Hello there fellow Geeks! With the recent news coming from Wizards of The Coast regarding the beloved Trading Card Game, The Bears of the Crit or Die segment have this to say….Holy Shit!

WOTC has announced for the first time is over 5 years that there will be cards banned from the Standard Format in The Magic: The Gathering Card game.  In the standard gaming format, player would build decks and play using cards from the most recent Magic sets (currently the format covers the sets from Battle for Zendikar up to Kaladesh. The next set to be released for this standard format is Aether Revolt on January 20th, 2017.)

As with all formats in MTG, we do see how certain decks blueprints are effective in tournament play which has certain cards that either the deck has been built around or compliment the type of build the deck is. With this in mind, there are certain cards that are powerful  and a great utility towards most decks created.  Which brings us to the Banned/Restricted list.  This list displays the cards that are deemed to “broken” to be used in a certain format of play. To put into perspective, one of the last cards to be banned in the Standard format was Jace, The Mind Sculptor back in 2011 due to the overwhelming impact the card makes in tournaments.15970153_10103327095221488_1201404779_n

This list is made to help balance out the playing field and open up the game for different deck types to be used.  In this update made January 9th, 2016 there will be three cards banned: two that everyone can agree is a no brainer, and one that some people may scratching their heads.

  1. Emrakul, The Promised End

A large legendary creature that allows you to control your opponents next turn. Oh, and protection from instant spells, leaving a small list of viable options to destroy it from the field. This is one of those cards that most people are not surprised that it has been removed. The other that are upset, just spent a pretty penny to have a card sleeve warmer.  There’s always Modern, at least for now.

  1. Reflector Mage

The announcement for this card being banned has come with mixed emotions. Our friends that play Esper (deck built with Blue and White spells/creatures) don’t really run this in the deck design, but after doing some research, I wonder why not?! This card can essentially create a dead card in your opponent’s hand, at least for a turn. If the returned card is the only one in their hand, they can possibility have a turn with no actions being taken. That’s a boon for control decks, especially if you are able to “blink’ the mage to trigger the effect more than once.

  1. Smuggler’s Copter

This surprises NO ONE. This card has little drawback compared to the overwhelming benefit it provides in the onset of the game. Most decks ranked in the Top Ten in tournaments have at least 2 of these flying creatures in their decklist. A flying 3/3 artifact creature (which only cost two mana mind you!) that becomes a drawing engine for your deck…yeah that’s broken.

But don’t be sad my Magical brethren! When the latest set is released, we will have many more killer card combos to get excited for! Which deck type will reign supreme? Can’t wait to find out what the TTG crew decide to build! Til next time, stay Geeky my friends J


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Since I don’t typically pay attention to formats, restrictions and bans don’t mean much to me. However, since I’ve gotten back into playing Magic with Kenny and Quills, I have started restricting myself as a challenge. By forcing myself to stick to Standard formats, I feel that I’ve improved my deck making skills. So now that I’m facing my first ban list, I’ve got to wonder if I’m going to stick with it.

Banning Emrakul makes sense, considering how many decks had her as their main win condition. Using Aetherworks Marvel and a ton of energy production almost guaranteed that she’d hit the table and you’d almost always take out your opponent. On top of how difficult it is to get rid of her when she hits the table, you have a recipe for hate. You know what? Let’s just stop making Emrakul. She was a problem last time, she’s a problem this time, let’s just exile her and keep it that way.

Smuggler’s Copter is another one that I figured was going to get the hammer. I don’t think I saw a deck list in the last few months that didn’t have four Copters in it. It’s a decently sized body with evasion and card draw and a low Crew cost. Why wouldn’t you put as many as possible in When something becomes that ubiquitous, there’s always the danger of it getting knocked off. I’m just surprised they let it out into the Standard market with that much power. Emrakul, I understand. She was designed to be this giant monster that changes the game when she lands. The Copter is, ostensibly, not as juicy, but might be more format altering.

e85ciepytz_iconReflector Mage getting the drop confuses me. I know the whole idea was to nerf Blue-White Flash, but I’m not sure the removal of a single card will do that. Granted, I’m not into the Pro Tour scene enough to know vital the Mage was for those decks, but it seems odd to me that it was the one that was singled out. It seems to me that was more a utility player and less the thing that made things miserable. Granted, the ability to bounce a creature and keep it from being played for a turn was nasty, but again, it doesn’t seem bad enough to remove for the format.

So I’ve hit a wall where I want to keep to the restriction of Standard and wanting to use Reflector Mage in this new deck I’m working on. Honestly, I’m probably going to keep it in there and keep the rest of the deck Standard-worthy. Either way, I’m very interested in seeing how Aether Revolt is going to change the game!


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