It's hard to tell whether or not we're nearing an oversaturation of Modern event coverage. Pro Tour Rivals of Ixalan curved right into a Modern Grand Prix the following weekend and so far, no one seems to mind. Modern has clearly surpassed Standard as the weekend warrior's format of choice, and as long as Kaladesh block is Standard-legal, it'll stay that way, because those cards mess Standard up.
I figured that it would be cool to see what people bought during the Grand Prix broadcast, and I hope you do too. Let me know your thoughts on this in the comments. Highlighting sales data during the weekend's coverage and seeing what people bought as a result of what was on screen is definitely something I'm willing to do going forward. I'd love some feedback.
Kitesail sees regular Modern play in Humans, but it's also beginning to see an uptick in Standard play in certain blue-black decks that establish a tempo advantage early on and cement their lead with disruptive elements... like Kitesail Freebooter.
Now that energy isn't a ubiquitous freeroll, Abrade has surpassed Harnessed Lightning as the removal spell of choice in Standard. It helps that Heart of Kiran is, for the moment, very good again.
Putting enchantment-based removal in an expansion where many of the cards incentivize you to race towards getting ten permanents onto the battlefield is cute, play experience-driven design. Baffling End is a weird twist on Journey to Nowhere that probably ends up being slightly better in a Constructed context. The difference is negligible though. Just give me Banishing Light.
Bogles won the Grand Prix, and Ethereal Armor's one of the best cards in that deck. Makes sense to me!
Gurmag Angler's not a shocking top-seller. It's a cheap common that sees widespread play in Modern and Pauper. Delve is a crazy mechanic.
Reid Ruke and Hall-of-Famer Paul Rietzl made big waves when they both Top 16'd last weekend's Standard MOCS with their take on Winding Constrictor.
Mardu Pyromancer, in the hands of Gerry Thompson, came in second place at Pro Tour Rivals of Ixalan. Do you know what's really good against Young Pyromancer, a bunch of Elementals, and a bunch of Lingering Souls spirits? Electrickery!
Birchlore Rangers is the rare elf that sees play in Pauper Elves, but not the Modern iteration. With all the extra attention on Pauper lately, a spike in Birchlore Rangers sales seems like a foregone conclusion.
Arch of Orazca is the perfect addition for a plodding control deck that makes lots of one-for-one trades in the early game and is left with a lot of mana lying around and nothing to showfor it. Arch of Orazca turns all that superfluous mana into cards, and that late in the game, getting the city's blessing is easy peasy.
Likely the most impactful Ixalan card from a Modern standpoint, Field of Ruin morphed the Modern metagame drastically. Control decks like the one Raphael Levy played at Pro Tour Rivals of Ixalan relied heavily on Field of Ruin, alongside Spreading Seas, to keep opponents off-balance and to neutralize their utility lands.
See you next time. I'm sure the Jace/Bloodbraid Elf unbannings won't have any impact on the top 10, right?