Hello everyone! Today we will delve into the Standard rotation, which happens when Ixalan gets released 28h of September. Battle for Zendikar, Oath of the Gatewatch, Shadows over Innistrad and Eldritch Moon are rotating and with a lot of sets departing there will be naturally lots of changes in the Standard format! Most notably Eldrazi and also undead creatures are going to be said farewell, but we will embrace the arrival of Dinosaurs (yey!) and Pirates (yarrrrr!).
The dead deck of the undead
Okay, let me give it to you straight: Zombies is dead. Lots of playable cards will be gone: Cryptbreaker, Dark Salvation, Relentless Dead and Diregraf Colossus are rotating to name a few. These cards were the core why players played the deck anyway! Also Liliana, The Last Hope will be staying in the Modern side but in standard, she is gone! I think decks that play black will be hit hard with departure of Grasp of Darkness, a real premium removal spell in my opinion, one of the best in ages in standard! Good sideboard card in Transgress the Mind will also be lost.
The Almost untouched Red
So, Ramunap Red will mostly stay untouched. Two one-drops are lost in the form of Falkenrath Gorger and Village Messenger, but I think the deck will be as good as it is now without these one-drops. Mainly lost of these cards hits the curve that mono-red aggro decks wants to establish. Some spells like Collective Defiance and Incendiary Flow are rotating, but I think brewers will solve the problem of 75-cards without these spells. In my mind, the deck will be a touch slower, with more emphasis on Hazoret the Fervent, Glorybringer and Chandra, Torch of Defiance. Red gets a nice card from Ixalan: Captain Lannery Storm! It helps us to get the Glorybringer out a turn earlier and fills the curve nicely, when the deck will mostly be a slower, semi-aggro deck.
4 x Ramunap Ruins
15 x Mountain
4 x Flameblade Adept
4 x Bomat Courier
2 x Glorybringer
4 x Ahn-Crop Crasher
4 x Abrade
4 x Shock
2 x Glorybringer
2 x Magma Spray
3 x Harsh Mentor
2 x Pia Nalaar
Temur Energy will not lose a lot in the rotation. Radiant Flames was great board wipe when playing against weenie decks, like Ramunap Red. Chandra, Flamecaller and Tireless Tracker were good against control decks, providing us card advantage and helping in the grind business!
Black-Green decks have changed constantly throughout the format. The biggest losses come in the form of Catacomb Sifter, Sylvan Advocate, Grim Flayer (yuck), Nissa, Voice of Zendikar and Ishkanah, Grafwidow (wow, what a mouthful). Sylvan Advocate was a really good and powerful two-drop for Green decks, working in offense and defense. It is also a possible late game threat. Green decks will also miss Oath of Nissa to smooth out the draws and of course: Traverse the Ulvenwald as a way to fix mana or tutor threats late game. To be honest, even with everything BG loses, it is a liked deck in Standard and I am sure people will play it in this format too even if it is different looking than now.
RG Ramp is gone as is Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger. Well not entirely. Ixalan might provide RG Ramp some juice, big, stoming Dinos, but I think they are second to the big, bad Eldrazi. Ulamog and World Breaker had casting triggers, which future Dinos might not have? These cards had meaning for the game, even if they did not resolve. Some other losses for RG Ramp is the mana base and ramp spells. Sanctum of Ugin helped on threat-light hand and tutored Eldrazi. This deck needs lands from Ixalan to be good.
Well, control doesn’t lose much. BR Control is mostly unaffected by the future rotation. Okay, the deck msut replace some lands like Wandering Fumarole and maybe Sunken Hollow if the splash was made for the boss planeswalker himself, Nicol Bolas, God-Pharaoh. WB Control aka Approach of the Second Sun is almost untouchable. Blessed Alliance will be gone, which was awesome against Ramunap Red; we got life and made them sacrifice a creature. Nice card! WB will find a way to make the deck work again, so I am not that worried. Loss of Blighted Catarect is acutally one of the biggest losses of the deck, because it sped up the Approach of the Second Sun kill once you casted the first one. Gameplan is not dead, but I think the Coach has to pull the Ace from his/hers sleeve in this case?! WB Funtions well even without Gideon, Ally of Zendikar (prices have dropped, scoop a playset for Modern brews now?) and Spell Queller. These were in the Sideboard usually and while being powerful tools, the deck isn’t depending on them.
I am very excited about Ixalan, I just hope that the future way of cards and flavor won’t be going towards Hearthstone’s Cartoonish/childish way. I want this to be Magic: The Gathering, not anything else. I want to fell the same way about the cards. If the Brand needs more child attention, please Wiards of the Coast, make a Cartoon for Christ sake! I am not saying MTG will be cartoonish, but I certainly hope it will not be. That’s all folks, tune in next week for some Mythical Magic