Standard has been noticeably unbalanced for the past month. Golos decks featuring Field of the Dead have been dominating the meta, all up until the latest Mythic Championship. In light of this, Magic: The Gathering decided to move up its Banned and Restricted Announcement / banlist announcement to Oct. 21. Now, the banlist is finally here, with two cards gone from their respective formats: Field of the Dead from Standard and Arcum’s Astrolabe from Pauper.
Everybody saw this one coming for the Banned and Restricted Announcement. Field of the Dead creates a nearly unstoppable game plan for any deck willing to ramp a little bit. A zombie for every single land you play means no card you draw is ever truly dead and makes you nearly invulnerable to board wipes. The card was dominating Standard, so it’s no surprise it got the hammer.
However, it should be noted that the dominating deck of the last Mythic Championship, Bant Food, received absolutely no hits. The deck had a 70%+ win rate at the event, with cards like Oko, Thief of Crowns and Hydroid Krasis leading the charge. These cards could warrant a hit in the future if this dominance continues, so it’s something to keep an eye on.
Pauper has been completely dominated by snow decks since Modern Horizons. Arcum’s Astrolabe had the unintended effect of giving the format an insane amount of mana fixing and consistency. Free card draw, a replayable artifact, and never having to worry about mana base issues made any snow deck powerful. Skred decks had reached almost 15% of the metagame as of the writing of this article. Therefore, banning this card in Pauper was an excellent decision. With it gone, here’s hoping other decks can rise in the format that were being drowned out, such as White Black Pestilence or Inside Out Combo.
The next Banned and Restricted Announcement will be on Nov. 18. What do you think of the banlist? Do you think more cards should have been hit? Let us know in the comments!
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