We will return to your regularly scheduled programming shortly. For the next few minutes I would like to direct your attention to a few cards from Magic Origins that have caught my attention as we all prepare for the new Standard format. Some of the information in this article relates to my Invitational preparation because I have a bad feeling that one of the two decks I mentioned is being invalidated.
Over the weekend, I was fortunate enough to play in two prereleases. I opened some powerful cards in both of the decks that I played and they are some of the cards that I can see being used in Standards in the future.
I didn’t play with this card either day but I know someone who plays Goblins in Legacy religiously and I know the power that this card holds. In the current Standard format we have a plethora of goblins and Obelisk of Urd to help push them over the top. The red decks in current standard have a good power level but have always lacked a good turn two play. Their only options before were Dragon Fodder, two one mana spells or holding up Lightning Strike or Searing Blood. Now a turn sequence from them can be:
Turn 1: Foundry Street Denizen
Turn 2: Goblin Piledriver, Attack for 2
Turn 3: Goblin Rabblemaster, Attack for 9
Turn 4: Attack for 17, not including any other spells that is lethal. Much more so than necessary and lets be honest, the red deck always has a burn spell for you.
That sequence only requires 6 cards but are easily the best things you can be doing on any given turn. But the deck is already more powerful and is gaining steam.
This was a card that I was lucky enough to play over the weekend and the power level is quite high. With the inclusion of fetch lands and Courser of Kruphix this is a card that has a lot more interaction than simply finding another land to play. The flip side of this card is what really makes it special. Her +1 draws you cards which is an ability green rarely gets on such a costs efficient scale with lands you flip off of the top going directly into play. Along with the ability to continuously do it is great. Her -2 puts a legendary green 4/4 creature token into play. Both are very powerful and will be dependent on what the board state of any given game will require. I have activated both abilities and can really sign off on them. Her -7 allows you to untap up to six lands and have all of them become 6/6 creatures that are still lands. I like this ability more than other abilities that animate your lands because it gives you the ability to cast two large spells in a turn or cast one spell and then attack with six 6/6 creatures. It isn’t one dimensional and allows you to tap out to add another planeswalker to the field or something else of value and not get blow out by a wrath effect.
This was another card that I opened over the weekend and was very excited to play. I was even lucky enough to cast and flip her in the very first game of the entire tournament thanks to a Fleshbag Marauder. The body on the creature side of this card is something that I really enjoy as well. A 2/3 with lifelink is very good and when she flips she has built in protection netting a 2/2 zombie token. Her +2 is exactly the same as Liliana of the Veil which some will say is a pretty good card. Her -X is quite interesting and something that is quite good. Say you discard a Siege Rhino (not recommended but just for hypothetical purposes). If you untap with her in play you are able to -4 and put Siege Rhino into play. She seems like she will fit best into a deck with Den Protector and Deathmist Raptor as she can generate some advantage with both of those cards. Discarding Raptors or cards you want to get back with Den Protector or even filling up the graveyard for some delve spells. The biggest issue is flipping her we will either need to add cards that synergize with her or hope that we can naturally flip her without her dying.
Is another powerful planeswalker. Her creature side is a little bit underpowered but I believe that you have the ability to transform her pretty easily. Her planeswalker side isn’t something that I am too happy about. I really believe that they could have complied the shock into one ability and given her something else to do. Her ultimate is game breaking and quite powerful especially because you will have to have done at least 3 damage with Chandra before flipping her and have to use her +1 ability three times before using the ultimate. That is 9 damage even before the ultimate hits. Then her ultimate hits for 6 damage and during their upkeep 3 more damage. That is 18 total damage which will be lethal more often than not because of fetch lands, Thoughtseize, and pain lands.
This card is something that I am equal parts happy about and equal parts sad about. I feel like this card will be a dagger in the hearts of many Mardu Dragons players. The only card in your deck that survives this is Kolaghan, the Storm’s Fury. This will be quite the beating going forward and I am not quite sure about the positioning of Dragons going forward. Of all the cards mentioned in this section this is the one that I believe will cause the greatest change in the standard format. This card also pleases me because we now have a card that beats up on mono red and Stormbreath Dragon alike. A card that is fine against creature decks along with the control decks of this format. Many five toughness creatures will survive this card. However pairing it with Silumgar, the Drifting Death you will be able to sweep away just about everything. And for the short time we will still have Hero’s Downfall to clean up the rest. I believe that the Abzan decks are rejoicing for this card but I believe that most of all the cheering is coming from the U/B control camps. This is a card that pairs very well with everything that they are doing. They will have counterspells and Hero’s Downfalls for everything that has five toughness and will be able to cheaply clean up everything else.