Top 10 Cards in Standard

Top 10 Cards in Standard

A breakdown of the most played cards in Standard.

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I'm a little surprised to see "Gary" (Gray Merchant of Asphodel) absent from the list. I suppose he's still just a two-of in most black devotion decks, despite often being a primary win condition alongside Pack Rat.

Also a little shocked that Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx isn't rocking playsets in most decks. I wonder, is that "Legendary" marker holding it back from stacking up in decks? is it just a little too much to prime the pump? or is it simply being edged out by Mutavaults as "the colorless land"? ...probably all at once.

There are some cards, in Standard or otherwise, that I simply don't get. Ętherling, Mutavault, Thoughtseize, Vendilion Clique... I look at these cards and I just think, 'how are these good?' The answer is lost on me. By contrast, I see cards like Pack Rat or Nightveil Specter and know exactly how the deck is going to play out. (The former, a horde of rats; the latter, Ashiok tearing apart libraries left right and centre.)

As for Journey Into Nyx, I'm looking forward to seeing the last five Gods (Kruphix, Pharika, Iroas, Athreos and Keranos); depending on Kruphix's abilities I might try to squeeze a copy or two into my current Standard build (a Simic combo deck featuring Kiora's Follower, Illusionist's Bracers, Vorel of the Hull Clade and anything with a +1/+1 counter on it). The Gods that have been released haven't seen much time on the playing fields of my local store, save for Xenagos who thrashes anything he's up against.

Also looking forward to Ajani's new look (it was hinted at in Daily MTG and the Journey artwork). The most frequent rumour I hear is that he's going to be white-green, 'cause they haven't printed a white-green planeswalker yet. Plus, taking Elspeth's message in The Lost Confession into account, Ajani fits the bill.

CounterAttack:
There are some cards, in Standard or otherwise, that I simply don't get. Ętherling, Mutavault, Thoughtseize, Vendilion Clique... I look at these cards and I just think, 'how are these good?' The answer is lost on me. By contrast, I see cards like Pack Rat or Nightveil Specter and know exactly how the deck is going to play out. (The former, a horde of rats; the latter, Ashiok tearing apart libraries left right and centre.)

Aetherling is a win-condition. No one runs 4 Atherling's in their decks, but 1-2 for late-game. It's an untouchable creature to finish off the opponent. It's not terribly useful (I've never seen it decide a game), but it makes a point.

Mutavault is great for lots of decks; it gives mana, and provides a creature to apply pressure. Aggro decks like it because it's another creature, and control decks love it because it's a potential attacker and blocker they run low on. There's no real downside to running it other than being colorless, which considering how mono-heavy non-Esper decks are isn't that big of a deal.

Thoughtseize is, by far, the best card in standard. A one-drop that gives hand vision and card advantage. Considering how dependent most competitive non-black decks are on the starting hand (and how open and variable black decks can be), it can be devastating. The life cost is trivial, and anyway would be worth it even if you doubled it. You could balance standard tomorrow by banning Thoughtseize, or at least incrementing it's mana cost. (that's probably not true but it's a really strong card, and goes a long way in explaining the prevalence of black devotion decks.)

2xDouble:
I'm a little surprised to see "Gary" (Gray Merchant of Asphodel) absent from the list. I suppose he's still just a two-of in most black devotion decks, despite often being a primary win condition alongside Pack Rat.

Also a little shocked that Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx isn't rocking playsets in most decks. I wonder, is that "Legendary" marker holding it back from stacking up in decks? is it just a little too much to prime the pump? or is it simply being edged out by Mutavaults as "the colorless land"? ...probably all at once.

The way I'm interpreting the list is basically that if the card makes the list and matches your colors, it's almost a no-brainer to put into your deck. And that's mostly true for the cards that made the list, with the arguable exceptions of Jace and Lifebane Zombie.

This also explains why the cards you're mentioning were absent. Gray Merchant is a freaking monster in mono-black devotion, but not terribly useful in other decks since it scales well with devotion and is horribly mediocre without it. Nykthos isn't seeing as much use anymore as by the time you have 4 devotion(and Nykthos thus becomes useful), most games are at a point where you don't really need more mana all that much. Mono Blue can use it for Cyclonic Rift-overloads, which is another card that seems to have fallen out of fashion lately. Mono black doesn't really need Nykthos, from my experience. Mono Green, which is the deck that could really abuse Nykthox with Voyaging Satyr, Burning-Tree Emissary and Polukranos, isn't all that common at the moment.

Those are my guesses, at least.

I play kaijudo which I think is a simplified version of magic the gathering. I have always wanted to play this card game but it does seem intimidating at first, I mean I just read five pages and the only words I truly understood were rat and card.

dharmaBum0:
Thoughtseize is, by far, the best card in standard. A one-drop that gives hand vision and card advantage.

I think you mean a tempo advantage. Thoughtseize still just trades with a card, you're not up or down a resource in relation to your opponent.

Considering how dependent most competitive non-black decks are on the starting hand (and how open and variable black decks can be), it can be devastating. The life cost is trivial, and anyway would be worth it even if you doubled it. You could balance standard tomorrow by banning Thoughtseize, or at least incrementing it's mana cost. (that's probably not true but it's a really strong card, and goes a long way in explaining the prevalence of black devotion decks.)

1 mana is a huge difference, it can well be the cut off from competitively playable and not. To point, there actually is essentially a 2 mana Thoughtseize, Distress, and it's certainly not see enough play to be noteworthy.

Gaijinko:
I play kaijudo which I think is a simplified version of magic the gathering. I have always wanted to play this card game but it does seem intimidating at first, I mean I just read five pages and the only words I truly understood were rat and card.

Honestly if you're looking to get started with Magic one of the best methods is to check out the Duels of the Planeswalker games. It's a nice way to get at least some introduction to the rules. Most of Magic is not any more complicated than Kaijudo, it's only sometimes you do get into some more nuance rules interactions.

Something like sphinx's revaluation is a stronger card then a number of the mono black cards listed, but by numbers isn't played as much. Sphinx makes an entire deck type viable on it's own , where as mono black can find another removal spell or slightly under costed but devoted creature and still be fairly functional.

CounterAttack:
There are some cards, in Standard or otherwise, that I simply don't get. Ętherling, Mutavault, Thoughtseize, Vendilion Clique... I look at these cards and I just think, 'how are these good?' The answer is lost on me. By contrast, I see cards like Pack Rat or Nightveil Specter and know exactly how the deck is going to play out. (The former, a horde of rats; the latter, Ashiok tearing apart libraries left right and centre.)

Aetherling's purpose is to make old mono-blue players sad that damage no longer stacks. Mutavault is, at it's very least, 2 damage when you want it but untouchable by all but a few cards when you don't. Thoughtseize is targeted discard you can play turn one, that's always worth 2 life. I barely remember Vendilion Clique, I didn't actually know fairies were back as I quit some time ago, I hope bitter blossom has stayed dead and burning in cardboard hell at least.

SecondPrize:

CounterAttack:
There are some cards, in Standard or otherwise, that I simply don't get. Ętherling, Mutavault, Thoughtseize, Vendilion Clique... I look at these cards and I just think, 'how are these good?' The answer is lost on me. By contrast, I see cards like Pack Rat or Nightveil Specter and know exactly how the deck is going to play out. (The former, a horde of rats; the latter, Ashiok tearing apart libraries left right and centre.)

Aetherling's purpose is to make old mono-blue players sad that damage no longer stacks. Mutavault is, at it's very least, 2 damage when you want it but untouchable by all but a few cards when you don't. Thoughtseize is targeted discard you can play turn one, that's always worth 2 life. I barely remember Vendilion Clique, I didn't actually know fairies were back as I quit some time ago, I hope bitter blossom has stayed dead and burning in cardboard hell at least.

Bitterblossem was unbanned for the most recent modern tournament, but even with that, birthing pod was still the deck to beat, only one faeries in the top 8 and a few tied for 9th.

Daymo:

SecondPrize:

CounterAttack:
There are some cards, in Standard or otherwise, that I simply don't get. Ętherling, Mutavault, Thoughtseize, Vendilion Clique... I look at these cards and I just think, 'how are these good?' The answer is lost on me. By contrast, I see cards like Pack Rat or Nightveil Specter and know exactly how the deck is going to play out. (The former, a horde of rats; the latter, Ashiok tearing apart libraries left right and centre.)

Aetherling's purpose is to make old mono-blue players sad that damage no longer stacks. Mutavault is, at it's very least, 2 damage when you want it but untouchable by all but a few cards when you don't. Thoughtseize is targeted discard you can play turn one, that's always worth 2 life. I barely remember Vendilion Clique, I didn't actually know fairies were back as I quit some time ago, I hope bitter blossom has stayed dead and burning in cardboard hell at least.

Bitterblossem was unbanned for the most recent modern tournament, but even with that, birthing pod was still the deck to beat, only one faeries in the top 8 and a few tied for 9th.

I don't think I would have minded bitter blossom in extendend/modern so much, it was in standard which it was a giant pain in the ass, not just because of itself but because of what it made sideboards look like.

SecondPrize:
I don't think I would have minded bitter blossom in extendend/modern so much, it was in standard which it was a giant pain in the ass, not just because of itself but because of what it made sideboards look like.

What was the deal with BB anyway? I get that the card looks strong, but it hasn't really affected the meta in Modern all that much as far as I know. Possibly just format differences, I guess?

(this is coming from someone who started playing about a month ago and doesn't play Modern)

Naeras:

SecondPrize:
I don't think I would have minded bitter blossom in extendend/modern so much, it was in standard which it was a giant pain in the ass, not just because of itself but because of what it made sideboards look like.

What was the deal with BB anyway? I get that the card looks strong, but it hasn't really affected the meta in Modern all that much as far as I know. Possibly just format differences, I guess?

(this is coming from someone who started playing about a month ago and doesn't play Modern)

If my memory serves correctly, BB was used mostly in a Fairies deck which was a really good/fast aggro deck with a fair bit of control from a couple of the fairies and that 4 mana blue tap/counter/something option card. The deck itself was powerful due to BB but what happened to the meta was the big thing, everyone loaded 1-2 damage to all cards in their sideboard for BB hate, which completely fucked any other deck that had little guys like elf-ball, which was super fun. I think WotC even apologized for BB at the time. I wouldn't expect it to have the same effect in modern but it had an outsized effect for just one card in that standard.

Lifebane Zombie is number 4? Wow... i actually own a playset of that card and whilst he is very good in mono-black devotion and as a sideboard in certain decks as a hate card. Last i looked he was still pretty cheap too. I'm also quite surprised not to see Ultimate price too since Esper control has also starting running as a four of after side-boarding. Sphinxes Revelation is still one of the premier components of any control deck in blue.

Your list are all Rare/Mythic too 0_o'

Interesting thought; The list is almost exclusively Dimir colored yet there is NO Dimir deck even close to standard (the closest we get is putting in scrylands to cast stuff exiled with Nightveil Specter in the Blue Dev Vs. Black Dev matchups) BUT it also looks like the combination of removal, counters and sweepers could add up to some from of Esper control maybe being a big presence in the metagame.

Monoblue devotion functions like a combo aggro deck and mono-black devotion functions in an odd semi-control/ combo fashion whilst the pieces used in other decks in those colors are usually only the control pieces. This is a very intriguing meta-game situation.

It's been a long time since I played Magic (not counting "Duels of the Planeswalkers"), but am I correct in saying that black has gotten stupid powerful now? Just looking at this list, 9 of the top 10 are colored cards, and of those 9, 7 of them are black (counting Nightveil Specter). That seems crazy to me.

Ihateregistering1:
It's been a long time since I played Magic (not counting "Duels of the Planeswalkers"), but am I correct in saying that black has gotten stupid powerful now?

The answer is 'kind of'. Black has very aggressively costed cards in the expansions and the current Black deck is a thorny problem for other decks that are still playing slow. Having said that I'm stomping heads with a cheap aggro deck in Standard because the current meta assumes a lot of time to rev your deck up.

Naeras:
What was the deal with BB anyway? I get that the card looks strong, but it hasn't really affected the meta in Modern all that much as far as I know. Possibly just format differences, I guess?

It saw play in Lorwyn Standard in a Fairie Tribal deck where the number of fairies you had was extremely relevant, it generated a wall of blockers, upped your fairie count and dropped on turn 2 to allow you to stall until you reached critical mass and could start Champion-flickering fairies to bounce and grab permanents. Fairies rolled out with a turn 1 Thoughtseize to remove anything threatening and a turn 2 Bitterblossom that they'd be topdecking to try and race.

It was banned in Modern because it was on the Standard banlist when Modern was established, they banned it as a precaution but in Modern there are tonnes of decks faster than Fairies, even Izzet Storm will squish Fairies and that's an edge deck (though with the Shaman ban it just got a whole lot more playable).

SirBryghtside:
I get not understanding why Vendilion Clique and Thoughtseize aren't great - they can seem like pretty minor advantages

Even if it was just a 3/1 flash flyer, Vendilion Clique would be a pretty good deal. The additional utility of seeing your opponents hand, knocking something away or ditching a useless card from your hand just pushes it over the top. There are some pretty sweet interactions too. Like, it's is pretty awesome feeling if you've ever responded to an Aether Vial trigger with Vendilion Clique and cycled the card in their hand that they were going to vial in.

I only play Legacy so I won't have to change decks every 3 months or so but good grief, I was out of the game way too long. Fucking Mutavault. I mean, wow, there are some cards I have that would instantly jump to juggernaut status if I get four of these.

That said, it's two years later and Doom Blade is still in standard ?! Seriously ? Also, I am not an expert but I think Thoughtseize should cost more to cast.

 

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