It’s been a few weeks since the standard format of Magic the Gathering was shaken up by Innistrad: Midnight Hunt and the annual set rotation, and it looks like the first major problem card in the new rotation has appeared.
Alrund’s Epiphany is a sorcery that costs five credits and two blues, though it can be Predicted and played for four credits and two blues instead. It creates two 1/1 blue Bird creature tokens with flying, and also gives you an extra turn. This was a popular card in some pre-rotation decks, most notably being part of the Sultai Ultimatum decks where it could force your opponent to choose between hammer and anvil when used with Emergent Ultimatium.
Despite being part of the old pre-Midnight Hunt meta, Alrund’s epiphany was not a major issue until the introduction of the galvanic iteration in Innistrad: Midnight Hunt. Combine that with removing the useful ways to deal with Alrund’s Epiphany from the older and turned sets, and the result is a deck archetype that has completely overwhelmed the Standard format.
Galvanic iteration is an instant that costs one blue and one red that copies the next instant or sorcery you play. This means that one Alrund Epiphany and one Galvanic iteration can equal two more turns, giving you the opportunity to tap into your next Alrund Epiphany and repeat the process all over again. To make matters worse, the galvanic iteration can be flashed (played from your graveyard) for a credits, a blue, and a red. With four galvanic iterations and four Alrund epiphanies, it’s incredibly easy to monopolize the entire game and shut your opponent out of action.
While the early days of Innistrad: Midnight Hunt Standard were quite varied, Alrund’s Epiphany has now completely twisted the format. According to MTG Goldfish, which tracks decks for a variety of formats, 31.1% of current Standard decks are Izzet Control, and 99% of those decks perform four copies of Alrund’s Epiphany. The only thing that even comes close to Izzet Control’s impact on the format was 23.9% Mono-green Aggro, which uses Esika’s Chariot to create a lot of tokens.
Magic the Gathering experts, such as Star City Games’ Brad Nelson, demand that Alrund’s Epiphany be banned from the Standard, arguing that it could “ruin the Innistrad: Midnight Hunt standard”.
Extra turns are a controversial and often hated strategy in Magic, especially in Standard where potential responses are limited by the smaller pool of cards. Having one person dominate the vast majority of a game’s execution time is not considered a healthy playstyle, and Wizards of the Coast has tried to cut it down in the past by banning cards like Nexus of Fate. and Time Vault in various other formats.
If Alrund’s Epiphany is banned, it would be the second map in the current standard rotation, joining Omnath, Zendikar Rising’s Locus of Creation, which was banned from the format last October. Ban announcements are typically made on Mondays, which means there is at least a week left in Alrund to master the format.
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