Players really like budget decks.
Friday's recap of best-selling cards was dominated by a cheap, powerful, and most importantly fun Mono-Blue Brain in a Jar deck by SaffronOlive, and connecting the dots made it apparent the paper side of things was an exciting and cheap way to jump into Standard.
It's a little different for today's summary from the weekend.
First, the good news: Brain in a Jar continued to be a hit.
#1: Brain in a Jar
#3: Engulf the Shore
#4: Part the Waterveil
#6: Rise from the Tides
#8: Mage-Ring Network
Take a look at SaffronOlive's deck again:
The synergy between a deck packed with spells and payoffs for playing as many as possible kept this on the radar over the weekend, though getting on Reddit's radar for a second round certainly helped too.
The rest of the list tells a different story.
Bant Company and black/green Collected Company decks continue to be popular. While neither made much of a Top 8 showing over the weekend, round after round of coverage showed these decks hanging out everywhere Standard is played.
The question isn't "is Duskwatch Recruiter is good?" anymore, but "is it good enough for Modern or beyond?"
Haste means Planeswalkers and life totals aren't safe on the back of sorcery speed removal and sweepers, and transforming into a pseudo-lord for all your other Werewolves puts this at the top of the must-kill list for opponents.
Too bad for your opponents you're too fast to let that happen.
Wasteland Strangler made a splash in the Top 8 of Grand Prix Toronto as part of Josh Buitenhuis's White-Black Control deck that went a perfect 15-0 in the swiss rounds:
Creatures that can out-value opponents are always in-demand—see Duskwatch Recruiter, Reflector Mage and others. Here, Wasteland Stangler played well off Thought-Knot Seer, Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet, Transgress the Mind and Anguished Umaking. With plenty of ways to process, Wasteland Stranger always played the value role.
Village Messenger is another piece of the TMS Wedge bump we saw with Geier Reach Bandit. With so few one-drops being played, landing this on the play almost assuredly transforms it into its 2/2 menace side, forcing the opponent to either play multiple creatures or burn a removal spell on a small fry. Backed by Geier Reach Bandit and removal spells, it's easy to see the pieces of an aggressive red deck pushing into Standard.
Don't get burned.
After hitting Top 16 of a Modern Classic a few weeks ago, Talisman of Impulse is back into the Top 10 sales. The showing of red/green Tron highlighted the viability of the archetype, but Talisman of Impulse wasn't in any of the best-performing decks. As a budget replacement or throwback to Modern's earlier years it's a fine tool, and players looking to save a few bucks while putting together one of Modern's last original decks won't find many other ways to ramp early into the colors they need.
Confirm Suspicions was just outside the Top 10 and is an odd blue spell not in SaffronOlive's budget Brain in a Jar deck. Ostensibly, Confirm Suspicions is tech to take the deck to the next level—or just another cheap pickup that can provide excellent value for a controlling deck playing the long game.
Other successes include Howlpack Resurgence (another piece of the Werewolf deck hiding on the fringes of Standard), Second Harvest (interesting angle to take to Green-White Tokens or a Rhys, the Redeemed Commander deck near you), and Lambholt Pacifist (a piece of the Green-White Humans decks).
Standard is still varied and wide open. We'll see what sticks from the weekend results this Friday!