Examining the Future

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You don't need a Crystal Ball to look into the future for standard possibilities, just a good idea of how things will pan out after this fall. While we know almost nothing (read: Nothing) about Innistrad, what we do know is the meta game right now, or rather, the general block meta game that we should be looking at. A semi-defined block meta game helps us look at what the format will look like minus all of this falls rotating set, and while it isn't a fully accurate representation of how things will look come Scars/M12/Innistrad standard, it's a very educated guess as to what's going to remain popular, and therefore profitable.

Sure things:

Sword of War and Peace

Sword of Feast and Famine


There isn't a lot to say here. They will see play as the meta game shifts them into favor, and while they lose some of their power with Stoneforge Mystic leaving, they are still powerful on their own. I wouldn't expect them to drop much, if at all. They may even go up as more copies must be used in order to draw them consistently.

Highly possibles

Black Sun's Zenith : With the set looking dark and Gothic style from what we've seen, I would expect that the powerful black spells such as this and others stand a good chance to continue to see play.

Consecrated Sphinx : Seeing play or not seeing play in the current format doesn't weight much into this one, it just needs an unlikely mono blue deck, or a much more likely U/X deck to come along, and this will continue to see play, and be in demand.

Sword of Body and Mind : This is completely dependent on the strengths of blue and green between M12 and Innistrad. They aren't bad to have around, but I wouldn't put a ton of invenstment into them since the other two swords outshine it, even in an environment of Jace.

Hero of Bladehold : This card still holds amazingly strong possibilities. If there is a white based aggro deck to be found this fall, expect this card to be at the forefront of it.

Hero of Oxid Ridge: See Hero of Bladehold

Koth of the Hammer : The red planeswalker found many homes this past weekend, and if Innistrad gives red a few more tools to work with, we could see Koth get another boost in demand. Many of the Red lists from this weekend looked strong as they were, and could easily be ported over to a new standard environment where new tools exist, and it still has access to Inferno Titan

Tempered Steel : One of the MVP's of this past weekend, and if wizards provides efficient artifact support in their upcoming set, it could easily push this to be a card that people are looking for. The promotional ones should keep a weighty price for the time being, but as this is such a situational card I wouldn't be heavily invested.

Blinkmoth Nexus : Saw play in many decks as a possible alternate kill through poison. It was a favorite in both red and white based decks, even if it was just to combat opposing Inkmoths. I feel secure in these for the time being, and I would pick up a few more if they can be found cheaply.

Still on the Hunt

Infect creatures : A good weekend for them, but that's to be expected in a block format where infect was a featured mechanic. It may be much more of a threat when Zendikar leaves, but it will also depend on what new decks come up from the next set.

Thrun, the Last Troll : He proved himself to be rather powerful this past weekend, though he was still subpar. The green mythic is still looking for enough support and the right environment to shine in, while not being outclassed by other options. Keep 2-4 on hand, at worst you trade them to players who love green "hexproof" creatures after M12 comes out.

Slag Storm : If Koth moves up, this probably will too. I wouldn't be surprised if this card sees demand this fall, as it is still very powerful for its cost. Keep a few on hand, and pick up more if you can get them cheap.

Kuldotha Phoenix : See above. Kelly Reid is invested in these, and I believe

Red Suns Zenith : Another red card that had a great weekend. A mana generating red based deck could put these to good use, and as they are very, very inexpensive for the time being, I would grab a few if you can.

Ratchet Bomb : A card that rises and falls in favor depending on the meta at the time. I don't expect that to change any time soon, so get them when cheap, sell them when in demand.

Grand Architect : There are a lot of things that have to go right for this card and the decks that it supports to come back, but it's always possible. They are cheap, but I wouldn't stock up on too many. If Innistrad looks like its going to support this card, you will still have time to get them.

Puresteel Paladin : Just as the Grand Architect, the same holds true here. While an equipment based white deck is possible, I'm just not convinced that his abilities are powerful enough to see standard play. You never know though, much like the Mirrodin to Kamigawa shift, Innistrad could prove to be a vastly underpowered set, and he could rise to popularity very quickly.

Venser, the Sojourner : Poor Venser, snubbed from the U/W decks that currently see dominant play, his abilities seemingly useless. Perhaps he can once again see demand with a new set of cards. Planeswalkers have a tendency to rise and fall in popularity, and Venser has been falling for quite some time.

Elspeth Tirel : Same story as Venser, though she has a decent glimmer of hope associated with her if white proves to be strong.

With such an assortment of cards and archetypes present at this weekends PT, it's hard to imagine that a few of them won't continue to show through rotation. With a few of the titans confirmed to be in M12, and Gideon Jura still being in standard, it's fairly easy to add in those and other "plug and play" style cards into decks.

Thanks for reading, and I hope this gives you a view of what you can be watching for as a new standard approaches this fall.

Stephen Moss

@MTGstephenmoss on twitter

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