Earlier today, we asked the fans at home what questions they wanted the pros to answer in this weekend's Quick Questions.
Our first submission is a slightly modified take on this one:
Thanks for contributing!
In the current wedge-oriented Standard, which of the shards do you think is the most viable, or will be with the introduction of Dragons of Tarkir?
No. 22 Alexander Hayne was short and to the point: “Naya is the only option that is playable right now.” The white-red-green triad has access to very proactive cards and accelerants, as well as a strong high-end in spells like Dictate of Heliod and Elspeth, Sun's Champion, he said. More options could open up with the release of Dragons, however, as Ojutai's Command and the new Planeswalker Narset Transcendant could pair well with existing black control cards, he said.
“Esper!” exclaimed Grand Prix Manila Quarterfinalist Christian Calcano. He expects that Narset Transcendant, along with the new Ojutai's Command and Silumgar's Command, could make a control deck based in white, blue and black a viable option. While some have criticized Narset for not coming with built-in defense, “I don't like the notion that just because it doesn't protect itself it's no good,” he said. “If you're a control deck, and they're attacking your Planeswalker that's all good for you.”
No. 9 Jacob Wilson, fresh off a Top 8 finish at Pro Tour Fate Reforged, thought Naya and Jund showed the most potential. He pointed out that those two shards have access to all the strong red and green creatures that are in Standard already—cards such as Courser of Kruphix and Goblin Rabblemaster—and both might be able to make effective use of the new seven-mana Dragonlord Atarka, with its ability to sizzle away an opposing board when it enters the battlefield.
Willy Edel (16) thought Esper could be viable with the introduction of Dragons of Tarkir, though he added that a strictly White-Blue Control deck might also have potential. He said that between Narset Transcendant, Dragonlord Ojutai and Ojutai's Command, White-Blue controlling shells looked to be picking up a lot of strong options with the introduction of the new set. From there, it's possible players would look to splash black for mainstay control spells such as Thoughtseize and creature removal, he said.
For Grand Prix Atlanta champion Jon Stern, the answer was Naya. “Elvish Mystic is just a really strong card in this format, but green can't always take advantage of it,” he said. The Naya colors are able to take advantage of the accelerated mana development Elvish Mystic provides by putting aggressive creatures such as Goblin Rabblemaster on the board ahead of schedule, he said.