Over a year and a half after it was first banned, Rampaging Ferocidon has been unbanned in Magic: the Gathering’s Standard format.

Don’t miss our stories on today’s other Banned and Restricted updates: Hogaak, Arisen Necropolis and Faithless Looting were banned in Modern; Stoneforge Mystic was unbanned in Modern; and Karn, the Great Creator, Mystic Forge, Mental Misstep, and Golgari Grave-Troll were restricted in Vintage, while Fastbond was unrestricted

Rampaging Ferocidon was printed in Magic’s Ixalan expansion, which was released in September 2017. Three months later in January 2018, it was banned from Standard as part of a massive wave of Standard bannings that included Attune with Aether, Rogue Refiner, and Ramunap Ruins. The bannings were intended to reduce the power level of the two best Standard decks at the time: Temur Energy and Ramunap Red.

Though Rampaging Ferocidon wasn’t seen as essential in the Ramunap Red decklists at the time, Wizards felt that it punished the strategies that could effectively counter a Mono-Red deck. The card was therefore preemptively banned “in order to weaken aggressive red decks and provide more counterplay by blocking with creatures and gaining life.”

Standard Ramunap Red

Creatures (26)
Bomat Courier
Soul-Scar Mage
Earthshaker Khenra
Harsh Mentor
Kari Zev, Skyship Raider
Rampaging Ferocidon
Hazoret the Fervent

Spells (10)
Lightning Strike
Lands (24)
14 Mountain
Ramunap Ruins
Scavenger Grounds
Sunscorched Desert

Sideboard (15)
Chandra’s Defeat
Magma Spray
Pia Nalaar
Chandra, Torch of Defiance

When Attune with Aether, Rogue Refiner, and Ramunap Ruins all rotated out of Standard in October 2018 with the release of Guilds of Ravnica, Rampaging Ferocidon remained on the Standard ban list. In fact, it was the only card remaining on the ban list from the year in which nine cards were banned from Standard, since Emrakul, the Promised End, Smuggler’s Copter, Reflector Mage, Felidar Guardian, and Aetherworks Marvel had all rotated by then, as well.

But now, with just one month remaining before it rotates out of Standard in October, Rampaging Ferocidon is getting a second chance. After the release of Core Set 2020 this July, two of the best decks in Standard were Bant Scapeshift and Orzhov Vampires, both of which are decks that win by creating a lot of small creatures. When combined with the fact that Mono-Red strategies haven’t kept up with the new best decks in Standard, Wizards believes that it is safe to unban Rampaging Ferocidon in the hopes that it “will further improve the metagame’s general balance and ability to self-correct.”

Rampaging Ferocidon becomes legal in Standard in tabletop Magic on August 30, 2019, on Magic: the Gathering Online on August 26, and on MTG Arena on September 4. It will have spent over 80% of its time in Standard on the ban list.

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