Gathering This Week’s Magic 03 – March 2 – March 8

One week into March (madness) and Modern is playing itself off loud and exciting. Read about some brews, lauded modo changes, and why Tin Fins could get Griz banned in Legacy – these and more stories from this week’s Magic.

One GP and Two SCG Events

GP Yokohama was Gatecrash draft, and Orzhov aggro took it down in the hands of Kitayama. Check out an interesting list of the top five cards from the event.
UWR made two winners shout RAKA! at SCG Vegas. Devyn March won the Standard portion with a version of the deck Gerry T took to the PT and just can’t put down. Harvest Pyre is still good on reckoner.

Jack Colwell took us UWR Rest in Helm combo to first place beating Jacob Kory in the finals of the SCG Vegas Legacy open. However, Kory’s deck was certainly the talk of the weekend, using year-old Children of Korlis + Griselbrand tech plus the newest price spiker, Shallow Grave, to crush opponents on turn one or two a lot.

With recent announcements from Star City Games that it will be switching up the Sunday format occasionally going forward, some worry that Legacy is finally going to die, since SCG is basically the only supporter of the format on any large scale. Quiet Speculation’s Jason Alt discusses if this really is a death rattle, and why you shouldn’t sell your dual lands in a panic regardless.

Metagame Updates

Standard
Nick Vigabool leads us off again, with his data intensive breakdown of the Standard meta at SCG Vegas.

Mark Nestico does his best Gerry T impersonation for TCGPlayer and reminds us that UWR is the best, and to beat Naya Blitz you must “KILL ALL THE THINGS.”

Somehow, Jund of the straight aggro and Arbor varieties, has become the flavor of the week despite the continued power of The Reckoning. And by somehow I mean people finally got over the Top Eight performances and looked at which decks had the best records at the Pro Tour.

Despite this fact, there’s a secret argument between “Pros” about whether Raka or Esper is the best deck, meaning the best control deck, in the format right now. Fire up the Twitters to read between the lines, and check out some gushing about Planar Cleansing.

Modern
Modern PTQ Season has a few weeks left, and the meta is relatively open. Check out the Magic Online numbers from mtggoldfish.com, which put… surprise surprise, UWR Control at the top.

More importantly, if you haven’t read about the turn one combo kill that may or may not take Modern by storm, you don’t love hipsters and MTG Medina enough.

Legacy
Although UWR took down SCG this weekend and the momentary surge of Jund brought on the combo hordes, BUG (sometimes Shardless) has a lot of people’s attention because of being able to play Abrupt Decay and Deathrite Shaman in a decent Brainstorm deck. Check out the January and February metagame graphs to see this in numbers.


Upcoming Tournaments

There are two GPs this weekend. Verona, Italy (#GPVerona) is hosting a Standard tournament that you can watch on Twitch starting early Saturday morning ET. In Rio they’re also crushing Standard, but you can’t stream it online, so check out #GPRio on social media and maybe you’ll read about PVDDR.

The SCG Open Series goes to Indianapolis this weekend, and #SCGIndy coverage begins around 10:30 AM EST.

Announcements

You may also want to check out a bunch of news from WotC about Magic Online and the Online Championship series, if you’re into modo or just want a free promo.

Learn about Drafting

Shuhei Nakamura is one of the best drafters alive, and this is almost certainly the best article on basic Gatecrash drafting strategy you will read.

Brews and Theory This Week

TWoo runs you over with his take on a virtual classic. Wolf Run Black is basically Griselbrand your face off.dec. Or if you want more weirdness, check out a semi-stream of consciousness collection of decks that basically all feel like a weaker Bant or Jund, but so some ridiculously fun things worth testing.

Despite its weeks being numbered, Modern brews are stirring the pot like… something that stirs a lot – a witch’s cauldron? something ancient and worldwakey? Anyway, you have your pick of established and new fair and unfair decks. The Seething Song ban opened the door for a few more fair decks, but the combo/non-interactive decks are where the real brains have been bubbling. 

First, it’s never too late for zero interaction with this take on the hexproof Bogle deck that will make your opponents want to pull their hair out, if you’re not into the more passe infect or robots/affinity lists.

You’ve also got a few approaches to breaking Goryo’s Vengeance, from the potential turn one list above to Smi77y‘s Griselbros list from about a month ago. And if you can get behind the SCG subscription wall (buy premium. it’s worth it), you can read about an Amulet of Vigor combo (scroll down for a glimpse). Now that Gerry T has begun perfecting this beast, it might really take off.

And in case you’ve been waiting, CFB shared an updated (read: fixed) version of that awesome Standard land calculator, and the Modern version came out this week, courtesy of Alex Shearer.

Design/Dev Article of the Week

It’s Gruul week on the mothership, and Maro talks about the challenge of giving players strategic options while embodying the blunt “Grull Smash!” flavor of the guild.

Casual Thoughts of the Week

What should you do when you can tell you’re going to lose at the EDH table? Don’t be a nozzle. Just follow this advice to have moar fun.

Fantasy/Art Article of the Week

Check out a somewhat not totally random selection of pretty and pretty bag Magic art.

Social & Community Stuff

Learn about Rules Enforcement Levels through an interview with the world famous level five judge Toby Elliot. Then soak up the PT Gatecrash installation of “Walking the Planes” that has everyone laughing.

Random Genius

Magic is a game that has always had a smelly human side. GatheringMagic’s MJ Scott offers this brilliant look at scent and Magic personalities, wherein you can find out which Planeswalker you identify with most based on three questions, and then learn what that walker’s fashionable scent might be.

Another week, another huge pile of news. My draft went awesome cuz I forced Boros and got lucky. Eight packs including the Aurelia I’ve been looking for. EDH taught me that I hate slow games, even when I’m the Grixis player drawing things out. More personal stories next week, maybe….

If you have comments or questions, post below or shoot them to me on my Twitter handle @MdaveCs. GTWM is a work in progress and I’d love ideas of how to evolve it to make it more useful.

Thanks for reading
❤ Dave

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