News Brief: Tournament Rules Update, Grand Prix Circuits, and Dominaria

Dominaria was officially released and the new Grand Prix season is upon us. Here is the news from that last week.

Tournament Rules Update

On Monday, the Magic Tournament Rules update for Dominaria was made public. You can read the entire release here. One change is that the board state must be oriented with creatures in front of lands. Another is that cards that are only available in foil—like Kess, Dissident Mage—that may be warped to the point of being marked, are allowed to be represented by a proxy. The largest change this time around revolves around the addition of a fourth type of game information: Status.

Status, as described here by Toby Elliot, includes information such as life total and any modifiers to permanents.The goal here is for all public information to be freely known and understood. The hope is that this change, alongside the board state layout previously mentioned, will help to cut down on issues similar to the Dryad Arbor situation from earlier this year.

The Grand Prix Circuit

Rivals of Ixalan, and with it the concept of a block, has left competitive Magic. The Dominaria season kicked off with two different Team Limited Tournaments at Grand Prix Bologna and Columbus. These events saw teams of three assemble three different decks from 12 boosters of the latest release. Team Limited decks are more powerful than a single player’s Sealed deck due to the abundance of options. Each of these tournaments topped 1,200 players—480 teams in Bologna and 440 in Columbus—as players tried their hands at Dominaria Limited.

Grand Prix Bologna had the honor of being the first pro circuit tournament to feature the latest set. Dominaria Limited has played out slightly slower than recent sets and the power level is ratcheted up just a bit, resulting in swingy games decided by individually potent cards. The Top 4 featured a few familiar names, including Robin Dolor (whose team left in the quarterfinals) and the return of Fabrizio Anteri (who made it to the final table) alongside popular stream Matthew Foulkes. At the end of the day, however, it was the team of Antonio Pinto, Davide Miani, and Usama Sajjad who defended the Italian flag and took home the trophies.

Grand Prix Columbus, by virtue of time zones, came second on the Dominaria competitive calendar. The talk of Ohio was Skittering Surveyor and its ability to enable splashes in Sealed decks—important when you want to play every last bomb. The Top 4 in Columbus also had some recognizable faces, including Kellen Pastore fresh off a Top 8 at Grand Prix Hartford and a team of Sam Black, Andrew Baeckstrom, and Matt Severa. The winners? David Goldfarb, Edgar Magalhaes, and Jacob Baugh, with four Grand Prix Top 8s between them. The trio now have a title under their belt and an invite to the 25th Anniversary Pro Tour coming up this summer.

Looking Forward

Next week sees three major events around the world. Eternal Weekend—Europe—will highlight Legacy and Vintage play. Grand Prix in Beijing and Dallas-Fort Worth move the penedulum to the other extreme, with Dominaria Limited.

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