These bannings come after WotC acknowledged that the Standard format had been floundering on FLGS tabletops over the course of a few years and announced a plan to revitalize it (see "Standard Format's Tabletop Woes"). The following cards were banned in Standard:
- Fable of the Mirror-Breaker/Reflection of Kiki-Jiki
- Reckoner Bankbuster
- Invoke Despair
These three cards were all a part of the Rakdos Midrange and Grixis Midrange decks that had been more or less dominating the Standard metagame for a while now. Fable of the Mirror-Breaker was probably the most significant of the bannings as it was a $25 that was causing problems in a myriad of formats. By being banned in Standard, this opens the door for WotC to also ban the card in Pioneer and Modern, where it is tying up a chunk of the metagame as well.
The bannings are a step forward towards rebooting Standard on the tabletop, but there is still significant work to be done. WotC still hasn't addressed what is potentially their biggest challenge in boosting Standard FLGS organized play, which is how to get players that have been investing in and playing Standard on MTG Arena online since the beginning of the pandemic to actually go out and spend more money to build a paper Standard constructed deck. Luckily, WotC has some time on its hands to figure this out as their next Standard set, Wilds of Eldraine, won't hit the streets till September 2023 (see "'Magic: The Gathering - Wilds of Eldraine'").