The May 3, 2017 Update

Posted in Daily Magic Update on May 3, 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 May 3, 2017. Today's Update is brought to you by data, and so much of it.

Today's Musts

  1. Analyzing the Ban: History, Data, Decision Theory, and Vehicles | ChannelFireball | Frank Karsten

I was loath to include more commentary on the Felidar Guardian ban because we've mostly moved past it, but this article was just that good. And of course it was—no one does "analysis" articles better than Frank Karsten, and he got very Karsteny in this one. The article "got" me at two points—the first was the picture of Data. The second was his super mathy take on last week's article "Game Theory Explains Why WoTC Hasn't Banned Anything," which came complete with shifting probabilities and properly labeled problem solving.

And as if that wasn't enough, he ends the thing with a bunch of now viable Standard decklists and analysis for those!

  1. Amonkhet Art Review | Gathering Magic | Mike Linnemann

The title undersells this article, as it is much more than just an art review. It delves into the set's lore, the world's character, some behind-the-scenes work, social commentary, about 10,000 words, and the occasional picture of an adorable dog.

If you're looking for more flavor-style articles today, checking out John Dale Beety's piece on Baral (the character, not the card) on will probably make you happy.

After Those, Read, Watch, or Listen to These

  1. Commander VS: Amonkhet Commanders! | | Justin Parnell and Stephen Green

It's Amonkhet vs. as the gang tackles Hapatra, Samut, Temmet, and Neheb from Nicol Bolas's desert plane. So which Trial is this?

There's actually a good amount of Commander content worth reading today. Dear Azami returned on Hipsters of the Coast to talk about a group-hug deck, the Command Zone's Jimmy Wong and Josh Lee Kwai covered "The Importance of Mana Curve," and Rhystic Study on MTG Mint Card looked at a Minotaur Tribal deck helmed by Neheb, the Worthy.

  1. MtA Episode 223: Kitty Later—AKH Standard | Magic the Amateuring | Maria Bartholdi and Ben Seck

That's right, the Ben Seck (as he is properly named) is guest-hosting as Meghan steps out to recover from some plague. They, shockingly, talk about Standard, with special insight from Seck's time at a Pro Tour prep Draft camp.

  1. Standard Power Rankings: Amonkhet Week 1 | ChannelFireball

The absolutely, 100% scientific power rankings are out! You'll never believe what's at No. 1!

Actually, you will. Because it's Gideon, Ally of Zendikar. It's a very good Magic card. Maybe you won't believe what's at 6, 7, and 8? Because those are all new cards from Amonkhet.

  1. How Important Is Consumer Confidence in Magic? (Video) | TCGPlayer | Denis Stranjak

Stranjak addresses consumer confidence in the wake of the Felidar Guardian ban. Confidence in our game is incredibly important to us, but sometimes we do have to sheepishly play our land after being Force Spiked (solid analogy, internet). We're working on a few things behind the scenes to curtail some of these issues, which we'll be ready to announce sometime in the near future.

And, yes, I could be vaguer. But not by much.

  1. 5 Cards to Check Out Post-Banning | PureMTGO | Anthony Block

While a few of these are already at the top of everyone's lists, Block does posit a couple intriguing cards and options that he thinks could break out now that the Cat is back in the bag.

Community Spotlight

  1. Card Kingdom Blog

Card Kingdom, a favorite Seattle-area Magic store, has recently launched its own blog for hosting new content, and it will be managed by Hallie Santo of the recently retired Girlfriend Bracket podcast. The blog will host videos from their YouTube channel as well as other content and communications. They haven't taken over the internet yet, but they're working on it.

Top 25

  1. Still no changes . . . for now

We've been in a holding pattern with the Top 25 for a while now, but things are about to get moving again. This weekend kicks things off with Grand Prix in three cities around the world: Bologna, Beijing, and Richmond. You can bet most of the players from the Top 25 will be in attendance at one of these. From there, we head straight into Pro Tour Amonkhet, where the Top 25 will shift radically. It will almost certainly look very little like this in two weeks.

But, until then, here's the same Top 25 you saw last week.

Rank Name Points Change Previous
1 Márcio Carvalho 86.74 1
2 Owen Turtenwald 78.73 2
3 Shota Yasooka 76.48 3
4 Reid Duke 72.86 4
5 Seth Manfield 71.98 5
6 Paulo Vitor Damo Da Rosa 70.74 6
7 Steven Rubin 61.11 7
8 Lee Shi Tian 59.74 8
9 Brad Nelson 58.74 9
10 Joel Larsson 58.61 10
11 Lukas Blohon 58.35 11
12 Matthew Nass 55.86 12
13 Alexander Hayne 55.74 13
14 Kentaro Yamamoto 54.99 14
15 Samuel Pardee 54.61 15
16 Ondřej Stráský 54.23 16
17 Oliver Tiu 53.74 17
18 Eduardo Sajgalik 53.49 18
19 Ivan Floch 52.86 19
20 Petr Sochůrek 52.74 20
21 Jiachen Tao 51.49 21
22 Martin Jůza 51.36 22
23 Yuuya Watanabe 51.36 23
24 Brian Braun-Duin 50.74 24
25 Mike Sigrist 50.74 25

Dropped from rankings: None

What People Are Talking About

  1. [Standard] Nice Recent Decklist Diversity!

*Exhales slowly after holding breath since April 26* Thank Oketra.

Anything that makes Aaron Forsythe smile . . .

Plus, the fact that someone went 5-0 with 4 Bounty of Luxa in their deck? I think we've found tomorrow's deck of the day.

Deck of the Day

  1. Caleb Scherer's Mono-Black Aggro

While everyone was looking at Zombies, Humans, or mono-red, Caleb Scherer went ahead and built a mono-black aggressive deck designed to hit hard and fast—and play fewer lands than just about anyone in the format.

Piloting the list below to a 6th-place finish at the open in Atlanta last weekend, Scherer proved his deck had legs (how else would Ballistas and Wanderers get around? Bah-dum ching!). Playing a plethora of cheap, aggressive creatures and the best removal spells in the format, Scherer struck before many could get their legs under them.

And even those who did stabilize often found themselves back under the gun due to the deck's recursive capabilities. Scrapheap Scrounger comes back constantly. Glint-Sleeve Siphoner draws extra cards. Dread Wanderer comes back on its own. And Liliana, the Last Hope is more than happy to bring anyone back to the party.

Bone Picker and Dread Wanderer are the main inclusions from Amonkhet, though Never // Return stands out as the most versatile removal spell in the deck—and tied for the most expensive.

Caleb Scherer's Mono-Black Aggro

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