MTG: Arena Drops a Ban on Field of the Dead in Historic Mode

by in Magic: The Gathering Arena | Aug, 25th 2020

This is the second ban/restriction announcement this month. There are quite a few people that think this trend of constantly banning out cards is oppressive and frustrating. You never know what’s going to get removed next – except don’t we? We, as players can see what cards are ruining the state of the game. In some instances (Teferi, Time Raveler), this takes about a year to change. Cards like Oko though? Near immediate. So we were a little surprised to see a Field of the Dead ban in MTG Arena, but it still makes sense.

Back in October 2019, Field of the Dead was banned in MTG Arena’s Standard Meta. Despite that, it stayed strong in Historic. If you want to see one of the most obnoxious Field of the Dead decks that existed, just take a peek at this blog from yours truly.

Historic Bans Only Today

Several of this year’s bans involved several cards, sometimes four or more at a time. But why did Field of the Dead get a ban in MTG Arena? Why now? Because Mana Ramp, try though they might to quell it, continues to stay strong in Historic. 

Field of the Dead is an incredibly powerful card against slower decks. The way most of the Field decks work is that it mana ramps wildly out of control with several spells, and fetches at least one Field of the Dead via Golos, Tireless Pilgrim. It lets you pick a land of any style out of your deck and put it into play. From there, you flood the board with 2/2 zombies and start obliterating the other player. 

However, Field of the Dead requires you to have seven or more lands with different names. It’s so easy to do that right now though! Cultivate lets you search your deck for two basic lands, put one into play, and one into your hand. Explore lets you play an additional land and draw a card, as another example. Hour of Promise is a newer card added with Amonkhet Remastered, as another example. You can search your deck for two lands, and put them into play tapped. If you have three or more Deserts, you also create 2 Black Zombie creature tokens.

Not to mention how stressful and annoying Field of the Dead Gate decks were. You could just pull all of your unique Gates from your deck with the greatest of ease, Scapeshift, and suddenly you have like 70 zombies. Plus there are tons of useful Deserts in the game right now to work with Hour of Promise.

In Best-of-One situations, Field of the Dead is one of the top decks in the game and isn’t going to change anytime soon – thus the ban in MTG Arena. It’s not going to stop being annoying, and as long as there is mana ramp/land fetch in the game, this is not going to stop anytime soon. Thus, this decision. Wizards of the Coast, in particular, said this in conclusion about the change;

“Having watched the progress of this deck closely, we feel that this trend is unlikely to change. We also feel that Field of the Dead is unlikely to be a healthy part of the format anytime soon, so suspension is the wrong approach. In order to bring a greater diversity to the Historic meta, Field of the Dead is banned.”

Do you agree though? Do you hope that with the next development cycle, MTG Arena will have fewer cards that are ludicrous and don’t need to be banned? Have Wizards lost touch of what balance means in this meta? We’d love to know what you think about this ban in MTG Arena!


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