I don’t know about you, but we’re pretty fed up with Throne of Eldraine‘s influence in Standard.
We have seen a total of five Throne of Eldraine cards banned in Standard during the lifespan of the set. Fires of Invention, Once Upon a Time, Lucky Clover, Oko, Thief of Crowns and, [/tooltips]Escape to the Wilds[/tooltips] all bit the dust. Yet, the influence of the set continues to plague Standard as we know it.
It’s been a long sixteen months of Throne of Eldraine and honestly, it’s overstayed its welcome.
The Problem With Throne of Eldraine
With Bonecrusher Giant and Edgewalker Innkeeper seeing play, it’s difficult for new sets such as Strixhaven: School of Mages and Adventure in the Forgotten Realms to provide any impact as the disparity in power is obvious. Naturally, you want to keep playing with the powerful cards as they offer the best chance of winning. The same goes for Kaldheim which is a lower-powered set (outside of Tibalt’s Trickery that is just being undermined by the design woes of 2019.
Did I mention how ridiculous Questing Beast is, too? I swear the text on the card changes every time someone reads it.
Even the uncommon cards from Throne of Eldraine such as Drown in the Loch and Mystical Dispute continue to hinge Standard in an unfavorable way. It supports Dimir Rogues massively, which is one of the most frustrating decks to play against on MTG Arena. There’s no end to the impact Throne of Eldraine has on Standard, bleeding into formats such as Modern and Pioneer which also had to manage the power level with bans.
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But, there are positives to couple the negatives. The Adventure mechanic is one of the best and thought-out mechanics in some time. It gives you the ability to play a spell, then cast that spell as a creature at a later stage. It allows you to get the most out of your mana depending on the situation. However, it’s the power of these Adventure cards that are an issue, in particular, Bonecrusher Giant.
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One card that is half removal spell, half large blocker is a beating to fight through for aggressive decks. It invalidates two turns worth of mana in the early game. Not to mention, the ability on the creature half can be relevant too. Overall, it does far too much for the mana value and would improve Standard if it saw a ban. There are great examples of the Adventure mechanic such as Beanstalk Giant and Giant Killer, but Bonecrusher Giant is cut above the rest.
A Standard format without Throne of Eldraine would allow players to get back into Standard, which is supposed to be the best way for players to enter the game. Even with MTG Arena in mind, no one wants to lose to the same few cards again and again.
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When is Standard Rotation?
With the release of Innistrad Midnight Haunt releases this September, Standard rotation will come into effect. Leaving Standard will be Throne of Eldraine, Theros Beyond Death, Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths, and Core Set 2021. And honestly, rotation cannot come soon enough.
We can leave the mistakes of Theros Beyond Death and Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths behind too, which plagued MTG with Uro, Titan of Nature’s Wrath, and the Companion mechanic compounding things further. It will be a fresh reset on a format that has struggled to be anything but Throne of Eldraine block constructed, and it will bring more players into Standard.
It’ll be exciting to see Strixhaven: School of Mages and Kaldheim have a defined role in Standard without the ghosts of Throne of Eldraine looming over them. Until then, we’ve got a couple more months of Bonecrusher Giant and Edgewall Innkeeper to deal with, then Standard can cultivate into something for newer players to appreciate.
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