What up, nerds?
Adam's busy roaming the halls of GenCon, leaving me in charge of giving ya'll the scoop behind our best-sellers of the week. I'll be honest — I love this column. The cards sold don't move much from week to week for the most part, but that's okay! Glaciers don't move quickly either, but their incremental shifts can tell an engrossing story all the same.
The basic takeaway from this column runs counterintuitive to how I always assumed Magic worked — the best sellers aren't necessarily the cards seeing the most play, but instead, a blend between what's cheap and what's cool. Granted, this week's list has all three, but it's definitely weighted more towards the casual.
The exception to this rule is during Pro Tour weekends. Coming off Pro Tours, sales are absolutely dominated by cards that were cheap coming into the Pro Tour but suddenly saw play on camera on the weekend. Marc Calderaro crafted this piece for the mothership on the Standard archetypes of Pro Tour Eldritch Moon, weighted by their share of the metagame. Bant Company's a known entity, but get familiar with all the iterations of B/G Delirium, because they players of that deck will definitely show up on Monday's Super Sellers piece.
Let's dive in.
The three cards that narrowly missed the Top 10 are all Standard-playable cards. Selfless Spirit, which came in at #11, is more of a niche roleplayer in the Bant Company deck than a reason to play the deck, like Duskwatch Recruiter, Reflector Mage, and Spell Queller. Selfless Spirit is a cornerstone of the W/U Spirits deck, but that deck doesn't have the pedigree of Bant Company.
Elder Deep-Fiend and Ishkanah, Grafwidow, on the other hand, are cards that are clearly powerful at face value but just haven't really broken through yet. There's an argument to be made that Ishkanah, Grafwidow has established itself as a real card in Standard, but so far it's only seen play as a one-of in Traverse the Ulvenwald toolbox delirium decks. Given that Ishkanah, Grafwidow and Traverse the Ulvenwald are both delirium cards in the same black, Ishkanah, Grafwidow's fate as a one-of may be sealed. It's just such a good card. Do you really need more than one to win a game?
Is there anything left to say about Spell Queller? This card is outrageous. It's easy to point to Adam's column and say that Spell Queller's been slipping down the rankings, but that surely has more to do with the meteoric rise in demand for the card and its subsequent price increase. The fact that it's stayed on our Top 10 at all is a testament to its power and versatility.
The ol' double-Thoughtseize you. This card occupies a lot of the same space that Elder Deep-Fiend does, and not just because it's a rare with emerge — it's a good buy-low target that's really powerful and disruptive and just hasn't seen play anywhere yet. It's good, I promise
Cards like this will always be a mystery to me. I'll happily take them ninth pick in any draft, no matter the stakes, despite never being fully convinced that they're anything but a trap. It's our #8 seller this week, which matters for something, but I don't know what. I can envision a casual game of flashing in a Sword of Body and Mind or some other such craziness after blocks have been declared for the full blowouts. That seems pretty good!
Our preview card! This art is crazy. It's literally a wolf in a suit. This is the kind of backwards-powerful card that is too good for Standard and just makes the move straight to Modern, where it's found a home in 8-Rack and Affinity decks alike.
The only non-Eldritch Moon card to crack the Top 10, and in all likelihood, a card that will shape Standard delirium decks for the entire time Shadows over Innistrad block is legal. Ishkanah, Grafwidow is a pretty uneven card — it can either be a massive asset or a stone blank, depending on the matchup — thanks to Traverse the Ulvenwald, you only need one copy in your deck. Check out the deck Craig Wescoe's running at Pro Tour Eldritch Moon:
Demonic Tutor's still good, and changes how decks are built. Who'da thunk it?
When I first started playing Magic, I played Sligh. That deck had Incinerate. It was no Lightning Bolt, but what was? I was very happy with Incinerate.
Fast forward a few years. I'm playing in JSSes, and there's this Volcanic Hammer card that got reprinted from Portal. I immediately deem it terrible and call it a day. Imagine my surprise when it keeps popping up everywhere to smash my face in alongside Slith Firewalker, Zo-Zu the Punisher and friends. What I'm getting at here is Volcanic Hammer is a very real card despite being worse than Incinerate, and Incendiary Flow is just Volcanic Hammer with upside.
This card continues to be awesome in Modern, and PPTQ season's in full swing. Am I weird for reading haste on this thing? Obviously haste would be totally gross, and this card's definitely good enough without haste, but... I don't know. Something about seeing a bunch of red on a card, I feel like it should have haste. TELL ME I'M WRONG.
I've had this in a 40-card deck or two, and it is awesome. I'm unsure how it plays in a Constructed deck, but I can imagine madnessing it out pretty easily, and flipping it seems pretty great. I've never wanted there to be a real Vampire deck so badly.
There's another price-adjuster that I forgot to mention: The Wedge Bump. Check out his video on Mono-Red in Standard, featuring Bedlam Reveler and Collective Defiance.
One of the most-hyped cards of Eldritch Moon preview season's finally found its way to the number one spot on our Super Sellers. It hasn't really made a splash in Standard, and if the early returns on Pro Tour Eldritch Moon are any indication, it won't. That doesn't mean it's not straight up busted in Modern, though. A long PPTQ season will help uncover the mysteries under the Eldritch Moon soon enough.
The Stybs will pick the column back up on Monday. Thanks for hanging out.