Top Trades: July 1-July 8

Harvey McGuinness • July 11, 2024

Welcome back and happy Thursday everyone! It's time for our newest installment of Top Trades, where we check in to see what the biggest movers and shakers over here at Cardsphere are for the week. So, what's the talk of the town this week? Let's take a look.

Honorable Mention - Glimpse the Impossible

Number of Trades: 10 --- Number of Cards Traded: 16

Well well well, it seems I may have been a bit too quick to dismiss Ruby Storm as Modern's next flash in the pan. The deck is still popping up in leagues, Ruby Medallion's price hasn't completely tanked, and Glimpse the Impossible is back on our Top Trades lists yet again.

For those of you who missed last week's article, here's an overview on why this three-mana common is popping up all over the place. Ruby Storm - a deck centered around chaining together discounted rituals thanks to the newly legal Ral, Monsoon Mage and Ruby Medallion - usually runs a couple copies of Glimpse the Impossible as a safe and flexible combo-prep card. If you manage to exile three important cards off of its effect (anything resembling rituals or impulse draw) then you're off to the races. If not, then let those cards go to the graveyard at the end of the turn and save up mana for the next turn via the Eldrazi Spawn you've just created. Either way, you get something out of Glimpse the Impossible, and that flexibility is important to a deck that tries to go from zero to one-hundred in the span of a single turn.

#5 - Seething Landscape and Deceptive Landscape

Total Trades: 18 (9 Each)

Total Cards Traded: 30 (Seething Landscape - 18, Deceptive Landscape - 12)

Alright, on to the main cards of the list itself, this time featuring a whole bonus card! At number five on our list are the common lands Seething Landscape and Deceptive Landscape, two cards that each have ": Add " as well as the ability to tap and sacrifice them in order to fetch up a tapped basic land from among one of three options - Islands, Swamps, or Mountains for Seething Landscape and Plains, Swamps, or Forests for Deceptive Landscape. Finally, if you want to cycle either of these lands away, simply pay one mana of each color from among the lands they can fetch and there you have it! A fresh card has been added to your hand.

Now, this has been a lot of text for what is effectively a new spin on Evolving Wilds, so why is it so popular? Well, the combination of adding mana the turn the land comes down thanks to that first ability plus the option of cycling it away if you draw it as a dead card in the late game makes these lands very appealing. Sure, most of the time they'll be a slightly-restricted copy of Evolving Wilds, but there will be plenty of games where that colorless mana ability and/or the cycling keyword will come in handy. Games are, after all, often won at the margins.

#4 - Accursed Marauder

Number of Trades: 9 --- Number of Cards Traded: 15

Accursed Marauder isn't a particularly unique effect, but it is best in class. Compare it against Fleshbag Marauder, the creature from which it's inspired. The two have nearly identical enter the battlefield triggers and no other abilities - Accursed Marauder causes each player to sacrifice a nontoken creature whereas Fleshbag Marauder simply causes each player to sacrifice a creature, with no nontoken restriction. As for stat lines, Accursed Marauder is a 2/1 while Fleshbag Marauder is a 3/1. Not a small difference, but also not one to write home about - after all, players frequently sacrifice Marauders to their own triggered abilities, so chances are those stat lines aren't sticking around that long.

Now that we've run through just about every other difference between the cards, what about (arguably) the most important - mana costs? Fleshbag Marauder costs more to cast, and that is a huge swing. for one extra power and the ability to sacrifice a token. I don't know about you, but I'd take the newer, cheaper version any day.

#3 - Consign to Memory

Number of Trades: 10 --- Number of Cards Traded: 12

It's not too often that a piece of sideboard tech pops up on Top Trades, but that's exactly what we've got here with Consign to Memory. As a dedicated control player myself, seeing any sort of counter-magic that costs one mana or less is always interesting. So what does that one mana get us here? "Counter target triggered ability or colorless spell." But wait, there's more! Consign to Memory has replicate for the low low cost of . So when are we going to use Consign to Memory?

My first thought was artifacts, but more and more artifacts are colored spells these days so Consign to Memory isn't going to help us as much there as it once would have. Plus, unless you're in a weird game with artifacts moving around at instant speed, you'll never need to pay the replicate cost if you're only dealing with a single sorcery-speed spell. So, if not artifacts, then what? Eldrazi.

Many of Magic's most powerful (and as such, most popular) Eldrazi creatures combine two key attributes: they're colorless spells, and they have triggered abilities that occur when they're cast. This means you'll readily encounter plenty of situations where an Eldrazi spell and its associated triggered ability are on the stack simultaneously, setting you up for a 2-for-1 if you replicate your Consign to Memory. Now that's the kind of value I can get behind.

#2 - Amped Raptor

Number of Trades: 11 --- Number of Cards Traded: 15

Unlike Consign to Memory, Amped Raptor is most definitely not a sideboard card. Instead, it's contributing to the slow reconstruction of 2024's spin on classic Modern Jund. So what does this Dinosaur do?

For two mana - - Amped Raptor is a 2/1 Dinosaur creature with first strike and "When Amped Raptor enters the battlefield, you get two energy counters. Then, if you cast it from your hand, exile cards from the top of your library until you exile a nonland card. You may cast that card by paying an amount of energy counters equal to its mana value rather than paying its mana cost." Does this bring back cascade memories for anyone else? Because it sure does for me.

Thanks to Amped Raptor, Jund just got a pretty sweet new toy - want a free Wrenn and Six? How about Orcish Bowmasters? Or Tarmogoyf? Or Thoughtseize? The list goes on and on - Modern is still a format full of powerfull one- and two-drops, and Amped Raptor wants to cast all of them.

#1 - Sneaky Snacker

Number of Trades: 11 --- Number of Cards Traded: 16

Moving away from Modern, it's time to look to the common sheet for this week's top traded card, a new Pauper all-star: Sneaky Snacker.

For , Sneaky Snacker is a 2/1 Faerie Rogue creature with flying and "Whenever you draw your third card in a turn, return Sneaky Snacker from your graveyard to the battlefield tapped." A two mana 2/1 with upside and a relevant creature type is already an excellent rate, but upon closer inspection it becomes pretty apparent that this isn't your normal level of upside. Instead, as we'll see in a moment, Sneaky Snacker is a creature that refuses to die.

Pauper is full of commons that draw a lot of cards, but none is more infamous than Brainstorm. This one-mana instant will trigger Sneaky Snacker whenever we cast it, meaning that Sneaky Snacker's going to be a deceptively good creature in combat. You'll never have to worry about it dying so long as you have Brainstorm in hand, and that's hardly an ask.

As for combo tricks, Sneaky Snacker synergizes absurdly well with the bevy of black sorceries which have you sacrifice a creature as an additional cost to draw two cards - Village Rites, Deadly Dispute, Nasty End, the list goes on. Couple these with Sneaky Snacker and now that sacrifice cost is as good as gone.

These immediate synergies don't even cover Sneaky Snacker's applications in mill and/or discard strategies - just like with having it die in combat, the drawback to discarding or milling a Sneaky Snacker is almost nonexistent. Just cast Brainstorm.

Wrap Up

Another week, another top five Modern Horizons 3 list. That being said, it's interesting to see just how many formats and how many decks have been touched by this release. From Modern to Pauper and everything in between, this set had something for everyone, and the numbers here at Cardsphere show it. Tune in next week for more Top Trades, where we'll see what Magic's newest movers are.