It’s the eve of a new set, so that only means one thing right?! If you said spoilers then you are correct, but new Standard would also be a correct answer. This week I will go over some cards that I can see doing well in Standard and possibly other formats.

Let’s get into the meat and bones of the spoilers!

Once Upon a Time

Now this card is nice! When I say nice I totally mean a free spell that will be abused in older formats. I honestly don’t see this card to be a real powerhouse in Standard, but it will certainly be played. I think it will fill the role of Commune with Dinosaurs or Adventurous Impulse in green decks.

The bigger implications of Once Upon a Time, I suspect, will be in Modern. Green in Modern already had one of the best cantrips with Ancient Stirrings—but what if we took away the cost (sometimes) and took away the restrictions (needing to be colorless)?  Well can play that card in a whole lot of decks. Some that come to mind: Neoform, Amulet, Infect, Bogles, Tron, and probably many more. These decks are very dependent on either hitting a creature or a land. Being able to dig five cards deep to start the game is very powerful as well.

Murderous Rider

Murderous Rider or Swift End? Either way this card is really cool. This effect is an important repring for two reasons: planeswalkers will still be rampant thanks to War of the Spark, and we lose another planeswalker removal spell with Vraska’s Contempt rotating out. This can also work as a decent removal spell for black based aggro decks that can evolve into a creature later on when needed.

For Modern, I can see this slotting into any deck with Traverse the Ulvenwald, particularly Jund Death’s Shadow. As much as I would love to take credit for this find, good friend and fellow writer Michael Rapp is the one who talked about it first in a group chat. It is true that the creature half has Lifelink, which might be awkward, but the tutorable removal spell can pull a lot of weight. Losing two life to go on the adventure also fits the whole Death’s Shadow theme. I think the coolest part about the creature half is it getting shuffled back in when it dies—so you are able to keep finding it with future Traverse the Ulvenwalds if needed.

Robber of the Rich

I’m a big fan of creatures that fuel card advantage, and that’s what this does. First of all, if this card doesn’t reek of Robin Hood, I don’t know what does. The fact that it has haste gives you immediate value when you attack if you are on the play. This can help keep red on par with the opponent after dumping your hand of threats and spells.

I am no Modern Humans specialist, but Vialing this in and getting an attack with it and being able to use all your lands sounds great. This is another deck like a mono red strategy in Standard that dumps their hand and doesn’t have much in the form of card advantage. Will love to see where this ends up in that deck. Also, random reach, on the off chance you need to block with the Robber.

Questing Beast

There was a running joke on Twitter that a green mythic with a bunch of text has to be good. Joke or not, I think that holds true for Questing Beast. At a rate of four mana, the 4/4 body is okay. Let’s tack on Haste, Vigilance, and Deathtouch, and Questing Beast becomes really tough to deal with in combat. It will always trade and be hard to attack into. Not to mention the cool flavor of having three keywords with the three heads tagged along with it. What makes this card cool is it’s built in evasiveness. As a four drop, it will hit the board when potentially only small creatures make up opposing defenses. Preventing chump blockers can really get this to push through blockers.

The next big piece on this card is when it deals damage to an opponent, it deals that much damage to a planeswalker they control. Green generally doesn’t have this effect, and being able to still attack the opponent and not waste a combat on attacking a walker is huge. The least exciting ability is the fact damage cant be prevented by creatures you control this turn. As of now there are no real Fog decks or effects present after rotation, but if someone makes a solid one this clause will be really powerful.

Garruk, Cursed Huntsman

For a six-mana planeswalker, you better expect to get a lot of bang for your buck. With Garruk, Cursed Huntsman, I think you do.  Garruk could be a decent top end for a grindy midrange GBx deck. The ultimate can be a real finisher that can go off the following turn, which is very potent. And if the wolves don’t die, you can swarm the enemy with a bunch of 2/2s. His -3, which doesn’t kill him, is a nice two-for-one package of removal and cantrip. The rule for successful planeswalkers is the power to generate an advantage and protect itself. Garruk does both and will be good while it is in Standard!

With about half of Throne of Eldraine spoiled so far, what are some cards you are interested in playing with?

Zack is a SCG grinder with one ultimate goal: getting to the Players Championship. Based out of NYC, you can find him in other cities every weekend trying to hit that goal. When he isn’t traveling he streams. Follow his journey on Twitter!

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