The Impact of Adventures in the Forgotten Realms on Standard
The Best in Current Standard
Even with the format being as powerful as it is now, I think that these new Adventures in the Forgotten Realms cards can break through and be all-stars in the format, even post-rotation. Offering great synergies with cards currently played, or being great against certain match-ups that are present in the current meta-game, expect to see a lot of these in the best decks of the format.
Pre-rotation this card fills the 3-mana hole in Mono-Red aggro. Synergizing well will Anax, Hardened in the Forge, and being able to hold an Embercleave for tons of damage means that this card will certainly be finishing blows in many games. Top it all off with pseudo protection against Stomp and this card will slowly rise to a 3-4 of in many aggressive Red Decks.
Post-rotation I still expect this card to be a staple in aggressive Red Decks. That being said, I expect the overall power level of those decks to dip dramatically with the loss of Embercleave, Torbran, Thane of Red Fell, and Anax, Hardened in the Forge.
There is not much to say about this card that has not been said already, but it is one of the most powerful cards in the set by a wide margin. This will be consistently cast for 2-3 mana in Standard and 0-1 mana in older formats. Even with no evasion, a 4/3 body is nothing to dismiss. The card will act as a pseudo Dreadhorde Aracanist that can run away with any game if left unchecked.
Guardian of Faith
A three-mana answer to the omnipresent amount of board-wipes in today's Standard can be game winning against Sultai-Yorion. Additionally, a 3/2 body ends games quickly and can play both the role as the protector and finisher in any White based creature decks. In other formats, especially Historic, I expect this card to seem large amounts of play coupled with Collected Company as it just provides more value if it enters the battlefield alongside cards like Charming Prince.
Pre-Rotation I expect this to revitalize Winota, Joiner of Forces decks as it can both trigger her ability, as well as allow the player a guaranteed land when on the draw.
Post-Rotation I expect this to be a staple in almost every White creature deck. As mentioned previously, cards like Guardian of Faith are providing a lot more support for White-Weenie decks to pop up again, and I expect Loyal Warhound to be a 4 of in the lists, like Knight of the White Orchid before it.
Varis, Silverymoon Ranger + Circle of Dreams Druid
While many are comparing this card to Beast Whisperer and Elvish Archdruid, and they are not wrong to do so, being able to run more copies of both cards is not a bad thing. I expect elves in Historic to run 1-3 of both of these cards and I expect elves in Standard to run a full set of both.
Both of these cards are hard to evaluate overall, however, they both offer enough value, and are cheap enough creatures that if there was a time for these cards to shine, that time is now.
If there ever were a time for equipment to see standard play, now would be the time. With Maul of the Skyclaves and Dancing Sword being great targets to find, as well as Nahiri, Heir of the Ancients being a powerhouse of an enabler, Ingenious Smith could be the missing piece of the puzzle. Offering both a body and equipment in one card, I expect this to see some testing at the very least.
Minion of the Mighty
Color Hate Spells
In the past, these color hate cards have been staples whichever Standard they were printed in. Veil of Summer, Aether Gust, Mystical Dispute, and Redcap Melee are just a few of some of the most powerful ones printed as of late. While none of the cards from the newest DND set appear to be as powerful, I expect some of them to dethrone some of the better Standard decks from their current spots.
Ray of Enfeeblement
Even when this card is at it's best (targeting a 4/4 White creature) it is just slightly better than the current swath of removal spells available in Black. Eliminate, Heartless Act, Soul Shatter, and Bloodchief's Thirst are all more versatile and perhaps better than this spell. However, when these spells rotate, I do expect this card to see play if aggressive White decks rise to the top.
Being the same rate as Bonecrusher Giant // Stomp and a worse rate than Frostbite, this card, without targeting any Green creatures, is fine. However, being a 2 mana instant speed removal spell that can kill Vorinclex, Monstrous Raider or an Elder Gargaroth is insane value, and will certainly see play to do just that. This may just be the advantage that Prismari Midrange and the various Adventure decks needed in order to put Sultai-Yorion out of it's number one spot.
Being somewhat more versatile than Celestial Purge (as it can phase out a target of any color), this card will only be as good as it's targets. Currently, this will be one of White's most powerful tools against UB rogues, as most of its powerful creatures are Black, and being an instant allows the player to keep up with any Flash threats. Outside of Rogues, this can be useful to permanently get rid of any Polukranos, Unchained from Sultai-Yorion, but will never be a deciding factor against that deck as it can't stop an Emergent Ultimatum from winning the game.
Ray of Frost
Fortunately, this card having flash allows it to keep up with most of the threats in Red (Goldspan Dragon/Embercleave), however this is nowhere near the power level of Aether Gust. As Goldspan Dragon and Embercleave are some of the most played threats in Standard, I do expect this to see some amounts of play, but with not as much impact as maybe some would hope for.
Unfortunately in a Standard where the best Blue Creature deck is UB Rogues, the text “This spell can't be countered” is practically useless when it comes to a fight-based removal spell. With cards like Drown in the Loch being modal as a counter spell or removal spell, even with its evasion of counter spells, Hunter's Mark can be blanked.
Post Rotation All Stars
The general theme you will see with many of these cards is that they are creatures that just cannot keep up with many of the format staples. Be it the removal spells lining up too well with them, or other creatures
Grand Master of Flowers (Monk of the Open Hand)
What this card reminds me of the most is Flourishing Fox. It can easily take over the game if cast on turn 1 and it isn't killed immediately. With many removal spells rotating out soon, this may be the replacement for cycling. Something that is always good, but is never at the top of the metagame. Additionally, the support that Grand Master of Flowers offers is fun and pretty unique. Only planeswalkers such as Nissa Revane have offered something like this before, and I can't wait to at least give this deck a try after rotation.
This card is at its best when it's acting as a Wall of Omens that blanks most of your opponent's creatures. Currently, in a standard with many 4-power creatures, or creatures that can hold an Embercleave, many things will go over Flumph, and this card will often act as a bad way to stall your opponent.
Like many of the cards on this list, this will only get its day to shine the moment removal is not as good within the format. Offering one of the cheapest ways to venture into a dungeon, as well as being hard to kill through combat, this 2 mana creature can easily generate a ton of value.
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