Some quick ruminations on today’s upcoming Banned & Restricted announcement for M:tG

I wanted to write something a bit more in depth than this, but I’ve been tied up finishing the RB Vampiric Aggro deck tech. Anyway, here are my thoughts concerning the Standard B&R portion of today’s announcement.

There’s a reasonable chance that, so close to the end of the format, we won’t see Standard bans today, That’s certainly not to say I don’t think there will be! If we do see any bans, I reckon Felidar Guardian and Thraben Inspector are on the chopping block. Felidar Guardian for it’s obvious meta-warping nature, Thraben Inspector because it pushes the already super-efficient Mardu builds over the top. Maybe Toolcraft Exemplar in place of Thraben Inspector, but it’s less the issue as it gets powered up by the Inspector.
I doubt Heart of Kiran will be banned, but it’s not beyond feasibility. The same goes for Walking Ballista, I certainly don’t think it’s ban-worthy, but the ‘colourless’ precedent has been set with Smuggler’s Coptor, so who knows?
As an alternative to Inspector, it could be Unlicensed Disintegration and/or Scrapheap scrounger, though those cards aren’t in themselves overpowered or, in Unlicensed Disintegration’s case, too meta-warping without the Insector bringing that pesky clue along with it. UD is just a very efficient removal spell with bonus upside, Scrpheap Scrounger’s B ability requirement means it’s not that exploitable outside a deck running Black.
Gideon is an interesting one but I’d suspect it’ll go in the Amonkhet B&R announcement if it’s due to go, simply because it was originally due for rotation at that time and may well cause further issues with regards to that set. There may be a lengthy list banned at that time because of the no-longer-rotating factor. It’s still a potential target this time around, but I really don’t think it’s causing too much of an issue by itself just now, it’s in combination with the other Mardu cards where it becomes an issue, but not an unfair or overly dominating one. It would certainly be topical if it does get banned later today, and I won’t be entirely surprised if it does, though I’ll be interested to read the reasoning.
Please comment below and let me know what you think!
I’ll be following this up with a disection after the actual B&R announcement, looking at what’s happened and the reasons given for any bannings. After that, I’m currently putting the finishing touches to the BR Vampiric Deck tech, and will then be writing a beginner’s guide to Draft ahead of Modern Masters 2017 craziness this coming weekend. Thanks for reading, see you all later?

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