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In the wake of Jace and Stoneforge Mystic…

June 29, 2011

While the recent bannings was to pretty much everybodys hurrah, the bannings do leave plenty of questions about how the upcoming Standard format is going to shape up. I certainly don’t have all the answer, I do want to straight out a “myth” that several people seems to believe about the upcoming format.

With Jace the Mind Sculptor exiled from the realms of Standard together with Stoneforge Mystic, a lot of constrictions on what type of decks you could play in a competitive environment is no more. The infamous “Jace test (which basically tests each creature if it does favorably interact with an opposing Jace the Mind Sculptor) is something you don’t need to concern yourself with anymore while selecting creatures for your decks. Cards that are powerful in a vacuum that has been held back by JtMS presence might have the chance to flourish now, which is exciting to see.

Standards new front seat drivers?

But, I hate to break it to you. That is not necessarily true even if JtMS (and to a lesser extent Stoneforge Mystic) is gone. You see, as I have mentioned many times now, there is always going to be a “best deck” or at least something close to it. I won’t delve into any M12 spoilers today (as it seems fairly futile to me) but even with disregarding M12, there is right of the bat two extremely powerfull strategies that seems to be poised to take the drivers seat for the upcoming Standard format. More precisely Primeval Titan (in junction with Valakut primarily) and Deceiver Exarch + Splinter Twin.

Therefore I would claim that while you don’t need to concern yourself with the “Jace test” anymore, you still need to ask yourself “how does creature X interact with Primeval Titan and the Splinter Twin combo?”. Just because JtMS and Stoneforge Mystic is gone doesn’t mean you can play with any durdle there are which some might believe. And that is with leaving M12 out of the thinking box. So, be sure that there are more questions and answers to come.

On these premises I believe that cards like Phyrexian Obliterator, Thrun, the Last Troll and similar midrangey guys still have to be benchwarmers at least until Innistrad is released in October. It’s a little sad when cool cards like the Obliterator just isn’t good enough to see play, but that is how competitive magic works.

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