Orcish Bowmasters and The One Ring Finally Get Nerfed

ChrisCee October 10, 2023 2 min
Orcish Bowmasters and The One Ring Finally Get Nerfed

In case you haven't heard the news yet, yes Orcish Bowmasters and The One Ring got the nerf hammer (rebalanced) as soon as Alchemy: Eldraine was released earlier this day for MTG Arena. Though in hindsight, maybe not as surprising as anyone would have expected. Anyway. the updated effects for the cards are as follows:

Orcish Bowmasters

- Lost the enter-the-battlefield trigger (only left with the opponent draw past the draw step)

The One Ring

- Added 1 colorless mana to the tap ability

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Reason for the changes:

As explained by WoTC, these two cards have been warping the Alchemy and Historic formats ever since Universes Beyond LOTR was released. For Orcish Bowmasters, it simply provided too good of a value the moment it lands, effectively providing two 1/1's, a ping effect, and a bonus passive that further worsens its abuse as a value card. That being said, its main value as a draw punisher was to be kept intact, hence the technical usage change.

The One Ring was also way too efficient, but this time it simply wins games outright by sheer card advantage. Devs hope that with the added activation cost, opponents fighting against it will be given a bit more leeway to counter the powerful artifact before it completely take over the game.

Are they still playable?

Well... yes and no.

With the removal of its ETB trigger, Orcish Bowmasters will now be far, far less ideal of a card to use in terms of basic mana investment. In fact, it would most likely be removed completely at this point as a staple. Decks that thematically depend on its full effect could still use it of course. But it will no longer be as prevalent in any black-splashed deck as it had been. In Modern, where the playfield is just as fierce, Orcish Bowmasters is a balanced card. But within the limited digital realm of Alchemy and Historic, it becomes a full-blown nightmare to deal with.

As for The One Ring... the changes don't seem to be as game-breaking. Don't get me wrong, it will still significantly stunt the way The One Ring eventually negates a win for the opponent, with hopefully more turns for the opponent to counter its cumulative advantages. But the card would remain fairly potent and is still a powerful value engine.

Do my wildcards get refunded?

Sadly, no. There's no announcement of the sort, and it is doubtful that they will add one in the next couple of days. Sucks, I know, but it is technically still a rebalance and not a ban. Then again, Alchemy is a more fluid format of near-constant change than Standard, so it may not have been deemed "wasteful" enough by WoTC.


About ChrisCee:

A witness since the time the benevolent silver planeswalker first left Dominaria, ChrisCee has since went back and forth on a number of plane-shattering incidents to oversee the current state of the Multiverse.

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