Dungeons & Dragons: Adventures in the Forgotten Realms isn’t a very powerful set.
Wizards of the Coast is making an effort to lower the power level of Standard after Throne of Eldraine, Theros: Beyond Death, and Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths dominated the format. The power of “2020 Magic” meant many of the newer sets couldn’t impact Standard. Forgotten Realms is in line with Strixhaven: School of Mages and Zendikar Rising as sets that won’t be showcased in Standard until fall rotation.
Evaluating Forgotten Realms is a prediction game. There are a handful of cards in the set that will make an immediate impact, but the post-rotation outlook is the most important. Forgotten Realms will be a key part of Standard going forward, while Eldraine will be gone in two months.
Here are the best five cards in Forgotten Realms for Standard.
Lair of the Hydra
The cycle of “lair” lands in Forgotten Realms are going to be staples in Standard until the set rotates. Similar to Faceless Haven and Crawling Barrens, Lands that become Creatures are excellent finishers in every archetype. Aggro decks use these cards to get extra damage in. Control decks take advantage of these cards as hard-to-remove finishers.
Lair of the Hydra is one of the best Land cards from this cycle. The X casting cost leaves room for you to make the best decision for the situation. Lair of the Hydra can be a substantial threat attacking for five or more damage. It also can attack for a lower number to widen the battlefield and force tough blocks.
Werewolf Pack Leader
Werewolf Pack Leader is already putting up results in Standard and Standard 2022 tournaments. The card is a new addition to Mono-Green Aggro. This two-drop creature is a 3/3 force on the battlefield. There’s a serious threat of activation with this card in the mid-game because it can become a 5/5 with Trample.
Not only is Werewolf Pack Leader a powerful card today, but should be a staple going forward. This card is an early piece for a future Werewolf deck that will receive further support in September’s Innistrad: Midnight Hunt.
Izzet Dragons is the deck to beat when fall rotation happens. The list is already a dominant option in the Standard 2022 queue, sharing a spot at the top with Mono-Green Aggro. The best version of Izzet Dragons isn’t set in stone. Outside of Goldspan Dragon, many of the Creatures are flex picks.
One constant through each decklist is a full playset of Dragon’s Fire. This two-mana Instant is the closest thing to straight-up removal. Since Dragons usually have a high power stat, Dragon’s Fire is more often than not dealing four to six damage. This is enough damage to kill any threat your opponent presents.
Every Class is useful in the right deck. Ranger Class is an excellent addition to Green Creature-based strategies. The two-mana Enchantment enters the battlefield with a 2/2 body. Level two is where this card starts to make an impact. Putting a +1/+1 counter on an attacking Creature forces blocks and changes the regular flow of combat. When a two-mana Creature can get bigger than other early-game Creatures, combat leans in your favor.
Orcus, Prince of Undeath
Rakdos Midrange is a fringe strategy that’s been found in every Standard format since the release of Throne of Eldraine. It’s an effective archetype that slowly grinds out games with sacrifice synergies. Orcus, Prince of Undeath is an excellent top-end midrange card that might push the strategy into competitive viability.
When looking at the top decks in Standard 2022, Izzet Dragons and Mono-Green Aggro, Orcus is able to wipe the board, including Indestructible Creatures. The second ability gets key Creatures back from your graveyard, further fueling the sacrifice gameplan.
Rakdos Midrange will take a while to get going. Just like Control decks, Rakdos Midrange will need to know what problems the best strategies are presenting so the removal suite can be built accordingly.