There are a lot of powerful options for Standard, and some cards even bridge into other formats. In part 1, I covered Assassin’s Trophy, Legion Warboss, Dream Eater, March of the Multitudes, and Ral, Izzet Viceroy, and then in part 2 I took on Deafening Clarion, Thought Erasure, Niv-Mizzet, Nullhide Ferox, and Ionize, so make sure to give those a read!
Sinister Sabotage: Hit
I remember liking Disallow a lot, but still wishing that we had Dissolve. Sinister Sabotage is Dissolve with upside. Surveil is better than scry for the most part, because it allows you access to the card you put on the bottom by putting it into your graveyard instead. This is relevant for any card with jump-start or to just fill your graveyard for Search for Azcanta. Control decks being able to control their draw steps at any stage of the game is powerful, as the difference in a draw step can turn wins into losses in close games, find you that sweeper you needed a turn earlier, or draw another counterspell after you’ve cast your last one when you and your opponent are playing a game of draw-go.
Sinister Sabotage will be a staple in Teferi control decks, unless there’s also a functional reprint of Absorb we haven’t seen yet.
Chemister’s Insight: Hit
Chemister’s Insight is a sweet card. It’s the newest version of Glimmer of Genius, and while Inspiration has never been a great Magic card, casting this card twice is what makes it excellent. Having card velocity to hit land drops and make sure you’re casting Teferi, Hero of Dominaria on time is important, but this also gives you card selection by turning dead cards into action. I expect to see Chemister’s Insight in early versions of control decks, and potentially even blue midrange decks fighting against control. While it may not be the best draw spell we see for Standard in coming sets, I believe it’s the best we’ll have in the short-term.
It’s also worth noting that this is an excellent card to be able to put into the graveyard with surveil, maybe with a previously cast Sinister Sabotage.
Find // Finality: Miss
This is an expensive sweeper effect, or a Wander in Death. While both modes have uses, the sweeper side is too expensive, and a double-Raise-Dead is not a good effect for Constructed. This is the type of card I can see as a 1-of in some very specific metagames where the Languish effect is huge, and its ability to return creatures is effective in grindy matchups, but thinking about this card against decks with Teferi, Seal Away, and Settle the Wreckage makes me want to pass, as none of the modes seem particularly useful there.
Mausoleum Secrets: Miss
Instant-speed Demonic Tutor! That’s not what this is at all, unfortunately. First of all, it limits the card you can find by casting cost, and second, it has to be a black card. This is a tutor that requires a lot of setup, and then and only then is it a tutor effect, well into the game. If a card like Living Death existed alongside it, then this card could be excellent, but without a way to immediately get value out of the creatures in your graveyard, it’s simply too situational. While we have Stitcher’s Supplier and Macabre Hatchery, I still don’t see that being enough to make Secrets of the Mausoleum get there, as Macabre Hatchery isn’t quite powerful enough as an archetype on its own.
Firemind’s Research: Miss
Firemind’s Research looks fun and cute and all, it’s so much setup for such a small payoff. It requires an extremely demanding amount of mana. You have to pay 4 mana, cast two spells to replace itself, and then 2 mana and two more spells every time you want to draw on additional card. To deal damage, you have to stop drawing extra cards, as the counters directly compete with each other. While this card gets paid off with jump-start, it won’t be enough in Standard. This feels more like a sweet draft-around card for an all-spells deck than a card that’s viable in Constructed.
I suspect this card will be relegated to my bulk box.
These are some of the cards that stood out to me. Cards are still rolling in, and even if I said a card was a miss, context changes everything. I can’t tell you how excited I am to test and play an entirely new Standard format. I’m really looking forward to playing shocklands in Standard again, and my initial hope is that control isn’t too oppressive with Search for Azcanta and Teferi, Hero of Dominaria being two of the best cards printed in Standard in a long time, and with both still Standard legal.
My favorite card spoiled so far is definitely Assassin’s Trophy. What’s yours?