Hello, fellow planeswalkers!  Welcome to Standard Weekly!

Now that we have had a couple of weeks to play with the cards from Wilds of Eldraine, it’s time to see how the set has impacted Standard.  We will start our journey through Wilds of Eldraine by examining the commons that have made an impact on Standard.  This list is based on cards played in recent major Standard tournaments from results on mtgtop8.com and results of Arena play from untapped.gg.

Based on these sources, the commons seeing significant play are Spell Stutter, Torch the Tower, Hopeless Nightmare, Quick Study, Gingerbrute, and Sleight of Hand.

Spell Stutter primarily sees play in the Dimir Faeries deck.  It serves as a quality counterspell in the deck.  While a definitive version of the Faeries deck has not emerged yet, the deck has changed enough from the original version to think that a quality version appears likely to develop.  Having the ability to leave mana open to cast Spell Stutter does not present a problem for the deck because it has creatures with flash to cast when you don’t need to counter a spell.

Torch the Tower provides spot removal for only a red mana.  It naturally deals two damage to a target creature or planeswalker, but you can use its bargain ability to deal one additional damage.  Torch the Tower’s growing popularity comes from its ability to exile the permanent it dealt damage.  With the growth of creatures that can return from the graveyard, this ability is more relevant in the current Standard environment.  Torch the Tower has seen tournament success in Izzet Spells and has a home in Rakdos Sacrifice, Naya Adventure (Pia Nalaar), Mono-Red Aggro, Gruul Aggro, Rakdos Rats, and Jund Landfall.  Its low cost makes Torch the Tower an easy include in any red deck.

Hopeless Nightmare is a one mana enchantment that when it enters the battlefield, each opponent discards a card and loses two life.  Given the need for an enchantment, artifact, or token to sacrifice with the bargain mechanic, Hopeless Nightmare is an excellent option for decks using the mechanic.  Mono-Black is where the card has found tournament success already and sees play in Rakdos Sacrifice, Rakdos Rats, Jund Landfall, Golgari Midrange, and Orzhov Midrange.

Quick Study and Sleight of Hand are Blues’ newest card draw spells.  Quick Study is a three-mana instant that draws two cards.  It doesn’t have the downside of the other three mana card draw spells, so it should continue to see increasing play as Wilds of Eldraine season continues.  Sleight of Hand is a reprint.  For one mana, you get to look at the top two cards of your library.  One of them goes in your hand and the other to the bottom of your library.  Izzet Spells and Mono Blue Tempo are homes for these cards.  Quick Study also sees play in Dimir Faeries and Esper Control.  Cards draw spells always are a welcome inclusion in blue decks, so expect each spell to find homes in other decks.

Candy Grapple is another two-mana removal spell in black.  This version gives a creature -3/-3 and if it is bargained, it gets -5/-5.  The flexibility of the card has led to its inclusion in Mono-Black Control.  With the need to deal with Sheoldred, the Apocalypse and other higher toughness creatures, Candy Grapple may become a preferred black removal spell.

The final new common card seeing play is Gingerbrute.  Like Sleight of Hand, Gingerbrute is a reprint.  Gingerbrute is a 1/1 Food Golem artifact creature with haste and two abilities.  First, for one mana Gingerbrute can’t be blocked this turn except by creatures with haste.  Second, for two mana you may sacrifice Gingerbrute and gain three life.  Radkos Sacrifice makes an ideal home for Gingerbrute because it gives the deck another artifact to sacrifice to activate Oni-Cult Anvil’s ability.

The fact that this many commons have already found homes in competitive decks is a positive sign.  For beginners and intermediate players that enjoy Magic having good lower rarity card options is good for the game.  Next time, Standard Weekly will look at the uncommons that are having an impact on Standard.

That’s it for this week.  I’ll see you next time!

By: Scott Trepanier

Scott began playing Magic the Gathering in 1994.  His preferred format is standard.  Typically, you will see him playing aggro decks focused on quickly defeating his opponent but will pivot to midrange or control when standard is unfavorable for aggro decks.  He began creating Magic content in 2019.