News Brief: Magic Story, Guilds of Ravnica Merchandise, Player of the Year Playoff, and GPs Nagoya and Denver

The week of October 8th gave us a glimpse at the future of the Magic storyline and details on how Seth Manfield and Luis Salvatto will determine who will be the 2017-18 Player of the Year.

Magic Story

On October 9th we got some insight as to how the Magic story will be delivered moving forward. We have already seen the start of this, with authors Martha Wells, Kate Elliott, Cassandra Khaw, and Nicky Drayden tackling different worlds and story arcs. Fiction will continue to appear on the Magic website and there will be two novels coming from Greg Weisman (focusing on the climax of the Nicol Bolas-Gatewatch arc). There will also be a comic run, with Chandra as the main character, written by Vita Ayala with art from Harvey Tolibao, starting in November.

In an effort to keep the storyline straight, Magic will be utilizing the Franchise team to keep tabs on the canon. Wizards of the Coast has also started working with Jay Annelli—an active member of the Vorthos (Magic flavor and storyline) community—to help keep everything in order.

Guilds of Ravnica Merchandise

A new line of Guilds of Ravnica themed merchandise is now available in the European market. The products, from Zavvi, include multiple t-shirt designs for each guild, phone cases, coffee mugs, and tote bags. Merchandise can be purchased in North America from the MTGProShop and in Japan from Amnibus.

2017-18 Player of the Year Playoff

Seth Manfield and Luis Salvatto finished the 2017-18 Pro Tour season tied for the lead in Pro Points. On October 12th, we learned how the title will be bestowed. The two competitors will play a best-of-seven set of one-game-match Standard the Thursday before Pro Tour Guilds of Ravnica.

Both players will submit four different deck lists that cannot overlap by more than eight nonland cards. These decks will not have sideboards. The decks will be due November 5th and the playoff will take place on November 8th. Before the first game, each player will select a deck and then they’ll battle. Once a deck is victorious, it cannot be used again for the duration of the playoff. Due to the one-game nature of the matches, players will be entitled to a free mulligan.

In the run-up to the playoff, both Manfield and Salvatto will be streaming on the Magic Twitch channel. The duo will be part of the Pro Stream series—a program designed to showcase Magic’s very best outside of Pro Tours and Grand Prix. The first Pro Stream will be on October 18th, with Salvatto playing from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Pacific time, and Manfield coming on the air 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Pacific time.

Grand Prix Nagoya and Denver

After last week’s foray into Guilds of Ravnica Limited, this weekend’s Grand Prix were team affairs. In both Denver and Nagoya, teams of three tested their skill in Guilds of Ravnica Team Limited.

First up was Grand Prix Nagoya. 664 teams arrived to compete in Japan. The Top 4, however, was stacked. There were 80 Grand Prix Top 8s, as well as 17 Grand Prix wins, not to mention two Hall-of-Famers and a World Champion. But the story of the day belonged to the team of Ken Yukuhiro, Rei Sato, and Kentaro Yamamoto. The trio, calling themselves the Japanese Peach Garden Oath, emerged victorious. This is a nice bounce back finish for Ken Yukuhiro, who a few weeks ago took a late round disqualification at the World Championship when he neglected to call a judge immediately upon finding a sideboard card in the first game of a match. Undeterred and resolving to play tighter, he did just that and now has a Grand Prix trophy to add to his mantle.

Meanwhile at Grand Prix Denver, there was no Peach Garden Oath to be found. Over 500 teams came to game in the Mile High City, and the team of William Jensen, Owen Turtenwald, and Reid Duke were eliminated late on Day 1. At the end of Day 2 a Top 4 emerged that, while lacking the CV of its mirror in Nagoya, still had some pedigree. At the end of Sunday it was the team of Jack Dobbin, Jacob Baugh, and Andrew Tenjum who were hoisting the trophies. For Baugh and Tenjum, it was their second Team Limited Grand Prix win in a calendar year, although both their previous wins came on completely different teams.

Looking Forward

With the Player of the Year Playoff set and Pro Tour Guilds of Ravnica still a month away, the Pro Circuit will take a break for a week. Then on the weekend of October 26th it’s a Standard double feature. We get our first look at Guilds of Ravnica in Constructed on the circuit with Grand Prix in both Lille and New Jersey.


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