Ten Minute Magic (April 15, 2016) – New Wizards of the Coast President, Judge Changes, and Magic: The Gathering Documentary

Join Joseph Dunlap and Ben Cottee in this week’s episode of Ten Minute Magic, a weekly podcast format that highlights recent news in the world of Magic: The Gathering and looks at exceptional comments from recent Magic content on the internet.

This is what’s going on in Magic: The Gathering this week…


1. New Wizards of the Coast President

Hasbro has recently published a press release announcing that Greg Leeds has resigned as President of Wizards of the Coast and his position will be filled by none-other than the Vice-President at Microsoft, Chris Cocks. Chris Cooks will take over on June 6th

“Cocks is an avid player and fan of Wizards of the Coast brands, including MAGIC: THE GATHERING and DUNGEONS & DRAGONS.”

The focus in the announcement and by the community at large has been on the obvious experience in the field of computer programming and gaming at Leapfrog and Xbox within Microsoft and its potential impact on the often maligned MTGO programme.


2. New Judge Level Structure

The first major shake up of judge levels since 2004 was introduced recently. This shake up recognises that a lot has changed. There are many more GPs being run simultaneously on the same weekends, which has pressured the top levels of judging. PPTQs have increased the demand for more level 2 judges with better experience.

The new format has only three levels but with advanced roles available to level 3 to branch out and contribute more, and with a specific GP Head Judge pool of 20-25 judges specifically qualified to run these massive events. These changes help clarify the steps to advancing as a Magic judge, which were poorly understood by many, and specifically call out the difference of expectation for each level. 

This announcement was followed by what I assume is the first batch of Advanced Role judges tasked with coordinating this new set up in the coming months with a fifth to be added: Sean Catanese, Toby Elliott, Jason Lemahieu, and Kim Warren.


3. Enter the Battlefield


Entitled Enter the Battlefield – Life on the Magic: The Gathering Pro Tour, an upcoming feature-length documentary is being created by Nathan Holt and Shawn Kornhauser.

Enter the Battlefield centers its story on seven figures from the Pro Tour’s past and present, focusing on the very different origins and motivations of Owen Turtenwald, Reid Duke, William Jensen, Chris Pikula, Patrick Chapin, Shahar Shenhar, and Melissa DeTora as they work to achieve their personal goals on the Pro Tour.

While we continue to wait on the expected Magic the Gathering feature movie in cinemas we have what looks like a great piece of work from the people behind Walking the Planes. This seems a much more serious affair, though, and seems to try and reflect the Magic Pro Tour in the best possible light as well as focus on the characters in the game which has long been a request for coverage to do.


4. Featured Manaleak Articles

Shadows Over Innistrad Sealed Deck Is Slow, Play Silent Observers And Win More Games! by Fabrizio Anteri

Adria Paricio Perez commented: “Really nice article! Very useful for GP Barcelona!”

Vincent Cariaco commented: “I’ve found SOI limited to be a mixed bag. Sealed has been slower than I expected. I’ve played WG Humans, splashing black for my finisher (hypno-toad) and GR Werewolves which was grindy. But draft wise, it’s been quicker. I think it depends on the play group. In my area, limited wise, everyone goes ultra aggressive or pure grind fest.”

Fabrizio replied: “Draft is surely going to be way more aggressive and faster but that’s the case with basically every set. But overall both sealed and draft are slower than the sealed and draft of other sets.”

The New MTG PPTQ System Has Changed The Grind, But Is It For The Better? by Kayure Patel

Jim Corwood commented: “From my point of view, I hate the new system, and have pretty much quit because of it – for a number of reasons: There’s hardly any sealed events now, I liked big events where I’d see all my friends, I really dislike playing in shops and the kind of people that hang around in them, pptqs are not competitive/high level events, most store level events are poorly run, twice the chance you have to skip a whole season i.e. if you can’t play the rptq OR the pt, travelling to an event with an invite is much more appealing than one that qualifies for another qualifier.”

Neil Rigby, infamous for his number of PTQ Top 8’s, MTG event coverage and host of Blue Envelope Podcast weighed in: “Getting time off work to try and qualify for the PT in Sydney seems worth it, so you can try to get to random town X to then try again is less enticing. I’ve been very lucky in that I’ve won half of the PPTQs I’ve played in but my attendance has been considerably down compared to old PTQs. For totally personal reasons, there need to be more limited ones, need to be more on Sundays.”


Ancestral Vision and Sword of the Meek Will Revolutionise Modern, And Here’s How, by Matt Gregory

Benjamin Robert Hillman commented: “Sweet article dude. I played some games with that blue-white gifts outline today – It’s pretty solid and sticks together well already, but on first blush I think the set of Talismans is definitely too many, and there might just be room to squeeze a Batterskull in there for old times’ sake.”

David Hassell commented: “Hey Matt – nice brews! Have you considered playing 4c Gifts with Thopter/Sword? Rather than using Noxious Revival, you can use Life from the Loam to return Academy Ruins, which then sets up Thopter Foundry. Loam would naturally take you into black (most likely) to add Raven’s Crime, but that comes with the added benefit of allowing you to actually cast Unburial Rites.”

Magic: The Gathering Grand Prix Manchester – The Complete Travel Guide, by Aaron Strawbridge

Luke Vassallo commented: “This is awesome! Thanks for the help. Much appreciated.”

Thank you for joining us in Ten Minute Magic. We would love to hear your feedback on the presentation, format, and length – the idea is to run through Magic news and recent article discussions in roughly ten minutes – so please leave a comment with your thoughts and we look forward to hearing from you.

Joseph and Ben

New WOTC Head, Judge Changes, and MTG Documentary - Ten Minute Magic (April 15, 2016)
Join Joseph Dunlap and Ben Cottee in this week’s episode of Ten Minute Magic, a weekly podcast format that highlights recent news in the world of Magic: The Gathering and looks at exceptional comments from recent Magic content on the internet.

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