Pro Tour Rivals of Ixalan was the first Modern Pro Tour since Pro Tour Oath of the Gatewatch, a tournament that famously got Eye of Ugin banned. I wrote about some of the context behind Pro Tour Rivals of Ixalan yesterday; today is all about the best-selling cards during the event. Let's hit it.

#10: Faithless Looting

In the last few years, Faithless Looting has quietly grown into the role of crucial role-player in many Modern decks, particularly ones that use the graveyard as an additional resource.

#9: Young Pyromancer

Like this one! Gerry Thompson piloted this deck to the finals of Pro Tour Rivals of Ixalan, netting himself some very memorable victories along the way.

#8: Gurmag Angler

Delve's one of those mechanics that borders on being too good. Treasure Cruise and Dig Through Time are banned pretty much everywhere, but Gurmag Angler, effectively a 5/5 for one mana in the decks that choose to employ it, is untethered by bans. It sees play in both Pauper and Modern, and why shouldn't it? The card is great.

#7: Whir of Invention

Lantern Control has been a real deck since its debut years ago, but its viability took a huge leap once players realized they should run four copies of Whir of Invention. In an artifact-based deck full of lock pieces to assemble, Whir of Invention makes a lot of sense. Plus, it just won a Pro Tour. That never hurts.

#6: Curious Obsession

The only card to not make the top 10 for Modern purposes, Curious Obsession is still part of the deck that's been the talk of the community since its debut in week one of Rivals of Ixalan Standard. The card is sweet, but it still remains difficult for auras to catch on in Constructed.

#5: Thing in the Ice

Two Young Pryomancer decks actually showed in the top 8 of Pro Tour Rivals of Ixalan, and they squared off in the semifinals in a fantastic five-game set. Gerry Thompson was victorious with Mardu, but Pascal Vieren competed admirably with his blue-red version, featuring Thing in the Ice to act as a cheap beatdown creature that just so happened to clear the way for itself.

#4: Field of Ruin

During Corey Burkhart's deck tech, he called out Field of Ruin as one of the best cards in Modern. Expect to see Field of Ruin pop up more and more as players catch onto this piece of tech.

#3: Bedlam Reveler

Did you know that Bedlam Reveler is a horror? It's true! Gerry Thompson's semifinal match at Pro Tour Rivals of Ixalan hinged on that very fact; Bedlam Reveler was able to chump-block a transformed Thing in the Ice that bounced all his other creatures, buying him time to deal with Awoken Horror.

#2: Hollow One

#1: Flamewake Phoenix

The most novel deck that showed up in the Top 8 of Pro Tour Rivals of Ixalan was Musashi's iteration of the Hollow One combo deck:

Intermediate players tend to stay away from cards like Burning Inquiry and Goblin Lore; the phrase "discard at random" serves as an adequate enough deterrent for most players that take the game seriously. To their credit, Musashi correctly identified that introducing a little variance to games isn't a risk when the payoff for doing so is so high.

A quick hypothetical: You are playing this deck and it is your second turn. You're up to seven cards in your hand葉wo of them are Hollow One and one is a Burning Inquiry. You cast Burning Inquiry. After it resolves, the odds of you being left with a second land and at least one Hollow One (which is free to cast now, by the way) are high. "Random" doesn't always translate to "50% chance of a desirable outcome." Sometimes the odds are much more favorable than that.

See you next time.

Jon Corpora
(pronounced ca-pora)
@feb31st