Random Thoughts – Four Weeks After the Standard Banning

Hey everyone, MrXenagos here. Before I will start the article, I want to apologize to everyone, because I took a vacation away from my home and my computer, and when I came home, I found out that my laptop needed a new SSD Card, so I had to wait almost three weeks more to get it done, but now I’m back, with new forces, and from this week I will be returning with articles two times a month, each Tuesday.

After the Pro Tour Ixalan, where most of the piloted decks were either Temur Energy or Red Rush, Wizards of the Coast decided to make some bannings on the Standard format, and on the day of 15 January 2018, four months ago, they banned Rogue Refiner, Attune with Aether, Rampaging Ferocidon and Ramunap Ruins. This decision made the Red Rush deck weaker, and things got worse for Temur Energy, because the bannings of Attune with Aether and Rogue Refiner made the deck actually unplayable.
After four months, I wanted to ask the Magic community for some opinions on the bannings, and I wanted to know if the banning were good or bad, so first, I decided to ask Felix Stenitzer, who piloted a Temur Energy Deck before the bannings.

I – Thanks for making time to answer some of my questions Felix. Could you please tell me, what was your reaction when you saw that two cards from your foil Temur Energy Deck got banned?
I – As everyone knows, Attune with Aether and Rogue Refiner were banned, and I was really shocked about this decision. Everyone knew that something from the deck will be banned, but I didn’t expect two cards to be banned.

II – Do you consider that investing into a foil copy of the Temur Energy deck was a waste of money or not?
II – I don’t really think it was a waste of money at all, and even if a lot of people say foiling out decks is a waste of money, I like shiny things, and I will keep foiling out decks, and I am working on foiling out my Modern Deck. And even if i don’t usually foil out standard decks, foiling out the Temur Energy deck was really cheap and I needed the Chandra’s for other Standard decks.

III – And the last question, do you prefer the new Standard metagame, or would you go back to the one before the bannings.
III – I really prefer the new Standard. The old Standard was only Temur/Four Color Energy or Mono Red, and if you would have played another deck you would have lost too often. Now the metagame is really diverse, even if some decks are better than others.

On this case I have to agree to Felix, because as he said, the metagame is healthier now.  Before the bannings, a new or returning player that went to his first Friday Night Magic, maybe with a homebrew standard deck, had to face too many games where he would play against Temur Energy, and most probably he would lose all of them. For a third opinion on this case, Nathan Blewitt, the organizer of the Standard Super League on xMage was kind enough to offer me a list with all the decks that have been played in al the five weeks of the League, and the good news is that I was able to count more than twenty different decks, which means the metagame is really diverse in this moment, and a new or returning player can go to Friday Night Magic and not be afraid that he will play more rounds against the same deck, and would loose all of them. Also before the bannings, everyone was focused on the cards of Temur Energy, and getting a copy of the deck always costed players a lot of money; but now, since the metagame is diverse, the price of many cards has gone low, making the cards affordable for everyone.

In the end, I want to think about other reasons that Wizards of the Coast had to nerf those decks, except for the obvious reason that the cards where too strong; I want to think that they wanted players to focus on future products and new blocks, such as Rivals of Ixalan, Dominaria and the Challenger Decks. If Temur Energy would have been around until the printing of Challenger Decks, I am one hundred percent sure that the deck would end up on the Challenger Decks, and that they would have sold faster than the other decks. Wrapping everything up, I think the bannings were a good decision from Wizards of the Coast, and due to it, players can now have a healty and enjoyable Standard format. I was MrXenagos, thanks for reading this article, and I will see you next time, bye!

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