At the beginning of the month, Wizards of the Coast issued Magic: The Gathering's October 2019 banned and restricted announcement, which simply stated that no changes were to be made to any of the game's formats. This MTG October 2019 banned and restricted announcement left some fans unhappy, with many players believing that bans were needed in order to guarantee the health of the Pauper and Standard formats. It now seems that Wizards agrees with this assessment, as the developer has just announced bans in Pauper and Standard.
Specifically, Field of the Dead has been banned in Magic: The Gathering's Standard format, and Arcum's Astrolabe has been banned in Pauper. These bans are in effect on Magic: The Gathering Online starting today, October 21, and they will be honored on Magic: The Gathering Arena on October 24 and in tabletop play on October 25.
With respect to the banning of Field of the Dead in Standard, Wizards has cited the "strength and prevalence" of decks based around this powerful land and Golos, Tireless Pilgrim as the reasons. Indeed, the inability for many archetypes to profitably interact with Field of the Dead has led a great number of players to include it in their decks, and this was seen in full effect at Magic: The Gathering's Mythic Championship 5, where 42% of decks included this zombie-producing land.
Similarly, Wizards of the Coast has banned Arcum's Astrolabe in Magic: The Gathering's Pauper format due to the "metagame share and win rate" of decks that play the powerful artifact. The developer specifically calls out multi-color Skred decks, which Wizards indicates comprise 15-20% of the metagame with a winrate of more than 55%. The aforementioned discontent that followed the October banned and restricted announcement was primarily focused around Arcum's Astrolabe, and many players are certain to be happy to see that it has now been banned.
When it comes to Standard, though, fans may be more skeptical that today's banning will right the format. While the removal of Field of the Dead should certainly increase the number of viable deck options, players will still be casting Magic: The Gathering's Oko, Thief of Crowns on turn two and Nissa, Who Shakes the World on turn three , and these will continue to be plays that many decks simply cannot address.
The Magic: The Gathering Throne of Eldraine expansion set is available now.
Source: Wizards of the Coast