The February 17, 2017 Update

Posted in Daily Magic Update on February 17, 2017

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 February 17, 2017. Today's Update is brought to you by Positive Feedback for Magic. (Thanks, Ryan D. at SylvanMTG!)

What to Watch This Weekend

  1. Grand Prix Vancouver | Saturday and Sunday |

The Grand Prix circuit turns to Modern, just across the border with our Canadian friends in Vancouver. Coverage starts at noon ET/9 a.m. PT. This is the first high-level play for Modern since Gitaxian Probe and Golgari Grave-Troll were banned, not to mention the influx of powerful Aether Revolt cards, making for an interesting, potentially surprising weekend.

  1. Baltimore Open Weekend | Saturday and Sunday |

It's three, three, formats for the price of one as the SCG Tour hosts a Team Constructed weekend in Baltimore that features one teammate playing Standard, one on Modern, and one on Legacy. Coverage begins at 10:30 a.m. ET/7:30 a.m. PT each day.

This is more of a what to watch today. Pantheon is amping up their stream game as of late, and this seems like the perfect way to get through a Friday afternoon and on to the weekend (where, of course, you can watch more Magic streaming).

After Those, Read, Watch, or Listen to These

  1. Breaking Kari Zev's Expertise | Top Level Podcast | Mike Flores and Patrick Chapin

With all the Modern action happening this weekend, now's a good time to talk about some of the Modern-ready cards Aether Revolt has bestowed upon us—particularly the Expertise cycle, particularly particularly Kari Zev's Expertise (aka, the cheapest one) and Breaking // Entering, which, yes, can be cast fused off of an Expertise. If you didn't already know that, take a moment to pick your jaw up off the floor, then listen to this podcast.

  1. Channel Pardee Time—Modern Blue-Black Control | ChannelFireball | Sam Pardee

Speaking of Fatal Push and Expertises, Sam Pardee pilots a blue-black control deck that seeks to use Fatal Push and Yahenni's Expertise to leverage an advantage over his opponents. See how these Aether Revolt cards fare in a tougher, more Modern environment.

  1. Top 5 Amonkhet Predictions for Magic: The Gathering | Tolarian Community College | The Professor

Previews are still a ways away for Amonkhet (the start in earnest April 3, but we'll have a couple things to show off the week prior), but that doesn't stop people from speculating now that we're through the entire Aether Revolt story. Here, the Professor offers five predictions for what happens in Amonkhet. And, no, I won't say how many he got right or wrong.

  1. Art in Focus—Sundering Titan Masterpiece by Lius Lasahido | Original Magic Art | Josh Krause and Lius Lasahido

The Sundering Titan Masterpiece is imposing, terrifying, and one of my favorite pieces of art in recent years. Now Lasahido gives a peek behind his thoughts and his process when creating this terrifying mechanical monster.

  1. Unique hobby helps student pay for school, see the world | The Advertiser | Leigh Guidry

I love local papers. I've written for and been an editor at a number of them. There's something pure and refreshing about how personal the news gets. For example, this article is all about Pro Tour Aether Revolt Top 8 competitor Donald Smith and how playing Magic has helped him pay for school. It's a lengthy, fairly in-depth profile piece, shining just a bit more light on a game we all love.

What People Are Talking About

You're probably going to be seeing a lot of talk this weekend about Magic Digital Next, as well as some looks into the future for Magic coming out of Toy Fair (happening basically right now). Don't worry, anything you might want to see coming out of there will be covered in an article on Monday. You won't miss a thing if you're not there or not tapped in to the rumor mill.

Deck of the Day

  1. Modern Snake Scales

While we've got several Modern events this weekend (Grand Prix Brisbane is also Modern, it's just not streamed), so it seems like a good time to check in on the format. And this 5-0 Magic Online League deck from Themata is certainly something to behold as a completely new creation spurred on by everyone's favorite Standard-legal Snake, Winding Constrictor. The deck piles on the +1/+1 counters thanks to both Hardened Scales and Winding Constrictor tossing them in for free.

Check out this scenario. You have a Hardened Scales or Winding Constrictor in play and you cast Arcbound Worker. It comes into play as a 2/2. You then cast Arcbound Ravager, also as a 2/2. If you then sacrifice the Worker to the Ravager, the Ravager gets two +1/+1 counters from its ability and then three from the modular trigger, resulting in a 7/7 Arcbound Ravager. And that's just with one Hardened Scales in play. Throw in Walking Ballista and Hangarback Walker, and things get out of control quickly.

And heaven help your opponent if you ever get to activate Gavony Township.

The rest of the deck is filled out with more +1/+1 counter generators that do other things as well. Scavenging Ooze patrols graveyards and Dromoka's Command serves as removal. Speaking of, we also have Aether Revolt's best card for Modern (sorry, Snake) in Fatal Push, which is reshaping the format in about 20 different ways.

Themata's Snake Scales

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