Standard Players the day is finally here. Rotation day is September 28th and with it we say goodbye to four sets, Battle for Zendikar, Oath of the Gatewatch, Shadows over Innistrad, and Eldritch moon. With this comes a new standard. Today we will be breaking down what Rotation means for standards meta.
May the dead rest in peace. Zombie decks of all kinds will be taking the biggest hit of any deck. Losing core cards such as Relentless dead, Diregraf Colossus, and Cryptbreaker. As well as key removal like Dark Salvation, Grasp of Darkness, and the zombie queen herself Liliana the Last Hope.Key Sideboard cards like Kalitas traitor of Ghet, and Transgress the mind will also be departing.
The premier aggro strategy will most likely die out slowly with some white black lists showing up early into new standard but losing its core will most likely destroy the archetype entirely.
The Inspector has retired. Everyone’s favorite 1/2 for a single white is gone. Thraben Inspector the trusty common from Shadows over Innistrad saw play in many standard decks, Blue White Monument, God-Pharaoh’s Gift and Mardu Vehicles all play Inspector as a way to generate early game value that has some payoff later in the game. All of these decks will be safe post rotation but they will need to find a replacement for there early game value. While just a common it is the 4th most played creature in standard, with 24% of all decks playing it and most play a full four copies.
On the topic of white cards: White as a color gets a lot weaker with rotation losing many power house cards such as Gideon Ally of Zendikar, Archangel Avacyn, Selfless Spirit, Linvala the Preserver, Blessed Alliance, and Spell Queller. White drops in power level significantly post rotation and will take some time to be back on top as it once was.
Eldrazi move onto eternal play: The Eldrazi always were stronger in eternal formats but they still had an impact on standard, Ulamog, Thought Knot Seer and Reaility Smasher were all top end creatures in the year and a half they were in standard. Though none of them are played much in standard anymore they were a powerful part of the spring and summer 2015 standard seasons and will continue to see play in Modern, Legacy and even Vintage play.
Lands! Losing a large number of the permeir two-color lands may be the biggest hit standard is getting, Losing the Tango Lands ( Prairie Stream, Sunken Hollow, Cinder Glade, Smoldering Marsh, and Canopy Visa) the Man Lands ( Shambeling Vent, Needle Spires, Wandering Fumarole, Hissing Quagmire, and Lumbering Falls) and the reveal Lands ( Port town, Choked Estuary, Game Trail, Fortified Village and Foreboding ruins) and the demon church Westvale Abbey/Orhmendhal) Though Ixilan will bring us the Check lands (Sunpetal grove, Drowned Catacomb, Rootbound Crag, Dragonskul Summit and Glacial Fortress) the land situation in standard is about to be a lot different.
The king of clues Tireless Tracker was a powerhouse 3 drop in its entire time in standard.
Chandra Flamecaller, One of the strongest Chandra cards in the game always saw play in sideboards.
Raident Flames one of the strongest sweepers throughout its time in standard.
Dispel One of the best sideboard cards against control decks.
Reflector Mage/Emrakul the promised end: Though they were both banned halfway through there life in standard, both of these cards made huge impacts on standard.
Elder-Deep Fiend: This card was always in the back of a brewers mind and even saw some play in UR emerge and Temur Energy lists.
Rotation season is always an interesting season for standard players, as some doors close others will open. New decks will rise to power as others fall. Ixilan is just around the corner and with it comes a much awaited rotation. Enjoy the new season and welcome to Ixilan!