So, if standard would be introduced tomorrow what would be the dominant cards/clans?
What cards will need to be banned, if any?
What holes will need to be patched in each clan, for optimal ELO use, without copying old cards and without changing the overall character of the clan?
A preliminary list of cards can be found in a post from the "Standard" subject, some cards may be changed depending on the date on which Standard will be introduced and if it will cover the last 2 years or more.
I don't think Berzerk and Vortex will dominate.
I think all of you are assuming that if no cards were banned they would rule. UR would be stupid to not at least ban Dregn, spyke and Elvis to balance the game mode slightly. Granted they have the most cards in standard but they are by no means unbeatable. They have weaknesses like all clans. Clans like allstars, sentinels and ulu watu have a good handful of forces to deal with the berzerk or vortex.
Leaders will also be pivotal in the changes in meta-game (eyrik/allstars? Hugtana?).
Roots are horrendously weak in fairness so they will need a tonne of cards to balance them out.
Standard BETA test
a small sample that will see what meta-game will be. Hopefully this will yield good results for us to have an idea what standard will be like.
Looking at the cards, my favorite clans ( apart from berserk and vortex which have a head start and may "enjoy" some bans ) are
Fang pi clang : zhu tang, kusuri, ralph, heitachi
Junkz : qubik, flanagan, eebiza, jiro, haze
Nightmare : Mawpin, edwin, artus, karrion
Pussycats: Ivana, cherry, diana, jayzel
the other have nice tools too, but I think that these clans have half decks that could be ELO worthy even now
How do you feel about the latest release in conjuction with the arrival of standard?
Varoslav looks like a decent 3 star that will try to replace the current 3 stars, although he will not be comparable to olga
Sigurd is a nice 5 star but I feel that dallas is comparable and he will be available too in standard
Kalder seems like a playable 2 star, in the context of standard, we also have puff but he's only playable in monoclan, which will be more rare in standard... of course it all depends if bonnie ld will get banned or not
Ranesh is a good 4 star, my personal oppinion is that he is preparing the ban of spyke, but that remains to be seen, depending on the number of cards the staff wishes to ban in the begining of standard
If Standard ever sees light of day, Vortex would be all anyone ever plays. This is one of the reasons I oppose Standard so strongly: it will wreck game balance in ways that aren't completely obvious to everyone yet.
Vortex is a clan with solid power and low damage, supplemented by incredibly powerful abilities.
They also have one of the best bonuses in the game -- the benefit from recovering even 2 pills is equivalent to an attack bonus that is better than any currently in the game, for most cards (since 2 pills x 7 power = 14 extra attack.)
I maintain that they're a very powerful clan as is (I can run Vortex/any other clan and hit 1300+ with my eyes closed) but what's keeping them from becoming overpowered right now are SoA clans. Keep in mind that most DR will also be gone, so that the game will be much more of a damage/insurmountable gap race again...
Against SoA clans, Vortex is very mediocre.
Sunder is a 7/3
Cyb Lhia is an 8/1
C Wing is a 6/3
Dagg is a 7/5
Dregn is an 8/4
Oflgn is a 7/5...
Now let's imagine a world without SoA clans. Sure, you might run into the occasional Qubik or Elvis, but they can't stop your whole hand, can they?
Sunder, who never sees any ELO play, is suddenly a decent card, 7/6 in most situations.
Cyb Lhia is easily the best 2* in the game, capable of dealing 7 damage.
C Wing is on par with Bonnie Ld.
Dagg has killer attack manip.
Dregn and Oflgn are forks powerful enough to end most games on turn 3.