We’re back after a short holiday break with a detailed rundown of the top sellers on the official Gods Unchained Marketplace. For the first time, we now have separate datasets available for Genesis and Core cards, which will provide a more holistic picture of community trading activity. What are the similarities and the differences between the two? Read on to find out!
Genesis, week 16: Deamon time
First, let’s round up the Genesis cards. We’ve seen a few new cards debut in high places this time around, Mercenary Daemon came in at #1 on week 16, only to completely fall off the charts soon thereafter. We’ve seen this before: it seems those that debut on the top of the list are more about responding to a 'pocket' of the metagame and represent more of a spike in interest rather than a massive change in the meta or long-standing trends – cards which become permanently ingrained seem to come in somewhat lower. Recently, Gleeful Pillager and Charm suffered a similar fate.
This particular purple Nether has a decent stat distribution with the ability to “pull” an opposing creature into the fray by giving it Frontline. It’s a double-edged sword: unless you have the board presence to deal with it, you’ve just given another defensive tool to your foe.
However, it can also let you reach a critical target behind enemy lines. Though its text was always the same, its mana cost and statline was adjusted a few times over the course of development: it went from a 2 mana 3/2 to a 5 mana 6/3, then a 6/4, now settling on the 6/5 – basically vanilla – statline.
The second Daemon coming in at #2 is a Magic card, Arcana-Daemon, boasting 4/2 stats for 3 mana and a Roar that reads “give a creature spell boost +1”. It’s a nifty if conditional way to get more out of your spells, preferably the cheap ones, since this requires quite a lot of setup in advance. However, its flexibility and the raw benefit of spell boost in Magic made it a nice new tool in the traders’ arsenal, and it’s a card which stuck around in #4 for the following week as well.
Next up is the Nature card, Natural Selection, a 2 mana spell which we also haven’t seen previously on these charts. It leans into the random resource generation aspect of Nature which will be further explored in the Trial of the Gods set, and the extra attack it allows essentially serves as a direct damage spell against creatures, albeit an extremely clunky one which requires a lot of setup and a decent RNG roll. Nevertheless, the fact that it replaces itself makes it worthy of consideration in the right kind of deck.
Genesis, week 17: We fly again
If week 16 was all about innovation on the top, week 17 was about some semblance of normalcy. Flying Carpet returned to #17 after a decently long absence, suggesting yet another uptick in Magic’s performance and popularity around the time. A 1 mana 3/1 is pretty decent on stats, even if many God powers can get rid of it for free via a “ping”, but the flexible Roar effect which either grants it Ward (ergo staying power) or Foresee 1 makes it a fantastic tool in the players’ arsenal.
Seeing a domain card on top of the overall trading stats should always make you pay special attention: considering how 5/6 of the playerbase (schematically speaking) can’t make use of it, such performances suggest something is going on. For instance, it managed to beat out Raze Imp this week, a card which we’ve seen before on our top 20 lists around the time when the Slayer War decks were in their infancy. A 1 mana 2/2 is a good starting point, and shuffling two random Nethers into your deck upon play can either be considered an upside or a downside depending on the archetype you’re playing.
Recursion was the card that came in at #3, yet another Magic card with a potential for nasty surprises. Getting 2 cards for 2 mana is a pretty good deal, and them being spells ensures that they have instant impact on the game state when you cast them. The fact that you can plan around it to some extent based on the opponent’s Void state makes it all the more tantalizing for players who like complicated decision-making.
Of the previous week’s top cards, Arcana-Daemon (#4) and Natural Selection (#8) stuck around, and if you look at the usual suspects, Black Rhino (#12), Agrodor Protector (#14) and Pyramid Warden (#17) are going to stare right back at you. Notably, Whetstone, Sharpen and Out of its Misery are all back and very close to each other, suggesting renewed interest in the aggressive War archetypes to combat Magic wielders.
But how about the Core cards, you ask? Well, now we have the answers you seek.
Core trading: a whole new world
Enthusiastic traders have now had some time to get used to the availability of Core cards. The avalanche of new data and added possibilities take some time to soak in. Now that we’ve got the analytics to generate separate top 20 lists for Genesis and Core cards, we can draw deeper conclusions and draw on comparisons more so than before.
Just like Genesis trading, the Core marketplace is also dominated by low rarity cards, with only common and rare entries seen across both weeks. (For comparison, the only epic seen in the Genesis pool was Clone, a neat combo option for Magic decks. Starting to notice a trend yet?)
Similarly, volatile doesn’t even begin to describe the Core card trading environment, at least as far as the overview of weeks 16 and 17 are concerned. As it turns out, only four cards have held on to their top 20 spot, with Pack Stalk coming in at #5 both times.
The best-performing Core cards of the selection? Week 16 saw Mana Toad at #1, an example of one of those nifty cards that you want to die so that you can trigger its effect. Your opponent faces a choice: do they let it stick around and do its thing or get rid of it, allowing you to do your thing instead? Yes, once again, it’s a Magic utility card. Who would have thought based on what we’ve seen so far?
Just like in the case of Genesis cards, where some hyper-aggressive options were popularized to counter the onslaught of Magic, the Core markets saw Bombfly come in at #2 on week 16, a longstanding stalwart of Death Zoo archetypes.
Vault Vagabond was the third, the first Deception card we’ve discussed today, a 3 mana 1/3 with Hidden and Flank and the card text of “Whenever this creature attacks a god, copy the top card of your opponent’s deck and add it to your hand”. With an almost guaranteed redraw and some great information play, it’s certainly an option worth considering.
In week 17, the top three cards read very differently. Interestingly, Rampart came in at #1 (a unique neutral defensive option), followed by Blight Bomb (an efficient removal tool for Death) and, interestingly, the unassuming Battle Aurochs, a 3 mana 3/3 with Frontline.
One has to wonder whether the Core Marketplace is guided by the same sort of invisible hand and the sort of principles we’ve seen with the Genesis cards so far. Rest assured we’ll be there to track all the interesting developments and the highlight performers – this treasure trove of new data will no doubt be a source of additional insight, and especially so once the Trial of Gods cards roll around.
Credit ~ Luci Kelemen