Top 10 Cards in Standard

Justin Clouse | 28 Mar 2014 20:00
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Jace Architect of Thought

7. Jace, Architect of Thought - 46

Honestly, there hasn't been a bad Jace yet, and Jace, Architect of Thought is essentially a near-perfect trifecta of planeswalker abilities. Combined with a high loyalty count, Jace protects itself with a +1 activation. Against any kind of aggressive deck that's looking to go broad and swarm instead of big this is almost a nightmare, forcing you to put a lot of resources into getting him off the table and often playing into their sweeper. All the while dragging the game longer. His -2, affectionately called mini-Fact or Fiction because Magic players must name everything based on something that came before, is a source of card advantage, and it's somewhat key that some non-zero percent of the time your opponent is going to incorrectly assess the piles giving you both the card you wanted and a bonus. Jace's -8 ultimate is generally rare to see, because of the temptation to start ticking down for cards, but getting to find and cast the best cards in your and your opponent's deck is usually game ending.

6. Nightveil Specter - 47

While Pack Rat made the jump from crushing drafts, Nightveil Specter came right out of the dollar rare bin. A 2/3 flyer for 3 was never the worst deal, though nothing exciting enough for constructed, but it wasn't until Theros and its devotion mechanic that those 3 Blue and Black mana pips suddenly became a lot more valuable. In addition to that, Nightveil Specter's ability started to really show its stuff. It doesn't take too many hits for things to get really out of hand, and heaven forbid you're playing the mirror and you just played a 2 power flying Scroll Thief.


5. Hero's Downfall - 53

Whether you like to call it Murder with upside of instant speed Dreadbore, Hero's Downfall is undoubtedly seeing lots play for its ability to not be a dead card regardless of what kind of deck you're facing. At its most basic level, Magic is a game about exchanging resources. One deck is asking questions and the other is trying to line up the right answers. The more versatile the card is, the less chance that it's going to end up stranded in your hand. This is why the cycle of charms are highly valued; paying a little more is worth having options. For instance with Hero's Downfall, the most common thread of this is that control decks love to prey on the fact that a lot of the opposing decks are stuck with a bunch of almost worthless creature removal spells. When your opponents' win conditions are Ætherling and Elspeth Sun's Champion, cards like Ultimate Price are almost worse than a basic land. Hero's Downfall gets around this issue by being able to trade off equally well against a creature or planeswalker.

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