Last week, I got to play a draft of Conspiracy: Take the Crown for my job. It ruled just as much as you think. If you think drafting is fun, just wait till you're drafting on the clock.
I settled into a U/B deck pretty quickly after opening Farbog Boneflinger in a mediocre pack one, and wound up getting passed some real sweetness.
Early picks from first packs. Some themes are emerging. #MTGCN2 pic.twitter.com/1E6EbwjioP— Magic.TCGplayer.com (@MTGatTCGplayer) August 26, 2016
The picture featuring the Killer Combo of Arcane Savant and Explosive Vegetation in what would otherwise be a very vanilla blue/black control deck is mine. I was pretty happy with my deck at the end of pack two, but something was missing. I first-picked a Harvester of Souls out of pack three — rares are the benchmark of how well your draft went, after all — and was passed this beauty:
I really wanted this card before the draft started, not because I think it's great, but because it's super fun and cool. So of course I took it. I had to! I think my deck ended up just fine.
Work Conspiracy draft went according to plan pic.twitter.com/OjNRE0003K— jon corpora (@feb31st) August 26, 2016
I'm not going to spoil how the draft ended up — that video's coming up later today. But that's not why we're here — there are Super Sellers to unpack!
Here's the drill: We sold some cards over the weekend. We think they tell a story in and of themselves. I'm here to tell that story in Stybs' absence. Let's get into it.
I came in this weekend to do some work on some cool stuff we've got coming down the pipeline, and everyone in the office on Sunday was buzzing about Exotic Orchard. Apparently the stock of the card is rising, and it shows — it was our 11th-best seller this week. Close behind it was Modern rising star Eldritch Evolution, Recruiter of the Guard, and Queen Marchesa.
Who wants to see me get this card extremely wrong and evaluate it based on being extremely wrong??
Turns out this card is, like, really, really good. It's no surprise that it's awesome in Commander, powering out tons of fatties for you and just you. I still think my strategy holds, though — the heuristic I'm applying to this card is that I'm voting free on it every time. I look forward to being wrong on this card again.
Look at that, another card I read incorrectly in the above video cracks the Top 10. Grenzo, Havoc Raiser seems really cool in Commander and cube decks alike. Like a red version of Shared Fate. I'm into it.
Grim Flayer first popped up during Pro Tour Eldritch Moon in B/G Delirium decks of all speeds, and is now making a mark on Modern, prompting Jund decks to play stuff like Tarfire and Mishra's Bauble to facilitate fast delirium.
The grandpappy of mana acceleration, Birds of Paradise sees a TON of play in Modern alongside its exalted cousin, Noble Hierarch.
The fact that Birds of Paradise got a reprint in Conspiracy: Take the Crown means that a new generation of player can get their hands on a card that made its debut in Alpha at a discount.
The multiplayer cards are selling like hotcakes this week. Conspiracy: Take the Crown's got everyone evaluating cards as though they're playing against three opponents instead of one. Burgeoning is a fine card in one-on-one play, but it really shines against multiple opponents.
Speaking of cards that excel in multiplayer, this color-shifted Propaganda that just got a reprint in Conspiracy: Take the Crown does a great job of keeping folks off your back while you develop your board towards a massive, game-ending haymaker blow. Not to mention it sees some competitive play:
It's Clone with flash, and it's hard to deny that flash changes the entire complexion of Clone and how it works and how it should be valued. It's unclear to me that Stunt Double will see any competitive play — Conspiracy: Take the Crown will only be legal in Eternal formats — but I see it working like a weaker Desertion in Commander. Both you and your opponent will have the awesome creature, but you'll be untapping with it under your control first.
It's the third game of a PPTQ finals, my W/B deck against their R/G deck. They're at two life, I'm at 11. They've got some dudes in play, but I've got some blockers; as long as I survive the next turn, I'll win the game on the back of some Spirit Tokens and a Compaign of Vengeance.
Before I pass the turn to my opponent, I cast Collective Brutality in my second main phase, even escalating it. The modes I chose?
Kill your 2/2 Wolf Token, Duress you.
Did I mention my opponent was at two life?
Collective Brutality has a lot of words on it, and a lot of flexibility. It's a good card in a straightforward creatures-and-lands deck, but its flexibility also gives it some play in decks like Dredge in Modern:
Our preview card!
It's no surprise to see Serum Visions so high on our Top 10 best-sellers, and it wouldn't be a huge shock to see Serum Vision here for a long time to come. Modern players balked at paying so much money for a Fifth Dawn common, so the Conspiracy: Take the Crown reprint should do a lot to get costs of blue decks down. Are you starting to sense a pattern here?
Inquisition of Kozilek and Thoughtseize don't define Modern by themselves, but together they represent a redundancy of one-mana hand disruption. This is a big part of the Abzan and Jund midrange decks that never, ever seem to go away; turns out that having a lot of early disruption gives your deck a high floor, potential-wise.
That's it for the weekend's Super Sellers. On a weekend of Modern tournaments, it makes sense that Serum Visions and Inquisition of Kozilek came out on top. Can they maintain their sales, or are their numbers just a result of Conspiracy: Take the Crown reprints pushing their value down?
You'll have to tune in on Friday to find out.