It was a bittersweet weekend of professional Magic. Taking place mere days after the announcement that next season would be the last for both the Magic Pro League and the Rivals League, the May Strixhaven League Weekend continued to see players qualify for Worlds, next year’s leagues, and be relegated to a different league or out of the professional leagues entirely.
The breakout decks of the weekend were on the Historic side of play. The printing of Tainted Pact in the Strixhaven Mystical Archive meant the card was legal for Historic alongside Thassa’s Oracle and Jace, Wielder of Mysteries. The result is a two card combo that can end the game. As a check on these decks, many players, including Team ChannelFireball-Ultimate Guard members Reid Duke, William Jensen, Gabriel Nassif, and Luis Scott-Vargas all brought Jeskai Control.
Overall Team ChannelFireball-Ultimate Guard performed well on the weekend. In the Magic Pro League, Reid Duke and Gabriel Nassif are tied for fourth place on 43 points (with Nassif holding the tie-breaker). With two MPL slots locked up by Ondrej Strasky and Paulo Vitor Damo da Rosa, the final two spots will be hotly contested in the final league weekend in July (third place is currently held by Seth Manfield on 45 points). Jensen (38 points) and Martin Juza (39 points) are technically in the mix but have a lot of ground to make up. Andrea Mengucci might be a bit too far back on 36 points. With PVDDR already qualified for the World Championship by virtue of being the reigning World Champion, a new slot will be awarded in the MPL Gauntlet.
The Team ChannelFireball-Ultimate Guard’s lone Rivals League representative Luis Scott-Vargas had a tough weekend. Despite going undefeated in Historic a middling Standard record saw him fall in and out of the Top 4. At the end of competition Stanislav Cifka defeated Matt Sperling in a playoff match to secure a Worlds invite and a spot in next year’s MPL. Meanwhile Scott-Vargas is sitting in 4th place. If he can hold his position in the final league weekend he will be promoted to the final year of the Magic Pro League.
At the end of the weekend the following players were relegated out of the Magic Pro League to the Rivals League:
- Brian Braun-Duin
- Shahar Shenhar
- Autumn Burchett
And the following players were relegated out of the Rivals League to Challenge status:
- Matthew Nass
- Ryuzo Fujie
- Lucas Esper
- Matias Leveratto
- Greg Orange