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Top 10 Innistrad Cards for Standard (Strategy & Tips) September 22, 2011

Posted by James in : all, strategy, tips, constructed , trackback

There are several cards that I like from Innistrad, but these are my 10 favorite cards that might be worth using in a standard constructed deck:

1. Enemy Dual Lands

sulfur falls

We get dual lands and they will be useful in standard, but it’s unclear how useful they are for Innistrad block. It looks like there’s a lot of allied-color themes and no enemy-colored themes.

2. Snapcaster Mage

snapcaster mage

Snapcaster Mage isn’t quite an instant regrowth on a stick, but it’s close enough. It gives any instant or sorcery flashback at instant speed for only 1U and it’s a 2/1 creature. This is going to see a lot of play.

3. Geist of Saint Traft

geist of saint traft

This creature can attack for 6 damage and it has hexproof. This is a great card, and we need creatures this powerful in green for a change.

4. Manor Gargoyle

manor gargoyle

I might be wrong about Manor Gargoyle being good, but it’s one of the best indestructible creatures we’ve ever had.

5. Liliana of the Veil

liliana of the veil

It’s creature removal that stays in play. I think this is a lot better than people think.

6. Army of the Damned

army of the damned

This is one of the best cards made for black control that I’ve ever seen. If blue black control is any good, then this card might be worth playing. It pretty much just wins the game after you play it.

7. Past in Flames

past in flames

I don’t know that there will be a deck for this card, but it reminds me of Yawgmoth’s will. This card will almost certainly see play in Legacy and Vintage. Not sure about Standard.

8. garruk relentless

garruk restless


I don’t think the new Garruk is necessarily better than the old one, but the old one saw quite a bit of play in some decks.

9. Bramblecrush


Bramblecrush is a strictly better Creeping Mold that can kill Planeswalkers. It’s almost a vindicate, but it can’t kill creatures. I am sure this will see play sooner or later.

10. Brimestone Volley

brimestone volley

It’s not Searing Blaze, but it’s decent. If red sees any play, I expect Brimestone Volley to be played.

Honorable Mention 1: Reckless Waif

reckless waif

reckless waif

Reckless Waif could be a great first turn play against control decks because it’s likely that the opponent won’t play anything yet. The real question is if mono red will be any good and if it will make the cut. Too bad it’s not a goblin because I’d like to have an excuse to play Goblin Grenade.

Honorable Mention 2: Splinterfright


Splinterfright is everything Lhurgoyf always wanted to be. Trample and a way to fuel itself is great. However, green aggro hasn’t been that great, so I don’t know if any deck will bother using it.


1. michael - September 22, 2011

Past in Flames is way too expensive to see play in legacy/vintage. It has a powerful effect, but it doesn’t win the game when you play it. If the cost was 2R and flashback was 5R then it would be worth considering…might actually be broken then.

I would put the invitational card at number 1 instead of number 2.

2. James - September 22, 2011

If Past in Flames cost 2R, then it would almost be like another Yawgmoth’s Will — Perhaps the most powerful card in the game.

3. Nick - September 23, 2011

*agrees with michael*

4. bleh - October 16, 2011

Awful list. Unburial Rites and Forbidden Alchemy are cards that won’t just be Standard staples over the next two years but they will see Modern/Extended/Legacy play too.

5. James - October 16, 2011

Those are good cards, but I don’t see how it proves that my list is “awful.” These are the cards I like. I don’t claim that these are the cards that will be used the most.

6. Johan - January 25, 2012

I have to agree with Bleh in the matter that I also feel you overlooked a few very good cards, Forbidden Alchemy is a very good example. That does not make your list awful, ofcourse. The problem with lists like this is that people often mistake “good” cards with “powerfull effects”-cards, but that are sometimes impossible to play because a) the current enviorement (speed, few support cards,…) or b) the card’s casting cost is problematic. I particulary feel this way about entry’s 6 & 7. The Army sounds very promising, but an 8-mana casting cost is not exactly cheap. Plus, your army can be wiped out by a 2-mana spell. Past in Flames is just too costly to be used in a deck that relies heavely on burn spells, and in any other deck the card is just dead weight.

7. James - January 25, 2012

Right, this list is more about cards I like in isolation. Forbidden Alchemy is very good in certain decks. I did not write this list to describe what cards are actually best in Standard. When I wrote it Innistrad probably wasn’t even legal yet.

Past in Flames is used to other formats, but there’s not a deck for it yet. I think it is very likely that there will be a deck for it in Standard at some point, but who knows?

8. ldskj - March 18, 2012

Who would have thought Delver would be the one to see the most tourney out of Innistrad.

9. James - March 19, 2012


For some reason I overlooked Delver until one flipped immediately against me in the pre-release and I died very quickly. Delver is so good it’s used in Legacy. It’s one of the best aggressive creatures ever made.