Omnath and Lotus Cobra were not touched
Last week Wizards of the Coast said that they were “monitoring” standard play for Magic: The Gathering Arena, and would report back with any potential bans to smooth out the meta. Well, they did: Uro, Titan of Nature’s Wrath is now banned from standard (best-of-one and best-of-three) and singleton play.
Uro was released with the Theros set in January of this year and caused all sorts of problems due to its power level. In short, it did too much, offering players three life, card draw, land ramp and the ability to be recalled later as a powerful creature that recurred all of the aforementioned abilities again. The concept, in theory, was that he would be tougher to cast: but with an obscene amount of ramp in the game (Goose and recently, Cobra), it was extremely easy to cast Uro on turn two and outpace most aggro decks.
Here’s Wizards’ decision in their own words: “In order to weaken these post-rotation ramp strategies, we’re choosing to ban Uro, Titan of Nature’s Wrath in Standard. Our goal is to bring these decks down to a level where they are still appealing and competitive, but where natural metagame forces are enough to keep them in check. In general, we prefer this approach to overshooting the mark and removing an archetype from viability. However, we’ve certainly noted this weekend’s strong results for the Four-Color Omnath deck and will continue to watch how that strategy and the overall metagame adjust in the coming weeks.”
You may have noticed Omnath in there: that one, another dominate card that benefits from extra ramp (like Uro), is still legal, as is Lotus Cobra. Right now, Omnath/Cobra/Uro decks comprise around 38% of the competitive meta, which is an obscene figure that’s roughly 13% higher than the average (even with 3-Feri was running wild). It’s a good first step, but hopefully if Omnath is still crushing standard they don’t hesitate further.
As folks have pointed out, Cobra and Omnath are both brand new cards: so there might be some hesitation to ban them quickly. Very few cards (Oko comes to mind) are banned from a freshly minted set for myriad reasons. With Uro out of the way things should be smoother, but Omnath still has plenty of ramp to help propel players into a quick game-ending Genesis Ultimatum.
Banned and Restricted Announcement [Wizards of the Coast]