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Thiago Almeida

About last banned and restricted announcement

In this article I discuss about yesterday's bannings annoucements, as well as exposing my disagreements with Wizards of the Coast's stance on their banning decisions.

Once again WotC surprises by bringing [link](https://magic.wizards.com/en/articles/archive/news/january-13-2020-banned-and-restricted-announcement?n)(more changes then expected in Modern's banlist). After Looting falling along with Hogaak and Stoneforge Mystic rising from the underworld in an awesome Theros, Beyond Death style, now it is time for Mox Opal and Mycosynth Lattice to be exiled alongside with Oko, Thief of Formats. In this article I discuss about these bannings annoucements, as well as exposing my disagreements with the Wizards of the Coast (WotC) justifications. *Oko, Thief of Crowns* [image](https://cardsrealm.com/images/cartas/en/celd-eld-collector-boosters-oko-thief-of-crowns-271.jpg) A fair and expected banning. I also agree with WotC's decision to wait on this banning and allow the format to adapt. The Modern metagame usually finds ways to deal with new cards impacting the format, as we saw earlier last year with [card](Arclight Phoenix), which haven't needed a ban. To break the format quickly, it has to be a very broken card (say hi to [card](Hogaak, Arisen Necropolis)) and because at the beginning Oko was included more in Midrange strategies, it took a while to observe its dominance. However, after those 3 months it was proved that the best answer for Oko was to use your own Oko. We saw several traditional modern decks like Infect, UW Control, variations of TitanRamp, Jund, and [link](https://www.mtggoldfish.com/deck/2587242#paper)(Burn Oko 5-0 meme) finding some way to include this card in their lists. And last week we already had over 40% of the decks using [card](Oko, Thief of Crowns). In addition, it was one of the cards that made Simic Urza (deck to be beaten at the moment) extremely consistent in dealing with threats. For these and other reasons (Burn was losing to Infect) the ban was fair and necessary. Now the big question is: [image](https://cardsrealm.com/images/uploads/1579021881.jpeg) How long does this card last in Legacy? How many more times will we see [link](https://twitter.com/lsv/status/1191043545940889600?lang=en)(Black Lotus being turned into an Elk in Vintage?!) Well... this is a topic for another article. Next! *Mox Opal* [image](https://cardsrealm.com/images/cartas/en/mps-kaladesh-inventions-mox-opal-19.jpg) In an attempt to supress the dominance that Midrange strategies with [card](Urza, Lord High Artificer) were having in the format, WotC deemed it necessary to include Mox Opal in the banlist. Many will say it is a card that has been on WotC's radar for 5~6 years and that it enabled degenerate strategies throughout Modern's history. I agree with all of these arguments, but also believe that every Modern decks are suposed to do something broken or to be extremely efficient at breaking opponent's broken plays. So I do not consider these arguments as decisive for a banning. For me this banning comes in the same case as was for [card](Faithless Looting). A necessary measure caused by the bad design of new cards. I don't compare this to [card](Bridge from Below) because I think the Urza decks won't be broken as was in Hogaak's case after Bridge's banning. Much of the deck's explosion came from it consistently casting Urza on turn 2, or casting it on turn 3 with enough artifacts on the battlefield to enable a [card](Cryptic Command) or [card](Metallic Rebuke) on your hand. Without [card](Mox Opal), it won't happen that easy. Many have said that [card](Urza, Lord High Artificer) should be the banned card. I believe that if the deck can maintain this consistency using [card](Mox Amber), then we will have to say goodbye to Urza. Otherwise, we get the [card](Sword of the Meek) + [card](Thopter Foundry) being one of several combos within the format, and life goes on. *Mycosynth Lattice* [image](https://cardsrealm.com/images/cartas/en/bbd-battlebond-mycosynth-lattice-241.jpg) I don't agree with this banning and take this opportunity to criticize WotC's stance on this decision. The banning makes perfect sense with their argument that the Lattice + [card](Karn, The Great Creator) combo leads to "unfun games". This is true for me and many non-Tron, Eldrazi Tron and Prison players. But those who play these decks have the right to use their cards and have fun with their "unfun" combo. I agree with the "unfun" argument when in fact the game is unbearable because of the card, as was the case with [card](Krark-Clan Ironworks) and [card](Nexus of Fate) decks. On these cases, you felt kind of forced to continue playing (or watching your oponent playing for 10+ minutes without doing nothing. You call as you wish) because there was still the possibility of your opponent to missplay the combo or not finding a wincon. So in a competitive tournament you couldn't give up right away. Most of the time, the Karn + Lattice combo is different. When both cards are on the battlefield, nothing you do can change the state of this game. Your only option is to attack with your creatures. If you can win like this, you continue the game. Otherwise, you and your opponent will keep drawing until he finds his wincon and wins. Then it is expected for each player to not play slowly on purpose (which is against the rules) or to concede the match they consider lost. *WotC Design Team* Needs a ban!! (just kidding hahaha). Following the announcement of the [card](Oko, Thief of Crowns) ban on Standard, the design team released [link](https://magic.wizards.com/en/articles/archive/feature/play-design-lessons-learned-2019-11-18)(an article justifying themselves). They explained that, since the design of Battle for Zendikar, they preferred to power down the new cards, and that ended up causing bans and metagame patterns that should not have happened. From Guilds of Ravnica onwards, the power level was increased. We have seen a lot of this in the latest Magic sets. I can easily name several cards that were problematic in various formats because of their power: [card](Karn, The Great Creator), [card](Narset, Parter of Veils), [card](Teferi, Time Raveler), [card](Field of The Dead), [card](Veil of Summer), [card](Once Upon a Time) and our buddy Broko, among others I probably forgot. Since they are only acknowlegding this as a problem now, and the sets are designed within 1~2 years in advance, don't expect this situation to change much from now on. In Theros, Beyond Death we still have cards like [card](Heliod, Sun-Crowned) and [card](Underworld Breach) that have great potential for breaking formats. For Ikoria, CoreSet Teferi and the rest of 2020 expect more "emotional roller-coasters" happening on our beloved eternal formats, which is horrible for our economy, but great for hating on internet and creating threads BS-ing on Reddit!! \o/

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Ari Ferreira

Creature types in Magic - Eldrazi lore


Hey, guys! o/ This is Ari and today I will continue this series about creature types featured in Magic.[link](https://cardsrealm.com/artigos/the-creature-types-of-magic---vampires)(In the first article I told how vampires), a race well known in our pop culture, originated in the plans of Innistrad, Zendikar and Ixalan. This time I will address the *Eldrazi*, creatures that exist only in the worlds of our favorite card game. Eldrazi are giant and powerful monsters that live to devour energy wherever they go. Talking about their origin turned out to be a little more complicated than I thought, because the information about the emergence of the Eldrazi is simply unknown. What we do know is that they originally do not belong to any specific world, they are native to the *Blind Eternities*, which is actually the name given to the space between the planes of the Multiverse. As I said, the Eldrazi are a race that exist only in Magic, a fact that has always made me question what was their creative process. Something very curious that I didn't know until recently is that the Eldrazi were inspired by Cthulhu and Galactus. For those who don't know what I'm talking about, a quick Google search gives a brief description of these characters: • *Cthulhu* is a cosmic entity created by the horror writer H. P. Lovecraft in 1926. Cthulhu is a gigantic-sized ancestral creature often used in science fiction and fantasy circles as a synonym for horror, magic, or extreme evil. • *Galactus*, also known as The Devourer of Worlds, is a comic book character, a cosmic entity within the Marvel universe. [image](https://cardsrealm.com/images/uploads/1561855122.png) We can really find several traits of these two characters in the Eldrazi, right? The first Eldrazi-type creatures were introduced to Magic in April 2010 in the *Rise of the Eldrazi* expansion, but the *Eye of Ugin* card, released in the previous collection (Worldwake), already mentioned the Eldrazi, leaving players curious and even confused, as Wizards had not yet given any details about this new type that was about to emerge. [image](https://cardsrealm.com/images/cartas/en/wwk-worldwake-eye-of-ugin-136.jpg) After all the mystery, the players finally met the mighty Eldrazi titans: *Kozilek, Emrakul and Ulamog.* [image](https://cardsrealm.com/images/uploads/1561855323.png) An interesting fact about the titans is that they each have their own lineage of subordinates who form true armies. Each lineage reflects the image of its parent, that is, we can visually identify the origin of an Eldrazi offspring. [image](https://cardsrealm.com/images/uploads/1561855377.png) (Translation: "Linhagem" means "lineage") *Plot* My goal here is not to tell you about the entire Eldrazi lore, because it has so many details that it could easily be published in a book :P . For this first article I would like to briefly tell you about the Eldrazi's passage through *Zendikar*. *Eldrazi Imprisonment* The history of the Eldrazi began thousands of years ago when three Planeswalkers (*Sorin Markov, Ugin and Nahiri*) became aware of their existence and decided to destroy them. However, the Planeswalkers' plan failed and they were unable to destroy the elder Eldrazi. So they decided to imprison them in Zendikar to avoid the damage they could do to the Multiverse. Sorin lured the titans to Zendikar, Ugin used his knowledge of colorless magic to create a containment energy field and Nahiri built a complex network of mountains and stones (called hedrons) that would act in sync with the energy field created by Ugin to confine the Eldrazi. After imprisoning the Eldrazi, Sorin and Ugin left Zendikar and Nahiri became the guardian of that plane. [image](https://cardsrealm.com/images/uploads/1561855433.jpeg) Hundreds of years passed while the existence of the Eldrazi remained unknown to the rest of Zendikar, but even though imprisoned, the titans wielded some kind of power over the plane. Such power was so great that some of the inhabitants of Zendikar worshiped the titans as gods. The merfolk, for example, believed in three deities they called *Ula, Cosi, and Emeria*, but they did not know that they were actually worshiping the world-destroying beings who were trapped in the plane. It is important to mention that at a certain point in this timeline, Nahiri realized the great danger the Eldrazi still posed and left the plane seeking for Sorin's help, and since then we have had no further news from the stoneforger. *Rise of the Eldrazi* The "magic" used by Sorin, Ugin and Nahiri to imprison the Eldrazi could only be "broken" by 3 Planeswalkers. Knowing this and interested in the power of the Eldrazi, the planeswalker dragon *Nicol Bolas* devised a plan for *Chandra, Jace, and Sarkhan* to go to Zendikar and begin the Eldrazi's liberation without even knowing what they were really doing. [image](https://cardsrealm.com/images/uploads/1561855495.png) The lore for the original Zendikar block ends about at this point, full of suspense and many unanswered questions. Players would have to wait another five long years to know what happened after the Eldrazi titans were released. *Battle for Zendikar* In 2015, we return to Zendikar to finally witness the great battle between the Eldrazi and the *Zendikari* (as the inhabitants of Zendikar are called). Let me start telling you about *Gideon Jura*, who arrives at Zendikar in order to prevent Ulamog from further destroying this plane. The story has several battles and twists, and the participation of several Planeswalkers. [image](https://cardsrealm.com/images/uploads/1561855557.jpeg) Ob Nixilis, for example, is responsible for awakening Kozilek, allowing the second titan to join Ulamog to devour the plane of Zendikar. Gideon teamed up with *Nissa* (another Planeswalker), Chandra and Jace and, after defeating Ob Nixilis, they face Ulamog and Kozilek in an epic battle that ended in a massive explosion, finally destroying the gigantic cosmic entities. *Oath of the Gatewatch* Exhausted, the four Planeswalkers (now forming a team known as the *Gatewatch*) stood on top of a rock and looked down at the land they had saved. [image](https://cardsrealm.com/images/uploads/1561855730.jpeg) And as everything that involves Eldrazi comes with a hint of mystery, the lore of this block also ends with an unanswered question: Where was the third Eldrazi titan? Was Emrakul on another plane? Although the Battle for Zendikar was won, the "Gatewatchers" knew the war was far from over. They needed to find the third titan and prevent other worlds from being devastated... Emrakul's fate was later revealed in the *Shadows over Innistrad* block, but to prevent this article from getting tiresome, I will tell this story another time, okay? I hope you enjoyed this article!! Let's talk more about the misterious Eldrazi in the comments? Thank you very much for reading and until the next time!

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Ari Ferreira

Analista de Sistemas em São Paulo. Jogador e produtor de conteúdo sobre MTG. Criador e apresentador do Canal e Podcast Mana Delver. Apesar de ser apaixonado pelo Pauper, também joga e aprecia todos os outros formatos.

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