Monday, 01 June 2020 11:23

WotC bans two cards in Standard

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M20's Agent of Treachery is one of two cards that are being banned in Standard. M20's Agent of Treachery is one of two cards that are being banned in Standard. WOTC

Two powerful and popular cards in Standard have wound up on the receiving end of Wizards of the Coast's ban hammer.

As stated in the company's June 1 announcement, the Throne of Eldraine card Fires of Invention and the M20 card Agent of Treachery are being removed from the picture in Magic: The Gathering's rotating Standard format.

Decks molded around Fires of Invention have been becoming increasingly common with a win rate that jeopardizes parity in the format.

"In addition, as we craft and test future environments, we've found the card Fires of Invention to be a significant design and balance constraint," states WotC's Ian Duke in the announcement. "Because of the flexible nature of the cost reduction effect, Fires of Invention decks would continue to gain power as new high-mana-cost spells are added to the environment. As new sets have been released, we've seen the win rates of Fires of Invention decks increase compared to past Standard metagame environments."

As for Agent of Treachery, there has been a recent, yet drastic rise in decks that cheat out the card via either Lukka, Coppercoat Outcast or Winota, Joiner of Forces.

"While part of the design intent of these cards was to provide creative ways to deploy powerful high-mana-cost creatures, we've observed that using them to play an early Agent of Treachery can be uniquely frustrating to play against and difficult to come back from," explains Duke.  "The effect of stealing any lands or key cards, when at a high play rate, reduces diversity in the metagame. Decks built around unique permanents or big creatures have less chances to succeed when opponents can steal their key cards without specific deck-building intent."

In addition to being banned in Standard, both cards are also being banned from Historic, a format unique to Magic: The Gathering - Arena.

Here's when the bans will take affect:

  • Tabletop: June 1, 2020
  • MTG Arena: June 4, 2020
  • Magic Online: June 1, 2020

The list of all banned and restricted cards by format can be found here.