Standard was shaken up quite a bit recently, and the dust has yet to settle. Generally speaking, agro decks do well in the first weeks of a new Standard, and this week was no different. A few Aether Revolt cards made a good showing on camera and stole the spotlight. Let's dive in!
Retract is a really neat card, but hasn't seen much of any play in years. It has gotten new life in a Grapeshot combo deck featuring Sram, Senior Edificer, a ton of 0 drops and of course, Grapeshot. It's named Cheeri0s. I'm not certain if the spike is entirely due to the deck, or the influx of Breya, Etherium Shaper players, but either way it's really good to see cute tech like this in action.
Verdurous Gearhulk has had a wild ride since it was spoiled. It's been up, down, and now back up again. It is an absolute beatdown in the B/G Standard decks that ran rampant last weekend. 13 copies were in the top 8 for SCG Columbus. I think this time around, the green giant will hold a healthier price for longer.
Saffi Eriksdotter has been a Commander combo staple for a long time and it even sees some constructed play. Combined with ETB creatures like Reveillark, it can do some gross things. Modern G/W/X toolbox decks have existed for some time to variable success. Now, with Renegade Rallier, these toolbox decks just got deeper. Saffi is an efficient 2 drop that has a relevant ability, so I don't expect the price to drop quickly.
Like both parts of the Saheeli Rai and Felidar Guardian combo, Authority of the Consuls has also gone up proportionately. The combo proved to be one of the deck checks in Standard last weekend. If you showed up without an answer to it, you lost. Standard aside, Authority of the Consuls is a card every white Commander deck should play. It has zero downside, other than your opponents MAYBE hating you a little.
Esper Charm saw a slight uptick this week, and I think it's mostly to the Cruel Control decks running around Modern lately. Cruel Ultimatum is still a card that gives players nightmares, and it has been seeing a resurgence in Modern lately. It also sees play in various Esper control decks and Breya Commander decks. While not 100% value town, USA, Esper Charm still does relevant things occasionally.
Cheap pickups of the Week!
Greenbelt Rampager is the kind of creature that is very aggressively costed. On the surface it may seems lackluster, but a 3/4 for 1 can be relevant. I'd pick some up while they are dirt cheap. Going along with the same theme, Hope of Ghirapur is the neatest card of the set. You can soft lock your opponents out with various tactics. It seems exceptionally strong in older formats. It hasn't been broken yet, but it has the potential to. Lastly, unrelated to Frontier, I think Siege Rhino is a fantastic pick up. With Fatal Push now in Modern, I think we might see some strong Abzan decks in the Grand Prix. Siege Rhino used to be a dime a dozen, but with a strong performance in Modern, and Frontier picking up steam, they won't be cheap forever.
Conversation of the Week!
Casual verses competitive Commander decks is always a hot debate topic. Yes, the spirit of Commander is one of fun, but who's to say what is fun, exactly? Some people have fun with a control/permission deck. Others love playing Stacks type decks. Some enjoy building tribal good stuff. Even though I love being creative and different, as long as there is a winner, competitive people will always build competitive decks. There is no harm in scooping if you feel an opponent is too oppressive, just understand that every play group is different. That being said, try building a competitive deck to fight those that would play oppressive cards. Instead of complaining that people play too cut throat, build your own anti cut throat deck that still stays true to you as a player/builder. My anti cut throat deck is Surrak Dragonclaw.
The best Commander card you aren't playing!
This week, the best Commander card you aren't playing is Transcendent Master. He (she) works in 5c decks or mono white decks. A great use of all your unspent mana and a fantastic beater. Side note: Why doesn't he (she) fly?! He (she) transcends, but doesn't fly? He's (she's) even hovering in the art.