Yesterday, Winota and Tibalt’s Trickery got banned in Explorer. I have to say I agree with banning Tibalt’s Trickery pretty much everywhere, as the card should have never been printed with this wording to begin with. The Winota ban is a bit more tricky, but I agree with it for the overall health of the Best-of-One format, where Winota was running rampant. It might not have been super consistent, but it sure was annoying to play against it and be on the wrong side of variance and just losing on turn three to a couple of Winota triggers bringing double Tovolar’s Huntmaster into play.
As far as Best-of-Three is concerned, I didn’t think Winota was actually that good there because the deck simply didn’t have a great sideboard and didn’t even want to change its configuration too much anyway. At the same time, everyone else improved against it post-board with cards like Redcap Melee, Ray of Enfeeblement and sweepers, so it felt like a perfectly fair fight.
Now what does this mean for the format?
First of all, make sure you add Rest in Peace, Unlicensed Hearse or Soul-Guide Lantern into your sideboard, because the Greasefang Combo will now be as popular as Winota was until now. It’s just too powerful and gets to play some of the format’s best cards, but it doesn’t do particularly well against Rest in Peace in the post-board games.
Slower midrange and control decks will now be viable not just in Best-of-Three, but even in Best-of-One, just make sure you have a good plan against the Greasefang combo.
My pick for the best deck in the format is still Greasefang, followed by Rakdos Arcanist and Izzet Phoenix. Stay tuned for Deck Guides for all of them soon!