The new Magic: the Gathering Core Set 2021 is coming. Here are 15 best MtG cards for standard format.

MtG: 15 Best Core Set 2021 Cards for Standard

The new Magic: the Gathering Core Set 2021 is coming. Here are 15 best MtG cards for standard format.

Core Set 2021 is the 20th core set in Magic: The Gathering, which includes 274 cards. It is based on the Teferi planeswalker, which offers three alternative arts for the Teferi, Master of Time card.

The new MtG set also includes a lot of reprints of some of the most popular cards in Magic history. But there are also brand-new cards, and a whole new planeswalker named Basri Ket.

Tribal deck players will have a blast playing this season because of the introduction of five new lord cards for creature types like dogs, spirits, rogues, goblins, and cats. So there is a lot for everyone to enjoy!

If you're looking to test your skills in Standard Format, then here are 15 of the most competitive new MtG cards from Core Set 2021.

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Scavenging Ooze

Scavenging Ooze is one of the most important reprints in Core Set 2021. This card will fit in all green decks in Standard, and it will do really well against cards like Uro, Cauldron Familiar, Woe Strider, and Zenith Flare.

Scavenging Ooze also fits in mutate-based decks, since it's not a human. The Green-White Counters deck will also find a couple of slots for this creature, and it will perform really well in all of them.

Taking into account how many top-tier graveyard-based decks are played in Standard right now, it's clear that Scavenging Ooze will dominate the format this season.

Village Rites

Village Rites is clearly the best common card in the Core Set 2021. This 1-mana instant spell draws a card and requires you to sacrifice a creature, which could be a simple token.

This card will be played in Black-Red Sacrifice decks and lists that run Kroxa, Titan of Death's Hunger. You could use Village Rites to sacrifice Kroxa before it naturally sacrifices itself on the stack, and basically draw two cards for just 1 mana.

Village Rites is an excellent partner to Witch's Oven and basically any other sacrifice-based card in Standard.

Kaervek, the Spiteful

Usually, we see cards that buff other creatures, but Kaervek, the Spiteful is an anti-lord, which reduces the power and toughness of all creatures by 1.

This is a great effect against decks like Black-Red Sacrifice and Mono-Red, which mostly use creatures with only 1 point of toughness. This means that Kaervek will be an auto-include in many sideboards.

Generally, this would be a great strategy against all token-based decks, as well, and it looks like there are going to be plenty of those in the Core Set 2021 meta.

Heroic Intervention

Heroic Intervention is another excellent reprint and this time, it's from Aether Revolt set. Heroic Intervention will instantly become a favorite protection spell for all green creature-based decks in Standard.

Since Veil of Summer has been banned, there has been no real way of defending your creatures and tokens against all removal spells. But now there is a way to keep your creatures alive after the devastating effect of Shatter the Sky, which is now in every control deck in the format.

Teferi, Master of Time

The most exciting feature of the new Teferi planeswalker is its static ability, which allows you to use its active abilities twice: once on your own turn and once on your opponent's turn.

The ultimate ability is also extremely strong and gives you enough time to win the game. You're in a really bad spot if you can't set up a victory in three consecutive turns.

Lastly, this is obviously the best planeswalker in Core Set 2021, which will dominate most formats, including Standard.

Ugin, the Spirit Dragon

The one and only Ugin, the Spirit Dragon is getting another reprint, and this time for standard format.

This is an epic planeswalker, which requires no introduction. All control decks will want to run at least two copies of Ugin in the main deck and a couple more in the sideboards.

The Minus X ability is absolutely devastating against all the aggro decks, even if they use Heroic Intervention. Ugin's ability exiles are permanent, which doesn't care for Hexproof or Indestructible protection.


Necromentia is an excellent alternative for Unmoored Ego players, and to some degree, Necromentia is even better than Unmoored Ego, as many players would rather have their opponents create tokens than draw extra cards.

Also, color-wise, it's easier to cast Necromentia, since Unmoored Ego requires blue mana. In any case, you could run both in your sideboard to be prepared for any sort of shenanigans from your opponent's side.

Control players will definitely look into this sorcery, especially as Sultai Control lists become increasingly dominant in the current meta.

Archfiend's Vessel

Although MtG companion ruling has been slightly fixed, Lurrus of the Dream Den is still very much eligible in Standard, which makes Archfiend's Vessel one of the most important cards for any deck that runs Lurrus.

Actually, many aggro decks don't even play Lurrus as their companion anymore, but simply include it in their maindecks, which is still very strong taking into consideration its exceptionally powerful ability.

This also works great in decks that run Call of the Death-Dwellers and Sorin, Vengeful Bloodlord planeswalker.

Terror of the Peaks

There are two solid places for Terror of the Peaks in Standard right now: Gruul and Dragon tribal decks.

Gruul players also got a new Garruk planeswalker, which looks a lot better than Vivien. With Terror of the Peaks, it creates a solid combo with the Garruk's Minus ability.

Terror of the Peaks also fits into decks with Kroxa and Rotting Regisaur, so there are plenty of ways how you can break this in Standard.


Discontinuity is an incredible spell that can be used in many useful ways. Obviously, most players will try to use it on their turns for the discounted price.

First, you can play it on your turn to negate the Uro's self-sacrifice ability and keep the 6/6 creature for 3 mana. Second, you can use it on your opponent's upkeep and take an extra turn, which is an excellent option for any control deck.

Lastly, you can use it as a hard counterspell that denies anything your opponents try to do, regardless of if their cards can't be countered. All-in-all, this is a super powerful card that will definitely see play in specialized decks.

Containment Priest

Many players have been waiting for a way to counter the effect of Winota, Joiner of Forces. Containment Priest does exactly that, sending all creatures that would enter the battlefield from Winota's triggered ability into exile.

Unfortunately, the Escape mechanic is still considered a cast mechanic, so that one won't work, but every other effect will, including the dreaded Cauldron Familiar and Witch's Oven combo.

Discontinuity also prevents effects from Lukka, Coppercoat Outcast and Transmogrify. So, if you've grown weary of all these combos, then consider Containment Priest for your sideboard.

Sparkhunter Masticore

Planeswalkers are getting more and more attention in Standard. It's no surprise, as recently-introduced planeswalkers have been exceedingly powerful.

Finally, there is a counter to all the superfriends decks in the form of Sparkhunter Masticore, which is fully-protected from all planeswalker effects.

Teferi planeswalkers will no longer have a target for bouncing and Ugin will not be able to remove Sparkhunter Masticore.

Saprkhunter Masticore is also a colorless card, which means it can be in any deck.

Fiery Emancipation

Red Obosh decks have been relying on double damage to an excellent effect. But what if you could triple your damage instead?

Fiery Emancipation costs just one more mana than Obosh, but its damage is triple that of Obosh, which makes a mere Shock deal 6 points of damage.

Now imagine how much damage you can deal with a full table of creatures or a full hand of burn spells. Zenith Flare decks have already been quite annoying with all the amounts of damage they can deal, but now they become almost unbeatable.

Garruk, Unleashed

Historically, Garruk planeswalkers have never been too special, but they have always been very practical and functional. Garruk, Unleashed is exactly like that and continues the tradition of Garruk planeswalkers.

As usual, it will go into Gruul decks, and Mutate players will like it as well because of its Minus ability, which produces beasts.

Garruk's ultimate ability puts an extra creature on the table at the end of each turn, which is great for any offensive gameplan.

Conspicuous Snoop

Currently, there are 11 goblins with activated abilities legal in Standard format. This means that it is possible to create a working goblin-tribal deck in Standard using Conspicuous Snoop's amazing third ability.

The two best goblins in Standard right now are Krenko, Tin Street Kingpin and Legion Warboss. Although these two goblins have no activated abilities, they will greatly benefit from Conspicuous Snoop's second card advantage ability.

This card will not break the meta, but it's definitely one of the most interesting cards to look out for.

Related Content: 

In addition to this list of the best Core Set 2021 cards for standard, be sure to check out the links above or our many other MtG guides and lists here

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Serhii Patskan
Serhii is the Writer at GameSkinny. He's been writing for GameSkinny since 2015. Before that, he's been writing for various outlets and playing video games, which eventually turned into a passion. The video games that have contributed the most to his enthusiasm for writing about this industry are Magic: The Gathering, Dark Souls, and The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.