Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Yesterday's Magic Banned Update for Standard

Yesterday, Wizards of the Coast announced their most recent banned and restricted list, which included three cards currently in Standard. Now let me make very clear that I have next to no knowledge of the state of Standard right now in Magic, so I don't have any real analysis of this decision (although, from the little I do know, it sounds like it was a good step). But what is interesting to me is the banning of Smuggler's Copter.

Just for clarity, let's look at the reasons why Wizards decided to ban this card:

Simply put, Smuggler's Copter is too efficient and shows up in too many decks, diminishing the format's diversity. We want Planeswalkers, sorcery-speed removal, and a variety of vehicles to be viable options, and believe removing Smuggler's Copter will allow them to flourish again. Of the top archetypes in Standard, very few didn't play four copies of Smuggler's Copter, stifling many creative, fun options. Smuggler's Copter was the result of a new card type pushed too far, and, as such, is now banned.

So why does this matter for Standard Pauper? Well, we recently made the decision to ban Self-Assembler, which is another Artifact that every deck has access to, is very efficient (in that it almost always draws all four copies of itself), had become oppressive in the metagame, and that was present as a full playset in virtually every deck. For me, the strongest argument against banning Self-Assembler was that every deck had access to the card, so it was more or less an even playing field. But obviously the same thing is true of Smuggler's Copter. And yet, this card is now banned in Standard going forward.

All this to say, I am more convinced than ever that banning Self-Assembler in Standard Pauper was the right call.

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