Top 10 Cards in Standard

Justin Clouse | 28 Mar 2014 20:00
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4. Lifebane Zombie - 54

Lifebane Zombie's life in standard has been directly proportional to the expected number of targets it's going to hit, and some decks have even needed to shift their color density because of it. It's certainly doing no favors to the number of Green/White decks we currently see in Standard. Recently, we've seen the rise of the Jund and GR Monsters decks and more White creatures like Archangel of Thune coming out of the sideboards of control decks. Also, there's this little card that every Black deck really hates to see. What was it again? Oh right, Blood Baron of Vizkopa. While you're always at the mercy of top decks, Lifebane Zombie gets to operate as Thoughtseize five through eight for specific problem cards, and at the end of the day the 3/1 intimidate body that lets you see your opponent's hand is pretty respectable.

3. Doom Blade - 63

Doom Blade riding high at number three kind of flies in the face of everything else we've discussed so far. Over a 1/3rd of the format is Black, and none of the creatures we've discussed on this list so far die to it. But you just can't keep a good removal spell down. Even with all the Black running around, the clean efficiency of removing every other creature around for cheap cost of one and a Black is just too good to ignore. Much of this season of Standard has been the dance and shuffling of Black removal suites. Ultimate Price hits most targets, but not Mutavault, Nightveil Specter and a few other important cards. Hero's Downfall is good, but not every deck can afford to run 4 on the mana base and it's a little slow. Devour Flesh can in theory answer any threat, but once that Elvish Mystic and such hits the table it looks pretty bad. Ultimately being live for the other 2/3rd of the format is worth the price of being awkward in the face of Black decks. Well, at least that Mutavault isn't ever surviving an activation.

nightmare weaver

2. Thoughtseize - 91

In addition to Shocklands in Return to Ravnica and cards like Mutavault in M14, Thoughtseize represents a major push by WotC to get more of these cards into players' hands for Modern. The original Lorewyn Thoughtseize was up in $60s and higher before the reprint. If you weren't paying attention when we discussed Hero's Downfall, then Thoughtseize reinforces that versatility is king. As long as it isn't a land, Thoughtseize can pluck it out of their hands, making it much more valuable to have around as opposed to something like Duress. There's also the often unsung secondary value of seeing your opponents hand. While stripping their hand of a problematic spell or non-land permanent is certainly the main appeal, by knowing what your opponent is holding you can use that information to craft your next few turns. Once you're playing out threats that your opponent is forced to top deck the right answers for you've got them on quite the back foot.

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