My Thoughts on Standard

Magic is great. It is the best game in the world. I have for a long time while doing my podcast tried to stay very positive. I believe most of magic players just love to hate on the best deck and call formats terrible that are just fine. I try not to do that, and I hope that I am not doing that today.

Our friends over at @SpikefeedMTG mentioned my recent thoughts on Standard and the thoughts of many of our listeners (which honestly we share with Spike Feed so when I say “our” I mean both shows).

I want to be clear. I don’t have a problem with great creatures. I have a problem with a disruption in balancing creatures and spells. The best spells in standard all care about having creatures in your deck. Dromoka’s Command and Collected Company. This isn’t really a problem if there are decks with other creatures that don’t care about your collected companies. The problem comes from Spell Queller, Lambholt Pacifist, Sylvan Advocate, and Reflector Mage being either anti other creatures or big dumb threats that lock up the ground and are hard to kill because of how bad removal has gotten. 

This also causes problems when a spell is great because it makes it stand out above everything else because of how bad the other spells are around it. If they were to print a great draw spell or removal spell it might instantly take over the format. At the same time many of the people close to me believe that because of dromoka’s command Lightning bolt would be perfectly reasonable in this format and not even close to the best thing you could be doing.

I think people confuse a lot of different decks with “balance” Just because there are a lot of different ways you can play your green and white cards doesn’t mean that there isn’t a problem with Green and Whites small creature decks in the format.

When you look at the last 2 weeks since the format started and most of last format there have been almost 0 red cards played at all. In fact last week there were 0 red cards in the top 8 and only 1 total deck had red cards in the main deck in the entire top 32. 

If you want to reference the fact that the set is new and people need to figure stuff out then don’t forget that pre EMN there were 0 base red decks in the top 32 of the last SCG open before the new set came out.

Now I am not saying the sky is falling. Far from it. We haven’t even hit the pro tour yet. But when people come to me and tell me Incendiary Flow would have been “Too Good” at instant and they can’t do that anymore I just wonder if they realize how bad things have gotten for red mages. 

So for now I say I really hope that this pro tour looks as awesome as PT SOI did but that the many different decks that top 8 can stay around. Because I love magic and magic is better when standard is great.  So much can come of a new set in a format and it is only week 2. I really hope that there can be some balance brought from this PT and I hope I am not coming accross like the sky is falling because I don’t believe it is. I just think if we ignore something like the lack of certain colors in a format we are alienating a lot of our audience in magic.

Thanks for listening to my rant. I hope that cleared up some of my thoughts and I hope that we can all enjoy what I am sure is going to be an awesome Pro Tour weekend.

Spencer Howland

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