News Brief: Netflix MTG Show, Magic Pro League and the London Mulligan

We’re all going to be taking a lot more trips to London.

This Week in Magic News

The London Mulligan

 Magic is changing our second chances. The London Mulligan, first tested at Mythic Championship London, will be the official mulligan rule starting with the release of Core 2020. The London Mulligan, where for each mulligan you take you draw a new hand of seven cards and then put N cards on the bottom of your library, where N is the number of mulligans taken this game, will be replacing the so-called Vancouver Mulligan. The Vancouver Mulligan consisted of drawing one fewer card each mulligan, but then being scry one before the game began.

Shortly after the announcement, the Commander Rules Committee tweeted that Commander will also be adopting the London Mulligan as the official mulligan rule of the format. In multiplayer games, players will still get one “free” mulligan where they can draw a new hand of seven cards.

Ian Duke, who penned the announcement, provided some additional details as to why Wizards of the Coast decided to make the change. The test run at Mythic Championship London and on Magic Online showed that the advantages to the new mulligan were most evident in Standard and Limited. In older formats, such as Modern, the number of decks that relied on a few key cards did better but were counterbalanced by other decks having an easier time finding high-impact sideboard cards. Play Design felt the positives–keeping players who mulligan in the game–outweighed potential downsides. If problems present themselves in Modern, Legacy, or Vintage, the London Mulligan will stay while the offending cards might find themselves banned.

The London Mulligan hits tabletop on July 5 at the Core 2020 Prerelease and becomes part of the Comprehensive Rules on July 12. Stores can choose to use the new rule for Regular Rules Enforcement Level events immediately. The new rule will come to Magic Online on July 5. MTG Arena will see the London Mulligan take effect on July 2.

Magic Coming to Netflix

 With a potential movie stuck in development, news hit this week that Magic will have an animated series coming to Netflix. Producing the series will be Joe and Anthony Russo, the team that directed Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame, capping the first three phases of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The Russo’s will executive produce the series, which will build upon the mythology of the multiverse and the story of Magic’s planeswalkers in an entirely new story arc.

The already series has some major talent attached. Writers Henry Gilroy (Star Wars: The Clone Wars; Star Wars Rebels) and Jose Molina (The Tick) will take on the showrunner role. Yoriaki Mochizuki (Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse) will be the supervising director and a co-executive producer. The assembled team has quite a few high-profile credits on the resume which should be reassuring to fans. No release date for the series has been announced.

Card Stock Improvement

 Starting last week, some War of the Spark cards will be printed on an improved cardstock. Tom Wänerstrand announced that after a few test runs with Battlebond and Ultimate Masters, a higher-quality paper was being used to make cards. The announcement was brief and did not go into detail about previous deficiencies in stock, only to say that the new product will be more consistent in printing and have improved rigidity and “snap.” The quality of the physical cards has been observed to decline in recent years and this change could signal a step in the right direction.

Spark Split Ends

The first Split of the Magic Pro League has ended. The four divisions have completed play and the byes into the Top 16 of the first Arena Mythic Championship (Mythic Championship III, June 21-23) have been awarded. Brian Braun-Duin emerged victorious in the Pearl Division at 6-1. Matching his record was Rei Sato in the Sapphire Division and Ken Yukihiro in the Ruby Division. Brad Nelson did them one better by closing out the Emerald Division with a pristine 7-0 record.

The division champions will have a huge advantage at the Mythic Championship. While other members of the Magic Pro League and challenges will be fighting for one of twelve slots on Day Two, these four players have their spot secured. The result: they are one big step closer to a Mythic Championship trophy.

Grand Prix Taipei

 Standard was the name of the game at Grand Prix Taipei. The largest Grand Prix Taipei ever saw 1,062 players ready to battle on Saturday morning. By Sunday evening only eight players remained and the Top 8 decks displayed the current Standard’s diversity. Jund Warriors and Boros Feather both made Top 8, as well as an Esper Superfriends list (that eschewed Hero of Precinct One) and a Simic Nexus deck. There were two copies each of Grixis Bolas and Bant Ramp, the latter being the most popular Day 2 archetype.

Not only was Bant Ramp popular, it performed rather well. Kim Seok Hyun piloted the archetype to victory. Despite going down a game in the finals to Atsuki Kihara, Kim battled back and chained enough Hydroid Krasis together to secure victory.

Kim Seok Hyun’s Bant Ramp

4 Breeding Pool
4 Temple Garden
4 Hallowed Fountain
4 Hinterland Harbor
3 Sunpetal Grove
2 Glacial Fortress
2 Forest (347)
2 Island (335)
4 Llanowar Elves
4 Paradise Druid
4 Incubation Druid
3 Hydroid Krasis
2 Frilled Mystic
2 Shalai, Voice of Plenty
4 Teferi, Time Raveler
4 Nissa, Who Shakes the World
3 Mass Manipulation
2 Entrancing Melody
1 Finale of Glory
1 The Immortal Sun
1 Time Wipe

2 Entrancing Melody
2 Negate
2 Trostani Discordant
2 Ripjaw Raptor
2 Tolsimir, Friend to Wolves
2 Ixalan's Binding
1 The Immortal Sun
2 Thrashing Brontodon

Looking Forward

 Mythic Championship III, played on Arena, is less than two weeks away. Standard continues to evolve and with a relatively small field, the tournament is sure to be action packed. The Mythic Championship will be the next time we see Standard on the big stage, as next week has two Modern Horizons Limited Grand Prix in Copenhagen and Washington D.C. One week later, Seattle also will feature Modern Horizons Limited for those players not sequestered in Las Vegas.

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