Well gang it’s that time of the year again. The leaves are changing color, well here they are anyways, summer is slowly slipping away and Wizards has decided to raid your bank accounts with their latest release, Kaladesh. As the title suggests, I’m not going to talk about the newest entries into the world of standard, but instead let’s discuss the staples from Dragons of Tarkir and Magic Origins that will be saying adios amigos on 9/30.
Collected Company: Let’s start off with the big dog of the bunch, Collected Company. Obviously it’s the lynchpin of the standard meta powerhouse, Bant Company. Well to be honest it’s the lynchpin to a lot of powerful decks. I’m looking forward to seeing the meta after this rotates. Will its absence be enough to completely take Bant out of the Top 8? My guess is no, not with Archangel Avacyn, Reflector Mage and Spell Queller still being legal. Although there are other Bant staples that are rotating too, but more on that later. Now CoCo will be the bane of modern players instead of a multi-format monster.
“Flip” Planeswalkers: Yes, Jace, Vryn’s Prodigy, Nissa, Vastwood Seer, Liliana, Heretical Healer, Chandra, Fire of Kaladesh and Kytheon, Hero of Akros will be leaving us in a few weeks. Kytheon wasn’t played much when he first came out, but with the current Human meta, he became pretty popular. Both Nissa and Jace appear regularly in Bant decks and frequently in Jund (Nissa) as well. It will be interesting to see what happens to their value after rotation. Remember Jace was hovering around the $90 Mark for awhile, but fell to $20-$30. He still sees some action in modern so I don’t expect too much of a plummet unlike the rest of the flip walkers.
Enemy Painlands: With these lands leaving, it shakes up all decks going forward. Yes, it was annoying to keep taking 1 damage to get some color mana but they don’t enter the battlefield tapped which makes them much better than what we are left with as their replacements; Manlands and the duals from Shadows of Innistrad, both of which enter tapped. Too bad Amulet of Vigor isn’t standard legal eh? However, Kaladesh will contain enemy fastlands, but to me the painlands are slightly more useful in the mid-game. Eldrazi decks will also feel the pain, well not feel the pain in this case, heh, as the painlands also served as a source of colorless mana. I foresee Eldrazi decks falling out of the Top 8 but still having a presence in modern.
Languish: Ah, the boardwipe favored by black control/Delirium players is outta here, although Kaladesh has some interesting options to replace Languish with.
Kolaghan’s Command/ Atarka’s Command/ Dromoka’s Command: These pick 2 utility spells will be missed. Kolaghan’s Command is arguably the best of the bunch and is a regular inclusion in modern Grixis. Dromoka is popular among Bant players, so it’s yet another hit to the most played meta.
So in closing, if you’re a Bant player, you will be unhappy on the 30th, if you’re not or you’re not afraid of change, Kaladesh is looking like one of the most innovative and powerful sets in a long time. It’s going to be an interesting block.