Hey everyone! I’m back after a couple weeks away and ready to get back on the grind! Let’s play some standard!…. For a month.
Standard is rotating very soon and that causes for some awkwardness that is unfortunately unavoidable. Only people who are really into standard right now are those who already have a tiered deck built or those who want to have one last ride with their pet card. Everyone else is like… where’s Ixalan?
To those who are waiting, I’m right there with ya. I honestly was quite bummed that my schedule wouldn’t allow me to partake in much of the recent standard season but what is done is done, I am ready to sleeve up some new strategies or potentially some updated ones that survive rotation.
Which Decks Die?
Mono Black Zombies
Probably going to get some hate for this one but I’m just being honest. Losing a key card at the first three spots of the curve (Cryptbreaker, Relentless Dead, Diregraf Colossus) and two key removal spells (Dark Salvation, Grasp of Darkness) is just going to be too much to handle. It is possible that this deck rises again as a black/white build, but personally I don’t see it still having the same kick. Liliana’s Mastery has proven to be a strong card though so there is potential, and zombies are tribe that often get an accidental addition for flavor reasons.
What are you ramping into? Maybe there is a deck that can ramp into Nicol Bolas, God-Pharaoh or some other big thing from recent sets, but these don’t have the same game ending potential as Ulamog, The Ceaseless Hunger or World Breaker. Also, losing Sanctum of Ugin is going to hurt the consistency of the decks. Maybe if we get some giant dinosaurs that are hard to deal with, but until we see that, leave the ramping at home.
Anything involving Eldrazi
We will be smashing realities in standard no more. Both blocks that had eldrazi are leaving so… . what else is there to say? Moving on.
Another obvious one but I’ll mention it still. The mechanic itself is leaving so the deck(s) will go with it. These decks can easily become GB energy decks or aggro decks, so some major cards will still appear, just with a different supporting cast. Losing Grasp of Darkness though is not to be underestimated.
Decks that will evolve (or at least need to)
This deck actually loses some really key parts in Falkenrath Gorger, Incendiary Flow, and Collective Defiance. Good news is that the deck keeps it’s heavy hitters, and the cards that are leaving are replaceable besides Collective Defiance. Ixalan really needs to bring a decent one drop and an okay burn spell to keep Ramunap Red at the top of the standard metagame, but this is not outside the realm of possibility.
Kinda crazy to think that a deck that is named after a mechanic from Kaladesh will need to adjust after rotation, but that’s where the Mardu deck is at. Losing Gideon, Ally of Zendikar will hurt, but the thing that will hurt more than that even will be the loss of Thraben Inspector. The little one drop that could does so much for the consistency of the deck that I firmly believe it could derail the deck entirely, or at least force some serious retooling.
I’m going to lump all the control decks together because they all need to evolve based on their very nature. Red based ones will have an easier time since they don’t lose a key removal spell like Grasp of Darkness or Blessed Alliance, but since other decks are evolving, these decks will have to as well. With Abrade being a key part of the meta now makes relying entirely on Torrential Gearhulk seem like a bad plan, so using other ways to win will be required.
Abrade has done a number here too, keeping this deck in check. If this deck did make a resurgence though, it really only has to replace Spell Quellerr, and there are some interesting other directions you can take the deck as well. Maybe white/red dwarves so you can get removal from red?
This is basically due to losing Grasp of Darknesss and a role players such as Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet and Liliana, the Last Hope. I actually fully expect this deck to still be near the top of the meta even if it gets nothing at all in the next set.
Decks That Will Start on Top
Temur Energy is my prediction for default top dog after rotation. This deck loses nothing, and it’s a deck with a powerful curve, efficient removal, powerful threats and it’s consistent. Any deck that can get Chandra, Torch of Defiance and Glorybringer out ahead of curve is going to be a contender in the future meta.
Another deck that can be a bit soft to Abrade along with graveyard hate that is more common lately, however this deck’s power level is bonkers when left unchecked. This will force sideboard slots to be dedicated to graveyard interaction and will overwhelm decks that are either unprepared or not fast enough.
Don’t forget about this deck! A deck that abuses the energy creatures and has a combo-ish finish and loses nothing to rotation seems quite appealing. Electrostatic Pummeler has a similar weakness to Abrade that has be an ongoing theme, however having Blossoming Defense to protect against it is a major plus.
These are all subject to change of course based on what Ixalan brings. However, having an idea of what to already expect can provide a beneficial perspective when looking at spoilers next month. Anyway, that’s all I got this week! Follow me @CloudRunner172, and hopefully I’ll start streaming soon! Just got a much more stable schedule so I’ll be able to plan better. See ya all next time!