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Top 8 Cards That Are About to Get Better


Soon Standard as we know it currently is going to be transformed... And largely, I imagine, for the better. No, I don't mean that Dominaria United will bring good things (though it will) but rather that cards like Goldspan Dragon, long dominant over the format, are going to make room for some cards that haven't had as much of a chance to shine. Following are eight cards that I predict will jump substantially in value. Some are cards that are already played, but are kind of medium in popularity or value; others might be barely played at all, but are finally going to have an opportunity.

Let's go!

Honorable Mention: The Streets of New Capenna. The actual streets of New Capenna!

I was thinking of these in particular:

Brokers Hideout
Cabaretti Courtyard
Obscura Storefront

... But the cycling tri-lands are actually going to get a bit of a boost from Dominaria United as well. In particular:

Jetmir's Garden
Raffine's Tower
Spara's Headquarters


How about this new Mythic Rare?

Serra Paragon

Serra Paragon is going to get double-duty out of a lot of New Capenna's mana. You can Brokers Hideout for a Plains and gain a life; play Serra Paragon, and re-play the same Brokers Hideout from your graveyard - and rack up extra life two more times (one from the Serra Paragon, and one because that's just how Brokers Hideout works).

Previously these lands were primarily best buddies with Ruin Crab; but no one is going to tag team with that particular 0/3 soon... So hopefully Serra Paragon will give them something to do. In the same way, you can cycle a Jetmir's Garden in the mid-game, and Plan A it out of your graveyard. That's slower, and the tri-lands already had some popularity to them; but it's worth mentioning they'll get some oomph out of the Dominaria United rotation.

8. Reckoner Bankbuster

Reckoner Bankbuster

The upcoming rotation is going to have a dramatic effect on Standard early games. The entire card advantage regalia of a Black deck - Eyetwitch, Shambling Ghast, Deadly Dispute - are going to go, leaving a void for control decks to 1) spend mana early, 2) develop their boards, and 3) set up their card advantage long term.

All great for Reckoner Bankbuster.

Additionally, it is probably worth mentioning that the single most pervasive card in Standard is moving alongside the rest of Zendikar Rising: Luminarch Aspirant.

When someone mentions Luminarch Aspirant, what kind of deck do you think of? For many, the answer is White Weenie; but the card is not only a favorite of other beatdown decks (e.g. Boros Haste) but a universally adopted four-of in multiple styles of bw mid-range, controlling gw, and others.

White Weenie as we know it is not going to exist a week from now, but all sorts of Orzhov and Selesnya type mid-range decks are going to want to do something on turn two; and Reckoner Bankbuster seems like an obvious place to start.

Finally, it's an artifact.

Every artifact is going to get better in a week thanks to Jhoira, Ageless Innovator, and Reckoner Bankbuster is already a good one. The more I think about it, the more I think Jhoira is an exceptionally powerful card with real Aether Vial DNA running through her veins... And the limiting factor is mostly having actual artifacts that are good enough to run.

Reckoner Bankbuster can't block immediately (at least without a little help), so isn't the most broken pairing with Jhoira. But don't be surprised if sister artifact The Reality Chip, or other reconfigure threats (e.g. Blade of the Oni) don't start looking a lot more popular.

7. Burn Down the House

Burn Down the House

"Burn Down the House is already great!" some people will complain.

But it's nothing like I predict it's about to be!

If you want to sweep in Standard, you might play Burn Down the House. Blue-Red decks don't even necessarily play the card. Some of them play The Battle of Frost and Fire for the same mana, in order to exploit bounce synergies; or run a mix.

Red isn't the universal sweeper color anyway. But Doomskar is about to go. And for that matter, any and every Black sweeper that have all been pillars of Standard for 2+ years. Shadows' Verdict is going. Blood on the Snow - centerpiece build-around for a whole family of decks - is going.

It's not just that if you want to sweep you have fewer options. Burn Down the House might just be a better sweeper. You can't Doomskar The Wandering Emperor. But you can take out the stupid Emperor and all her stupid Soldier tokens with one Burn Down the House!

More than any of that, if you weren't already into sweeping, there is going reason to join the sweeper side.

One of the main problems with sweepers previously was that they cost a lot of mana, and even if you killed a bunch of opposing creatures, the enemy might just power up Hive of the Eye Tyrant, Den of the Bugbear, or whatever; and send a creature land into your tapped out jaw.

The best cycle of creature lands in recent memory is about to join the rest of Adventures in the Forgotten Realms in the "forgotten" column.

Mark my words. And Burn Down the em effing House!

6. Join the Dance

Join the Dance

Here is a card that is kind of the opposite of Burn Down the House.

"It isn't even good!"

No question: It hasn't been very good, certainly.

But really... There is nothing wrong with Join the Dance, is there?

The rate is there. Two mana for two tokens is actually okay; and the flashback makes for an intriguing amount of card advantage.

It just wasn't good previously for a bunch of reasons. If you were in the 1/1 body plus another token market for two... Maybe Prosperous Innkeeper was previously more to your liking. We just got done talking about a bunch of viable sweepers that are all leaving Standard. Going wide just got a little bit better.

But Dominaria United is here to help as well!

Join the Dance on turn two is a good curve into King Darien XLVIII.

King Darien XLVIII

... And it is a nice card to pair with Gala Greeters. Gala Greeters! If you want, pick Gala Greeters for number six. But that creature (good conceptually, but little played in Standard) is another one that will appreciate the space. No doubt you'll want to try these two twos together.

5. Fleetfoot Dancer

Fleetfoot Dancer

I really wanted to say Ulvenwald Oddity here. Ulvenwald Oddity was always in direct competition with Esika's Chariot, even though it achieved four-of status in some builds of Mono-Green itself. The problem isn't just that Mono-Green is losing basically everything that makes you want to play it - from the best removal card in Standard (Blizzard Brawl) to the best 2-drop (Werewolf Pack Leader).

Nah, the bigger issue is that Green is losing most of its two-to-four acceleration. Goodbye Lotus Cobra. Sayonara Sculptor of Winter. Even Prosperous Innkeeper will be unavailable for a mana boost soon.

How can I imagine Ulvenwald Oddity?

Hold up... How does that make Fleetfoot Dancer better?

Fleetfoot Dancer is different. Great on rate, but relatively little played, Fleetfoot Dancer was mostly run in big Boros as a splash. It relied on the generosity of cards like these:

Cragcrown Pathway // Timbercrown Pathway

... Just to exist. The problem isn't just the lands themselves; their dual land-ness is going to be replaced directly. It's that if you're going to go Green with Branchloft Pathway // Boulderloft Pathway you're permanently not getting White out of it. Which isn't a problem on turn four when you get to tap out for Fleetfoot Dancer. It's atrocious going longer when you haven't missed a land drop but somehow can't cast your Invoke Justice.

A week from now you're not going to have to worry yourself over that commitment. A Karplusan Forest isn't particularly kind, but it'll cast your Fleetfoot Dancer and keep your Red going through the rest of the game.

4. Titan of Industry

Titan of Industry

On the subject of Invoke Justice, you're going to have something worth getting out of your graveyard, and Velomachus Lorehold ain't it any longer.

Titan of Industry seems like the best candidate for next monster up. It's probably just going to have to be happy teaming with... Let me see here... Fleetfoot Dancer.

3. Graveyard Trespasser

Graveyard Trespasser // Graveyard Glutton

I don't know a card that I've ever feared more in Limited.

And it's not like this card hasn't had some moments in Constructed... It was played in Golgari mid-range; and sees a lot of Explorer play.

But Graveyard Trespasser // Graveyard Glutton was never considered a Standard powerhouse for some reason. Maybe it was a little small ball when Black was topping up on Blood on the Snow? Already had access to Hive of the Eye Tyrant?

Neither of those conditions is going to be true in a week, so the logical conclusion is that Graveyard Trespasser // Graveyard Glutton... Part Gnarled Mass, built-in protection, disruption for the kinds of strategies we just spent the last two entries talking about; and LIFE GAIN to boot?

Hell on beatdown. Terrifying for reanimator.

Will "now" be its time?

2. The Meathook Massacre

The Meathook Massacre

It was already one of the best cards in the format.

But soon? No Shadows' Verdict. No Blood on the Snow.

If you think that that means that The Meathook Massacre is going to be the go-to sweeper... We already talked about Burn Down the House.

Honestly, I think it's a little limited on mana for that role. Sweeping is always going to be part of this card's job, but it's never going to be THE sweeper in Standard if that makes any sense.

Rather, its attrition role is going to be more important than ever, especially in light of the card I imagine will be the biggest winner.

Not for nothing, but the rotation of Luminarch Aspirant - with its ability to muddle the toughness on the battlefield - is going to be very welcome from old Meathook's perspective.

1. Ob Nixilis, the Adversary

Ob Nixilis, the Adversary

Did you have any doubt?

I have thought that br Ob Anvil was the best deck in Standard for months; but there hasn't been a lot of consensus on that conclusion. I predict that is about to change sharply.

Suit up. Straighten your tie. Drain for two. Do it all over again.



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