Standard Staples: Fall 2019

DeQuan WatsonStandard

In my previous article, we discussed cards that were leaving Standard and how you should handle them. But just as much as the format is getting rocked by the loss of those cards, there are several staples sticking around. Here are some cards that you should be holding onto if you already own them, as they could be important keys to the new Standard format. And if you don’t have any of these in your collection, now could be a good time to pick some up.

Teferi, Time Raveler

It’s easy to get excited that a Teferi is leaving the format. However, another one is still going to be around wreaking havoc. “Little Teferi,” or “T3feri,” has been showing up in more decks by the day, it seems. Believe it or not, this rare is the most expensive card in War of the Spark. You might’ve missed the chance to get a good deal on them, but it’s likely still worth it to pick them up. It’s hard to envision a point in the format where this card isn’t useful and played a bunch. As the format shrinks, high-powered cards have even more of an impact, as there are fewer options to build with and combat them. I’d recommend scooping these up now, if you can.

Narset, Parter of Veils

This is a pickup that potentially increases in value the longer it’s around in Standard. Don’t get me wrong: in the short term, Narset is going to be quite useful. But looking even further ahead, to the next Theros set, there’s a good chance one of the mechanics will involve playing more mono-color decks. If it plays out this way, Narset could be hugely important to blue mages.

Nissa, Who Shakes the World

Let’s stay on this Planeswalker theme a little longer. Nissa is powerful, and she’s only going to become stronger. Like Narset, this is a mono-colored Planeswalker with some big abilities that could be relevant when we return to Theros. Nissa should be even stronger in the upcoming four-set Standard, when you consider she showed up quite a bit in the past three months. She’s all around useful and her mana-generating static ability could be helpful with some of the large costs we’re seeing in Eldraine.

Knight of the Ebon Legion

You didn’t think I was just going to list off a bunch of Planeswalkers, did you? Knight of the Ebon Legion is quite monstrous for a one-drop. It quickly scales up to fight opposing three-drops, and because it gains deathtouch, opponents may not want to block it. Sure, it’s a vampire, and a bunch of the vampire support is leaving the format. Fortunately, the Knight is also…well, a knight, which means it could synergize with cards from Eldraine. It’s even black, so it could fit into a Mardu Knights deck. It’s a solid pickup now, as this card will likely be highly playable for the whole next year, regardless of what the format looks like.

Priest of Forgotten Gods

It could be this little lady’s time to shine. People are starting to pile up some solid results with black-red sacrifice-themed decks, and a large portion of those decks aren’t rotating. If Priest of Forgotten Gods was able to fight through an eight-set Standard format, it could be a real menace post-rotation. If Eldraine gives us some ways to reuse creatures in the graveyard, you can get value on the way out and maybe even reuse a creature’s adventure.

Vivien, Arkbow Ranger

Okay, I wasn’t completely off Planeswalkers, after all. This is such a high-value purchase for low cost. There has been solid hype in the community about people brewing mono-green decks for Eldraine, and Vivien serves as great removal and versatility for those decks. Even just being able to grow your blockers to be bigger than the incoming pile of knights could be useful. Plus, she has fun synergy with cards like Growth-Chamber Guardian and Barkhide Troll, which are going to be around for a while, too.

Blood For Bones

Throne of Eldraine has creatures with spells attached. However, when not on the stack, they always count as creatures. This means that you can get creatures out of your graveyard and put them in your hand to reuse spells. That’s going to add a whole level of complexity to several game states. The versatility you can potentially get from returning creatures from your graveyard could lead to some top-quality decks. If that’s the case, this card has the potential to be VERY good.

Incubation Druid/Paradise Druid

Getting to four mana could be crucial for green decks moving forward. Nullhide Ferox and the new Questing Beast could both be game-changers in the new world. Progressing your turns from two mana on turn two to four mana on turn three will allow you to put pressure on the opponent early and get in under sweepers. Paradise Druid also no longer has to fear Goblin Chainwhirler. We’re going to be light on multicolored lands as well, so having creatures to shore up those color issues could be beneficial.

Shock Lands

Grab these now. Throne of Eldraine won’t feature a rare dual land cycle, so you’ll want these really badly. They’re useful for all kinds of decks, and they see a ton of play in Modern. With fewer players opening packs of Guilds of Ravnica and Ravnica Allegiance, there could be a lower supply with higher prices when you want them down the road.

We’re losing a lot of cards from Standard, but we still have a lot of tools to work with. Throne of Eldraine looks to be going in a new direction, but there are cards to fit some of those strategies already in your binders. The big rotation can be scary each year, but when you prepare and give yourself a leg up, you can save a lot of worry when it comes time to build decks. Bust out those trade binders. You’ve got work to do!