Thursday, May 19, 2016

Borderland Marauder and Standard Legality

For the past couple seasons of our Standard Pauper tournaments, we've been experimenting with allowing cards previously printed at Common but reprinted in Standard at higher difficulties as Standard Pauper legal. You can read some of my previous thoughts about that issue here, but basically it comes down to the fact that the official Wizards' databases indicate those cards are legal for both Standard and Pauper.

Recently, a similar issue has arisen with Borderland Marauder, which was a key card in Adner's Red Eye Vampire deck, which captured the trophy for SPDC 33.03. Although this card was not reprinted in Magic Origins or any of the other major expansions that are Standard legal, it was printed in the Welcome Deck 2016, which is a small demo set Wizards of the Coast distributes to game stores. All of these cards are technically Standard legal, and will remain so until Shadows Over Innistrad rotates out of Standard.

This demo set includes three other Commons that are also Standard legal despite not being in any of the marquee expansions: Marked By Honor, Oakenform, and Walking Corpse.

Regardless of your opinion on whether these should be legal or not, the issue is pretty clear: they are Standard legal Commons, and are listed as such in all official card databases. As such, they are legal for play in our Standard Pauper tournaments.

While this may be confusing, Adner's story is a perfect example of why these need to be legal:

I agree this is a bit confusing for brewers indeed, especially when back from a long period away from the game and format. This was the case I faced when brewing this RDW. I just used the STD filter available on MTGO then chose common rarity, and the Borderland Marauders just showed up ! So I gave them a ride. How decisive were they really? Not very much. Reprints, symbols, different rarities, man I can now understand why I am bald tearing off all hairs when it gets so complicated. 

So now you know.


  1. Looking at Twitter, it seems that other stalwart MTG experts were slightly caught by surprise by the Welcome Deck. After talking with MTGO Online Chat Support, they indicated how the Welcome Deck will remain standard-legal as long as SOI is standard-legal.

    Eternal Masters will NOT be standard-legal. Will PDC tournaments include these cards to the current format, or will rotation issues make it too difficult (i.e.: when will Nimble Mongoose rotate out? Technically, it won't rotate, so...)?

    1. Eternal Masters won't be Standard legal. It does include some cards that were downshifted to Common. If some of those cards were Standard legal, we might end up with new Standard Pauper cards. I'll have to wait for the card database to get updated to make sure, but I don't believe any of the downshifted cards are in Standard right now.