News Brief: Brawl Updates, Draft Changes, and Pro Tour 25th Anniversary

No Grand Prix? No problem. The world of Magic might have slowed down last week but the news never stops.

Brawl Updates

In an article on Monday, Gavin Verhey and Ian Duke detailed some updates to Brawl. The format has received plenty of attention from Wizards since its introduction and it shows. Moving forward, 1-on-1 Brawl games (the format was originally conceived as a multiplayer endeavor) will use a starting life total of 25 and will allow for one free mulligan.

The change in starting life total is being implemented to hinder aggressive decks. Specifically citing Kari Zev, Skyship Raider and other red decks as too dominant, the boost from 20 starting life is designed to aide slower decks. The free mulligan is being adopted to help players increase the quality of potential starting hands. In the explanation, Duke does cite the small card pool as a reason to have the free mulligan. It’s a way to increase consistency. Earlier in the article, however, Verhey says that currently the card pool—Standard—and the rotation will remain a part of Brawl.

Core Set 2019 Draft Changes… Again

Core Set 2019 Draft has undergone a few changes and the format is just getting started. Two weeks ago it was announced that due to the nature of the basic land slot—that it may contain a basic land, a Cinder Barrens style dual land, or a Nicol Bolas, the Ravager checklist card—that some packs would be drafted with 14 cards.

This changed last week. In an updated announcement, Wizards has released the following guidance:

  • At the store level, all cards except for tokens or ad cards are to be drafted. This includes basic lands, dual lands, and the checklist card.
  • At Grand Prix, all stamped boosters will contain 15 cards and the final card will be either a basic land or a dual land. These cards will appear at the same rate as they would in booster packs in the real world.

Pro Tour 25th Anniversary Invitations

The 25th Anniversary Pro Tour is a team event. Some players who have qualified have not yet found a team. This is addressed in an update on the Organized Play tumblr. In order to ameliorate this situation, Organized Play is allowing players the opportunity to form teams up until 11:59 pm, July 31st Central Time. This is only three days before the Pro Tour is set to begin.

Players who are on the individual invite list have until the same date and time—11:59 pm Central Time on July 31st—to forfeit their invitation in exchange for three pro points. Players who wish to take advantage of either of these options must email [email protected] by the deadline in order to take advantage of either option.

Looking Forward

The run up to Pro Tour 25th Anniversary makes four stops in four cities for four Core Set 2019 Grand Prix. Next weekend will see Grand Prix in Sacramento and Chiba. The following week sees events in Turin and Minneapolis. The Pro circuit will stay in one of the Twin Cities as Pro Tour 25th Anniversary kicks off August 3rd.


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