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By: JXClaytor, Joshua Claytor
Sep 17 2018 12:00pm
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Since Guilds of Ravnica previews started I've been excited to see the new cards.  I've for sure spent less time playing Magic, May was the last time I played in a league until this weekend.  I played a sweet Tatyova, Benethic Druid deck in a Brawl league this weekend, and it went poorly for me.  However, unless I was paired against a Teferi, Hero of Dominaria deck, I enjoyed myself.  Due to other games, mainly Pokemon and Eternal, I may not love Magic as much as I used to, but with shocklands coming back, sweet cards like Assassin's Trophy getting printed and the new Standard format, I've been brewing and getting ready to rejoin the Magic world. 

Of course, all of my work was worthless, when by chance, I stopped by WhatsinStandard.com and saw that Amonkhet was leaving the format too.  Suddenly all my work was wasted, because without Amonkhet and Hour of Devastation, my lists were useless.  Thankfully my main Brawl deck is losing like three cards, Ramunap Excavator, Negate (which will more than likely just be replaced by Disdainful Stroke) and Nissa, Steward of Elements (which is a blow, but I'm sure I can find another Planeswalker, or just toss in a copy of Nexus of Fate) will be missed but I at least had the foresight to copy a decklist that did not get hurt by rotation as badly as it could have been! 

The lack of Amonkhet and it's related set is a bit a bummer but only due to the work I put in.  I really liked the set though.  Embalm was a super awesome mechanic.  Cycling is one of my most favorite ones and I am always glad when it comes back.  Exert was not my thing, but it was a very influential one in the Standard format. 

It's time though for me to say goodbye to the cards that I'll probably never cast again.  They are cool, but Modern is really not a place for some of them, as much as I would like to see it happen. 

It is a small list, and I'll do the same thing I did last time, show the card, talk about it a bit, maybe find a list for it, and then talk about a card or two I don't think I'll miss.

Alphabetically this time, let's go! 


I really loved this card.  It was of course key to some budget token decks that usually featured Hidden Stockpile as a way to create tokens, Anointer Priest to gain a ton of life, and would just create some absurd board states.  I swear that multiple copies of this, Stockpile and Priest would send my gaming pc to its knees with all the triggers that it would create on MTGO.  This card and the decks that used it, typically Abzan and UW tokens used to be all over the place, but something happened in April of this year that made this deck fall out of favor.  I wonder if any Goblin Chainwhirlers were brought in for killing this sweet deck off.  I imagine that having all of your hard work negated by a three red mana was a pretty crushing feeling. 

 

A sorcery speed card that lets me win when it resolved the second time from my hand is super great!  I was all about this card when it was first printed, and I am really sure that it was the centerpiece of an Aetherworks Marvel deck after it was printed, which was really weird to me, because Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger was still a card.  Eventually Approach became the win condition in ramp decks, and moved on to the win condition of UW decks before a thing happened in April again.  Teferi from what I saw of the metagame pushed this out of the UW decks as the win condition, which again, was weird to me.  Teferi is a great Planeswalker, but winning the game quicker seems to be a really nice idea to me.  The cards I think could have coexisted together.  After Dominaria was release Approach was sent back to fringe side of Standard, and finally found a nice place in a Mono White deck.  This was by far, my most favorite card in all of Amonkhet, and I wish I kept stats from when I played it.  I'd love to know how many games I stole because I top decked the first Approach to stabilize, or because it was on top after a shuffle effect.  I'd also love to know how often I won just because I cast it on turn 7 and then again on turn 8 because I drew two copies. 


Bounty of the Luxa is a really weird card.  It's a one sided Howling Mine every other turn, and the turns you're not drawing an extra card, you're adding three mana to you mana pool.  The Standard format was incredibly fast thanks to Mono Red, Zombies and Vehicles, so this build around me card never really got a chance to shine, and was forced to the "casual" side of Standard.  It was typically in ramp decks when it saw the play that it did, straddling casting Ulamog or Approach, but now is finding the most fringe play as a "fifth Teferi" in Nexus of Fate decks now.  It was never the greatest card, but when you put multiple copies in to play, it lead to a snowballing game state, crushing your opponent with a mana and card advantage that could hardly be matched in Standard. 


Rhonas the Indomitable was never the most played God, thanks to Hazoret the Fervent, but when RG Midrange was great in the format Rhonas was there to make sure your creatures dealt damage with the trample pump ability.  Rhonas was a great wall when it could block, which was often thanks to the easy to achieve need for a creature with 4 or more power.  Rhonas to me was at its best when I was playing Bogle Horses.  While the deck has Cartouche of Strength to give trample, sometimes you needed just another source to do so.  Slapping a Gigantosaurus with a Blanchwood Armor was cool, but when a Bomat Courier could block it just fine, well you weren't actively winning.  Rhonas made sure that you were beating your opponent about the neck and shoulders.  


That's it for my list of cards I am going to miss from Amonkhet.  Yup, it's all of four cards.  Does that mean Amonkhet was a bad set?  No, not at all, what it does mean though is that I stopped playing as much Magic as I did when it was printed and only really played the cards that I knew I was going to like.  Also as a poor Magic player, it really helped that Procession, Approach, Bounty and Rhonas were all really heavily played in what people would consider to be budget decks.  They were typically less than 100 dollars to put together, never really super expensive, though Rhonas did hit a high of around 16 tickets, and just nearly always on the fringe of playability.  There were some weeks were these cards were unstoppable, and eventually the metagame shifted and as you could see with Procession it just became unplayable.  Such is the natural flow of Magic.  I still loved the mechanics of the set, the flavor was spot on, and the story was remarkably great as the Gatewatch finally tasted failure.  I would say it was a successful mechanic. 

Now it's time to talk about a couple of cards I will not miss. 

In August of 2017 I wrote this on my Facebook:


The format was incredibly fast at the time, Censor rarely countered anything, and most of the time it was just cycled to draw a card.  Oh yeah sure the random times it countered something it was great, but it didn't counter often and made you play bad Magic, waiting for your opponent to tap out to advantage of it, or doing nothing while they just beat you.  Yes, Censor is a good card, but for its time in Standard, it was not a good card in the format.  I disliked it, and the first changes I made to any deck was to see if the deck played them, and if it did, look for a replacement.


Every time I played against a Red Deck I turned in to a hater.  It was without fail that I would get ran over by a combination of Glorybringer and Hazoret the Fervent.  I would stabilize the game and Glorybringer would spring fourth from the top of the deck to put my in the losing side of things in a league.  To paraphrase Silky Johnson from Chappelle's Show:

I would like to thank God Almighty for giving my Red Deck opponents so much, and me so little.  I hate you *points to Glorybringer*, I hate you *points to Hazoret*, I don't even know you *glances at Ahn-Crop Crasher* and I hate your guts.  I hope all the bad things in life happen you, and nobody else but you.

Now, if you excuse me, I have to go home, and put some water in Hazoret's mother's dish.