With the sun setting on Aether Revolt, the dawn of a new Standard is about to begin. Amonkhet is almost here, and in a few weeks we’ll have seven different sets in Standard to pick our cards from.
Where Standard is Now
According to MTGGoldfish.com, the current Standard metagame is made up of 35.38% 4-Color Copycat, 27.69% Mardu Vehicles, 16.92% of Aetherworks Marvel Copycat variants, and just 5.38% Temur Tower. It’s pretty horrifying to see at the end of a Standard season that one deck makes up over half of the metagame, and two decks make up over 80%.
In the last Banned & Restricted announcement, Wizards chose not to ban Saheeli Rai or Felidar Guardian, but I think this time around Copycat will be gone before Pro Tour Amonkhet begins. This has been said innumerable times, but a 2-card infinite combo is definitely unsettling to a lot of players, and the deck has proven to be top-dog. I hope to see a ban of either Saheeli Rai or Felidar Guardian before the Pro Tour, but maybe Wizards will wait to see how Amonkhet shakes up Standard. Anyway, onward to the new goodies!
A New Standard
Amonkhet brings a lot of powerful new cards to the table, some that synnergize well with cards from both Shadows over Innistrad block and Kaladesh block. Let’s look at some new spoiler cards and see what they mesh well with!
I think this is my favorite card to be spoiled so far. Although the entry cost for Drake Haven seems expensive, untapping with this card seems to be one of the most threatening things you can do in Standard. Drake Haven turns every cycling card or discard outlet in your deck to 2 mana: Draw a card, create a 2/2 Drake creature token with flying. There’s a number of reasons why this effect is incredibly powerful.
Drake Haven allows you to cheaply create tokens to either block, threaten planeswalkers, or amass a large army of flying 2/2s, while allowing you to sift through your deck. Amassing multiple 2/2 drakes also inclines your opponent to play creatures into your board, which you can clear away with a Fumigate. This card is definitely versatile and I can’t imagine what untapping with two or even three of these is like.
Cards it plays well with:
If this card doesn’t excite Craig Wescoe about Standard then I don’t know what will. Although a 3/1 is weak to Walking Ballista, a two mana attacking 4/4 is a pretty pressing threat. But wait! If it attacks as a 4/4 then it doesn’t get to attack next turn, what kind of white-weenie card is that? Well, that’s where Always Watching comes in…
I think a white-weenie strategy is definitely viable in Amonkhet Standard. Let’s look at the humans we have available to us:
And the most important Human of all…
Well, it is a planeswalker, but if you want you can buff him with Thalia’s Lieutenant, if you’re into that sort of thing.
Glory-Bound Initiate is definitely a nod to white-weenie making a comeback in Amonkhet Standard, and I’m sure we still have some human warriors to see in the coming week.
This is definitely a more exciting planeswalker to me than Gideon of the Trials. Liliana, Death’s Majesty is the midrange planeswalker I’ve been waiting for! Her first ability gives her some protection, while setting up your graveyard for her second ability. Her -3 ability is what has me most excited. This allows you to immediately get back any threat from your graveyard and take back control of a board position where you’re potentially behind, such as reanimating an Ishkanah, Grafwidow or a Noxious Gearhulk.
This card pairs nicely with any strong ETB effects that are available in Standard. Even buying back a Tireless Tracker on an open board seems incredibly strong. Finally, her -7 ability, which also protects your precious zombified creatures, offers a nice board clear, putting you ahead if you’ve already made some zombie tokens or reanimated some powerful creatures.
Cards it plays well with:
With the sun rising on Amonkhet Standard, which cards or strategies are you looking to try out? Is Drake Haven busted? How good will white-weenie be?
With Copycat potentially coming to an end, I think a balanced Standard is on the horizon.
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