Core Set 2021 is on the way, and with it the close of another Standard season in the long history of Magic the Gathering. Now it may be an unpopular opinion, but I love the yearly core sets more than any other set or expansion that we get. That’s right. More than the yearly draft matters sets, more than the story driven Standard releases and more than even the Masters sets, I adore the annual core sets and all the toys they bring.
Not only do they provide great limited environments (often avoiding the pitfalls of more complex sets we see every year) but the addition a both powerful and necessary reprints/new cards into the format can be a breath of fresh air. After what can sometimes be a troubling Standard season, it is nice to see new cards enter the format that are not limited to the design philosophies of the more structed/narrative based settings.
Now we may have only seen a few cards previewed so far over the last few days, but already we have seen some interesting and possibly format breaking cards shown off. Today, we are going to look at some of the top picks for cards that will more than likely have a big impact in Standard, and quite possibly Pioneer and Modern too. In fact, our first card will probably see quite a lot of play in those formats.
Containment Priest is a card that has long been a go to answer to decks that like to cheat creatures into play. Since been released in the Commander 2014 White pre-con, it has found a home in Legacy and Vintage decks but had yet to see a Standard release that would introduce it to Pioneer and Modern. Now that has arrived, with Death and Taxes and Five Colour Human players becoming very excited.
Coming with Flash, this Human Cleric can sit in your hand just waiting for the moment your opponent tries to sneak in a game ending threat. Then you get to enjoy the blood drain from their face as their win condition is banished to exile (along with any hope they had of winning). Not only that but Collected Company/Chord of Calling decks as well as Aether Vial players will be force to play fair Magic just like the rest of us.
But if you’re not in the mood to play white don’t worry, because black is getting quite a few nice toys too. Previously only available way back in Starter 1999, Grim Tutor is one of those expensive but not reserve listed cards that somehow avoided a reprint. Now I know some of you out there (the more jaded among you) will say that there are better tutor effects out there. But a three-mana ‘anything’ tutor in Standard is still amazing, and I guarantee it will see play.
Next up we have the card drawing fever dream that is Peer into the Abyss. But we will not be the ones drawing the cards, oh no. This is getting pointed directly at our opponents as soon as we have an Underworld Dreams or two in play. No matter which way you look at it, that’s a bad day for them. Expect to see me jamming this combo into my Mono Black Devotion deck in the near future.
If Green is more your thing, you might be interested in the sheer ridiculousness that is the Elder Gargaroth. This “Questing Beast 2.0” is the ultimate pull in draft, but it will probably make a splash in Standard Mono Green or Gruul decks as a strong top end to an aggressive strategy. It might not have Haste, but the keyword soup is still very strong with this one. It also has that amazing trigger on both attack and defence, giving you more threats, life or card advantage depending on your needs.
Finally, we have to talk about the world’s best boy. Pack Leader finally brings Dogs to Magic the Gathering (and changes all Hounds to the new creature type). Not only is the card potentially good, but the fact we have quite frankly the cutest doggy in the multiverse on a card is something else. Now while the playability of a Dog Aggro deck (or Doggro if you will) is still up in the air. If there are any number of cheap Dogs in a format that are able to benefit from the Pack Leaders ability, you can expect someone to try and make this tribe work.*
And we haven’t even seen all Magic 2021 has to offer us yet. Expect to see many deck techs from yours truly in the coming weeks as M21 comes ever closer to release. Why not let us know what you are looking forward to brewing in the comments below, and while you’re there you could like and subscribe to keep up to date with all we do here at Master of Magics.
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