Last weekend's invitational solidified Humans as an archetype that is Most Definitely For Real, while cementing Bant Company as The Deck To Beat. Stybs is enjoying PAX this weekend, so I'm taking over for him and serving up the top ten cards that sold this week. The newest PPTQ season starts Saturday, and what better way to get a leg up on the competition than by diving into TCGplayer's data and seeing what players have been snatching up all week?
Let's get started.
The number-one card sold over the weekend as well, Fevered Visions holds onto the #1 spot thanks to the way the card plays against Bant Company. Bant Company plays well aware of sweepers, and tend to hold cards against the control decks. Fevered Visions punishes Bant Company for holding cards in their hand, and if the Bant Company player overextends to avoid taking damage from Fevered Visions, they get blown out by a well-timed Chandra, Flamecaller.
I love this card. Tireless Tracker is a four-drop masquerading as a three drop, since resolving it and immediately playing a land and triggering its landfall ability before an opponent gets priority feels like cheating. Tireless Tracker is the type of creature that gives control decks fits, and if you untap with it in play, the power and advantage it yields can spin out of control.
The only Modern card to crack our top ten. This is likely due to the fact that an extremely spicy Eldrazi Tron deck finished in the money last weekend. Here it is, for reference:
Welcome to Shadows over Innistrad Standard, where all the card advantage in the format is attached to green creatures that can enter play via Collected Company. Duskwatch Recruiter is another one of those creatures that gives control decks a headache all by itself. It's a great draw at any stage in the game, yielding a cost-efficient creature early or a self-sustaining card advantage engine late.
If Standard is all about tempo and aggression, it's no wonder that a removal spell like Declaration in Stone hangs around on these top ten lists. It's not the best removal spell in a control deck, but if you can put so much pressure on an opponent that they never have time to crack the clue, Declaration in Stone is one of the best removal spells you can get. The "take two of the same creature out with one spell" clause is just gravy.
Glorious Anthem on steroids is great in its own right, but when a white weenie tribal deck is in contention for the best deck in Standard, it takes on a whole new identity. Always Watching is the reason Kozilek's Return is a non-factor in Standard right now, and the value of the white enchantment can't be overstated.
I love a good reprint, and Lightning Axe is already seeing more play in Shadows over Innistrad Standard than it ever did when Time Spiral was standard-legal. Fun Fact: Shadows over Innistrad marks the second time that the wombo combo of Lightning Axe / Fiery Temper has been in the same set!
If Always Watching is a pushed version of Glorious Anthem, then Thalia's Liuetenant is an R&D experiment where they started with Champion of the Parish and wanted to see how far they could take it. Humans are a massive chunk of the Shadows over Innistrad Standard metagame, and Thalia's Lieutenant is the lynchpin of every Humans archetype. It's a great draw at any stage of the game and Humans decks would play ten copies if they were allowed to.
Our first multi-format all-star! I can't wait for more Modern and Legacy results to come in, because Thing in the Ice is almost destined to make a splash in both of those formats. Get your copies before the cat's out of the bag.
One of the better two-drops white has to offer, this is another Magic Origins card in the vein of Nantuko Husk and Knight of the White Orchid that slipped under players' collective radars until the conditions were just right for them to be huge. Consul's Lieutenant looks to continue that fine tradition.
The standouts among cards that fell outside of the top ten are Engulf the Shore, Nahiri, the Harbinger, and Geier Reach Bandit. Engulf the Shore seems tailor-made against all the weenie decks floating around Standard, while Nahiri, the Harbinger and Geier Reach Bandit feel more like reactions to an aggressive Standard format.
The story this week's top ten tells is one of aggressive decks and the reaction to them. Stay tuned next week to see if the midrange cards outside of the top ten continue to climb up the list and make into the top ten — if that happens, it might be time for you to switch to a control deck and smash all the folks trying to beat up on the aggressive decks.
Now if you'll excuse me, I've got a Pro Tour to watch.