Throne of Eldraine has arrived, and we are starting to see how Standard could look. With no more Scapeshift, Champion of Dusk, or Mox Amber in the format, the landscape of Standard has changed considerably and new decks are emerging. The format has only begun to evolve.

I’m here today to highlight some cards that are already in Standard that seem to be getting better with rotation.

Rotting Regisaur is back and making waves. While Ghalta, Primal Hunger may have been the best discount in Standard previously, The Great Henge is possibly the most exciting card of the cycle of legendary artifacts and is a powerful card advantage rarely seen in green.

Being able to ramp out The Great Henge on turn three is powerful not only against the control decks, but also gaining two life every turn is also great against the aggressive decks. With The Great Henge negating its downside, Rotting Regisaur quickly closes out games with its incredibly high power/toughness and looks as though it will be a contender going forward.

Spawn of Mayhem is an interesting card; It is obviously powerful for its spectacle cost, but never found a home on release. Throne of Eldraine has appeared to give Spawn of Mayhem a huge boost, making it possibly the biggest winner from rotation. The latest set has provided Spawn of Mayhem with some more reliable spectacle enablers—Stormfist Crusader, Ayara, First of Locthwain, and also Rankle, Master of Pranks. Each of these cards enable decks that allow you to consistently draw cards at the cost of life, ensuring that you won’t run out of resources. How Spawn of Mayhem fits in is his ability to close games incredibly quickly while also being able to block powerful threats such as Questing Beast.

Spawn of Mayhem fits into multiple shells in Standard—Mono Black Aggro, Golgari Midrange, Rakdos Aggro and even Jund Midrange. His current price is only climbing and that’s reflective of how powerful this card, do not expect this to be the last that we see of Spawn of Mayhem.

Moving away from black cards now, Throne of Eldraine appears to have been very generous to green creature decks. Questing Beast, Wicked Wolf, and Yorvo, Lord of Garenbrig step in alongside more utility cards such as The Great Henge and Once Upon a Time. What is consistent between decks that use these cards is how effective Nissa, Who Shakes the World is and using these to end games. With her static ability effectively a one-sided mana flare, it enables you to play multiple threats in a single turn that must be dealt with quickly.

Nissa has always been a known quantity since her release, but with everyone experimenting with green based decks in standard, expect most lists to start with four of the best Nissa we’ve seen.

The scourge of the Standard 2020 format, Cavalcade of Calamity had a lot of success as a synergistic aggro deck, pressuring life totals with the likes of Scorch Spitter and Chandra’s Spitfire lining up well with the free pings.

What has gotten players excited though is the release of Torbran, Thane of Red Fell from Throne of Eldraine. Powering up all of your threats to deal an extra two damage means that every Scorch Spitter attack is a Lava Spike to the opponent, trading with Footlight Fiend becomes close to impossible, Shock becomes Galvanic Blast and even Chandra, Acolyte of Flame produces two 3/1s with haste. These are rates that cannot be ignored, requiring an immediate solution.

While we have had similar effects to Torbran in standard before with the likes of Embermaw Hellion, we haven’t had them at the same time as an effective enchantment such as Cavalcade of Calamity. So expect mono-red strategies going forward to play this combination.

With Scapeshift now gone, thoughts were that Field of the Dead would struggle to survive. Instead it has re-spawned a previous Standard deck: Gates. Gates Ablaze, Gate Colossus, and Guild Summit are extremely powerful cards; but due to the fact that the guildgates come into play tapped, using Scapeshift was a much more explosive and decisive way to win games.

What Guild summit provides is undeniable value, providing you with consistent card draw for the mid to late stages of a game, ensuring that almost every card is not a dead draw. Gates Ablaze is a scaling sweeper that can deal with almost every threat while also keeping your Gatekeeper Rams alive. Gate Colossus is the perfect late game threat for Gates now, as it becomes a zero mana threat that allows you to use your mana in other ways (by holding up counter spells for example) but is also recursive, now that exile effects for creatures are less common with Vraska’s Contempt rotating out.

Ultimately, this Standard format is brand new with only the Team Open and other first weekend events providing data for the metagame. We likely have seen just the beginning of the new Standard. With a lot of valid hype around cards like Oko, Thief of Crowns and Fires of Invention, Standard looks to be a blast!

Daniel Roberts (@Razoack) is a UK based player writing about all things Standard. Playing since the release of Gatecrash, he loves nothing better than travelling to European GPs with friends and losing in the feature match area. His best record is 12-3 at GP Barcelona 2017, but he’s aiming for that one more win.

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