In a surprise announcement this morning, Wizards of the Coast issued a ban on the card Nexus of Fate in Standard best-of-1 formats on MTG Arena. This Magic: The Gathering news will have no effect on paper Standard play or Traditional play in Arena. The ban will come into effect today, Feb. 14.
Why was Nexus of Fate banned?
In the linked article above, Wizards of the Coast gives us some more information regarding this ban. Nexus of Fate has been a hotly debated card for many reasons. Some questioned its printing as it was specifically a promo card that could only be bought a specific way. Then it became a staple of Standard Turbo Fog decks, and we all know how fun Turbo Fog can be to play against. Complaints of it being an unfun, overpriced card in paper were rampant at one point in time, though those complaints have died down a bit now.
In Magic: The Gathering Arena, however, Nexus of Fate built a nasty name for itself in the best-of-1 play modes. Nexus of Fate decks are generally built around the inevitability of being able to take multiple turns with Nexus of Fate, which isn’t a huge issue in best-of-3 formats or in paper play. In best-of-3 formats, you have sideboarding to let you better take care of the threat by bringing in cards like Unmoored Ego. And in paper, if someone wants to infinitely loop Nexus of Fate, both players can agree to “fast forward” through the loop to save time. But in Arena best-of-1, you can’t sideboard to take care of the problem and the players can’t fast forward. This made the card very oppressive in best-of-1, and it also tended to take a long time to kill the opponent even if the Nexus of Fate player had already essentially won the game.
Because of these reasons, Nexus of Fate was banned in Arena best-of-1.
Will Nexus of Fate players be compensated?
Of course! Players that own Nexus of Fate will get a free Mythic Wildcard for each copy of Nexus of Fate that they own. There will be no in-game notification of this, so be sure to double check your collections after reading this Magic: The Gathering news.
How does this effect Traditional play and paper Standard?
Wizards of the Coast was very clear in their announcement that they genuinely want to make sure Arena has access to a play mode that will mirror paper Standard. It’s important to have an online way to test, tinker, and practice with Standard decks before spending real money in real life on the paper deck. Wizards of the Coast knows this, and so far they are very adamantly sticking to their guns and keeping Traditional play as close to paper Standard as possible. This Nexus of Fate banning will only effect best-of-1 formats; Traditional play and paper Standard players will still be able to use Nexus of Fate.
This news sets an interesting precedent going forward. Wizards is proving to us that they’re not afraid of banning problem cards in best-of-1, which is big because the format will always be running rampant with decks that utilize strategies that are traditionally handled by sideboard cards. With news of this best-of-1 specific ban, Wizards of the Coast has shown they’re really keeping an eye on that, which I think we all can appreciate.