A Whole New World: MTG after Rotation – Innistrad block multicolor cards
Note: “A Whole New World” is a series of articles that I do before each block rotates out of standard. In these articles, I take a look at all of the cards that will no longer be standard tournament legal, and speculate whether or not they will be returning to future sets or have no chance of being reprinted any time soon. I will also talk about which cards to hold on to, and which cards NOT rotating will be affected by these changes.
Somehow I did it. I made it to the last of the rotating Innistrad block cards to talk about; Multicolor. I probably could have thrown them in with the Lands and artifacts, but I felt like they deserved their own topic, even if I can’t make a full list of 10 cards. Most of these cards made a huge impact on standard in their own way, and
Top 5 Rotating multicolor Cards from the Innistrad block
- Falkenrath Aristocrat
- Olivia Voldaren
- Geist of Saint Traft
- Huntmaster of the Fells
- Sigarda, Host of Herons
Falkenrath Aristocrat has the distinction of being the top multicolor card we will miss from rotation. It’s was the ultimate aggro card. It attacked the turn it came into play, it was nigh indestructible in decks like BR aggro and Aristocrats, and its flying almost assured that it would hit your opponent for 4 damage. The BRW aristocrats deck will be hurt the most, but BR aggro which has seen a resurgence in play as of late is losing a lot of speed and power after rotation. While we won’t see the Vampire type for a while, I think we could see a reprint of the Aristocrat in a future set, maybe even as soon the rumored return to Zendikar in a few years which was heavy in the blood drinkers.
Olivia Voldaren is the Queen of Jund decks (and not much else). She is one of the reasons why Jund was able to stay on top for so long. They bomb your board with Bonfires, kill your creatures with Putrefy, and anything that survives gets turned to the darkside thanks to Olivia. She also saw some play in a few Grixis control decks that never took off, but she’ll forever be remembered for her role in Jund control and Jund midrange. Jund won’t even be a competitor post rotation, and I can’t think of what card could take her place. If anything, I think the loss of her will create a shift towards to more blue based control decks such as Grixis. Jund is losing everything that makes it worse (including Garruk’s card draw). It’s possible she could be reprinted in a future set, but I think it’s less likely than the Aristocrat being printed again because of her two, colored abilities. If you didn’t sell her when Jund was hot, you might not be able to get that money back now.
Geist of Saint Traft probably saw the most play out of all the Innistrad block multicolor cards. He was in highly competitive UW Delver during the previous block, and after rotation he saw a lot of play in UWR midrange decks alongside Thundermaw Hellkite. It wasn’t until Gatecrash that we saw him again in Bant hexproof decks, but since then he’s been a fixture in standard and hasn’t left. His value has remained high, and I think his fair casting and power will guarantee more play after rotation. He’s a tough call as far as returning to standard though. The Vampire typing is more popular than spirits, so we’re sure to see it again, but I don’t know about the Geist. There is a chance, albeit a small one. His absence will mostly be felt in Bant hexproof post rotation, and like I said in a previous article, hexproof strategies will most likely switch to GW to address this. The new Fleecemane Lion is a strong contender to take over the Geist’s spot, even if the cost to make him gain hexproof and deal more damage is 5 mana. Witchstalker might also be a decent choice in UW hexproof.
I debated whether or not to put Huntmaster in spot number 2 instead of Olivia, but his role was more support than a win condition in decks like Jund midrange. The Huntmaster was a solid card, but not as aggressive a card like Olivia until he flipped (which didn’t always happen when you wanted him to). As with the other flip cards, you can be pretty sure he won’t be printed again. However, I heard he might see some play in other formats, so you still might be able to unload him at a later date to get some of your money back if you want. You won’t be able to fill his role directly, but there are a few 4 drop cards that you can put in Naya midrange or Neo Jund to take his place. Ghor-Clan Rampager is probably your best choice from the RTR block, but there are quite a few cards from Theros that will be able to take his place.
Our final card to say farewell to the Innistrad block with is Sigarda, Host of Herons. Out of all of the mighty angels from Avacyn Restored, Sigarda saw the most play. It’s rather unfortunate that Bruna, Light of Alabaster never saw the “light” of day, especially since she could make a killing in the Theros block by stealing everybody’s enchantments. Anyways, back to Sigarda. She was the most popular of the 4 because of 2 things: hexproof and her GW typing. She was great in GW aggro’s sideboard as a way to get around removal, and she was also a good naya midrange card. Her main ability came into effect to battle against cards like Liliana of the Veil, but as of late it was rather useless. You’re not going to find another 5/5 hexproof flyer out there, but there will be flyers to take her place. There’s Archangel of Thune and from Theros the Celestial Archon, but you’re probably going to have to get creative with Azorius flyers like Ascended Lawmage if you want to keep that hexproof advantage.
Until Next Year . . .
Thanks for following my special series on the rotating cards of Innistrad. Next month is going to be a very exciting time as new decks pop up left and right in standard, and cards that have never seen any play in standard will suddenly show up. My guess is that aggro’s time is over, and that we’ll be seeing a lot more control and midrange decks thanks to the rotation of Cavern of Souls and the downfall of reanimator. Card advantage is going to be important in order to overcome control, and you can also bet that the creatures are only going to get bigger and more vicious. Removal is going to have to be part of every deck, and cards like Naturalize will be earn their spots in the sideboard.
As soon as the pre-release is over and my “Play to your Weakness” series talking about playing Theros in sealed/draft is complete, I’ll be taking a look at the state of standard and compiling a list of the best removal spells in standard much like I did last year to help you with your deck building. I’ll be working hard and staying busy next week in order to cover all of the colors by pre-release time, and it would be great if you stop back and offer me your comments about Theros. Until then, good luck gaming.