Your research and development team were so preoccupied with whether or not they could, they didn’t stop to think if they should…
Dinosaurs are here and they’re already making a splash in Standard!
Ripjaw Raptor may not be the king of the hill, but I have this pegged as the best Dinosaur in Standard right now. The rate is fantastic as a 4/5 is oversized for just 4 mana. That alone wouldn’t be enough to make me excited, but the ability to draw card after card with the enrage trigger is phenomenal. Chump-block my accelerated turn-3 creature? Sure, I’ll take a card. Kill it in combat? Another card for me. It might be common to trade a creature and a Lightning Strike, or a Strike and an Abrade or Shock. Yeah, I’ll take all my cards, thank you very much. All of that is before you even factor in all of the ways you can damage the Raptor yourself!
Regisaur Alpha is the flashier option. You’re getting 7 power and 7 toughness in stats spread across two creatures and 3 of that power has haste. This thing may or may not be better than Glorybringer, but just the fact that the conversation and comparison exists shows how powerful the Alpha is. In a dedicated Dino deck, giving all of your other Dinos haste is a massive upside, so you’re interested in the full playset here.
Some people say that Carnage Tyrant is the best card in the set, that it’s going to be Standard defining, and it’s crazily pushed. While that’s all exaggerated in my opinion, this is still a really solid card. 6 mana is a lot for a ground creature, even if it can’t be targeted or countered. It’s not like 6 toughness on a 6-drop is so much that you can’t deal with it in combat, or if you aren’t a creature deck, just use a sweeper. That said, you have lots of mana acceleration and you have your Alphas giving all of your Dinos haste. Dropping this thing on turn 5 with haste is a giant beating!
Drover of the Mighty and Otepec Huntmaster are your mana acceleration, and they both have some ups and downs. Drover gets to become a 3/3 very early on in the game, and it also taps for mana to cast spells that aren’t Dinosaurs. Huntmaster is great for casting multiple Dinos in the same turn (think Eye of Ugin vs. Eldrazi Temple), but it is never really a threat on the board. But to give your Dinosaurs haste, such as the Raptor on turn 3 or a Carnage Tyrant as early as turn 4, is a massive upside in a dedicated deck like this.
Deathgorge Scavenger is being compared to Scavenging Ooze with good reason. It’s a nice way to disrupt graveyard strategies, has reasonable stats on its own, and can give you some extra life or deal a few extra points of damage. Far from the most busted card we’ve ever seen, but a solid creature.
Savage Stomp is a sick removal spell in a Dinosaur deck. Spending 1 mana to pump your big creature and kill something on your opponent’s side is great, and the fact that this is a fight card means that you can also draw when targeting your Ripjaw Raptor.
Commune with Dinosaurs is a sweet new card that makes sure that you find your mana and your big threats. It can’t get your spells or your mana guys, but a single mana to find either additional lands on turn 1 or to increase your odds of hitting your curve is great.
A full playset of Abrade makes the cut as the best removal option in a deck that doesn’t make energy (sorry Harnessed Lightning), but there is a chance for Samut, the Tested to really shine. All of the abilities on this planeswalker fit in perfectly here! Giving your Dinosaurs double strike is a massive beating (I’m looking at you, Carnage Tyrant), and dealing damage to multiple targets can do a ton of work. Not only can this clear out opposing small creatures or ping your opponent, but you can draw some extra cards off your Raptors!
The Dinosaurs are here and making an impact in Standard week 1. This is nearly an Ixalan Block Constructed deck, so time will tell if older sets find new synergies with these awesome cards!