I have nothing to report. I played six rounds of an RPTQ with Death's Shadow yesterday, so my brain's fried. Let's move on to the week's sales.
I was absent for Friday's recap, which usually includes Monday, so I'm recapping the last seven days, which includes our massive Cyber Monday sale. That means more definitive data!! WHEEEE
One last bit of housekeeping — I'm shamelessly plugging this:
It's not every day you get to lick an Ishkanah, Grafwidow AND combo out your coworker with Zulaport Cutthroat, Eldrazi Displacer, and Brood Monitor, all on camera, you know.
Beck & Call! I have no clue what Beck & Call's doing on here, but I'm into it. Maybe people are thinking of playing it with Yahenni's Expertise so they can fuse it? I don't know. I played Beck & Call in a team Grand Prix once. It was not great.
It makes more sense to see Sol Ring, Blooming Marsh, and Servant of the Conduit this close to making the cut — they're good, straightforward cards, Sol Ring especially. Since Holiday Cube's coming up, I'm going to take this opportunity to remind the six people left on the planet that don't already know: you never pass Sol Ring during the draft. Ever.
Death's Shadow is a weird deck to play. Every game is close. The swings are real, given that you're the type of gal that puts a lot of weight in outcomes. Every game comes right down to the wire, and if you're not used to thinking about winning, as opposed to thinking about not losing, it can be a tough nut to crack. The margin of error is razor thin with wins coming out of nowhere. It's a high-risk, high-reward gambit, and it's worth a spin. I didn't qualify for the Pro Tour, but I had quite the ride. There's nothing quite like winning games at one life.
Speaking of Death's Shadow, you know what card's real good against that deck? Blessed Alliance! It's also a Standard standout; Ben Hull played the same archetype he played at Pro Tour Kaladesh to good effect last weekend, complete with sideboard Blessed Alliance.
also lol he played reid's exact list lolol
The majority of B/G Delirium's wins seem to come really easily — kill a bunch of stuff, play Ishkanah, Grafwidow to buy some time, kill more stuff, play Emrakul, the Promised End and they're dead — but I can't realistically see myself ever quitting Smuggler's Copter. Depala, Pilot Exemplar's great too, but wowee is Smuggler's Copter a fun card to play. Card is great.
No doubt Mardu Vehicles' win yesterday gave Concealed Courtyard a boost over Blooming Marsh, but the song remains the same. Sing along if you know the words:
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 Concealed Courtyard is a Good Wizard Square.
After playing Thraben Inspector a couple times in Limited, I knew it was good, but if you'd told me that it'd see play in every white Standard deck, I would've told you you were crazy. And I would've been wrong! Such is life. Thraben Inspector's a good card. No new news there.
More on this one in a minute.
People love good uncommons. Zendikar remains one of Magic's most-opened sets of all time, keeping a nice, low ceiling on Ravenous Trap's pricetag — but the card's still a fine graveyard hoser in the absence of Rest in Peace.
The foursome of Kaladesh uncommons — Aether Hub, Harnessed Lightning, Blossoming Defense, and Servant of the Conduit — continue to sell at an impressive clip. In hindsight, it's clear that all four cards were "pushed," that is to say, that Magic R&D made these cards far above replacement level intentionally in order to promote Kaladesh's mechanics. They're cheap and they're good. They're not going anywhere.
Not wasting any time with this one. Let's get straight to the deck:
Luckily for Seth, he's better at building around Panharmonicon than I am. There are a ton of delightful things going on here: Skysovereign, Consul Flagship straight-up shoots any Planeswalker down on resolution. Cloudblazer is now completely unfair. Reflector Mage becomes the clear-cut least fun card to play against ever. The list goes on and on. Seth came up with a real monster here — congrats to him on his billionth Grand Prix Top 8.
More TCGplayer columnists! Steve Rubin made it all the way to the finals in Denver with this spicy little number:
With Standard creeping towards midrange more and more all the time, it was only a matter of time before someone fired the cannon to good effect again. What sets Rubin's Aetherworks Marvel deck apart is that it's not all-in on its namesake — Ishkanah, Grafwidow buys tons of time, and Kaladesh Limited All-Star Whirler Virtuoso is a fine energy sink in the absence of an Aetherworks Marvel. This deck is sweet, and appears to be the future of the archetype.
See you Friday.