WotC bans four more cards in Standard

Artwork from the Magic: The Gathering card Attune with Aether. Artwork from the Magic: The Gathering card Attune with Aether. WOTC / WESLEY BURT

With two types of decks (Energy and Ramunap Red) dominating a reported 40% of Magic: The Gathering's Standard scene, Wizards of the Coast all but deconstructs both with the removal of four cards from official play.

As of Jan. 19, 2018, Attune with Aether, Rogue Refiner, Rampaging Ferocidon, and Ramunap Ruins have all been removed from Standard.  This make now nine cards banned from Standard since the beginning of 2017 while only two have been banned from Standard since the massive eight-card ban from Standard in March of 2005.

Wizards of the Coast says one of the main reasons for the ban is due to the amount of time the two deck types in question have been in the forefront for the format along with the fact that counter measures via rotation and play methods have proven ineffective.

In terms of Energy decks, WotC's Ian Duke says: "The cards we gave the strongest consideration to were Attune with Aether, Rogue Refiner, Aether HubLongtusk Cub, and Whirler Virtuoso.  Ultimately we decided on Attune with Aether and Rogue Refiner, two cards that produce incidental "free" energy alongside an effect that is almost strong enough to play on its own.  These two cards are the most common nonland cards among all the energy variants, and two of the most ubiquitous cards in Standard."

When it came to the popular Ramunap Red deck, the idea was to lower its overall power level.  In short, the deck's win percentage was much to high and WotC felt that its success was detrimental to Standard as a whole.

"This is in order to reduce the win percentage of red aggressive decks, mitigate overly swingy matchups, and provide more possibilities for counterplay," says Duke in regards to the bannings of Rampaging Ferocidon and Ramunap Ruins.  "Again, we expect these decks to remain competitively viable after this change."

WotC says players can expect yet another round possible card bans and restrictions on Feb. 12 based on the results of Pro Tour Rivals of Ixalan.

There were no changes made to the banned and restricted lists for any of Magic: The Gathering's formats at this time.

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