Magic: The Gathering Announces More Surprise Bans

Magic: The Gathering on Monday announced another round of surprise card bans. While Wizards of the Coast did not reveal the impending ruling until Sunday after the end of the Magic 2020 Grand Finals, the rulings' contents should shock no one who watched that event. Wizards of the Coast banned Omnath, Locus of Creation in Standard, Historic, and Brawl play. Omnath, Locus of Creation appeared in 72% of decks in the Grand Finals. That's a more severe overrepresentation than Oko, Thief of Crowns saw before its banning. Though the Grand Finals event was Standard format, Omnath, Locus of Creation has proven powerful enough in Historic and Brawl to be banned from those formats as well.

Wizards of the Coast also banned Lucky Clover and Escape to the Wilds in Standard. Those two cards are crucial to generating the value and card advantage central to Adventure decks, which reached their peak with Omnath, Locus of Creation's release in Zendikar Rising.

Additionally, Wizards of the Coast banned the previously suspended Wilderness Reclamation and Teferi, Time Raveler from Historic play while restoring Burning-Tree Emissary's legality. Here's the full list of changes, which are effective today:

  • Standard:
    • Omnath, Locus of Creation is banned.
    • Lucky Clover is banned.
    • Escape to the Wilds is banned.
  • Historic:
    • Omnath, Locus of Creation is suspended.
    • Teferi, Time Raveler is banned.
    • Wilderness Reclamation is banned.
    • Burning-Tree Emissary is unsuspended.
  • Brawl:
    • Omnath, Locus of Creation is banned.

Explaining the decision behind these bans, designer Ian Duke writes, "The two most popular decks in the Standard metagame, Four-Color Ramp and Four-Color Adventures, both feature Omnath, Locus of Creation as a key component. While we did see a marked decline in the win rate of Four-Color Ramp after the banning of Uro, Titan of Nature's Wrath, particularly against red and green aggressive decks and Blue-Black Rogues, Omnath ramp decks continue to have a warping effect on the metagame. Moreover, Four-Color Adventures has become the deck with the highest overall win rate and has a favorable matchup against 9 out of 10 of the other top decks that don't play Omnath.

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"This metagame dominance manifested itself in players' deck choices for the Grand Finals. While it's common in a small-field invitational tournament for players to test together and converge on a few decks, in this case the field was a striking 23 Omnath decks out of a total of 32. To address the dominance of Omnath, Locus of Creation, it is banned in Standard."

Duke goes on to explain that the designers expect that Adventure decks would still dominate even without Omnath, Locus of Creation. To curb that, they removed Lucky Clover from play, but hope that the continued existence of Edgewall Innkeeper will mean that the archetype doesn't disappear entirely. Wizards of the Coast banned Escape to the Wilds to further curb the continued dominance of ramp decks.

The bans go into effect today in Magic: The Gathering tabletop play, Magic: The Gathering Arena, and Magic: The Gathering Online.