It pains me to say so, Planeswalkers, but as we begin the transition to fall this Labor Day weekend, we must say a fond farewell to the plane of Innistrad. This week, we’ll be looking to the future of Magic and what’s coming over the horizon, and prepare you for a weekend chock full of announcements and killer plays at the Magic World Championships! So, prepare your final, tearful goodbyes to the multi-dimensional, reality-warping, and all-consuming Eldrazi we’ve come to know and love as we move on…
The Fight For #1:
Starting yesterday, Magic: The Gathering has taken over the Paramount Theater in Seattle where famous Magic players the world over have gathered for a chance to earn the title of Magic Champion-the #1 player in the world. This event is the culmination of the entire pro season. All the hard work and competition from this year’s pro tour have whittled down the field and led to this moment.
Oh, and you can watch the coverage all labor day weekend for free.
First, head over to the World Championship Hub where you’ll find tons of coverage for the event, including a schedule for the event, highlight videos, articles, interviews and social media links to keep up with it all. From there, head over to the Magic Twitch stream where you can watch the entire event live (Friday Round Two begins at 2 P.M.) Before we say goodbye to Innistrad for a while, you can watch the top players of the game draft and play with Eldritch Moon and Shadows Over Innistrad one last time at today’s coverage.
If you’re someone who hasn’t been paying attention, at all, to the complex world of Magic professional play, but would still like to watch this weekend, let’s get you caught up. First, I would recommend this World Championship preview going over what each day and each round of the weekend long tournament entails as well as a quick summary of all participating players. After that, if you’re looking for some stats, you can check out Championship history. The large graph breaks down each player by all their pro achievements and breaks down the history of the World Championship with things like which country has won the most. Finally, if you still have any questions, the Championship FAQ should help with that.
Goodbye Innistrad…Hello Kaladesh:
With zombies, werewolves, vampires, spirits, mad scientists and now Eldrazi added to the mix, the new Innistrad block has been excellent for horror fans like myself. Everything from the story, to the flavor of the cards, to the new mechanics and abilities have made it one of my favorite Magic planes to visit. It isn’t without some issues though, and Magic Head Designer Mark Rosewater has gone through the entire year of Magic, from Battle for Zendikar to Eldritch Moon, detailing the success and shortcomings of each set and how it will change set design for the future. It’s a nice send off from this year’s journey and a small peek at what to expect in the future.
However, if you’ve spent the past weekend playing Conspiracy or plan on doing a Conspiracy draft this weekend with friends-don’t think I’ve forgotten about Paliano either. Now that people have one week of play under their belts, there are already articles going over the best cards in the set by color and draft potential. See what has taken the lead below:
Of course, we already know what’s coming just around the bend in late September. We move away from the doom and gloom of Innistrad and out under the thumb of the oppressive Eldrazi and into the bright, invention fueled, metallic world of Kaladesh:
Even if you don’t keep up with the Pro Tour, you should still keep an eye on Magic’s Twitch stream as they will be doing several announcements and previews of the new set today. It’s almost certain we’ll finally get to see the new Planeswalker Saheeli Rai’s card among other cool stuff. The schedule of Kaladesh announcements can be found below:
Keep your eyes peeled on the Magic Facebook page for the reveals if you can’t watch live. Of course, one card has been revealed already through the Kaladesh story with more to come in later chapters as we get closer to release. On top of that, yet another new Planeswalker has been revealed within the chapters! In the aftermath of their battle with the Eldrazi, can the Gatewatch continue to work together when their members are pulled in several directions at once?
But That’s Not All:
Another important day that happened this past week was Magic’s Announcement Day. This time, the announcements go over what’s coming up with the first half of 2017 and there’s quite a bit of exciting news. Of course, the biggest announcement is what’s coming after the Kaladesh block. Announcing the desert oasis of Amonkhet:
First things first, according to interviews, this plane is ruled by the elder dragon Nicol Bolas who we haven’t seen in person (or card in this case) since the Shards of Alara back in 2008! His influence has certainly been felt in almost every block since then though. He’s the mastermind behind the release of the Eldrazi, the cause of extinction of dragons on Tarkir, and could arguably be called the ultimate villain of the main Magic storyline (next to Phyrexia). With this new set, could we see a new Planeswalker card? Will we finally learn what devious schemes he’s dreamed up after using the Eldrazi to distract other Planeswalkers? We will find out April 2017.
The only other aspect of Amonkhet’s story we know so far comes from the small blurb on the official site:
“The desert oasis of Amonkhet forges warriors. You have trained your entire life for a chance to face the Trials of the Five Gods and join the elite ranks of the Worthy. Using your strength, speed, and cunning, overcome deadly challenges and rise above the competition to claim an honored place in the Afterlife!”
Trials of the Five Gods huh? Sounds like we’re going to get five color combinations, each one with creatures and spells pertaining to a specific God. If the announcement picture is any clue, it looks like this set will borrow heavily from Egyptian Mythology, and I would love to see a set of colors belonging to Ra, Egyptian God of the Sun. The dog head in the picture above is already a prediction for Anubis, Egyptian God of the Afterlife. Will we see legendary creatures influenced by the mythos? Only time will tell.
Woo! Lots of exciting stuff coming in the next couple of months and hopefully I’ve gotten you hyped for it all. No matter who or where you are, I hope you get together and have fun playing some Magic. Thanks for reading!