Another week, another ban. At least that's how it feels these days.

That being said… this Standard and Historic format definitely needed a change. This past weekend was the 2020 Season Grand Finals, and while I did go out on a limb and choose to not play a deck with Omnath, Locus of Creation, it wasn't due to lack of respect for the card. Omnath is just so clearly powerful, and it works well alongside cards like Lotus Cobra and Fabled Passage. The Top 4 of the Grand Finals consisted of all Four-Color Adventure decks.

Wizards of the Coast didn't hesitate to act.

Standard

I think there were two cards that needed to be banned in Standard: Lucky Clover, and Omnath, Locus of Creation.

Lucky Clover has been in Standard for a while now, since it was printed in Throne of Eldraine. It's the card that gives Adventure creatures like Fae of Wishes and Beanstalk Giant a home in Standard. Temur Adventures has been the most played version of Lucky Clover decks throughout its time in Standard. However, ever since Omnath, Locus of Creation entered the format, the four-color version of the Clover deck was clearly the best version.

Even without Omnath, Locus of Creation, I think regular Temur Adventures would be too strong for this Standard format. There are some answers to artifacts, but many of them are quite awkward to play with, especially in the maindeck. Besides Clover, there aren't many good targets in Standard, so dedicated artifact removal is a dead draw most of the time. Plus, Clover decks can play a regular fair game of magic that doesn't involve Lucky Clover as well. Even though these aren't the nut draws, you can still win a lot of these sorts of games. There are a number of Adventure creatures that are good cards on their own in the format, like Bonecrusher Giant, Brazen Borrower, and to a lesser extent Giant Killer.

All in all, I definitely agree with the Lucky Clover ban. It also makes Dimir Rogues better positioned. The Dimir colors really have no good way to answer a Lucky Clover. With Clover removed from the format I expect to see even more Rogues. This is my version that took me to the Top 8 of the Grand Finals:

Magic: The Gathering TCG Deck - Dimir Rogues (Lurrus) by Seth Manfield

'Dimir Rogues (Lurrus)' - constructed deck list and prices for the Magic: The Gathering Trading Card Game from TCGplayer Infinite!

Created By: Seth Manfield

Event: 2020 Season Grand Finals

Rank: 5th-8th

Standard

Market Price: $126.67

Cards

Soaring Thought-Thief

Color Identity:B,U

Market Price: $0.10

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/222153_200w.jpg

Flash
Flying
As long as an opponent has eight or more cards in their graveyard, Rogues you control get +1/+0.
Whenever one or more Rogues you control attack, each opponent mills two cards.

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Agadeem's Awakening

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $13.58

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/222163_200w.jpg

Return from your graveyard to the battlefield any number of target creature cards that each have a different mana value X or less.

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Castle Locthwain

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $4.01

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/199388_200w.jpg

Castle Locthwain enters the battlefield tapped unless you control a Swamp.
{T}: Add {B}.
{1}{B}{B}, {T}: Draw a card, then you lose life equal to the number of cards in your hand.

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Drown in the Loch

Color Identity:B,U

Market Price: $1.87

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/199207_200w.jpg

Choose one —
• Counter target spell with mana value less than or equal to the number of cards in its controller's graveyard.
• Destroy target creature with mana value less than or equal to the number of cards in its controller's graveyard.

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Zagoth Triome

Color Identity:B,G,U

Market Price: $11.21

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/212691_200w.jpg

({T}: Add {B}, {G}, or {U}.)
Zagoth Triome enters the battlefield tapped.
Cycling {3} ({3}, Discard this card: Draw a card.)

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Silundi Vision

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $0.39

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/222102_200w.jpg

Look at the top six cards of your library. You may reveal an instant or sorcery card from among them and put it into your hand. Put the rest on the bottom of your library in a random order.

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Clearwater Pathway

Color Identity:B,U

Market Price: $5.15

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/221830_200w.jpg

{T}: Add {U}.

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Mystical Dispute

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $0.91

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/198683_200w.jpg

This spell costs {2} less to cast if it targets a blue spell.
Counter target spell unless its controller pays {3}.

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Heartless Act

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $0.39

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/212369_200w.jpg

Choose one —
• Destroy target creature with no counters on it.
• Remove up to three counters from target creature.

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Lurrus of the Dream-Den

Color Identity:B,W

Market Price: $5.54

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/212282_200w.jpg

Companion — Each permanent card in your starting deck has mana value 2 or less. (If this card is your chosen companion, you may put it into your hand from outside the game for {3} any time you could cast a sorcery.)
Lifelink
During each of your turns, you may cast one permanent spell with mana value 2 or less from your graveyard.

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Thieves' Guild Enforcer

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $0.28

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/215608_200w.jpg

Flash
Whenever Thieves' Guild Enforcer or another Rogue enters the battlefield under your control, each opponent mills two cards.
As long as an opponent has eight or more cards in their graveyard, Thieves' Guild Enforcer gets +2/+1 and has deathtouch.

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Lofty Denial

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $0.10

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/215611_200w.jpg

Counter target spell unless its controller pays {1}. If you control a creature with flying, counter that spell unless its controller pays {4} instead.

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Lullmage's Domination

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $0.04

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/221933_200w.jpg

This spell costs {3} less to cast if it targets a creature whose controller has eight or more cards in their graveyard.
Gain control of target creature with mana value X.

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Swamp

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $0.07

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/215721_200w.jpg

({T}: Add {B}.)

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Island

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $0.05

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/215718_200w.jpg

({T}: Add {U}.)

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Cling to Dust

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $0.18

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/206655_200w.jpg

Exile target card from a graveyard. If it was a creature card, you gain 3 life. Otherwise, you draw a card.
Escape—{3}{B}, Exile five other cards from your graveyard. (You may cast this card from your graveyard for its escape cost.)

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Temple of Deceit

Color Identity:B,U

Market Price: $0.48

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/248800_200w.jpg

Temple of Deceit enters the battlefield tapped.
When Temple of Deceit enters the battlefield, scry 1.
{T}: Add {U} or {B}.

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Frantic Inventory

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $0.04

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/215572_200w.jpg

Draw a card, then draw cards equal to the number of cards named Frantic Inventory in your graveyard.

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Eliminate

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $0.04

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/215516_200w.jpg

Destroy target creature or planeswalker with mana value 3 or less.

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Bloodchief's Thirst

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $0.44

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/221776_200w.jpg

Kicker {2}{B} (You may pay an additional {2}{B} as you cast this spell.)
Destroy target creature or planeswalker with mana value 2 or less. If this spell was kicked, instead destroy target creature or planeswalker.

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Skyclave Shade

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $0.16

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/222127_200w.jpg

Kicker {2}{B}
Skyclave Shade can't block.
If Skyclave Shade was kicked, it enters the battlefield with two +1/+1 counters on it.
Landfall — Whenever a land enters the battlefield under your control, if Skyclave Shade is in your graveyard and it's your turn, you may cast it from your graveyard this turn.

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Negate

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $0.11

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/222130_200w.jpg

Counter target noncreature spell.

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Vantress Gargoyle

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $0.12

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/199034_200w.jpg

Flying
Vantress Gargoyle can't attack unless defending player has seven or more cards in their graveyard.
Vantress Gargoyle can't block unless you have four or more cards in hand.
{T}: Each player mills a card.

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Agonizing Remorse

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $0.03

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/207044_200w.jpg

Target opponent reveals their hand. You choose a nonland card from it or a card from their graveyard. Exile that card. You lose 1 life.

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Into the Story

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $0.23

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/198971_200w.jpg

This spell costs {3} less to cast if an opponent has seven or more cards in their graveyard.
Draw four cards.

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Given that we're walking into essentially a brand new format because of the new bans, my sideboard plans and list are likely to change at least a little bit moving forward. That being said, I really like Lurrus of the Dream-Den, and most of the core cards like Drown in the Loch, Into the Story, and the Rogues in this build will almost certainly not be getting cut from future versions.

The banning of Omnath, Locus of Creation needs less of an explanation than Lucky Clover. Honestly, all you need to do is read Omnath to figure out how busted it is. This was a fail from a design perspective, especially in a format where it's fairly easy to find the necessary lands to play the Omnath. Omnath would be interesting without the existence of Fabled Passage, and to a lesser extent Evolving Wilds to go alongside it. As is, there are too many tools you can play to trigger the landfall abilities. Easy ban.

The last card they banned doesn't make much sense to me. Escape to the Wilds was primarily good because of Omnath, Locus of Creation and Lucky Clover—I don't think it's that special as a stand-alone card. Sure, maybe it helps ramp decks, but axing three cards from one deck in a single announcement is overkill in my opinion. Clearly there are other competitive decks in Standard, as I made Top 8 of the Grand Finals without using Omanth at all. You don't need to make ramp decks go from great to bad, and that seems to be what the ban of Escape to the Wilds is trying to accomplish.

Escape to the Wilds may have been one of the best cards in the Lucky Clover deck, but without Lucky Clover that deck basically doesn't exist anymore. The Escape to the Wilds ban was a bit shocking to me, but I guess it doesn't hurt that much in the grand scheme of things. The key is that WotC did ban the two cards they needed to, and I think they got that part right.

Historic

In Historic we see suspensions rather than bans. After testing for the Grand Finals, I can indeed confirm that Omnath, Locus of Creation was just as strong in Historic as in Standard. If the goal is deck diversity, Omnath absolutely needed to go.

There weren't that many differences between Omnath Ramp in Historic and Standard, though of course the Historic deck had access to Uro, Titan of Nature's Wrath, just like the Standard version had a couple weeks ago! In testing it felt like the Historic version was more likely to "go off" by chaining copies of Genesis Ultimatum together with Escape to the Wilds and to make more or less infinite mana with some Omnath, Locus of Creation and Lotus Cobra. From there winning is trivial, and normally involves a hasty Kenrith, the Returned King or an Ugin, the Spirit Dragon to wipe the opponent's board.

The Historic version of Omnath, Locus of Creation didn't need to play Lucky Clover in order to be effective. Suspending Omnath was a relatively easy choice here, and the correct decision. It does kind of suck to suspend a chase Mythic from the set that just came out, but I land on the side of prioritizing the health of the format over trying to sell cards.

Taking a look at the rest of the announcement, Teferi, Time Raveler and Wilderness Reclamation being banned was just a formality—we all knew it was going to happen. In the same vein, we pretty much know that Omnath, Locus of Creation is never getting unsuspended, they might as well have banned it right away.

The most interesting part of the Historic announcement is that Wizards unsuspended Burning-Tree Emissary. It may be hard for some to remember, but there was a point when Gruul Aggro was the best deck in Historic. Even then, I thought having Gruul as the top deck was okay for the health of the format. Since then Wizards has added number of powerful cards to Historic, most of which don't change the Gruul deck very much.

Unsuspending Burning-Tree Emissary is a good move. There isn't a good reason for it not to be legal at this point in Historic. I'm looking forward to seeing if this boosts the Gruul deck significantly. Burning-Tree Emissary is a nice card, and can enable some pretty disgusting turn-two sequences. I still think Gruul will have some trouble against the deck I chose to play in the Historic portion of the Grand Finals, Jund Sacrifice. Even though I didn't play the deck that well, I went undefeated. Expect Jund Sacrifice to be a top deck moving forward in the format:

Magic: The Gathering TCG Deck - Jund Sacrifice by Seth Manfield

'Jund Sacrifice' - constructed deck list and prices for the Magic: The Gathering Trading Card Game from TCGplayer Infinite!

Created By: Seth Manfield

Event:

Rank:

Historic

Market Price: $374.42

Cards

Sheltered Thicket

Color Identity:G,R

Market Price: $2.97

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/129685_200w.jpg

({T}: Add {R} or {G}.)
Sheltered Thicket enters the battlefield tapped.
Cycling {2} ({2}, Discard this card: Draw a card.)

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Priest of Forgotten Gods

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $3.78

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/183311_200w.jpg

{T}, Sacrifice two other creatures: Any number of target players each lose 2 life and sacrifice a creature. You add {B}{B} and draw a card.

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Stomping Ground

Color Identity:G,R

Market Price: $9.13

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/182841_200w.jpg

({T}: Add {R} or {G}.)
As Stomping Ground enters the battlefield, you may pay 2 life. If you don't, it enters the battlefield tapped.

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Korvold, Fae-Cursed King

Color Identity:B,G,R

Market Price: $8.51

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/198424_200w.jpg

Flying
Whenever Korvold, Fae-Cursed King enters the battlefield or attacks, sacrifice another permanent.
Whenever you sacrifice a permanent, put a +1/+1 counter on Korvold and draw a card.

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Noxious Grasp

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $0.04

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/192688_200w.jpg

Destroy target creature or planeswalker that's green or white. You gain 1 life.

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Liliana's Defeat

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $0.08

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/134878_200w.jpg

Destroy target black creature or black planeswalker. If that permanent was a Liliana planeswalker, her controller loses 3 life.

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Phyrexian Tower

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $18.39

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/216140_200w.jpg

{T}: Add {C}.
{T}, Sacrifice a creature: Add {B}{B}.

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Woodland Cemetery

Color Identity:B,G

Market Price: $4.82

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/162123_200w.jpg

Woodland Cemetery enters the battlefield tapped unless you control a Swamp or a Forest.
{T}: Add {B} or {G}.

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Woe Strider

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $1.34

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/206627_200w.jpg

When Woe Strider enters the battlefield, create a 0/1 white Goat creature token.
Sacrifice another creature: Scry 1.
Escape—{3}{B}{B}, Exile four other cards from your graveyard. (You may cast this card from your graveyard for its escape cost.)
Woe Strider escapes with two +1/+1 counters on it.

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Claim the Firstborn

Color Identity:R

Market Price: $0.07

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/198858_200w.jpg

Gain control of target creature with mana value 3 or less until end of turn. Untap that creature. It gains haste until end of turn.

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Mayhem Devil

Color Identity:B,R

Market Price: $1.64

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/188173_200w.jpg

Whenever a player sacrifices a permanent, Mayhem Devil deals 1 damage to any target.

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Swamp

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $0.07

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/215721_200w.jpg

({T}: Add {B}.)

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Cauldron Familiar

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $0.64

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/215972_200w.jpg

When Cauldron Familiar enters the battlefield, each opponent loses 1 life and you gain 1 life.
Sacrifice a Food: Return Cauldron Familiar from your graveyard to the battlefield.

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Dragonskull Summit

Color Identity:B,R

Market Price: $5.22

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/142035_200w.jpg

Dragonskull Summit enters the battlefield tapped unless you control a Swamp or a Mountain.
{T}: Add {B} or {R}.

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Cragcrown Pathway

Color Identity:G,R

Market Price: $2.99

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/221845_200w.jpg

{T}: Add {R}.

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Overgrown Tomb

Color Identity:B,G

Market Price: $13.08

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/175196_200w.jpg

({T}: Add {B} or {G}.)
As Overgrown Tomb enters the battlefield, you may pay 2 life. If you don't, it enters the battlefield tapped.

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Redcap Melee

Color Identity:R

Market Price: $0.02

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/199300_200w.jpg

Redcap Melee deals 4 damage to target creature or planeswalker. If a nonred permanent is dealt damage this way, you sacrifice a land.

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Thoughtseize

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $12.62

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/218934_200w.jpg

Target player reveals their hand. You choose a nonland card from it. That player discards that card. You lose 2 life.

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Reclamation Sage

Color Identity:G

Market Price: $0.26

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/231255_200w.jpg

When Reclamation Sage enters the battlefield, you may destroy target artifact or enchantment.

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Collected Company

Color Identity:G

Market Price: $16.14

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/96501_200w.jpg

Look at the top six cards of your library. Put up to two creature cards with mana value 3 or less from among them onto the battlefield. Put the rest on the bottom of your library in any order.

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Witch's Oven

Market Price: $0.69

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/198898_200w.jpg

{T}, Sacrifice a creature: Create a Food token. If the sacrificed creature's toughness was 4 or greater, create two Food tokens instead. (They're artifacts with "{2}, {T}, Sacrifice this artifact: You gain 3 life.")

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Midnight Reaper

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $0.49

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/248756_200w.jpg

Whenever a nontoken creature you control dies, Midnight Reaper deals 1 damage to you and you draw a card.

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Blood Crypt

Color Identity:B,R

Market Price: $14.08

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/182838_200w.jpg

({T}: Add {B} or {R}.)
As Blood Crypt enters the battlefield, you may pay 2 life. If you don't, it enters the battlefield tapped.

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Scavenging Ooze

Color Identity:G

Market Price: $0.58

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/215695_200w.jpg

{G}: Exile target card from a graveyard. If it was a creature card, put a +1/+1 counter on Scavenging Ooze and you gain 1 life.

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Kitesail Freebooter

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $0.20

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/215699_200w.jpg

Flying
When Kitesail Freebooter enters the battlefield, target opponent reveals their hand. You choose a noncreature, nonland card from it. Exile that card until Kitesail Freebooter leaves the battlefield.

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Dreadhorde Butcher

Color Identity:B,R

Market Price: $0.77

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/187230_200w.jpg

Haste
Whenever Dreadhorde Butcher deals combat damage to a player or planeswalker, put a +1/+1 counter on Dreadhorde Butcher.
When Dreadhorde Butcher dies, it deals damage equal to its power to any target.

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This is a really clean version of the deck that maximizes Collected Company hits and can win games extremely quickly. Going into a Historic event right now, I don't think you can do better than this deck. With new sets on the horizon, this Historic format should be changing pretty rapidly though. It may start to feel more like Pioneer or even Modern, the more cards continue to get added to it.

What's Next?

This past year has been tough to get through, looking through the list of cards banned:

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Kibler's math checks out. While I'm not against the occasional ban, this last year has been crazy. It certainly becomes difficult to buy into formats knowing they are likely to change very soon because of a ban.

Uro, Titan of Nature's Wrath and Omnath, Locus of Creation might be the two most powerful creatures ever printed in the history of this game. I'm not joking. The cards getting printed in Standard legal sets seem to only be getting more powerful, and I don't know that this is a trend that is sustainable in the long term.