Eldraine Standard Rant

by Couch312 on 02 December 2019

Main Deck (61 cards)

Sideboard (15 cards)

Instants (6)

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Deck Description

I have enjoyed recent standard from Ixalan up until the release of Throne of Eldraine, and after weeks of brewing and testing I now understand why this standard is so unenjoyable to someone like me.

It lacks diversity, and the reason is the power level of the latest cards. There are only a few powerful cards in Eldraine, but they are so ungodly powerful compared to the rest of standard that they have taken over the format entirely. There isn't any room for a "fair" deck to play competitively in the current format. This format punishes players for trying to interact with your opponent beyond casting a Voracious Hydra for infinity plus one.

Oko, Thief of Crowns. Seeing this walker on turn 2 was ridiculous, but his abilities aren't actually that bad, it was simply the fact that on turn 2 he had more loyalty that the mythic 6 mana walker of the set. Killing Oko by attacking it on turn 2 or 3 was almost never possible and once the Oko player got to untap and make something into an elk the game was essentially over and the ground was locked up. This singular card warped the format to the point that the deck played 2 Vraska and 4 Noxious grasp in the main because the only decks that could compete with it was itself. Not to mention that the deck also got Hydroid Krasis and Wicked Wolf. Which gave the deck a way to gain life beyond sacrificing food while simultaneously drawing cards and getting a high power flier with trample. Plus Wicked Wolf, which was both a removal spell and a nearly impossible to remove threat once in play. The deck was S tier as far as the rest of the format was concerned.

There's also Teferi, Time Raveler, which quite literally turns Magic the Gathering into a game of Hearthstone. I have yet to see a game with a resolved TTR that is fun, interactive and interesting to watch. Every game just looks abysmal to be a part of. Not only does it turn your opponent's answers into incredibly mediocre spells, it is also a huge tempo swing, since at its worst it's 3 mana bounce a creature, draw a card and your opponent spends their next turn killing it at sorcery speed. It's almost funny that TTR isn't even the most egregious offender of the 3 mana walkers in eternal formats.

Fires of Invention is another card. Never underestimate free spells regardless of the limitations. This card is incredibly powerful, but just couldn't shine in the shadow of cards that have made impacts on Vintage and Legacy. Is it too good? I don't think so, but given the incredible value you can get off of current standard cards, I do think that it is better than anything else you can currently be doing in standard.

Then there's the Cauldron Familiar/Witch's Oven deck. I do think the deck is cool and the way it functions is interesting, but again, this is another deck that punishes you for trying to interact with your opponent. Trying to kill this decks creatures is nearly impossible since Oven can activate at instant speed and disrupting their hand is almost never viable because their combo pieces only cost 1 mana. Not to mention that if your creatures don't have trample it is incredibly difficult to get an attacker through.

How could these problems be avoided? Aside from fires it's really easy to tweak a few numbers.
Teferi's static ability and his plus one ability should be flipped. This way you can respond to the activation and still kill it at instant speed while still getting the benefit of board wipes at instant speed if he sticks around.
Oko's loyalty abilities should have each given one less loyalty. That way the spell fry, the spell designed to kill 3 mana blue walkers could kill him, and turning an opponent's permanent into an elk might kill him.
Cauldron familar's ability should return to hand. Easy.
Honestly, Fires should be at least 6 mana. It's really hard to give a player free spells on turn 4 and balance it properly.
Once Upon a Time. It shouldn't be free or instant speed. Even without those things, it's really good.

I honestly did enjoy standard up until Eldraines release. I thought the format was healthy and there was plenty of room for homebrewed decks. Teferi was making interaction difficult at the time, but overall I didn't feel punished for trying to play a fair deck in a format of Field of the Dead and Esper Control. In fact, Esper was one of my favorite matchups at the time since both sides had to work for the win. Every bit of incremental advantage mattered.

In a health format all decks exist. Aggro, Tempo, Midrange, Control and Combo. Right now you just have Combo decks. Even Jund, historically the fairest deck in the format, has a combo in the deck since it's currently the only way to compete. Anyway, that's my rant.

Deck Tags

  • Standard
  • Rant

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NOTE: Set by owner when deck was made.

Card Legality

  • Legal in Standard
  • Legal in Modern
  • Legal in Vintage
  • Legal in Legacy

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