MTG Standard bans bring much-needed changes to stagnant meta

MTG Colossus HammerDmitry Burmak/Wizards of the Coast

Magic: The Gathering’s latest Standard bans should bring a refresh to the meta, as Standard moves to a three-year rotation cycle.

In the first big major banning since announcing that MTG’s standard format would be going to a three-year cycle, it seems Wizards of the Coast has heard fans’ complaints loud and clear.

After a lengthy Standard season filled with similar cards and strategies, Wizards is kicking out some of MTG’s most pesky cards.

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Which cards are being banned in Standard?

  • Fable of the Mirror-Breaker // Reflection of Kiki-Jiki
  • Invoke Despair
  • Reckoner Bankbuster

For those playing the paper game, it goes into effect right now and will be updated on MTG Arena tomorrow.

Some fans have been complaining about the stale meta of Standard for some time now, which was exacerbated by the recent Pro Tour Minneapolis. The tournament’s top eight decks were half variations on Rakdos Midrange (Black and Red), with another Rakdos Reanimator rounding it out. All the cards being banned appear to be trying to curtail this from continuing.

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The top two players were Nathan Steuer (Rakdos Midrange) and Cain Rianhard (Rakdos Reanimator). Rakdos decks have been plaguing the game for some time, as it builds upon some of the best cards currently available. Meanwhile, in MTG Arena, 28% of decks were Rakdos Midrange.

MTG’s new Standard cycle hit with first card bans

MTG has moved to a three-year cycle for its rotation, where Standard cards are moved out of being legal. This is the first major change to the rotation since its introduction, which came about with Standard, then called Type 2.

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Previously, every two years Standard would rotate, along with mechanics and sets, or in earlier years, blocks of cards would rotate out. It has gotten a little more complicated with Alchemy on Magic Arena, which will still remain on the old two-year cycle.

The next time MTG will rotate its Standard sets will now be in 2024. It’s assumed that with The Lost Caverns of Ixalan, releasing in November, that rotation will happen around that time as per usual.

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MTG’s 2024 rotation will now see Innistrad: Crimson Vow, Midnight Hunt, Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty, and Streets of New Capenna all leave the pool.