What will happen to Smuggler's Copter now? Will one of the most important Standard cards in recent history find a new place to be played?
The recent Standard bannings have sent waves of controversy through the community. While for many, the banning of Emrakul, the Promised End was quite welcome, the restriction Smuggler's Copter wasn't exactly the same case. With Standard completely out of the picture for the Heavily Played card, what will happen to it now? Are there any formats that might make the (albeit short-lived) king of Standard rise up once again?
Surprisingly, Smuggler's Copter has yet to see almost any play in Modern; however, it's been particularly experimented with in Legacy Dragon Stompy. But format the little vehicle seems to be making the most impact in is Frontier. While Frontier is still a fairly fringe, unestablished format, it's definitely gaining substantial traction and is slowly instituting itself under the weight of Standard and Modern.
Before we dive into the card's usefulness in Frontier, let's look at how it could be played in Legacy:
|Other Spells4 Blood Moon 4 Chalice of the Void 4 Chandra, Torch of Defiance 4 Chrome Mox 3 Fiery ConfluenceLands11 Mountain4 Ancient Tomb4 City of TraitorsCreatures4 Goblin Rabblemaster 4 Magus of the Moon 3 Shaman of the Great Hunt 4 Simian Spirit Guide1 Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker 4 Sin Prodder 2 Thunderbreak RegentSideboard3 Ensnaring Bridge 4 Firebolt 4 Leyline of the Void 4 Sulfur Elemental (0)|
The Dragon Stompy deck has been a longtime contender in Legacy's meta game, seeing multiple evolutions of its list during its lengthy history. When Smuggler's Copter first came out, there was talk of playing it in some lists. The vehicle provides some much needed card advantage to keep up with all of the brainstorm decks that are played. It also adds another powerful evasive attacker to the deck, allowing a pilot to keep their Magus of the Moon or Sin Prodder's while still pushing through damage.
As of yet, the idea of Smuggler's Copter being included in Dragon Stompy hasn't quite caught on, but it definitely has a lot of potential and will probably be further explored in the future.
Smuggler's Copter's new home will most likely be Frontier.
The place Smuggler's Copter is making the most impact is in the Frontier format. Much like Standard, it's played in a multitude of decks as a playset, providing card advantage and evasion to a variety of different strategies. It's most prominently played in Atarka Red and Jeskai Aggro/Tempo. Both of these decks play very similarly to their Khans of Tarkir Standard counterparts, but Smuggler's Copter provides more consistency to their strategies.
Frontier Atarka Red
|Other Spells3 Dragon Fodder4 Atarka's Command3 Hordeling Outburst4 Lightning Strike4 Smuggler's Copter3 Stoke the Flames3 Wild SlashLands2 Forest3 Bloodstained Mire2 Cinder Glade6 Mountain4 Windswept Heath4 Wooded FoothillsCreatures4 Foundry Street Denizen2 Goblin Rabblemaster4 Monastery Swiftspear3 Zurgo Bellstriker1 Reckless BushwhackerSideboard1 Arc Lightning2 Boiling Earth1 Chandra, Pyromaster2 Magmatic Chasm3 Outpost Siege4 Roast2 Smash to Smithereens (0)|
Frontier Jeskai Aggro/Tempo
|Other Spells2 Dispel4 Smuggler's Copter3 Jeskai Charm4 Lightning StrikeLands3 Inspiring Vantage4 Flooded Strand3 Island2 Plains2 Prairie Stream3 Battlefield Forge2 Shivan ReefCreatures4 Mantis Rider4 Selfless Spirit4 Mausoleum Wanderer4 Reflector Mage4 Spell Queller4 Spirebluff Canal4 Thraben InspectorSideboard1 Chandra, Torch of Defiance2 Declaration in Stone2 Disdainful Stroke1 Dispel1 Fragmentize4 Galvanic Bombardment1 Gideon, Ally of Zendikar1 Needle Spires2 Wingmate Roc (0)|
It's seems like the little Copter will definitely be finding a home in the Frontier format, so if you still have a playset sitting around from before the bannings, perhaps consider trying out Frontier. If you're more of an Eternal player, then Legacy Dragon Stompy is probably the best home for Smuggler's Copter; however, running it in the list is not entirely established and still needs to be tested.
What are your thoughts on Smuggler's Copter? Do you know of any other decks or formats it could be played in? Feel free to leave any questions, comments, or concerns in the section below.
And, as always, happy gaming!