The March 7, 2016 Update

Posted in Daily Magic Update on March 7, 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 7, 2016. Today's Update is brought to you by shadows. You know. The ones that are over that place. What's it called? Innistrad?

Avacyn Gets Angry


So we did a thing this weekend, and it was a lot to digest, but the above trailer is a good starting point for the uninitiated.

But it's just a starting point. Tomorrow we'll be publishing a recap article that covers the escape rooms that let fans unlock Innistrad's mysteries—and, yes, preview cards. But there was a bit for everyone.

  • If you're here for the fun and the flavor (and why wouldn't you be? It's Innistrad), but didn't get to participate over the weekend, you can check out the online experience. Also, you can check out videos of the escape rooms for the Stitcher's Lab, Markov Manor, and Thraben Cathedral.
  • If you're the kind of player that just wants to see the cards, check out the Card Image Gallery today. It has everything revealed officially from Shadows over Innistrad so far.
  • If you're looking for gameplay, the Mechanics article posted today reveals a few more cards and dives deeper into how the new mechanics work.

Previews have begun, but our next batch of online previews—both here and with community members online—starts in earnest next Monday, March 14. And trust me, this set is packed full of amazing flavor, gameplay, and, yes, mystery.

After That, Read, Watch, Or Listen to These

  1. Shadows over Innistrad: Early Spoilers and Relentless Dead in Modern | MTGGoldfish | Saffron Olive

Saffron jumps on the early season previews about as fast as humanly possible, cranking out an article over the weekend focusing mostly on the revealed Relentless Dead, but the new Avacyn, Skaab Ruinator, and a number of other previewed cards get a look as well. (Not sure what any of those cards are? The article has the images, or you can hop over to the Card Image Gallery to see them all.)

  1. Snack Time with Mike and Ant—SOI HYPE! | Gathering Magic | Mike Linnemann and Ant Tessitore

A flavorful set like Shadows over Innistrad is right up the flavor-alley of Snack Time with Mike and Ant, so they take some of the new cards and art to flavor town, dip them in flavor sauce, and flavorfully flavor flavor all over the flavor.

And, as a flavor bonus, if you can handle that much flavor, Cary Thomas Barkett—also on Gathering Magic—explores the origins of Avacyn. Now that Innistrad's protector has gone mad, it might be time to start looking for clues as to where it all went wrong.

  1. A Look Into the Upcoming Standard Rotation | TCGPlayer | Melissa DeTora

Don't forget that Shadows over Innistrad marks the beginning of the new two-set rotation, meaning a whole bunch of stuff is rotating out when the set is released April 8. But not all of the things. If you want to know more about how the rotation works, check out Mark Rosewater's "Metamorphosis Redux" article, which has handy graphics and everything. If you've got that down pat and just want to see how that rotation will affect Standard, well, Melissa has just the article for you.

In Case You Missed It This Weekend

  1. Top Moments of Grand Prix Melbourne, Bologna, and Detroit 2016 | Wizards of the Coast

There was a lot of coverage for the three Grand Prix going on this weekend. If you want a quick recap of the tournament itself, check the link above for the top moments from each Grand Prix. If you want a deeper dive, you can check out the full coverage pages:

It might have been the Eldrazi's weekend, but there's plenty to parse through to get you through to the next Grand Prix.

  1. TTC 119—Brewing a Highlander Deck | TapTapConcede | LoadingReadyRun

Canadian Highlander, that is. Cam and Alex from LoadingReadyRun walk through brewing a new Canadian Highlander deck (official forums and rules here), Golgari Aggro. It's still my favorite format, so I highly recommend checking out this video if you're even a little bit curious about Canadian Highlander.

Plus, they say "aboot" instead of "about." Canadians are adorable.

  1. MTG Lore: Kalitas, Bloodchief of Ghet | Seibenlore

Starting something he calls the "Patron's Choice" (he explains it in the video), Seiben goes over the lore surrounding Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet. Standard powerhouse, slayer of Allies, giver of hugs—Kalitas's story is certainly an intriguing one.

  1. Oath of the Gatewatch Sealed Deck | LRCast | Marshall Sutcliffe and Luis Scott-Vargas

We might all be seeing Shadows over Innistrad right now, but there's still time for Oath of the Gatewatch Sealed to matter—especially for the literally thousands of players headed to Grand Prix Washington, D.C. next weekend. Marshal and LSV talk about Sealed generally, but also reserve some time to discuss strategies for Team Sealed as well.

What People Are Talking About

There were a lot of tweets about the Shadows over Innistrad kickoff event this past weekend (you can see a lot of them by checking out the hashtag #SOIKickoff), but I figured I'd pull just one, my favorite. Even in the midst of a PPTQ finals—an important, relatively high-pressure situation—players stopped to enjoy the experience of meeting the mad version of Avacyn. It was a cool reveal, a cool card, and an experience that made us all "ooh" and "ah" a bit. Even in the middle of a match.

Deck of the Day

  1. Ralph Betesh takes his Oath

This weekend in three tournaments on three continents, it was all about the Eldrazi. They comprised nearly 50% of the Top 100 lists in each tournament, and in two of the tournaments saw near-mirrors happen in the finals.

But not the third. Not when Ralph Betesh had anything to say about it.

Playing Abzan Company, Betesh had to cut his way through a swath of Eldrazi to take the crown, but cut he did. Relying on his toolbox of creatures, Collected Company, and Chord of Calling, Betesh was able to repeatedly set up the Melira combo—Kitchen Finks or Murderous Redcap plus Viscera Seer plus Melira, Sylvok Outcast or Anafenza, Kin-Tree Spirit—early and often. And if that didn't work out, his value creatures would slowly grind down the opponent.

Now, Aaron Forsythe said over the weekend that R&D is watching the Eldrazi menace very closely, so it's certainly possible some part of the deck gets banned come April 4 (honestly everyone, I know as much as you do right now), but in the meantime, if you have to fight the Eldrazi (*puts on shades*) bring company.

Ralph Betesh's Abzan Company—1st Place, Grand Prix Detroit

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