The February 29, 2016 Update

Posted in Daily Magic Update on February 29, 2016

By Blake Rasmussen

Blake is the content manager for, making him the one you should email if you have thoughts on the website, good or less good (or not good). He's a longtime coverage reporter and hasn't turned down a game of Magic in any format ever.

The Daily Magic Update is a roundup of everything Magic you should know on February 29, 2016. Today's Update is brought to you by the called shot heard round the Twitterverse.

Called Shot of the Weekend

No. 1-ranked Owen Turtenwald tweeted this toward the start of Day One. He often makes semi-joking, boisterous tweets about his performance at the start of the weekend, but this one was incredibly on-point.

Just in case you didn't know, Grand Prix Houston was not canceled. All fifteen rounds were played, plus the Top 8. And at the end of that Top 8?

Owen Turtenwald, Grand Prix Houston Champion.

He did so, of course, with today's Deck of the Day.

What You Might Have Missed This Weekend

  1. Top 5 Moments from Grand Prix Houston 2016 | Wizards of the Coast | Meghan Wolff and Marc Calderaro

Recently we've switched our written tournament coverage over from ending the weekend on a Top 5 Cards to the Top 5 Moments, and this article stands out as a shining example of why. This one perfectly encapsulates a storied weekend, covering friendships forged, a memorial for Christopher Rush, the breakout deck of the weekend, another Team East West Bowl success story, and the all-Pantheon final that injected even more drama into an already exciting weekend.

  1. Friendship and Trust in Team East West Bowl | Wizards of the Coast | Meghan Wolff

Fun fact No. 1 from this article by Meghan Wolff: the team that rocked the last Pro Tour got its start in the finals of an FNM, where two local ringers found each other.

Fun fact No. 2: friendship is the best. And, it turns out, it wins Pro Tours.

  1. Philadelphia Open Weekend

There's a lot to digest from the Open in Philadelphia this past weekend. Let's start with the main event, the Legacy Open, where Colorless Eldrazi decks made their mark on the Top 32 deck lists with finishes at 2nd, 8th, 9th, plus four more. Utilizing as many lands that tap for two as possible, a new player has certainly entered the arena. You can check out a deck tech with Kent Ketter here.

There was also a Modern Classic, where Eldrazi put up a much less dominating performance. There were still six copies in the Top 16, but Jund won the whole thing, and Burn, Storm, Living End, Abzan Company, and Blue Moon all made the Top 8.

Finally, the Standard Classic was won by Bant Company, though the real surprise was that there was only one Rally the Ancestors deck in the Top 16. Odd.

After Those, Read, Watch or Listen to These

  1. Teach Your Kids to Play Magic | | Chris Andersen

It's about *sniff* the children. Touching, informative, a bit nostalgic, and perfectly aimed for the parent Magic players out there wondering if they should teach their kids to play.

  1. Control Decks Need Life Gain | ChannelFireball | Reid Duke

There was—nay, is—a school of thought running through Magic that life gain is bad. It's based on a (somewhat) accurate statement that cards that only gain life, and do nothing else, are bad, but a lot of players take that to mean all life gain cards are bad. Not so, says Reid Duke. Life gain is actually monumentally important to control decks—assuming you get it from all the right places.

  1. How I Survived the Eldrazi Apocalypse | TCGPlayer | Melissa DeTora

Melissa has a plan to get Modern back to normal, and it doesn't rhyme with schmeschmergency schan. It also does not rhyme with orange.

What People Are Talking About


Whew. And with that, our month of announcements comes to an end. We announced From the Vault: Lore today, along with a picture of some green-blue looking dude. Whoever could that be?

(I know and, let's be honest, you probably have a pretty solid guess.)

Community Spotlight

  1. Strictly Better MTG

With nearly a year under their belt, Strictly Better MTG is a deck tech–heavy YouTube channel that's perfect for players looking to learn about decks of all stripes and sizes—from casual White-Black Allies decks to fun Hedron Alignment decks to spikey Bant Company lists.

Their latest is a cool video posted just this weekend about their Top 5 favorite decks of all time. Check it out below.

Deck of the Day

  1. Grand Prix Houston Champion

Really, what more can we say about Owen Turtenwald? With one Player of the Year trophy already secured (2011), Owen is extending his lead this year with seemingly every tournament. This time he took the format's best deck, held off the darling of the weekend (Hardened Scales), and defeated friend and teammate Andrew Cuneo in another all-Pantheon finals.

The deck, if you're unfamiliar, utilizes Collected Company and Rally the Ancestors along with a pile of utility creatures to disrupt the opponent's board, drain their life, and attack for a million.

The deck rotates out with Shadows over Innistrad, but until then, we have a pretty clear best deck—and a pretty good argument for the game's current best player.

Owen Turtenwald's Four-Color Rally—Grand Prix Houston Champion

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