The April 4, 2016 Update

Posted in Daily Magic Update on April 4, 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 April 4, 2016. Today's Update is brought to you by Ancestral Vision and Sword of the Meek, now serving Modern players everywhere.

What People Are Talking About

There is nothing people are talking about more today than the announcement of the changes to the banned and restricted list that went up this morning. There were changes in Modern but, like they did for Matej, they might surprise you.

Opinions and hot takes are already pouring in, and I do mean pouring in. Like, a lot of thoughts. The main Reddit thread had 100 comments within the first 10 minutes the list was posted, and I wouldn't be surprised to see discussion thrive there for most of the day.

Curious why Sword of the Meek was on the banned list in the first place for Modern? Check out the Deck of the Day for an example of a deck that used and abused it some time ago.

The Commander banned list was also updated today—though there were no changes. That's slightly less exciting than the Modern and Vintage changes made today, but at least you don't have to go through ten of your sixteen decks and remove Prophet of Kruphix again. Not that I had to do that.

Sorry. As Eric Lauer wrote in the banned and restricted update, "It is regrettable that banning Eye of Ugin also impacts these Tron decks, but weighing everything in consideration, we feel this is the correct solution to the Eldrazi menace and makes Modern the most fun overall."

As a representative of Wizards of the Coast, I can say we prefer to let players play with their cards, so it's unfortunate we had to affect Tron this way.

But as a guy who likes playing Remand and Cryptic Command, this means I actually have a shot at beating Tron again!

Prereleases were this weekend, and people seemed to really have an amazing time. Strange, terrifying things happened left and right. I know I enjoyed bashing people with some Werewolves at our internal Prerelease. And I only howled at, like, two of my opponents.

After Those, Read, Watch, or Listen to These

  1. Why You Shouldn't Mulligan that WB vs. UB Hand from the Last Keep or Mull | ChannelFireball | Owen Turtenwald

While Owen wrote this article specifically to counter a point in a previous article by Paulo Vitor Damo da Rosa, this ends up being a good look inside the mind of the game's No. 1-ranked player when it comes to mulligans. If you enjoy the Keep or Mull series or if you just want to up your game when it comes to mulligans, this is a great place to look and stands as much more than a simple counterpoint article.

  1. Standard Tribal—Humans and Werewolves | TCGPlayer | Melissa DeTora

With Shadows in Standard, tribal is very much a thing people are looking to do. Melissa DeTora tackles two of the tribes today and tries to tie down what makes them tick.

  1. Shadows over Innistrad Art Quiz | Gathering Magic | Nick Vigabool

All right, you've had more than a week to check out the Card Image Gallery and you've played in a Prerelease or three—but how well do you know the art of Shadows over Innistrad? Nick Vigabool has a quiz to test your knowledge.

What You Might Have Missed This Weekend

  1. Relatable MTG Player Gets Schooled! Magic: The Gathering Prank gone EDUCATIONAL! | Tolarian Community College | The Professor Kid Young

This was posted on Friday, but it seemed appropriate to bring it back here in case you missed the lesson from one of your "peers" who also likes to skateboard and play with whatever cards he wants. Ban lists are bad! Or are they?

  1. Hit or Myth: Shadows over Innistrad Edition | ChannelFireball | Andy Cooperfauss and Paul Cheon

Magic TV returned with the popular segment Hit or Myth, which evaluates the mythic-ness of the Shadows over Innistrad mythic rares to see if they feel mythic—or if they, um, ya know, missed. It's a good pun, so it doesn't need much explanation. But half the fun is in the discussion anyway, so check out the video.

Deck of the Day

  1. Extended Thopter Depths

What's an Extended?

Extended was a format that came before Modern and was...well, it was kind of a mess. It was a rotating format, but the rotations were over very long periods of time and were irregular, and it was pretty unpopular outside of the fact that it was often a Pro Tour Qualifier format. It was replaced by Modern, and no one has ever really looked back.

So let's look back at one of the defining decks of the final period of Extended—Thopter Depths. This deck, in case you're curious, is the main reason Sword of the Meek was banned in Modern for so long. The deck was essentially a turn-two combo deck with Vampire Hexmage and Dark Depths that could also go long with Sword of the Meek and Thopter Foundry. In conjunction, you can sacrifice Sword of the Meek to Thopter Foundry to make a 1/1 and gain a life, the 1/1 triggers the Sword and you can bring it back. Repeat for as much mana as you have.

When Modern was created, part of the reason Sword was banned was to keep a deck like this from popping up again. So why unban it now? Well, today's announcement gives most of the reason for it, but you also have to keep in mind that there are far more answers for the combo today. Abrupt Decay can easily take out Thopter Foundry, Stony Silence shuts the whole thing down, and cards like Rakdos Charm and Rest in Peace can cleanly handle the graveyard portion.

So will we see another Thopter Depths? Probably not, but plenty of players are excited to start brewing.

Gerry Thompson's Extended Thopter Depths

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