August 13, 2019

Image Credit:

Getting Ready for Throne of Eldraine – What current Standard decks survive rotation?

We are still two months away from rotation, but a lot of players, me included, are thinking about what to play both now and in two months time. It is true, that we will not know what the new set brings when it comes to new cards until a month from now, but what we can do is figure out what current decks have any chance of survival in a post rotation world. Today I’m going to list a couple of decks and let you know if they have:

– No chance of survival
– Will have to have most of the deck reworked
– Only needs a few changes to work
– Ready to go post rotation

Bant Scapeshift

This deck is losing 13 of its 60-card main deck (21.7%) of its main deck in which most of them are different lands you can play in the deck. The major issue though is that it is losing the card in which the deck is named for Scapeshift. There is currently no replacement for that card in the format. There have been times where I have won the game without using Scapeshift and being able to just gain value from putting a ton of lands onto the battlefield. The issue is that the amount of games that can be won thanks to Field of the Dead is significantly greatened when a Scapeshift is played.

Final Decision – No chance of survival

Orzhov Vampires

The deck is losing 31 of its 60-card main deck (51.7%). The Ixalan block was such a treasure trove when it came to Vampires which is why almost every creature in the deck except Knight of the Ebon Legion is going to be rotating out. We will have to wait until another set comes out loaded with Vampires for this deck to see a comeback.

Final Decision – No chance of survival

Mono-Red Aggro

This deck is losing 23 of its 60-card main deck (38.3%). This deck is losing over a third of its deck, but the thing you need to remember is that you only need Mountains to play this deck. There are a lot of key 1-drop creatures being rotated out like Fanatical Firebrand and Ghitu Lavarunner. A lot of the key pieces of the deck remain. Runaway Steam-Kin can find some new friends to play with. Experimental Frenzy will still be the card advantage engine that you want to have in your deck. Also, don’t forget about Light up the Stage and how it will still be annoying when to your opponent when you cast it for 1-mana.

Final Decision – Only needs a few changes to work

Esper Hero

This deck is losing 12 of its 60-card main deck (20%). The only major player being removed from this deck is Teferi, Hero of Dominaria. With baby Teferi, Time Reveler getting stronger and stronger it shouldn’t be that much of a loss. There’s bound to be some nice multicolour cards in Throne of Eldraine that will help this deck fill any absences it might have. Other than that it is only losing 8 dual lands in the form of the Ixalan check lands, but I’m certain some of these will be replaced by what is to come in Throne of Eldraine.

Final Decision – Ready to go post rotation

Jund Dinosaurs

This deck is losing 31 of its 60-card main deck (51.7%). Although they did print some nice cards for this deck in Core Set 2020 (Marauding Raptor, Shifting Ceratops), most of this deck is from cards printed in the Ixalan Block. It will be hard to see Dinosaurs coming back in Throne of Eldraine, so you are left with very few creatures that can benefit from what the new Core Set 2020 cards brought to the table.

Final Decision – No chance of survival

Boros Feather

This deck is losing 13 of its 60-card main deck (21.7%). Most of this deck is staying intact and will be ready for post-rotation. Like any deck it is losing a few lands, but the main rotation loss for this deck is Reckless Rage. That is a unique 1-casting cost removal spell that fits into this deck perfectly. I doubt that anything like that will be reprinted, or be like it in Throne of Eldraine, so it will need to be replaced by something.

Final Decision – Only needs a few changes to work

Simic Nexus

This deck is losing 27 of its 60-card main deck (45%). This deck is losing its namesake card Nexus of Fate. Despite losing that card and a fog card like Root Snare, there is still chance for this deck to survive if it gets the right set of cards in Throne of Eldraine. There have been some similar non-Nexus of Fate decks that have seen some play in the past year.

Final Decision – Will have to have most of the deck reworked

Mono-Blue Tempo

This deck is losing 31 of its 60-card main deck (51.7%). 12 of the key creatures in this deck are being rotated out of Standard including Siren Stormtamer and Tempest Djinn. The biggest blow to this deck’s survival though is the loss of Curious Obsession. The bonus in power and the card advantage it provided put this deck in the higher tier of Standard for months.

Final Decision – No chance of survival

Temur Elementals

This deck is losing 9 of its 60-card main deck (15%). The only non-land card rotating out of this deck is Llanowar Elves. The only difference is that you won’t be able to get out cards like Risen Reef on turn two. The core of this deck is intact and who knows if an Elemental or two will show up in the coming sets. I think it’s time to sleeve up some Elementals!

Final Decision – Ready to go post rotation

There you have it folks, the lowdown on some of the current best decks in Standard and how they are positioning themselves for post-rotation. It will be interesting to see what nuggets of goodness Throne of Eldraine will bring to the table.