Ten Minute Magic (November 4, 2016) – SCG Tour Changes, Player Fired Over Featured Match

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. Future of StarCityGames Tour Possibly in Jeopardy

In a post released on the 31st of October, StarCityGames President Pete Hoefling stated that during planning for the 2017 season of the SCG Tour, there were queries about how the Tour series would actually continue due to the external changes in the MTG environment. Hoefling states that several brainstorming sessions did not produce any viable answers, specifically around the SCG Tour itself, in-store programs, and the SCG Points and seasonal standings.

In Store Programs will continue to occur with Game Nights providing Creature Collection tokens and pins as normal. State Championships will, however be coming to an end due to the large amount of organisation required for the event, covering all 50 states, and that circumstances outside of StarCityGames’ control made it increasingly more difficult to accommodate this requirement. Invitational Qualifiers will now be evolving proportionately with the 2017 Invitational Series by taking the best elements of Invitational Qualifiers and Super Invitational Qualifiers to produce an enhanced prize package that will contain playmats, exclusive tokens, two invitational qualifications, SCG points, minimum payouts of $1000 and more that has yet to be unveiled.

2. StarCityGames Tour Changes

According to this week’s announcement, the 2017 SCG tour will consist of the following events: 5 Standard tournaments, 4 Modern, 1 Legacy and 1 Team Constructed. Yes, that’s right, Team Constructed. February’s Baltimore Open will be under the Team Constructed format, with 300 teams competing for the title.

Team Constructed encompasses three separate formats. Within each team, one player will be designated as their Modern Format Player, one for Standard Format and one for Legacy. They will then be facing their counterpart from another team. All teams then with 21 points or more (at least 7 wins), or tied for 21st place or higher will then proceed to Day 2. Tiebreakers will reset on Day 2, and the Top 4 will be decided in typical single-elimination playoffs.

The most vocal response to the changes to the SCG Tour across social media was in regards to the diminished Legacy events this season. In the coming year, Legacy will only have two Invitationals, one Open, and two Legacy Classics. Many players have begun to refer to this as the beginning of the end for Legacy, including the outspoken Saffron Olive of MTGGoldfish. Jeff Hoogland and a handful of other pro players countered this sentiment by pointing out that SCG is cutting down on Legacy events due to poor attendance, and called out the Legacy community for not attending events while they were being hosted.

Amidst the outpouring of response, Cedric Phillips responded to a tweet in which Kai Budde commented on not watching many Legacy events and the low viewer and attendance numbers likely being the cause of Legacy events being cut, joking: “I promise we make decisions based on factual information and not a beautifully designed dartboard.”

3. Kent Ketter Fired from Cardhoarder Over Featured Match

Two weekends ago at SCG Milwaukee, a featured match between Kent Ketter, content creator for Cardhoarder, on Dredge and Frank Vanderwall on Bant Eldrazi at the start of Day 2 spawned some controversy. At the start of Game 3, Vanderwall opened up with Rest in Peace. Since Rest in Peace exiles both graveyards, this is a devastating hoser for Dredge players. On the game footage, Ketter puts his hand on the single card in his graveyard, moves it a few inches to his designated “exile” zone, then puts it back as Vanderwall did not announce the Rest in Peace exile trigger.

After a judge is brought to the table and both players recount what happened, the judge rules in Ketter’s favor and the card remains in his graveyard… until Vanderwall casts another Rest in Peace the following turn. Ketter went on to win the match.

Kent Ketter, everyone! Removes his graveyard after a Rest in Peace resolves, then puts it back in and claims his opponent missed the trigger. Judge rules in his favor. from magicTCG

A Reddit thread was created later that day calling out the interaction, which was eventually locked by a moderator. The Reddit community jumped on Ketter for poor sportsmanship and pointed out that Vanderwall may have missed his Rest in Peace trigger because he saw Ketter move his graveyard to exile. One eyewitness account on the thread says the judge in question was not told by either player that Ketter touched his graveyard, and that Ketter called a judge because he was unsure how to proceed. Vanderwall did not contest the ruling and the game continued normally.

This didn’t stop the Reddit community from calling for Ketter to be fired from his job at Cardhoarder. One comment, with 154 upvotes, instructed other readers to e-mail Cardhoarder and express their displeasure with Ketter’s actions directly to his employer. The following day Cardhoarder released a statement on Reddit regarding Ketter’s recollection of the events, as well as putting a hold on any final conclusions until more information was released. Cardhoarder also stated they had been contacted by upset Magic players saying they would never shop with Cardhoarder again if Ketter was not fired immediately, or threatening to publicly denounce the company.

Readers applauded Cardhoarder for their response, but insisted that further action should be taken in disciplining Ketter. The issue brewed for several more days until Cardhoarder announced the following week that they would be parting ways with Ketter. In the statement, Cardhoarder says: “Some individuals have provided accounts/evidence of other incidents that we found concerning. We brought our concerns to Kent and, after some discussion, we have mutually agreed to part ways.”

On the topic of the threats they had been receiving, Cardhoarder had this to say: “In the past week, many have demanded that we remove Kent from the team and have threatened to attack the image and success of our business to see their demands met. We would like to make it clear that it is only additional information that has led us to this new course of action.” Cardhoarder went on to say that they will soon be releasing a Code of Conduct for all players sporting their name.

This issue sparked responses from several large names in the Magic Competitive scene. Paulo Vitor Damo da Rosa was saddened by the issue, Sam Black openly supported Ketter’s actions, Brian Braun-Duin jokingly called Ketter scum for not paying ‘elitist pros when they applied for Australian Visas so they could loot or not loot treasure chests’, and Jeff Hoogland asked Cardholder whether they would defer to the “angry Reddit mob’ in choosing the next player for them to fire.

The mixed reactions to the situation provide an insight into the complicated nature of rulings and the sway that Social Media communities have on the the decisions made by major Magic: The Gathering companies. The highest voted comment on Cardhoarder final Reddit thread had this to say: “While the MTG Reddit community seems to love its witch-hunts, that anger and frustration comes from a desire to better the game.” Its first comment brings a pointed rebuttal: “The way to hell is paved with good intentions. Those who directly attacked Cardhoarder should feel ashamed.”

4. Peregrine Drake Receives Emergency Ban in Pauper

For those of you who play Pauper, you are all too familiar with the card Peregrine Drake. Its ability to make itself cost-free with the effect of untapping up to 5 lands means an effectively free 4/4 flyer. Ever since the ban of Cloud of Faeries, Peregrine Drake has become more and more oppressive in the Pauper format. In fact, when Wizards announced there would be no quarterly bans, the amount of Peregrine Drake decks in the Pauper metagame doubled.

Effective as of November 16th, in line with Magic Online’s Downtime, Peregrine Drake will no longer be a legal card in Pauper. Erik Lauer of Wizards of the Coast R&D stated that due to Izzet Drake holding a whopping 22.79% of the Pauper Metagame according to MTGGoldfish, along with its win rate increasing massively, it is significantly harming the diversity of the competitive metagame.

Even with this in mind, Wizards R&D have banned the card outside of the normal Banned and Restricted list changes that occur with each of the four major set releases per year. This will be only the second ever ‘emergency ban’ that a metagame has ever seen, with it being almost 17 years since the last emergency banning of the card Memory Jar.

5. The Magic Bracket and Necropotence Pumpkin

We conclude Ten Minute Magic this week with two smaller stories we thought were worth mention. First, a new project has been launched called The Magic Bracket which will ultimately decide the best card in Magic: The Gathering… in two years’ time.

The Magic Bracket begins! from magicTCG

Headed up by David Lyford-Smith, The Magic Bracket is a daily poll of 32 1v1 card matchups that uses single-elimination to determine the best cards in Magic. It is slated to complete in approximately two years. You can follow mtgbracket.tumblr.com or @MTG_Bracket on Twitter to keep up with the daily brackets.

I carved one of my favorite card arts for Halloween this year: Necropotence from magicTCG

Finally, we bring you the Necropotence pumpkin. A user on Reddit posted a photo of a pumpkin carving based on the artwork of the popular card Necropotence. The picture was an instant hit with the community, receiving such comments as: “Nothing is spookier than drawing nineteen cards,” “You don’t have to play Magic to appreciate a skull,” “But can you do foil?”, and “I didn’t know Randy Buehler had a Reddit account.”

6. Manaleak Articles of the Week

  1. The Best Answers for Smuggler’s Copter in MTG Standard, by Joseph Dunlap
  2. Net Decking Isn’t The Enemy, It’s A Great Starting Point, by Jason Coles

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), or follow @TenMinuteMagic to keep in touch and send us topics throughout the week that you would like to hear us cover.

Joseph and Joe

SCG Tour Changes, Player Fired Over Featured Match - Ten Minute Magic (November 4, 2016)
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.

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