Cards That Found New Homes in Standard
Hello everyone! Welcome to Standard Weekly!
With The Meathook Massacre ban over a week out, it is time to look at the cards that have found new life with the ban and other cards that have grown in strength since the ban.
CARDS FINDING HOMES
Meathook’s banning has opened standard to more aggressive strategies, so I expect to see more aggro decks appear over the next few weeks. Bant Aggro, Rakdos Aggro, and Jund Midrange have already put-up good tournament performances. Both found the Top 8 in several events. Cards finding a place in these decks in standard include Florian, Voldaren Scion, Anointed Peackeeper, Gala Greeters, Katilda, Dawnhart Prime, Shanna, Purifying Blade, Teaching of Kirin, Workshop Warchief, and Briarbridge Tracker.
Florian, Voldaren Scion increase in play comes from its ability to draw cards.
After your attack step, you get to look at a number of cards from the top of your deck equal to the amount of damage dealt to your opponent. Then you get to exile one of them and play it this turn. The others go to the bottom of your deck. When Florian was spoiled, I felt that it was a good card that would find a home in standard because of the ability to filter through your deck to find the cards you want. I think that more decks may look to Florian for this advantage.
Workshop Warchief and Briarbridge Tracker provide value to Jund decks. Workshop Warchief is a 5/3 rhino warrior with trample.
This allows Workshop Warchief to deal damage throw blocks and when it dies you get to replace it with a 4/4 rhino warrior token. This death trigger makes Workshop Warchief an ideal target for The Reflection of Kiki-Jiki’s ability to copy a non-legendary creature because when the copy dies at the end of the turn you get the rhino token.
Briarbridge Tracker has vigilance and is a 4/3 creature if you control a token. Jund has several ways to make tokens, so meeting this requirement should not be difficult. Tracker makes a good offensive or defensive creature that when copied provides value by creating another clue token.
Bant Aggro wants to go wide and use the extra mana that Katilda can generate to accomplish the strategy and grow creatures on your team. Katilda makes each human a mana source and then uses the extra mana generated to cast more spells or give your creatures a +1/+1 counter. Katilda will continue to see more play Bant, Naya, and Selesnya human decks that want to go wide and have plenty of mana to activate abilities or cast large spells.
Gala Greeters continues to be one of the best cards from Streets of New Capenna.
Getting to activate an ability when a creature enters the battlefield on your side either grows Gala Greeters by giving it a +1/+1 counter, creating a tapped treasure token, or giving you two life. On many turns, you will get to activate the ability more than once.
Previously I wrote about Anointed Peacekeeper.
While it has seen limited play so far, I expect it to increase in popularity. Most of the time, Anointed Peacekeeper had to tax The Meathook Massacre before the ban. Now it can tax the best card in your opponent’s hand. When that card is a planeswalker, it makes the planeswalker almost unplayable until Anointed Peacekeeper dies.
Shanna, Purifying Blade is a 3/3 legendary human with lifelink that costs a green, blue, and white mana.
She is the reason we are seeing an increase in Bant decks. Her ability to draw cards when you gain life keeps your hand full. When Shanna is paired with Elspeth Resplendent her ability gets more powerful because Elspeth can give Shanna flying and first strike.
Bant also has started employing Teaching of Kirin and Grafted Identity. Teaching of Kirin gives you a creature on chapter 1, a +1/+1 counter on chapter 2, and becomes a 1/1 snake monk on chapter 3 that allows you to exile a card from a graveyard each time it attacks to either create a 1/1 spirit or to put a +1/+1 counter on a creature.
Grafted Identity is one of blue’s latest take control of an opponent’s creature card.
This enchantment aura cost’s four mana and you must sacrifice a creature, but you then get to take your opponent’s best creature. Will limited enchantment removal in standard, Grafted Identity is positioned well in the format.
Below is a look at the Bant Aggro deck.