From Lorwyn through Rise of Eldrazi, I didn't play any Magic at all. I came back to mythic rares, Planeswalkers, Paulo Vitor Damo de Rosa, no more combat damage on the stack, and metagames that moved really fast. In 2007, there weren't premier-level events every weekend, and Magic Online wasn't full of constructed ringers; pros generally logged onto Magic Online to play Limited. Or at least that was my perception. Now, there's at least one big tournament every weekend, and pros' brews routinely show up in Magic Online results.
The results from SCG Indianapolis already feel stale. It's been a week. It's still the last premier-level Kaladesh Standard event, and the world is over it. Our brains are broken
Pro Tour Kaladesh starts Friday. Let's rock.
An Eldritch Moon card found itself in the thick of all the Kaladesh craziness; Selfless Spirit narrowly missed the top 10. Joining Selfless Spirit on the outside looking in was Panharmonicon, a card begging to be broken, Servant of the Conduit, a harrowing reminder that once upon a time, Leaf Gilder was laughed at, and Inventors' Fair, a card I thought was mythic until I opened one last weekend. As ever, my timing is impeccable.
The first non-Kaladesh card to crack the top 10 in a solid month is from... Innistrad. Not Shadows over Innistrad, mind — Innistrad. Hm.
Any time something on this list doesn't make sense to me, it's safe to assume SaffronOlive is somehow behind it.
Scrapheap Scrounger's already proven itself valuable in Standard; Zach Voss' Grixis Emerge deck was able to use the recurring construct to great effect.
Scrapheap Scrounger hasn't made a splash in Modern yet, but I'm confident it'll find a home in Dredge decks.
I always like it when an aggressive deck wins the Pro Tour, even if they don't appeal to me as much as they did when I was younger. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for white/red to pull out a victory this weekend. That deck looks great.
The reports of the death of the blue/red Thermo-Alchemist burn deck have been greatly exaggerated. Which is great, because Standard needs a burn deck at all times. That's my take.
Last week, someone took notice of my marveling at the fact that this card even showed up in our Top 10 and kindly pointed me towards this reddit thread, featuring a promising Electrostatic Pummeler deck sporting Larger Than Life, Arlinn Kord, and Verdurous Gearhulk. I like the idea of an aggressive red-green deck with a light energy theme, Arlinn Kord, Verdurous Gearhulk, and a couple Electrostatic Pummeler, just to really get people.
As Kaladesh Standard starts to look more and more like a format more likely to employ spot removal than sweepers, Blossoming Defense reads as a Turn Aside with Giant Growth upside. My first Magic deck ever had 18 Forests in it, so you know I'm in for a Giant Growth.
This column mirrors my life in one big way: as soon as I feel like I've learned something or gotten a grip on why something like Electrostatic Pummeler is a Top 10 seller, in comes Animation Module to unseat my already-unsteady confidence. Dear reader... tell me why anyone would buy this card. Please.
A card's stake in the Standard metagame is a fine indicator of how it'll sell over an extended period of time, but there are other factors too. Price is a big one. Chandra, Torch of Defiance could see play in 75% of decks, but its prohibitive cost will keep it from selling well (Also, at that point, Standard would be in a bad spot, but that's neither here nor there). Which brings us to Smuggler's Copter.
By this point, 32 out of a possible 32 Smuggler's Copters in the SCG Indianapolis Top 8 is old news. What's shocking is that Smuggler's Copter has continued to sell well despite a steadily rising price tag. At the time of publishing, the Market Price of Smuggler's Copter is $17.19. That's mythic rare territory.
It's going to be tough for Smuggler's Copter to maintain a pricetag in double-digits — Masterpieces ensure lots and lots of Kaladesh will get opened and thus depress the prices of all the cards — but Smuggler's Copter's sustained run of impressive sales is interesting. If my intuition is correct — that declining to run Smuggler's Copter in your Standard deck will be a mistake more often than not — then a LOT of Kaladesh will have to get opened to keep the price of the card down. Or maybe Standard interest will drop if every deck has four maindeck slots predetermined. There are lots of moving parts to this. The decks that do well at the Pro Tour this weekend will go a long way towards illuminating what Kaladesh Standard will end up looking like.
Harnessed Lightning's been in this space plenty since SCG Indianapolis. It's one of the best spot removal spells red's gotten in a while, and unlike my initial reaction, it's not only good in decks with an energy theme.
Speaking of cards that just keep climbing in price, Aether Hub's Market Price, at time of publishing, is $3.24, which is a ton for an uncommon. Its price trend tells a story with more depth — an initially steady increase cut off by a sharp incline in price. Aether Hub won't be this pricey forever, but it will see plenty of play in Standard as long as it's around.