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Happy Tuesday MTG peeps,

After yesterday's literal 'Block-Buster' news on the mothersite which we've yattered about in yesterday's MTG Realm blog post, we are back into the trenches again today with MOAR Magic: the Gathering news.  After this week, we are going to need to take a breather and chill / zen out at our local gaming store, OMG! Games here in Barrie.  Perhaps we will find someone to trade our Aetherworks Marvel cards.

Anywhoos, let's get to it -

Today's Banned and Restricted Announcement which you can read all about over here on the Wizards of the Coast site.  After this weekend's Friday Night Magic event, as well as the big Grand Prix Las Vegas event (wheew! missed the bullet on that one), standard players will retire their playset of Aetherworks Marvel.  Those who liked the card, liked it well, those who did not, this is welcome news.  Personally, we thought the card was completely unfair, or as the kids are calling it these days, 'un-fun'.  

We're not here today to belly-ache about the loss of Marvel in standard or to rejoice it (we'll do that off-air), we do want to express our deep concern to Wizards of the Coast however.  To illustrate, here is the last handful of ban events in standard constructed - 

January, 2017
• Emrakul, the Promised End
• Smuggler's Copter
• Reflector Mage

April, 2017
• Felidar Guardian 

June, 2017
• Aetherworks Marvel

Previously to this - June, 2011
• Jace, the Mind Sculptor 
• Stoneforge Mystic

So - we go for almost six years without any bans in standard, and then we completely de-rail in 2017 with an epic FIVE cards on the chopping block.  We have to admist that when Wizards took the air out of our Caw-Blade decklist in 2011, we were hurt.  After all, it took a lot of effort, and some money to collect all the pieces to that list and then Stoneforge Mystic got hit right in the tenders with the ban-hammer.  

To stay that 'standard has had a rough year' is an incredible understatement.  

Something broke in the Wizards of the Coast organisation.  To fix it, WotC ahd formed a new group in R&D called Play Design to be headed by Dan Burdick with Melissa DeTora and Andrew Brown.  

We can only guess at the root cause, but to fix it properly, an objective and unbiased examination is required, whose goal is not to assign blame to individuals, but to identify business processes which had worked well for years in preventing the kind of silliness we see in 2017 and then determine how these failed.  

Altough welcome, we do not think that the creation af a new group addresses the root cause.  Only through iterative interrogative techniques used to explore the cause-and-effect relationships underlying this particular problem can we proactively avoid the same shortcomings.

We do need to point out one piece of sunshine in this mess.  Good-Guy ChannelFireball are accepting returns on recently purchased Aetherworks Marvel cards through their Ban and Reprint Policy.  

Until a time when the balance of good and evil are restored, there may be an exodus of players from standard - whether they go to the Winchester for this to blow over or migrate into a another format.


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