No time to mess around! There's a lot to cover today.
Electrostatic Pummeler barely missed the Top 10! That's so crazy to me. I don't think this card's doing anything in Standard; someone must've found a way to go off in some other format with this bad boy. Good for them.
Blooming Marsh and Spirebluff Canal sales hold steady, while Aetherflux Reservoir and Panharmonicon, Kaladesh's pair of four-mana Johnny artifacts, are left on the outside looking in this week.
Skizzik as a reference point to Fleetwheel Cruiser is apt. Both are 5/3s with haste and trample that play a lot like Ball Lightning if you squint hard enough, but can also break a midrange mirror wide open with a little well-timed damage. Unlike Skizzik, Fleetwheel Cruiser doesn't require a kicker cost to stick around longer than a turn, and sorcery-speed removal can't deal with it. All told, Fleetwheel Cruiser is likely better than Skizzik, and Skizzik won a Pro Tour. That's good news for Fleetwheel Cruiser.
Harnessed Lightning also made an appearance in Chris VanMeter's Open-winning Vehicles deck. It was the only energy card in his deck, but hey, sometimes you just need a Lash Out. I don't expect Harnessed Lightning to see a ton of play going forward in non-energy decks — usually, players find better things to do than a dragonless Draconic Roar — but it's worth noting that three damage is the sweet spot to nail opposing Smuggler's Copters without losing too much tempo.
Ugh. I read this card wrong last week, as someone pointed out in the comments. You can't target an opponent's creature with Blossoming Defense, so it doesn't work in Infect decks against Spellskite. It does however, do a passable impression of Gods Willing with a little damage boost upside. The newly-minted World Champion, Brian Braun-Duin, and the rest of his team played Blossoming Defense in their W/G Aggro deck last weekend.
In VanMeter's W/R Vehicles deck, Pia Nalaar presents a lot of problems. It's a source of flying, it's slight card advantage, it can pressure a control opponent on its own, and in the aggro mirror, seeing one under an opponent's control makes attacking much harder, as blocking now ostensibly requires multiple creatures on defense.
After finally getting to see how vehicles actually played out at the Kaladesh prerelease, I had Depala, Pilot Exemplar pegged as one of the best cards in the set, and one of the cards I wanted to play with the most. I pitched a Naya deck running Depala, Pilot Exemplar, Tireless Tracker, and a bunch of vehicles to friends at work and was summarily laughed out of the room. But I'll show them. I'll show them all.
Obligatory Note: Depala, Pilot Exemplar was also in VanMeter's first-place deck. Card's good.
The State of Magic is constantly in Flux, but it's nice to know that there are fundamental truths that still hold water. One of those is that in the first weeks of a format, err towards aggression. Everyone's going to try and durdle with the cards they like, so be the fun police. Everyone's going to think they have a good matchup against the aggro decks. Prove them wrong.
This is exactly what VanMeter&co. did last weekend. Toolcraft Exemplar is a no-brainer in their deck: It crews all the vehicles, it's a Dwarf to be searched up with Depala, Pilot Exemplar, and in their deck, getting to three artifacts to give it first strike is trivial. By the way, three power's worth of first strike damage will prove to be important in a world of Smuggler's Copters and Fleetwheel Cruiser.
This is another card I was high on coming into this weekend, and it made a decent showing in week one of Kaladesh Standard, landing in a variety of decks. Team Metagame Gurus' B/R Aggro deck gave it the volume, but Scrapheap Scrounger saw its highest finish in runner-up Zach Voss' Grixis Emerge deck.
A white/red deck wins the first big Standard tournament of Kaladesh's lifespan and the best-selling subsequent dual land produces white and red mana. I'm shocked.
Smuggler's Copter's sales affected its Market Price in realtime. If this hadn't happened, I'm positive Smuggler's Copter would've been out top seller. The card does everything, from enable delirium to smooth out draws to provide quick, evasive aggression. All this in a package that doesn't die to sorcery-speed removal and only requires a one-power creature, which Thraben Inspector fits the bill of very efficiently. There were 32 out of a possible 32 Smuggler's Copters in last weekend's Top 8. Smuggler's Copter does it all.
Enough has been said in this space about Aether Hub, so I'll just direct you to Donovan Lachney's W/R Humans deck.
Aether Hub has two roles here: mana-fixing, and providing a small boost to Harnessed Lightning. It's a cool interaction to keep an eye on, and this innovation opens the Floodgates, so to speak; synergies like this are possible across all colors in all decks. They may not all be as impressive as Harnessed Lightning, but it's possible.
See you Friday.