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News Brief: MTG Arena Historic Changes, Duke Elected to Hall of Fame, CommandFest and More

The final class of the current incarnation of the Hall of Fame is announced; Arena rewrites Historic, and more Modern madness at Grand Prix Ghent. This is your week in Magic news.

Changes to Historic on MTG Arena

With the upcoming Standard rotation coming to Arena, the platform unveiled a plan where players could trade in two appropriate wildcards for a Historic card–that is one no longer in Standard. The feedback to his plan was, in a word, negative. On Thursday it was announced that Historic cards will be available at the regular rate of one wildcard for one card. Packs of cards from Historic sets will also be available as per normal from the Arena store. The distribution method for cards that are Historic only–they have not appeared in Booster Packs on Arena–is still being determined. While Historic is coming, the rollout is still being refined to be a “complementary experience” to Standard and Draft on Arena.

Introducing CommandFest

Wizards of the Coast is partnering with three organizations–StarCity Games, Pastimes, and ChannelFireball–to put on three Commander centered events during the last quarter of 2019. Dubbed CommandFests, these gatherings will focus on the multiplayer format. The dates and locations are as follows:

More information on each event will be made available on the host organization’s website. Each Fest will have copies of the promo Sol Ring for attendees while supplies last.

First Players Tours Announced

The Players Tour is coming in 2020. This regional tabletop series will fill a similar role to the Pro Tour prior to 2019. There will be multiple Players Tour events per season, culminating in a Players Tour Finals. The first dates for the Players Tour have been announced. They are:

  • Players Tour Europe: February 1-2, Brussels, Belgium
  • Players Tour Asia-Pacific: February 1-2, Nagoya, Japan
  • Players Tour America: February 8-9, Phoenix, Arizona, USA

Ruby Division Core Split

The Core Split of the Magic Pro League wrapped up this week with the Top 4 of the Ruby Division battling it out on Saturday. As with the other divisions, the winner of the Ruby Division would earn a bye into Day 2 of the upcoming Arena Mythic Championship. Doing battle last Saturday: Ben Stark, Andrena Mengucci, Reid Duke, and Rei Sato. The finals saw Reid Duke square off against Ben Stark. Duke took the first match, which forced a second set as he came to the finals from the losers bracket. He couldn’t break serve twice and Stark claimed his spot in Day 2 at the next Mythic Championship.

Ben Stark’s Mono-Blue Tempo

Reid Duke Elected to the Magic Pro Tour Hall of Fame

Appearing on over 94% of the vote, Reid Duke is the only member of the 2019 Hall of Fame class. Duke has several top finishes, including multiple Pro Tour/Mythic Championship Top 8s, a finals appearance at the World Championships, a Magic Online Championship, and a Pro Tour Team Series win. Duke will be inducted into the Hall of Fame at Mythic Championship Richmond in November.

Grand Prix Ghent

MagicFest Ghent featured a Team Modern Grand Prix with 480 teams. Over 1440 players came out for their chance to earn invitations to the Players Tour and for one lucky team that would mean an automatic invitation to the 2020 Players Tour Finals. That team turned out to be Spain’s Esther Trujillo, Ruben Perez, and Joel Calafell. Piloting Jund and two copies of Whirza, the Spanish team navigated the field and earned a trophies and the invite. In the process, Trujillo became the second woman ever to win a Grand Prix.

Looking Forward

Throne of Eldraine spoilers continue to flow and the whole set will be revealed at the end of the week. Then we can turn our eyes to Atlanta where the MagicFest will feature a Legacy Grand Prix.

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