With very limited options, Field of the Dead decks produced incredibly grindy games. As a result, Arcum's Astrolabe has become one of the most played cards in Modern. This deck also runs multiple ways to accelerate to early casts of Nexus of Fate, and those options will only expand with the format. Following this weekend’s Mythic Championship, Wizards of the Coast has announced that the Standard powerhouse, Field of the Dead, has been banned. Since Field of the Dead is a land, it can be difficult for many archetypes to interact with, further limiting the metagame’s ability to adapt. As for Arcum’s Astrolabe, this artifact was banned due to its ability to easily smooth out the mana base of multi-color decks. After careful review of the metagame, we're choosing not to make any changes to Standard at this time. Expedition Map is banned. Magic Online Effective Date: July 13, 2020. This trend, in combination with community feedback, has prompted us to take a look at the role of Tron decks in the Pauper metagame. Despite that, we will be adhering to the general timeline it imposed, and any suspension will be resolved via unsuspending or banning the affected card(s) within roughly the same 2-3 month span. Though these suspensions, now bans, improved the metagame, the top end of Historic is still becoming too constricted. Over the last month, decks using Nexus of Fate have risen dramatically in terms of metagame share, and it is now Historic's most-played deck. Legacy forum Posted on Jan. 6, 2020, 12:54 p.m. by c h i c a g o b e a r z. Pick up your Oko, Thief of Crowns now before they skyrocket in price! While it is very powerful, we had hoped that Traditional Historic would be a place where it could remain a balanced option for its fans. Therefore, we're taking the step of banning Expedition Map in order to reduce the consistency and popularity of Tron decks in the metagame. Mystic Sanctuary is banned. Because we do not foresee a good opportunity to safely reintroduce Nexus of Fate to the format soon, Nexus of Fate is banned in Historic. The ban comes two weeks after the previous Banned and Restricted update, when many players expected bans to address Arcum’s Astrolabe and Ephemerate in Pauper. Both bans should, hopefully, expand the meta a bit more. Astrolabe Ban? 09/11/19 opinion. One final note on Historic suspensions: When we first introduced the mechanism in December, we emphasized the limited-time nature of suspension by linking it to the periodic availability of Ranked Historic. The cheap, colorless mana-fixing and card draw was too much for Pauper. The Magic community is coming together for our annual Magic Extra Life live stream charity event benefiting Seattle Children's Hospital. From both a long-term health and gameplay standpoint, we feel that Nexus of Fate is the better card to act on here. With last year's bans of Gush, Gitaxian Probe, and Daze in Pauper, I noted a potential concern in that the weakening of blue tempo decks could create a rise in the popularity of Tron decks. We currently have three cards suspended in Historic: Winota, Joiner of Forces; Agent of Treachery; and Fires of Invention. Announced today in a post on DailyMTG, the land’s banning comes as no surprise given how dominant it has been since its printing. This comes from the lack of options for dealing with lands in the format. In order to reduce the consistency of these decks, Oath of Nissa was added to the banned list early in the progression of Pioneer. "Arcum's Astrolabe is arguably the best card for Pauper in the entire set. Therefore, Arcum's Astrolabe is banned in Modern. Posted in News “[W]e’ve seen three-plus-color Skred decks pick up substantial metagame share [since the release of Modern Horizons], at times representing 15–20% of the field with a win rate greater than 55%,” Wizards said. We are also seeing a variety of lesser-played decks having success, which indicates that the metagame may continue to shift. We suspect that Mardu knights and Blue/Green Food decks will quickly rise to prominence. In addition, the release of new sets has added power to other archetypes and generally expanded possibilities for deckbuilding. Used across multiple deck archetypes, the artifact made up part of the three-color Skred decks that represented around 20% of the meta. Both cards were introduced into the format with the release of Modern Horizons this past June and combined to have a massive impact. While it has often been the most-played deck, the separation between it and the other top decks has widened significantly in the last month. We are otherwise generally happy with the shape of the metagame in Pioneer, with the most played decks each having strengths and weaknesses against each other. “Underneath this top layer of Arcum’s Astrolabe decks, we’ve seen healthy diversity within the Pauper metagame,” the said, “And we’re looking forward to continued support for the format as it evolves.”. Early in Pioneer's launch window, various green ramp decks were among the most popular and successful archetypes. Suspension is a temporary measure to ensure that balance changes are playing out well, and it will not be used for any long-term action. (Players will be receiving Wildcards as normal for these bans, per the policy announced earlier.). MTG Ban Update Hits Field of the Dead & Arcum’s Astrolabe, Copyright © 2020 Heavy, Inc. All rights reserved. In addition, Arcum's Astrolabe leads to other synergy by virtue of being a cheap artifact permanent, and it can be blinked or recurred for card advantage. Now that Ranked Historic is always available, that no longer works as a good boundary marker. The list of all banned and restricted cards, by format, is here. Each of these are also cards that will tend to get more problematic as the format grows in breadth and power, either as key ways to easily access very powerful effects, or as one of those powerful top-end pieces. RUG Delver is like 3-4/8 of every top 8. Wizards of the Coast has banned Arcum’s Astrolabe in Pauper. Posted in News It makes no sense to ban Astrolabe right now. The other deck that has long been a powerhouse in Historic is Gruul Aggro. We will always act more quickly when we feel the data is clear, but this will act as an outer bound. Here is what WotC said about why they decided to ban this land from Standard: Beyond just the strength of the strategy, Field of the Dead presents a number of other problems for the metagame. Core Set 2021 has brought a variety of new tools, and generally we're seeing steady motion in the metagame leading up to the Players Tour Finals. I get why people are fundamentally opposed to its existence (I kind of still am because it forces snow basics, which is just terrible for a TCG bc it removes player choice). While this held true for a long time, with the deck showing strong but within-bounds play and win rates, it has now risen to a level where it is starving out other options and warping the format around itself. And, like them, we do not feel that it is likely that the meta will soon reach a place where sufficient answers exist to make this deck a balanced, fun option for players. For this reason, Burning-Tree Emissary is suspended in Historic. As with all suspensions, we have been carefully watching how the changes affected the Historic meta, and our data is showing it to distinct improvements with those cards removed. Browse through cards from Magic's entire history. Wild speculation, GO!! This was specifically apparent in the Flicker/Skred archetype, which also relies on Ephemerate. We saw this throughout the weekend during the Mythic Championship, as the Golos land decks proved to be especially powerful. “To some degree, the metagame has shifted toward selecting for the best Arcum’s Astrolabe deck,” Wizards concluded. Don’t miss our coverage of the banning of Field of the Dead from Standard, which occurred in the same Banned and Restricted announcement. Those decks include Tron, Boros Monarch and Bully, and Affinity. After considering the deck and the surrounding meta, we feel like the best card to act on here is Burning-Tree Emissary. Gruul and Nexus are each now played more than three times as much as their closest competition in best-of-three, and Gruul has one of the highest win rates in both best-of-three and best-of-one. The list of all banned and restricted cards, by format, is here. Wizards has been a proud partner of Extra Life si... © 1993-2020 Wizards of the Coast LLC, a subsidiary of Hasbro, Inc. All Rights Reserved. The repetitive, on-board nature of its effect can cause games to frequently play out in a similar, deterministic way. While it can be a good thing for metagame diversity to have an archetype that plays differently from many other strategies, we are seeing some negative effects in terms of repetitive game play, recursive play patterns and lock states. The metagame is now in a place where we feel that unbanning Oath of Nissa is a reasonable step to take as far as adding some power back to Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx ramp decks and other archetypes that revolve around key creatures, lands, or planeswalkers. MTG Arena effective date: July 16, 2020. While we have generally acted to first suspend cards in Historic to test the impact, this is not a hard rule. on July 13, 2020. While we agree with concerns that Growth Spiral ramp decks, in aggregate, have recently represented a larger than ideal portion of the metagame, we do see different archetypes within that larger category behaving differently in terms of strengths, weaknesses and roles in the metagame. However, Wizards of the Coast explain that the choice to ban this card was not based on its performance during this weekend’s tournament. “As many decks would adopt Arcum’s Astrolabe purely for color fixing anyway,” Wizards said, “It becomes ‘free’ to gain additional value from it being a cheap artifact and card-advantage engine.”. Over the past several months of Modern's metagame, we have seen a rise in popularity and win rate of multicolor decks using Arcum's Astrolabe, with some variants approaching 55% non-mirror match win rate. Because of the nature of the Pauper card pool, reliable multicolor mana bases have historically been a challenge for many decks. Because we feel the data shows a positive impact from the current suspensions, and because it is unlikely to be safe to reintroduce these cards to Historic anytime soon, Winota, Joiner of Forces; Agent of Treachery; and Fires of Invention are banned in Historic. Arcum’s Astrolabe greatly changed this dynamic, as the clear, easiest, and strongest choice for color fixing. MTG Ban Update Hits Field of the Dead & Arcum’s Astrolabe. Powered by. ... Arcum’s Astrolabe greatly changed this dynamic, as the clear, easiest, and strongest choice for color fixing. To some degree, the metagame has shifted toward selecting for the best Arcum’s Astrolabe deck. While the explosive starts it enables are a factor in the deck's rise, its removal should leave the deck with ample power to remain competitive, just at a more balanced level with other aggressive options. In short, Arcum's Astrolabe adds too much to these decks for too little cost, resulting in win rates that are unhealthy and unsustainable for the metagame. Corey Baumeister tries out Azorius Stoneblade in Modern after the banning of Arcum's Astrolabe. Matches would often end up in draws for paper players since they would run out of time before someone defeated another player. Both cards were introduced into the format with the release of Modern Horizons this past June and combined to have a massive impact. While these decks have taken on several different forms, their common game plan is using Arcum's Astrolabe to play powerful cards across several colors. Our intent is that this combination of bans should considerably reduce the speed and consistency with which Tron decks assemble their mana engine and eventual loop or lock states, as well as reducing the amount of repetitive game play coming from various blue-based tempo decks. Unlike Nexus of Fate, we do see a strong possibility that the Historic meta could shift in a way that allows Burning-Tree Emissary to find a balanced, fun home. Arcum’s Astrolabe and Ephemerate Remain Legal in Pauper. With signs of the metagame shifting away from ramp in recent weeks, the release of Core Set 2021, and Standard with rotation coming in the fall, we've decided to allow the metagame to continue its natural evolution. Search for the perfect addition to your deck. As many decks would adopt Arcum’s Astrolabe purely for color fixing anyway, it becomes “free” to gain additional value from it being a cheap artifact and card-advantage engine. While there's nothing intrinsically bad about multicolor “good stuff” decks having a place in the metagame, their power and flexibility is usually counterbalanced by making concessions in their mana bases, often through lands that enter the battlefield tapped, cost life, or involve some other deckbuilding restriction. Wizards of the Coast is proud to be raising funds for Extra Life, benefiting Seattle Children's Hospital—and you can help! Players Tour Online 3 and 4 saw the overall win rates and day 2 conversion rates of the most played decks, Bant Ramp and Temur Reclamation, come down to healthier levels. José. For Pauper, the Arcum's Astrolabe ban is a solid and welcome addition to a format that doesn't get as much play but was getting unnecessarily warped around the powerful one mana artifact, and should give deck builders a lot of breathing room. Shortly after the suspension of Winota, Joiner of Forces, the top 2 decks comprised roughly 15% of best-of-three play, showing a healthy, diverse spread of decks. The ban comes two weeks after the previous Banned and Restricted update, when many players expected bans to address Arcum’s Astrolabe and Ephemerate in Pauper. Being able to create a constant stream of Zombie Tokens, allowed players to quickly take over the board. We’ve observed a marked increase in matches going to time in tabletop tournaments and in average game length in digital play. Could Arcum's Astrolabe get a ban in legacy? However, as the meta stands today, the power it brings to Gruul Aggro is overall reducing the number of balanced, interesting, and varied deck options in format. Commander Legends releases on November 20, 2020. Nexus of Fate is a card we have been watching closely for a long time in Historic. As a card that's likely to continue causing problems down the road, we're choosing also to ban Mystic Sanctuary in Pauper. Apart of the two best Standard decks – both before and after the fall rotation – Field of the Dead was a devastatingly potent land. Make sure to follow me on Twitter for more news on games, MTG, entertainment, and more. Pauper. We are keeping an eye on the populations of combo decks in the environment, although the perception that combo decks have dominant win rates isn't backed up Magic Online play data. We're aware of concerns among the Legacy community on this point but want to be consistent with our philosophy of only resorting to bans when a card or deck reaches problematic win rates that can't be solved by natural metagame forces. While Wilderness Reclamation is a powerful card, we are not seeing it appear in problematic decks in Historic aside from this one. Arcum's Astrolabe makes this tradeoff come at too low of a cost, as one Arcum's Astrolabe can often mean excellent mana for the rest of the game, without costing a card. In the weeks following we've seen other archetypes rise in popularity and win rate, including Mono Green Aggro, Rakdos Sacrifice, Mono Black Aggro, RW “Pawblade”, Simic Flash, and others. The two main cards enabling this deck are Wilderness Reclamation and Nexus of Fate itself. Now the top two decks are roughly 35%, and the rate of concentration is increasing. See cards from the most recent sets and discover what players just like you are saying about them. Arcum's Astrolabe is banned. A one-mana Prophetic Prism is deceptively strong, especially in decks that can abuse it. “Arcum’s Astrolabe not only gives these decks a smoother multicolor mana base, but also combines with Kor Skyfisher, Trinket Mage, Ephemerate, and other enters-the-battlefield effects to grind out opponents with card advantage and efficient one-for-one removal.”, Wizards believe that removing Arcum’s Astrolabe from Pauper will dramatically improve the format. Second, multiple archetypes have recently adopted Mystic Sanctuary as another means of creating repetitive loop or lockout states. Gatherer is the Magic Card Database. Tabletop Effective Date: July 13, 2020. Since the launch of Pioneer late last year, we've seen significant changes in the metagame. Sign up for the Hipsters Newsletter for weekly updates. 8 v o m i t says... #2. While we didn't immediately see a problematic metagame shift in the direction, Tron decks have remained steadily popular and strong, sometimes nearing 25% of the field among top finishing decks in Magic Online Pauper tournaments. We're keeping an eye on Arcum's Astrolabe in Legacy for similar reasons, although at present the play rates and win rates of Arcum's Astrolabe decks don't warrant action. Finally, Wilderness Reclamation acts primarily to give players access to a wider array of lines of play, while Nexus of Fate acts to prevent the opponent from playing at all. The Livestream I did yesterday made me reflect on both Arcum's Astrolabe and Ephemerate. Wizards of the Coast has banned Arcum’s Astrolabe in Pauper.. Additionally, Arcum’s Astrolabe has be banned in Pauper which is no surprise if you’re a fan of this growing format. Should we ban Arcum's Astrolabe or Ephemerate in Pauper? The Card Image Gallery is updated every day with the latest card previews. Nexus of Fate is much like the cards discussed above, where its power will only grow as the Historic cardpool expands. It's that time of year again! on July 13, 2020, Agent of Treachery is banned (from suspended), Winota, Joiner of Forces is banned (from suspended), Fires of Invention is banned (from suspended), Magic Online Effective Date: July 13, 2020. Arcum’s Astrolabe became a problem in Pauper because it broke one of the foundational limitations of the format: the nature of the Pauper card pool, which is restricted to commons, makes building reliable multicolor mana bases extremely difficult. These bannings will go into effect on October 21 for Magic Online, October 24 for MTG Arena, and October 25 for paper players. Combining this with its high win rate caused WotC to outright ban the card in Pauper. This puts pressure on other decks to be able to deal with such game states or else race the Tron decks, and generally restricts viable deckbuilding space. Finally, the long-term advantage Field of the Dead provides often leads to prolonged games. Since that time, other cards used by green ramp decks have been banned, including Once Upon a Time, Veil of Summer and Oko, Thief of Crowns. This is, however, somewhat harder to evaluate because of where Prophetic Prism traditionally fits. If you're looking for bans to change Legacy, I think Dreadhorde Arcanist is the target. While decks often only play a couple copies of Mystic Sanctuary, it is proving to be another key contributor of negative pressure on the metagame by enabling end game loops.
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