Happy Winter Olympics weekend Planeswalkers! We all might still be waiting for Magic the Gathering to be declared an official Olympic sport, but in the meantime we've got plenty of news on professional and competitive Magic from around the globe.
And the Winner Is...
First stop is Bilbao, Spain where the best Magic players in the world gathered last weekend at the Rivals Of Ixalan Pro Tour. It was an interesting competition, filled with the most diverse decks professional play has seen in a while. In the end, it was Luis Salvatto from Argentina who came away with the prize:
Luis' story to the top is an intriguing one. He made his pro debut back in 2016 during Pro Tour Shadows Over Innistrad, but struggled to reach Platinum status (the highest status a MtG Pro Player can earn and which guarantees your spots in upcoming tournaments). This time around, not only did he take top spot, but did so using a deck that only 8 other players had brought to the tournament, even managing to win one match in a way the deck was never intended to be used. If you want to read more about Luis' journey, as well as all the other top stories you may have missed, check out this article of the Top Moments from Rivals of Ixalan Pro Tour.
For those of you more interested in seeing the decks and strategies the pros were using during the tournament, you can view the Top 8 Winning Decks here.
In Our Own Backyard:
Now, if the Pro Magic season has got you all excited, there's several ways you can get involved. One of the easiest, is an event called the Grand Prix. These are massive Magic tournaments with hundreds of players all competing for a chance at $10,000 and a guaranteed spot in the next Pro Tour (but only if you reach first place). Top 64 players will still earn cash prizes and no matter what happens, all players get special promotional cards at the event, including this one from this weekend's Grand Prix:
And it just so happens that this Grand Prix takes place in Toronto, Canada. While it's short notice to apply to play, those with a free weekend are still welcome to watch as an audience member and view all the special products, art and clothing that can only be found at official Magic events. Or, you can catch the big moments again on Magic the Gathering's official Twitch page. If you can't watch, however, you can keep yourself updated with articles, videos and highlights through the Grand Prix Toronto Hub as the weekend's events unfold. If you wish to learn more about Grand Prix's in general, as well as the locations of upcoming ones, check out the Grand Prix Event Page on the official site. Next closest will be in Columbus, Ohio this April.
The other easy way to get involved in professional Magic is by taking first in a Preliminary Pro Tour Qualifier Tournament (otherwise known as a PPTQ). These tournaments are usually local and smaller (though still sporting dozens of players). If you're interested, keep in contact with the Oogie Games Niagara Falls location or keep checking here and through social media for news on upcoming events.
End of an Era:
We'll end this week with a little bit of sad news. Recently, Wizards of the Coast announced the last of their Duel Decks products, set to release on April 6. Duel Decks were great tools for players new to Magic, or still learning the game and not comfortable with deck building, as they were two pre-made decks ready to play right out of the box and each with a specific theme. The theme for the very last Duel Decks will be Elves vs. Inventors:
Unfortunately, Wizards is teasing us by not revealing the Elves side of the product just yet, but seeing as elves have been a staple creature type since the very first Magic set there are plenty to choose from. Meanwhile, the Inventors side seems to be more for those players who enjoy using artifacts. Crafting creatures, equipment, and now vehicles, to trick and overwhelm opponents. Fans of the recent Kaladesh and Aether Revolt sets will likely enjoy. Click here if you'd like to view the official announcement. We'll see a full deck list of both sides as the product gets closer to release, but make sure you snag up previous duel decks now before they're gone forever.
That's all for this week Planeswalkers, thanks for reading and have fun out there! You never know if the next Pro Tour winning deck is in the palm of your hand.