Posted in GRAND PRIX SANTIAGO 2014 - COVERAGE - EVENTS on November 2, 2014

By Josh Bennett

As the Standard format has evolved from the Pro Tour through Grand Prix Los Angeles and Grand Prix Stockholm, it's time once again to take stock of which twelve cards from Khans of Tarkir are having the biggest impact.

#12 - Disdainful Stroke

As the top decks move to the middle of the spectrum, being able to hold an advantage in the long game becomes increasingly important. Not all endgame threats are created equal, and often you only need to stop your opponent's few trumps once you're far enough ahead. Conveniently, this card hits a lot of cards that appear later in the list.

#11 - Sidisi, Brood Tyrant

The fortunes of the Sultai clan have fallen somewhat, but maybe that's just what they want you to think. They sneak four players into Day 2 and then before you know it Willy Edel is at the top of the standings thanks to the power of their leader.

#10 - Seeker of the Way

With so many two-drops to choose from, it might surprise you in the abstract that this card rates so highly, but it fits into a number of decks and dominates racing situations.

#9 - Monastery Swiftspear

With all these decks trying to take advantage of powerful multi-colored spells, someone has to keep them honest. Enter Boss Red, a deck ready to punish anyone foolish enough to ignore the early game.

#8 - Sarkhan, the Dragonspeaker

Usually appearing as part of a tag-team with Stormbreath Dragon (and you have to think that makes him happy), Sarkhan can answer creatures on the board while still being a deadly threat if left unchecked.

#7 - See the Unwritten

The littlest Tooth and Nail is conditional, unpredictable, and still very, very powerful. Now that it has found a home in the Black-Green Devotion deck, it is starting to live up to the initial hype.

#6 - End Hostilities

You get yourself a bunch of midrange decks with white in them, you're going to wind up with a lot of wraths in sideboards.

#5 - The Charms

Versatility is the name of the game. All five Charms made an appearance in Day 2. In particular, those from Abzan and Sultai give their decks a removal spell that can be swapped out for card draw when needed. Perfect solutions for a deck that wants a flexible role.

#4 - The Fetchlands

Look, your car isn't cool if you can't get it out of the driveway. These let the many three-color decks hit all their colors without costing them any time, which can be crucial. They also partners well with Courser of Kruphix, who seems to be everywhere these days.

#3 - Butcher of the Horde

What an enormous beating this card is. Draws featuring him and Goblin Rabblemaster feel like the most unfair possible. Ends games fast and has abilities that are relevant whether you're ahead or behind. If you have NOTHING else, he's still a 5/4 flier for four mana.

#2 - Wingmate Roc

It's a two-for-one that keys off of your doing something you were going to do anyways. You can't even leave yourself defenseless by playing it. You get two blockers! Being a three-power flying creature doesn't hurt in a format where more people are adding Elspeth, Sun's Champion to their decks. It also contains the strangest bit of incidental lifegain in a while, so it can even help you against being burnt out.

#1 - Siege Rhino

The proverbial rhino in the room. Even if neither deck in a given matchup is playing this card, both have been shaped by its mere presence in the metagame. In a format with good mana and other incentives to play three colors, you don't even have to make sacrifices use it. Powerful, good on offence and defence, and probably the most common conclusion to the bad beat sentence "I was going to win and then he topdecked the second X."