It's Sunday night. Standard bans are coming tomorrow. uro, titan of nature's wrath and omnath, locus of creation will almost surely be on the chopping block. If those two mythic rares are the only two cards that get banned tomorrow, Standard will still be far from fixed.


The thing about Dire Wolf Digital, the company that employs Patrick Chapin, Luis Scott-Vargas, and other Magic luminaries who have chosen to parlay their prodigious skills slinging wizard squares into game design is that it literally doesn't need to exist. That is to say that Wizards of the Coast, a subsidiary of Hasbro, could decide that it's time to invest in balancing Magic big-time and nab some amount of Dire Wolf Digital's roster, through direct acquisition or some other means. Surely they wouldn't all go—some of them would want to keep playing Magic competitively; Eternal rules—but if the producers of the game that animated the brilliant minds that populate Dire Wolf Digital decided they wanted that brainpower for themselves, they would get some substantial percentage of it.


There's a lot going on to suggest that Studio X has "lost the plot." No doubt their job is excessively difficult, but imagining omnath, locus of creation and Fires of Invention legal simultaneously is absurd enough to be hysterical. oko, thief of crowns, Fires of Invention, and now omnath, locus of creation are not the type of cards a playtester would necessarily need a lot of reps with to assess their power level as problematic. That this keeps happening—with uro, titan of nature's wrath, with companions, with omnath, locus of creation—is concerning but not an unfixable problem. That said, it's only concerning to me because I like competitive Magic.

The portion of the player base unhappy with this year's steady stream of Standard bans is certainly vocal on Twitter but makes no compelling claim at insight into or even influence on overall health of the game. Does a Standard perpetually torn asunder have a negative impact on the overall health of the game or not? We will find out in the coming days, weeks, and months. If Standard matters, then 2020 will be acknowledged for what it was and some poor soul at WotC will be tasked with communicating that plan to an audience that has subsisted on a steady diet of radioactive waste for the past 15 months. If it doesn't, they'll keep banning cards, and the system that churns those cards out will keep right on humming.