Skluby-Do and the Fate Reforged Crew
With Fate Reforged being released I wanted to talk a little bit about the cards that I think you should pick up for casual formats, standard, and possibly for older formats.
So let us begin with Alesha, Who Smiles at Death. She is a perfect card for the new tiny leaders commander format I have heard so much buzz about. Her ability is very strong and flavourful which will put her right up there in casual play. If a standard warriors deck does come into being I could definitely see her in there.
Citadel Siege, Frontier Siege, Monastery Siege, Outpost Siege, and Palace Siege are all going to be casual all stars as the ability to have one of two good effects are great.
Some may even dip into competitive play if the pace of standard allows for them. Palace Siege is one I like a lot for this, as repeatable creature recursion is very good in a format where control is likely to be a top tier deck again.
Crux of Fate is a huge addition for non-white control decks as the blue/black variants were really looking for a faster board sweeper than Perilous Vault. It also adds another wrath to the Abzan deck if they need one for a more specific purpose. Great for casual players who were looking for a cheaper Damnation.
Flamewake Phoenix is another one I really like for standard. It is in some ways a strict upgrade to Chandra’s Phoenix and should see a lot of play in Red/Green decks.
Atarka, World Render, Dromoka, the Eternal, Kolaghan, the Storm’s Fury, Ojutai, Soul of Winter, and Silumgar, the Drifting Death are all going to be casual power houses and will be a lot of fun to play with. Not sure if any will have any real big applications in standard but they are all so independently powerful that it is a real possibility.
Daghatar the Adamant is another card I see getting lots of play in commander decks based around Ghave, Guru of Spores. Its ability is very unique, but unless there is a shift towards +1/+1 counters being relevant, Anafenza the Foremost should be where you want to be in standard.
Mob Rule is another Mass Mutiny effect that is a lot of fun in casual play. The choice between the effects brings its power level down a lot but it is necessary for it to be printed in a standard set.
Shamanic Revelation will be a lot more successful on the casual tables then in standard if control pans out to be a top tier deck like I think it will. It’s a great effect but the consistency may be a real issue.
Shu Yun, the Silent Tempest is another commander I would love to see in tiny commander. A bunch of unblockable spells paired with card draw and counters seem like a very good strategy. Standard wise he may never see play in a top tier deck but he is interesting combined with Jeskai Ascendancy.
Soulflayer is a really spicy card, and with all the graveyard strategies in standard could get to see a little bit of play. Casually there is a ton of cool ways to get him to gain abilities and dredge is a really good ability to fill up your graveyard.
Tasigur, the Golden Fang is a great card if the standard format gets really grindy. If midrange and control become the big pillars of standard this will show up to help out the midrange decks to gain card advantage. Casually he is really cool and helps enable all the graveyard strategies you want while being a good finisher.
Yasova Dragonclaw should see some play in any red/green decks, whether midrange or otherwise. Cool in tiny commander but the other two 3-mana legendaries are much more interesting.
Ghastly Conscription will be played casually mostly but may see some sideboard play in standard. This will create some awesome scenarios in commander where the graveyard deck cant function due to its entire graveyard attacking him.
Monastery Mentor is the big chase card of the set and for good reason. He is a better Young Pyromancer (TEDitor's Note: ... let's not be crazy) in that he has greater toughness which is relevant against Electrickery and both he and his tokens have prowess so they can get out of hand really quick off of just a few card draw spells. This is the card from the set that is most likely to see play in eternal formats all the way down to vintage.
Shaman of the Great Hunt will be a great addition to standard for the red/green/x decks as it provides a great triggered ability but more importantly allows for you to catch back up in card advantage you may have lost by playing mana accelerants, using its activated ability. Great for any Temur deck in commander and casual for the same reasons as above.
Soulfire Grand Master is a card that should see plenty of play in standard but I am unsure as to whether it has the punch to take it into older formats like modern. The real highlight in standard is the interaction between Soulfire Grand Master and Stoke the Flames. Casually this card is awesome with Blasphemous Act and other big damage wrath effects from red.
Ugin, the Spirit Dragon should shake up standard quite a bit due to its great abilities and lack of colour requirements. The last time we saw a colourless planeswalker was Karn Liberated and he was extremely strong. Ugin is very strong as well but the additional mana will make it hard for him to get into the modern urza tron deck.
Warden of the First Tree should bring back memories of Figure of Destiny but don’t worry, they have “fixed” the mana investment to be more fair. A great card for standard in both Abzan agro decks and midrange decks alike. Casually he can be a lot of fun and a great finisher just like every mythic should be.
Whisperwood Elemental will be green deck's saving grace in this standard format, where everyone and their mother now has a wrath effect and is waiting for you to over extend like most base green decks have to. Whisperwood offers great card advantage if your deck is mostly creatures but I wouldn’t lean to heavily if your creature count is on the lower side like in Abzan control decks.
If you are looking to pick up foil cards this weekend I would recommend Monastery Mentor be at the top of your list as it has the most playability across all formats both casual and competitive. Any of the legendary cards I spoke of are also great pickups, as they will always have commander appeal.
Hope your release weekend went well and that you got all the cards you need to keep you entertained until the dragons return in the next set.