The Magic Show #234 – The Banning of Jace, the Mind Sculptor and Stoneforge Mystic

Hello everybody and welcome to another edition of the Magic Show. This week we’re going to be talking about the earth-shattering bannings that happened last Monday. It’s been six years since we banned a Magic card in Standard, and this time we banned two. Let’s go!

Hello everybody and welcome to another edition of the Magic Show. This week we’re going to be talking about the earth-shattering bannings that happened last Monday. It’s been six years since we banned a Magic card in Standard, and this time we banned two. The format is fresh and exciting and we bid farewell to the Tupac and Biggie of Standard, Jace, the Mind Sculptor and Stoneforge Mystic. Let’s go!

“Ding Dong! The Witch is dead. Which old Witch? The Wicked Witch!
Ding Dong! The Wicked Witch is dead.”

Yes ladies and gentlemen, they gone and done it. I couldn’t believe it myself–I refresh my browser at midnight on Sunday night / Monday morning, and there it was.

So, let me get this out of the way, you haters: I was wrong. I was 100% certifiably wrong. Allow me to play the clip for you now:


Yes, yes, get it all out folks. As it turns out, I’m not really right all the time. Hell, I’m not right a lot of the time, but that’s the beauty of it–I don’t have to be right to spark discussion. Trust me, taking a stance on something is a ton more interesting than just wishy-washy-ing your way around the problem.

But taking stances also leads to some embarrassing moments. So now, in honor of the haters, I’d like to put up a short reel of my misfires:




Yup, there ya go. Get it all out of your system. I hope you guys enjoy the schadenfreude, as I love poking fun at myself. I mean, we’re Magic players, and I’m having fun making this Show. So what if I’m wrong?

But…what about the times I was right? There were plenty of times where I nailed it, but due to recent events the one that really sticks out in my mind are my comments on Stoneforge Mystic back when she debuted in Worldwake. Enjoy:


So yeah, I screw things up, but yeah, I get them right too. We choose sides, we present arguments, sometimes we’re wrong.

Honestly? I thought Jace was just too big to fail, as it were. He was too big to ban. The face of the brand banned? That’s insane!

But Aaron Forysthe put it best in a tweet the following day: if they’re going to incur the cost of banning cards, it better shake things up significantly.

And shake? Oh man, more like rock to the foundations. You know how every set since Scars of Mirrodin you’d look at a creature and go “Man, that is awesome!” then immediately go “too bad Jace makes it suck!” Well, no longer. How about that Phyrexian Obliterator? That card is SICK and Jace was the #1 reason it saw no play. How about Hero of Bladehold? When I tell you this girl is insane, this girl is INSANE. She is crazy, crazy powerful and now that she won’t just get bounced immediately I’m telling you right now to watch out. I mean, even Baneslayer Angel good again, right?

So mono-black is suddenly viable, Mono-Green Eldrazi is awesome, Valakut and Splinter Twin rise as the only two known pillars of the format, and this is a brewer’s paradise! We’re talking a TON of cards that are looking for action all over.

Better yet, the staples of the format haven’t changed. You want Vampires? They’re just as good. You want Red Deck Wins? It’s still kicking ass.

Back to the bannings, were we really surprised at Stoneforge Mystic? If there was one card I think everyone could get behind leaving us, it was that one. Yes, Wizards had to make the awkward exception for the War of Attrition deck. So what. Some guys who battle in FNM want to use the thing that says “perfect for FNM,” so no harm, no foul. Good luck beating Splinter Twin with that deck, by the way.

But anyway, yes, Stoneforge plus best Equipment ever printed kinda sorta broke our Standard environment in half. So long Ms. Mystic, don’t let the door hit your busted butt on the way out.

This week we’ll have the swan song of both Jace, the Mind Sculptor and Stoneforge Mystic in Baltimore as StarCityGames rolls into town for another sweet Open Series event. Yes, I know, it’s unfortunate the bannings don’t go into effect sooner. That said, mise well use them overpowered cards while you can!

For those without those broken, soon-to-be-banned cards, remember that Vampires and Red Deck Wins do a hell of a good job at smashing Caw-Blade. Note that Vampires has won the past two Opens, with Red Deck and Vampires facing off in the finals of the Denver Open in Mile High Stadium a few weeks ago. I mean, how sick is Searing Blaze right now? They busted the two-drop category with Stoneforge, so make it really suck to play it right away after you bash in with a Goblin Guide.

Speaking of red deck, this is the perfect time to drop some M12 spoiler goodness on you. Did you notice that Grim Lavamancer is being reprinted? YES, Grim Lavamancer! Oh man that card is SO sick. Let me tell you, the power level of that card is incredibly high and every red deck player just had a little pee come out.

Did you also notice Incinerate is on the M12 visual spoiler? Yes, we lose Lightning Bolt, but for one brief, delicious period of time we’ll have both Incinerate and Lightning Bolt and Grim Lavamancer and Goblin Guide and Searing Blaze and Shrine of Burning Rage and Staggershock and Koth! Now that is one scary deck, pre-built and ready to burn your face off.

Moving on, how about that Commander? I gotta say, again, this product has outperformed all expectations. Shops are sold out across the country, good luck finding it in your local game store let alone big box stores like Target and Wal-Mart, though this product technically supposed to be there too.

What is Wizards doing? Printing more of course! Elaine Chase, the brand director for Magic has a few unintentionally funny tweets where she’s basically saying “Don’t panic! We’re printing more, promise!”

In the meantime, those who do have those precious decks are having a blast with some of the funnest and most apt-designed cards for the format. Players like myself are enjoying dabbling in the new format while finding powerful cube cards like Chaos Warp and Edric, Spymaster of Trest. While I think Flusterstorm is a little silly in price right now, I mean, is it really better than Spell Pierce or Mindbreak Trap? Is it just the sexiness of the word ‘Storm’? Because that mechanic is completely and I mean COMPLETELY busted, so having it on a Spell Pierce-y card is amazing right? Right? Buehler?

Anyway, lastly we wrap this week up with a note about the Community Cup, where Wizards was taken down again and the Eric Friborg Community Cup trophy was handed over. Congratulations to the winning Community team, I hope they had as awesome a time as I did last year in Renton, Washington. It really is the Wonka factory up there, folks.

So that’s all we got! Get your brewing hats on deckbuilders, as it’s time to shine. Meanwhile sleeve up those Mystics and Jaces and we’ll see you in Baltimore. Until next time Magic players, this is Evan Erwin. Tapping the cards…so you don’t have to!

– Evan “misterorange” Erwin