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RoTE Top 10 – Constructed part 1

May 3, 2010

I’ve been meaning to post my list of the top 5 constructed cards from Rise of the Eldrazi for a while but such is life.  The extra time to play with and work with the cards first hand has changed my list a little but many cards that excited me from the spoiler still crawl around in my head begging to find a home in a standard deck.  I’m not saying this list is the most valuable cards from the set or the ones that will see the most play or biggest impact immediately to standard. These are the cards that I feel over the course of Rise of the Eldrazi being standard legal have the opportunity to greatly impact the format and deck design.

First thing that struck me looking at Rise of the Eldrazi is how few cards have an immediate home in current standard decks.  I think that regardless of how broken M11 and Scars of Mirrordin might be they will not compare to cascade or Shards block in general.  Here is why, Shards was a heavily multicolor format which invariably lead to a lot stronger cards printed at low converted mana costs.  These cards may have had very strict mana requirements, such as RGB or WUB, but were grossly above the mono color curve.  I’m talking Wooly Thoctar for example.

Rise of the Eldrazi has some insanely powerful cards but they just don’t interact the best with shards block.  A big reason for this is the glut of amazing four drops in standard.  Bloodbraid Elf, Elspeth, Garruk, Master of the Wild Hunt, and obviously Ranger of Eos all are potential game winners that clutter the four drop and those are just Shards and M10 cards.  Those are all going to rotate in a few months and will suddenly make cards like Abyssal Persecutor and Day of Judgment better top end cards due to the vacuum created.  Not to mention some extremely exciting four drops from Rise of the Eldrazi.

Without further ado here are my first five choices.

10 ) See Beyond

This card just feels strong every time I’ve cast it.  It allows polymorph to go from a fringe strategy to a solid and reliable tier 2 deck in our current standard.   Also it helps you hit land drop 3 and 4 more often when land shy or clear away an excess land in the early game.  It also gives blue a great way to shuffle the library up when Jace is on the board later in the game.  It gains high value as its never a dead draw.  Good card draw is few and far between in our current standard.

9 ) Kargan Dragonlord

I don’t really believe the right deck exists currently for this card to really shine.  That does not mean it’s a bad constructed card.  If unanswered for a few turns this guy wins the game and that’s the mark of a good threat.   Right now he’s less than ideal because mono-red has so many amazing spells that creatures just seem bad.  Also our standard format is removal heavy at current which also makes him less impressive.  Once jund and path rotate I believe our standard format will be more creature friendly allowing this guy to possibly find a good home.

8 ) Awakening Zone

Another card that hasn’t found the right home yet.  There are a lot of random decks trying to make this card work and with good reason.  It’s effect, while not a bitter-blossom by any means, can create an army of guys.  Downside of the card is the army of guys it can produce need other cards to really do anything.  Sure they chump, but chumping doesn’t kill your opponent.  It’s a fine card for polymorph, or some ramp strategy but well again those aren’t the best strategies in our current format…

7 ) Wall of Omens

Just check out this weekend’s Starcitygames.com 10k in Atlanta if you are unaware how good this card it.  It gives white decks a tool it needed to fight Jund and get into the late game where they can overpower the cascade mechanic with pure card advantage.  It’s freaking wall of blossoms and anyone who played when wall of blossoms know how amazing that card was.

6 ) Flame Slash

See wall of omens?  This card is good simply because of wall of omens.  This is hardly a lightning bolt replacement due to targeting limitations but it can become a very important tool for red mages.  Four toughness is going to continue to be more common on the bad guys and burning a bolt + to kill a creature is a losing combo.  If lightning bolt is not printed in M11 (that would be a big mistake imho) then this card becomes the best 1 mana burn in standard.

That’s it for today.  Check back later this week for the rest of my top 10.

Be sure to leave comments on how much you disagree or agree!

Thanks for reading.

– ACP

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