MTG Arena Ban Uro Six Months Too Late — Is It Enough?

by in Magic: The Gathering Arena | Sep, 28th 2020

We’ve been saying (in particular Jason has been screaming) about how powerful Uro, Titan of Nature’s Wrath is in MTG Arena. It’s a wildly powerful card that does entirely too much, no matter what meta he’s a part of. Today, MTG Arena announced the next ban for Standard would be Uro himself. Most of the cards banned over this year have been in the Blue/Green scene, so how Uro kept avoiding a ban is anyone’s guess.

Not a Contentious Decision

With Zendikar Rising still being incredibly new, Wizards of the Coast say they’ve been keeping an eye on what’s going on in the format so far, and it’s very clear what that is: Uro, Uro everywhere. Uro+Omnath decks are so powerful we included two in our latest blog about Standard. The general consensus is that Uro probably should have never made it to the tables in the first place. He simply offers too much and is entirely too easy to play/replay.

In this morning’s blog post, Wizards said this about the ban: “While Uro, Titan of Nature’s Wrath was a powerful and contentious card in the pre-rotation Standard environment, we wanted to allow the metagame to adapt to the last set of Standard changes and the imminent rotation before making a decision on whether to let it remain a part of the environment going forward.”

The most powerful deck as of this week and last week was Four-Color Omnath. It was at least 30% of all decks played. Then you have the recent event that took place this weekend. All we saw on Twitter were screenshots of decks. Each deck in the shot was an Omnath deck. You can bet that every single one of them had Uro in it. What’s worse, the decks designed to fight Omnath/Uro still had Uro in them!

It’s Wizards hope that this ban will weaken the Omnath decks and other ram-heavy decks that are gaining steam right now. They don’t want to completely obliterate the deck archetype, just to make it competitive without being overpowered. It’s the decision of WOTC that they will continue to keep an eye on the Omnath decks and see if they wind up still dominating the meta.

Spoiler Warning: It’s going to. In our estimation, the top two decks right now are 4-Color Omnath and Adventures. Completely removing Omnath from the equation will ultimately leave another deck entirely in charge of the Standard Meta. There are other decks, sure. Dimir Rogues is still very strong, but it can’t compete as hard with the others. It’s pretty rare to see such a fast ban as an expansion comes out, but they didn’t ban any of the cards that came in the expansion.

People were really starting to get frustrated with every match having a very high chance of Uro/Omnath being the deck they faced off with. This writer was frustrated, and he was running Omnath! The only deck that really and truly suffers from this change is Sultai Ramp. Uro was key to their survival. Four-Color Omnath still has Roiling Regrowth and Cultivate, not to mention other options to put lands into play. Those two in particular are very strong.

We love MTG Arena, don’t get us wrong, and are glad that Uro finally caught a ban. It just feels like too little too late. So many meta shifts could have been had if Uro had been banned when the community voiced their input. The MTG Arena devs also point out that this B&R change was to focus on Standard and Historic, but Uro doesn’t seem to be banned in Historic (yet). They also want to keep an eye on the upcoming Season Grand Finals of 2020, and likely don’t want it to be just one deck and nothing else.

Is this ban going to stop Omnath from being a frustrating, annoying deck to come up against? Absolutely not. Is it still going to be everywhere? Probably. But it is still the right card to ban. There are others we could think should have joined Uro though. It’s not fair for us to speculate though, but this ramp-heavy meta has not been fun as it could have been.

There are simply too many cards with far too much value. The responses/removal for these high-value cards does not feel equal to the threats they’re dealing with. That’s the sad fact right now. We’re going to keep our eye on the meta though and see what shakes loose.


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