October has given way to November. The first Pro Tour of the season is just around the corner and even though the holidays are almost two months away, a few players got some surprise gifts in the mail this past weekend.

Magic Weekend

Magic is trying something new with its Wizards Play Network locations: innovation events. Conspiracy and Battlebond were innovation products in that they gave people cards for new ways to play Magic. Innovation events are going to be a way to experiment with different formats and event structures for in-store offerings.

The first such event will be the Guilds of Ravnica Magic Weekend taking place November 9-11. This weekend you can go to a participating game store to play in their Ravnica Weekend casual four-pack Draft, Guild Kit battles, or Dungeons & Dragons sessions based on the Guildmaster’s Guide to Ravnica book. Prizes include 11×14 prints and premium foil basic lands. The Ravnica Weekend: Ravnica Allegiance edition will occur February 16-19, 2019.

Magic Weekend events will be taking the place of the Store Championship event. The final Store Championship coincided with Core Set 2019 and the above linked announcement also serves as official notice that the Store Championships are ending.

Core Set Cube

The next iteration of the Cube Spotlight series on Magic Online is coming on November 7. The Core Set Cube only uses cards from core sets—that is Seventh Edition through Core Set 2019. The complete list of cards and an archetype overview can be found here.

More DreamHack Information

Last week we saw that DreamHack Atlanta would provide one avenue to qualify for the Pro Tour. This past week we found out that the event would also be awarding special guild branded gaming chairs.

Ultimate Masters

Social media has been abuzz the past few days. People who purchased boxes of Guilds of Ravnica Mythic Edition received extended art versions of cards including Tarmogoyf, Demonic Tutor, Through the Breach, and more. These included the set code UMA at the bottom and indicated they were one of forty cards. Wizards then released a teaser that our questions would be answered today, November 5th.

What were these cards? They were the box toppers from Ultimate Masters. The set, coming December 7th, will be the last Masters product for the foreseeable future. Other releases will fill the need for reprints. Ultimate Masters contains 254 cards and will be sold in booster boxes (available only from local game stores) and will have an MSRP of $335.76 per booster box. Each box will come with one of 40 ultimate box toppers (which you can see in the above linked announcement) and will contain 24 booster packs of 15 cards each (including one premium foil). Ultimate Masters will also be available in blister packs at mass market retailers. These packs will retail for $34.99. The set will also be available on Magic Online, with the box toppers available in treasure chests. Ultimate Masters will not be redeemable on Magic Online and will retail for $6.99 per pack. Ultimate Masters will be available worldwide but will only be printed in English and Japanese.

Do you want a chance to play with the set before it is officially released? The set will be spoiled quickly starting November 19th, and will be fully known by November 21st. Starting November 30th, at PAX Unplugged in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA, Pastimes will be running preview events for Ultimate Masters.

Grand Prix Atlanta

Pro Tour Guilds of Ravnica starts Friday, but Grand Prix Atlanta, in the same location, got the party started this weekend. Modern events always prove to be interesting as the variety of decks in the format tend to make for a varied viewer experience. Guilds of Ravnica added cards to the high powered format, including the utilitarian Assassin’s Trophy, the Dredge-specific Creeping Chill, and the potentially unending Arclight Phoenix.

Due to the close proximity to the Pro Tour, the Grand Prix was packed with professional players. One player vying for the Top 8 was Yuta Takahashi. Takahashi was trying to earn the Faerie trifecta by making a Grand Prix Top 8 with the tribe in Block Constructed, Standard, and Modern. For fans of Fae folk everywhere, it was a sad day as he fell short in the last round.

The Top 8 featured some well-known names, including Martin Jůza in a record-adding 32nd Grand Prix elimination round appearance with Hollow One. Christoffer Larsen (Hardened Scales) and Piotr Glogowski (Krark-Clan Ironworks) also made it the final rounds, but it was China’s Peiyuan Zheng who won the day. Piloting Bant Spirits, Zheng overcame Glogowski in the finals to earn his first Grand Prix Trophy!

Bant Spirits

Peiyuan Zheng

Looking Ahead

We stay in Atlanta this week for Pro Tour Guilds of Ravnica, where Draft and Standard will be on full display. Seth Manfield and Lee Shi Tian will get their rings as they are inducted into the Pro Tour Hall of Fame. And we will finally crown a 2017-18 Player of the Year as Manfield faces off against Luis Salvatto in a unique playoff. It’s a great week to be a fan of Magic, that’s for sure.