Fable Of The Mirror-Breaker, Reckoner Bankbuster, And Invoke Despair Banned In Standard

Three meta-shaping cards from Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty banned in Standard

Reflection of Kiki-Jiki, illustrated by Joseph Meehan

The highly anticipated update to the Banned & Restricted list from Wizards of the Coast (WotC) dropped this morning, banning three key cards in the Standard format.

Fable of the Mirror-Breaker Reckoner Bankbuster Invoke Despair

Fable of the Mirror-Breaker, Reckoner Bankbuster, and Invoke Despair are banned effective today for tabletop play and Magic Online. The bans will go into effect on MTG Arena tomorrow.

Andrew Brown, a Principal Game Designer for Magic: The Gathering’s Play Design team, penned the update article that zeroed in on the dominance of black and red decks in the format since the release of Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty.

Fable of the Mirror-Breaker Reflection of Kiki-Jiki

Fable of the Mirror-Breaker has been the piece that ties many decks together, whether it be Rakdos or Grixis-based midrange decks, Domain Control, or Reanimation decks that cheat Atraxa, the Grand Unifier onto the battlefield ahead of schedule. Brown cites the saga’s efficiency, lack of comparably-costed counterplay, high play rate, and power on the play as reasons to remove it from Standard.

Its ability to generate resources, card flow, and be a must-kill threat is unmatched at its level of efficiency. Counterplay available to it is low and frequently costs much more than three mana, and it is especially difficult to beat on the draw.

Andrew Brown on Fable of the Mirror-Breaker

Banning Fable of the Mirror-Breaker should reduce the power level of Rakdos Midrange, open up deckbuilding considerations for many decks, and add another layer of difficulty for reanimation strategies.

Reckoner Bankbuster

Reckoner Bankbuster is getting the axe for its ubiquity as the strongest colorless card-advantage tool in the format. It can go in any deck and pushed other forms of card advantage out of the format. Being able to crew Reckoner Bankbuster is a prerequisite for most creatures in Standard, which constricts deckbuilding even further.

Its general ubiquity and strength have pushed out other card-advantage options too much as a colorless card. It has also put stress on creature sizing, as creatures that can crew Reckoner Bankbuster have been more favored than others.

Andrew Brown on Reckoner Bankbuster

Play Design hopes banning this powerful vehicle from Standard will promote more diversity and give power to other types of cards in other colors.

Invoke Despair

Lastly, Invoke Despair, the third card on this list from Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty, is banned. This five-mana curve-topper punishes players for playing a variety of cards, including enchantments, while being a form of card advantage in its worst cases. Players looking to beat Rakdos decks couldn’t attack it with planeswalkers and enchantments, as they would all get swept away from one card, allowing red and black’s glut of spot removal to answer any threat presented. Even on an empty board, Invoke Despair functions as a five-mana draw three that deals six damage to the opponent.

Not only is it powerful for managing the battlefield and generating card advantage, but it has also been excellent for shoring up some of black’s weaknesses. Traditionally, playing a wide variety of permanent types is strong against decks with a lot of one-for-one removal.

Andrew Brown on Invoke Despair

Due to its power level and negative impact on card diversity, Invoke Despair is banned.

The next scheduled update to the Banned & Restricted list is set for August 7, ahead of previews for Wilds of Eldraine.

Read the original announcement from WotC.