This Card Will Be Everywhere In Guilds Of Ravnica Standard

The GAM Podcast’s Bryan Gottlieb is addicted to the new Standard format! The biggest thing he’s noticing is too little praise for this breakout card! Get ready before this innocuous card is everywhere!

This was one of the hardest articles I’ve ever had to write.

No, there’s no teary goodbye or heart-wrenching realizations forthcoming.
It’s just that Magic is so insanely good right now that I didn’t want to
stop playing. If you’ve heard me talk about my process in the past, you
know I tend to focus more on theory and study than actual gameplay, often
to my own detriment. The fact that it was hard for me to close Magic Online
and get to writing this piece means there’s something really special going

If I were assigning Guilds of Ravnica Draft a score out of ten,
I’d currently fall at a seven, with a margin of error of a full point on
either side. I’m still trying to figure out Golgari decks (my current
theory is that Porticullis Vine is an incredibly important card), but the
other four guilds are incredibly deep and I’ve seen a five-color deck or
two come together. Games are mostly interesting affairs, with the expected
super-aggressive Boros and Izzet exceptions.

The fact that it was hard for me to close
Magic Online and get to writing this piece means there’s something really
special going on.

After a little hard work and advice seeking, even Guilds of Ravnica Sealed has proven to be tolerable. I know that’s
not the highest praise, but Sealed has been a format I’ve abhorred over the
last few years, and this format does seem like an improvement.

And then we get to Guilds of Ravnica Standard. This format has
been some of the most fun I’ve had playing Magic in recent memory. Threats
are powerful enough to be interesting, and not so powerful as to completely
end the game if you get to untap with them. This sweet spot has led to some
memorable back and forth games of Magic that have me remembering why I fell
in love with Standard in the first place.

For the first time in a while, control, midrange, and aggro all seem
equally viable. Monday’s Magic Online Standard 5-0 decklists contained 51
different entries. This is incredible diversity, and it seems like so many
individual cards are just beginning to get the attention they deserve.

Which brings us to the topic of today’s article. Find is seeing play. By
most standards, you’d even say Find was seeing widespread play. For
instance, the Top 32 of Saturday’s Magic Online PTQ contained 28 copies of
the card. “Not bad for week one of a new format!” you might say.

In most cases, I’d agree. But Find // Finality is different. This card is
destined to be a pillar of Guilds of Ravnica Standard. Thus far
we’ve seen Find returning the value generation creatures of Golgari
Midrange decks and acting as an occasional catchup mechanism (as well as an
important out to Vine Mare). This is a tremendous use for the card, and it
is perhaps the most obvious home. Midrange is historically thought of as a
deck that makes its money by altering its position along the aggro/control
spectrum depending on matchup and maybe even gamestate. It makes sense that
people would attempt to slot a card with seemingly dichotomous functions
into the deck that embraces conflict right in its name.

But the moniker of midrange is less meaningful today then it has ever been
and not because these decks are no longer asked to play multiple roles. The
fact is every Magic deck now skitters across the aggro/control spectrum. If
you played either Mono-Red Aggro or Rakdos Aggro in the previous Standard
format, you likely know exactly what I am talking about. Both decks
benefited from timely shifts to the control role.

A huge impetus for this evolution has been the overall increase in the
power level of creatures over time. Years ago, the best creatures were
often balls of stats. Something like Jackal Pup or Kavu Titan seems truly
quaint these days, but these used to be some of the best aggro threats
available. These cards basically did one thing-attack or block. These days,
even the best aggressive creatures are often possessing some clause
allowing them to facilitate a change in roles.

Returning to previous examples, both Glorybringer and Rekindling Phoenix
are perfect illustrations of this paradigm shift. Both cards are adept at
reducing your opponent’s life total very quickly. They’re also great in
situations where you’re falling behind, brick walling your opponent’s best
attacks or functioning as a clutch removal spell.

When you begin to realize every deck is shifting more towards midrange as a
function of new creature design, you can see that the door is open for Find
to become a vital part of more aggressive strategies. Find is one of the
best card draw spells available to a creature-heavy deck once you move into
the lategame. Against a deck that plans to attrition you out? Time to
refill your hand!

Similarly, an opponent that has stabilized behind their creatures is now
vulnerable to having all their hard work undone. Losing traction on a
battlefield as your opponent seeks to go wide? Wipe your opponents
battlefield and retain your best creature!

There’s no metric in Magic analytics like WAR

Wins Above Replacement

) that says how much a given card is contributing to win rate, so I can’t
prove the value of Find // Finality empirically. But just play with the

The most common reaction I have gotten to the more aggressive decks I’ve
built around Find // Finality is “Doesn’t Finality kill all of your
creatures?” I’m always shocked to hear this scenario presented. Are we
devoid of agency in this situation? If Finality isn’t benefiting our
gameplan, we obviously aren’t casting it. You won’t always be ahead with
your aggro deck. Sometimes our plan is simply not going to come together.
Here, you will benefit from the strategic flexibility of Find.

I understand that there’s a cost to including Find in our deck, and there’s
always an argument to be made that if it had just been another threat, we
wouldn’t have fallen behind and needed Find//Finality to bail us out.
There’s no metric in Magic analytics like WAR (

Wins Above Replacement

) that says how much a given card is contributing to win rate, so I can’t
prove the value of Find // Finality empirically. But just play with the
card. I think you’ll quickly come to understand why I expect an expansion
of Find // Finality’s metagame share.

Onto some theoretical aggressive decks built around it.


Pirates have always suffered from a tenuous grip on the early game. Their
tools aren’t good enough to play a pure fish style and deny their opponents
participation in the game. This means crowded battlefield and a need for
careful chump blocking and resource management much like a Lorywn
-era Faeries deck. With the addition of Find // Finality, Pirates’ resource
management game has gotten a huge boon. You can find ways to either benefit
from early trades or play yourself into a position where you’re comfortable
building towards a reset with Finality. As the only deck with access to a
respectable vehicle, you’re even more capable of building a battlefield
presence that demands commitment from your opponents without leaving
yourself devastated by your own Finality.

I love the idea of getting multiple uses from a Hostage Taker, and the fact
that it’s an appropriate target for the +1/+1 counters of Finality does a
lot to improve the card’s stock in our deck. The sideboard will have to
pack a bevy of answers for both Mono-Red and go-wide decks, and some
additional outs to Lyra wouldn’t hurt. I think the main point of appeal
here is access to an aerial-based attack. If the ground is a little too
crowded for your tastes, take to the skies with Pirates.


What if our creatures were just so large that they didn’t care about
Finality? This Dinosaurs deck does one thing well, and that’s put big
dummies onto the battlefield. A lot of times this is just going to be good
enough. Sometimes our opponent will spoil our fun with Ravenous
Chupacabras, and this is when we get to rely on Find for some card
advantage in a deck that has no business having access to such a thing.

I’m skeptical of Runic Armasaur for sure, but I’m pretty convinced a
Wayward Swordtooth in this deck would just never do anything. You’re
welcome to try and prove me wrong. A six-mana Plague Wind in a deck with
twelve sources of ramp and 40 virtual mana-sources – 44 if you want to
count Find – is going to be fairly trivial to cast. There are several decks
that are just going to fold to this approach, as they devote their
resources to getting wider than your Dinosaurs can handle.

Let’s give Dinosaurs at least one moment in the sun before a change in
format renders them extinct.

Ni? Knights are a tribe that have received very little love thus far,
despite having a powerful lord and some truly fine role-players. We’ve
taking a more aggressive approach to mana here, attempting to play Benalish
Marshal while ostensibly splashing Find. I think it works, and
being completely devoid of good sense, I went one step further by trying to
get some Conclave Cavaliers in the mix as well. Of course, this would be
utterly impossible without Unclaimed Territory, but this is a card
screaming for a good home. Why not Knights?

Once we’ve gone down the rabbit hole of Unclaimed Territory, we may as well
pick up a few more splashes. Midnight Reaper is yet another source of card
advantage in a deck that should presumably have none, and Vona, Butcher of
Magan has proved its worth to me over the past week in the sideboard of
Esper Control. Once Vona gets pumped by all the lords present here, its
going to take over games very quickly. Knight of Malice is where I
ultimately drew the line, choosing instead to go with the rarely seen
Calvary Drillmaster. Maybe this is playing things too safe and introducing
a pronounced vulnerability to Goblin Chainwhirler. Time will tell, but this
deck seems like I could have some legs if the mana proves to be tenable.

While theory is all well and good, I know you’re looking for something
tournament-ready to take into battle this coming weekend. Here’s my current
weapon of choice.

Adding the flexible Find to the Selesnya Tokens base we’ve seen floating
around is what this deck needed to propel itself to format dominance.
Current builds of Selesnya are a bit too synergy-based for my liking. My
build increases the individual card quality, letting the deck employ a
diverse range of strategies while staying flexible in a metagame that’s
still congealing. You’ll still have access to incredible curve out draws
featuring Emmara, History of Benalia and Venerated Loxodon, but you get to
avoid some of the clunkier hands that are all enablers and no payoffs (or

Since this is the first time I’ve offered a sideboard guide, I will now
issue a disclaimer that you’ve probably seen many times before. I hate
sideboard guides. They fail to account for variations in opposing builds,
play styles, shifting metagames, and so many other things. I urge you to
use this guide only as a baseline. If you’re uncomfortable with a sideboard
plan, change it! Just be sure you can point to a clear strategic principle
that you are seeking to employ in your sideboard games. The key to
effective sideboarding is making sure your sideboard plans are not just
adding and removing cards, but that they’re transitioning you to the
optimal deck for your expected matchup.

Rant over. Here are some proposed plans.

VS Mono-Red Aggro



VS Control



VS Golgari Midrange



VS Selesnya Tokens



Until I see decks taking concrete steps towards limiting access to
graveyards, I’m planning to push Find // Finality as hard as possible. This
card will eventually warp sideboards and be impacted by countermeasures
such as Silent Gravestone and Remorseful Cleric. In the interim, just take
the free wins Find // Finality is going to provide you.