The August 2, 2017 Update

Posted in Daily Magic Update on August 2, 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 August 2, 2017. Today's Update is brought to you by time zones. I may not be fully awake, but I'm definitely not fully awake. Also, I'm not fully awake. What day is it?

Today's Must

  1. Red Deck Really Does Win | ChannelFireball | Paulo Vitor Damo da Rosa

One of the best players to ever play the game won the Pro Tour with the most dominant deck of the tournament and claimed the Player of the Year title in the process. Then he wrote this article. There were probably things that happened in between those three things, but those are the relevant data points for your eyes ending up on this page.

What People Are Talking About

  1. BFFs – Paul Cheon and Luis Scott-Vargas | Wizards of the Coast

Just watch this. If you've ever trusted me to suggest content for you, then trust me now. No description necessary, just click play below. You're welcome.

  1. Commander VS: Legends Without Power or Toughness?! | | Justin Parnell and Stephen Green

What if your commander could be any legendary permanent, and not just creatures? The Commander VS crew explores, but we all know I'm rooting for the Bident of Thassa deck.

  1. Archenemy: Nicol Bolas Art Review | Gathering Magic | Mike Linnemann

The title on this one is pretty self-explanatory—Linnemann reviews the art of Archenemy: Nicol Bolas. Sometimes, my job is easy.

  1. Big and Small Lessons from the Pro Tour Hour of Devastation Limited Coverage | ChannelFireball | Neal Oliver

Neal Oliver might be one of the best Limited writers out there right now, and this article is a prime example of why. Analyzing moments and trends from Pro Tour Hour of Devastation, Oliver imparts some great lessons about the Draft format.

And if you're looking for more good Draft content, Lukas Blohon covers his three favorite archetypes in Hour of Devastation draft on Hareruya English.

  1. Nicol Bolas Goes on a Date: My Roommate Is a Planeswalker | Magic the Amateuring | Maria Bartholdi and Meghan Wolff

The MtA crew imagines if Nicol Bolas and Liliana went on a date. And Nicol Bolas has a Russian accent for some reason.

  1. How Many Infinite Combos Is Too Many? | The Command Zone | Jimmy Wong and Josh Lee Kwai

Four. Oops—sorry, did I just spoil the podcast? It's still worth listening to. Partly because I made that number up, but also because it's one of the key questions every Commander play group has to ask themselves.

Top 25

  1. Everything Changes

The Pro Tour always shakes things up, but this one absolutely routed the Top 25. There are a ton of little stories all over, so let's look at the whole thing.

Starting at the very top, we have a new No. 1! Player of the Year Paulo Vitor Damo da Rosa needed exactly a 1st-place finish to win Player of the Year and take over the top spot, and he did exactly that, pushing Márcio Carvalho down to No. 2 for the first time in basically forever.

While PVDDR won the largest prize, the largest bump went to Samuel Pardee, who jumped from No. 21 to No. 4 with his 2nd-place finish. Pardee has been a perennial Top 25er, but this is easily his highest rating since we started keeping track of that kind of thing.

Four other players entered the rankings from somewhere off the screen thanks to strong or even Top 8 finishes. Sam Black is the highest of these, and he finished in the Semifinals, achieving his goal of reaching Platinum for the year. The strong performances of Donald Smith, Javier Dominguez, and Christian Calcano also jumped them into the ranks of the elite—though Smith and Calcano have been here before.

Just two other players on the rankings had positive jumps: quarterfinalist Seth Manfield and Draft Master Martin Jůza.

That means four players dropped off the rankings. Brian Bruan-Duin, last year's World Champion, didn't quite make the cut. Neither did Matt Nass, Kentaro Yamamoto, nor Oliver Tiu. They're not far off the pace, however, so don't expect any of them to be gone too long.

Rank Name Points Change Previous
1 Paulo Vitor Damo Da Rosa 85.00 +6 7
2 Márcio Carvalho 81.00 -1 1
3 Reid Duke 74.00 3
4 Samuel Pardee 69.00 +17 21
5 Yuuya Watanabe 68.00 -1 4
5 Shota Yasooka 68.00 -3 2
7 Seth Manfield 65.00 +2 9
8 Martin Jůza 64.00 +2 10
9 Brad Nelson 63.00 -3 6
10 Owen Turtenwald 62.00 -5 5
11 Kelvin Chew 61.00 -3 8
12 Lee Shi Tian 59.00 -1 11
13 Samuel Black 56.00 NR
13 Donald Smith 56.00 NR
13 Ken Yukuhiro 56.00 13
16 Martin Müller 55.00 -4 12
16 Gerry Thompson 55.00 -2 14
16 Javier Dominguez 55.00 NR
19 Christian Calcano 54.00 NR
19 William Jensen 54.00 -2 17
21 Eric Froehlich 53.00 -5 16
21 Eduardo Sajgalik 53.00 -3 18
21 Steven Rubin 53.00 -6 15
21 Thiago Saporito 53.00 NR
25 Carlos Romão 52.00 -3 22

Dropped from rankings: Lukas Blohon, Oliver Tiu, Kentaro Yamamoto, Matthew Nass, and Brian Braun-Duin

What People Are Talking About

Previews for Commander (2017 Edition), that is! They start Monday, and each of the four tribes—now revealed to be Cats, Dragons, Vampires, and Wizards—will get their own day. Cats go first, because obviously.

Deck of the Day

  1. Mono-Black Zombies

If you want to be beating Ramunap Red, the undead might just be your best bet.

Think about it—they get on the board just as fast as the red deck. Thanks to Liliana's Mastery and Lord of the Accursed, they get bigger than the red creatures. Zombies are often able to flood the board, making cards like Ahn-Crop Crasher and Earthshaker Khenra less effective. And Kalitas's life gain can help the deck recover from any precarious total.

And then there's this:

Ramunap Red's trump card for basically everything is Hazoret the Fervent—but even Hazoret can't escape the Grasp.

We saw this trend emerge immediately as the Pro Tour shook out, with the Magic Online Standard PTQ not just won by Zombies (congrats Ryuumei!), but dominated by black decks the same way the Pro Tour Top 8 was held by red—six of the Top 8 contained some number of Grasp of Darkness.

So say hello to darkness your old friend, sleeve up some Zombies, and crush that alliterative red deck.

Ryuumei's Mono Black Zombies

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