MtG: 11 Best Core Set 2020 Cards for Standard

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Core Set 2020, a brand new Magic: The Gathering set, not only marks the full return of core sets but also introduces a new mulligan rule, simply known as the London Mulligan.

It allows players to draw a new hand each time they take a mulligan, thus increasing the chances of finding the right cards. Then, when the mulligan is over, players can choose the number of cards in their hand equal to the times they mulliganed, and then they can put those cards on the bottom of their library.

This decision has been met with a healthy dose of criticism, but experience shows that the new rule works really well for certain types of decks, and that's why it's here to stay.

It will surely provide a more flexible gameplan for new decks that will emerge out of Core Set 2020. Here's our list of the most promising new cards for Standard format.

Bag of Holding

Protecting yourself from discard mechanics can be beneficial in any Standard game, especially early in a match-up. Bag of Holding basically saves your cards from effects like Duress and Thought Erasure.

This artifact is like an insurance policy, which can give you a massive advantage in the late game. Simply sacrifice it and get back all the discarded cards that have been sitting in your exile zone.

There is also very strong synergy with Awaken the Erstwhile, which allows you to create a ton of zombie tokens. The same goes for Cycling mechanics and Bag of Holding's looting ability, which costs only two mana to activate.

Scheming Symmetry

A spell with a Tutor effect is always welcome in any format, and it doesn't really matter if your opponent also gets to choose a card from their library. If you find your winning combo, then you can finish the game right away, or you can just mill your opponent and let them lose their pick.

This can be easily achieved using Ashiok, Dream Render. As a result, your opponent will have to discard their most valuable card, which makes Scheming Symmetry particularly strong.

It also synergizes with Experimental Frenzy, which allows you to play the top card of your library right away, and thus execute your combo instantly.


Season of Growth

Naya Feather archetype has been doing well the last couple of months, and now it gets a very effective card draw engine in the form of Season of Growth. This will only solidify its position in the meta. However, other lists like Simic or Golgari can also make this card an integral part of their gameplan.

It also looks very similar to Lifecrafter's Bestiary, which was a staple card during the Kaladesh season. If Season of Growth performs just as well as that one did, then be sure to see it many decks that run green mana.

Rotting Regisaur

Another card that comes to mind when one looks at Rotting Regisaur is Thud, a spell that allows you to sacrifice a creature and deal damage equal to its power to another player.

This simple combo can finish games quickly. However, there are more applications for this immense dinosaur, such as Rakdos Aggro and Jund Midrange.

It also works with Zombie tribal decks, which is probably where this card will see the most play. It can be easily returned from the graveyard with the help of Eternal Taskmaster and Storrev, Devkarin Lich, and then played again the same turn since it's incredibly cheap.


Rule of Law

If you've been looking for a way to stop aggro decks from ruining your day, then Rule of Law is the card you need the most.

Arclight decks will have a lot of trouble bringing Phoenix creatures back from the graveyard, and mono-red players will have no power to win sporadically any more. So this looks like a great time to relax and let the games roll in a slow fashion.

But most importantly, it locks out Nexus of Fate decks that can get quickly out of hand if you don't control them. This means that Core Set 2020 has just re-introduced one of the best hate cards in the format.

Sorin, Imperious Bloodlord

The fact that you can instantly use Sorin's ultimate ability makes him one of the most valuable new planeswalkers in Core Set 2020.

Just imagine that on Turn 3 you can play such overpowered vampires like Champion of Dusk and The Haunt of Hightower. Both of those cards can be game-winning when played so early in the matchup.

It's also nice that players can easily repeat this action by using the first two abilities that both uptick the loyalty counters.

With such low cost and huge possibilities, Sorin can easily become the best black planeswalker in the current meta.


Winged Words

Mono-blue tempo and blue-red players will definitely take notice of Winged Words. It is currently the cheapest card draw spell if you control at least one creature with flying. As a result, it'll cost you only two mana, which is hard to beat.

The card being used now the most is Chart the Course, but it requires you to attack first if you don't want to discard a card. While Winged Words doesn't have that clause, which is why it will surely replace Chart as the main cantrip for blue tempo decks.

Leyline of Sanctity

It's really nice to see such a strong card get a reprint in Standard format.

Leyline of Sanctity has been the go-to card against Burn decks in Modern for many years. Now it looks like Wizards of the Coast decided to give the same protection to Satndard players against all the mono-red aggro decks.

Taking into account the new London Mulligan rule, players can aggressively mulligan for Leyline of Sanctity and play it on turn one without paying its mana cost.

It has always been a sideboard card, but against red aggro decks and blue-black discard lists, this enchantment will easily become the most valuable sideboard card in Standard.


Vivien, Arkbow Ranger

Vivien planeswalkers have proven to be very good in many iterations of Green Stompy decks, and this new card from Core Set 2020 has exactly that type of flavor people are looking for in the Vivien planeswalker.

Her first two abilities will be used the most, but the minus five action can save some games by bringing cards from your sideboard and playing them in unexpected situations.

The mana base clearly hints that it was made specifically for mono-green decks, but Golgari lists could definitely make it work, too.

Yarok, the Desecrated

Sultai Midrange archetype relies heavily on triggered abilities, such as Explore. Yarok can double the number of those triggers, which basically plays out like Panharmonicon.

Just imagine your Jadelight Ranger being triggered four times instead of its usual two. If the Explore mechanic reveals a non-land card, you get a 6/5 creature for three mana. Not bad!

But that is just one example of many, where the extra trigger ability can be used to a great effect. For example, the recent Amass mechanic would benefit greatly from Yarok's mechanic, too.

Sephara, Sky's Blade

It seems that Wizards of the Coast always find a way to make Shalai, Voice of Plenty broken in Standard. With Sephara, they would make an indestructible team that could be almost impossible to deal with.

The alternative mana cost also allows Sephara to come into play as early as turn three. All you need is cheap fliers in the first two turns, and then you can tap them to put Sephara on board in similar fashion to Convoke mechanic.

Also, Rally of Wings would be a great addition to such a deck, as well as Divine Visitation.

So it looks like white weenie fliers are making a breakthrough in this Standard meta!


Aside from this list of the best Core Set 2020 cards for standard, be sure to check out our other MtG guides here

Published Jul. 1st 2019


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.


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