Today I wanna talk about the current changes to Standard format. Which if you haven’t been aware I’ve been live streaming Magic Arena on Facebook. So I’ve been rather set on playing standard as of late with the whole Covid-19 keeping people and myself. From going out and playing Magic. I’ve been talking about it on the stream. I was thinking three cards would get banned in Standard in the upcoming ban update in June. My question to you, are you happy with the bans?
So of course, I’m late to the party in getting this post out. Trust me I’ve been fighting with myself to get posting again here on Majin Planet. Two of the cards I believed would be banned was Agent of Treachery and Fires of Invention. I can understand why Agent was banned. From the moment I started playing Standard in Arena almost daily.
Agent of Treachery
We hated it, I lost so many games to that one card. I feel that any time a card is played and 70% of the time you lose to that card. There is a problem. Also, a big problem was that unless you’re playing heavy blue control. I’ve always been a more mid-range, jank 5 color deck fan since Invasion back in 2001.
I also love playing 3-4 color decks. I come from an age of Magic when a three-color deck in standard was junk. The real top tier decks were one or two colors. Of course, that all changed when Invasion Block came out. The game shifted. But even after a small shift, it sort of just went back and I did the best in Standard with two colors.
So, when Agent was being splashed into almost every day and being cheated out on turn 3-4 when it cost 7. The moment Lukka came in, I knew. All you had to do was play Green, Blue, Red. Ramp Lukka out as quick as turned 4, you’re gonna have a creature in play, using Lukka’s -2 and you now have Agent in play to steal something. Once Ikoria was out, and I had a chance to play around with cards, I found that running White, Blue, Red was the strongest and could still even on turn 5 get Agent out, and bounce it back taking 2-3 targets. It was strong and near the end, people started to quick the game once you dropped Agent.
Fires of Invention
Free casting has always been an issue in Magic, sometimes it’s too strong and results in getting banned or it just at that sweet spot. In other formats, free casting isn’t always a big issue. As strong as the Fires Lukka with Agent deck was, it was a standard format problem. Which is why it was banned there. You don’t hear about that in other formats. Simply because it’s not really that strong. This is due to the large card pool of answers.
There are powerful free casting in Modern. So Fires of Invention never really made a splash. Personally I don’t play any formats in the paper other than Commander and random pre-con decks I pick up from time to time.
Fires of Invention was a strong card and fun because it let you get two strong spells into play when normally you’d only be able to play one. Given its limits of spells counting even itself on casting. I believe personally that Fires of Invention became a problem in standard format with the release of Ikoria. Mainly because of Yorion, Sky Nomad, which brings the 80 card deck format to Standard.
What made it broken was Yorion come into play, which lets you remove fires from play, allowing you to play more spells. I know, the last deck I played before the bans when into effect was a deck called Meta Hate, it was a Fires, Yorion, Lukka, Agent control deck.
The deck destroyed people. But a lot of my wins were people just outright quitting the game after Agent was played, even if I didn’t think I was gonna win the game. Because there was times in the past, when someone played Agent, I would play around it them.
The Future of Standard
Now, you’re gonna have both sides of this. People who will cry that their best deck was banned. Honestly, I had fun playing Agent. I was aware of who I was being matched up with and played decks around it, not only to rank but have fun. Sure I’m not a top-level player. So some people may not take my word as worth anything.
That being said, I’m a good player and love playing stupid stuff that sometimes works, and sometimes it really works. Mainly I made Meta Hate just to see how many people I could upset vs ranking high. Because if I really wanted to get high, I could of spam it longer than I did.
Personally I have no issue with the power level of standard, I guess for me having access to almost nearly every card and having 80% of all standard cards allows me to play around. Not only can I just copy a deck but I can build my own and not really feel limited. Another topic on why I will no longer play Standard in paper.
I think Agent of Treachery going away is a good thing, the current pool of cards in Standard right now make Agent of Treachery spam too strong and unless you’re playing heavy control and Agent yourself. I can see how it would be no fun for many players.