There was no Magic coverage of any kind last weekend. UGH. Those weekends are the worst. I don't mean to pile on the well-trodden complaints that amount to "HOW can you hold a Grand Prix without video coverage," (which came first, the chicken, the egg, or the video coverage of either?) but the fact remains that weekends without a Magic tournament stream to distract from whatever Buffalo Bills malady's happening that day are brutal.
I've just gotten so used to seeing coverage on weekends that any weekend without them totally confuses me. I guess what I'm saying here is I'm looking for any reason to not watch Rex Ryan punt in opposing territory on 4th and 1 in the fourth quarter while trailing. Magic usually rescues me from that. It didn't last weekend, and it was upsetting. God, the Bills suck.
Ah, right, this is a Magic column. Okay, here's the drill — this weekend, we sold some cards. There was no weekend action, but that's okay; continued Kaladesh hype means that some trends that began last week can start to get clearer.
Botanical Sanctum and Concealed Courtyard were the 11th- and 12th-ranked sellers, respectively. Scars duals shaped the complexion of their Standard environment, and the Kaladesh duals will do the same. Lone Rider, a card I never expected to appear in a 60-card deck, barely missed the top 10, probably owing to all the +1/+1 counter nonsense going on in Kaladesh. I'm glad to see Bristling Hydra so close to cracking the top 10; we had no idea how good Bristling Hydra was going to be when we got it, but after the PAX reveals it quickly occurred to us that we got a hot one.
I had a steep Commander learning curve. The process of winning a multiplayer game looks much different than winning a one-on-one game. For starters, communication is key. Five players can look at a given game state and see five different players winning; it's up to you to be able to argue why the girl with the Animar, Soul of Elements deck needs to die this turn. Being wrong or "intellectually dishonest" has long-term ramifications.
Another unintuitive part of winning at Commander is masking your true position. Any traditionally powerful commander will get attacked right off the bat, so decks that can play possum for a while and then cement a winning position in a flurry of spells are encouraged. Kambal, Consul of Allocation feels like one of those cool, cheap commanders that looks unassuming on its face but does a lot, albeit a little at a time, for a small cost. It's easy for opponents to ignore, but once they realize its time to kill it, you've already played three other problematic permanents and gained a ton of life, effectively locking your opponents out of the game. It could have applications outside of Commander, but it seems strongest in a multiplayer game where everyone else will be happy to durdle.
I have no idea. None at all. I mean, it's a cool card, but I haven't cast a 2/3 for 2BB in Constructed since I got the Finkel/Garfield gift box when I was 12. The creature in question is Abyssal Specter, which is the result of 1995's Wizards R&D taking a hard look at Hypnotic Specter and deciding that it needed to be terrible.
In a world of midrange mirrors, however — which is what Kaladesh Standard looks to be, at first glance — this card might just be great. It's an Impulse on a stick, but your opponent can't target you with Transgress the Mind and take it away. It's your opponents' card, which can get a little wonky, but in a midrange battle, just getting an extra card is great. The fact that it's deathtouch also means it'll trade up, or at the very worst, demand a removal spell, which is great, because it means that that removal spell isn't killing the creature you need to win the game with. It's a classic two-for-one!
Hello and welcome to this week's Commander Article. I'm your host, [guy who has played a single-digit amount of games of Commander lifetime] and today we're going to discuss TCGplayers top 10 selling cards from last weekend, most of which are multicolored legends from the newest set. Very timely for us! Coming in at number eight is Depala, Pilot Exmplar, a card that cares about dwarves AND vehicles! If Depala, Pilot Exemplar becomes tapped, to, say, wake up a vehicle, you can dig through your deck for more dwarves and/or vehicles! Wow!
I am delighted to inform you that a LOT of my coworkers read this card wrong, thinking that it was just a 4/4 with haste for 2R. It's not that. It is, however, a damn cool card. Mono-red has long been the haven for newer players/players that want to be competitive in Standard without investing too much money, but that safety valve just hasn't been there since Khans of Tarkir rotated out of Standard. Lathnu Hellion looks like a key part of getting mono-red back to its role as fun police of the Standard metagame.
I've never really been one to preorder cards, but that's mostly because I'm not very smart. If I was smart, though, I'd probably preorder four of each Kaladesh dual-land before they do that brief upward shot in price that every good rare does when a set first comes out. The way these lands function has already been proven to be great; Scars duals see play in Modern! There's no way this land cycle doesn't factor in towards playing a huge role in Standard and fringe play in Modern. Jund and Abzan decks likely have to retool their manabases in order to accommodate Blooming Marsh specifically.
Yeah, yeah, yeah, the Kaladesh duals are great. At the risk of beating an Akroan Horse, I'll say that the Standard Burn deck of choice us blue/red, which is likely why Spirebluff Canal is the best-selling Kaladesh dual for a second week in a row.
This card is great, and looks to play a lot of roles in Kaladesh Standard. I love me a Tendo Ice Bridge anyway, but Aether Hub makes energy, which doesn't necessarily have to go back into the Aether Hub; it's likely that your other lands will be able to play your spells just fine, so four copies of Aether Hub is like getting free energy for whatever you're trying to do without the drawback of using up a spell slot, and in a pinch, your energy can even fix your mana.
As Craig noted last week, Standard Eldrazi decks will lose the Apocalypse pain-land cycle when Magic Origins rotates. Aether Hub will do a great job at filling that void, as well as potentially fueling any energy-based plans of attack. Aether Hub will see plenty of Standard play while it's legal.
As much as I'd love to relive the ill-advised decks I've played with Liquimetal Coating alongside Ancient Grudge, I'll instead note that Liquimetal Coating might look like a smart spec target, but that it's really unlikely to be worth investing a ton of money in. The price trend might look like it's trending upwards, but the market price probably moved maybe four cents. Don't get me wrong — it's a cool card! — but is it worth going deep on in hopes of making a huge profit? Probably not. It was in Commander 2014, which is getting rereleased soon in Commander's Anthology, which makes this spec look worse, not better.
Alright, let's run down the list of reasons why this card would ever sell more than zero copies.
There you have it! Lupine Prototype gets full marks in everything that matters, including its synergy with Phyrexian Dreadnought.
Panharmonicon finished juuuust outside the top 10 last week, so it's nice to see this plucky underdog shoot past the competition. I've been told that I should think of a combo for this card this week, so here goes:
Step One: Cast Panharmonicon.
Step Two: Cast Great Whale. Its enters-the-battlefield trigger will go on the stack twice. Respond to each trigger by tapping seven lands. At this point you should have an obscene amount of mana pool.
Step Three: Sacrifice your Seal of Removal, targeting your own Great Whale.
Step Four: Repeat Step Two.
Step Five: Cast Omniscience.
Step Six: Cast Yawgmoth's Bargain and Horizon Chimera. Draw your deck.
Step Seven: At this point, you should have drawn your Icy Cauldron. Cast it. If your opponent can figure out what its intended function is on their first pass then you should concede because they earned the win.
Step Eight: Attempt to cast Dead Ringers, targeting your own Great Whale and Horizon Chimera. Just to see if they're paying attention.
Step Nine: Cast Cadaverous Bloom. Remove all the cards in your hand to it, except for one Soul Burn. Put all the mana into the Soul Burn and target them. If you made green mana by mistake, politely ask for a takeback.
That's all you have to do! Look how easy Panharmonicon makes things. Kaladesh is going to be great.