All The Top Cards in Standard We’ll Be Saying Goodbye This Rotation!
09 Sep 2019

Rotation is right around the corner, at about a few weeks from now. These cards are part and parcel of the best Standard decks to ever grace MTG Arena and our local game stores. Will you miss these cards?

All These Cards Are Going Away Soon!

With rotation just a couple of weeks from now, we’ll be seeing how the metagame changes due to the new cards from Eldraine and due to these cards that will be rotating out of Standard.

These cards were crucial to the decks that they belong to, so losing these cards would greatly affect the entire deck in more ways than one.

We’ve also done a short series, which is ongoing, called Standard Rotation Watch where we talk about the most played Standard decks and how they’ll survive rotation.

So, which cards are saying goodbye?

Curious Obsession

First on this list is Curious Obsession, which is the biggest reason why Mono Blue Tempo is the competitive deck that it is since Ixalan up to present.

The card, when left unchecked, turns into a powerful draw engine while giving creatures some serious damage.

If there was any chance for Mono Blue to survive rotation, it would need another card with similar abilities (or better) to replace Curious Obsession.

Nexus of Fate

With decks named after the card, I wouldn’t even miss this card once it goes out on rotation.

Don’t get me wrong. Nexus decks are so crazy powerful that their chances of winning scale up as the game grows longer.

I mean, what’s stopping them from just looping in infinite turns to set up their win conditions? Even if you do manage to counter their Nexus of Fate, it still goes back into the library.

Goblin Chainwhirler

Ah, Goblin Chainwhirler. A creature after my own heart. This one’s definitely one of the reasons why Mono Red increased its power level when this card appeared. That, and the other creatures that helped the deck’s curve.

For 3-mana, you get a 3/3 First Strike with an ability that deals 1 damage to each creature, each opponent, and each planeswalker an opponent controls. It just hits like a truck and has an immediate impact on the board once it enters the battlefield.

Legion’s Landing

One of the core cards of Orzhov Vampires is Legion’s Landing, a 1-drop enchantment that gives off a 1/1 Vampire token with lifelink.

This token is not to be taken lightly as well due to its lifelink ability and the fact that it’s a fodder for Sorin, Imperious Bloodlord’s +1 ability.

The loss of this card hurts Orzhov Vampires because they potentially lose a 1-drop creature that eventually churns out a token once flipped.

Teferi, Hero of Dominaria

Teferi, Hero of Dominaria is a core card in control decks and even found a new home in various builds of Bant Scapeshift.

And who wouldn’t run this card in decks that thrive late game? Having the ability to untap up to 2 mana and draw a card is huge, especially when you want to dig through your library for something.

Then its -3 ability is a defensive ability that can return any nonland permanent (a.k.a. potential threats) into the owner’s library third from the top.

Scapeshift

Speaking of Bant Scapeshift, it also loses its namesake card this rotation. Over the past few months, the arrival of Field of the Dead was the only thing the card needed to create an overwhelming and powerful deck.

Then again, most iterations of Scapeshift decks are no longer relying on said card to bring out the hurt from Field of the Dead. Cards like Yarok, the Desecrated, and Golos, Tireless Pilgrim are being utilized in Field decks to keep the Zombie engine running.

Search for Azcanta

Losing Search for Azcanta cripples Nexus decks even further because they lose the ability to filter through their library in the early parts of the game. Once flipped, it then becomes a more effective filter for simply 3-mana. This makes searching for Nexus of Fate easier and faster.

Control decks also run one to two copies of this card to help them get the cards they need.

Llanowar Elves

Probably the only common card on this list, Llanowar Elves has had a fun run in Standard. Having found a home in ramp decks and midrange decks, it was one of those great cards that made a huge difference when it was played on the first turn.

Jadelight Ranger

Jadelight Ranger has had a last hurrah in Standard after finding a home in Golgari Citadel, which is both the deck’s source of beatdown and an effective filter. And of course, it’s tandem, Wildgrowth Walker also rotates out, so the Citadel deck may need to find new ways to beat the opponent and defend itself at the same time.

Rekindling Phoenix

Rekindling Phoenix is a hit-or-miss creature in Mono Red decks and in Gruul Midrange variations, but it still has a huge impact on the battlefield once it’s there. Unless exiled, Rekindling Phoenix is a card that needs to be removed twice – first the creature, and second the token.

Losing this card and Goblin Chainwhirler will definitely cripple Mono Red, but we’ll probably see something better that replaces it at the top of its curve.

Here’s a short video created by Merchant on his take about the best cards leaving this rotation:

As the spoilers for Eldraine continue within the coming weeks, we’ll slowly be able to paint a picture of how the new meta’s going to look like after the rotation.

Did we miss out on any cards that need to be mentioned? Let us know in the comment section below!

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