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The Stabilization of Standard


After finally catching up on my Pro Tour coverage, I started peeling through decklists to bring this article to life. There were only a handful of surprises this weekend from what I saw on coverage, so I was not expecting nearly as many new archetypes as there actually were. I decided against posting every off-the-wall list that popped up, and instead, I used the tool Wizards provided to look at the decks that performed well. This narrowed the list down, but it still brought about a dilemma that I am hoping you can help me solve: There are a ton of lists, and if I include them all each time, I may have limited space to discuss each.

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This time around, I am going to stick with option one and talk about all of the new lists while briefly discussing anything that may have some more room to grow. Next week, I will finally be buckling down and devoting myself to picking up one of these lists for the Magic Online grind. I am currently leaning toward Abzan Midrange, but even that has a number of different factors that I will be discussing if that is where I decide to end up.

The two mainstays of the Tour were various versions of both Jeskai and Abzan, which is not surprising, as we have seen these lists dominating Top 8s since release. A few of the other decklists, such as Jeskai Ascendancy and Temur Monsters, are close enough to the lists I posted over the past few weeks that I will hold off from reposting those, but almost everything else is new ground for our financial evaluation.

The key card I see here and in the midrange versions of the deck that may have upward growth is Chained to the Rocks. I have talked about this card in the past, and it just never found enough spots to justify any sort of spike, but with this archetype forming, that may change. The card is next to bulk now, so the risk is as minimal as it will ever be.

Pearl Lake Ancient has already taken a jump and a fall since last week; now is not the time to get in even if these styles of decks continue to do well. Some cards that do have room to grow are Aetherspouts and Perilous Vault. Aetherspouts would have to start seeing more play to see any growth, but it is also on the ground floor right now, thus making it much like Chained to the Rocks as far as the risk involved.

Perilous Vault carries a little more risk, but it also has the advantage of being in Magic 2015, leaving supply short, and it also carries the mythic tag. I would not be surprised to see this be a $10-or-more mythic in the near future, and it will probably hold most of that value once it does spike, given the playability in a variety of Commander decks as well. Oblivion Stone is still a very expensive Wrath in both price and mana cost, and this being at mythic could see the same eventual trend even if they do not spike now.

Nothing crazy has snuck in the list here outside of Fated Conflagration, and unless it begins to be a four-of there, will probably be little to no financial movement.

I have spoken on a number of cards in this list over the past few months, including Reaper of the Wilds and Fleecemane Lion. I see a few cards that will probably see a small bump just from the play they are now seeing, but unless you want them to play with, it is unlikely you will make much value buying in. Reaper is the best of the lot to see any real movement, as Sylvan Caryatid and Courser of Kruphix are both up.

Here’s yet another deck sporting Chained to the Rocks . . . I am seeing a trend here. Perhaps now is the time to move in.

Outside of the End Hostilities, not much here seems worth noting. Hostilities has climbed ever so slightly since release, but given enough time and enough control shells, this will certainly continue that trend going forward.

Eidolon of Blossoms hit a big spike a while ago and has since calmed down, making it another potential target. Nylea, God of the Hunt has also been showing up in a few decks since rotation, but until I start seeing a four-of again in at least one deck, I am not willing to dive as deep as I was.

Doomwake Giant has been showing up in a few lists and seems spectacular in this particular archetype, meaning if this deck continues to populate major events, this card has even more room to grow. I never expect this to be over $5, but it can easily be $3 or $4 given what play it is already seeing.

Anger of the Gods has already risen some, and I can see that continuing, but otherwise, this reflects Temur Monsters in most ways, meaning there is little in these lists we have not already determined playable and, in turn, worth-money.


There is much left unexplored in this Standard format, and though we now have a good outlook on where we are headed, I expect exciting times for both this series and this format. Keep the feedback flowing, and let me know if you believe I missed anything this past weekend. I will be taking a closer look at most of these decks in the coming weeks, but for next week, I am going to focus on what I am looking to play and what cards it may be time to start moving out of now that the Pro Tour has come and gone—and with it, the hype of the new format.

Ryan Bushard


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