Dominaria is upon us! Last week may have been slow on the news front but I am still here to catch you up on what you may have missed as you attended your local prerelease tournament. Here’s the news for the week of April 16-April 23, 2018.
The week started off with an article not on the Magic side of things but rather on the Wizards of the Coast homepage. The piece by Tim O’Hara, the Senior Vice-President of Finances (and now also Operations) is the first in what will be a series of behind the curtain columns about how the games from Wizards are physically made. Titled A Commitment to Excellence, the article dances around the subject about the recent quality of card stock in America. Without acknowledging issues, O’Hara goes on to say that the English language Dominaria cards will be in line with the “best practices from our primary printer in Japan” and feature a new coating method.
The operations side of the house will also get a regular feature. Authored by Tom Wanerstrand, this article series will go over everything from the printing of cards to the production of miniatures. The goal of this series is to pull back the curtain and showcase the side of the business that deals with exactly how we get the product to our hands.
This past week also saw some updates regarding Arena. Dominaria will be coming to the platform on April 26th. As an experiment, some physical booster packs and prerelease kits sold in the New Zealand market will come with a redemption code. Once entered, the code will allow players to redeem items in Arena.
Draft will be coming to Arena on May 4th, but it will not be the Draft experience many players have come to expect from the real world and Magic Online. Not only will the games be best of one but the Draft itself will be with seven AI drafters, not other players. This will certainly make for a different environment until Arena is able to integrate pods of eight.
Rounding out the slow news week are some updates on the organized play front. First off there were changes to two Asia-Pacific Grand Prix.
Grand Prix Nagoya—October 12-14 2018—will be moving locations. Instead of taking place in Fukiage Hall, the tournament and surrounding events will occur in Port Messe Nagoya. There is no change to the tournament date or format.
Grand Prix Melbourne will be changing dates. Rather than taking place October 19-21, the Grand Prix will be taking place over the weekend of November 16-18. The tournament will also be moving from Melbourne Olympic Park to the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Center. The Grand Prix will retain its Limited Format.
The playmats for events running up to Pro Tour Dominaria were also revealed. These playmats will be available for participants at Grand Prix tournaments in May and June. The last Dominaria themed playmat will be available at Grand Prix Barcelona June 30-July 1. The t-shirt for this season of tournaments was also unveiled and features a stylized Karn, Scion of Urza.