MtG: 11 Best War of the Spark Cards for Standard

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Since it was announced that War of the Spark, would include 36 planeswalkers, the newest Magic: The Gathering card expansion instantly became the most anticipated set in years.

This opens up a vast pool of possibilities for superfriends decks in Standard for sure. But there are also other great cards in the new set, which could easily replace the tried-and-tested bombs of the past sets.

If you regularly play Standard in MtG, then be sure to check out this list of the best cards in War of the Spark that should help you build more powerful decks and easily subdue the new meta.

Karn's Bastion

There are several really exciting new lands in War of the Spark, and it looks like Karn's Bastion is going to go into all Proliferate-based decks in Standard.

It's not just a land, which comes into play untapped, it's also a repeatable spell/utility that can make all your creatures and planeswalkers grow every turn.

The two best archetypes for Karn's Bastion are Green-White Tokens and Abzan Superfriends. The first one will use the Bastion for growing creatures/tokens, and the second one is focused around keeping planeswalkers alive and exploiting their powerful minus abilities.

Also, if you have additional tools to untap your lands at your end steps, such as Wilderness Reclamation, then you could use the Proliferate ability twice a turn.

Banehound

This little buddy doesn't have a terribly wide range of applications, but it doesn't have to be anything else but a great one-drop for Rakdos Aristocrats or Mardu Aggro lists that run Judith, the Scourge Diva and Tajic, Legion's End.

The Haste part is what sells this card, just like it was the case with Fanatical Firebrand. But it also has Lifelink, which signals the possible use of Ajani Pridemate in lists that also run Legion's Landing.

Of course, it's important to have this in the opening hand and let it accelerate your damage from the very beginning of the match-up. But if you happen to draw it later, make sure that it has some buffs added to it so it can be viable in later turns as well.

Spark Harvest

Here's another one-mana common, but this time it's a removal spell that would definitely fit any Aristocrats deck.

There is also a possibility of fitting it into a more combo-oriented sacrifice deck that generates damage by killing off your own creatures. It's the kind of deck that uses Cruel Celebrant and Mayhem Devil.

This means that Spark Harvest will find its way into several different lists that run a lot of sacrificeable tokens/creatures.

But even if you don't have anything to sacrifice on the battlefield, then paying four mana for a removal spell is a totally fair deal.

Soul Diviner

Magic players who had the chance to play Heart of Kiran during the Kaladesh block know too well how strong an ability to remove counters instead of paying mana can be.

But Heart of Kiran was limited only to planeswalker counters, while Soul Diviner can remove counters of any types from creatures, lands, artifacts, and planeswalkers.

Also, there is no cost involved in drawing the cards, so this is clearly a very powerful draw effect with no drawbacks.

Grixis Midrange and Control players will definitely play Soul Diviner alongside the new Blast Zone land and a few other spells with Amass.

The Elderspell

With the inclusion of so many new planeswalkers, it's no secret that War of the Spark meta will be populated with planeswalker-heavy lists. This knowledge will prompt many players to include The Elderspell into their sideboards.

It is clearly a very powerful removal spell that can be also used to a great effect in a main deck. In that case you also need to run Nicol Bolas, Dragon-God, then wait for the right moment, and finally use its minus eight ability to win the game.

But as already mentioned, this will be mainly used in sideboards as one of the best tools against superfriend decks.

Feather, the Redeemed

Jeskai players have been waiting for this card for a long time. It basically preserves all your Dive Down spells, and can be even used to a great effect with Thrash.

Another great choice for this card would be Essence Capture, a counterspell that also puts +1/+1 counter on your creature, which is especially relevant in the War of the Spark meta.

It'll keep you supplied with counterspells until Feather, the Redeemed stays on board, and will help you grow it bigger as time passes by.

But this doesn't mean that it can't be used in straight-up Boros Aggro decks. On the contrary, you will see it more often than you would expect.

Chandra, Fire Artisan

Last season was full of mono red decks running Experimental Frenzy, an enchantment that allows you to play cards from the top of your library. But there is a significant drawback in it, which forbids you to play cards from your hand. Chandra, Fire Artisan solves this problem and allows you to do both on the same turn.

If you manage to protect it long enough, then it will also deal seven damage using her minus ability. But she also deals damage in case she gets attacked or damaged by non-creature spells.

Either way Chandra is a real powerhouse for aggressive red decks, and those have always been top-tier choices in Magic: The Gathering.

Ilharg, the Raze-Boar

This is the god that replaced Hazoret in the War of the Spark set. It has the same cost, but the effect and the power level have been creeped up.

You can run this one equally successfully in all types of red decks from aggro to control. It is also extremely hard to remove, unless you play cards that can discard it from opponent's hand or straight-up counterspell it.

That is why it would be smart to play it alongside Rhythm of the Wild, which deals with counterspells and gives it Haste.

So it looks like Gruul lists will benefit the most from Ilharg, the Raze-Boar.

Massacre Girl

Here's a card that deals with all those pesky token-based decks. This means that Massacre Girl might not be the best maindeck choice, but it is a definite sideboard bomb.

She could be casually run as a one-off in maindeck as well, since running a 4/4 with menace for five mana is just really good.

Massacre Girl is basically Ritual of Soot with a body, which makes it a highly desirable choice for superfriends decks that don't run that many creatures, but would like to deploy a few threats against curve-based creature decks.

Nicol Bolas, Dragon-God

Besides three incredibly strong active abilities the brand new Nicol Bolas planeswalker has the most overpowered passive in War of the Spark. Being able to use any other planeswalker's abilities, including opponent's, is just outright ridiculous.

This in combination with The Elderspell is a surefire winning combo. By the way, for this to work you don't even need your opponent to play planeswalkers, you could just destroy your own for those sweet eight loyalty counters on Nicol Bolas.

Of course, if there is a legendary creature on the battlefield, then you will need to find the way to remove it, too. But that is not a problem if you run Spark Harvest.

Liliana, Dreadhorde General

The cost of a new Liliana planeswalker is pretty high. But Vraska, Relic Seeker proved that six-mana planeswalkers have the right to live in Standard, if the power level is high enough.

Her ultimate ability is especially strong, as it removes lands as well, which is basically game-winning at that point. But she could be simply used for her card draw and sacrifice abilities alone, as those two pretty much control the game on their own.

So if you are looking for an extra planeswalker for your control deck, then look no further than Liliana, Dreadhorde General.

Published Apr. 24th 2019

Correspondent

Sergey has been a freelancer in the video games industry for more than five years, writing for various publications around the world. His favorite games are MtG, Dark Souls, Diablo, and Divinity: Original Sin. Sergey doesn't own consoles because a PC is all he needs.


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