Why Was Escape to the Wilds Banned in Standard?
We all know what just happened.
With Omnath not banned, the so-called Omnath-Adventures deck took off mightily in Standard. Patrick argued that the ban to Uro might have actually been a “buff” to Omnath rather than a detriment to its popularity… This seems to have borne out in the most recent ladders and big MTG Arena events.
Omnath ended up joining the skeleton of a deck already chock full of two-for-ones… Three-for-ones (or better!) with Lucky Clover.
Escape to the Wilds was a powerful bridge in Ramp-style Omnath decks, and the previous (Temur) Adventures deck already played the card. It bears mentioning that Escape to the Wilds is a natural three-to-five play following a Cultivate or Beanstalk Giant (or previously Uro), making it a more convenient [if less blatantly powerful] Ramp play than Genesis Ultimatum.
The Two Mana Artifact That Joined Escape to the Wilds on the Banned List This Week…
Lucky Clover was a Staple in one of the most celebrated decks from last Spring. It offers tremendous card advantage to a deck that is basically all Adventures.
Why ban it now?
For one thing, the Clover was already part of the too-dominant Omnath-Adventures deck… So that put the strategy over the top of where it once was, as one of multiple viable ones.
But perhaps more importantly, it is difficult to deal with, especially main deck. Compare the card to Edgewall Innkeeper. The Innkeeper is a little 1/1 for G. Powerful? Sure! But also pretty easy to kill. The artifact, on the other hand, requires specialized interaction to get off the battlefield.
Notably, Edgewall Innkeeper was left in Standard. That means that Gruul Adventures decks (and whatever Adventures you might dream up) will remain viable for the foreseeable.
Speaking of Adventures… Bonecrusher Giant is the Best Card in the Format
Stomp // Bonecrusher Giant was played in almost every deck… Not just every archetype, every deck at last weekend’s de facto World Championships. Only a single Dimir deck didn’t play it.
The card is great with Lucky Clover and Edgewall Innkeeper… Heck, is great in general. It’s about the most punishing card you can run against “fair” … And we predict fair will be on the rise with the broken mana engines largely removed from Standard.
Maybe Bonecrusher Giant should be the next card on the chopping block?
So Where Should You Be Playing Your Stomps-slash-Giants Now?
At least for now, we believe there is a clear best choice in Standard.
- With Dimir untouched by the bans, Dimir has risen in Standard popularity… This strategy preys on Dimir’s “Milling” offense and small creatures
- With Modal Double-Faced lands, the mana in this deck is solid… Competitive, even, with a one-color Embercleave deck like Mono-Red
- Speaking of which, it has dorks to carry an Embercleave (if that is your jam)
- Finally, it features the next 6/6 Titan up… Kroxa!
Rakdos seems perfectly poised to be Standard’s next “best” deck. Kroxa itself will be a free card thanks to the opposing Vantress Gargoyle or Soaring Thought-Thief!
… Not to mention your own self-mill and card advantage tools.
It’s big enough to flat-out beat beatdown threats, often even if they’re carrying Embercleaves! And of course, Kroxa can come back from the dead if need be.
Finally, Rakdos even anticipates the mirror with Elspeth’s Nightmare… A card that singlehandedly takes out a two mana creature, gains a little card advantage, and puts a huge hole in the opposing Escape plan.
For more of these Magical thoughts, tune in for “What Do We Do Now That Escape the Wilds is Banned?” now!