News Brief: Magic Digital, Magic Comic, and Grand Prix Brussels and Orlando

It’s the week after Pro Tour 25th Anniversary and although that milestone event has passed, the world of Magic hasn’t stopped turning. Here are the biggest news stories from the week starting August 6th.

Magic Digital

Magic’s two digital platforms—Arena and Magic Online—are going to have some new offerings in the not too distant future. First up, Magic Arena will be adding some offerings to their rotating schedule of weekend events. The initial round of these specialty formats will include Pauper and Momir. Pauper will use cards released as common on Arena (from Kaladesh forward). Momir is a format from Magic Online where players build a deck of sixty basic lands. Once per turn as a sorcery, players can pay any amount and discard a card to get a creature token with a converted mana cost equal to the amount paid. This creature can be any creature in the history of Magic (or on Arena, back to Kaladesh) with that converted mana cost. For example, spending 1 mana on turn 1 means that you can get a Llanowar Elves, a Bomat Courier, or a Sparring Construct. You can find more information on the Arena beta in the video below.

Magic Online will be running another Cube in its spotlight series. This time around the featured draftable format will be the Pro Tour Cube. Curated by Eric Klug (of Klug Alters), the Pro Tour Cube, in its initial form, contains one copy of every card to win a Pro Tour. For the Magic Online edition, some cards have been cut in order to contain only 540 cards. Some of these cuts, like Rebels, were done with an eye towards improving the overall Draft and play experience. You can see the full list of the Pro Tour Cube, which will be available between August 15 and August 22, here.

Magic Comic

In celebration of Magic’s 25th anniversary, IGN will be releasing a new comic series based on the Magic brand. The series will focus on the planeswalker Chandra Nalaar. The series will not be connected to IGN’s previous offerings (which introduced us to Dack Fayden).

Grand Prix Brussels and Orlando

While last week’s Pro Tour featured Standard, Modern, and Legacy in Team Trios, this weekend’s pair of Grand Prix focused on Standard. Before the Pro Tour there were concerns about the strength of red decks after the alarms rang about Nexus of Fate. While Brussels and Orlando are not a referendum on the format, they would help us understand where things were going leading into the World Championship.

Grand Prix Brussels was the first major Standard event since the Pro Tour in Minneapolis. Just over 1,100 players descended on Belgium to try their hand at cracking the format. While both Goblin Chainwhirler and Nexus of Fate made the Top 8, it was Jérémy Dezani, the Pro Tour Theros champion, who claimed the trophy. Dezani was piloting Esper Control and had to beat countryman, Hall of Famer, and control master Guillame Wafo-Tapa in a quarterfinals mirror match.

Esper Control

Meanwhile, just under 1,000 players showed up in Florida to test their mettle at Grand Prix Orlando. There were not any copies of Nexus of Fate in the elimination rounds monsters-under-the-bed of Standard days gone by—The Scarab God and Winding Constrictor did show up. This time around Gabriel Joglar claimed the crown with his Blue-White Approach of the Second Suns control deck.

Blue-White Approach

Looking Forward

Next week the United States plays host to two Standard Grand Prix, one in Los Angeles and one in Providence. Meanwhile in Japan, Legacy and Vintage get their chance in the spotlight at Japan’s Eternal Weekend.


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