As you are likely aware, in the Banned and Restricted announcement today, Magic R&D has banned cards in Standard and Modern. Read that announcement for more details on the bans. In this article, I'll talk about how we're implementing that ban on Magic Online.
Magic Online Effective Date: January 11
Our primary goal was to bring the banned changes to Magic Online as quickly as possible, minimizing the amount of time Magic Online wasn't offering the formats with rules based on what players were looking to play. We will be implementing this ban in two days, during the January 11 downtime. Here's how this will impact various Magic Online events.
Standard and Modern Leagues
The Standard and Modern Leagues (both friendly and competitive) currently in progress will now close at 3 a.m. PT on the morning of Wednesday, January 11, and then will end with that downtime. Players with League courses still in progress when the League ends will have their entry returned to them. We suggest finishing your course between now and then to collect prizes.
After the January 11 downtime, all four of these Leagues will be replaced with new versions with the updated ban list in place. The new Leagues will last through the Aether Revolt season until the release of Amonkhet, with Aether Revolt being legal in them starting January 25. The Competitive Legacy League, Friendly Pauper League, and Kaladesh Limited Leagues will end on January 25 as currently scheduled.
Because of the shortened League length, we are reducing the requirements to qualify for prestige avatars in these leagues for the Kaladesh season. The silver prestige avatar will be awarded to players with one or more trophies in the Friendly Standard or Friendly Modern Leagues. The gold prestige avatar will be awarded to players with three or more trophies in the Competitive Standard or Competitive Modern Leagues. Finally, the mythic prestige avatar will be awarded to players with five or more trophies in the Competitive Standard or Competitive Modern Leagues. Other Leagues will remain the same.
The new Standard and Modern Leagues that begin on January 11 will count toward the Aether Revolt prestige avatar system, as those Leagues will last through the entire Aether Revolt season.
Modern MOCS Playoff on January 21
This event will be run as scheduled with the new ban list in place, and qualified players are welcome and encouraged to play on that day. All qualified players are being emailed this information as well to call their attention to the ban list changes.
Qualified players who find the timing of the bans has disrupted their plans for the event may instead choose to defer their Playoff invitation to one of the three remaining MOCS Playoff events in the 2017 Magic Online Championship Series, though we currently plan that those events will be Standard format. Players should keep that in mind when choosing whether to defer.
Players who wish to defer should contact Customer Service indicating their preference no later than Tuesday, January 17. If you have qualified and plan to play in the event on January 21, you do not need to contact and will be able to join the event in the client.
Time to explore the formats again!
We know that implementing this ban creates some disruption to normal Magic Online event operations, but we believe a significant majority of players are more able to enjoy Magic Online when the ban is put into place as soon as possible. And if diving into these formats isn't your thing, Legacy Cube also starts January 11 on Magic Online and will be available until just before the launch of Aether Revolt on Magic Online. Enjoy!
Digital Product Manager, Magic Online