This Month in Magic: A New Beginning

WRITTEN BY

Howdy folks! It's Joe here and we're here with a little bit of a rebranding. As some of you might have heard by now, I've taken up a position writing about Vintage for MTGGoldfish! As part of all of that I've done a bit of a paring back in some areas due to the workload; thus, my articles here are moving to a monthly basis. As well, my articles here will no longer be solely Legacy-focused. Instead, we're going to be branching out and talking about Magic in general! Most of what you will see here will relate to current events ongoing in the Magic community as well as thoughts on things.

So, before we get started, if there's anything you'd like to see me talk about, please feel free to reach me on Discord or Twitter and ask! We might even do a mailbag-type deal at the end of the year, if people would want to do so.

MagicFest, Professional Play, and PPTQs


Recently, Wizards of the Coast released not only their schedule for professional play, but also some new updates to the whole Pro Play experience. One of the biggest changes to this is a little rebranding on the name Grand Prix. Instead of attending Grand Prix, you'll be attending MagicFests.

First off, this is an incredibly silly name, given that there is already apparently a MagicFest in Europe (a festival for actual Magic acts, you know… making motorcycles disappear and that sort of thing) that reached out to Goldfish's SaffronOlive over use of the name. In general though, the name is lackluster. It feels awkward, so I guess it sort of fits. I'm not a fan of the name, but maybe it will grow on me.

The other big part of this announcement was that Pro Tours will also be held at the same location and during MagicFest weekends. So, for example, Pro Tour Cleveland will be held the same weekend and at the same venue as MagicFest Cleveland. I actually really like this change myself, as it allows the general public to be able to watch Pro Tour level Magic while also having the option to go run off and jam their main event or play Commander with their friends, etc.

And of course, the final part of the announcement: The removal of PPTQs and moving back to a more direct way of qualifying for the Pro Tour. There still isn't a decent amount of info on how this will work out, but I suspect that it is probably for the better. If you're familiar at all about Gerry Thompson and his protest at Worlds (or if you even knew Worlds happened), the PPTQ system is pretty broken and pretty much designed to create losers. It's a feel-bad system all around, and I'm personally glad to see them doing something with it. They did mention that there is going to be ways for stores to be eligible to run direct qualifiers, so it should be interesting to see how that works out.

The downside of all of these changes is that players in countries that are not the U.S. are in a bit of a pickle as most of these changes removes a lot of events from those countries, especially those in Latin America where there are quite a number of Magic Pro players. I hope that their feedback is able to be processed appropriately and we can work towards something that works for all of us.

Magic Arena

If you've been living under a rock, you might not know that MTGArena is now Open Beta. If you now know this, go download it and give it a whirl. Despite how Hearthstone-esque it all looks, the client is actually pretty decent, and I have to admit the rotation period of Guilds of Ravnica moving in has made me slightly interested in Standard again. Luckily, with Arena, I can play Standard without the major investments of paper Magic.

One gripe I obviously have with Arena is that there still is no mobile client yet. Yes, I know, it's still technically in "Beta." The issue is that I haven't heard anything about them even considering it (and I hope they really are), mainly because if they want to truly compete with Hearthstone, having a mobile version would work wonders. Personally, I would play a bit more on there if I had access to a mobile version while I was on lunch at work.

Still, Arena has been fun and I certainly have enjoyed slamming Teferi, Hero of Dominaria into people's faces. Even if my opponents… haven't.

A Look Ahead at the Rest of the Year

The rest of this year looks to be pretty fun: We've got a lot of big events coming up, including SCG Con (and a $10,000 CUBE DRAFT OMG), U.S. Eternal Weekend, and SCG Regionals. I'm possibly locked into going to SCG Regionals in Columbus, OH at the moment. Modern in general has been a weird place for me as of late, since I've had a rough time finding my place in the format; however, with the advent of the renewed push that Dredge has gotten thanks to Creeping Chill, I feel like that's ultimately where I'd like to be right now. The deck seems to be more solid and fun (but not as fun as when we had good toys like Golgari Grave-Troll which is when I last played the deck) than it has been, so I'm excited to give it a whirl. I'm still somewhat building back into it at the moment, so I hope to be working on doing some trading soon to get pieces for it.

Beyond that, for me the rest of this year is pretty much bupkiss. I've got a large trip here to Madison, WI at the end of this month for a non–Magic related event (the World Clydesdale Show), so a lot of everything is tied up there. Unfortunately, I will be unable to attend Eternal Weekend or SCG Con, but I'm looking forward to making next year great with attending events.

Wrapping Up

This is a short article for our first month as there really isn't a ton going on at the moment beyond the Pro Play stuff. Next month we'll be talking about whatever current events go on there, my experience at Regionals, and talk about whatever sounds interesting.

As always, come hit me up on Twitter or Discord if you'd like to chat!

Until next time!

Joseph Dyer (@volrathxp) is an avid Legacy enthusiast. He's admin of the /r/NicFitMTG subreddit, as well as a regular participant on the Source and MTGLegacy subreddits. His knowledge of the Legacy format is deeply rooted in constant analysis, playtesting, and lots of discussion of the format. Joseph's primary accomplishments include a 10–5 finish at GP Columbus 2016 with Rhino Fit, and a 32nd place finish at SCG Columbus Legacy Classic with Sneak Fit. 

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