Many people are fans of bannings. Many, many more people are not fans of bannings. This is for the latter group.
Welp Wizards, you crazy SOBs, you did it. You banned a bunch of stuff in Standard and beyond.
In case you've been living under a rock, here's the list.
Why does this suck? Settle in, kiddies. We are going on an adventure.
Your Card: Wilderness Reclamation
What You Thought You Were Getting:
What You Really Got:
In the year of our lord 2020 we have banned 20 cards* in Standard since the start of 2017. What does that mean for you? Well…everything.
*counting the Nexus of Fate ban in MTG Arena Standard, you stickler you.
Your Wallet Sucks
Remember buying your first car? Remember spending a ton of your hard-earned money on it? A nice person sells it to you, you sign the paperwork, and you drive it off the lot. Your mom jokes with you, "Well since you drove it off the lot it's worth half as much haha" and your face goes white. What does she mean your car is worth half as much? With how much your down payment was, there's no way she is right.
But she is. This is the depreciation of assets, and now your car is used goods. Nothing you can do about it.
You buy Magic cards. Maybe you bought into Oko, Thief of Crowns when they were $25 and you knew that you were going to get some mileage out of him. Bant seems like a good choice! You can put some money into this deck and have a real contender at FNM and oh fudge he's been banned.
The Oko, Thief of Crowns you spent money on is now officially worth half as much as it was when you bought it. Wizards was the car lot, and driving it off the lot, aka buying it, knocked off half its value and you had nothing to do with it when it happened. Them's the brakes.
What it comes down to is Wizards of the Coast wants your money, but then once they have it, it's completely at their whim whether they ban it and cost you hundreds or thousands of dollars. For players that buy into multiple formats it's even worse. Those Inverter of Truth you bought when they spiked to $10 are now back to being bulk rares. Sure, they'll stay a few bucks for a while, but without a home is it likely they're still going to be worth as much as they were before? No.
Magic cards should do this, but they should do this on their own. The joke is every Magic player wants to buy their cards for the cheapest price, and then sell them for their highest. Obviously this is impossible, and the wear that occurs naturally on the card is going to end up making it worth less. Most players understand this concept. But when it is entirely out of their hands, it's going to cost them big time. Eight different cards were banned this time around. Let's look at a ballpark figure of the prices on the real losers:
These are just a few cards. This isn't even delving in to when Emrakul, the Promised End or Aetherworks Marvel were banned (although Emrakul wasn't bad considering its EDH appeal). But for some of these cards, you might have lost out on $5, $10 or $15 per copy. Your foils might have suffered as well, but likely not as much.
Buying cards should come with a certain level of confidence that they will be worth something during their time in Standard, or Modern, or Historic or Pioneer. It doesn't feel good to know you "wasted" money. You shouldn't have to gamble that a good card won't be available to you anymore, which leads into our second point.
Your Consumer Confidence Sucks
Twenty cards! That's how many have been banned in the last four years in only Standard. This isn't even counting other formats. What does that say to the consumer?
"Uhhhh sorry we messed up."
Oko, Thief of Crowns was on the Throne marketing! This was a flagship card! Once Upon a Time was the flavor of a set entirely revolving around fairy tales. You bought boxes in 2019, opened them, and several of the cards are already banned. Cauldron Familiar, Once Upon a Time and Oko, Thief of Crowns. Fires of Invention is gone, and so is Growth Spiral. Goodbye Agent of Treachery and Wilderness Reclamation. That's seven cards, gone just like that.
Now the fallout doesn't just impact those cards specifically. Imagine you're buying decks. You might have put money into Jund Sacrifice, Bant Ramp, Termur Reclamation or Four-Color Fires. These decks are now obsolete. Hope you enjoyed buying those Kroxa, Titan of Death's Hunger only to find Rakdos Sacrifice is gone because the engine of the car has been removed.
Your confidence is now gone.
When a deck begins performing well—maybe it is a big contender on MTG Arena or a lot of professional players bring it to the next MagicFest—are you going to want to buy into the deck now that there's a possibility one or two of the best cards in it will be banned? Hell, will you even attend the Standard MagicFest since it relies on making plans, and you could do that in advance and then see your deck obliterated? These seem like extremes, but people are already talking about how difficult it is to trust WoTC, especially their R&D department, for not catching these cards or interactions sooner.
Did these cards need to be banned? Absolutely, from the perspective of the more casual (aka much larger) crowd. But if you are a competitive player, your confidence is shattered with the decks you have built over the last four years—over a dozen of them—were cut short, from aggro decks like Mono-Red all the way to Termur Reclamation, Smuggler's Copter Azorius to Aetherworks Marvel. All dead.
You simply can't trust them.
Your Happiness Sucks
One of the happiest times of my life was spent hanging out with my friends and playtesting. We had everything built. My backpack was a miniature store and we would build multiple copies of the same deck to have them for tournaments. There were seven or eight of us testing. It was crazy.
When Jace, the Mind Sculptor and Stoneforge Mystic were banned we were devastated. Because I'm crazy, we had 12 copies of Jace, the Mind Sculptor because our playgroup all battled with him. That probably speaks to why Jace was banned, but it was devastating. Not just from a financial perspective—Jace was $100 at the time—but because all the best decks weren't good anymore. Dimir Control and Cawblade were powered way down. The format became sluggish, and although those decks were still viable (Dimir Control won Nationals that year), it was without the best cards that made the match very, very skill-testing. I could be over-analyzing, and I'm sure a lot of people were happy they were banned, but I wasn't, and neither were a lot of the people I played with at the PTQ level.
Those were two cards. I can't imagine how bad you must feel if you pool cards or had to watch your collection shatter as all the cards you played were removed from multiple formats. It probably felt awful to see your favorite decks or cards banned. I know that pain, because when it happened to me it caused a lot of depression. Jace, the Mind Sculptor and I won TCG Diamond tournaments (cheap plug) together, as well as qualifying for Nationals. It was a huge bummer to see the Mind Sculptor go. Now multiply that by ten. The last four years have been terrible.
From a humanistic standpoint, not one as a consumer or competitive player or buyer/seller (ALL OF WHICH I AM AND IT SUCKS), it hurts to see your hard work dashed. You might not even want to play Magic anymore and trade it in for a new game. There's where the real shame is. Beating up on the feelings of your player base just isn't cool.
This Article Sucks
It does. I know you in the comments section will be like, "WELL NESTICO GOT THAT PART RIGHT" but I hated writing it because it's so negative. There is very little room for positivity when people are losing their favorite decks, money, and confidence in Wizards of the Coast.
If you work for Wizards, I'm going to leave you with two words that we in the Florida Magic community use when someone begins telling a bad beat story: