One of Magic: The Gathering‘s strongest decks following the release of Zendikar Rising has just taken a massive clout around the head by Wizards of the Coast’s mighty ban hammer. While the timing will certainly raise a few eyebrows – nerfs this soon into a new Standard rotation are almost unheard of – the unfortunate victim of Wizards’ ire will come as absolutely no surprise. Introduced earlier this year in Theros: Beyond Death, Uro, Titan of Nature’s Wrath has become something of an incredibly powerful engine for ramp-oriented decks, enabling rapid, repeated healing, card draw and an insanely fast push into late game all on a single piece of cardboard.
Combined with other green-colored cards such as Cultivate, Uro was already a mainstay of the format and while strong, wasn’t too dominant. Thanks to even more support in Zendikar Rising with cards like Omnath, Locus of Creation and Lotus Cobra, however, the scales of balance have tipped further in one direction than was perhaps initially intended, ultimately leading to Uro’s early retirement.
In its accompanying Banned & Restricted announcement, Wizards’ Ian Duke discusses the rhyme and reasoning behind Uro’s removal which, simply put, was a result of the team’s desire to rein in the power of ramp. With this linchpin of the deck now no longer accessible, it should take players much longer to establish a game plan and prevent grossly one-sided matchups. It’s worth noting, however, that if issues continue, Omnath could well be next on the chopping block, despite being no more than a few weeks old. You can expect a sit-rep on the overall health of Standard’s metagame within the next few weeks, says Duke.
As is usually the case for Magic: The Gathering Arena players, any copies of Uro that you have in your collection will be refunded with the same number and rarity of Wildcards which, in this case, is Mythic Rare.
Will you be one of many looking for a new deck to play, though? If so, let us know what you’ll be switching to in the usual place below!