Slickshot-Show Off
17, Apr, 24

New Multi-Format MTG Menace Incites Calls for Early Bans

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Article at a Glance

Outlaws of Thunder Junction may not have officially launched just yet, but one thing is clear; the set is cracked. Containing multiple soon-to-be staples and countless great Commanders, this set truly has it all. If anything, Outlaws of Thunder Junction may even be a little bit too good, as some MTG players are predicting imminent bans already.

Now that Outlaws of Thunder Junction is available on Magic Online and MTG Arena, the format is quickly being solved. With thousands of Limited and constructed events firing, players are very swiftly learning the ins and outs of the format. While it’s technically still early days, this has led to a lot of early insights and future predictions.

One such prediction is that one of the set’s best new cards is already well on its way to getting banned!

Slickshot Show-Off

Slickshot Show-Off

From the moment it was revealed, we knew that Slickshot Show-Off would be one of the best MTG cards in this set. Boasting Haste and a Prowess-esque ability, this card was always destined to be a new aggressive staple. Expected to see Standard, Commander, Pioneer, and even Modern, Slickshot Show-Off really is a fantastic card.

Out of that shortlist of formats, Standard has often been handwaved away as a sure thing. Since Slickshot Show-Off is so strong, of course, it’s going to see Standard play. While technically true, this may be underselling Slickshot Show-Off quite a bit, as it’s already proving to be worryingly good.

After just a day, many MTG Arena players are already fed up with Slickshot Show-Off in Standard. Thanks to the buffs it receives, and its Plot ability, this card is worryingly consistent in the format. Slickshot Show-Off even enables turn three kills alongside Kumano Faces Kakkazan, Monestary Swiftspear, and two Monstrous Rages. 

While a Modern-paced win is obviously a scary prospect, this ideal curve is hardly going to win you every game. Despite this, Slickshot Show-Off still overperforms thanks to Plot. If you’re looking for the win, Plotting Slickshot, Demonic Ruckus, and Highway Robbery essentially keeps a win in your pocket.

Able to be cast for no cost down the line, Plot opens up mono-red decks to run mass removal Burn Down the House. On top of this, Plot essentially forces an opponent to hold removal lest they get deleted. This allows your other creatures to keep chipping in for damage, as your opponent is always holding back.

A Ban Worthy Bird?

Storm Crow

Considering Slickshot Show-Off has only been out for a single day, it’s unclear how much they’re warping the Standard metagame. As expected, a lot of players are running decks containing Slickshot right now, but they are the latest popular deck. Ultimately, we’ll have to wait until the dust settles to see how much Mono-Red has moved up the competitive order.

Despite this early abundance, some MTG players are already predicting that Slickshot Show-Off will get banned. Considering the card’s fantastic strength, there’s a non-zero chance of this actually happening. For better or worse, however, there’s no telling when this hypothetical ban might happen.

According to Wizards, the next ban window is scheduled to take place on May 13th, 2024. Considering the original aim of stamping out any new problematic cards, it’s technically possible Slickshot Show-Off could be banned here. Admittedly, while this is a possibility, we very much doubt that Slickshot Show-Off is only going to last one month in Standard.

Unless Slickshot Show-Off turns mono-red aggro decks into an almost inescapable force, it’s highly likely that nothing will be done. In Standard, mono-red aggro decks are nothing new and it won’t be the end of the world if the archetype is powerful. Sure, a turn-three kill in a format like Standard is problematic, but you do need to curve out perfectly.

If anything is going to happen to Standard, it’s more likely the MTG meta will warp, rather than bans be enforced. If Slickshot Show-Off is truly as good as players fear, the metagame may simply speed up a little to counteract it. Alternatively, many decks may become more controlling, focusing on eliminating early threats more effectively.

Excessively Early Predictions

Bristly Bill, Spine Sower

At the end of the day, it’s simply too early to know what’s going to happen right now. While Slickshot Show-Off may be proving its worth already, the Standard meta is hardly stable. Right now, there are still plenty of Outlaws of Thunder Junction cards waiting in the wings with format-warping potential.

Until a few more days or weeks pass, we don’t know if Slickshot Show-Off will truly be too good or not. Since we haven’t heard a peep from Tinybones, the Pickpocket and Bristly Bill, Spine Sower predictions seem too early. While arguably not as strong, these cards both have Standard potential, so we shouldn’t count them out yet.

Ultimately, it seems like Standard is in a very exciting place right now. With so many new cards to utilize and build around, the format should see a lot of creativity. Hopefully, all this experimentation will result in a more interesting format once the dust settles. Whether or not that will be the case, however, remains to be seen.

Read More: The Best Art From Outlaws of Thunder Junction

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