The August 1, 2016 Update

Posted in Daily Magic Update on August 1, 2016

By Blake Rasmussen

Blake is the content manager for DailyMTG.com, 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 August 1, 2016. Today's Update is brought to you by a reminder: the Daily Magic Update is taking some time off while the Pro Tour takes place in Australia. This will be the last one this week, and we'll return on Tuesday next week.

But if I see some cool content that needs highlighting, I'll be sure to tweet it from @blakepr.

What You Might Have Missed This Weekend

  1. Three Grand Prix

There were three Grand Prix this weekend, all around the world. For full coverage of each event, check out coverage pages for Sydney, Stockholm, and Montreal. But for just the highlights, I recommend these:

  • The Hardest Point | Craig Jones explores the most difficult Pro Point of Kayure Patel's life
  • A Triumphant Return by the Ben Seck | Neale Talbot visits with The Ben Seck, an elder statesman of Australian Magic who made a triumphant return to the Top 8 of Grand Prix Sydney
  • Drafting with Rich Hoaen | Josh Bennett talks with one of the best drafters on the planet about Eldritch Moon. Why wouldn't you want to learn from one of the best? Do you hate learning?
  • Meet Captain Canada | Corbin Hosler introduces Kar Yung Tom, known to many simply as KYT, to a wider audience as the man behind the scenes of Canadian Magic.

Also, check out item No. 3 below for the biggest story of the weekend.

  1. StarCityGames.com Baltimore Open

Party like it's 2005, because Osyp Lebedowicz, a longtime pro who hasn't come out of the woodwork in a while, just won an SCG Open. Piloting Green-White Tokens in a field of Bant Company, Lebedowicz and his fancy shirt came out on top like the early 2000s are back in style. And while Bant Company was easily the most played, there were a few interesting decks in the Top 16, including Ali Aintrazi running it back with Sultai Control and a Green-Blue Crush of Tentacles deck that made the Top 8.

This came right down to the wire, as Seth Manfield nearly grabbed this title too, getting to the semifinals before finally losing for once in his freakin' life. Much-deserved congratulations to Brian Braun-Duin for earning the Grand Prix Master title. We'll see you at the World Championship later this year!

After Those, Read, Watch, or Listen to These

  1. Red Aggro in Eldritch Moon Draft | ChannelFireball | Brian DeMars

Red might not be getting a lot of love in Standard just now, but DeMars thinks it should be getting a lot of love in Draft. Here he walks you through the best aggressive red cards and how to draft a deck that will have your opponent staring at a fist full of cards they never had time to deploy and a life total down around 0.

  1. Commander Product Problems | StarCityGames.com | Erik Tiernan

Erik Tiernan enjoys the yearly Commander releases (the next one comes out in November), but thinks that they could be taken another direction to make them even better. I recently suggested a legendary Mulldrifter for all five colors, but that only got me banned from the pit in R&D. Something about requesting too many Mulldrifters. As if there is such a thing.

  1. Eldritch Moon Updates and Modifications | Gathering Magic | Abe Sargent

New sets mean new cards for cubes, Commander decks, and the like. Abe covers all of it in this breezy article updating his various holdings.

  1. Black-Green Delirium Standard Deck Tech for Magic: The Gathering! | The Mana Source | Wedge

Looking for a list to make delirium hum? Want your Grim Flayers to always be 4/4s and your opponents to be nervously looking at your graveyard? Check out this primer and decklist from Wedge.

  1. Much Abrew about Nothing: Thing Ascension (Modern) | MTGGoldfish | SaffronOlive

SaffronOlive thinks he's on to something with this brew, an update to Pyromancer Ascension that utilizes Thing in the Ice.

What People Are Talking About

  1. Pro Tour Top 32s vs PTs Attended

This is incredibly cool. Darrell Wu, a fan with a head for stats, put together a scatterplot of Top 32 finishes versus Pro Tours attended, with money finishes and Top 8s thrown in for good measure. Because this guy knows his way around a chart. The chart is interactive and in-depth, giving you a deep-dive into the most successful players in the history of the Pro Tour.

Decks of the Day

  1. Kiki-Evolution

Jeff Hoogland is known for his Kiki-Chord deck—a Modern deck that looks to battle with value creatures right up until it combos off with Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker and Restoration Angel. He's been playing it for ages. So you'd think it'd stay pretty much the same, plus or minus a few cards here or there, right?

Until Eldritch Evolution, at least. This one-shot Birthing Pod variant is especially strong in Hoogland's deck, where he was already playing a toolbox of creatures, many that want to be sacrificed, while looking for a particular combination of cards. Between Eldritch Evolution and Chord of Calling, Hoogland has ready access to any number of creatures main deck, allowing him to play things like Eidolon of Rhetoric, Selfless Spirit, and Reclamation Sage in the main deck where the might otherwise sit in the sideboard.

Hoogland is already proficient with the deck, so seeing him make the Top 8 of the Modern Classic is no surprise, and it took a turn-three kill from a Dredge deck—yes, a Dredge deck (which won the whole thing)—to keep him from claiming another trophy. That said, the deck is difficult to pilot, as is any toolbox deck, so practice will certainly be key for anyone looking to pick up this deck and evolve some creatures out of their natural state.

Jeff Hoogland's Kiki-Evolution

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