover Looming Ban Announcement?

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Article at a Glance

It seems like we’re getting to the point where Wizards of the Coast’s more exciting announcements need announcing. Well, MTG Twitter is currently ablaze with speculation as to what cards will be banned in what seems to be a new ban announcement coming next week! The overall consensus is that we’ll be seeing this on Monday, and players have gone rampant with speculation about what will be banned! Here are the details and some speculation from our side!

Monday Ban Announcement?

MTG Twitter user Fireshoes opened up a discussion with a picture suggesting that a ban announcement is on the way for Monday. While the image itself doesn’t have a lot of detail, this is a familiar hint from the MTG website that there will be a ban to come shortly. That said, sometimes predictions with this as the warning have been inaccurate, so there is a chance that nothing’s coming. It is more likely, however, that we will have some sort of ban announcement, even if it’s just to say that nothing is changing.

Regardless of the truth, this conversation has opened up the MTG community to a ton of speculation. It has become exceedingly clear that the community is excited at the prospect of a new set of bans. As usual, however, the MTG community cannot agree on what should be banned… in any format. Some cards have risen from amongst the hordes as being generally problematic, and we will be sure to mention those in the quick breakdown of prediction for each format. Of course, we will be throwing our own predictions in the ring too!

Standard – No Changes

Most of the community identifies that black is a bit too good in this format. That said, it’s likely not something that a few bans will change. Standard is a grindy slog of midrange decks at the moment, and while a few cards stick out, banning them is unlikely to change the metagame much. Midrange decks aren’t super prevalent because they have much stronger tools than other strategies but because other strategies don’t have strong tools to utilize. Aggressive archetypes have a lot of cards to work with, but there isn’t really anything substantial to close the game out with, like Embercleave. Control, on the other hand, still has a good chance of being dominant. The format is still fresh, however, and Control generally needs time to set up strategies to deal with known opponents to work.

invoke despair

In line with Black’s identity in Standard, Invoke Despair is a pretty common prediction for a Standard ban. The Meathook Massacre, Sheoldred, and Fable of the Mirror-Breaker were other cards recommended repetitively.

Pioneer – Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx?

There are a lot of MTG players throwing around some Pioneer cards to see the ban hammer. Mono Green Devotion and Rakdos seem to be the dominant forces in the format but have not been performing up to expectations in recent tournaments. While I personally would not be surprised to see no changes in this format either, I think banning Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx would be healthy for the format.

nykthos, shrine to nyx

There are no particular strategies that Pioneer is being forced to warp around, but Mono Green Devotion generally requires the most specialized tools to answer. Green is a fantastic deck that can be combated, but it also pushes a lot of would-be strategies out of the format. This deck is incredibly polarizing, which significantly restricts a lot of room when building a deck to play in the format. Lotus Field is another deck that has a sort of polarizing effect, but the community seems to agree that Lotus Field is not a deck that needs to be worried about.

greasefang, okiba boss

It has also become increasingly clear that Pioneer players are fed up with Abzan Greasefang. This midrange-combo deck is primarily interested in using Greasefang, Okiba Boss to cheat out a Parhelion II from the graveyard but can play a mediocre midrange game outside of that.

The Greasefang combo can push 13 damage as early as turn three (turn two is possible but incredibly unlikely). Since Parhelion II will leave two Angel tokens behind, it is incredibly difficult to come back after the combo has been pulled off. While I am not sure if something should get banned from this, a lot of the community is sick of losing to non-games.

As a slight aside, some of this pushback is probably coming from Explorer players as well. Greasefang is a much bigger problem in MTG Arena’s Pioneer-lite format than in the real thing. Since bans between formats are mirrored, as seen when Expressive Iteration and Winota, Joiner of Forces were banned, any Greasefang bans should also affect Explorer.

Modern – Grinding Station/Underworld Breach/Expressive Iteration (But probably Wrenn and Six)

Of all the ban predictions seen in these threads, Modern was the least succinct of all of them. There are a ton of incredibly powerful cards available in the format and everyone wants to see something different go. While I would love to see Yawgmoth, Thran Physician bite the dust, I do not think banning it is necessary (and honestly do not think it should be banned). While the most commonly called-for cards are not ones we are predicting, there seem to be two camps of players predicting two different bans.

underworld breach

The Grinding Station/Breach Modern archetype has become incredibly dominant in the North American scene. The deck seems to be taking down almost every relevant tournament lately. I really hope this doesn’t come to pass since I currently own the Breach deck in paper, but I would not be surprised if something from this deck gets banned.

Underworld Breach currently fuels a few tier 2-3 strategies in the format. While it would make more sense to ban this archetype’s namesake, I think it is more likely for Wizards to ban Grinding Station. This card would break up the current combo creating the Breach deck, and will not ruin the other Modern decks that are using it as an engine. That said, most of the community thinks Modern is relatively healthy and would be surprised to see a Breach card get banned. I hope they are right.

The likelier card to be banned from this deck is Expressive Iteration. This card recently saw a Pioneer ban for enabling Izzet strategies too much. Like Underworld Breach, however, Expressive Iteration would negatively impact a huge portion of the Modern format.

As eloquently put by the discussion’s starter, one of the dominant archetypes in Modern right now is Four-Color Omnath control. This archetype doesn’t have a strong win plan and therefore drags games out to a ridiculous degree. Modern, for the most part, is an incredibly healthy format. This is reflected by the number of decks that you can play with solid success. That said, Sensei’s Divining Top is a card historically banned in Modern for making games go too long. As a result, something out of the four-color control shell may be banned. The community’s current consensus is that the most likely candidates are either Omnath, Locus of Creation, or Wrenn and Six.

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Legacy – Delver Needs to be Dealt With


Of all the formats we’ve discussed so far, Legacy is the one that clearly needs some bannings. In this format, Izzet Delver is an archetype as old as time, but it has been incredibly dominant since the last Legacy banning. It’s gotten to the point that the players winning Legacy tournaments with Delver are vocally exclaiming that the deck is a problem and needs to be nerfed in some way. While I have no idea what needs to be banned, and Legacy players list half of the deck’s cards as things that need to go, I would assume that Daze is a strong candidate.

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Pauper – More Initiative Cards?

A few weeks back, Pauper saw an emergency ban because the Initiative mechanic from Baldur’s Gate proved to be too much for the format. They didn’t ban every Initiative enabling card in the format, but they warned that if it remained strong, these cards would be quick to see the hammer. Judging from recent Pauper results from mtgtop8, Initiative is no longer a big problem. As a result, Pauper will probably not be affected for the time being.

What do You Think?

As we speak, more and more ban predictions are making their way onto MTG’s social media. It seems that the most common consensus is that Green in Pioneer is going to see something banned, a lot of people are expecting Wrenn and Six in Modern, and Legacy is going to get gutted. Whatever ends up happening, hopefully, these bans will open up more archetypes for various formats!

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