With War of the Spark coming up in May and 36 new planewalkers being release as part of it (36!!), I thought it would be appropriate to review the planeswalkers that are already in Standard – I’ll leave the ones included in planeswalker decks aside. Overall, none of them are hugely oppressive in my opinion: Teferi, Hero of Dominaria is probably the scariest one, but not as much as Gideon, Ally of Zendikar or Chandra, Torch of Defiance were in Standard not that long ago. Oh, and apologies in advance if I’m a little mean with the ones I don’t like too much 😊
I will play Teferi decks for as long as it’s Standard legal. I’ve even made up a Jeskai Drakes Tempo just to play Teferi and Pteramander LOL. His three abilities are incredibly powerful, remarkably the +1: untapping 2 lands after a card draw is brutal, and allows you to take over the game sooo quickly. For me Teferi is the best Magic card in Standard.
This card is so versatile (a colourless, 4 mana planeswalker) that it fits so well in so many different decks, pre and post boards. It has lost some influence in the recent metagame, though I wouldn’t underestimate Karn at all.
This is a great card in any Rakdos deck, either in the main or sideboard. The +1 keeps your opponent in check, the -3 Act of Treason / removal is also great, and the -8 can easily be lethal.
I love Ral, even when I almost decked myself with it a couple of weeks ago. Gives you card draw, removal and a solid win condition. It was cool to see that one copy that Luis Scott-Vargas had in his Izzet Phoenix build.
Getting to play a Nicol Bolas in its creature version for 4 lands is a big deal. And when it transforms it’s basically gave over. It has seen some moderate play in the 5 colour dragons deck and in some grixis control and midrange builds.
The strongest planeswaker from Ixalan. It has been played a lot in Golgari and Sultai Midrange. The +2 and -3 abilities are both really good: self-protection and removal. My only problem with Vraska was that I found the 6 mana casting cost a bit too slow at times.
I thought it wasn’t going to be relevant at all, but seeing her in Esper Control changed my mind. Mono Blue Tempo makes her important in the current metagame, since the -1 ability can be exploited to exile the likes of Pteramander.
Very powerful, but only in a Dragons deck. Very much like the +1 ramp ability.
I wish they made a Dovin that is actually good. This one is not completely terrible, and it can kind of performs for Azorius Aggro… that’s about it.
I think it’s okay if you play many creatures that you’re happy to sacrifice to trigger the +2. For example, it worked nicely in this Abzan Aristocrats brew by Team LilianaMarket.
Domri is not the worst card, the problem is that if you’re playing gruul aggro, you might have better choices for that mana cost (such as Rekindling Phoenix), or might prefer cheaper choices (such as Rhythm of the Wild). Meh.
She would be pretty good if zombies were a thing in Standard – unfortunately they’re not.
I really wanted to play Tezzeret, but I gave up! It’s simply too slow for a control deck: as a win condition is very slow (a 1/1 thopter for 5 mana?), and as a card draw engine is very slow as well (draw a card for 5 mana?). The right home for it would be some sort of thopters deck to make the most of the 0 ability.
Huatli depended on a boros dinosaurs archetype to be a half decent card. I’m not sure the +2 life gain is what a dinos deck wants to do, creating a 3/3 Dinosaur for 5 mana doesn’t seem very impressive either; the -X is interesting, but not hugely if you find alternative ways to give your dinos trample, for example. It has seen very little play.
Almost as powerful as Jace, the Mind Sculptor, right? I think this Jace is terrible. I remember playing against some sort of blue/red wizards deck at GP Birmingham that had it, and it was just not good. I was surprised to see a copy in Autumn Burchett’s mono blue tempo sideboard – not sure they actually used it at all!
I don’t really get it. Why would you spend 5 mana to then get 3 mana? Is this some kind of ramp & burn planeswalker?! No, thanks. Awful!
Why would you play this card? Don’t do it! I guess the -8 is relatively easy to use if you pay tons of creatures and did the +1 at least once…
What’s your favourite Standard legal planeswalker?