I guess I’m done brewing for now (probably not really), and I’d just like to share my thoughts on some (actually quite a few) cards I think might have an impact on standard that I find interesting for various reasons. I’ll try not to overlap too much with my previous brew articles, though, and I’m going to emphasize cards that might have an impact here rather than outright very powerful cards.
All in all, the set does seem to have more impact than previous core sets. Maybe even more than other sets in general. There’s plenty of powerful cards and quite a few build-around cards. A lot of the power seems to be in finding the right synergies, not in individually powerful cards. This is no [card]Siege Rhino[/card] set. This is more of a [card]Gray Merchant of Asphodel[/card] set.
Piledriver and Rabblemaster paired pretty much guarantee a goblin deck of some sort. These three will probably see play in it. However, I don’t think that’s the end of it. [card]Goblin Guide[/card] in Battle for Zendikar? Maaaybe. I wouldn’t count on it, but goblins are one of the races on Zendikar, so we’ll see at least some of them. Not sure they’ll push it that hard, but the tribe does have its fans. Fervent fans, at that. There is real need for a reprint.
Could this be a sideboard player? Depends on what the control builds look like in the future. Hitting your opponents [card]Dig Through Time[/card], [card]Dragonlord’s Prerogative[/card] or [card]Jace’s Ingenuity[/card] would be great, but the opposing deck would need a high enough concentration of those spells. Of course, maybe the side effect of milling your opponent might actually matter in those match-ups.
Disciple of the Ring is an interesting one. First, it sort of fights one of the themes of the set. In order to get spell mastery, you need to have enough of the same cards in your graveyard this gal eats. So, there’s a nice flavor of oppression, but the real question is that are its abilities good enough. In case your rules-German isn’t as good as mine (I don’t know any German whatsoever, but you just pick up what these things mean when you encounter these often enough), the Disciple has the following ability: pay 1 and exile an instant or a sorcery from your graveyard. Then choose one of the four effects: tap or untap a creature, pump the Disciple for +1/+1, or [card]Spell Pierce[/card].
The last mode is probably the important one. The Disciple does compete for the same resources with Delve-cards and Spellmastery cards, but it has been pushed into mythic for a reason… and I doubt the reason is limited (although it might very well be just that).
This might have some impact on Modern, but could it have any on standard? We do have this short window before devotion rotates out. Maybe this could give the deck some small edge it needs.
[card]Gurmag Angler[/card], [card]Tasigur, the Golden Fang[/card] and this? Its pretty costly, but could get rid of [card]Fleecemane Lion[/card] and its ilk for very little.
Promising? A little. It has two quite awkward abilities. First: its indestructible if no opponent controls a creature. Pretty good against certain control decks, certainly. Second: If a creature leaves an opponents graveyard, you can discard a card to bring this thing back to your hand from the graveyard. That’s pretty hard to device, but there’ll be plenty of [card]Deathmist Raptor[/card] decks in the future as well.
… but it does have three of those magic little symbols…
1/1 Thopters are definitely a theme in this set. [card]Shrapnel Blast[/card] is still legal… Also, Chandra’s parents know how to utilise them as well.
There’s already a video on SCG where Todd Anderson plays games with a Jeskai Tokens deck which has this card (as well as their kid), but I’m not sure it was worth it. On the other hand, that was an early attempt at building something with the card, so its potential might be much greater… and it worked pretty well. Three bodies is good in this environment where certain decks play quite a few pieces of spot removal.
At first glance, this seems like a limited bomb, but with Protection still available (in the form of [card]Feat of Resistance[/card], [card]Gods Willing[/card] and [card]Center Soul[/card]), this could be a part of a heroic deck. Maybe a replacement for [card]Seeker of the Way[/card].