Countdown til Christmas: Top 10 Magic Cards of 2018 (#7)
Cardmarket's top 10 most sold Magic: The Gathering cards of 2018 - with a Christmas twist! These cards topped our charts from 1 January to 30 November 2018 and we can't wait to share them. Here's our 7th most popular card!
Too many colors
Humans are happy
The Humans Are Claiming What's Theirs
Humans is the deck that took the Modern meta somewhat by surprise in 2018 as it felt both obvious and new at the same time. At its core, it undeniably uses a tribal approach. But when the tribe is Human, a subtype so large that at this point it'd be more correct to call it a supertype, the actual operating field starts looking wide and unrestricted. After all, Human tribal has access to 2,151 cards that currently bear the subtype – that's almost one quarter of all existing creatures. Enchantments and Instants contain just a bit more cards than Humans (by a hundred)... and those are types.
How can we better exploit all this bonanza? Human being the default "race" of one quarter of creatures in the game also means they come in any and all colors – and this goes for the best ones as well. White has historically been the color where Human is treated more directly as a tribe, which lead to creatures calling up the type in linear mechanics, like Champion of the Parish and Thalia's Lieutenant. Building around them, it seemed natural to stay in the tried-and-tested White Weenie archetype.
However, there was so much potential in the Human world that extended beyond those Plains. How can we tap into it? How can we build a deck where you can drop Noble Hierarch on turn one, then Kitesail Freeboter on turn two followed up by Mantis Rider? That's five colors of mana in three lands. Sure, it's not an impossible feat as you can fetch the appropriate shock lands and manage. But it can become a headache-inducing puzzle, causing a ton of self-damage and not feeling reliable enough for the competitive scene. Now Cavern of Souls would help. Reflecting Pool too, provided you drop it after the Cavern. And does anybody remember that little used, casual-feeling land from Conflux, Ancient Ziggurat? Nah, that's just too clunky. Right?
What was needed for our five-color Human deck to exist was a critical mass of lands that could produce whatever color was needed at any given time. That boiling point was reached with the printing of this unassuming, uncommon tribal-oriented land from Ixalan:
Unclaimed Territory changed the Human game just by adding to the virtual skeleton of a deck that was already there – the kind of aggro list that uses Aether Vial as the only noncreature and happily disrupts the opponent's tempo with Thalia, Guardian of Thraben. With most lands in the deck now functionally reading "add one mana of any color," the scale was finally tipped. Any new powerful Human will now be born with a Modern home that has already been built. The rest is, and will keep being, history.
Opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and not necessarily Cardmarket.
Check out Unclaimed Territory and help it top the charts next year too, if you'd like!
COUNTDOWN TIL CHRISTMAS
Top 10 Magic Cards of 2018