The March 2, 2016 update

Posted in Daily Magic Update on March 2, 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 March 2, 2016. Today's Update is brought to you by two words. Werewolf. Planeswalker.

What People Are Talking About

Hmm. Some kind of mysterious package has arrived in Spain. Top people are already trying to discern the meaning of its contents. In this instance, speaking Spanish might help. But, in the meantime, check out more tweets from @ReyWombat on the box they opened (many in Spanish), and Reddit to get translations of many of those tweets.

Honestly, I wasn't planning to include reactions to today's Magic Story in the Daily Update. I rarely highlight it, mostly because it doesn't need highlighting. But then the internet blew up this morning over two words.

Werewolf Planeswalker.

That's right, Arlinn Kord is our newest Planeswalker—and she's a werewolf. She plays a big role in today's story, but the thing people are really going crazy over is her Planeswalker page, where you can read—and see—more about her specifically.

The good news: Vintage Super League was on last night! Luis Scott-Vargas defeated Rich Shay to move on to the semifinals against Eric Froehlich, who lost his first-place tiebreaker match against David Ochoa. You can watch the replay below.

The other news? Shops is becoming the deck of the Vintage Super League, and one of the best decks in the Power Nine Challenges on Magic Online. Will something from the deck be restricted come April 4? Will the Vintage format adjust?

These questions and more will be answered by—well, April 4. I thought that was clear.

After Those, Read, Watch, or Listen to These

  1. Blue-Red Prowess | ChannelFireball | Matt Sperling

Matt Sperling—having fun? He's also winning with this blue-red deck that features, prominently, Elusive Spellfist, among other commons and uncommons. And really, only a few rares. It's an incredibly easy deck to acquire from a rarity standpoint and, Matt contends, it's very, very powerful. Looking for something different in Standard that you can mostly put together from leftover draft commons and uncommons? Then read on.

  1. Brand New Brews | | Michael Majors

Michael Majors puts on his brewing hat and comes up with some pretty cool decks for both Standard and Modern. Looking for inspiration? Maybe try out his Grixis Pact deck, complete with Crush of Tentacles. Or maybe I can interest you in a little mono-red colorless brew? Or we could flavor to taste with some Chandra, Flamecaller and Nissa, Voice of Zendikar working side-by-side. All of those—and some Modern—in this entertaining package.

  1. Commander VS: Two-Headed Giant Special | | Justin Parnell and Stephen Green

So, when I finally got the gimmick of this edition of Commander VS., I admit I made a somewhat embarrassing noise out loud. It was somewhere between a laugh, an "ahhh," and a "heh." Kind of sounded like a donkey braying. At any rate, the Commander VS. guys keep knocking it out of the park with their concepts, as this time they're playing Two-Headed Giant—with different versions of the same legends. So Akroma, Angel of Wrath is teaming up with Akroma, Angel of Fury and Sygg, River Cutthroat is paired with, naturally, Sygg, River Guide.

  1. Combos in Winter | Magic the Amateuring | Maria Bartholdi and Meghan Wolff

Meghan and Maria go behind the scenes on coverage at Grand Prix Houston, plus look ahead to Modern at Grand Prix Detroit, and educate yo' audience on the phrase "Combo Winter." Sounds like hot chocolate is involved.

Community Spotlight

  1. Magic Man Sam

Magic Man Sam might just be, hands down, the most creative Magic YouTuber out there. His videos are polished, fun, interesting, and on a range of topics—Sam covers everything from Nephilim to Commander Deck techs to art to a series called Pack Lores that is oddly entrancing.

Why have we not covered him before? His videos haven't been updated in the past month or so, and his posts are becoming less frequent. From what I understand, time is an issue because he's a doctoral student. But the content he has that exists already is gorgeous, and maybe a few more followers can bring out his next video.

Check out the channel's trailer for just a taste of what the Magic Man is capable of.

Top 25

  1. People Rise, People Fall, and then there's Owen

A few weeks back I remarked on Owen Turtenwald's remarkable lead on the Top 25 player rankings. I said something about how far ahead he was, how his lead was significant, and how much work it would take to pass him.

I'm revising that. It's feeling more and more impossible to pass him at all.

Yes, technically it's possible. There are still two Pro Tours left in the season, a bunch of Grand Prix, and a lot of players hungry for the points that come with Pro Tour Top 8s.

But then there's Owen.

Let's start with the fact that, while the No. 1-ranked player in the world, he won a Grand Prix. Not only is that difficult to do, but it's exceedingly rare. Let's add to it that Owen is one of just three players to remain in the Top 25 for as long as we've had the rankings, according to Sam Black. (The others are Yuuya Watanabe and Eric Froehlich). Now add to it that his lead over the No. 2-ranked player—now Paulo Vitor Damo Da Rosa, congrats Paulo—is roughly equivalent to Paulo's lead over No. 17-ranked Joel Larsson.

Considering that jumping seventeen places on the rankings is all but impossible, Owen's No. 1 status looks assured for some time.

But there's some news on the rest of the list, starting with Paulo's No. 2 ranking. He started climbing the charts last year after some disappointing seasons (by his standards), and now he's reached as high as you can when you're not named Owen Turtenwald.

Other significant movers:

  • Sam Black joins the Top 5, moving up three spots.
  • Ondřej Stráský continues to impress as a wunderkind, gaining the most this week with a four-spot increase.
  • Shahar Shenhar falls out of the Top 25, as does Antonio Del Moral León. That's a World Champion and a Pro Tour Champion, respectively.
Rank Name Points Change Previous
1 Owen Turtenwald 85.20 1
2 Paulo Vitor Damo Da Rosa 68.66 +1 3
3 Seth Manfield 68.13 -1 2
4 Paul Rietzl 63.74 +1 5
5 Samuel Black 61.28 +3 8
6 Reid Duke 61.12 -2 4
7 Alexander Hayne 60.04 -1 6
8 Martin Müller 59.10 -1 7
9 Eric Froehlich 58.37 +1 10
10 Ivan Floch 58.27 -1 9
11 Mike Sigrist 57.14 11
12 Fabrizio Anteri 56.10 12
13 Ondřej Stráský 53.58 +4 17
14 Thiago Saporito 52.89 -1 13
15 Yuuya Watanabe 52.74 -1 14
16 Brad Nelson 52.51 +2 18
17 Joel Larsson 51.97 -2 15
18 Jacob Wilson 51.81 -2 16
19 Kazuyuki Takimura 49.41 19
20 Martin Dang 48.96 20
21 Jason Chung 48.66 21
22 Pascal Maynard 48.19 NR
23 William Jensen 48.12 NR
24 Kentaro Yamamoto 48.04 -2 22
25 Luis Scott-Vargas 47.88 25

Dropped from rankings: Antonio Del Moral León, Shahar Shenhar

Deck of the Day

  1. Jund Harder

With three Modern Grand Prix taking place this weekend, it's time we turn our attention back to Modern and the Eldrazi that have overrun the format.

Or have they?

While the Eldrazi ran roughshod over the Pro Tour and the Modern Open in Louisville, results were mixed at the Modern Classic in Philadelphia last weekend. Eldrazi only managed to put two decks in the Top 8, and it wasn't even Affinity displacing Eldrazi Displacer and friends.

Instead, the winning deck was Jund. Good old reliable Jund.

In the hands of Jonathan Delano, you can see the impact of Eldrazi decks. Damnation was rarely a main deck card in the past, now Delano has one. Abrupt Decay used to be a four-of, now it splits the spotlight with Terminate and a Maelstrom Pulse. Even Inquisition of Kozilek drops to a three-of.

Delano even went for some of his own Zendikar residents, though not of the Eldrazi flavor, as Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet and Goblin Dark-Dwellers joined his team.

Was this a one-week reprieve? Have the tides shifted against the Eldrazi? Or was it something else? Find out this weekend as Grand Prix in Detroit, Bologna, and Melbourne host the Modern format.

Jonathan Delano's Jund

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