Standard after Uro Was Banned

Petr Sochurek

Petr Sochurek

Introduction

Hello everyone! It’s sad times for Magic players all around the world mainly caused by the printing of the overly powerful cards from the new set – namely 《Lotus Cobra》 and 《Omnath, Locus of Creation》.

Lotus CobraOmnath, Locus of Creation

《Lotus Cobra》 is a card that we’ve seen in the past and even though it was powerful, it was nowhere near to what it does in the current enviroment. Card like 《Lotus Cobra》 can be fine if there isn’t enough support for it – it’s easy to kill and some formats don’t provide as much top-end reward but that is clearly not the case right now.

The fact that Wizards printed both 《Omnath, Locus of Creation》 and 《Lotus Cobra》 in the format already dominated by multi-colored ramp decks is something that I just simply cannot wrap my head around and it makes you wonder if there is some other incentive from their side besides just making the game as much enjoyable as possible.

I would maybe understand it couple of years ago but they DO have a testing team full of former professional players that are supposed to make sure that things like these don’t occur but that has clearly not been the case recently (hello 《Oko》!).

About 《Uro》 Ban

Uro, Titan of Nature's Wrath

Soo……something had to get banned – the results from all the events were just too lopsided and people were complaining way too much and I am sure that the number of players playing on Arena went down rapidly as well.

The problem is that as it’s usually the case, Wizards hesitate to ban the cards that were released just recently (its extremely embarassing and put’s them in a very bad light), so they will do anything in their power to avoid that scenario.

I do agree that 《Uro, Titan of Nature’s Wrath》 should got banned (a long time ago lol). It is just way too oppresive because it cuts all the angles that you can attack any deck with by finding it’s weakness.

you can’t really go under it – even if your all out aggro strategy might work for game 1, it’s just going to be really hard to beat the game 2 interaction + 《Uro》 plan from the midrange deck and you definitely can’t try to outgrind it with some sort of 1 for 1 control deck – 《Uro》 just keeps coming back and eventually gives you the inevitability to win the long game. There were some corner cards like 《Cling to Dust》 to fight that issue but you get the point.

So, do I like the 《Uro》 ban? Yes, of course. Do I think it changes anything? NO! It’s true that 《Uro》 made it really hard for the format to be ever healthy but nothing really matters when you print a card like 《Omnath》……

This is what I tweeted about 《Omnath》 once I saw the spoilers for the first time……I am not sure about my God-like powers but I deeply apologize to everyone who has a miserable MTG experience as a result of my wish.

I am generally a huge fan of greedy multi-color decks with powerful cards but obviously not at this scale when literally everyone who is trying to be competetive has to play this card.

Why is 《Omnath》 So Good?

Omnath, Locus of Creation

Ok, so I think that there are only few people at this point who don’t understand the ridiculous power of 《Omnath》 but despite that I would like to talk about why the card is so busted.

The problem is that when you first look at it, it doesn’t actually seem THAT good – atleast that was the case for me – it’s 4 colors and it looks like you need to fulfill certain requirements to unleash it’s power so I was like meh… looks cool, propably will be a nice roleplayer for greedy scummers like myself or something.

Fabled Passage

Boy I was wrong……Turns out that mana isn’t really an issue in the Modern world of Magic dominated by green decks and the current Standard format has a card that goes perfectly with it – 《Fabled Passage》 (not to mention 《Evolving Wilds》).

Not only that 《Fabled Passage》 fixes you to get any mana you are missing to cast 《Omnath》it also immediatelly gives you all 4(!) mana that you invested into it right back – combine it with the fact that it also replaces itself by drawing a card and you have an absurd card.

Redcap Melee

Someone on Twitter mentioned that they felt good about 《Redcap Melee》 and 《Omnath》 just to realize that it actually didn’t cost the opponent any mana or a card – and we are talking about the best case scenario here.

The fact that 《Omnath》 also dominates all the other formats like Pioneer or Modern clearly tells us that Standard is broken in half and there is very little to do about it. If you are still not convinced look at these turns 4s that pros posted on Twitter:

Twitter from @OndrejStrasky

Twitter from @fffreakmtg

Now: I am not saying that the strategy didn’t take a big hit with the ban of 《Uro》 – it did, but that doesn’t really change anything – it’s still just way too much above everything else, but there will be a small window before people find the new optimal list.

From what I’ve seen people are currently leaning towards playing 《Omnath》 in an Adventure shell but I am sure that there are other unexplored avenues waiting to be explored:

4C Adventure

How To Beat 《Omnath》 in Standard if You Don’t Want To Play It Yourself

As I already mentioned: there will be a small window before the best list using 《Omnath》 is found and as always has been the case in the past; the metagame has to establish itself for the 《Omnath》 players to know what to fight: I live under no illusion.

Once the other 3 or so non-《Omnath》 decks are known, it will be really hard to put up a good fight against the deck because the 《Omnath》 lists will be tuned post board to have an optimal build against those other 3 in which case the deck packing more powerful cards (《Omnath》) comes on top but we are not in that stage yet.

I think that if you want to have a fighting chance against 《Omnath》, you have to be able to counter it – the only weakness of the card is that it’s somewhat expensive and doesn’t provide any value while being countered and there are many Dimir-based decks running around trying to do just that.

Dimir Rogue

Thieves' Guild EnforcerSoaring Thought-ThiefZareth San, the Trickster

The first deck that comes to mind are Rogues – you can argue that rogues don’t play THAT many counters but they have some and it’s just a powerful machine that can maybe compete now that 《Uro》 is gone – the power level of the decks got closer to each other and rogues were kinda weak to 《Uro》 specifically so I can definitely see it being a contender.

Grixis Control

Kroxa, Titan of Death's HungerShark TyphoonAshiok, Nightmare Muse

Now that 《Uro》 is gone you can actually build an attrition based deck packing bunch of counters to fight 《Omnath》 and try to win the lategame with a control deck and I really like the look of this deck by Crokeyz

it’s been a while since we‘ve had a Standard format in which a deck that tries to win by dealing with threads and winning by simply two for oning here and there was anywhere near being competetive and I hope that we got to that point (as I said: my hopes are slim, it won’t take that long for the Omnath decks to adjust but we can atleast try to have fun for now).

Conclusion

That will be all for today! Despite many missteps I still love Magic with all of my hearth and will try to (as you also should) get the most out ofn it anyway!

If you liked my article, consider to give mea n Instagram or Twitter follow for more content!

Thanks for reading,

Petr Sochůrek (Twitter / Instagram)

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Petr Sochurek

Petr Sochurek His prowess in reading the meta and taking advantage of it with flawless plays is among the reasons he is considered to be one of top European players right now. Having played Grixis Control to a magnificent victory at GP Paris 2016. He is most assuredly one of the top players to keep an eye on right now! Read more articles by Petr Sochurek

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