Combo Winter

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Combo Winter is a term used to define the general metagame after the release of Urza's Saga. Players believed that too many overpowered cards and combos filled all the tournament formats. This moved the DCI to ban a large amount of cards in December 1998. When that was not effective, more cards were banned in March 1999, and for the first time in history a Magic card was banned almost immediately after it was released, since it was discovered that the card Memory Jar from the recently released expansion, Urza's Legacy, threatened to prolong Combo Winter.

The metagame after the release of Mirrodin is now sometimes referred to as the second Combo Winter. First, the Extended format of Pro Tour New Orleans was overrun by fast paced combo decks using many of the new cards, which was handled by banning a total of six cards the following December. However, when Darksteel, the second expansion of the Mirrodin block, was released, the popular Affinity archetype succeeded in overpowering most decks in Standard, particularly with the use of Skullclamp and Arcbound Ravager. Although Skullclamp was banned from all formats except for Vintage in June 2004, the metagame remained Affinity-oriented, yet no more bannings took place until March 2005, in which 8 cards (Arcbound Ravager, Disciple of the Vault and all 6 artifact lands) were banned from Standard, amounting to a total of 9 cards banned in Standard in less than a year.