Pro Tour Aether Revolt, Nationals 2017, Changes To Grand Prix – Adjacent Events: February 2017 Ten Minute Magic
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 been going on in Magic: The Gathering this past month…
1. Pro Tour Aether Revolt
Pro Tour Aether Revolt ended on Sunday 4th to a weekend of fierce competition. Dublin, Ireland was subjected to the descent of the Magic: the Gathering community as the best and newest decks vied for the elusive Pro Tour Champion trophy.
Lucas Esper Berthoud came out on top with Mardu Vehicles after a mirror match that went to a full five games against testing partner and friend, Marcio Carvalho in the finals. Lucas walked away with the trophy and $50,000 from his first ever Pro Tour Top 8 appearance from 6 attempts.
Both Lucas and Marcio came from team DEXThird, one of three brainchild teams of Pro Tour Hall of Famer, Willy Edel; the so-called ‘godfather’ of Latin American Magic.
Regarding decks played, 6 of the Top 8 decks were the new breed of Vehicles decks to come from the banning of Smuggler’s Copter. A predominantly creature-based strategy, Mardu Vehicles aimed to play threat after threat, including one of the most discussed cards in Aether Revolt, Heart of Kiran.
Looking at the entire tournament sample, Mardu Vehicles actually made up 55% of the decks, with Golgari Aggro coming second with 23% and Rakdos Aggro being in third, holding 10% of the metagame.
2. The Return of Nationals
The 9th of February brought news from Wizards of the Coast on the topic of Nationals. With positive feedback coming in about the World Magic Cup, Helene Bergeout stated that “most conversations… also triggered repeated requests to revive Nationals”. This level of discussion has resulted in Wizards bringing back the National Championships, albeit with some updates.
In order to participate in Nationals, a player must accrue a certain number of Planeswalker Points by the end of the Yearly Award Season on May 28th. Thresholds for entering will be based on the size of the country, so check up on what you need for your nation.
The World Magic Cup in previous years consisted of teams made up of 4 people. Reviews of this stated that situations were created where some players spent large parts of the tournament NOT playing Magic and therefore the teams will be reduced to three members.
In 2016, the World Magic Cup Constructed portion was run as Team Unified Modern. This coming competition will see a switch back to Standard format with updates to the format to prepare for this change. Based on this information, the Nationals Tournaments will also be held using the Standard Format.
The top Pro Point earner for the season will remain as the Team Captain for that country. The other two slots available will be awarded to the top two finishers at the same National Tournament.
Tournaments will occur on the weekends of September 9th, 16th or 23rd dependant on your location.
3. Changes to Grand Prix – Adjacent Events
Alongside the announcement of changes to the World Magic Cup and it’s qualification requirements, Wizards are also making some other changes.
Pro Tour Qualifiers- or PTQs- will be returning as one-shot events that players can choose to participate in on Sundays at every Grand Prix.
Each PTQ will award the winner an invitation to the Pro Tour that it is feeding. Events will be first- come first- serve and will have a maximum capacity of 225 people.
The Grand Prix Trials- GPTs- tied to Grand Prix Las Vegas will be the final GPTs to take place. Wizards have decided that the concept only had mixed success and limited turnout, therefore leading to the decision to cancel the system on an in- store basis.
GPTs will continue to be held on the Fridays of Grand Prixes before the main event, handily allowing for players who wish to earn byes to have the chance to do so. Alongside this, players will also still be able to earn byes in the main events of a GP by earning specific thresholds of Planeswalker Points.
Articles of the Week
- 4 Important Questions Every Good Magic: The Gathering Deckbuilder Should Ask, by David Inglis
- The best 16 cards of 2016 for Commander, by Paul Palmer
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