A Modern staple wins a Standard Grand Prix and we learned the name of the next expansion. This is your week in Magic news.
Throne of Eldraine Announced
Mark Rosewater revealed the name of the next major expansion at his San Diego Comic Con panel. The set, which was codenamed Archery, is Throne of Eldraine. Taking place on the plane Eldraine, it is Magic’s take on the mythology of Camelot and Grimm’s Fairy Tales. We also learned that this is the home of Rowan Kenrith and Will Kenrith, who first appeared in Battlebond. Rowan Kenrith seems to be featured in this piece of art. The set will feature at least one new mechanic (which is associated with a special card frame) but we do not know the details just yet. The text box treatment can be seen on this card, which seems to depict a Magic take on the Goldilocks fable.
More Options for Booster Packs
The panel (and associated article) also announced that there would be more options for booster packs starting with Throne of Eldraine. This is part of the initiative Project Booster Fun designed to make tabletop Magic more fun and exciting when it comes to opening packs. The booster pack that we all know and love won’t change–instead it is just being labeled a Draft Booster. The big change in these boosters is that the premium foil rate will increase to roughly one-in-three booster packs.
Theme Boosters, which debuted with Guilds of Ravnica, will also be returning. These packs contain 35 cards and are color coded–that is each theme booster will align with one of Magic’s five colors. One out of every 10 Theme Boosters will contain two rares or mythics.
The new addition, starting with Throne of Eldraine, is the Collector Booster. These packs will retail for between $20 and $25 and will feature one rare/mythic rare with extended art. These packs will also contain commons with the new Showcase Frame–a special treatment that evokes the theme of the set–and will be used on cards with new mechanic. For Throne of Eldraine, mythic rares, rares, and uncommons with this treatment will appear in Draft Boosters as well. The Collector Booster will only be available in English and Japanese. The Buy-a-Box promo for Throne of Eldraine will come with a Collector Booster. For the first time, the Buy-a-Box promo card will be available in the Collector Booster (at the appropriate frequency), and these boosters may also contain the mechanically unique cards from the Planeswalker Decks and from the new Brawl deck product. There will be four Brawl decks for Throne of Eldraine, and each will contain seven “mechanically unique” cards. While no date was given, Brawl will also be coming to MTG Arena as a 1v1 format this year.
Throne of Eldraine will also be the first expansion where borderless planeswalkers and extended art rares will be available in booster product. These cards will be available in Draft Boosters. Extended Art rares, however, will only be available in Collector Boosters.
There was one more highlight from Rosewater’s article. Starting with Throne of Eldraine, there will be cards featuring the likeness of the World Champion. Like the Invitational Cards of an era gone by, Throne of Eldraine will feature a card that bears the likeness of Javier Dominguez. Unlike the Invitational cards, Dominguez did not have a hand in the design of the card.
Mark Rosewater’s panel revealed the date when spoilers for the annual Commander product would begin. The season starts at GenCon, August 1-4. While not officially announced, it appears that the themes for this year’s decks have come out via the product page. To prevent spoilers, we will not be posting the information, but you can click the link if you want to find out more.
Live Legacy Cube
The Legacy Cube, a Magic Online Cube, is coming to GenCon. Coinciding with the Cube’s return to Magic Online, people attending GenCon can enter qualifiers for a chance to draft a real-life copy of the Legacy Cube at the convention. This draft will not be Phantom–those who qualify for the August 5th Legacy Cube Rochester draft will keep their decks and the entire thing will be broadcast on the GenCon Twitch stream. As if that wasn’t enough, the winner will also get a box of Legends.
Grand Prix Denver
MagicFest Denver played home to a Standard Grand Prix, the first major Standard event to feature Core Set 2020. Denver is the home of many Hall of Fame Magic players, including Josh Utter-Leyton and Luis Scott-Vargas, who both found themselves at 8-1 at the end of Day One.
Cut to the end of Day Two and LSV found himself in 8th place on tiebreakers. So, of course, he went and won the Grand Prix. Piloting Bant Scapeshift, leveraging the sorcery and the power of Field of the Dead, the Hall of Famer (who had been planning on piloting Black-White Vampires) ended the tournament by casting Scapeshift as an instant thanks to Teferi, Time Raveler.
Luis-Scott Vargas has won the #MTGDenver main event with Bant Scapeshift!—defeating Gregg Keithley on Simic Nexus in the finals, 2-0.
— ChannelFireball (@ChannelFireball) July 21, 2019
Luis Scott-Vargas’ Bant Scapeshift
2 Island (335) 2 Forest (347) 1 Plains (331) 4 Field of the Dead 2 Hallowed Fountain 2 Temple Garden 2 Breeding Pool 2 Temple of Mystery 1 Azorius Guildgate 1 Field of Ruin 1 Selesnya Guildgate 1 Blast Zone 1 Blossoming Sands 1 Hinterland Harbor 1 Memorial to Genius 1 Simic Guildgate 1 Sunpetal Grove 1 Thornwood Falls 1 Tranquil Cove 4 Arboreal Grazer 4 Elvish Rejuvenator 4 Hydroid Krasis 4 Teferi, Time Raveler 4 Circuitous Route 4 Scapeshift 2 Grow from the Ashes 4 Growth Spiral 2 Prison Realm Sideboard 2 Ajani’s Welcome 1 Crucible of Worlds 2 Deputy of Detention 3 Dovin’s Veto 2 Ixalan’s Binding 2 Ripjaw Raptor 3 Veil of Autumn
Next week it’s a double dose of Modern. MagicFest Barcelona will feature the fourth Mythic Championship of the year, and the first since Modern Horizons hit the scene and Bridge from Below was banned. As if that wasn’t enough, Grand Prix Barcelona will also feature Modern. Will new strategies will emerge to take the metagame from storm or will an old standby take the crowns?