Standard Changes: What it Means Going Forward, and What the Format Will Be like in August

Discover the upcoming Standard changes in Magic: the Gathering, their impacts, and what to expect in August. Get insights on strategies and key cards.

Pro Tour MH3 has ended, and we have plenty of things to say about the eternal formats as they await possible bans. Standard has kind of become somewhat of an afterthought for competitive play, but everyone will have to be mindful of the new changes to the format, and the players who frequently play Standard are ready for the format to feel fresh again. We can't really say that the format itself has gotten stale - many would tell you that Standard is in a good place right now. The main thing is that it's simply time for some cards to rotate out, as people are starting to get sick of them. It feels as if a lot of us have forgotten what it's like to play in the format when there are only five sets available to choose from. Three years after the release of Kamigawa, New Capenna, and Innistrad Block, we are ready to take a look at the new Standard.

Foundational Changes to the Format

We already know that we are going to have a three year period, as announced last year. Somewhat of a bomb that was dropped at Pro Tour MH3, however, was that we are going to get a Foundations Set for Standard. So just WHAT is Foundations? My best advice is to think of it as a core set, but at the same time, it still does its own thing. It appears to be what will take the place of the core set, as they are no longer printed. Ok, so now you are probably wondering "Hm, I wonder what cool new cards they will print for Foundations that act as good core cards for the format." Well, that's the funny thing. Based on the information we have so far, it appears that Foundations will actually feature reprints of old cards that have not been legal in Standard for a few years. What is even more noteworthy about this phenomenon that the cards in Foundations will be legal for years in Standard. We will receive more information on this as we approach the release date of Foundations on November 15, 2024. Let's take a look at a few that we know of so far:

Magic the Gathering Card - Llanowar Elves - MTG Circle

This is a card that a lot of people have been asking for. Llanowar Elves is one of the original mana dorks that simply help us ramp into playing big dumb creatures way sooner than they should be played. They are a staple of Mono Green in Pioneer, and it is entirely possible that they could be one of the key cards that help make Mono Green relevant again in Standard - something it hasn't been for close to two years now. 

Magic the Gathering Card - Day of Judgment - MTG Circle

So we know that we are losing a board wipes with rotation at the end of the month. It's interesting that they would print more (yes, I am using the word interesting as a euphemism here, I'm clearly unhappy with this). Day of Judgment is one of the original board wipes that many pseudo-reprints of the card often replicate. What I can only hope by this card being legal in Standard for as long as it will be is that we will hopefully see fewer board wipes printed in each set. 

Magic the Gathering Card - Omniscience - MTG Circle

This one is another head-scratcher. Many people are hoping that it is just a trap card that isn't too relevant, or maybe just a fun collectible card. It probably didn't need to be reprinted. We can think of plenty of other staples within blue that we would rather see. Before we get too ahead of ourselves though, we have only seen five cards from Foundations spoiled so far. It is highly likely that we get plenty of cards from every color that are format-impacting and overall useful.

Important Dates Coming Up In Standard

Bloomburrow will be released on August 2nd. Note that on Arena, we will see the new cards on July 30th. There will also be pre-releases starting July 26th. Standard Rotation will also happen at this time, so we will get the freshness that our format is craving. There aren't a ton of Bloomburrow Spoilers yet, so I held off on showing any of those cards until I have a bunch of goodies to show.

We also recently learned that Duskmourne will release on September 27th. It is possible that the Arena release is a few days before this, but that has not been confirmed or denied by WOTC, as it is a little farther away. Something that is noteworthy, however, is that these cards are being released before the Regional Championship in DC where Pioneer will be the format for the event. We will have to see the short time period from 9/27-10/4 shows us a big swing in the meta given the new cards that we will have access to. 

Ok, I know this is the dates section, but there is a card from Duskmourne that I cannot wait to show you. It is a bomb. Indulge my terrible attention span really quick and check out this card:

Magic the Gathering Card - Enduring Tenacity - MTG Circle

This is my absolute favorite way to play magic. The gain and drain effect is the chef's kiss to me. We haven't seen a card like this in Standard since Vito, and before that it was Sanguine Bond. This card effectively bridges the gap between both of them, as one was an enchantment one was a creature, and they respectively cost three and five mana. This is an enchantment creature that costs four mana, starts as a creature, then comes back as an enchantment. It is one of the most exciting cards I've seen printed in some time.

As mentioned above, we will have our new Foundations set on November 15th. This one is noteworthy, because it will give us some time to mess around with the two previous sets while they are still new and there are no foundational cards to make the meta different. 

It's both an exciting time and somewhat of an anxious time for Standard right now. We know changes are coming, and things are exciting, but it is another BIG change to the format. We are also anticipating some very unique cards to be printed. The perpetual spoiler season is upon us, and we are here for it - even if we do all have a little extra anxiety. 

I am a Magic The Gathering competitive player, and streamer. I specialize in homebrew decks. My favorite formats are: Standard, Pioneer (Explorer on Arena), and EDH. I first started playing MTG in 2001, and have played on and off since then.