1.) Tasigur, the Golden Fang
Tasigur is the breakout card from Fate Reforged and has acted as a return of Tarmogoyf to Standard. While an undercosted 4/5 was likely strong enough for Standard, the recursion ability has proven to be excellent. We’re starting to see him make an impact in every deck with black, even if it’s just adding some bulk to the sideboard.
2.) Ugin, the Spirit Dragon
UB Control hasn’t shown any sign of going back to being a niche choice and Gx Ramp strategies are being built entirely around Ugin, the Spirit Dragon. While metagames will adapt to limit the damage that he can do, nothing is going to supplant him as the biggest and baddest threat on the block. I doubt we’ve even seen the best shell for him and the only question left is to see if he makes an impact in older Constructed formats.
3.) Crux of Fate
Much of the resurgence in UB Control can be laid at the feet of Crux of Fate. In fact, the crux of UB’s issues can be linked to the clunky sweeper it was forced to use before. Even though this sweeper is 5 mana, 1 mana above what normally passes for good, the control decks have completely embraced it. Being able to answer masses of creatures (especially bulky green ones) without investing a ridiculous amount of mana or too many cards is a huge boon.
4.) Siege Rhino
Abzan decks continue to propagate and succeed despite the best efforts of everyone else. Siege Rhino is just too much value to contain and the only reason for its temporary depression is that every non-Abzan deck received a richness of gifts. Fate Reforged was quickly written off as another weak small set with a few key rares and mythics and instead has shown to be the best small set for Standard in years. Let’s hope Dragons of Tarkir continues the trend away from Rhinos.
5.) Hero’s Downfall
UB Control and Abzan continue to do well and this card continues to retain importance. Stormbreath Dragon and big green decks coming back en vogue only furthers the need for a strong instant-speed answer in Hero’s Downfall.
6.) Flamewake Phoenix
While week one didn’t showcase Phoenix much, it made a big impact at a number of PTQs and IQs this past weekend. Primarily featured as another aggressive flyer in RW alongside Ashcloud Phoenix, it ended up in a multitude of aggressive decks. From Mardu to Temur, Flamewake Phoenix is one of the most effective 3-drops against decks trying to gum up the ground or control the board—which happens to be over half the metagame at the moment.
7.) Stormbreath Dragon
Last week the red decks were all about flooding the ground and this week it’s all about taking to the sky. Stormbreath Dragon has fallen out of style for a while, largely displaced by hordes of Hornet Queen tokens and black removal. Now with the return of Jeskai aggressive plans and more giant green monsters hogging the ground while Ugin makes Hornet Queen less of a factor, the time has come for Stormbreath to come back. With Fate Reforged, we also have a solid curve of fliers with Flamewake Phoenix, Ashcloud Phoenix and Stormbreath, which is a big upgrade.
8.) Temur Ascendancy
Last week we had Jeskai Ascendancy on here, but it had very few showings this week. Instead, the other combo Ascendancy came out to play and had a number of solid showings across the country. While not nearly as powerful as its brother, it does a fair bit of work as a draw engine in the green monsters-style decks. I’m hoping the deck doesn’t fade with time as its just so fun to play.