We like to think we’re lovers here at The Nerdy, not haters. With that, let’s just celebrate that this list of Magic: The Gathering cards we won’t be missing after the next Standard rotation this coming fall is much shorter than the list of cards we will be missing.
But seriously, these cards will forever burn in the trading card Hell as those which dared annoyed me to no end, and I’m pleased beyond pleased that they’ll never be taunting me from across a Standard battlefield or in a retailer cabinet ever again.
I can think of no better card for this segment than Walking Ballista. Too powerful for Standard, able to tangle with the best cards in Modern, Legacy, and even Vintage! This creatures provides instant speed damage with minimal price to pay, never a fun combination to stare down. Removal has no effect since it can just sacrifice itself and deal as much damage as it needs to. Mana dorks, tokens, and aggressive creatures don’t stand a chance.
When the game gets late and life totals sink, this can close the game on the spot. When a board stall occurs and nobody can get through to the opponent, this sits back and just gets bigger and bigger.
When powered by Constricting Winder, it grows to absurd sizes very quickly. When combined with God-Pharaoh’s Gift, it keeps coming back as a repeated threat. Worst of all, being an artifact, it fits into any color, and decks feel incomplete without one unless you drop the necessary money for a playset.
Ugh, this thing can’t even let the door hit it on the way out without pinging back in the face one more time. Get out!
I might have praised these cards just yesterday as being fair and challenging to compete against, but don’t think for a second that I’m sad to see The Scarab God or Torrential Gearhulk go. They’ve thwarted me for far too long, and I can now relax knowing a 5/5 flash beast won’t pounce on me when I attack or my dead creatures won’t come back to haunt me down the line.
I’m pretty sure that most have come around to the idea that land was one of the huge mistakes made when designing Magic. The idea of mana and resoureces building up over the course of the game is a solid one, but land itself has really started to come down hard on players as Wizards of the Coast gets more experimental over the years. Being able to use two colors from a single card is about the most valuable move there is in Magic, and Wizards of the Coast provided us with fast lands in this Standard rotation that have been around since Kaladesh.
Naturally, this consistency comes at a price, and there’s no worse feeling for a Magic fan than dropping $8 to $10 on a land card. Not just a land, but a boring land. These cards do nothing but provide two mana colors at a slightly more consistent rate than tap lands. No fun value like Hour of Devastation’s Deserts or Dominaria’s Memorials. Just two lands… MAYBE coming into play untapped.
Still, if you want to run a competitive deck, especially a multicolored aggressive deck, you’ll need these to keep up with the metagame, and you’ll need to shell out at least $40 for the whole playset. Otherwise you’re playing with a deck that is at a disadvantage before the first card is even played.
I get fetch lands and shock lands since they are viable in Modern and Legacy, and even a few of these, especially Spirebluff Canal, might survive into non-rotating formats. However, the only feeling worse than paying $8 to $10 on a land is paying $8 to $10 on a land that is doomed to be rotated out… and then coughing up $40 on whatever the next Standard dual lands are.
This is why I loved Mono-Red aggro and Mono-Green Steel Leaf Stompy. I can put my monetary resources into fun Magic cards and not worry about wasting dollars on boring lands.
And speaking of which, this is the card that assures you won’t be playing true Mono-Green or Mono-Red. This scrappy card emerged as a must-play in any aggressive deck from the last two years, but to play it consistently, you need to dip into black… meaning you’ll need a playset of fast lands… and a play set of check lands… and the point of playing a cheap mono-color deck goes out the window.
I love how you scrounged to the front of Standard, Scrapheap Scrounger, but seriously… stop messing with my mono-colored plans!
Black’s side-board “fun police.” Sorry, jerks! You’ll have to deal with my threats on the battlefield now!
This card… ugh… I shouldn’t complain because he was properly banned from Brawl, but ugh… the only way to make counterspells more infuriating is to turn them into easy card advantage, and that’s just what Baral does.
STOP KILLING MY LLANOWAR ELVES!
STOP KILLING MY BIRDS OF PARADISE!
Long since out of style, but I would like to take this chance to kick White/Red Vehicles while it’s down and on its way out. This deadly deck killed players out of nowhere back when it could use Thraben Inspector to crank out artifacts. Just… ugh, can I play the game, please?!
One final artifact creature. Not that I hate this card, but I hate that any tribal deck you play is incomplete without it. This shines especially bright in Merfolk, where +1/+1 counters have much more value than just as stats. It also works well with Vampires, Zombies, and Saprolings… and at its peak cost $40 for a playset.
I don’t thank Goblin Chainwhirler very often, but I do here for putting this card on the chopping board before being rotated out.