Typically, the best sellers are going to be singles from the latest set. This makes good sense. Obviously, the latest set is going to be high in demand. For example, when Unstable released, the awesome full art lands and tokens clogged up the top 20 best sellers on TCGPlayer for a time. But as cards gain traction in certain formats and even particular decks, they will show up on the TCGPlayer best sellers list.
All you have to do to find best sellers on TCGPlayer is simply sort a search for Magic cards by Best Selling. Then, make sure that no set is selected. Of course, you can see the best sellers from each set, too, which is also a useful thing to know.
Here's an example. As I was writing this article, besides Unstable lands and tokens, the top-selling cards seem to make sense. Opt from Ixalan has been a best-seller since the Ixalan set released. This makes sense, since it’s a very new expansion set. Also, Opt is a staple in both Standard and Modern.
The next non-Unstable card was As Foretold. This mythic rare from Amonkhet was a big deal when it was first released. Indeed, it’s a great enchantment that allows you to cast a free spell every turn. It’s finally begun to find homes in a few decks. As Foretold is especially powerful in some newer builds of Living End in Modern, because casting Ancestral Visions and Living Ends from your hand for free is always fun.
The next card was Walk the Plank from Ixalan. This double black removal spell is sorcery speed, but can kill any creature besides Merfolk. It’s a solid card in Standard and a lot of casual players are eating them up. It’s a perfectly useful card and it may be a bit under the radar.
However, the next best seller made me scratch my head when I saw it.
Triumph of Ferocity isn’t a recent card at all. It’s an uncommon enchantment from all the way back in Avacyn Restored! Actually, this 3-mana Green Enchantment is a decent card. At the beginning of your upkeep, if you control a creature with the highest power or tied with the highest power out of all creatures on the battlefield, you draw a card.
Obviously, Triumph of Ferocity is a decent card. But this doesn’t look like a card that’s going into Top 8 Pro Tour decks anytime soon. Yet this card is outselling two very good Merfolk in Merfolk Branchwalker and Kopala, Warden of Waves, both Modern playables. What’s up here?
My research tells me that Triumph of Ferocity hasn’t seen competitive play since at least 2013 when it was still in Standard. Even then, it was mainly a sideboard card in Mono Green Aggro, Selesyna Aggro, and Gruul Aggro. It was rarely seen in the mainboards of Mono Green Aggro decks.after 2012 or so.
OK, it hasn’t seen competitive play in about 5 years. With this information, it’s extremely difficult to see why Triumph of Ferocity suddenly garnered so much interest.
Fortunately, there are other ways we can try and pinpoint this card’s sudden spike in popularity. You can use these steps in evaluating just about any card, but in particular, cards that seem to be selling for “no reason.”
Never underestimate the power of “Customers also purchased!”
One of the great things about TCGPlayer is their “customers also purchased” section on every card page. This is a great way of seeing what cards are bought together for purposes of figuring out what cards work well together. It also can also give you information on why a certain card is being bought (i.e. for a particular deck).
Here are the top 8 cards bought alongside Triumph of Ferocity
- Wolfir Avenger
- Strangleroot Geist
- Arbor Elf
- Tandem Lookout
- Abundant Growth
- Stealer of Secrets
- Gatecreeper Vine
Hmm, a lot of these are Avacyn Restored-era cards. Sure, Strangleroot Geist and Arbor Elf still see play. Wolfir Avenger has flash and is a useful creature. But unfortunately, these results don’t tell us much about why the card was selling in December 2017.
So, EDH / Commander drives card prices, right?
Despite seeming like a decent card in EDH, according to EDHREC, Triumph of Ferocity has only seen play in about 500 indexed lists. That’s a really low number for an Enchantment that gives you a lot of free cards. In fact, it may be vastly underplayed.
But is it potentially going to see a lot more play in the near future? Fortunately, EDHREC offers further insights into this card.
Just check out the Signature Cards, cards that see play most often alongside Triumph of Ferocity. Here are just the first 11 of them.
- Traverse the Outlands
- Sun-Crowned Hunters
- Kinjalli’s Caller
- Raptor Hatchling
- Otepec Huntmaster
- Rishkar’s Expertise
- Snapping Sailback
- Thundering Spineback
- Wakening Suns’ Avatar
- Ranging Raptors
- Ripjaw Raptor
There are quite a few Dinosaurs already. The Caller and Huntmaster each make Dinosaur spells cost less. Traverse the Outlands and Rishkar’s Expertise both care about the greatest power among creatures you control. While the sample size is relatively small, there’s a strong signal that Dinosaurs as a tribe are interested in cards that care about creature power. Triumph of Ferocity seems like a perfect fit.
This reads like a wishlist for a Gishath, Sun’s Avatar Commander deck. Yet, Gishath isn’t listed among the top Commanders for this card. Still, Dinosaurs are such a new tribe and could still gain a lot of support to make Dinosaurs much more powerful as a tribal archetype.
So, clearly, it’s the casual demand for Dinos that’s driving the interest in this card. Never underestimate the power of tribal! Credit goes to those deck-builders who found this card to be extremely useful for giving Dino decks some solid extra draw power. With even more good Dinosaur creatures in Rivals of Ixalan, Dino Tribal decks look to become even more possible.
What can we learn from cards like Triumph of Ferocity?
Every so often, there’s an under-the-radar card like Triumph of Ferocity that seems to defy logic until you dig a little deeper. There are so many great deck-building tools out there for Magic that eventually you’ll find some reason for almost any card to see play. Basically, if a card has an effect that can benefit a strategy in a substantial way, you should keep an eye on it. You should especially watch cards that can draw you extra cards.
Triumph of Ferocity is a card that fills a niche that hasn’t been prevalent since the days of Mono-Green Aggro / G/W Aggro / R/G Aggro Standard decks back in 2011-2013. It’s somewhat fitting that Naya (White / Green / Red) Dino decks which are highly aggressive by virtue of their tribe would want to have this Enchantment around to fuel their efforts.
Not only have we learned to identify an under-the-radar Magic card, but we’ve even managed to figure out the reason for sudden interest. We’ve even identified the card as one that could get better with more Dinos being printed. As a card that’s ticked up a few cents (very quietly) since the release of Ixalan, Triumph of Ferocity is definitely a card to pick from bulk and is one to keep an eye on as a throw-in for trades or online orders.
As for a card to go for when you need to add a few extra cents to your card order, I’d definitely say Triumph of Ferocity is worth the addition to your collection.