Yesterday's Banned & Restricted announcement rocked some Modern expectations, and pushed TCGplayer's servers hard. Seriously, we had to add extra to handle everybody clamoring for cards.
If you're just catching up or need a quick reminder what changed, we went into more detail and even put it all into a handy video for you:
Now that the dust has settled we can dig into the facts to see the obvious picks and metagame treasures players are already picking up. These are the Top 10 cards sold yesterday.
To the surprise of many, Sword of the Meek entered Modern and caused a cascade that catapulted Thopter Foundry to the top of the sales charts. Sword of the Meek combined with Thopter Foundry is an efficient, grinding combo poised to put traditional control strategies onto the Modern center stage.
In a vacuum, seeing Disciple of the Vault jump into the Top 5 for daily sales wouldn't make sense, but alongside the Thopter-Sword combo, it's a clear win condition. Not only can you amass a flying army of tokens to attack or block as needed, you'll also being pinging your opponent to death as you do it. The Extended deck of old is poised for its first shot at Modern glory.
Ancestral Vision is a card Modern control players have been asking for and their wish has been granted. The "fairest" version of Ancestral Recall requires time to set up, which is exactly what a deck that can slow the game down and grind out card advantage can do. Whether it makes the same shell as Thopter-Sword, gives a new version of blue-red Storm a boost, or just encourages more traditional control decks remains to be seen.
Goblin Dark-Dwellers isn't Snapcaster Mage per se, but the flexibility to get back the numerous cheap spells that define Modern have given the Oath of the Gatewatch rare a second look. In Grixis shells, Kolaghan's Command, and now Ancestral Vision are amazing card advantage opportunities, though an extra Terminate, Lightning Bolt, Thoughtseize, Serum Visions, or any number of other options look just as good.
Alongside Snapcaster Mage, Goblin Dark-Dwellers can ensure every amazing spell comes back for a second run. (You get an evasive 4/4 body as well but who's counting?)
Another piece of what can make the new Modern Thopter-Sword deck work is an efficient tutor that can transform a small fry into a 5/5 flier. Tezzeret, Agent of Bolas sees play in Vintage, which may have helped nudge his numbers up yesterday as well, and looks like a leading candidate in the new Modern Thopter-Sword world.
The metagame answers for Modern Thopter-Sword are already there. Illness in the Ranks stops Thopter-Sword cold, as giving all creature tokens -1/-1 ensures the Thopters that enter the battlefield and trigger Sword of the Meek in the graveyard aren't around when the trigger resolves.
What if the same Counterspell that can protect casting the Thopter-Sword combo could also be used to tutor up the piece needed to complete it? Muddle the Mixture and its transmute ability is exactly what a Thopter-Sword shell wants to fight with, adding both redundancy and inevitability to the deck.
While the seismic shift to Modern dominated the discussion, Shadows over Innistrad is looming around the corner with a Standard shakeup of its own. While Bygone Bishop might looks like an anemic threat, its positioned to bolster aggressive decks by piling up the clues as your curve out. When something like Kozilek's Return or Languish hits, clues are one way to get back into the game.
Of course, Collected Company decks running close to 50% creatures will find the extra card draw when casting critters the old fashioned way just as valuable.
With cards like Mantis Rider and Siege Rhino gone from Standard, the pressure against ramp decks is waning and the power of ramp decks looks to be waxing. Sanctum of Ugin is a key part of ramp decks, providing inevitability and redundancy when Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger, Kozilek, the Great Distortion, or World Breaker join the party.