Prereleases are tricky. They're a lot like a small-town county fair: You think you know all the locals, but then a bunch of people you've never seen in your life come out of the woodwork. So it goes at prereleases.
I usually skip prereleases, but I plan on hitting Kaladesh weekend HARD. The set just looks sweet — it's aggressive without being too aggressive, fabricate makes everything into a quasi-Sandsteppe Outcast, one of the sweetest Limited cards ever, and vehicles and energy promise to create a play experience unlike any other. And I want to try it!
No pontificating this week — I'm going straight into the cards. If you're new to the program, here's how it works: we sell a bunch of cards. This is the top 10 cards we sold over the weekend. But before we get into that...
These are the cards that didn't quite crack the top 10 but are trending upwards and/or cool interesting enough to warrant mention. Fleetwheel Cruiser is one of two vehicles with haste, and combined with trample, it feels like a vehicular Ball Lightning, and everyone loves Ball Lightning. WotC was unlikely to ever improve on the flawless design of Tendo Ice Bridge, but they conquered the odds with Aether Hub. Aether Hub will see play in any deck trying to do cute stuff with energy, but it will really shine in decks with the best mana, since the free energy it creates will be more likely to be available to do other things. Fumigate isn't the four-mana creature sweeper to fill the void Languish leaves behind, but it's much better than Planar Outburst, since the lifegain clause will be very relevant against any aggressive decks. Speaking of important cards against aggro, say hello to Inventors' Fair. Lands with the ability to tutor are traditionally very good anyway, and its static ability is a nice upside.
Aetherflux Reservoir is down from #7 to #10 this week, and that's a shame, because the phrase "pay 50 life" should be on way more cards. I really dig Aetherflux Reservoir — it's splashy and obviously geared towards more casual formats, but there's no splash damage on competitive formats. It's a cool card.
Modern Dredge decks got two cards from Kaladesh that are high-powered enough to immediately fight over maindeck slots: Cathartic Reunion and Scrapheap Scrounger. Cathartic Reunion is a slam dunk obvious pick, replacing Tormenting Voice at the same mana cost but with higher upsides on both ends — it discards and draws more cards. Scrapheap Scrounger's a little trickier to evaluate in Dredge, but it should slot in as a fine way to discard cards with dredge and get back Prized Amalgams.
It's trending up! Last week, Verdurous Gearhulk finished outside of the top 10, but after a weekend of sales, it's firmly in the top 10. Usually mythics don't sell as well as their rare counterparts, so when a mythic trends up, it's worth the attention. Even Craig Wescoe got in on the act — here's his Verdurous Gearhulk deck from last week:
Expect to see some amount of this cycle of lands in this column in some form or fashion for the near future. They're good. I promise.
For the second Super Sellers in a row, Paradoxical Outcome holds steady at number five. I'm suspicious of this one. I just don't think it's very good. There's almost certainly something I'm missing, as always. Please, tell me I'm wrong.
I have no clue why anyone would ever want to put this card in their deck. I talked about this card here:
Maybe people are reading this card wrong. I don't know. I'd like to be wrong on this card, because as I'm reading it, it seems very, very bad. Let me know!
Okay, I get it. I get crewing, I get artifacts being a big deal in Kaladesh, I get all that. What I don't understand at all is how this card's sales have been so steady. It just doesn't fall out of the top three! It must be because it's so cheap. That's gotta be it, right?
Part of the appeal of vehicles is that they're undercosted; ostensibly a vehicle-heavy deck could clear its hand quickly, leading the way for Lupine Prototype to get in there. It's more likely that this is a handful of players all-in on an ill-fated spec.
It's reserved, it's a Shatterstorm, and there's an all-artifacts set coming down the pipeline. It's a perfect confluence of events for a card like Seeds of Innocence to sell well, but... it's still weird. I'm done trying to understand things. What's the point? Nothing changes whether I understand it or not. I'm going to go fly a kite.
Now, Smuggler's Copter — there's a card you can set your watch to. No need to explain this one to me: it's got evasion, it's cheap as dirt, it loots when it hits, and it crews for only one? I'm on board.
UPDATE (11:45 AM): It doesn't loot when it hits, it loots when it attacks or blocks, according to one of our faithful readers. This card's even better than I thought, and I was already really high on it.
I'm tickled by the fact that Fumigate finds itself in a set where sweepers look to matter so little. Vehicles are sweepers' natural enemy; they allow small, efficient creatures to hit hard, and can even be turned on by creature-lands. I don't think we're done seeing vehicles sell well, and I'm interested in how they're going to shape Standard.