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Ten from ’14

Written by LegitMTG Staff on . Posted in Competitive Magic, Standard

My story goes all the way back to July 28th 2012, that’s the day I finally won a PTQ. After I won I felt like I needed to write about my experiences and the preparation for Pro Tour Return to Ravnica. There were a lot of sites I considered trying to write for and one big one that simply turned me down(thank you by the way). I had narrowed it down to a site I won’t name because I just didn’t like their writers or staff, and LegitMtg.com because I had been talking to Heather and Scott MacCallum on Twitter. I however didn’t like Jonathan Medina at that time because of the rumors I had heard about him, but felt like I could work for someone even if I didn’t like them. That quickly changed and I grew to respect Jonathan as a player, person, and boss. He was always kind and encouraging to me, even loaning me cards to play States last year when my order arrived late. So when I heard that he was leaving LegitMTG.com I was shocked and saddened. It was yet another shock when I heard that Heather was leaving as well. Jonathan gave me a home, a place where I feel like I belong, so I will continue to write for LegitMTG.com to keep the community he started alive.

Sometimes some cards don’t get reprinted when their flavor or the format make you feel otherwise, these are the cards that I feel that way about. I’m not necessarily saying these needed to be reprinted for current Standard, just that I felt like each of these cards were big misses for not being in current Standard. This is my…

Top 10 Cards I Felt Should Have Been Reprinted

Master of the Wild Hunt

With a heavy Wolf theme a guy who can control Wolves would have been perfect for Innistrad Block. This guy being around would actually make it a decision whether or not you want him or Huntmaster of the Fells as your four drop, and would allow mono green decks to have another consistent source of card advantage. Fun combos with him would be the deathtouch wolves that Garruk, Relentless makes when he transforms, and Wolfir Silverheart being able to nuke any creature on the board.

Ravenous Baloth

There have been a lot of Beasts, spells that make beasts, and Planeswalkers that make beasts over the last few years, so much so that I felt he was almost an auto include for Magic 2014. I for one would love to have been able to sacrifice the beast tokens my Thragtusks leave behind to gain 4 life, or turn my Garruk, Primal Hunter into a life gain factory. There’s even a heavy Beast theme in Magic 2014 with Advocate of the Beast, Garruk’s Horde, Kalonian Tusker, Marauding Maulhorn, Mutavault, and Rumbling Baloth leading the stampede.

Lightning Bolt

Creatures have gotten far too big and efficient for the red removal currently available, it has been time for Lightning Bolt to come back again for quite a while. I’m sure 3 damage for R is not out of the question when players are gaining 3 life and get a 3/3 for 3 mana, or 5 life and a 5/3 for 5 mana. Its play might even be marginalized a bit because of the need to run Pillar of Flame against cards like Strangleroot Geist, Voice of Resurgence, and Xathrid Necromancer.

Thoughtseize

Peoples hands have been safe for far too long from pinpoint discard. We have a few attempts at this in Standard currently like Duress, Appetite for Brains, Sin Collector and Lifebane Zombie, but none quite measure up to the flexibility that Thoughtseize gives you. When it wasn’t printed in Modern Masters that was a huge hint that it’s coming sometime soon. While we may not actually see it back in Standard since there’s other ways they can put more into circulation like From the Vault: 20 and the Commander products coming later this year, we will see some more of them available.

Tendrils of Corruption

This is the card that black control decks wish they had again. It’s a great instant speed removal card that gains you back some of that life you just got beat out of you by your opponents army of creatures. With the tools Mono Black Control has currently it just barely falls short of being able to compete with the best decks, and Tendrils of Corruption would put it in contention.

Path To Exile

Creatures have become far too efficient again, and it’s time for some more efficient removal to make its way back into Standard. With things like Gravecrawler that keep coming back from the graveyard and Unburial Rites to keep bringing back value creatures from the graveyard a permanent answer should be available to combat this. Unfortunately Wizards of the Coast likely didn’t give us Path to Exile because of Snapcaster Mage being in Standard, which will soon change.

Spell Snare

Spell Snare would be a welcome addition to blue decks trying to fight right now, as every deck has 2 mana spells and/or creatures to counter. The biggest offenders blue needs to combat are Burning-Tree Emissary, Farseek, and opposing Snapcaster Mages, and this would do exactly that. With cards like Duress, Cavern of Souls, and Savage Summoning there would be little chance Spell Snare would get out of hand.This is yet again another card Wizards of the Coast was probably scared to print with Snapcaster Mage in the format.

Torpor Orb

With so many comes into play abilities in Standard right now this would have been the perfect card to restore balance. Maybe we just shouldn’t care that the format is defined by value creatures, but I just have a hard time not to care when Restoration Angels and Thragtusks are throwing their value all over the place. It would hit a card in just about every deck, but be at its best against decks like Jund and Reanimator giving the format a more reasonable out to those decks dominating.

Vedalken Shackles

Blue has really gotten the shaft lately with the majority of good blue cards currently in Standard being gold cards. It’s time blue got something that played into its strengths again, and I feel like Vedalken Shackles should have been that card. With the amount of good ways to destroy it in Standard currently it would certainly not take over the format, and would force the blue decks to lean more heavily into their Islands.

Mortify

It felt like a huge oversight when Putrefy was reprinted in Return to Ravnica Block but Mortify wasn’t. I still expected a solid black and white removal spell but was quite dissapointed when I found there to be none in the block. With enchantments confirmed to be a major theme in Theros we’re progressively going to wish harder and harder for Mortify to be back in Standard.

Top 10 from M14

While M14 isn’t as high on power level as some other Core sets, it still has plenty to offer for constructed play. There are a lot of very good role players and multi format all stars that will have a chance to shine, and maybe even get better once Theros is released in October. These are my top 10 cards for constructed play.

1 Mutavault

A proven multi format all star, Mutavault has already begun to show its power in the winning B/W Humans list that took 1st place at SCG Richmond just a few weeks ago.

2 Xathrid Necromancer

Xathrid Necromancer is a multi format all star in the making. It has already proven itself in Standard, and I wont be surprised to see it in Modern and it may even have Legacy applications.

3 Scavenging Ooze

Not much needs said about Scavenging Ooze, as it will be omnipresent in Standard, Modern, and Legacy. This Commander card turned Standard All-Star is tearing it up and leaving the Reanimator decks to gather dust.

4 Lifebane Zombie

While Lifebane Zombie will mostly stay in sideboards, it will still be a card to fear as there are a lot of creatures for it to hit in Standard and the Intimidate 3/1 body is no slouch. If decks with lots of green or White creatures continue to put up lots of numbers Lifebane Zombie may make the jump to the main before long.

5 Savage Summoning

When a card like this is printed it speaks a lot about whats going to happen soon. It looks like Theros will have some spicy counterspells, and with Cavern of Souls leaving soon Savage Summoning will have to step up to keep the blue decks in check.

6 Young Pyromancer

This innocuous two drop may be among the best two drops ever printed. He’s already spawned several decks in Standard, and according to some big names is amazing in Legacy. I wouldn’t be surprised if he sees play in Vintage, and he will be heavily played alongside Snapcaster Mage in Modern.

7 Burning Earth

Is this a better or worse Manabarbs, the jury is still out on that. But it is seeing a good bit of Standard play, even making the main in some decks. Burning Earth likely won’t see any play outside of Standard, but it will impact Standard the entire time it is legal.

8 Witchstalker

This card has already started to pop up in Hexproof decks along with Gladecover Scout making it much more consistent. I doubt Witchstalker will impact any other formats, but as long as there are a ton of Auras in Standard this guy will be the target of them.

9 Imposing Sovereign

A Blind Obedience with legs, Imposing Sovereign will likely see play across all formats. He will slow down all the hasty aggro decks in Standard enough to warrant his inclusion in many decks for the duration of his stay. Soon enough there will be more hatebear decks running around because of this guy.

10 Liliana’s Reaver

This guy does a pretty cool Hypnotic Specter crossed with Grave Titan impersonation, so I have no doubt Liliana’s Reaver will see play. Once the format solidifies a little more the Zombie decks will be back to eat some more brains.

Honorable Mention:
Tidebinder Mage

Currently this guy will only see play in Modern and Legacy because there is just no reason to run him in Standard. But there may be merfolk in Theros, and with Restoration Angel leaving the format he may have his time to shine just like Dungeon Geist did before Restoration Angel joined Standard.

Many of these cards will drastically change once Theros descends upon us in October, so it’s always reasonable to pick up the cheap stragglers on my list in the off chance they become a Standard staple a few months down the road.

Thank you all for reading, and your continued support of LegitMTG.com. Feel free to leave comments and ask questions, and I will try to get to you. Join me next week as I talk about a new Modern deck I’m working on that may be just what the doctor ordered for Modern Champs at GenCon or Grand Prix Detroit next month!

Thank You,

Josh Milliken
@joshuamilliken on Twitter

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