Ten Minute Magic (September 30, 2016) – Banned & Restricted List Update, New Magic: The Gathering Cardstock
Join Joseph Dunlap and Joe Butcher in this week’s episode of Ten Minute Magic, a bi-weekly podcast format that highlights recent news in the world of Magic: The Gathering and looks at recent content on Manaleak.com.
This is what’s going on in Magic: The Gathering this week…
1. Banned and Restricted Announcement
The Banned and Restricted List update came out on the 26th of this month, and to everyone’s surprise, there were no changes to any cards of any format. This would suggest that Wizards is happy with the current state of Modern, Vintage, Legacy, and Pauper. Online discussion prior to the update placed emphasis on a potential ban for Become Immense in Modern, and Peregrine Drake in Pauper.
The general consensus from social media seems to be that Wizards may be waiting to see the impact that the brand new Enemy Fastlands in Kaladesh – lands that enter untapped if you have two or fewer lands – will have on the Modern format before the next B&R update to be released in January. Modern has recently come under fire for being heavily dominated by linear strategies such as Burn, Affinity, Storm, Infect, and other decks that consistently win the game within a few turns, and players have asked for an unbanning of one of many blue cards that could potentially make a difference in this perceived imbalance. Many Pauper players had hoped for a ban on the oppressive Peregrine Drake, much like the Cloud Faeries ban earlier this year.
Perhaps the most important ban of all, however, came with the new Standard rotation as we say goodbye to the dominating Collected Company / Dromoka’s Command, and the once dominant Jace, Vryn’s Prodigy. This rotation comes on the heels of a new expansion release, which should shake things up across all formats.
2. Kaladesh Pre-Release Weekend
MTG’s latest set, Kaladesh, releases this weekend. The set has been incredibly well received at last weekend’s pre-release on September 24-25th, as a somewhat welcome return to a more colourful and celebratory world instead of the grim and dark world of Innistrad.
Participants in the Kaladesh Pre-Release received tiny origami-style thopters that could be assembled straight out of pre-release boxes. By the same token, local game stores were provided with cutouts that could be assembled into various flying ships and thopters to decorate for the pre-release weekend.
Kaladesh as a whole was a top-down design based around the Inventors’ Fair, and Wizards of the Coast wants players to feel like inventors as they design their decks. The notable mechanic in Kaladesh is Energy, otherwise known as the mysterious “Mechanic E” that Maro has often referred to as a mechanic he originally designed for the original Mirrodin block and has waited for the opportune time to unveil it. Various cards in Kaladesh provide both a way to gain and spend Energy counters to gain either gradual or game-winning advantages.
3. Changes to the 2017 Magic Online Championship Series
The 2016 MOCS is now officially at a close, and with it comes an update from Wizards of the Coast. The MOCS will be changed from a monthly event to bimonthly: one for Limited and one for Constructed. Each event will be an 8-round Swiss tournament regardless of player numbers, and will have no Top 8. Prizes will be awarded based on record, as well as invitations to the next MOCS playoffs being given to anyone who finishes with 6 or more match wins.
Platinum players will no longer receive invitations to the MOCS playoffs as it was fed back that their status marginalized their role in the MOCS. Pro Player Club members will still continue to receive monthly Qualifying Points grants, which can still be used to join the monthly MOCS events, however the changes mean that all Playoff contenders will have to win to earn a seat.
Finally, as touched on briefly by the last podcast and changes to worlds, the MOCS Champion will not be invited to Worlds as of 2018, and the same will apply to the World Champion being invited to the MOCS. This means that World Champion Brian Braun-Duin will be the last World Champion to be automatically invited to the MOCS before the changes totally come into effect. The logic behind this is promotion of the two tournaments is shifting to be more independent from one another. Even when these changes will be made, the MOCS winner will still receive automatic Platinum Pro status. Alongside this, most Magic Online Championship qualifications will still be invitations to a Pro Tour and Pro Tour Challenge.
Note: We wanted take a moment to clarify an inaccuracy, in reference to last episode’s story on the World Championship changes. Brian Braun-Duin did not take issue with the removal of the World Champion and GP Master qualification slots. Rather, he asserted that the GP Master slot had the potential to be as good a player as any, as evidenced by his commanding finish. Apologies to BBD for the error, and thanks for helping us set the record straight.
4. Wizards of the Coast to Bring Out New Cardstock
Beginning with Kaladesh, Japanese-language cards will be printed on a brand new- high quality, 100% recyclable paper that has slightly different properties. The new cardstock may come across as slightly stiffer than a normal card and a slightly different fluoresce under UV lighting. Whilst it doesn’t change the value of the cards, it shows a step in the right direction for a company that prints on a huge amount of paper and card each year.
Wizards of the Coast have stated that whilst the cards shouldn’t be noticeably different, they have made it abundantly clear that if players in tournaments are found to be abusing this change, via taking note of which cards in a given deck are made out of the new cardstock to gain an advantage, penalties will still be given out based upon the discretion of the Head Judge.
5. LSV joins the coverage team full-time
Luis Scott-Vargas has been revealed to not be part of the competitive scene during this 2016-17 season, but will be focusing entirely on becoming a member of the Coverage Team, We would like to congratulate Luis on his decision as his knowledge will be irreplaceable, even amongst the current experts and we wish him all the best in his endeavour.
6. Popular Magic: The Gathering Articles This Week
- To Keep Or Not To Keep: Everything You Need To Know About Mulligans in Magic: The Gathering, by Kerry Meyerhoff
- New Magic Players: Everything You Need To Know About Getting Into Magic: The Gathering, by Claire Stephenson
- 6 Things To Expect After Kaladesh Is Released, by Joseph Dunlap
- The Combos of Kaladesh: 5 Great Combos Using Kaladesh Cards, by The Manaleak.com MTG Writing Team
Thank you for joining us in Ten Minute Magic. We would love to hear your feedback on the presentation, format, and length – as well as the topics discussed – so please leave a comment with your thoughts and we look forward to hearing from you. You can also connect with us on Twitter (@joseph_dunlap and @darth_mulligan), where you can send us topics throughout the week that you would like to hear us cover.
Joseph and Joe