Break out the champagne, Magic: The Gathering has gone five months without a single ban to its Standard format. The latest ban announcement for MTG came on Tuesday, June 7. But the only formats to have new cards added to their banlists were Pioneer and Explorer.
In an article announcing the new card bans, the game’s creator, Wizards of the Coast, explains that MTG Standard has “good levels of diversity” right now. It holds that the Standard metagame is currently in a healthy spot, with several different strategies competing for the title of best MTG Standard deck. Red/Blue/White decks using Lier, Disciple of the Drowned or Hinata, Dawn-Crowned are popular, while White decks and Runes decks using Runeforge Champion have become less dominant. Wizards says that Mono Green, while not among the more popular decks, has proven to be a good counter to the current best strategies.
So far, 2022 is proving a good year when it comes to broken cards – at present, only a handful of cards have received Standard bans: Aldrund’s Epiphany, Divide by Zero, and Faceless Haven. Each of these got the chop back in January.
Since then, two Standard sets, Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty and Streets of New Capenna, have safely launched, without causing mega disruption. The contrast between the current situation and the flurry of bans Magic went through in 2020 after Thrones of Eldraine came out is pretty stark.
The latest MTG cards to be banned are Winota, Joiner of Forces, and Expressive Iteration. Winota was banned from Explorer in May, but both cards are now banned in the Pioneer and Explorer formats.
If you want to play MTG, one great place to start is learning how to build a deck. Check out our guide, and you’ll be winning matches (or complaining about getting mana screwed) in no time.