Pro Tour Guilds of Ravnica wrapped up yesterday. Mono-White-ish Aggro claimed six of the Top 8 spots and won the tournament in the hands of Andrew Elenboggen. I'd expect those results to have some sort of impact on the top cards sold last week.
No surprise here. Benalish Marshal dominated the Pro Tour, because a Glorious Anthem on a stick is very, very good. Last week, Seth Manfield outlined his deck selection process for the Player of the Year playoff, observing that the triple-pip cycle of rare creatures from Dominaria is really influential in Standard right now. For a while, Goblin Chainwhirler was the cream of the crop, but it looks like Benalish Marshal's the true standout for the time being. On the other hand, if everyone's going to follow the precedent that the Pro Tour set and just cast a bunch of Savannah Lions, Goblin Chainwhirler will be back.
In at least one interview on Pro Tour Weekend, Luis Scott-Vargas explained that the choice to play his Leonin Vanguard-centered mono-white decklist was based in part on the fact that Heroic Reinforcements is a win-more card. It's telling that LSV and Elenboggen—the two players that made the finals—played zero copies.
Rat Colony was always destined to sell a bunch of copies, but the renewed interest in the card probably comes from MTG Arena's singleton format. Rat Colony's quantity clause overrides the format's restrictions in singleton the same way it does everywhere else, and while the Rat Colony deck isn't particularly good in Standard singleton, Arena streams did a fine job reminding speculators that Rat Colony does indeed exist.
Plenty of the mono-white-splashing-red decks from the PT played Experimental Frenzy out of the sideboard. As much as I love a mono-red deck that leans good and hard on Experimental Frenzy, I don't think that's a particularly good way to go. Between Conclave Tribunal, Assassin's Trophy, and Thrashing Brontodon, Standard's got plenty of incidental ways to punish a deck for tapping four mana for an enchantment that doesn't impact the board immediately in the hopes of getting to untap with it still on the battlefield.
In a field chock-full of Savannah Lions, Luis Scott-Vargas & company's deck choice was a stroke of genius. Ajani's Pridemate alongside Healer's Hawk and Leonin Vanguard gave LSV everything he wanted in the Savannah Lions mirror. They don't stop you from mulliganning to four in game five of the finals, but both players in the finals agreed that LSV had the advantage going into the match, and Leonin Vanguard contributed that to advantage in a big way.
In case you were living under a rock for the past week and a half or so, Ultimate Masters is a thing. I'll let Wedge cover the finer details:
There's a Goblin Prison deck floating around Modern that plays four Goblin Cratermaker. I'll let Corbin handle it from here:
Dig Through Time, and last week, Heart of Kiran, are selling as a result of speculation on a format that has yet to be announced. The logic, as I understand it, is that this hypothetical new format would displace Modern, because ostensibly, Modern's gotten too expensive and Wizards of the Coast can't influence third party prices to their liking. I'll stop here to remind you that this isn't my narrative, I'm just relaying what I've been told.
Furthermore, speculators hypothesize that the new format will look a lot like Frontier (remember Frontier??) does now. Modern started at the 8th Edition card frame change, so why wouldn't Modern's successor start at the M15 frame change?
The renewed interest in Frontier comes on the back of another rumor: that Dig Through Time is getting reprinted in Ultimate Masters. Why, the speculator asks, would they reprint Dig Through Time, a card banned and restricted in every competitive format it's legal in, if they weren't going to do anything with it?
To recap, here's the parlay that Heart of Kiran and Dig Through Time speculators are betting on:
-Dig Through Time will get reprinted in Ultimate Masters (based on art displayed in a preview article on the mothership)
-Therefore, WotC is planning a new format that will feature Dig Through Time (based on ???)
-The hypothetical format will break in such a way that Heart of Kiran and Dig Through Time will be heavily sought-after (based on ???????????)
The idea of betting on this particular parlay, even if Dig Through Time and Heart of Kiran are relatively cheap, feels... dubious to me, to put it kindly. Whatever. There's no rule keeping people from throwing money into a hole labeled "confirmation bias," so sure. Knock yourselves out.
I don't know!
Remember when Claim // Fame was touted as the next big thing for Death's Shadow decks? Man, those were the days.
See you next week.