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Gathering Magic Week in Review 1/9-1/13


Whew! What a week it’s been here at Gathering Magic! Robert here, and it’s time for another Gathering Magic Week in Review. Last week, the full spoiler for Aether Revolt went up and it’s been nothing but talk about the new set since then. We’ve got a whole host of content focused on the latest set for you to enjoy, and I’ve gathered it here for your convenience! So, let’s get to it!

Announcement and News

Big news in the Magic community this week as Wizards made an early announcement about updates to their Banned and Restricted List this Monday. Going forward, Wizards will be announcing any changes to the B&R List on the Monday before the Pre-Release for a new set, and 5 weeks after the Pro Tour.

Now, to the meat of the announcement. Emrakul, the Promised End, along with Smuggler's Copter and Reflector Mage, have been banned in Standard.

Emrakul, the Promised End
Smuggler's Copter
Reflector Mage

Emrakul was designed to be powerful, but she turned out to be a little too powerful in Standard. Ending games decisively and consistently, it was time for Emrakul to be Imprisoned in the Moon so other cards and strategies could have some time to shine.

Smuggler's Copter was too efficient for its own good. Able to be played in almost any deck, the Looter Scooter was too pervasive and restricted diversity in deck-building because it was so much better than similar options. This pushed vehicle is no longer street legal, hopefully allowing some other vehicles and strategies to shine.

Reflector Mage’s ban was very much a targeted strike to take U/W Flash down a peg or two. Perhaps it was a bit much to ban the much-maligned uncommon since the days in which it was truly a menace (Collected Company anyone?) are behind us, but it’s removal from the format means things will have to change.

The removal of these three cards from Standard mean the field is wide open going into Pro Tour Aether Revolt in a couple of weeks. The three top decks in the format have all taken a hit (B/G Delirium, U/W Flash, and Aetherworks Marvel), so we’ll see if they can regroup or if new decks will materialize to take their place.

Gitaxian Probe
Golgari Grave-Troll

Gitaxian Probe and Golgari Grave-Troll were also banned in Modern, Probe being a free way to make sure the coast is clear for early kills and Grave-Troll being boosted too much by recent graveyard synergies. We’ll see how Modern changes based on the removal of these two cards in the coming weeks.

If you want more info on the bannings, check the link below for the full announcement from Wizards of the Coast!

B&R Update Announcement

Aether Revolt Set Review

Ali Aintrazi tackled the gargantuan task of reviewing every card in Aether Revolt for Standard. Check out all five parts of the set review below!

Aether Revolt Set Review with Ali Aintrazi

More Aether Revolt Content!

Jason Alt does a 75% Set Review for every new set, and Aether Revolt is no exception! Check out what cards have Jason excited to shove in Commander decks!

A Truly Revolting 75% Article

Alex Ullman takes a look at what Aether Revolt has to offer for everyone’s favorite commons-only format! What can the latest set do for Pauper? Check it out!

Pauper Revolt

Abe Sargent has latched onto one of the new Legends from Aether Revolt and built an entire Commander deck around Sram, Senior Edificer! Check out Abe’s take on the new Legend!

Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff

But Wait, There’s More!

Sam Keeper, one of resident lore-masters, digs into the reasons behind the revolution on Kaladesh! If exploring the ideas of Henry Chapman Mercer and how the Arts and Crafts movement could potentially lead to an Aether Revolt appeals to you, check out this very smart piece!

Artifice and Crafts: Why be a Renegade?

Mike Flores talks about a deck that tackles some of the big match-ups in Standard and how the bannings might actually be a chance for the deck to shine brighter than ever. Check it out!

A Last-Minute Lesson

Video Spotlight

This week’s video spotlight turns to Ben Friedman as he runs into Modern with a Probeless Infect List. Watch Ben get down with sickness below!

60-Card Shootout: Modern Infect

That’s All, Folks!

And that’s it for the Gathering Magic Week in Review! As always, there’s so much more content on our site than I can put here, so I welcome you to explore everything our site has to offer!

I want to finish this look back at the week by posing a question for discussion. I’ll be posting it here as well as on Twitter and Facebook, so feel free to jump in on the discussion wherever you can!

This week’s Question:

We’ve had our first bannings in Standard since the banning of Jace, the Mind Sculptor and Stoneforge Mystic in Caw Blade Standard. How do you feel about the recent Standard and Modern bannings? And what do you think these bannings mean for the future of Competitive play for Magic?

Leave your responses in the comments below, and we’ll see you next week!

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