Alllllllrighty. We're getting right into it again. My apologies if you miss the ranty op-eds. I promise they'll be back at some point. For now, though, I'm really excited about Aether Revolt Standard. Will that excitement wane after Saheeli Combo wins its second consecutive Grand Prix? Absolutely! But I'm in no hurry to get to that point. Never grow up too fast, you know.
I caught some flack on Monday for asserting that Spire of Industry was going to replace Glimmervoid in Modern Affinity. Is that a crazy take? I thought that was totally obvious. Glimmervoid's drawback is way bigger than Spire of Industry's, especially when you consider how rarely Affinity needs the colored mana from Glimmervoid anyway. Also, while he was streaming the MOCS playoff last weekend, Owen Turtenwald mentioned that if Aether Revolt had been legal, he would've been playing Spire of Industry. So there.
Gifted Aetherborn, and deathtouch monsters in general, look great against the Winding Constrictor go-tall methods that took down last weekend's Standard Open. I don't know how good Baral, Chief of Compliance is in the face of these, but it's a cool effect that Shota Yasooka could potentially play next weekend if he comes down with a very specific type of Amnesia that causes him to forget that Thing in the Ice exists.
Does this card do anything? I'm not convinced this card has relevant text on it. I look forward to being proven wrong.
Disallow's rank slid from #7 to #9. Expect it to slide further once players realize it's just Cancel.
I'm a little more intimate than I'd like to be with the saga of Sram, Senior Edificer; Bing Luke specced on Puresteel Paladin, Sram, Senior Edificer's spiritual predecessor, and freely gives us constant reminders. Sram, Senior Edificer is a neat card that could potentially play a role in a post-Smuggler's Copter dwarf deck with a vehicle subtheme.
Scrap Trawler's another one of those Aether Revolt cards that begs to be broken, or at least have a Rube Goldberg machine built around it. Speaking of Aether Revolt, all the Top 10 sellers this week are from there. That callout is purely procedural; the brand-new set should sell well. That said, it's nice that, so far, everything's going to plan. No news is good news.
Oftentimes, there are new cards that sneak up on you. It's not clear they're good on paper, but when it lines up with the right supporting cast, it ends up being a Showstopper. Rishkar, Peema Renegade is not one of those cards. Admittedly, we haven't seen a subtly good card in a minute (the last one that comes to mind is Pack Rat), but if Pack Rat was a puzzle to be figured out and then applied en masse, Rishkar, Peema Renegade is a blunt object with an obvious application - breaking stuff.
Walking Ballista is an early frontrunner as one of Aether Revolt Standard's defining cards. It goes in nearly every deck, and the Saheeli Rai / Felidar Guardian combo can't loop against a Walking Ballista, even if it only has one counter. The card shot up in price and sales held steady, which is a huge that it's for real.
Glint-Sleeve Siphoner featured heavily in Stephen Dykman's runner-up Black-Green Deck, but it seems like the type of card to play in early iterations of formats. As lists and strategies get more refined, players will figure out what their decks want to do, and incorporate things more on-plan than Glint-Sleeve Siphoner. Dark Confidant-type cards are exciting, but this one's not good enough to make a lasting footprint on Aether Revolt Standard. The format's too bloated, too full of good cards, for Glint-Sleeve Siphoner to be relied on long-term. Check back when Battle for Zendikar and Shadows over Innistrad blocks rotate.
As if Modern didn't have enough green three-drop good at grinding out other fair decks.
Fatal Push was the right call to play in week one of Aether Revolt Standard, but a lot of players didn't pull the trigger on it all the way because, on its face, it's a conditional card that can be though to get full value out of, and there's no guarantee that the juice is worth the squeeze, so to speak. Hindsight is 20/20; given last weekend's results, Fatal Push is a definite contender, especially considering our #1 selling card.
Just to reiterate: The two decks that met in the finals of the Columbus Standard Open last weekend are Winding Constrictor decks. They are based around breaking Winding Constrictor and their best starts involve playing it on the second turn and untapping with it on the third. There's a really small window for opponents to interact with a turn-two Winding Constrictor, which black-green decks will continue to take advantage of until opponents adapt. I'm a sucker for Golgari decks anyway, so I'll be glued to coverage to see if Winding Constrictor stays atop the Standard Power Rankings.