Since Standard's not stale yet, I'm just going to get right into the Super Sellers. There were some funny shakeups this week.
It doesn't take a super-keen eye to see the similarities between Gifted Aetherborn and Vampire Nighthawk, and their Constructed trajectories will end up playing out similarly; Gifted Aetherborn is a sideboard card to come in against aggressive strategies.
Servo Schematic is casual bait: a ton of work to set up for minimal payoff, but when things do work our for Servo Schematic, its pilot looks clever enough to make up the difference. Sram, Senior Edificer is far easier to break and has a payoff worth working for.
Budget decks aren't for everyone.
As the Jeskai mirror matches become more and more common, players will start to look for edges in the matchup. It's already started, in week two of Aether Revolt Standard, with more and more Jeskai decks leaning harder towards maindeck control elements. Disallow showed up a lot more this week than it did last week, all thanks to players trying to get an edge in a combo mirror match. One of the Richmond Open's players played straight-up Jeskai control, eschewing the combo altogether:
When I first got wind of the Saheeli Rai / Felidar Guardian combo, I assumed players would play it up until the point where someone realized that Saheeli Rai + Torrential Gearhulk effectively accomplishes the same thing as Saheeli Rai + Felidar Guardian, the only difference being that with the former combination, there are no 1/4s for four mana clogging up an otherwise streamlined control deck; the next logical stop is that this hypothetical control deck can find a better proactive threat than Saheeli Rai. The verdict's still out on whether or not these conclusions are accurate, but Feeney's Jeskai Control deck and its high finish represents a proof of concept worth exploring further.
I never missed a chance to clown on Bomat Courier (AKA Raging Goblin), but if the Aether Revolt Standar metagame gets so inbred that all players worry about is how to level opponents in the Jeskai combo mirrors, slowing down their decks and abandoning sweepers at every stop, decks that incorporate cards like Bomat Courier become much better than they look on paper.
Scrap Trawler's position owes itself to two things: it's a cheap card, and Walking Ballista is among the cards it synergizes with. Those two things work in Scrap Trawler's favor and allow it to enjoy a spot in our Top 10 sellers for the second week in a row. Expect it to vacate the Top 10 once Pro Tour Aether Revolt solidifies the Standard metagame.
I've written all I can about Renegade Rallier without seeing it in action. Clearly the ceiling for Renegade Rallier is high - it combos with Saffi Eriksdotter, it gets back friggin' Tarmogoyf - I just really want to see it in action. When's the next Modern tournament?
This deck's always been on my radar:
Is it good? Who knows? Does it look fun? Hell yes.
This deck looks pretty sweet:
If only there was some land that made Eldrazi cheaper!
There was an incredible Paradoxical Outcome deck featured round one of the Richmond Open that won with zero-mana artifacts, Paradoxical Outcome, and Aetherflux Reservoir. Baral's Expertise was the glue that held the deck together, either bouncing zero-mana artifacts to up the storm count or bouncing lethal attackers. On top of that, it cast Aetherflux Reservoir for free. It didn't cash the tournament, but it beat the snot out of the hapless W/G Tokens deck it was paired against. The deck didn't cash, but it was so fun to watch that it wound up selling a bunch of Baral's Expertise.
Black decks fell off a cliff last weekend, as seen by last weekend's Top 4: Three Jeskai decks, three Saheeli Rai combo decks, and no Winding Constrictor shenanigans. For now, Fatal Push's stake in the Aether Revolt Standard metagame relies on the success rate of Winding Constrictor decks. For what it's worth, Winding Constrictor fell off the Top 10 completely.
Ugh. My kingdom for a frigign' Hero's Downfall. Am I right, people?!
To the Slaughter will prove decent against Jeskai decks, especially ones that don't see instant-speed Planeswalker removal coming and just jam Saheeli Rai onto an empty board. It's a nice trick, and decks focused on delirium will realize To the Slaughter's full potential, but against a mix of creatures and Planeswalkers, a non-delirious To the Slaughter won't cut it.
Of all the Jeskai Saheeli wrinkles aimed to breaking the mirror match, Elder Deep-Fiend is the most interesting. It's another big flash threat that attacks opposing resources on opponents' end steps. There's lots of excess mana floating around in control mirrors, and Elder Deep-Fiend is a great place to put it.