WotC Announcements; Uro Standard Ban; Walking Dead Secret Lair
Uro Standard Ban
Walking Dead Secret Lair
Last week I wrote about how Wizards of the Coast was probably banning Uro, Titan of Nature’s Wrath. Well Monday that prediction came true. What does this mean for Standard moving forward? There are a few other cards I will cover that could see the ban-hammer in the future. WotC also announced a new Secret Lair that is a paired promotion with The Walking Dead. I will also go into detail what this entails for the formats affected and what it means for the future.
Let’s start off with agreeing that Uro, Titan of Nature’s Wrath absolutely needed to be banned in Standard. The only downside is, it may not be the only thing needing to be banned right now. The 4color Omnath deck that has been dominating Standard since Zendikar Rising released is an immensely powerful deck, even without Uro. Omnath is an absolute house, but there are ways they could neuter the deck without pushing out what appears to be the premium mythic from the newest set. There are in my opinion 3, or 4 major enablers that make 4c Omnath too good. Those cards are; Lotus Cobra, Escape to the Wilds, Fabled Passage, and Genesis Ultimatum. Lotus Cobra, if unchecked, allows the deck to have a really explosive start in its unique way to mana ramp. Cards like Fabled Passage and Evolving Wilds ends up mana ramping on turn 3, where those cards are supposed to be unusable for mana until the following turn. Escape to the Wilds is strangely powerful, on the face it seems to be just alright. But when you are casting it early it mana ramps you, and casting it later provides you with an abundance of spells to utilize over until the next turn’s end. Fabled Passage is the only actual good “fetch land” in Standard at the moment. Being able to utilize that for Lotus Cobra and Omnath is a huge asset to the deck. Finally, Genesis Ultimatum is the big payoff, this card makes the deck into a pseudo combo deck. Being able to chain into more landfalls, into more mana, into more spells, or utilize enter the battlefield triggers from Felidar Retreat or Terror of the Peaks makes the deck go way over the top. Decks are also just plugging in Ugin, the Spirit Dragon because it is just that easy to play. If the meta can’t solve itself to best this deck, one of these cards has to go. If I were to make a prediction, it would probably be Lotus Cobra, possibly Genesis Ultimatum. There is plenty of more Standard to be played until it is solved, if it can be solved. It is something I’ll be monitoring for the next few weeks.
Wizards of the Coast also announced something very different this week. WotC is cross promoting with the… errr… former hit tv show The Walking Dead. A Secret Lair product, you know, the product line where WotC reprints choice singles to sell to people via their online retailer only. This time is different though. They are printing unique, never before seen cards with popular Walking Dead characters that will be legal in Commander, Legacy, and Vintage. Typically, when they release non-Un set cards, those cards are legal in those three formats. I actually find it quite intriguing the concept of making a product that is only a few 4 or 5 cards, that have been tested for such formats. I would imagine it would be harder for the R&D team to miss something when testing 5 cards compared to the 200+ cards regular sets have. The few problems I have with this product though, and anything that resembles this product in the future are these three things: The price, the limited availability, and the cross-promotion cards. For $50 USD, for a “casual” product like they claim this to be, I would expect a lot more around 5 cards that Secret Lairs tend to have. A price point like that is not intended for the casual audience. I have plenty of qualms about the Secret Lair product line already, but if they wanted to hit a bigger audience, you’d think this would be a product you see on shelves at Walmart, Target, and most importantly your local game stores. The limited availability the Secret Lairs usually have will also be a problem. It is likely that one of these cards will be very good in one of the formats (I’m looking at you Glenn). With limited availability, enough supply won’t be out for the public to have a fair competitive balance, especially if the limited quantities sky rockets the price of the individual cards. Finally, just a personal gripe, I am a huge fan of the flavor of the multi-verse of Magic: The Gathering. Magic cards tend to be part of a story, or at the very least a part of the flavor of the plane where a story is being told. Never have I been immersed into a game of commander with all these unique characters and strong cards from different planes of the multi-verse and thought to myself, “I really wish my commander was Daryl Dixon”. The Godzilla cards from Ikoria did not bother me because they were basically just alternate arts of Magic cards designed for Ikoria. I hope that future products don’t follow in this particular product's footsteps.
Thank you for reading!
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