Rotation Grief: Throne of Eldraine, Part 2

The Standard rotation is upon us again! Time to acknowledge the disappearance from our decks of all the cards from the four rotating sets. We continue this journey of grief (or perhaps jubilation) by looking into the red, green, multicolored, and colorless cards Standard will lose when Throne of Eldraine rotates out.

Throne of Eldraine Red Losses


bonecrusher giant - fervent champion

Bonecrusher Giant: Red's best Adventure was one of the three most played cards of the whole mechanic (alongside Brazen Borrower and Lovestruck Beast) and at times even the most played card in all of Standard. The Giant and the Beast formed the backbone of all Adventure decks, but the former was also a feature of all red decks, from monocolored ones to Izzet and beyond. A 4-powered three-drop that gives access to an unpreventable Shock has to be that good. Grief Factor: 10/10.

Claim the Firstborn: Overlooked at first, this heavily discounted, conditional Act of Treason turned into the main removal spell for sacrifice decks. Remarkably, it was able to get rid of all three ubiquitous Adventure creatures, the Borrower, the Giant, and the Beast. Regardless of the form that sacrifice decks will take post-rotation, they will regret not having Claim the Firstborn in their arsenal anymore, as the specificity of its name prevents easy reprints in the foreseeable future. Grief Factor: 8/10.

Embercleave: Red was a formidable color in Throne of Eldraine, perhaps second only to green in sheer power level, and the legendary artifact cycle is proof of it. We can just make a quick inventory. White got The Circle of Loyalty, a cumbersome tribal anthem that ended up being ignored even in casual play. Blue had The Magic Mirror, a Commander-oriented card that takes forever to get online and then another forever to pay off. Black might have had it worse than every other color, because The Cauldron of Eternity feels like a potentially broken reanimator effect that got nerfed into unplayability during play design. And while green could count on the amazing and very impactful card-drawing engine of The Great Henge, it's red that won the mythic lottery, with what arguably proved to be the single most powerful colored Equipment in Magic history, a surefire way for aggressive decks to close the game out of nowhere. The rise of Embercleave was so substantial that it warped around itself all aggro archetypes running red during this era. Ambush-equipping the Cleave onto something like Anax or Questing Beast would spell good game on many board states. But pretty much any creature with a sizeable amount of power could double as a suitable carrier for the red blade of doom. With most of the problematic cards of this Standard iteration ultimately getting the axe, Embercleave will stand at the finishing line as the final bugbear of the format, still stealing games and making people salty after two full years of slaughters. Grief Factor: 10/10.

Embereth Shieldbreaker: Not one of the fanciest Adventure cards out there but one that would do its humble job with confident efficiency. It wasn't always treated as main-deck material, but the overabundance of scary artifacts like Embercleave, The Great Henge, Witch's Oven, and Lucky Clover, just to name a few from this same set, would suggest sensible players to take the Shieldbreaker into serious consideration. Grief Factor: 4/10.

Fervent Champion: The card with the effigy of 2018 Magic World Champion Javier Domínguez was as much of a winner as its namesake. It became the hasty one-drop of choice for aggressive lists running red, from Rakdos Knights to Monored Aggro—including, profitably, the Cavalcade of Calamity variant that came to be during the Champion's first year of service. Not a tremendous Embercleave carrier power-wise, it nonetheless had a knack for re-equipping it for free, as well as a strong synergy with multiple copies of itself. Grief Factor: 8/10.

Fires of Invention: Until its eventual ban in June 2020, this card was the titular centerpiece of the Fires archetype, which mostly assumed a Jeskai-colored configuration. The key to the card was finding ways to exploit its virtual mana doubling without clashing with the restriction on the number of castable spells per turn. The best answer to that conundrum took the form of mana sink abilities, like those supplied by Kenrith, the Returned King and Cavalier of Flame. The time when Fires decks were dominant in Standard now feels like a lifetime ago, and yet they resided at the top of the meta for a long while, playing a big part in the latest World Championship, which was disputed in February 2020. Having forcibly left the field more than a year ago, Fires now gives the impression of being a card from the previous rotation, like fellow World Championship protagonist Wilderness Reclamation. Grief Factor: 0/10—it wasn't really in Standard anymore, any residual grief for it must have subsided by now.

Irencrag Feat: This over-the-top rite kept courting competitive play, but ultimately failed to be taken seriously, despite the fact that a three-mana boost isn't insignificant, and it's in fact more advantageous than Seething Song's. But it's the one-spell clause that doomed it, in the end. The built-in combo with Sundering Stroke was just silly, non-hasty Drakuseth felt too casual, and the only genuine play one could make with all that red mana was dropping Ugin, the Spirit Dragon, but that didn't even align all too well, because it required one extra mana. Grief Factor: 3/10.

Irencrag Pyromancer: One of the two leading payoffs of the "draw two" mechanic, the other being Improbable Alliance. All in all, Izzet Draw Two was a decent enough deck that saw its fair share of play, although somewhat too fair to properly compete with the big boys. Post-Ikoria, the Pyromancer would show up in cycling lists, which were sure to trigger it just by pitching their cards turn after turn. Grief Factor: 6/10.

Merchant of the Vale: At one point, Arclight Phoenix decks took a liking to this guy, as a way to engineer an early Phoenix resurrection. (There was even a small but exciting chance of attacking with a Phoenix as early as turn one, through a combination of Merchant and Rosethorn Acolytes.) After the archetype left Standard with the rotation of Guilds of Ravnica, the Merchant had no business to conduct in the format anymore. Grief Factor: 1/10.

Redcap Melee: Popular sideboard card against red. Its extreme mana efficiency made it a factor in mirror matches, and even earned it a few appearances in the main deck of lists that didn't need more than a couple lands to operate, like Cavalcade of Calamity. Grief Factor: 5/10.

Rimrock Knight: Simple but very functional complement for red aggro and some Gruul Adventures builds. It enjoyed a second youth after its race became relevant to Magda, Brazen Outlaw. Grief Factor: 6/10.

Robber of the Rich: The most popular red two-drop of this era. Hasty, with a chance of card advantage. The presence of reach, due to the fact that the card as a whole was meant as a Robin Hood reference, consistently caught people by surprise. Grief Factor: 7/10.

Scorching Dragonfire: Serviceable two-mana removal, a strictly better Lightning Strike if all we cared for was hitting targets other than the opponent's face. Which, admittedly, is never all that red cares for. So Shock often remained the preferred burn option, and more recently Frost Bite. Grief Factor: 6/10.

Seven Dwarves: This card didn't entirely stop being a meme even after Magda made clear being a Dwarf was not a joke. Too bad Kaldheim's Treasure-seeking heroine took a long while to join the meta, leaving the Snow White squad stranded in casual builds for longer than they deserved. Grief Factor: 4/10.

Thrill of Possibility: Also included in Theros Beyond Death and Core Set 2021, all the versions of this hyper-efficient rummager are rotating at once. But red decks that can use some digging for combo pieces and don't mind filling the graveyard in the process may still hope for the return of this neutral-flavored card in one of the upcoming sets. Grief Factor: 6/10.

Torbran, Thane of Red Fell: The centerpiece that red aggro decks never thought they needed. Torbran was obviously only at home in monored, but the card made the most out of its time in Standard, unlike most of the other "intensely monocolored" members of the "legendary leaders" cycle. Even the advent of the inherently incompatible Obosh, the Preypiercer failed to jeopardize the Dwarf king's firm hold on red's carnage ambitions. Grief Factor: 8/10.

Throne of Eldraine Green Losses


edgewall innkeeper questing beast

Beanstalk Giant: Secondary but at times influential Adventure card not suited for the faster builds within the broad archetype. But it shone in those lists that were trying to ramp into bigger plays, like Temur Adventures at its heights, when Lucky Clover, Escape to the Wilds, and Uro were all still legal. Thanks to its double nature of land fetcher and large finisher, Beanstalk was also a beloved Brawl card and a key member of the Naya Giants. Grief Factor: 7/10.

Edgewall Innkeeper: Beyond the intrinsic value of the Adventure mechanic, which basically doubled the effectiveness of all the cards directly bearing it, we mainly have this grinning hotelier to blame for the continuous dominance of those archetypes across two years of Standard. This was the main constant of all the Adventure decks, a one-drop that would add further value to most of their subsequent plays, so that outdrawing them became an almost impossible task for their competitors. Grief Factor: 9/10.

Feasting Troll King: Aside from Adventures, the other green-based archetype that resulted from Throne of Eldraine was Food, of which the Troll King was the most outrageous payoff. During its time in Standard, this gluttonous monarch went in and out of favor several times. Causing these variations were external factors affecting the meta, more than changes in composition of the lists, which remained for the most part consistent with themselves, inevitably adopting a monogreen setup to accommodate the Troll King's quadruple green cost. That's the principal element that kept it from seeing a higher amount of play, in spite of its high degree of resilience to removal and formidable board presence. Grief Factor: 6/10.

Gilded Goose: It was neither Birds of Paradise nor Llanowar Elves. But as far as one-drop mana dorks go, the Goose was all we had available during this cycle, give or take the conditional surrogacy of Jaspera Sentinel. The Goose did a good enough job in the accelerator role, while doubling as a repeatable Food source in dedicated decks. All in all, it represented a quite unique take on the concept. Grief Factor: 7/10.

The Great Henge: The second best legendary artifact in the mythic cycle, a long way ahead of the third. The explosiveness of Embercleave was matched by the insane advantage provided by this Stonehenge lookalike, which essentially did everything a green player would need it to do: turn all following creatures into Elvish Visionary, make them larger, ramp, gain life. Dropping it wasn't as easy as dropping Ghalta, but the 5-powered Lovestruck Beast helped making it a consistent turn-four play. Brawl players will need some time to recover from its loss, even though Ranger Class might offer them some solace. Grief Factor: 9/10.

Keeper of Fables: A green card-drawing engine mostly intended for Brawl. The release of Toski, Bearer of Secrets put the existence of the Keeper out of everyone's mind. Grief Factor: 2/10.

Lovestruck Beast: Quality three-drops make or break the fortune of an entire cycle of Stompy decks, and this besotted Beast took up the baton from Steel Leaf Champion. While not evasive, and in fact requiring a specific condition in order to attack, it was a sturdy presence on the battlefield and provided an additional turn-one play. Plus, it was more than happy to fall in love with Edgewall Innkeeper when required. Grief Factor: 9/10.

Oakhame Adversary: A valid sideboard option against green. For a brief moment it even achieved main-deck status, during a time when facing a green permanent on the other side of the battlefield was more common than the opposite. After all, a two-mana 2/3 deathtoucher with built-in Curiosity is nothing to sneeze at. Grief Factor: 4/10.

Once Upon a Time: Honestly, it didn't take much to gather that this card was going to be problematic. You just had to read the part where it says it can be cast for free. It took the whole of six weeks for the DCI to come to that same conclusion and ban Once Upon a Time from Standard. In quick succession, Pioneer, Historic, and Modern all followed suit. Grief Factor: 8/10, because while it now feels like a long-faded dream for Standard players, it was still a very real and useful hand smoother for Brawl.

Questing Beast: Jokingly called the best Magic: The Gathering novel ever printed. In order to appreciate Questing Beast's insane power level we don't actually need to dive into its endless rules text describing complex abilities and intricate in-game interactions. The value of this legendary Arthurian fiend resided first and foremost in its status as a four-drop 4/4 with haste and a form of evasion. (No constant blocking with Cauldron Familiar against it!) That alone translated into more than one game-winning topdeck. Then, sure, it also doubled its damage output when facing planeswalkers. Yes, sure, it simultaneously played offense and defense as wll. And, sure, it shut down protection and a plethora of other abilities. And, sure, it was the ultimate Embercleave carrier. But more than anything else, Questing Beast would take its first swing in early midrange, with the greatest chance of hitting at least once before the opponent could react. Haste has become a green fixture in recent years, but from posterior cards like Froghemoth, we can see how the average green hasty beater doesn't always take the form of such a once-in-a-lifetime, perfect storm. Grief Factor: 10/10.

Return to Nature: This strictly better Naturalize debuted in War of the Spark, then showed up again in Theros Beyond Death and Core Set 2021. We can clearly live without it, as it's design space that recently gave us even more maindeckable cards like Wilt and You Find a Cursed Idol. We kind of got used to have Return to Nature in Standard, though. Which, of course, probably means it's going to come back, as its progenitor Naturalize would frequently do before it became obsolete. Grief Factor: 1/10.

Rosethorn Acolyte: As a mana dork, this Elf was entirely negligible even in Brawl. But it turned into kind of an overnight sensation when its Adventure was elected Standard's resident Manamorphose for builds caring about their storm count—think Arclight Phoenix or Thousand-Year Storm. Yet its time in the sun really only lasted overnight. Grief Factor: 1/10.

Syr Faren, the Hengehammer: Before settling on more successful versions, green aggressive decks went through a long series of iterations. One of those would use Syr Faren in conjunction with power-boosting spells like Giant Growth and Titanic Growth. It was explosive but proved short-lived, lacking the capability to play a longer game. Grief Factor: 3/10.

Trail of Crumbs: The engine that made Food decks tick. Its interaction with Gilded Goose basically gave the prized Bird the ability to just tap to draw the best card out of the two on the top of the library. And since Food gets mechanically sacrificed one way or the other, decks based around the concept of sacrifice found themselves splashing green for Trail and Korvold at least as long as Mayhem Devil stayed legal in Standard. Successive, Devil-less versions of the archetype took different routes that didn't need the green Food suite anymore. Grief Factor: 8/10.

Wicked Wolf: Speaking of the Food package, this fairy tale baddie was a big part of it, if primarily included in decks heavily slanted toward a green base. With Food on the table, the Wolf was almost impossible to get rid of, very hard to block, as well as a mana-efficient one-shot killer the turn it dropped. Grief Factor: 8/10.

Wildborn Preserver: Not as consequential as the accomplishments of tempo decks in the previous Standard era would lead us to think, the flashy Preserver still enjoyed a little time in the spotlight within the remnants of the Simic Flash builds. Alas, it wasn't the new Nightpack Ambusher, its growth entirely dependent on the opportunity to sink mana into it at the right time. It was, however, another "stealthy reach" creature. Grief Factor: 5/10.

Wildwood Tracker: When Pelt Collector rotated, leaving Stompy at its lowest and most desolate, diehard monogreen players resorted to employing this one-drop. Luckily, the lineup for this kind of deck got better once Swarm Shambler and Jaspera Sentinel joined the format. Grief Factor: 0/10.

Yorvo, Lord of Garenbrig: This jolly green Giant was a vigorous three-drop for green aggro. Maybe not as memorable as Steel Leaf Champion, due to its complete lack of evasion, it still provided a solid body that grew steadily over time and interacted wonderfully with Gemrazer. Unfortunately, the bread and butter of all decks that would want to run the Lord of Garenbrig was The Great Henge, which a turn-three Yorvo wasn't able to enable on the following turn, unlike Lovestruck Beast. This fact alone, paired with the absence of any significant payoff for green devotion, caused Yorvo to see much less play than it might have otherwise. Later, the arrival of Old-Growth Troll further challenged such ambitions. Grief Factor: 7/10.

Thorn Mammoth: This Brawl decks exclusive did exactly the job that it was advertised for: it became a Brawl staple. Any green deck with a long curve, which is most green decks, would happily add the Mammoth's repeatable fight as its topper. Only The Great Henge was more consistently appealing in that spot, until Kogla, the Titan Ape offered a slightly cheaper alternative, often ending up simply coexisting alongside the Mammoth. Grief Factor: 7/10.

Throne of Eldraine Multicolored Losses


doom foretold korvold

Dance of the Manse: A powerful mass reanimation effect for artifacts and enchantments, it had Doom Foretold decks as its ideal and pretty much only home. Though that archetype didn't really need such a larger-than-life Timmy/Tammy finisher to close the game, and in fact it eventually phased the Dance out. Grief Factor: 6/10.

Doom Foretold: This popular control card immediately defined a very specific build running cantripping permanents like Golden Egg, Omen of the Sea, and Treacherous Blessing to out-sacrifice the opponent and buried them in value. Doom Foretold decks gravitated around the top of the meta without ever properly reaching it, but for a long stretch they represented the primary expression of the Esper colors. Grief Factor: 7/10.

Drown in the Loch: Arguably the most robust interactive spell the Dimir pair could count on during this whole era. It only sporadically appeared in control decks, but following the release of Zendikar Rising, it became a central component of the Rogues archetype. Grief Factor: 8/10.

Escape to the Wilds: Crazy efficient card advantage spell in Gruul, mostly used by Adventure builds, which could leverage the lower cost of the Adventure sides and still get access to the creature sides long after the Escape window was closed. When all their competitors were forced out of the meta, the hyper-resilient Adventure decks started asserting too much of a dominance, so Escape to the Wilds was introduced to the banhammer along with Lucky Clover. Grief Factor: 8/10.

Garruk, Cursed Huntsman: Decent high-profile planeswalker featuring a healthy combination of token-making and removal. Not as desirable as previous six-drops like Vraska, Relic Seeker and Liliana, Dreadhorde General, and now also comparing unfavorably to Professor Onyx, due to the lack of card draw. Nonetheless, it's the final iteration of a black-green cursed Garruk and was still fairly playable and quite popular. Grief Factor: 7/10.

Improbable Alliance: The other main centerpiece of "draw two" aside from Irencrag Pyromancer. When firing on all cylinders, this archetype would shoot Lightning Bolts and making Faeries turn after turn. But it wasn't enough to concern the true dominators of the meta at any point in time, let alone after more Standard sets started entering the format. Like the Pyromancer had a second career with cycling, so did the Alliance. Grief Factor: 5/10.

Inspiring Veteran: A straightforward anthem lord, designed along the same lines as previous linear two-drops Legion Lieutenant and Merfolk Mistbinder. It stopped being a consideration once the tribal-based builds were abandoned and white in particular lost its place at the Knight's round table. Grief Factor: 5/10.

Lochmere Serpent: Strong curve topper for control decks that checked all the boxes it should be checking to secure itself a place as a finisher in that kind of build: large body, flash speed, evasion, card draw, built-in recursion. Regrettably, it was hindered by the waning fortune of Dimir and Esper lists in the meta. The release of Dream Trawler cemented the fact that black wasn't needed at all to establish control and was the last nail in the coffin of this cool Loch Ness monster impression. Grief Factor: 6/10.

Maraleaf Pixie: The competition between two-drop mana dorks was something fierce during this rotation, what with Incubation Druid, Paradise Druid, Leafkin Druid, and Ilysian Caryatid all making valid arguments on their own behalf. Pity this spunky little Pixie got caught in the ramping crossfire, because the card played a not irrelevant secondary role as a two-powered flier, providing a valuable way to pressure planeswalkers. It did see a modicum of play because of that, but not nearly as much as it would have in a less crowded Standard. Grief Factor: 5/10.

Oko, Thief of Crowns: The most talked about card of this cycle stayed legal in Standard for all of six weeks, before being excised from pretty much 80% of Magic's formats. (It's currently only playable in Vintage and Commander.) What's there to say? Clearly something went wrong in play design, resulting in the most amiss card of the past decade. All of Oko's numbers were out of whack, making him unsustainable in practically all metas, let alone poor fragile Standard. It's too bad, because the character was great, and now he might be tarnished by the reputation of being "the broken guy." Maybe it was all a trick of the master trickster. Grief Factor: N/A.

Outlaws' Merriment: This quintessential flavor card depicting the most famous of Robin Hood's Merry Men (the tokens represent Little John, Friar Tuck, and a gender-flipped Will Scarlet, respectively) read a lot better than it played. It mostly suffered from being a "do-nothing" four-drop. Though it didn't help that Boros produced nothing meaningful in the two years that followed the Merriment's release, with the exception of Cycling and Winota builds, none of which are interested in Human tokens at this rate. Grief Factor: 4/10.

The Royal Scions: The first card to combine Rowan and Will together was devised as the premium enabler of the "draw two" archetype, and that's where it showed up and the hill it died on. Different Izzet builds could still make use of the twins, but typically went with faster looters. Grief Factor: 6/10.

Steelclaw Lance: The Knights' own tribal Equipment. It got quickly overshadowed by Embercleave, as one does, but it had its merits. Grief Factor: 2/10.

Stormfist Crusader: This symmetrical card-drawing engine in Knight form branched out of tribal builds to make appearances in generic Rakdos Aggro decks. The hits procured by menace plus the incidental damage from the trigger would add up fast, contributing to an unforgiving aggro plan. Grief Factor: 6/10.

Deathless Knight: Throne of Eldraine featured a cycle of hybrid four-drops that came in all ten color pairs but whose impact was mainly felt on Limited. They were all excellent devotion enablers, but that's a role that didn't come up too often, given that devotion decks in general didn't really leave a mark on the meta. (We're going to see more in a future installment, when we'll reminisce about the cards from Theros Beyond Death.) At one time, a blue devotion build centered around Thassa, Deep-Dwelling and Nyx Lotus, and making use of Arcanist's Owl, became somewhat fashionable, but mostly as a fun janky build. I'm singling out Deathless Knight here only because of its interaction with Food making it a recursive poor man's Questing Beast. As such it would sometimes pop up in synergistic builds, in sideboards, or as a budget replacement for the real thing. Grief Factor: 3/10.

Alela, Artful Provocateur, Chulane, Teller of Tales, Korvold, Fae-Cursed King, Syr Gwyn, Hero of Ashvale: The four commanders of the Brawl decks were all brilliant Brawl designs, very playable and thus frequently played—perhaps with the exception of Syr Gwyn. The major success story here is Korvold's. The demanding Dragon managed to rise up and meet the world of regular Standard, emerging as the high-end finisher of choice for Jund Sacrifice decks. It even reached the very pinnacle of competitive play when Piotr "Kanister" Głogowski took it to the World Championship. Grief Factor: 8/10.

Throne of Eldraine Colorless Losses


stonecoil serpent fabled passage

Crashing Drawbridge: For a while there, this peculiar Wall was the only cheap provider of universal haste in Standard. This fact alone was quite disheartening, because the Drawbridge wasn't even able to give haste right away—unlike fellow haste-giving Wall Tuktuk Rubblefort one year later. But it was all that Prime Speaker Vannifar builds could count on to speed-activate their namesake. Grief Factor: 1/10.

Gingerbrute: This amusing gingerbread man on acid saw some play in hyper-aggressive monored builds, like those based around Cavalcade of Calamity. It could have also been a prime artifact one-drop, if artifact aggro had ever become something more than casual fare. Grief Factor: 3/10.

Heraldic Banner: Three-drop mana rocks are rarely a factor in Constructed, yet often a necessary evil in singleton decks that aren't running green. Brawl players specifically had a few of such colorless rocks to choose from, plus the superior Midnight Clock. The Banner was perhaps the best of the bunch, especially for monocolored brews, at least until Skyclave Relic and Replicating Ring came around, and arguably even after that. The ancillary anthem effect could be helpful in builds outside Brawl, too, like the occasional monowhite aggro. Grief Factor: 4/10.

Lucky Clover: Initially considered a win-more card for Adventure decks, the importance of this parasitic artifact grew over time to momentous levels, until it proved to be a win-the-right-amount card. It was dispatched after more than a year of Standard play, in a corrective maneuver that managed to bring Adventures down to an acceptable floor. Grief Factor: 6/10 if it were still legal, being in the purview of only one deck.

Sorcerous Spyglass: Inherited from Ixalan, this Pithing Needle variant had a place in prudent players' sideboards, chiefly those that could be accessed during the game, whether via Karn, the Great Creator or Fae of Wishes // Granted. Once the Silver Golem rotated out and Lucky Clover didn't grant free extra wishes anymore, the Spyglass became less of a presence. But it still represents a valuable countermeasure that any deck can run and any meta could use. As its reprint in Throne of Eldraine demonstrated, the Spyglass can show up within settings that don't necessarily contain pirates. Grief Factor: 6/10.

Stonecoil Serpent: An honorary green creature, this scalable threat packed a bunch of relevant keywords and could fit in at any point in the curve. Its alliance with Gemrazer gave Stompy decks a terrific two-three play. It was also a perfect complement to any list featuring +1/+1 counters synergies, for instance all those running Conclave Mentor, Oran-Rief Ooze, or The Ozolith. Its resilience and versatility will be sorely missed. Grief Factor: 8/10.

Witch's Oven: The partner in crime of Cauldron Familiar. It's remarkable how silly this card felt at first sight, and how scary it became once the combo and its archetype were established as a major force of the era. The pair's ten-month run came to an end when the Familiar was banned in August 2020. The Oven timidly survived in some sacrifice builds and in the final iterations of the Food decks but wasn't as crucial as before. Grief Factor: 8/10.

Castle Ardenvale, Castle Vantress, Castle Locthwain, Castle Embereth, and Castle Garenbrig: The five "Castles of the Realm" made for a fantastic cycle of utility lands, and were all widely employed in any deck running the respective colors. It'll feel strange not adding a couple of them as a default to any mana base next year. Grief Factor: 10/10.

Idyllic Grange, Mystic Sanctuary, Witch's Cottage, Dwarven Mine, Gingerbread Cabin: The "Lands of the Wilds" cycle wasn't as useful in Standard as its rare counterpart, most often just tapped lands. But two broke out of the confines of Standard. The Sanctuary even recurs spells in Vintage nowadays, while the Mine plays a crucial role in strategies requiring creatures that aren't creature cards. Grief Factor: 1/10 to 6/10.

Fabled Passage: The most played nonbasic land of this Standard cycle, this dignified fetch land was the go-to fixer for control players—who care to have their fourth land enter untapped more than the first three. But it was still extremely prevalent in every list running more than one color. It was reprinted in Core Set 2021, so both versions will rotate at the same time. This might be by design, even if Fabled Passage could work as the one superior fetch land consistently allowed in Standard. The name is slightly flavored for Throne of Eldraine but not to the point of preventing inclusion elsewhere in the Multiverse. It's easy to imagine a path connecting two places that some people don't believe exist on any world, including Innistrad. Otherwise, Scute Swarm and Felidar Retreat in particular will be sad to say farewell. Grief Factor: 10/10.

Arcane Signet and Command Tower: The two signature cards of the Brawl format, the first of which debuted to great fanfare in the very preconstructed decks associated with Throne of Eldraine. For Brawl to suddenly lose them would be a tragedy, but luckily it's been announced that the pair will remain Brawl-legal at least on MTG Arena. Grief Factor: 10/10, though it goes down to 0/10 for Arena players, which, to be fair, might well comprise the bulk of all Brawl players.

Tome of Legends: This Brawl-based card-drawing artifact earned the right to be seen as the third critical card for the format, after the two mentioned above. However, it won't be extended the same courtesy of continued legality. Admittedly, not all commanders are able to take advantage of its ability, but for most of them it was an important, inexpensive tool to dig into the library. Grief Factor: 7/10.


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