Zendikar Rising hasn't been officially released yet, and we are already talking about Standard bans.

While players may not have tested out the new format in paper yet, there's been an opportunity to play already on MTG Arena. Let's put this in perspective though, this Standard format is also undergoing a big set rotation, so there's been a lot of movement—both from cards leaving the format, and the addition of Zendikar Rising. There are also a number of cards banned in the format already, so Wizards doesn't seem shy about making bans in the same way they used to.

Here's the latest tweet from the official WotC account:

Normally there's time for a new format to be thoroughly tested out before a ban. This tweet comes less than a week after Zendikar Rising was released on MTG Arena, which is kind of absurd. Reading into the tweet more closely, it appears there's already a ban consideration, though it'll be interesting to hear what the latest update ends up being. It could be with the Grand Finals approaching—one of the marquee events of the year—there's a desire to have a healthy format that isn't dominated by a single deck.

There is one deck that's clearly above the rest in terms of power level: Four-Color Omnath. This is the version Oliver Tiu has been playing:

Magic: The Gathering TCG Deck - Four-Color Omnath by Oliver Tiu

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

Created By: Oliver Tiu

Event:

Rank:

Standard

Market Price: $220.23

Cards

Omnath, Locus of Creation

Color Identity:G,R,U,W

Market Price: $4.43

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/221779_200w.jpg

When Omnath, Locus of Creation enters the battlefield, draw a card.
Landfall — Whenever a land enters the battlefield under your control, you gain 4 life if this is the first time this ability has resolved this turn. If it's the second time, add {R}{G}{W}{U}. If it's the third time, Omnath deals 4 damage to each opponent and each planeswalker you don't control.

Buy This Card! https://shop.tcgplayer.com/magic/zendikar-rising/omnath-locus-of-creation

Felidar Retreat

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $1.44

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/222139_200w.jpg

Landfall — Whenever a land enters the battlefield under your control, choose one —
• Create a 2/2 white Cat Beast creature token.
• Put a +1/+1 counter on each creature you control. Those creatures gain vigilance until end of turn.

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Evolving Wilds

Market Price: $0.10

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/227330_200w.jpg

{T}, Sacrifice Evolving Wilds: Search your library for a basic land card, put it onto the battlefield tapped, then shuffle.

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Lotus Cobra

Color Identity:G

Market Price: $2.02

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/221778_200w.jpg

Landfall — Whenever a land enters the battlefield under your control, add one mana of any color.

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Mystical Dispute

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $0.30

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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Cultivate

Color Identity:G

Market Price: $0.39

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/236572_200w.jpg

Search your library for up to two basic land cards, reveal those cards, put one onto the battlefield tapped and the other into your hand, then shuffle.

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Escape to the Wilds

Color Identity:G,R

Market Price: $0.48

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/199297_200w.jpg

Exile the top five cards of your library. You may play cards exiled this way until the end of your next turn.
You may play an additional land this turn.

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Branchloft Pathway

Color Identity:G,W

Market Price: $2.58

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/221843_200w.jpg

{T}: Add {G}.

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Kenrith, the Returned King

Color Identity:B,G,R,U,W

Market Price: $5.12

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/200181_200w.jpg

{R}: All creatures gain trample and haste until end of turn.
{1}{G}: Put a +1/+1 counter on target creature.
{2}{W}: Target player gains 5 life.
{3}{U}: Target player draws a card.
{4}{B}: Put target creature card from a graveyard onto the battlefield under its owner's control.

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Wilt

Color Identity:G

Market Price: $0.23

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/212274_200w.jpg

Destroy target artifact or enchantment.
Cycling {2} ({2}, Discard this card: Draw a card.)

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Forest

Color Identity:G

Market Price: $0.16

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/235548_200w.jpg

({T}: Add {G}.)

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Elder Gargaroth

Color Identity:G

Market Price: $15.91

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/215477_200w.jpg

Vigilance, reach, trample
Whenever Elder Gargaroth attacks or blocks, choose one —
• Create a 3/3 green Beast creature token.
• You gain 3 life.
• Draw a card.

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Cragcrown Pathway

Color Identity:G,R

Market Price: $2.40

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

{T}: Add {R}.

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Spikefield Hazard

Color Identity:R

Market Price: $0.11

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/221957_200w.jpg

Spikefield Hazard deals 1 damage to any target. If a permanent dealt damage this way would die this turn, exile it instead.

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Thundering Rebuke

Color Identity:R

Market Price: $0.04

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/222195_200w.jpg

Thundering Rebuke deals 4 damage to target creature or planeswalker.

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Plains

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.20

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/235540_200w.jpg

({T}: Add {W}.)

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Fabled Passage

Market Price: $9.08

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/215556_200w.jpg

{T}, Sacrifice Fabled Passage: Search your library for a basic land card, put it onto the battlefield tapped, then shuffle. Then if you control four or more lands, untap that land.

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Chulane, Teller of Tales

Color Identity:G,U,W

Market Price: $4.01

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/194914_200w.jpg

Vigilance
Whenever you cast a creature spell, draw a card, then you may put a land card from your hand onto the battlefield.
{3}, {T}: Return target creature you control to its owner's hand.

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Mountain

Color Identity:R

Market Price: $0.09

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/235546_200w.jpg

({T}: Add {R}.)

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Raugrin Triome

Color Identity:R,U,W

Market Price: $9.18

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/212695_200w.jpg

({T}: Add {U}, {R}, or {W}.)
Raugrin Triome enters the battlefield tapped.
Cycling {3} ({3}, Discard this card: Draw a card.)

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Confounding Conundrum

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $0.34

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/221854_200w.jpg

When Confounding Conundrum enters the battlefield, draw a card.
Whenever a land enters the battlefield under an opponent's control, if that player had another land enter the battlefield under their control this turn, they return a land they control to its owner's hand.

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Island

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $0.14

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/235542_200w.jpg

({T}: Add {U}.)

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Uro, Titan of Nature's Wrath

Color Identity:G,U

Market Price: $17.19

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/206836_200w.jpg

When Uro enters the battlefield, sacrifice it unless it escaped.
Whenever Uro enters the battlefield or attacks, you gain 3 life and draw a card, then you may put a land card from your hand onto the battlefield.
Escape—{G}{G}{U}{U}, Exile five other cards from your graveyard. (You may cast this card from your graveyard for its escape cost.)

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Ilysian Caryatid

Color Identity:G

Market Price: $0.20

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/207178_200w.jpg

{T}: Add one mana of any color. If you control a creature with power 4 or greater, add two mana of any one color instead.

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Genesis Ultimatum

Color Identity:G,R,U

Market Price: $1.81

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/212699_200w.jpg

Look at the top five cards of your library. Put any number of permanent cards from among them onto the battlefield and the rest into your hand. Exile Genesis Ultimatum.

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As far as versions of Four-Color Omnath, this is one I can certainly recommend. There's so much power behind the deck. Let's start with the signature card Omnath, Locus of Creation. When compared to other cards in this Standard format, it just looks like an absolute powerhouse, and it is. There are many reasons why the card is too good for Standard play.

I believe that the reason why it was allowed to be this strong is because of the mana cost. Four different colors of mana to be able to play a card is not something we typically see. However, there is enough fixing alongside Lotus Cobra, and to a lesser extent Ilysian Caryatid, to be able to not only cast Omnath, Locus of Creation reliably, but get it down as early as turn three. Lotus Cobra I don't think by itself is too good for Standard, but combined with Omnath it is pretty disgusting.

Omnath, Locus of Creation is already a large creature that will immediately draw a card upon entering play. Even if it dies to a removal spell, the Omnath, Locus of Creation player is still up a card in the exchange. Then we have the fact that it is easy to get multiple landfall triggers each turn. With both Fabled Passage and Evolving Wilds legal, alongside cards like Escape to the Wilds and Cultivate, triggering Omnath, Locus of Creation is easy. The fact that it gains you four life a turn makes it really tough for aggressive decks to beat.

Omnath, Locus of Creation is in my opinion the most oppressive card in this deck, but it of course also plays Uro, Titan of Nature's Wrath. Uro, Titan of Nature's Wrath has already established itself as an absolute powerhouse. Even as we move out of Standard and into Pioneer or Historic, this is indeed one of the most powerful creatures ever printed. Uro, Titan of Nature's Wrath helps with the ramp part of this deck for sure, though it would still be a good deck if you removed Uro, Titan of Nature's Wrath from the equation.

With cards like Genesis Ultimatum and Felidar Retreat it becomes fairly easy to go over the top of whatever the opponent might be doing. The deck is able to play a ton of cards that are either lands or ways to ramp out lands, making it a ramp deck. That's because the cards at the top of the curve are so powerful you don't need that many actual threats. There are also four copies of Spikefield Hazard, which is either a good way to interact with your opponent's early creatures, or a land drop.

I'm not going to continue to go into why the deck is so good. If you jump onto the Arena ladder, and play against it a couple times, you will get the idea of what it's capable of very quickly. Since I'm not someone who simply likes to bend to the top deck in the format, I have been trying to fight the Omnath deck with countermagic. The idea is to counter everything of importance, and then play some card advantage to get ahead in the late game. This the Azorius Control deck I have been working on:

Magic: The Gathering TCG Deck - Azorious Control by Seth Manfield

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

Created By: Seth Manfield

Event:

Rank:

Standard

Market Price: $130.24

Cards

Jwari Disruption

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $0.23

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/222101_200w.jpg

Counter target spell unless its controller pays {1}.

Buy This Card! https://shop.tcgplayer.com/magic/zendikar-rising/jwari-disruption

Temple of Enlightenment

Color Identity:U,W

Market Price: $0.25

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/206634_200w.jpg

Temple of Enlightenment enters the battlefield tapped.
When Temple of Enlightenment enters the battlefield, scry 1. (Look at the top card of your library. You may put that card on the bottom of your library.)
{T}: Add {W} or {U}.

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Essence Scatter

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $0.02

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/212042_200w.jpg

Counter target creature spell.

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Shatter the Sky

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.24

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/207069_200w.jpg

Each player who controls a creature with power 4 or greater draws a card. Then destroy all creatures.

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Deny the Divine

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $0.01

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/207126_200w.jpg

Counter target creature or enchantment spell. If that spell is countered this way, exile it instead of putting it into its owner's graveyard.

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Shark Typhoon

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $8.60

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/212133_200w.jpg

Whenever you cast a noncreature spell, create an X/X blue Shark creature token with flying, where X is that spell's mana value.
Cycling {X}{1}{U} ({X}{1}{U}, Discard this card: Draw a card.)
When you cycle Shark Typhoon, create an X/X blue Shark creature token with flying.

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Yorion, Sky Nomad

Color Identity:U,W

Market Price: $2.99

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/212715_200w.jpg

Companion — Your starting deck contains at least twenty cards more than the minimum deck size. (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.)
Flying
When Yorion enters the battlefield, exile any number of other nonland permanents you own and control. Return those cards to the battlefield at the beginning of the next end step.

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Omen of the Sea

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $0.12

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/206769_200w.jpg

Flash
When Omen of the Sea enters the battlefield, scry 2, then draw a card.
{2}{U}, Sacrifice Omen of the Sea: Scry 2.

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Waker of Waves

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $0.10

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/215521_200w.jpg

Creatures your opponents control get -1/-0.
{1}{U}, Discard Waker of Waves: Look at the top two cards of your library. Put one of them into your hand and the other into your graveyard.

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Giant Killer // Chop Down

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.38

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/198743_200w.jpg

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Plains

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.20

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/235540_200w.jpg

({T}: Add {W}.)

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Divine Arrow

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.16

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/216360_200w.jpg

Divine Arrow deals 4 damage to target attacking or blocking creature.

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Archon of Sun's Grace

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.43

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/206838_200w.jpg

Flying, lifelink
Pegasus creatures you control have lifelink.
Constellation — Whenever an enchantment enters the battlefield under your control, create a 2/2 white Pegasus creature token with flying.

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Elspeth Conquers Death

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.47

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/207052_200w.jpg

(As this Saga enters and after your draw step, add a lore counter. Sacrifice after III.)
I — Exile target permanent an opponent controls with mana value 3 or greater.
II — Noncreature spells your opponents cast cost {2} more to cast until your next turn.
III — Return target creature or planeswalker card from your graveyard to the battlefield. Put a +1/+1 counter or a loyalty counter on it.

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Island

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $0.14

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/235542_200w.jpg

({T}: Add {U}.)

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Neutralize

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $0.10

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/212117_200w.jpg

Counter target spell.
Cycling {2} ({2}, Discard this card: Draw a card.)

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Silundi Vision

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $0.40

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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Raugrin Triome

Color Identity:R,U,W

Market Price: $9.18

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/212695_200w.jpg

({T}: Add {U}, {R}, or {W}.)
Raugrin Triome enters the battlefield tapped.
Cycling {3} ({3}, Discard this card: Draw a card.)

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Brazen Borrower // Petty Theft

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $11.34

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/199387_200w.jpg

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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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Swift Response

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.03

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/215854_200w.jpg

Destroy target tapped creature.

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Emeria's Call

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $2.09

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/221952_200w.jpg

Create two 4/4 white Angel Warrior creature tokens with flying. Non-Angel creatures you control gain indestructible until your next turn.

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Thirst for Meaning

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $0.03

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/206631_200w.jpg

Draw three cards. Then discard two cards unless you discard an enchantment card.

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Glass Casket

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.10

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/199004_200w.jpg

When Glass Casket enters the battlefield, exile target creature an opponent controls with mana value 3 or less until Glass Casket leaves the battlefield.

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Mystical Dispute

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $0.30

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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Ashiok's Erasure

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $0.16

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/206765_200w.jpg

Flash
When Ashiok's Erasure enters the battlefield, exile target spell.
Your opponents can't cast spells with the same name as the exiled card.
When Ashiok's Erasure leaves the battlefield, return the exiled card to its owner's hand.

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Castle Ardenvale

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $2.41

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/199390_200w.jpg

Castle Ardenvale enters the battlefield tapped unless you control a Plains.
{T}: Add {W}.
{2}{W}{W}, {T}: Create a 1/1 white Human creature token.

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Rewind

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $0.25

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/215472_200w.jpg

Counter target spell. Untap up to four lands.

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The Birth of Meletis

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.24

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/206752_200w.jpg

(As this Saga enters and after your draw step, add a lore counter. Sacrifice after III.)
I — Search your library for a basic Plains card, reveal it, put it into your hand, then shuffle.
II — Create a 0/4 colorless Wall artifact creature token with defender.
III — You gain 2 life.

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Castle Vantress

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $0.95

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/199284_200w.jpg

Castle Vantress enters the battlefield tapped unless you control an Island.
{T}: Add {U}.
{2}{U}{U}, {T}: Scry 2.

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I've been doing well with this white-blue Yorion control deck, beating both aggro and Omnath, Locus of Creation a lot of the time. Control is a very reasonable way to attack Omnath, Locus of Creation. The issue with the deck is it's a house of cards. If you let one threat slip through without countering it, things can quickly snowball from there. You also want to have a way to pressure the opponent. Waker of Waves is both a threat, some card filtering, and a target for Elspeth Conquers Death.

Even though in the early going I was beating up on [Omnath]Elspeth Conqueror's Death, in the last couple days I have found the matchup to be more difficult. Playing cards like Mystical Dispute out of the Omnath deck can definitely mess with your counterspell plan. There is an old-school control deck like this one that is worth playing, at least until there is a ban.

Potential Bans

Let's get into some cards that might need to be banned, either now, or soon, in order to make Standard an environment players are happy with. Right now for example it's either play Omnath, Locus of Creation, or do anything and everything you can to beat it, which makes the format focused primarily around one deck.

Uro, Titan of Nature's Wrath

I think this is the most likely card to be banned. Uro, Titan of Nature's Wrath has had a pretty decent run in Standard, considering how strong the card is. We will continue seeing Uro, Titan of Nature's Wrath get played a lot in Standard unless it's banned. This is also one of the pieces to the top deck in the format.

Omnath, Locus of Creation

I don't expect Omnath, Locus of Creation to be banned right now, but I do think it will eventually need to be banned. Since this is a signature card in Zendikar Rising, it does look bad to ban it so soon after its release. I'm getting Oko, Thief of Crowns flashbacks with this card though, it's just too strong for Standard in my opinion. I'm much more interested to see how it fits into older formats. If it were up to me, I'd kill Omnath, Locus of Creation in Standard now and be done with it.

Lotus Cobra

I don't think Lotus Cobra will ever be banned. I'm mentioning it here because there has been some talk about it being too good. The real reason it's so strong is because of Omnath, Locus of Creation and lands like Fabled Passage, but Lotus Cobra will definitely play a role in Standard's future.

Embercleave

There is an argument that can be made to ban Embercleave based on its power level. I don't think it will happen though. After Omnath, Locus of Creation, the Embercleave aggro decks are the next most played strategies. Gruul Adventures in particular has been quite good in testing. However, I think there is a general sentiment that having the top deck be an aggro deck is okay.

Lucky Clover

There are some cards that are being held down by Four-Color Omnath, and Clover strategies fit in there. This card will be much more heavily played if Omnath, Locus of Creation were to go, because a lot of the previous Temur Adventure shells that had done so well remain intact.

Fabled Passage

This is another very unlikely option, but part of the reason why Omnath, Locus of Creation, and Uro, Titan of Nature's Wrath are so good is because of Fabled Passage. Fabled Passage seems like it is too much of a format staple to be banned, but I would personally like to see what happens if it were to leave the format.

The Verdict

Right now, the most likely card to leave the format is Uro, Titan of Nature's Wrath. In the long term though, in order to actually make Standard balanced, WotC will need to do much more than that. It will take banning a handful of cards.

It's painful and frustrating to say this. We have seen bans continually becoming more and more frequent over the past few years. If a card were banned right now in Standard, it would make history for the fastest there has ever been a ban in a new format. This isn't a good thing, but the alternative is the format not being very good.

This is a tough spot, and in order to actually prevent this, it does unfortunately fall onto the design of the cards, though I know that is a very difficult job. Sometimes when you make one overpowered card like Omnath, Locus of Creation, it can dilute the impression of a set. With that said, personally I have enjoyed Zendikar Rising, and think there are a lot of great cards for Standard use, like the modal double-faced cards in particular. This will be a story we will have to keep an eye on, as I expect to hear something more concrete early next week, per the WotC tweet.