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Standard Bannings Explained

Standard Bannings Explained

Aaron Forsythe, Director of R&D for Magic: the Gathering, announced today the ban of two extremely dominant cards. In his post on the Magic website he examines why this is happening now (both cards have been out for over a year) and why the cards were released in the first place.

We don’t take banning lightly in any format, and we loathe doing it in Standard. Not only is such an act tantamount to the admission of grievous mistakes on our part, it hurts consumer confidence in our product. People spend a lot of time and money acquiring cards for their tournament decks, and it stings to have them taken away. Fortunately, this time the sting should be somewhat mitigated by the fact that the cards in question have significant uses in other Constructed formats.

While the last few people to acquire each of these cards stand to be the most upset, my contention is that each of these two cards has had ample time to shine in Constructed. They were due to rotate out of Standard this fall; accelerating that process in the interest of the greater good will hopefully be seen as a measure of good faith by a majority of the player base as opposed to cold comfort by the few who enjoy what the game had become in the past months.

The full thing is a really interesting look into competitive game balance even if you’re not an avid Magic player, although I’m not sure how much information there is to glean without knowing the basic rules of the game.