Flashback Favorites and Throwback Standard Gauntlets

Posted in Magic Online on December 15, 2016

By Lee Sharpe

In 2016 we ran the Year of Modern Flashbacks, where most weeks we moved through Magic's history as a format. We wanted to do something similar in 2017. We had the following goals as key to the experience:

  • Allow players week-long opportunities to explore or relive a part of Magic's history.
  • After the first weeks of a new major set, always have alternate offerings available for players to participate in.

For 2017, we'll be breaking this into two different types of events: Flashback Favorites and Throwback Standard Gauntlets.

Flashback Favorites

Flashback Favorites are a selection of the most popular draft formats from Magic Online's history, from both before Modern and after. A lot of players have let us know how much they enjoyed the Year of Modern Flashbacks in 2016, and for 2017 we wanted to continue to allow players to play some of their favorite older sets.

We're going to be doing these events a little differently this year. Players appreciated keeping their cards, and we want to keep that part of the experience, so they won't be phantom. However, many players were frustrated by the single elimination nature of the league. Based on this, we looked at options for a structure that wasn't single elimination but still rewarded strong finishes while awarding a similar number of prizes. Here is the new structure we'll be using for flashback events this year.

Flashback Favorites Leagues

Duration: One week, beginning and ending with downtime or (if no downtime) Wednesday at 10 a.m. Pacific

Location: Play Lobby -> Limited Tournaments -> Leagues

Entry Options:

  • 12 Event Tickets
  • 3 of the appropriate boosters + 2 Event Tickets
  • 120 Play Points

Structure: Draft, then matches at your convenience until you have 3 match wins or 2 match losses

Prizes:

  • 3 wins: 150 Play Points
  • 2 wins: 70 Play Points

Note that in this structure your first loss doesn't hurt you. You're still eligible for maximum prize if you win out (3 more matches) after that. Because of this structure, more players will end up with 3 wins than typically do in a Swiss-style event. In total, the total number of Play Point prizes relative to players entry options are the same for these as they were the Year of Modern Flashback events.

We look forward to offering you the community's favorite flashback formats!

Throwback Standard Gauntlet Series

Magic: The Gathering has a rich history, and flashback drafts have allowed you to explore the limited offerings of the past. But what about Constructed? What about the Standard formats of old? Don't you want to experience them? That's where the Throwback Standard Gauntlet Series comes in!

These events are gauntlet (meaning you'll be given a random deck from a set of selected lists), will run as a 3-match (regardless of record) league, and have the same entry and prize structure as we do for leagues for Cube Drafts and other phantom events. The decklists for each gauntlet will be published on Magic Online's website before the event is run.

These Standard Gauntlet events will be running for one week each, and we'll be proceeding chronologically forward through Magic's history, all the way back to the 1990s. Magic R&D will be working with Randy Buehler to design the gauntlets. Randy has been involved with the Pro Tour for a long time as player, a commentator, and former director of Magic R&D. His deep knowledge of Constructed Magic and its history will help create authentic and fun experiences for Magic Online players interested in this series.

Hopefully you look forward to playing in some great Standard environments from Magic's history!

Throwback Standard Gauntlet

Location: Play Lobby -> Constructed Tournaments -> Leagues

Entry Options:

  • 10 Event Tickets
  • 100 Play Points

Format: Players will be assigned an old Standard deck at random.

Structure: Up to 3 matches at your convenience

Prizes:

  • 3 wins: 150 Play Points
  • 2 wins: 100 Play Points
  • 1 win: 40 Play Points
  • 0 wins: 10 Play Points

Flashback/Throwback/Cube Schedule

January 4–January 11: Flashback Favorites (Zendikar/Zendikar/Zendikar)

January 11–January 25: Legacy Cube

January 25–February 22: Break for Aether Revolt

February 22–March 1: Throwback Standard Gauntlet #1

March 1–March 8: Flashback Favorites (Invasion–Planeshift–Apocalypse)

March 8–March 22: Cube Draft (Cube TBA)

March 22–April 12: Modern Masters: 2017 Edition

We'll announce more of the schedule early in 2017. We hope you enjoy these events, and on behalf of the entire Magic Online team, I hope you have a happy holiday!

Lee Sharpe

Digital Product Manager – Magic Online

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