Delving with Devin: Is Frontier Dead?

Welcome back to this weeks episode of Delving with Devin! Today we’re going to delve off the deep end into frontier! What’s Frontier? Its a casual eternal format where all cards printed from M15 forward are legal! That’s right, as of writing this article, there are no banned cards!

But don’t worry, the card pool is still relatively small so nothing too degenerate is possible. It’s basically an over powered standard format as of right now. That being said, today we will be looking at the cards that are legal in frontier, that have been banned in other formats. These in my opinion are some of the pillars of the format, or cards you should be building around and including in your deck.

Treasure cruise is a card that is restricted in vintage (along with cards such as Black Lotus, and Ancestral Recall) and is banned in both Legacy and Modern for good reason. This is the perfect example of a card that only grows with power the larger the format is. The larger the format, the more cheap and free spells you have access to in order to fuel the delve ability (delve was fine, not broken at all). In frontier there are no phyrexian mana spells to fuel delve, however there are fetch lands! Treasure cruise lends itself to decks that want bulk cards and are not too picky about what those cards are. The perfect example of such a deck is burn, or hyper aggressive decks. Even though Treasure cruise isn’t as powerful in Frontier as it is in the older, larger formats, it’s still a pillar of the format.

It’s treasure cruise‘s little brother! This card is also restricted in vintage, and banned in legacy and modern! This card functions similarly to Treasure cruise, however its more for decks that are looking for specific cards, such as combo decks or control decks, that need either certain pieces or certain answers. With Frontiers card pool being relatively small, it’s best used at the moment in control decks. Jeskai Black is the best example of how to best use dig through time in frontier! When using this card, you really want to use cheap cards, such as fatal push and duress in your deck, to both fuel delve, but also to allow you to efficiently unload your hand after you’ve cast the dig through time. Also, keep in mind that Torrential Gearhulk and dig through time is an absurd combo-nation in such a low powered format! Here is an example of a jeskai black list utilizing dig through time:

This is definitely the tarmogoyf of frontier. It is basically the gold standard for any aggressive deck. If you’re interested in playing frontier I would definitely suggest picking up a play-set of this bad boy. It is colourless, powerful, offers card selection, and it can fuel the delve spells mentioned above, what could be better? This card is banned in standard because the format is so small, and it basically forces every aggressive deck to run 4 of the looter scooter, which hurts the diversity of the format. Luckily for us, it is legal in frontier, so we can play it to our hearts content. Here is a grixis ensoul list that recently won an event taking full advantage of the copter. Arny said it best, “Run, go, get to da choppa!”

 

Emrakuls end in standard came quick, however as with the other cards in this article, it’s legal in frontier! Emrakul again takes advantage of your graveyard similar to the delve spells, so having a larger card pool can help with casting her quicker. However the larger the card pool, means the more answers there are for her. One very efficient answer available in frontier is crackling doom, as crackling doom specifies that it has to be an opponent who sacrifices a creature. This means that when you gain control of the opponents turn, you can’t really cast the crackling doom profitably. Here is a list that abuses emrakul that you can take to your next event!

 

The final card on our list of pillars that are banned elsewhere, is of course reflector mage! Who would of thought that man-o-war would be too strong for standard in this day and age? Well it’s not too strong for frontier! And in frontier, unlike standard, we can abuse this card with collected company. As more and more powerful creatures get printed, collected company will get stronger and stronger, and as a result reflector mage decks will get stronger and stronger. Frontier is also a format that is very much play to the board, which drives reflector mage’s value up even more so. Here is a list that will make your opponent wish they were playing all singletons!

In conclusion: as you can see, Frontier is loaded with sweet cards and powerful decks. The games are very interactive, and you have lots of options and there is bound to be a deck that suits your play style. I personally am anxiously awaiting the day that wizards releases frontier on MTGO so I can play it at 3 in the morning! What lists do you have that take advantage of these pillars? Post below!

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