The week started with a bang as Krark-Clan Ironworks was banned in Modern. It ended in a confused whisper with the Grand Prix at MagicFest New Jersey.
Ravnica Allegiance Comprehensive Rules Update
Every time a new set comes out, the comprehensive rules get tweaked. Normally this is done to add new mechanics or help cards function within the current iteration of the rules. This time, however, a card got a major functional overhaul. Ajani’s Pridemate is no longer a “may” trigger, meaning that it will grow whenever life is gained, not only if the trigger is remembered. Eli Shiffrin, the rules manager, cited that the card was originally printed under an old trigger policy, where it was required for players to remember “beneficial triggers.” The policy has since changed, and given Pridemate’s popularity in Standard and an upcoming appearance in a Challenger Deck, it was decided to update the card so it could have a new printing reflecting the new wording in the product.
Ravnica Allegiance Judge Policy Changes
Similar to how the rules got updated, so too did the policy guidelines for judging Magic tournaments. The Ravnica Allegiance update had a few changes, headlined by rules around improperly determining a winner. If a player involved knew that they were not allowed to make an offer—such as rolling a die—then they are still considered to be cheating and will be disqualified. If, however, it is found that a player did not know what they were doing was against the rules, a match loss can be applied.
Pack-Per-Win Queues Retired
Magic Online used to offer pack-per-win queues. These were tournaments that paid out, fittingly, one pack per win. As of January 23rd, these queues have been retired and will no longer be offered. Players currently in these Leagues will be able to finish their runs and be prized out accordingly.
MagicFest Kitakyushu Canceled
Due to a Wizards of the Coast scheduling error, MagicFest Kitakyushu, and the associated Grand Prix, have been canceled. The venue is not available for the May 17-20 weekend. Wizards of the Coast and CFB Events are working on securing a location for another MagicFest in Japan later in 2019.
Grand Prix New Jersey
The Grand Prix at MagicFest New Jersey got off to a great start, selling out in advance of Saturday’s start time. The Ravnica Allegiance Limited event played out on the release weekend for the event and featured some high profile players performing well on Day 1, including ChannelFireball’s own Luis Scott-Vargas and Magic Pro League member Paulo Vitor Damo da Rosa. But if you were a fan of the event, it was hard to get updates as there was no official coverage of the tournament. There was no announcement beforehand, but the Magic Pro Tour Twitter account did respond to a tweet about the lack of information.
(2/2) For New Jersey forward, we’ll be posting critical end-of-tournament information on Sunday evening instead of round-by-round postings here and on our sites. Fans can still expect to see Top 8 decklists and tournament results on Sunday evenings
— Magic Esports (@MagicEsports) January 27, 2019
Regardless, the tournament did reach a conclusion, with PVDDR making the Top 8, as well as Christian Calcano (who won a Mythic Championship Qualifier at the MagicFest on Friday). But at the end of the day it was Max Williams who hoisted the trophy.
Ravnica Allegiance gets another weekend in the spotlight at MagicFest Sydney. Then on the weekend of February 8th, we get a look at Modern without Krark-Clan Ironworks at MagicFest Toronto. You can follow ChannelFireball for information on the tournaments, as well as any official statements made about the coverage of Grand Prix moving forward.