The April 14, 2016 Update

Posted in Daily Magic Update on April 14, 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 14, 2016. Today's Update is brought to you by Twitter and Tumblr. Can't we all just get along?

Today's Must

  1. All About Bant Company | | Jim Davis

Jim Davis ran all the way to 1st place at the first major Standard tournament since Shadows over Innistrad graced us with its presence. Read about his take on the archetype, how he won it all, and where to go from here.

After That, Read, Watch, or Listen to These

  1. Three Stories About Magic | TCGPlayer | Raphaël Lévy

Raphaël Lévy—a pro who has been around the game longer than just about anyone—shares three stories from key points in his Magic life. It's touching, personal, and almost reads like he's getting ready to say goodbye. (He doesn't.)

  1. Building the Six Million Dollar Man | Gathering Magic | Emma Handy

Emma Handy finished in 14th place at the Open last weekend with White-Blue Humans, the format's most successful deck. Here she walks you through how her testing group arrived at the list, what worked well and what didn't, and a full overview of how best to play the deck.

  1. Sperling's Sick of It: Shadows over Innistrad Edition | ChannelFireball | Matt Sperling

Matt Sperling is sick of a lot of things in the most recent edition of the recurring feature where he complains for 1,000 words. Most of those things are Shadows over Innistrad related, though he also picks on Hunter Pence. Hey, we'll take all the criticism you can lob, but you leave Hunter Pence alone. He toiled on some terrible Astros teams for quite a while. The man has earned the right to play his lands however he likes.

  1. Magic History: Art of Darkness with Jesper Myrfors | MTGGoldfish |Islandswamp

Jesper Myrfors was Magic's first art director, and helped shape the game's early look and feel. Today, MTGGoldfish interviews him on his origins with the game, impactful decisions, and The Dark.

  1. E042—Get A Clue! | Commanderin' | Phil DeLuca, Nate Burgess, and Sean Whatson

The Commanderin' team investigates a Clue-themed Commander deck by Charles Moreau—but it was really Old Man Hinkies in a mask with strobe lights the whole time.

What People Are Talking About

  1. Mark Rosewater addresses what language merits a judge call | Blogatog

The question was answered two days ago, but the discussion started picking up just this morning. The answer, as always at any tournament, is to call a judge (or store employee/owner at the local level). If you're not comfortable talking about it in front of the player, pull the judge/employee aside. Offensive language has no place in Magic. Or, really, anywhere.

Players are starting to head to Spain to prepare for the Pro Tour. Expect to see a lot of tweets about food and Shadows over Innistrad Limited, plus a bunch of vague tweets about Standard that don't really say anything.

Community Spotlight

  1. Pivotal Moments | Legendary EDH Plays

So this Tumblr has a series of posts called Pivotal Moments that's kind of cool. Basically it tells the story of a set through card images in something resembling a comic strip. It's not exactly cannon, but it is pretty fun. Links to most of them can be found from this single post.

Deck of the Day

  1. Thopter Gifts

As expected/hoped for/dreamed of, the unbanning of Sword of the Meek looks to already be having an effect on Modern, as Thopter Gifts—a deck that utilizes the powerful Gifts Ungiven to set up the Thopter Foundry-Sword of the Meek combo, among other things—won one of the first significant tournaments post-unbannings.

In this case, Lucas Siow, a Pro Tour regular, won the Face to Face Games Modern Sunday Showdown last weekend with a deck that must be a pain to type in. Look at all those one-ofs!

The deck is undoubtedly powerful, using typical white-blue control elements to keep opponents off base until the Thopter combo can come online. Or at least that's what it looks like. You see, secretly, this is an Unburial Rites deck, where you Gifts Ungiven for Unburial Rites and either Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite or Iona, Shield of Emeria. By choosing only those two cards, you guarantee they go to the graveyard, letting you cheat them into play.

That's easy mode, anyway. Sometimes you draw the piece you want to reanimate or your opponent isn't soft to one creature or the other (thought that's rare). In those instances, the Thopter combo can patrol the board and grind out wins.

The deck is very complicated and a touch weak to Rest in Peace or other graveyard hate, but it does get to play two of the best card-draw spells in the format (Gifts Ungiven and Thirst for Knowledge), plus Life from the Loam. It's slow, it's grindy, and, in all likelihood, it's here to stay.

Lucas Siow's Thopter Gifts

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