Insider: Standard Oldies About to Be Goodies

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Did you guys know that Magic is releasing a new set called Shadows over Innistrad (SOI) and that Standard is about to undergo a tremendous transformation? Of course you did!

I can't really do much with the spoiler cards because, well, pretty much just the mythics are up and they are always way on the high side this early. $25+ on every planeswalker and playable-looking mythic creature? I expect it, but I'm certainly not interested in paying on any of these right now.

I'm actually much more interested, for investing purposes, in trying to figure out a few hot buys from the older sets before people figure out what new Standard will look like. My philosophy has always been to buy when things are low and sell when high (innovative, I know). With that being said, I typically don't get excited about buying up $10+ Standard cards hoping for a spike. It happens sometimes, but those kinds of gambits are much riskier and tend to pay off a lower percentage.

I like to find cards that nobody wants right now, but that everybody is going to want in three weeks! Those are the cards that really peak up and have players clamoring to trade for them as new Standard approaches.

Magic Origins

Origins is a great set full of awesome cards. Yes, yes, Jace, Vryn's Prodigy too! However, Jace is already crazy expensive. I actually think $100 may be the cap on Jace. A lot of this price hype has to do with anticipation that he will be the best card in new Standard because of the madness mechanic. The other blue cards don't look too impressive. The card is great but whether or not it is the best? We'll have to wait and see.

White has gotten a lot of nice new tools in SOI, Archangel Avacyn and Declaration in Stone to name a few. It stands to reason that white-based decks could be very good post-rotation. Archangel of Tithes is a crazy powerful Magic card.

If there is a heavy white-based aggro or midrange creature deck it is likely that Tithes might finally have a chance to shine. The card has little demand for it right now and a fairly low price tag for a mythic rare. It's a card I'm interested in taking a chance on.

The card is also a big, aggressively costed flier that makes combat a nightmare for your opponent. Having to pay mana to attack and block is not pleasant!

Fiery Temper is back in Standard along with a few really nice-looking aggressive red cards. It may be time for Red Deck Wins to make a comeback. I assume that if Red is a thing that Firecraft is going to be a "hot" piece of the puzzle. I'm looking for extra copies to store away for a rainy spring day when lots of people figure out they now need the card!

Dragons of Tarkir

Dragons of Tarkir (DTK) has a ton of fantastic cards and is going to be one of the defining sets in Standard. While every set will play a role in shaping the format, DTK has a greater share of powerful cards---Deathmist Raptor, Den Protector and the Dragonlords just for starters.

There are also a few oddball cards that may finally have a chance to find their moment of glory!

Shaman is a powerful spell for sure. Getting to ramp straight from three to six is a big deal. I could actually see this card being quite good in the G/R Eldrazi Ramp deck as another powerful accelerant. It might also be a solid mana fixer spell in a three-color deck that wants to play a wide range of creatures and colors.

With the fetches gone it is going to be much harder to do anything with three colors and so this kind of effect could be at a premium. It's a little bit risky, but the price is so low that it would be hard to really lose out.

Five power for three mana? I mean, value?

With sweet new zombies and black aggro cards like Relentless Dead and the new Olivia showing up in SOI, it isn't unreasonable to think that a hard hitter like this could see some play. The drawback is that there are already a couple of great three-drops for these aggressive black decks (Drana and Olivia), however the out-of-nowhere dash ability is interesting and quite potent.

I've had quite a few people suggest Horde as one of the better sideboard plans against Ramp (and that's with all of the Khans cards still around). It's basically just a bulk rare that could actually find a solid home in new Standard.

Thunderbreak is just an all around very powerful card. One of the more powerful payoffs in Standard will be the "dragon's matter" theme. And speaking of dragons...

Roar is a potent removal spell that plays nicely with Regent. As far as removal spells go, Searing Blaze is a good one. I also don't think it is out of the question to play Regent alongside Olivia. Imagine how sick it would be to follow an Olivia with a hasty, beefy Thunderbreak! Pretty big game there.

Oath of the Gatewatch

Set is new and cards are plentiful. Not a whole lot to be seen here.

The card is fantastic and not worthy of bulk rare status. I imagine that with fixing being so much worse without the fetches that these creature lands are going to be very important cards in Standard moving forward.

Battle for Zendikar

Battle may have been one of the lamest big sets ever. Expeditions were cool but the actual new cards were kind of boring. However there are sure to be some sleeper picks.

Lots of good planeswakers in the new Standard format. With the tri-color staple creatures all rotating (Siege Rhino, Mantis Rider, Anafenza, etc.) it stands to reason that planeswalkers might really take over in the new format. Well, either that or Eldrazi!

Ruinous Path deals with all walkers and Eldrazis, so I imagine it will see some pretty significant play in the coming weeks. The card is basically dirt cheap, so it can't really go down in value.

Shambling Vent may well be one of the most important cards in the new Standard format. Not only is it by far the best creature land, but mana fixing in general is pretty sparse with fetches rotating. A great mana fixer and threat all in one is going to be a pretty significant card.

It also helps that Shambling Vent is in a good color combination. Both black and white look to have gotten a bunch of great new tools in SOI. Not to mention, black-white also got an exciting new six-drop Sorin planeswalker.


Well, those are my picks for the week. I'm starting to get really excited for new Standard and these are all cards that I'm seriously looking to play moving forward. Remember, we are trying to figure out which cards that didn't have a place before will be able to find a new home in new Standard.

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