After Pro Tour Kakadesh and its share of constructed decks, here there are the top cards of the Standard format.
- Aetherworks Marvel
Marvel gets the top of the chart this week. As many have pointed out, effectively winning the game on turn 4 is usually the domain of Modern decks or a broken Standard format. In this case, the Aetherworks deck is consistent enough to bring to a tournament, and slamming an Ulamog or Emrakul onto the battlefield with the cast trigger is enough to win in the majority of cases. It may not have been the best deck, but it was certainly the most important.
- Smuggler’s Copter
What was considered the scourge of the format coming in, turns out to still be very good. While the Aetherworks deck makes Copter look quaint, Copter is still a threat that’s keeping the planeswalker legions in check and is a lock for every aggressive deck for the foreseeable future. What we have seen is that you still can play non Copter decks and be competitive.
- Torrential Gearhulk
This was called out as potentially the best Gearhulk if control decks existed. With the Pro Tour results we now see that control is a completely valid option and multiple builds finished with 8-2 and 7-3 Constructed records, so it’s not just Hall of Famers that can win with it. Gearhulk is one of the best cards control has had in a while. Chaining them is almost a guaranteed victory if your graveyard is stocked, and at worst you get a reasonable 2 for 1.
- Gideon, Ally of Zendikar
He is the only planeswalker to make a significant splash in a multitude of decks. Gideon was considered as one of the best threats coming from the old format and he remains that way in the new one. He was in nearly every white aggressive build, U/W Flash, and in the sideboards of many of the Jeskai Control decks. While I see him turning into an emblem far more often, he remains one of the strongest solo threats in the format.
- Spell Queller
Spell Queller fell off the map for these past 2 weeks. It just didn’t line up well against the aggressive strategies. The 2/3 body couldn’t slow down the average creature, and the resurgence of red made Spell Queller a liability in some cases. With over 20% of Day 1 at the PT bringing the Aetherworks combo to the table, suddenly Spell Queller was better positioned than ever before. The tempo swing Spell Queller can provide is inescapable for some of these decks and a big reason why U/W Flash had three 9-1 Constructed finishes.
- Emrakul, the Promised End
While G/B Delirium whiffed on making Top 8, Emrakul put up a solid showing throughout the Pro Tour. It remains one of the scariest cards for midrange or control to face down, and Traverse the Ulvenwald means that finding it is a breeze. Aetherworks Marvel provides a cheat way to get the full benefits from Emrakul and I imagine it’ll be a constant threat in the format as long as Eldritch Moon is legal.
- Harnessed Lightning
Harnessed Lightning was the 2nd most played card in the winning Constructed decks from the PT. First place was Smuggler’s Copter, which should tell you that this card would be number 1 in a normal format, and for good reason: it kills Smuggler’s Copter and most of the creatures in the format with its base stats. Also it can be scaled up later in the game to take down larger monsters. When you use it to take out an X/1, you can bank the remaining energy and utilize it in other ways, of which Dynavolt Tower is a popular one.
- Ceremonious Rejection
It was the most played sideboard card in the tournament and held up alongside Negate as the most potent cards against the Aetherworks deck. With Vehicles, Gearhulks, and Aetherworks skewing the format, Rejection is main deck playable and one of the best answers to many threats in the format. Being able to hold open a single U to represent Rejection is such a powerful threat that even some of the aggressive decks have adopted it with Aether Hub, Spirebluff Canal, and even Cultivator’s Caravan to cast it. Blue actually has better answers and threats now than the last few Standard seasons.