August 14, 2018

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Daily Dose of Guilds of Ravnica – Preparing for Rotation – Chapter 1

Welcome all to the Daily Dose of Guilds of Ravnica. You may think it’s a little early to preview the new set, since it comes out in early October. However, we’re also coming up on the changing of the guard for Standard.

That’s right, Standard Rotation. We’ll be gaining one new set with Guilds of Ravnica, and rotating out four sets (Kaladesh, Aether Revolt, Amonkhet, and Hour of Devastation). And because of that, I’m starting a series that will break down the impact of Standard rotation and which decks/cards will be impacted the most.

I’m starting things off today by looking at some of the most popular decks currently in the Standard metagame and how much they’ll be impacted by the rotation. This can help you decide which deck to play now so that you can keep playing it when Guilds of Ravnica releases in October.

Deck #1 – Black / Red Aggro

Black / Red Aggro

Creatures (24)
Bomat Courier
Scrapheap Scrounger
Ahn-Crop Crasher
Goblin Chainwhirler
Rekindling Phoenix
Soul-Scar Mage
Hazoret the Fervent
Kari Zev, Skyship Raider
Pia Nalaar

Planeswalkers (2)
Chandra, Torch of Defiance

Spells (9)
Unlicensed Disintegration
Heart of Kiran
Cut // Ribbons

Lands (25)
15 Mountain
Aether Hub
Canyon Slough
Dragonskull Summit

Percentage of cards remaining after rotation – 26/60 – 43.3%

Will this deck survive post rotation? – It looks like this iteration of the deck will be coming to an end in a couple of months. Only six non-land cards will survive rotation (Goblin Chainwhirler, Rekindling Phoenix), which means this deck will be tough to rebuild with only one set. A blow made harder with the fact that Rakdos will not be one of the five featured guilds in Guilds of Ravnica. This deck is great for now, but don’t expect to see anything resembling it after rotation.

Deck #2 – Blue / White Control

Blue / White Control

Creatures (1)
Torrential Gearhulk

Planeswalkers (4)
Teferi, Hero of Dominaria

Spells (29)
Cast Out
Seal Away
Blink of an Eye
Essence Scatter
Glimmer of Genius
Hieroglyphic Illumination
Settle the Wreckage
Search for Azcanta

Lands (26)
Arch of Orazca
Field of Ruin
Glacial Fortress
Irrigated Farmland
Meandering River

Percentage of cards remaining after rotation – 41/60 – 68.3%

Will this deck survive post rotation? – There is a pretty good chance that there will be a strong version of this deck post rotation. Most of the heavy hitters will be still be around in the form of Teferi, Hero of Dominaria, Settle the Wreckage, and Search for Azcanta. Some of the cards rotating out are easily exchangeable with cards currently in the format like exchanging Fumigate for Cleansing Nova. There will be some issues with card draw spells since both Glimmer of Genius and Hieroglyphic Illumination rotating out. There are a few versions of Cast Out currently available in the format, but none of them have the versatility of Cast Out.

Deck #3 – Turbo Fog

Turbo Fog

Planeswalkers (6)
Karn, Scion of Urza
Teferi, Hero of Dominaria

Spells (28)
Gift of Paradise
The Mirari Conjecture
Glimmer of Genius
Haze of Pollen
Nexus of Fate
Root Snare
Search for Azcanta
Karn’s Temporal Sundering
Chart a Course
Secrets of the Golden City

Lands (26)
Botanical Sanctum
Glacial Fortress
Hinterland Harbor
Irrigated Farmland
Scattered Groves
Sunpetal Grove

Percentage of cards remaining after rotation – 46/60 – 76.7%

Will this deck survive post rotation? – A whopping 76.7% of this deck will survive rotation, meaning that most of this deck will still be Standard legal. The main concern about this deck surviving play is the cards that will be rotating out. Nine of the dual lands here will be rotating out and with only Selesnya being represented strongly in Guilds of Ravnica, it could be difficult to get the mana needed for three-colours in Standard. The most devastating blow to this deck though, could be the loss of Haze of Pollen. This would leave the deck with only four “Fog” like effects. If these aren’t replaced in Guilds of Ravnica, it could mean the demise of this deck.

Deck #4 – Mono-Green Stompy

Mono-Green Stompy

Creatures (30)
Scrapheap Scrounger
Greenbelt Rampager
Llanowar Elves
Steel Leaf Champion
Thorn Lieutenant
Thrashing Brontodon
Vine Mare
Ghalta, Primal Hunger
Rhonas the Indomitable

Spells (6)
Blossoming Defense
Heart of Kiran

Lands (24)
12 Forest
Blooming Marsh
Hashep Oasis
Woodland Cemetery

Percentage of cards remaining after rotation – 36/60 – 60%

Will this deck survive post rotation? – This deck will be taking a big hit post rotation, but there is a still a strong core of creatures that will survive. Steel Leaf Champion, Thorn Lieutenant, Thrashing Brontodon, Vine Mare, and Ghalta, Primal Hunger all remain to help it keep its Stompy name. Llanowar Elves will still be there to help them get out a turn earlier than expected. With Scrapheap Scrounger gone, there is no reason to have black around any more, so you will probably see a true mono-green deck when it comes to the mana base post rotation.

Deck #5 – Grixis Midrange

Grixis Midrange

Creatures (18)
Torrential Gearhulk
Champion of Wits
Glint-Sleeve Siphoner
Whirler Virtuoso
Nicol Bolas, the Ravager
The Scarab God

Spells (14)
Harnessed Lightning
Vraska’s Contempt
Arguel’s Blood Fast

Planeswalkers (2)
Liliana, Death’s Majesty

Lands (26)
Aether Hub
Canyon Slough
Dragonskull Summit
Drowned Catacomb
Fetid Pools
Field of Ruin
Sulfur Falls

Percentage of cards remaining after rotation – 25/60 – 41.7%

Will this deck survive post rotation? – No. The answer is no. The version of the deck you see now is getting completely devastated post rotation. The only creature that survives rotation is Nicol Bolas, the Ravager, which means the Elder Dragon might need to find a new home. Plus, with 11 of the dual lands featured here rotating out, it will become much harder to play a three-colour deck.

As you can see, most of the decks in the format won’t look the same after rotation, with some being impacted much more than others. Hopefully this guide will help you decide what to play now, so that you can continue to enjoy your deck after rotation. Thanks again for joining me on the Daily Dose. I will see you soon with another chapter to help you prepare for rotation.

Also, be sure to check out my weekly MTG Arena videos on the Wizard’s Tower Youtube page!