The TCGplayer 2016 Modern State Championships are upon us, and their impact on the weekly Super Sellers is definitely felt. I'm filling in for The Stybs today, and I'm not messing around—we're diving right into these. Here are the top ten cards sold since Monday, May 9.
It's safe to say that Prized Amalgam's appearance on the Top 10 is thanks to Modern. Yesterday's exhaustive Adam Yurchick column focused on the Modern archetypes bolstered by Shadows over Innistrad, and Prized Amalgam showed up in all three of the Dredge decks that Yurchick featured. It's a fine analog to the Ichorid, a cornerstone of Legacy & Vintage Dredge decks, and gives Modern dredge decks the threat they've needed to have a shot.
People like tutors. A lot. That's really all there is behind this one. Don't overthink it.
Standard can be neatly chopped into two halves: Duskwatch Recruiter decks and Languish decks. You're either one or the other. Both are powerful cards in their own right, but one signifies a proactive strategy while the other signifies a more reactive strategy. Duskwatch Recruiter is the rare card that works proactively and generates card advantage all by itself, necessitating an immediate answer lest it bury an opponent in cards single-handedly. Even if Duskwatch Recruiter ever dips out of the top 10, it's still a cornerstone of Standard.
A lot of folks around the office have been asking me how to pronounce "harbinger." Why they're asking me is anyone's guess, but I'm going to get this PSA out of the way real quick.
Harbinger is a real word. A quick Google search tells us that a harbinger is "a person or thing that announces or signals the approach of another." Simple enough!
The word is pronounced HAR-binge-er. I hear harbringer a lot. It's not harbringer.
Now that the PSA portion's out of the way, let's talk Nahiri, the Harbinger's effect on Modern. In Standard, she's already quite good, but as Seth Manfield, Destroyer of Worlds pointed out this week, Nahiri, the Harbinger is really well-positioned in Modern. I'll let him explain:
Unlike Jeskai's prior win conditions, Nahiri, the Harbinger is actually very difficult to answer. Sure, there are some Maelstrom Pulses floating around, but even Maelstrom Pulse is just a one-for-one trade.
Manfield goes on to discuss why its effect in Standard is so disparate from its effect on Modern, and a lot of that has to do with Emrakul, the Aeons Torn. If you're going to States this weekend, you're going to want a plan to beat Nahiri, the Harbinger.
For Pro Tour Avacyn Restored, while Alexander Hanye was busy winning with miracles, I toiled away trying to break Cloudshift like an idiot. This should give you an idea of how high I am on Eldrazi Displacer. I love it when Limited bombs find a place in Constructed, and Eldrazi Displacer's definitely found a niche in Collected Company decks. It's a hit off Collected Company in its own right, but alongside Brood Monitor it can also gain infinite life with Pious Evangel, or kill an opponent outright with a Zulaport Cutthroat. Blinking Reflector Mage is also great, but you could always go the Luis Scott-Vargas/Josh Utter-Leyton route and blink Dragonlord Atarka.
With Reflector Mage's marketshare in Standard dwindling by the tournament, it's only a matter of time before Ever After rears its head to give players in the midrange arms race a serious advantage. If you like Seasons Past but would like to win the game instead of durdling around until your opponent maybe concedes, Ever After is your jam.
The aforementioned second third of the Eldrazi Displacer Ha Ha You're Dead combos, it was only a matter of time before Brood Monitor popped up into the top ten. My guess is that everyone had to buy these just because no one in their right mind drafted green in Battle for Zendikar.
A recent adoption in the W/G Tokens deck, Lambholt Pacifist is a throwback to Glade Watcher, albeit a pushed one. It combos well with Dromoka's Command; if Lambholt Pacifist has a +1/+1 counter, it wakes itself up. Perfect!
Since LSV's Top 8 at Pro Tour Shadows over Innistrad, players have been refining the Cryptolith Rite / Collected Company archetype. There are many different wrinkles to the archetype, but they all share one thing in common: They are all totally sweet.
Another defining card of Standard. Grixis Control would likely be The Best Deck in Standard were it not for one glaring fall — the deck has no clean way to deal with Omendahl, Profance Princeoutside of stealing it with a Dragonlord Silumgar, but that plan is flimsy at best.
Revisiting the Duskwatch Recruiter / Languish paradigm of Standard, Westvale Abbey sets itself apart as the rare card that slots cleanly into both archetypes. Duskwatch Recruiter decks are well-suited to give up a ton of creatures to a Westvale Abbey, while the Languish decks, like the one Seth Manfield won with last weekend, can always threaten end-of-turn Secure the Wastes, untap, make Ormendahl, kill you. Westvale Abbey gives decks a nice variety of ways to attack opponents, whether it's on Kjeldoran Outpost duty or it becomes a 9/7 beatstick with lots of abilities.
Insolent Neonate's another Shadows over Innistrad dredge-enabler that found its way into all three Dredge decks Adam Yurchick featured yesterday, and should be a mainstay in Modern for the foreseeable future. Reality Smasher, Tireless Tracker, and Thing in the Ice all claim spots in the top 25, and rightfully so — they all can claim an immediate impact on the board and by the time they're dispatched, they will have done their damage. All three are interesting creatures that attack Standard in disparate ways, and they're all creatures I wouldn't Think Twice about casting at my next tournament.