Robert Chesley

Wizards announced first cards banned in Standard in nearly 8 years

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The announcement on Monday, that two of the biggest cards in the Standard format have become too problematic for the community at large. Wizards opts to bring out the ban hammer.

Jace, The Mind Sculptor and Stoneforge Mysticwere banned in Standard play by Wizards on Monday. The two have been linked as some of the most degenerate and format warping cards the game has ever seen as evident by the amount of “copies” in the top 8 of several high profile events.

In the past month most of the Top 8 decks at any major Standard tournament usually features copies of the rarely printed no drawback tutor, Stoneforge Mystic usually in the Blue White control menace that is known as Caw Blade. Jace, The Mind Sculptor, which was the highest priced card in Standard, eclipsing a Benjamin at it’s peak, lost roughly half of its value over night. Jace is a card advantage machine, known as the best way to deal with just about any threat your opponent can come up with.

Personally, I feel these cards should have never made it out to the public. Cards should feel powerful, there should be an “unfairness” to the game, but when an entire format is dictated by who can get out their Jace first or cheat out really amazing equipment early with enough guys to back it up to win consistently then it isn’t fun. Standard hasn’t been fun for me since I came back to paying closer attention to it recently. I found that the format was about 2 or 3 decks and all of them were really oppressive strategies that didn’t really require too much skill to pilot in my opinion.

When cards are tearing up Eternal formats such as VIntage and Legacy where only the most powerful of all Magic cards are played, then maybe they should be looked at with closer scrutiny.
Aaron Forsythe offered a great explanation on why they ban and restrict cards and how rarely this comes up. A fact I didn’t know until I read his article, there have been 60 Magic sets that feature predominately “new” cards in them. Pretty staggering to think about.

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