The Theros prerelease has come and gone, and while I only played in a single flight (going 3-0, 6-0, before splitting in the last round to go home and sleep around 4:00 in the morning), it was one of the more fun prereleases in recent memory. If you missed out, I’d highly recommend giving this limited format a try, and this is coming from someone with a strong preference to 60-card decks. But enough about limited, let’s get back to what Theros means in constructed formats. I’ve already written at length about the cards that I expect to make an impact in Modern and Legacy, but we didn’t talk about Standard a whole lot. That’s probably because my column is called Hope Eternal, but I’m not about to let that stop me. I can’t help but have Standard on the mind when a new set is on it’s way in, as Standard is the set that will feel the greatest impact by virtue of the fact that the new set will make up a significantly larger percentage of the legal card pool than in non-rotating formats. While everyone else is interested in the new cards, I’m curious how some of our old friends from Ravnica block will fare, with Innistrad on its way out and Theros coming in. The friend, in particular, whom I have written about back when he was a fresh, young face, coming straight out of Gatecrash, is none other than good old Grumpy Cat.

The plan in Gatecrash Standard was to mitigate the pain we felt from Duskmantle Seer by keeping our curve low, while giving ourselves access to more power by using spells that don’t become embarassing in the late game despite the low number in the upper right corner of the card. By that, I mean taking advantage of flashback, x-spells, and overload so that later in the game, we can spend our mana for higher impact without having to play anything with a high converted mana cost. Unfortunately, we are losing Snapcaster and the entire flashback mechanic, as well as a couple useful late game mana such as Devil’s Play and Bonfire of the Damned. We also now have a worse manabase for any Duskmantle list that wants to go Grixis, which is a shame, because Rakdos’s Return is great at accomplishing the things we want it to do, while not being too painful to flip on the Grumpy Cat trigger. The Esper and Ana* lists still have access to five different duals, but the new lands are obviously going to slow you down a bit.

What tools have Seer decks gained? Scry ensures that your vampires will never hurt you. With a Thassa in play, you can stack the triggers so that you will always get to scry before revealing a card to the Seer’s trigger. Dissolve, Magma Jet, and Voyage’s End are also great tools to help keep the loss of life at a tolerable level or just really find the card(s) that you need. I’m not sure if we can make use of any of the bestow cards, aside from maaaaaaybe playing Boon Satyr in an Ana Seer list. As far as which Gods we want to use, I’ve already mentioned Thassa, but what of the others? I could see Erebos showing up as a sideboard player if a strong lifegain deck emerged, but he’s not terribly useful, otherwise, as we don’t want to pay this guy AND Duskmantle Seer. On paper, the idea of Monstrosity seems perfect for this deck; pay some cost now, and then pay another cost later to make your creature huge and often get a triggered ability, as well. You get to pay for a much bigger effect than just the converted mana cost, which lets you get bigger creatures without losing large chunks of life to Duskmantle Seer. Unfortunately, the only monstrous creature that has a shot at making the cut is Polukranos. I’ll give Stormbreath Dragon an outside chance, if the deck has enough scry to protect itself from this five-drop, which is entirely possible in a Grixis build. I’m not sure that any devotion-intensive strategies lend themselves well to this type of deck, as we are going to be spread among three colors.

Now, let’s brew! This isn’t a tested list, by any means, but just a starting point for what a Seer list might look like in the new Standard.

Grixis Seer

Creatures (14)
Duskmantle Seer
Purphoros, God of the Forge
Spellheart Chimera
Thassa, God of the Sea
Young Pyromancer

Spells (22)
Chandra, Pyromaster
Cyclonic Rift
Doom Blade
Hero’s Downfall
 Lightning Strike
Magma Jet
Mizzium Mortars
Rakdos’s Return
Lands (24)
Blood Crypt
Izzet Guildgate
Steam Vents
Temple of Deceit
Watery Grave

Sideboard: (15)
Anger of the Gods
Ashiok, Nightmare Weaver
Chandra, Pyromaster
Ral Zarak

*Because it’s cool to use the Apocalypse names for the wedges; Ana = BUG

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