Standard's in a weird spot, but that's not a new development. There will be another round of bannings after Grand Prix New Jersey next weekend, and even though bans aren't guaranteed this time around, it's tough to be confident in Standard's health as a whole. The last time there were bans, they were likely triggered by poor tournament turnout. It's worth noting that now that there are no more PTQs, compiling turnout data is a thousand times more annoying, and likely impossible. The only certainty there is is that Standard bans have traditionally only happened when Wizards' bottom line is in danger.
I think it's time we just stop posting @MagicOnline decks. Formats get solved super fast as people can easily just iterate on what's working— Chris Mascioli (@dieplstks) February 27, 2017
This is a good fix. It's tempting to subscribe the problems of Standard to something opaque like "well, that's how they design cards now" and move on, but how do you explain a substantial portion of Grand Prix Utrecht players adopting Walking Ballista in their Mardu Vehicles without this deck?
If this decklist hadn't gone public, less people would've played Mardu with Walking Ballista in Utrecht. Walking Ballista in Mardu, or even reconfiguring the mana so that the deck is base-white/black instead of base-white/red isn't a crazy stretch, but thanks to the ease of information proliferation and the validation of a 5-0 record in a Standard league, more people adopted the Walking Ballista tech than if CLYDE THE GLIDE DREXLER's entire 75 hand't been public knowledge. Surely players would've gotten the Mardu Walking Ballista memo eventually, but not this soon.
At this point I'm not convinced that the cost of not publishing Magic Online decks even exists. Less tech available? There are a million tournaments and a million results published every weekend. Do all the published events carry the legitimacy of a 5-0 in a Magic Online league? Tough to say!
*Literally any event is as legit as a League 5-0*
Enough about Standard. Let's get into the cards that done sold good.
Let's revisit that first Mardu Ballista decklist.
Scrap Trawler AND Walking Ballista, you say? Color me shocked.
At this point, my experience with Gifted Aetherborn is overwhelmingly in Limited, where it is an absolute Showstopper. I have no idea why this card continues to sell, but I'll take any reason to post this deck tech:
No idea why this card is here. It's on the Reserve List, but that alone isn't a reason for a card to sell or else I'd have shorted the market on Brushwaggs already. If anyone knows why this crappy card sold, please let me know. I'm dying to hear the reasoning.
But seriously, what is going on?
Alright, something sold that actually makes sense. As I'm writing this, the set hasn't been 100% spoiled yet, but if Modern Masters 2015 and Vintage Masters were any indicator, Modern Masters 2017 draft should be a blast.
Turns out Expertises plus fuse cards are broken; if you can cast half a fuse card with the free cast from an Expertise, you can fuse it. Wheeee!
There are currently 740 decks on TCGplayer with Fatal Push in them. Aether Revolt has been out for only a little more than a month.
The card's good, I promise.
Journey into Nyx didn't get opened a whole lot, and the set didn't exactly have a tremendous impact while it was Standard-legal outside of the Temples and a couple uncommons. These days, any value the set retained lies in Eidolon of the Great Revel, a staple in Modern Burn decks.
A function of the Modern Masters sets is that they bring a lot of new players into Modern by lowering prices of staples. Any cards that aren't in the latest Modern Masters set will enjoy an increase in price; the value lost in whatever cards got reprinted just goes somewhere else. In this case, people are stocking up on Eidolon of the Great Revel in anticipation of an influx of new Modern players. This creates a false demand and incidentally drives up the price.
Hell yeah. This is how it should be. I can't wait to draft this set.
Have a good weekend.