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Wizards Ban 2 Standard Cards and Change Companion Rules

We all been eagerly expecting the news about Standard bans and Companion rules changes and on June 1st, 2020 Wizards delivered with one of the biggest announcements in recent memory.

Let’s get right at it and see what those decision were.

Standard Bans

The following cards are now banned in Standard:

Agent of Treachery

Agent of Treachery Banned in Standard

Winota, Joiner of Forces and Lukka Coppercoat Outcast enabled Agent to come into play earlier than it would be fair. However, instead of going for enablers, Wizards decided to ban Agent.

Their reasoning is if the following. If Winota or Lukka, cheat something else in play, they aren’t stealing lands, making it easier for the opposing player to answer the threats.

We’d rather see the ban hammer to hit Winota and Lukka both, as they enable the broken stuff on their own. Agent is mostly a fair card at seven mana. Hopefully, something like Shatter the Sky might be enough to keep at least Winota decks in check.

Fires of Invention

Fires of Invention Banned in Standard

Fires of Invention decks have improved their win rate to a 55% in the recent weeks. They didn’t have a bad matchup in the other top 10 decks, according to the Wizards’ data.

With more cards being added to the Standard, these decks would only implement better expensive spells and take advantage of them (Shark Typhoon as one example from Ikoria). As a result Fires of Invention is banned in Standard.

Both cards are also suspended in Historic.

Companion Rules Change

Companions wrecked every format from Legacy to Standard. As a result Wizards took a special action and made a new rule for Companion mechanic:

Once per game, any time you could cast a sorcery (during your main phase when the stack is empty), you can pay 3 generic mana to put your companion from your sideboard into your hand. This is a special action, not an activated ability.

So companion still starts in your sideboard, you still start the game with 7 cards, but you can’t cast your companion from the sideboard.

You need to play 3 mana of any color to get it into your hand. You can only do so at sorcery speed. This ability can’t be countered.

Once you have it in your hand it works just like any other card in your hand would. You can cast it, opponent can even discard it, etc. That’s should definitely make companions less powerful overall.

Lurrus Companion Rules Change

Something like Lurrus now basically costs six mana, which you can pay in installments. It’s probably still worth it – it’s card advantage. But probably more fair than it was before.

Standard Bans and Companion Rules Q&A

Here’s some more detailed information concerning new Standard bans and Companion rules changes. If you have more question, feel free to ask in the comments bellow.

When Do Standard Bans Go Live?

Standard bans vary by platform, where you’re playing Magic. Bans go live on Arena on June 4th, so you still have time to get some wins with Fires and Agents. You can find all dates in the following table.

PlatformDate
PaperJune 1st, 2020
MTG ArenaJune 4th, 2020
MTGO (bans)June 1st, 2020
MTGO (Companion)June 4th, 2020

Do I Get Wildcards Back for Banned Cards?

Yes, everyone who owns any number of Agent of Treachery or Fires of Invention – before the update on July 4th, 2020 – will receive that many rare wildcards.

What that means is that if you don’t have 4 copies of each, you can get them for free, by crafting them before July 4th. Then you’ll get your wildcards back, and you’ll get to keep the cards. This might be useful if they stop being suspended in Historic, or so you can play them in alternate formats (like Brawl).

However, players won’t receive wildcards for Companion cards, because they’re still playable in all formats.

Your Thoughts

What are your thoughts about the bans? Were they good enough? Was the Companion Rule Change too big? Let us know in the comments bellow.

If you’re brewing a new decklist after this changes and want to see it featured on our site, for other players to try, you can send it our way by:

3 thoughts on “Wizards Ban 2 Standard Cards and Change Companion Rules”

  1. Why they did that?
    I bought an allied fires challenger deck, and now I can’t play it anymore.
    That’s not fair first the crisis and now the bannings. I wanted to play it on an event in my local gamestore. Wizards, next year I won’t buy any of your Precons.
    So, I think they could give a promo-pack or sth. else to apologise. Or maybe they should ban the Ultimatums and Shark Typhoon in Fires lists.
    Many Greetings a frustrated Fires player

    Reply
  2. I loved the fires and I will surely miss them. No other card enabled so many possibilities and ways to play as that one. Well as it comes out probably too many and it was simply too good for the cost 🙁
    I understand the thinking behind the ban but I’m sure fires will be remembered and in my case missed.

    BTW I think that’s the third card from that expansion that was banned in standard. That says a lot about it 😀

    Reply

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