Wizards of the Coast has banned Alrund’s Epiphany, Divide by Zero, and Faceless Haven in Magic: The Gathering’s Standard format.

“While a good number of decks are seeing success on the MTG Arena ladders,” Wizards said, “and each has strengths and weakness against the others, the most played archetypes have remained largely the same over the past months.”

To address this, Wizards is making “a set of changes targeted at some of the top decks, including Blue-Red Epiphany and other blue control decks, Mono-White Aggro, and Mono-Green Aggro. Our goal is to create some churn among the current top decks, open up additional angles from which to attack the metagame, and leave room for more experimentation and innovation with the release of Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty.”

Alrund’s Epiphany

Way back in October 2021, Wizards acknowledged that they “aware of some players’ concerns about the impact of certain individual cards on [Standard] metagame diversity, such as Alrund’s Epiphany and Esika’s Chariot.” However, they ultimately decided to leave Standard alone in the hope that both Innistrad: Midnight Hunt and Innistrad: Crimson Vow would help shift the metagame.

Three months later, Wizards is changing its tune—at least with regard to Alrund’s Epiphany.

Powerful Blue spells are often designed to help control decks combat midrange decks, but “a deck that chains together extra turns can be particularly difficult to stop and frustrating to play against when it represents too large a portion of the metagame.” When combined with the Foretell mechanic, which helps cards avoid traditional hand disruption, Alrund’s Epiphany had become particularly frustrating to play against.

Additionally, Wizards is concerned about the metagames in their competitive tournaments. Alrund’s Epiphany decks aren’t “entirely dominant,” according to Wizards, but they are “particularly popular and successful at the highest levels of competition and in tournament play.”

When taken together, Wizards wants to “create space in the metagame for more mid-speed and slow archetypes, and to address the often-frustrating play pattern of chaining extra turns” by banning Alrund’s Epiphany in Standard.

Standard UR Epiphany by Stanislav Cifka (from the Innistrad Championship)

Spells (37)
Fading Hope
Spikefield Hazard
Expressive Iteration
Galvanic Iteration
Jwari Disruption
Test of Talents
Demon Bolt
Divide by Zero
Memory Deluge
Unexpected Windfall
Burn Down the House
Alrund’s Epiphany

Land (23)
Field of Ruin
Frostboil Snarl
Hall of Storm Giants
Riverglide Pathway
Stormcarved Coast
Sideboard (15)
Burning Hands
Environmental Sciences
Smoldering Egg
Test of Talents
Teachings of the Archaics
Cyclone Summoner
Hullbreaker Horror
Mascot Exhibition