I spent the weekend at an RPTQ. It was in a cramped space, the air conditioning didn't work, and if you wanted your prize in store credit, it took forever. I ended up taking packs of M19 in lieu of waiting in line.

The upsides of the RPTQ: It was free entry, and the judge staff kept the tournament zipping right along—it was a seven-round tournament that started at eleven and ended at five. Maybe this is more because the room was either Black-Red Aggro or people who thought they could beat Black-Red Aggro (ha ha) with nary a Disallow in sight, but when a tournament goes that fast I'm inclined to credit the judging staff. They did a great job.

An open plea to RPTQ tournament organizers: Shell out the dough for a ballroom with decent air conditioning. If that means you have to charge entry, so be it. The median age at Competitive-REL tournaments is going up every year (source: my intuition). We can afford it the $30 entry. In our old age, we just want to be comfortable.

On to the cards.

#10: Spire of Industry

Now that everyone's dumping their soon-to-rotate Kaladesh and Amonkhet-block cards, now's a fine time to pick up the cards from those blocks with Modern applications, like Spire of Industry.

#9: Merfolk Trickster

#8: Wizard's Retort

Good ol' Strictly Better MTG. His series of rotation-proof budget decks have been a hit on YouTube, and our sales bear that out. Longtime followers of this column know that Standard-legal uncommons are the easiest things to liquidize. Dev's videos just expedite the process.

#7: Drudge Sentinel

No idea. Can only assume this is an inside joke.

#6: Wizard's Lightning

I don't know if The Flame of Keld red decks are going to be a thing after rotation. It's unlikely that Guilds of Ravnica will have two red one-drops that fill the hole left behind by the departure of Soul-Scar Mage and Bomat Courier (especially Bomat Courier—that card is stupid). It's even more unlikely still that Guilds of Ravnica will have a one-drop wizard; without the density of cheap wizards, Wizard's Lightning is just Open Fire, and Open Fire sucks.

It's far more likely that a wizard deck—perhaps a deck in the colors of Izzet, the fabled guild of wizards and burn-type stuff—will be decent post-rotation.

#5: Forge of Heroes

#4: Reliquary Tower

#3: Tetsuko Umezawa, Fugitive

In my comments last week, it was brought to my attention that Tetsuko's sustained sales spike is thanks to players trying out Commander decks with Arcades, the Strategist, which sounds dope as heck. Our homie DJ over at Jumbo Commander even made a Tetsuko Umezawa commander deck:

#2: Sol Ring

#1: Command Tower

I mentioned this last week, but when there's a Standard rotation in the immediate future, evergreen Commander cards trend upward in sales. There's not much more to this than that. See you next week.

Jon Corpora
pronounced Ca-pora
feb31st