Arran Sahota | 2nd October 2018
With the fast approach towards rotation, we’re going to see a lot of well-loved cards leave the Standard format. I thought we could look at the cards which were actually banned in Standard and whether they will die away like a lot of rotation cards. However, some of these cards are key in some Modern decks.
This was released in Kaladesh on September 2016 and then quickly banned later after dominating the pro tour and starting to warp the meta. At the time there were little ways to remove this 2 mana looter which could easily take down planeswalkers at ease and then letting you draw to discard. This quickly was banned on January 9th 2017 with Reflector Mage and Emrakul, the Promised End. Though this card didn’t disappear as creature decks in Modern picked it up for a bit, Merfolk had it in at one point, Eldrazi decks and Death & Taxes. This card is very powerful and can quickly change the game state and change how your hand looks within one turn. Turn 1 Aether Viel, Turn 2 Smugglers, sounds good right?
The cat combo…. this was a silly mistake which was very close to a combo in Modern called Splinter Twin which is banned as well. Aether Revolt got released just after the Smugglers Copter ban so this combo was walking around for a while but then it took over the pro tour. Having Energy to make mana easy to play a four colour deck with Attune with Aether and Aether Hub this deck was so easy to pull off. This was quickly spotted beforeAmonkhet pro tour and was banned. Though this didn’t just die here, the combo to this day is played in Modern in a Jeskai Control shell and having the combo to end the game, although this hasn’t put up results like Splinter Twin did.
As we approached the Amonkhet season with all these new cards, including Gods and Zombies we all thought these cards would make the difference… but nope! Kaladesh strikes again. Aetherworks Marvel combo, now that was a DUMB deck. Pro Tour Amonkhet had 4 Temur Aetherworks Marvel decks in the top 8, 3 Zombies and 1 Black-Green Energy. The deck was so powerful Aetherworks Marvel was getting to 6 energy no problem and it is all colourless so you can play it easily in any energy deck. Turn 1: Attune with Aether, Turn 2: Woodweaver’s Puzzleknot, Turn 3: Sacrifice Woodweaver’s Puzzleknot, Turn 4: Aetherworks Marvel comes down active looking at the top 6 and cast anything… we’re talking Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger… cast trigger – exile two lands, please. What was strange though was zombies still took the pro tour title, sometimes you just can’t beat fair magic. The card was banned on June 19, 2017. There has been one sitting in Modern playing this Combo and it was able to top 8 a PPTQ in Italy on 10 September 2017.
Attune with Aether, Rogue Refiner, and Ramunap Ruins
The last bannings for Standard were the start of this year and this would be the last time Kaladesh will have a hold over standard. Attune with Aether and Rogue Refiner were the two centrepieces of a deck all Temur Energy which took over the format, being the most popular deck which would end up seeing a lot of mirrors within the format. Seeing who could get the most energy to make either Longtusk Cub bigger or making Whirler Virtuoso billion Thopters before they can.
Then we had a land get banned; Ramunap Ruins. This was meant to be too strong and was ending games at an unfair advantage, being able to get the last bits of damage in. Ramunap Ruins see play in Modern Mono-red Prison decks and other red base decks.
Will this be the last mass banning we see in Standard? Or do we think Wizards will be more rushed with their card mechanics?