This Friday, the Shards of Alara (Shards, Conflux, Alara Reborn) will be rotating out of standard, to be replaced by the first set of Scars of Mirrodin. As a result, your entire meta-game will be up in the air for several weeks until players complete an evaluation of what will and will not work in their mix of sixty cards.
You will of course still see play of all the popular builds developed during the Zendikar block (Zendikar, Worldwake, Rise of the Eldrazi) supported by M11 core set cards but we've not seen Vampires, Allies, and level up decks at the local FNM for a while. Perhaps with the new proliferate tech, we may expect Allies to make a splash again (?).
Anywhoos - today we hope to provide you a look not at popular casual builds for standard type play but rather the cards that we could expect to enable some of these builds . . .
First up - a lot of folks are yattering about Argentum Armor (Equipped creature gets +6/+6 / Whenever equipped creature attacks, destroy target permanent) which has a hefty casting cost of 6 and another 6 to equip. To this end, players are developing decks with Quest for the Holy Relic to 'cheat' the armour into play by collecting counters on the Relic every time you cast a creature spell. Once you get five counters, sac the relic and search / cast 'n' equip for free. This certainly has advantages over Stoneforge Mystic as one would still need to pay the hefty equip cost. The way for you to work it best involves dropping as many zero cost critters (Memnite, Ornithopter) and perhaps using Glint Hawk (Venser works just as good or better) to bounce and play for free again to collect more quest counters.
Speaking of bounce - this may be a good technique to wash off those nasty wither (-1/-1) counters we can expect with the new infect tech. Creatures returned to your hand to be replayed reenter the battlefield with none of those counters on it. Some cards to consider are Glint Hawk, Kor Skyfisher, Narrow Escape, Aether Tradewinds, Venser, and Glimmerpoint Stag of which Venser would be the best again.
Next up is the incredibly redonkulous combo of the new Myr Galvanizer and the red enchantment from Rise of the Eldrazi, Splinter Twin. This combination uses Myr Galvanizer and Splinter Twin along with any mana-producing Myr which you then use as follows . .
(1) Enchant Myr Galvanizer with Splinter Twin while a mana Myr is already out.
(2) Tap the enchanted Myr Galvanizer to make a copy of itself and then use the mana Myr to untap both other Myr.
(3) Repeat the process and attack for infinite damage with your Myr hoarde (all pumped up with that many Galvanizers) as early as turn four.
Of course we have to talke about what may go wrong. You may not be able to draw any of your need cards, you get a Day of Judgement in the face before your shizzle goes off, your tech gets countered or you set up your combo while there is just one open mountain on the other side of the table which your opponent can bolt your key dude.
Next post we hope to yatter about some artifact-centric builds, proliferate and Myr ball but will most likely get a Scars of Mirrodin Fat Pack dissection in before that.
To wrap up today's post, we will have a quick look at the Top Ten sellers for September as reported by MTG Mint Card - Perhaps this may serve as an indication which direction your local meta-game is heading.
4. Ratchet Bomb
6. Mimic Vat