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Insider: The Aristocrats and New Standard

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The latest Pro Tour has come to an end, and there are some interesting deck lists to delve through. We are no longer in an age of incremental advantage decks. Delver of Secrets // Insectile Aberration is a thing of the past. We are in an age of blowout advantage, and there are a few cards that let us do that. Sphinx's Revelation is one of the main reasons, and for that we will see it maintaining a fair price tag, and potentially continuing to rise as RTR stops being opened.

Sometimes we still need that incremental advantage in the decks that don't get it, and for that reason my favorite Gatecrash card is still Domri Rade. Domri Rade both allows for removal and card advantage in a creature-heavy deck, as Liliana of the Veil does in a graveyard-centric deck.

We saw one of these decks in the top eight, and it even made it to the Semifinals. He ran 4x Domri Rade, 4x Mizzium Mortars, and 28 Creatures. 28 creatures give him just under a 50% chance of hitting on Domri's +1 ability, And it certainly added the advantage he needed.

However, a lot of other decks are using massively efficient creatures and spells. Instead of relying on Think Twice to win a game, you need Think Twice to find you a backbreaking card. we used to love things that did a single damage or gained a single life. Now, every effect needs to be huge and multifaceted to make a difference. A 3/3 first strike for 3? Nah, we need one that has combo potential, kills 2 creatures when it blocks, and can kill a player when you Blasphemous Act. Our midrange creatures aren't 6/6 for 4 with trample. That's not good enough. We need a 5/3 for 4G that gains 5 life, and dumps a beast back if you kill it.

So, when looking for the next amazing Standard card, look for that blowout advantage. Drogskol Reaver draws us a card and gains life, but Sphinx's Revelation draws us six. Why reanimate Griselbrand and win in a few turns, when you can reanimate Borborygmos Enraged and start bolting them in the face, or wiping the board?

We can hopefully gauge the next set, Dragon's Maze, using that mentality. Does it hit the board and sit there being mean and scary only to get chump-blocked or killed, or does it drop down and make your opponent realize they've lost? Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger. That's what this game is about, and we're seeing it big time.

But, The Real Reason I'm Here...

I'd like to hit on a new deck that has emerged –- one that I've taken quite a liking to. It is called The Aristocrats, and this name is well-suited, as the obvious stars are Falkenrath Aristocrat and Cartel Aristocrat. It uses some powerful interactions and efficient creatures to nullify anything from your opponent's creatures to their removal. On top of that, it runs things like Orzhov Charm and Lingering Souls, which I think are two of the best uncommons in Standard.

Photo Courtesy Of MTGStocks.com

Falkenrath Aristocrat is a great card to look at right now. I might be trying to turn my Huntmaster of the Fells // Ravager of the Fells into these, now that they have hit $35. You can make the assumption that Falkenrath Aristocrat only decreased in value because Huntmaster of the Fells // Ravager of the Fells increased.

While watching the Pro Tour, I decided to buy myself a playset of Falkenrath Aristocrats. I paid $12.30 each for near mint copies, and the next morning none existed below $14. It is pretty obvious that we will see some increase here, even if mid prices were not effected yet.

There are of course some other great cards to focus on in this list. I think I've mentioned Champion of the Parish in nearly every article I've written, and for good reason. It is a card we don't want to have in our binders come May/June, but mine aren't leaving until they hit $8. I got in at $3-$3.5, and I am determined to be right on this one. We are seeing it in more and more decks, and with people like me hoarding 4-5 playsets, I can't imagine stock is too great.

Another thing I'd really like to point out here is the land base. We have all seen Clifftop Retreat hit $15 recently, but were you aware Isolated Chapel was $12? I think we will continue to see it increase, as black-white likely becomes the most popular color combination in the pro decks. We could also see Godless Shrine increase, once the shocks all settle in price.

And We Can't Forget the Foils!

There are a couple of foils I really like right now, but I want to stray from the regular commons/uncommons this week. I'd like to point out some foils that should be worth more over the next few years.

Thespian's Stage -- I have seen this in nearly every EDH deck. It is Vesuva, but insane. we can expect, due to EDH foils always being as expensive as Legacy foils, that this will get expensive. But wait, what's this? It's being played a bit in Legacy too. I think we can safely pick up these in foil. They are already at $7-$10, but if you can find them cheap, grab them. These will likely be a $15 foil down the road.

Merciless Eviction -- It is two colors, which holds it back a little, but the foils are cheap right now. Any EDH sweeper, especially one with a foil this beautiful, will see some love, and should be a 300%+ foil. I am still holding my foil Day of Judgments for this reason as well. However, this one is much better, and gets rid of indestructible and regenerating creatures.

Sylvan Primordial -- This is seeing a splash in EDH decks as the new Terastodon. 4-player EDH? kill three permanents, grab a Forest, a Savannah and a Temple Garden? Yes please. These can be had for $7-$9 in foil, and I think we can probably see it stay around that. If this guy ever falls, I will pick up just about every copy I can find, and I suggest you do the same.

Unexpected Results -- I wasn't expecting this card to be very good, but using it to get a free Izzet Boilerworks, followed by a Palinchron for the game win was pretty great. I am not sure how high we can expect this to go, but I like seeing it in any U/G EDH lists I build in the future. It is terribly efficient, even if it can whiff at times. I also see it as a nice play after Enter the Infinite.

So, I'll be playing The Aristocrats Friday if all gets mailed in time, and hopefully it does as well for me as it did for Tom Martell! How did you guys like the deck?

2 thoughts on “Insider: The Aristocrats and New Standard

  1. Hi Jared..great article! I’m keeping my fingers crossed on Champion of the Parish. I got in at the same price you did and I’ve been frustrated that it hasn’t really moved much. I figured it was a slam dunk to hit $7-8.

    Do you feel an Orzhov Charm is a pickup? Seems like it has some potential in other formats as well. They can be had for anywhere between 25-40 cents right now.

    1. I am running 4 Orzhov charms in my Standard deck, and 4 in my Modern deck. I love it, and It is cheap. I can’t see it hitting $3, like Boros charm, because casuals won’t like it much. However, I can see it going to $1-2. If you have a good exit strategy at $1-2, I say go for it. Otherwise, I’ve been picking up foils at $2-3. Those have more potential.

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