I'm diving right in today. It's Black Friday. I woke up full and still ate a cold turkey sandwich and three slices of pie for breakfast. Let's get it.
Hangarback Walker, Ravenous Trap, and Shadowborn Apostle finished outside the top 10 and are the only non-Standard cards in the top 15. Ravenous Trap is a holdover from Monday's column as a non-white answer to Dredge and other graveyard-based strategies. I'm not really sure what Hangarback Walker and Shadowborn Apostle are doing here, though. I know TMS Wedge posted a Commander deck with Hangarback Walker in it — I'll assume that's the reason for the spike in sales. As for Shadowborn Apostle, I have no clue, but I love it all the same.
Fiery Temper is no Lightning Bolt, but rather, what Lightning Bolt should have been. For three damage at one mana at instant-speed, there should be a little work involved. Fiery Temper players to jump through hoops, but stuff like Key to the City and Cryptbreaker do a good job at turning a perceived drawback into upside.
There's not much left to say about Thraben Inspector that hasn't already been said ad infinitum. It's a surprisingly efficient, impactful card in a tight little package. And it's also a human, which means it slots right into Craig Wescoe's latest deck.
Here it is again, for all the first-timers:
Here's what makes dual-lands good: basic lands create only one color of mana. That means the baseline value of a land is that it makes one mana of one color. Any time a land is able to cheat on this principle, its value is higher than the value of a basic land. This is why lands like these generally have some sort of qualifier, or drawback, built in. Sometimes the drawbacks are too great, like with Lotus Vale or Cinder Marsh, for them to have more value than a basic land. However, the drawback on the Kaladesh rare dual-land cycle is barely a drawback, yielding value way past the value of a basic land. That is why Blooming Marsh is a Good Wizard Square.
Servant of the Conduit is better than its energy identity belies, but don't take my word for it – just ask Seth Manfield.
While I'm plugging fellow TCGplayer folk, Jadine Klomparens resumed her weekly column with a piece akin to How to Brainstorm, all about just how good Smuggler's Copter is and how to play it accordingly.
Blessed Alliance is not only a strong contender in Standard, but is sneaky good in Modern thanks to all its Become Immense decks, not to mention its added value against Burn.
I understand why this triumvirate keeps showing up in the top five. They're powerful cards, and they're uncommon, which means it feels less bad to buy them. Uncommons always, always, always sell the best. This has been true since the days of Oxidize and Aether Vial (You needed Oxidize to play Standard back then —that Standard environment my not have been the healthiest). This has held true so far for Kaladesh, but this coming weekend's sales data will be interesting.
Black Friday means a spike in sales, so I'll have a TON of data to dive into on Monday. I'm interested to see if it'll be able to unseat Servant of the Conduit, Blossoming Defense, Aether Hub, and Harnessed Lightning from the top ten. Should be interesting.
After flirting with the top ten on Monday, Panharmonicon hits the top spot. I'm assuming it has something to do with this deck:
I'm not gonna mince words — that deck looks fun as heck to play. This weekend's sales data will go a long way in illuminating whether the archetype is for real or just another flash in the pan.
See you next week.