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January BanHammer

Happy Monday MTG peeps,

Today, January 15th, is supposedly 'Blue Monday', a name given to this day in January, which is claimed to be the most depressing day of the year.   Well we do have some good news to nudge you out of your mid-Winter malaise.  Or - perhaps not.

Many Magic: the Gathering players have been anticipating today's Banned and Restricted Announcement for some time.  The general consensus, from our own limited discussions with a number of players over the last few weeks, was that Wizards of the Coast may hobble the popularity of the ubiquitous Energy decks.  We did express this somewhat sarcastically last Monday (here on MTG Realm on Tumblr) when WotC had been pumping the Rivals of Ixalan PreRelease with the quip of 'Who will claim the golden City of Orazca?'.  Certainly not one of the four tribes in the new post-RIX standard but an (Temur) Energy decklist.  The smart money was on Attune with Aether or Rogue Refiner.

Today's official announcement (linked right here), was not surprising / was certainly surprising :

• Four cards have been banned in the Standard format - Attune with Aether, Rogue Refiner, Rampaging Ferocidon, and Ramunap Ruins. 

Two additional cards hit the list in addition to the two we had prognosticated.  Whether you fully, partly of completely disagree with the announcement today, we believe that most will agree that the supporting article was well written with a satisfactory explanation as to the changes.  

Attune with Aether and Rogue Refiner were most decidedly, the most common inclusion in all the energy variants we had seen some time, and those decklists were dominating everywhere from Friday Night Magic to Pro-play.  Coming up behind this top shelf list was Ramunap Red with Ramunap Ruins being an 'auto-include' in essentially every aggressive red list.

As we had waited for Rivals of Ixalan to deliver a fun and functional tribal build, we were more than cognisant that consideration for any tribal list we could imagine relying too heavily upon the generation of 1/1 (Vampire or Merfolk) tokens would need a plan against Rampaging Ferocidon.  This red Dino was the go-to sideboard answer for token lists and of course lifegain strategies.

We loved our Energy decklists we had built - the first was Electrostatic Pummlerer which evolved into Temur Energy.  We will admit that our interest did wane after a time, as games did often come down to who was on the play or who had the better sideboard.  

Although we do not doubt that Energy and aggro Red will be around until rotation, we do feel as if a large weight had been lifted off the lists we wanted to build with Rivals of Ixalan.  We will get to dust off our Anointed Processions, collect a full deckset of Radiant Destiny and get totally tribal.  


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