Top 10 cards I will miss after rotation
The top 10 cards i will miss come rotation
24 Years old from Bonney Lake, Washington
Playing Magic for 16 years
Streams at Twitch.tv/gen_acid
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Hello Internet, my name is Benjamin Rude and I am a new writer for MTGMadness. I am here to provide some interesting articles pertaining to budget lists through different formats, random brews, and articles based around formats generally found only Magic the Gathering Online (Pauper, Momir, etc). Everything I write about will be forged and take shape on my stream on Twitch.tv (Twitch.tv/gen_acid). So if you want to come in and be apart of the creative process or just watch me play some games through different formats. Please feel free to join me anytime.
That introduction aside. Submitted for approval of the midnight society (kudos if you get the refence). I call this article….
RIP Standard: 10 cards I will miss come rotation.
Now up above I said what a majority of my articles will be about. At the moment I am currently waiting for M14 to be released onto MTGO, so I can test and bring my ideas to life. So for my first article, It will be an opinion piece that will allow you to get a rough idea of who I am as a Magic player, and go into my thought process to show you a little about myself. So without waiting any further let us jump right in to number ten.
Geist is a card I just recently found. While I knew of its existence, I never had a need to play it. When I originally made U/W Flash I needed a replacement to Restoration Angel, as I did not have the funds for her at the time. Restoration’s replacement needed to impact the board in a way that would matter and help me advance my position. Essentially I made a trade to lose flash and the ability to bounce cards such as Augur of Bolas and Snapcaster Mage. Even after getting my angels I still kept Geist as a one of in my flash deck, just for the utility. All that aside Dungeon Geist is still relevent in standard for board control and getting in damage for decks with a slightly slower gameplan. I am sad to have playtested this card as late as I did, but it left an impression. So here it is at number ten.
Pillar of Flame
Pillar of Flame is a card that at one point I held the opinion it was highly overrated. This was before Strangleroot Geist was really seeing play, and before Voice of Resurgence was printed. As time went on though I found myself using it more and more, and finding all the things Pillar was relevent against. I will always hate the fact that Pillar is a sorcery, but it has its place and does work for you in many match-ups. Not much to be said about Pillar of Flame, but with Shock back with M14 we may lose the power to exile certain threats but gain the instant speed versatility of Shock. So it is hard to complain, but having the option of Pillar is something I will miss, and that is why I have Pillar here at number nine.
Number eight is a card that I love from a design standpoint and for the sheer power this card has. Runechanter’s Pike as a card looks very unassuming to some, but housed in the right deck it will generally win you games or push things in your favor if left unanswered. The beauty of pike for me is (I will go into this with another card later.) that it is a very balanced card. It is costed right, the effect you get from it is right, and your ability to constantly change the power you get from the card. All the while your opponent has many ways to interact with you to change its effects. To me a great card is one that you and your opponent can interact with to change the course of the game. That could be applied to many things, but lately many cards have been printed that lack true interaction besides the basics. I will go deeper into this later as number one on this list is much like pike but has seen much more play through different formats. Pike makes the list for its great design, and its ability to make any creature however small a threat.
As I write this, and with no cards in Theros spoiled, I am a sad man. Recently it seems wizards have been on a kick against counterspells. Now this has been talked to death and Ill try and keep this short for that same reason. Dissipate was and as of M14′s printing the only decent three casting cost hard counter in the format, and with its departure it leaves a hole that has no good replacement. Yes, you have counters like Render Silent and Counterflux, but being able to exile countered cards does matter, and compared to the others you only need double blue for Dissipate while the others require three colors. While it does not seem like much. It does matter when crafting your deck. All in all I hope Theros brings us some new goodies for Blue, because as of late the quality of blue counters and tools has went down. There is a whole other discussion regarding that, but Dissipate I will miss you (Syncopate, please hold me.).
So ill just come out and say it. Predator Ooze is the second coming of Dungrove Elder. What do I mean by that? While Ooze is actually worse than the Elder, both of them have been mono green sleepers. They both have found success late into its lifespan in standard and both are incredibly difficult to deal with and will just smash through opponents if they cannot find one of the narrow answers to remove either of these creatures from play. Ooze is everything you want in a green creature, it has survivability and it just keeps getting bigger by turning it sideways. Number six is just a guilty pleasure made of raw green power.
I will just come out and say that I love Quirion Dryad. Dryad is on this list because it never really had a home during its recent stay in standard. Honestly I was crossing my fingers it would stay in M14 but that was not the case. Dryad, like Predator Ooze gets bigger as you play the game. If your casting spells she is getting bigger (generally). Once I had played Dryad in Gro-a-Tog, from that point on she was my BFF. Just too bad she never got much publicity this time around. She is a great two drop if the format has the cards to make her buff (Iris Kyle is a good representation of a buffed up Quirion Dryad).
Since it was printed Olivia Voldaren has been a force in standard. What can be said for a card that can take over a game so quickly. Swiftly deals with any chumpers on the board all the while becoming bigger and bigger. Oh! Almost forgot, if left unchecked she will just take your creatures that can survive her pinging onslaught. Olivia is perfect in any midrange or control deck that has her colors. She is the creature you want to play and protect. Unanswered she will end the game very very quickly and for that reason, and my love of midrange value creatures. She makes it into the top five of this list.
Compared to others this might come to some as a surprise. With Farseek rotating I am very angry…..Well let me be clear depending on the future I could potentially be very angry. Why you ask? The answer to that is because with ravnica block Farseek is possibly the best ramp spell we can ask for due to its amazing interaction with the shock lands. The replacement for Farseek in core is a slap to the face to anyone who likes playing spells and putting lands into play tapped. What do we get to replace the ramp spell that works perfectly with all of the precious shock lands in the format? Lay of the Land. Why does it matter? Well this card is unplayable in anything but limited, and even that is stretching it. At the start of this I said I might be angry. I said that because I am going to hold out hope that in Theros they print a decent ramp spell. Even a reprint of Rampant Growth would be better as it advances your board position, but with what we have as a replacement I am going to assume something good is coming in the future. Cross your fingers.
Garruk, Primal Hunter
Of all the cards on this list. Garruk, Primal Hunter possibly hits closest to home. I am versed well in most deck archtypes and can pick up anything and get the jist of what I am supposed to be doing. What I like most though is playing midrange. Design wise a midrange deck is my favorite thing to brew because you have open design space, and can incorporate many different elements and strategies into those decks while still being competitive. Something that has been consistent with most all of my midrange decks that have included green is Garruk. To me, Garruk is an answer to multiple questions; having the ability to produce creatures, or draw a fist full of cards, or just swarming with wurms. All for the low cost of five mana. Yes it is green heavy but in this format hitting three green in a midrange deck is fairly easy. Especially by turn five. Personally I have high hopes for his replacement (Garruk, Caller of beasts), but he has big shoes to fill in terms of power. I believe in the right deck his tool set will shine and help generate good card advantage. Honestly…..I wanted Garruk Wildspeaker back. He still holds a special place in my heart.
And now, the moment you might have been waiting for. My number one card that I will miss come rotation. While I do enjoy this card, this one tops my list more from a design and power standpoint then a sentimental standpoint. So without wasting anymore time.
To me Snapcaster Mage is a card that was designed very well. I wrote earlier while discussing Runechanter’s Pike I would delve back into this issue. Snapcaster Mage is, to put it bluntly, a good card. It really has no faults. While being good, it is not too good. There are are many ways for you and your opponent to interact with Snapcaster and its effects which to me is good design. Some people despise this card, but after sitting back and really thinking about it. I cannot think of another card to be at the top of this list. To go into what it does for any deck running blue (alot of those lists will have Snapcaster), it gives great utility whether you’re flashing back removal, counters, or card draw. Having played with Snapcaster Mage through many different archetypes, I cannot think of a card to place as highly on my list. Snapcaster Mage does its job, and does it well. With him rotating out blue is taking a big hit in standard as he has been a big part of how to win with most blue decks. Hopefully with Theros we can get Blue back on track as lately blue has become progressively weaker and weaker. So all I can really say with Snapcaster rotating is………Goodnight sweet prince.
To wrap things up I will quickly name off the top 10 in its entirety.
10. Dungeon Geist
9. Pillar of Flame
8. Runechanter’s Pike
6. Predator Ooze
5. Quirion Dryad
4. Olivia Voldaren
2. Garruk, Primal Hunter
1. Snapcaster Mage
So hopefully everyone enjoyed my first article for MTGMadness. In the articles to come I hope to put together some fun reads for you guys. Once M14 saturates the MTGO market. I will be able to start testing and piecing together my first Pauper article for you fine folks. If you ever have any questions for me or want to check out my stream I will leave my info below, but for now I hope you enjoyed this article and until next time.
Benjamin Rude, Magic Journyman