Weekly Super Sellers: Top 10 Cards Sold February 6-10, 2017

Feature Article from Jon Corpora
Jon Corpora
2/10/2017 11:01:00 AM
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"Magic is just golf where people cosplay as the putter."


-Jason Corrigan

There's more to that metaphor than is apparent at first glance. The comparison of Magic and golf is tied to their spectator appeal—there's no doubt that there are people that exist out in the world that like to watch both games being played, but they're both games built within well-insulated communities that have a high barrier to entry. Looking at a Magic tournament and fully understanding what's going on is difficult, even for long-time magicians. Magic coverage has tried to address this quandary for close to a decade now, and has settled on letting cool new decks attract casuals while sophisticated gameplay appeals to the hardcore mages watching from home.

Every website should have a Bruce Richard. He's the best. It's easy to write off "casual" as purely subjective, but Richard isn't necessarily discussing Cutting-Edge Tech™, he's talking about making friends and building a community through Magic. The combos he elucidates are a means to that end.

This week, Richard cast a critical eye on the Pro Tour's new Team Series, and on Pro Tour Aether Revolt itself.

This tweet reads to me less as a condemnation of the Team Series itself but as a reaction to the self-aggrandizement the Team Series engenders. With no invested spectators talking about the teams, the players populating them have no choice but to talk about themselves. As a general rule, people strongly dislike brazen displays of self-branding. Richard observes:

These teams offer me no “hometown pride.” My parents weren't cheering for Dex Army or ChannelFireball Ice when they were young. It also doesn't help that I know half of these teams will be gone next season, while the other half will have many new faces as players try to maximize their chances to win team prizes next season.

Organized Play's latest ill-fated attempt to revamp Magic's appeal, essentially stuffing a square peg into a round hole and assuring confused viewers that the square peg is an e-sport, has not gotten off to a good start (the fact that OP is branding this year's iteration as a "soft launch" does not make it above criticism). The Team Series will get more interesting as the year goes on, and it is a good idea in and of itself, but right now it only exists in service of an idea that Magic is an e-sport, and that it can hoodwink Twitch viewers, looking for the next big thing, into thinking so. As Richard's article concluded, it cannot.

Let golf be golf. Sponsorships are great; ill-fitting polyester shirts, not so much. Magic appeal and the source of its consistent growth has nothing to do with Hearthstone. The PGA Tour did not look at the rise of football and suddenly put golfers in pads.

Bruce Richard was the audience the Team Series was hoping to court, and it failed in spectacular fashion. It's important to not perceive Richard's takeaway as a lack of commitment to the game: that's not only reductive but demonstrably false. If anything, Richard was rooting for the Pro Tour to hook him! His account of his viewing experience ends on watching a judge call and being thankful he was not playing on the Pro Tour. This is not because he didn't understand what was happening—he followed everything, it just happened to be completely at odds with how he enjoys Magic.

Magic is a massive game. It's one of the many advantages it enjoys over its contemporaries. Let it be big! Casuals and Spikes aren't competing over The Soul Of Magic, they're just two groups that enjoy the same game differently. Too much time and energy has been spent trying to bridge that gap, as opposed to delivering the best experience to both groups. As of publication of this very piece you're reading, the Team Series is another failed reminder of that.

#10: Winding Constrictor

Mid
Low
 Winding Constrictor
$0.85
$0.30
Store QTY Price  
OnimatrixGames 1 $0.01
ALL THAT Gaming 1 $0.25
Great Escape Games 1 $0.30
Comic Cards Etc 3 $0.50
Smokesailboatgaming 1 $0.55
Blue Highway Games 10 $0.61
Tabletop Game Swap 1 $0.62

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Magic MTG Card
Magic MTG Card Winding Constrictor Magic MTG Card
Magic MTG Card


For all the pats on the back I give myself for realizing that Scrapheap Scrounger was going to be amazing... holy moly did I miss hard on Winding Constrictor. "It's just one counter... how big a difference can one counter make?" DERP. Turns out when an ability that's designed to give one counter suddenly gives two, it throws the balance of the game out of whack. That is what Winding Constrictor does, and it became the backbone of every black-green deck overnight.

#9: Unlicensed Disintegration

Mid
Low
Store QTY Price  
EpicTopDeck 2 $0.19
JasmineDragon 1 $0.20
OldSchoolGaming 3 $0.20
Glaive Cards 1 $0.20
CriticalHitLLC 2 $0.20
Brickmaster Games 1 $0.22
BlackwingsSwarm 1 $0.23

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Magic MTG Card
Magic MTG Card Unlicensed Disintegration Magic MTG Card
Magic MTG Card


Speaking of defining cards of Aether Revolt Standard, Unlicensed Disintegration certainly puts a strain on any deck looking to play it—are you black-red? Do you have enough artifacts to justify playing it over Murder?—but the payoff is tremendous. Unlicensed Disintegration reminded me a lot of Blightning during Kaladesh preview season, but the more I play with it, the more I realize that it's actually our Flametongue Kavu (don't @ me).

#8: Dark Intimations

Mid
Low
 Dark Intimations
$0.66
$0.20
Store QTY Price  
Card Taverns 2 $0.20
Gametraders 1 $0.22
Comic Cards Etc 2 $0.25
Windy City Seller 3 $0.25
PerilShop 1 $0.25
Pulp Central gaming 1 $0.25
Blackstone Games 1 $0.28

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Magic MTG Card
Magic MTG Card Dark Intimations Magic MTG Card
Magic MTG Card


There I was, early on in pack one of an Aether Revolt draft, when I saw the third Dark Intimations in five picks go by. "Should I have taken it?" I wondered. "Should I have taken all of them?!?! (Answer: no.) Better question: What is the Bolas Planeswalker in Amonkhet going to look like?

#7: Gifted Aetherborn

Mid
Low
 Gifted Aetherborn
$0.59
$0.25
Store QTY Price  
Semper Fi Gaming 4 $0.25
Event Horizon Games 1 $0.35
DMs Cards 2 $0.35
JL Sportsandgames 6 $0.40
Gamers Heaven 8 $0.40
Card Haven Games 1 $0.40
Die Hard Games 1 $0.40

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Magic MTG Card
Magic MTG Card Gifted Aetherborn Magic MTG Card
Magic MTG Card


I'll just leave this here:

#6: Aethersphere Harvester

Mid
Low
 Aethersphere Harvester
$2.06
$0.70
Store QTY Price  
Dusty Collectibles 3 $0.70
SnJ Card Gaming 1 $0.75
SeanDSG 1 $0.90
gacollectables 1 $0.99
Cyber Lord Games 6 $0.99
Twisted Image Gaming 2 $1.00
Wily MTG 1 $1.00

>> View all Prices for Aethersphere Harvester <<

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Magic MTG Card
Magic MTG Card Aethersphere Harvester Magic MTG Card
Magic MTG Card


Heart of Kiran fell off the board this week, but Aethersphere Harvester lives on, mostly because it serves a similar function (it's not even clear which card is superior) at a diminished price point.

#5: Baral, Chief of Compliance

Mid
Low
Store QTY Price  
TCG Mail Room 1 $0.90
CardNAll Gaming 2 $0.90
Balasam Trading 1 $1.35
Liquidz CCG 1 $1.42
Brute Force Games 1 $1.49
Apacseller 1 $1.49
Gamers Heaven 2 $1.50

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Magic MTG Card
Magic MTG Card Baral, Chief of Compliance Magic MTG Card
Magic MTG Card


Jon Finkel, the best Magic player ever to live streamed, piloting a Modern Storm deck featuring Baral, Chief of Compliance:

Watch live video from pantheonmagic on www.twitch.tv

#4: Rite of Passage

Mid
Low
 Rite of Passage
$4.43
$0.15
Store QTY Price  
Tsunami Games 1 $1.30
GameHavenSTL 3 $1.99
Canvas Studios 1 $1.99
OmahaMTG321 2 $2.00
BanHammerCards 3 $2.00
Top Deck Gamers 1 $2.13
Roll for Damage 1 $2.18

>> View all Prices for Rite of Passage <<

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Magic MTG Card
Magic MTG Card Rite of Passage Magic MTG Card
Magic MTG Card


Thanks to Winding Constrictor, Skullbriar Commander decks are back en vogue, triggering a rush on Rite of Passage. I drafted the ever-loving crap out of full Mirrodin block when I was a kid, and even back then, I was very confused that Rite of Passage and Mephidross Vampire were in the same set. They both combo with Triskelion, but Mephidross Vampire is so much better! Magic is weird.

#3: Spire of Industry

Mid
Low
 Spire of Industry
$4.25
$2.41
Store QTY Price  
Infinity MTG 1 $2.22
CirclesOnCircles 1 $2.41
Armada Games 1 $2.49
Great Escape Games 2 $2.50
Qs CardsnComics 1 $2.80
Armada Games 3 $2.99
Wheezy Lex 1 $3.00

>> View all Prices for Spire of Industry <<

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Magic MTG Card
Magic MTG Card Spire of Industry Magic MTG Card
Magic MTG Card


Spire of Industry was a Godsend to the Mardu Vehicles decks, but here, Craig Wescoe uses it in a Mono-white deck to good effect as a way to active Bomat Courier and Scrapheap Scrounger at little cost.

#2: Fatal Push

Mid
Low
 Fatal Push
$6.20
$3.44
Store QTY Price  
Blue Highway Games 2 $4.58
BanHammerCards 1 $4.75
Buds Place 1 $4.75
Starfyre Games 4 $5.00
The Colony Games 1 $5.00
magiccalling 1 $5.00
Semper Fi Gaming 1 $5.00

>> View all Prices for Fatal Push <<

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Magic MTG Card
Magic MTG Card Fatal Push Magic MTG Card
Magic MTG Card


You've seen what Fatal Push can do in Standard—basically, if you're not playing four in your 75, you're playing too few. Now Seth Manfield runs it in Modern for your viewing pleasure:

#1: Release the Gremlins

Mid
Low
 Release the Gremlins
$0.85
$0.10
Store QTY Price  
Windy City Seller 1 $0.25
Blackstone Games 1 $0.28
Snapcasters Gaming 12 $0.29
josephjoseph 1 $0.30
Gametraders 2 $0.35
Western Ohio Gaming 1 $0.39
Gnome Depot 1 $0.40

>> View all Prices for Release the Gremlins <<

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Magic MTG Card
Magic MTG Card Release the Gremlins Magic MTG Card
Magic MTG Card


Aren't they cute? They're like little anteaters.

Jon Corpora
pronounced Ca-pora
@feb31st




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