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News Brief: Arena, Portal, Guilds of Ravnica, Teferi Errata, and the B&R Announcement

After a whirlwind Worlds week, Magic experienced a relatively quiet seven days with regard to the news. Even the Banned and Restricted List update was barely a whisper.

Banned and Restricted List Update

Heading into a new Standard environment, the Banned and Restricted List was scheduled to be updated today, October 1. The announcement was a non-announcement with no cards added to or removed from the banned list in any format. Standard will have a singular banned card in Rampaging Ferocidon after Guilds of Ravnica becomes legal and pushes both Kaladesh and Amonkhet Blocks out of the format. The next Banned and Restricted List update will come on November 26, 2018.

Magic: The Gathering Arena in Open Beta

This is it. After months in a closed Beta setting, Arena, the latest digital version of Magic, has reached the Open Beta stage. Wednesday, September 26th saw the platform open in a special streamer sneak peak for Guilds of Ravnica before the floodgates opened on Thursday. Despite some hiccups, the program was met with praise for regular improvements and for ease of play. The Guilds of Ravnica prerelease packs also included codes to be redeemed in the Open Beta, linking digital and analog Magic.

Magic: The Gathering Portal Coming Soon

No, it’s not a learn-to-play version of Magic. An announcement released on Monday discussed the upcoming app Magic: The Gathering Portal. The app is advertised in the Guilds of Ravnica product and it was expected to be completed by October 5th. That is not the case. The app will include a tournament organizer, card database, a searchable version of the rules, and a life counter. Portal’s Limited Beta release date was not announced. This will be the second official Magic app—Magic: The Gathering Toolbox was discontinued several years ago.

Guilds of Ravnica Everywhere!

It was the Guilds of Ravnica prerelease weekend. From Arena to Magic Online to local game stores around the world, players were able to get their hands on the latest set before it is officially released. Guilds of Ravnica features five of the ten 2-color Guilds: Boros (white-red), Izzet (red-blue), Dimir (blue-black), Golgari (black-green), and Selesnya (green-white). The other five guilds will be appearing in the next set, Ravnica Allegiance. The Guild Kits—prebuilt decks that use cards from all three visits to the plane of Ravnica—were revealed. These decks release on November 2nd and each feature one alternate art legendary creature: Etrata, the Silencer, Niv-Mizzet, the Firemind, Izoni, Thousand-Eyed, Aurelia, the Warleader, and Trostani, Selesnya’s Voice.

Teferi Errata

The Guilds of Ravnica rules update gave a Teferi, Hero of Dominaria errata. Its first loyalty ability now reads that you can untap up to two lands. This prevents you from having to untap your opponent’s lands if you do not have any tapped of your own.

Looking Forward

This week, the Grand Prix schedule will be released. October 4th will see the initial dates and locations for the next iteration of the Grand Prix circuit. Then next weekend we get our first taste of Guilds of Ravnica Limited at Grand Prix in Montreal and Mexico City.

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