There was a Standard Open in Columbus last weekend, so last weekend's sales were influenced by an event as opposed to word of mouth. I'm not wasting any time here. Let's get into it.
Metallic Mimic didn't show up last weekend as far as I know; the card's appeal is mostly casual for now. Yahenni's Expertise wasn't nearly as impactful as I thought it'd be, but then again, control's a lot worse when there's no clear target to aim at. Yahenni's Expertise won't be under the radar for much longer; now's probably a good time to pick them up. A quick look at its price trend shows a steep drop from the weekend. Likewise, Gonti's Aether Heart wasn't an active player in this weekend's Standard action, but then again, the Opens are structured a little differently than Pro Tours; finding the best linear strategy is incentivized far less than just out-navigating dead money in midrange mirrors. Stuff like Gonti's Aether Heart is less likely to catch on on the Open circuit because the fail rate of decks like that is much higher than the fail rate of a deck that simply deploys creatures and backs it with a smattering of removal and card advantage. Gonti's Aether Heart is another buy-low card with casual appeal.
It didn't take long for Renegade Rallier to catch in Modern:
This list feels like it has a ton of three-drops. Renegade Rallier doesn't take the place of Kitchen Finks or Eternal Witness, but rather complements the two. Saffi Eriksdotter and Renegade Rallier plus any sacrifice outlet (Jupiter's list employs Viscera Seer) is a loop.
Last week, I wondered aloud which card would be more impactful in Aether Revolt Standard: Heart of Kiran or Aethersphere Harvester. Early returns indicate that Aethersphere Harvester is the pick, though the W/G Tokens decks and their bajillion Planeswalkers make much better use of Heart of Kiran. Aethersphere Harvester is really powerful, though; crew 1 and lifelink were important distinctions all weekend long.
At the very least, Spire of Industry is going to replace Glimmervoid in Modern Affinity. It's also going to play a role in Standard, supplying free colorless and fixing mana in decks like Mardu Vehicles. Spire of Industry is a strong card that will only get better as players get more familiar with Aether Revolt Standard and what decks are possible with a City of Brass that taps for colorless mana pain-free.
There were way more Disallows over the weekend than I was expecting. Only three Disallow decks made Top 16; maybe it only seems like Disallow's presence was bigger than it was because Jim Davis and his U/B Control deck got a lot of on-camera feature matches.
This deck is a total mystery to me. It's clear that Davis just wanted to play what he wanted to play, and that's great, but wowee is there not a lot of ways to beat an early Saheeli Rai here. Coming into a weekend where the deck to beat was a combo deck that featured Saheeli Rai heavily, I wouldn't be very inclined to play a draw-go hard control strategy. Davis finished X-4 en route to a Top 16 finish, but his on-camera losses were convincing. I salute him for his gusto, but there had to be something better to do last weekend than cast Inspiration and Cancel.
The first feature match of the Columbus Open was a shellacking. Ryan Overturf brought a Grixis Control deck to the table, a deck that appeared to have all the tools it needed to beat the Saheeli Rai decks... and got completely rolled over by Jack Kiefer's four-color Metalwork Colossus deck. Cedric Phillips and Patrick Sullivan in the booth registered their astonishment at how thoroughly unprepared Overturf's deck was against a bunch of non-creature artifacts, Sanctum of Ugin, and Metalwork Colossus. Did this feature match make Metalwork Colossus look much better than it actually is? Of course. Did the match do a good job of illustrating the dangers of playing control in an unknown format? Hells yeah. Metalwork Colossus was the only non-Aether Revolt card to sell in the Top 10 this week. It's s safe bet that its sales were a direct result of that round one feature match.
I failed to realize how good this combination of cards would be against the field. Even against opponents setting up some go-infinite combo, Winding Constrictor into Rishkar, Peema Renegade is a ton of pressure with very little setup cost. Likewise, Winding Constrictor into Walking Ballista is a really big deal, and Rishkar, Peema Renegade on top of all of that allows counters to grow on Walking Ballista at an alarming rate. Walking Ballista may not look like much on paper, but it's great at gumming up the ground and cramping opposing Planeswalkers. It's hard to get too aggressive with a Nissa, Voice of Zendikar against an active Walking Ballista.
DeCandio's deck is marketed as a delirium deck, but I'd categorize it as a Winding Constrictor deck. Most of the creatures here - Rishkar, Peema Renegade, Verdurous Gearhulk, Tireless Tracker, Walking Ballista - all benefit from a turn-two Winding Constrictor.
There's something about Dark Confidant. Players are really eager to recapture the magic of Dark Confidant. This phenomenon was visible when Pain Seer debuted, and it's back with Glint-Sleeve Siphoner.
Dykman's black-green deck places an emphasis on Winding Constrictor as well, but eschews the delirium sub-theme and instead pushes even harder on Winding Constructor with stuff like Nissa, Voice of Zendikar, Glint-Sleeve Siphoner, and a lower mana curve. I loved the deck, and look forward to playing it myself, but Dykman just ran into a buzzsaw in the finals. DeCandio's To the Slaughters were just out of this world. The finals match is worth watching. Both finals decks were sweet.
If Kaladesh Standard was an indicator of how effective Fatal Push was going to be, Fatal Push would've been alright. Killing Smuggler's Copters is huge, but Fatal Push would've been a blank against both Black-Green Delirium and Aetherworks Marvel decks. Thanks to the bannings, though, all that derived information can be safely tossed out the window.
Fatal Push didn't see a ton of play last weekend, nor should it have. There aren't a lot of good ways to trigger revolt in Standard, and it wasn't clear that the metagame was going to be chock-full of two-drops. Now that it's clear how important Winding Constrictor is to the decks that play it, expect to see an uptick in Fatal Push numbers.
See you Friday. Welcome back, Magic. We missed you.