Wizards of the Coast introduced two major bans to Magic: The Gathering today, removing Agent of Treachery and Fires of Invention from the Standard and Historic formats.
Many players were hoping for a major Banned and Restricted announcement from WotC today—and they got it. Fires of Invention and Agent of Treachery have been banned from Standard and are being suspended within Historic.
“Over the course of the last several weeks, Fires of Invention decks have risen to have a dominant win rate and metagame presence in Standard, achieving a 55 percent win rate and having even or favorable matchups against each of the other top ten archetypes,” WotC senior game designer Ian Duke said. “This indicates that metagame forces alone aren’t sufficient to keep the deck in check.”
Fires of Invention has been a card “of issue” over the last several months in Magic, essentially allowing a player to cast spells without regard for the color of mana. It’s win rate has grown exponentially since the release of IKO and the ban today should play a major role in re-establishing a balanced metagame in Standard.
Agent of Treachery was another Standard card on the hot seat leading up to today’s announcement due to cards like Winota, Joiner of Forces, which can essentially cheat it directly into play.
“We’ve seen a rise in archetypes that use either Lukka, Coppercoat Outcast or Winota, Joiner of Forces to put Agent of Treachery directly into play,” Duke said. “While part of the design intent of these cards was to provide creative ways to deploy powerful high-mana-cost creatures, we’ve observed that using them to play an early Agent of Treachery can be uniquely frustrating to play against and difficult to come back from.”
Bans on Fires of Invention and Agent of Treachery go into effect today, June 1, via tabletop and Magic Online. The Banned and Restricted announcement won’t go into effect via MTG Arena until June 4. Suspensions in the Historic format aren’t bans and can be reversed.