The black removal card The Meathook Massacre has been banned from Magic: The Gathering’s popular Standard format. Announced on October 10 in a Banned and Restricted update on the Magic website, the change will take effect immediately on tabletop, while the card will be banned from October 13 on MTG Arena.
Wizards of the Coast designer Ian Duke explains that in the Dominaria United meta, “the colour black has proven powerful and prolific, and makes up the foundation of many of the top decks”.
While no black card stood head and shoulders above the rest, The Meathook Massacre, a powerful boardwipe removal spell that continues to provide value throughout the course of a game, was chosen to get the axe.
Duke gives a couple of different reasons for the choice. It’s not just that The Meathook Massacre is one of the most powerful black cards in Standard right now, it’s also the fact that it effectively shuts down an archetype – decks relying on small creatures. As one of the older cards in the current Standard rotation, Wizards also felt that the card “has had its time to shine in Standard for over a year”, and perhaps hitting it with the banhammer would be less sorely felt.
Wizards says it expects the upcoming set The Brothers’ War to provide more balance, introducing “tools for other decks and color combinations”, but that this should make Standard more diverse in the meantime.
This is currently the only card on the Standard MTG banlist. Up till now, we haven’t a card banned in Standard since January, when Alrund’s Epiphany, Divide by Zero, and Faceless Haven were removed. All three of those cards would by now have rotated out of Standard.
Alongside Meathook Massacre in Standard, the Companion card Yorion, Sky Nomad received a ban in Modern.