September 2015 Event Changes

Posted in Magic Online on September 28, 2015

By Lee Sharpe

Hello! I’m Lee Sharpe, the Digital Product Manager for Magic Online events here to talk to give you information on upcoming events on Magic Online! Also, if you haven’t already read the announcement yet for Battle for Zendikar Prelease and Release Events that also went up today, you can find that article here.

It's been about six weeks since the transition of Constructed event prizes to Play Points went live. We're still examining the changes, but initial signs are positive for the system overall. However, we believe there are places to improve offerings.

This article will start with some changes to Prereleases and Release events, and take a look at various Constructed formats. It will talk about eight-player queues, and end with a quick overview of what is upcoming and details regarding the changes.


Cube, Prerelease, and Release Events

First, we have extended the Cube offering that runs right before Prereleases to end the minute Prereleases start. Hopefully this does a better job of keeping players excited to play Magic Online until the new set is ready for launch. (Note that the mulligan rule takes effect on Magic Online during the downtime before Prereleases, so the last couple days of the Legacy Cube being up will be with the new mulligan rule in effect.)

Second, since Sealed Deck Prereleases no longer have you choose a color, we are removing the need to buy a $5 object from the store to participate. Instead, you can simply enter with 25 Event Tickets or 250 Play Points. Yep, all Prereleases and Release events will have a Play Point-only entry option.

Finally, in the past we have run 64-Player Draft events for the entire sixteen days of release events, but we’re going to instead concentrate them to the early half of the release events, we'll be ending them after nine days of release events instead. This will help focus the time of the events and help ensure more of the offered drafts fire. See the Prerelease and Release event announcement for complete details on these events.


Standard

The Standard League has been progressing super well, and we are very happy to give players a way to play without needing to play all their matches in one sitting or wait for others to finish their rounds before playing again.

The existing Standard League will close on Monday, October 5 at 10 a.m. Pacific Time, so no new courses will be able to begin after that time, and then you'll have until the Wednesday, October 7 downtime to finish. Make sure you finish your course by then, so you get all prizes you're eligible for!

After the Wednesday, October 7 downtime, Standard will have rotated and we’ll have a new Standard League available and ready to join. Again, that League will be post-rotation, and it will last until November. Note that Prereleases begin Friday, October 9, so once that happens you'll find some players with Battle for Zendikar cards in the League. It will close Monday, November 16 at 10 a.m. PT and end with the Wednesday, November 18 downtime.


Modern

Modern overall is doing quite well on Magic Online, and the number one request I've received from players lately is they want a League for Modern. Good news! We're adding one. It will begin with the September 30 downtime.

This League will use the same entry and prize structure as the existing Standard League. Also like the Standard League, it starts off with a cap on active players of 1,000, though we may raise this cap over the course of the League based on how it performs. No players can join after it closes on Monday, November 9 at 10 a.m. PT, and end with the Wednesday, November 11 downtime.

Additionally, we will be adding two Modern Daily Events every day and shifting a Friday–Sunday one a half-hour later. See the new full schedule at the bottom of this article. These changes will happen starting with the Wednesday, October 7 downtime.


Pauper

With the eight-player queues receiving more play than they have previously, we think a Pauper eight-player queue has a good chance at doing better. So we are going to add the eight-player queue for Pauper beginning with the October 7 downtime.

While we still support the general direction of making Daily Events more expensive to limit them to highly competitive players, we don't feel this high of an entry is suitable for Magic Online’s most accessible format. So while the existing structure for Pauper Daily Events will remain in place, we will be adding one additional Pauper Daily Event from Monday–Thursday and shifting the time of a Friday–Sunday Pauper Daily Event. See the new full schedule at the bottom of this article. These changes will happen starting with the Wednesday, October 7 downtime.

Pauper is a fun way to play Magic Online and we think the best way to grow Pauper is with Leagues. Therefore, once we are satisfied enough with League performance to add a third format, Pauper will be the next format to get a League. We hope many of you will be excited to play Pauper in this new structure once it launches. Details on this to come.


Legacy

We believe Legacy will be able to support the eight-player queue firing regularly. So we are going to turn on the eight-player queue for Legacy with the Wednesday, October 7 downtime.

During this same downtime, we're also going to change Legacy Daily Events to the currently used structure for Standard and Modern. However, we are going to lower the minimum number of players to twelve, which should help events fire.

Also, starting with the Wednesday, October 7 downtime, we'll be adding an additional Legacy Daily Event every day. See the new full schedule at the bottom of this article.


Vintage

Unfortunately, our current data suggests that an eight-player Vintage queue would not fire at present. However, like Legacy, we believe changing the Daily Event structure to match that of Standard and Modern with a lowering of the minimum players to twelve will be a change welcomed by Vintage players.

We do want Magic Online to be the best place to play Vintage, and while we think these changes are an improvement to the status quo and something we can release now, we think there's still room for improvement beyond them. We're working on having larger events that we think Vintage players will be excited about, but we aren't ready to announce anything yet. Stay tuned!


Eight-Player Constructed Queues

Currently, just looking at the Play Points part of the prizes, the eight-player queues award 140 Play Point for first place and 60 Play Points for second place. Feedback from players suggested that we change this to award 120 Play Points for first place and 80 Play Points for second place. It's great feedback, and we have decided to make this change.

This moves away from the rather extreme top-heavy amount of first place earning more than double the prizes of second place. Furthermore, 140 Play Points is mostly a relevant number of Play Points if you prefer to draft, while 120 Play Points to join a Daily Event or two of these eight-player queues is more relevant for most Constructed players. Additionally, the 80 Play Points for second place is very useful for joining a League.

This will affect the existing Standard and Modern eight-player queues as well as apply to the new Pauper and Legacy eight-player queues, and take effect with the Wednesday, October 7 downtime. Look at the full event details toward the bottom of this article.


Upcoming Timeline

Here is an overview of the coming weeks:

  • Wednesday, September 30 during the downtime
    • Modern League begins
  • Monday, October 5 at 10 a.m. Pacific Time:
    • Pre-rotation Standard League closes to new entries
  • Wednesday, October 7 during the downtime
    • New mulligan rule takes effect for all Magic Online events and casual games
    • Pre-rotation Standard League ends
    • Post-rotation Standard League begins
    • Battle for Zendikar will now be legal in Constructed, though players won't have cards yet
    • Theros, Born of the Gods, Journey into Nyx, and Magic 2015 will no longer be legal in Standard
    • Banned/Restricted Changes to Legacy and Vintage take effect
    • The changes described in this article for Pauper, Legacy, and Vintage take effect
  • Friday, October 9 at 10am Pacific
    • Battle for Zendikar Prereleases begin
    • Legacy Cube drafts end
  • Monday, October 12 at 10 a.m. Pacific Time
    • Battle for Zendikar goes on sale in the Magic Online store
    • Battle for Zendikar Release events begin
    • Battle for Zendikar Prereleases end
  • Wednesday, October 14 during the downtime
    • Constructed booster prizes will change from Magic Origins boosters to Battle for Zendikar boosters
  • Wednesday, October 21 during the downtime
    • 64-Player Drafts end
  • Wednesday, October 28 during the downtime
    • Battle for Zendikar Release events end

As always, you can direct feedback to the official Magic Online Twitter account, my personal Twitter account, the Magic Online Tumblr, or through email at magiconlinefeedback@wizards.com.

Lee Sharpe
Digital Product Manager—Magic Online Events


Event Details

Modern League

League Start: Wednesday, September 30, after the downtime
League Closes: Monday, November 9, 10:00 a.m.
League Ends: Wednesday, November 11, 4:00 a.m.
All times are Pacific (for UTC, add 7 hours).
Location: Constructed Leagues
Entry Options:

  • Option 1: 8 Event Tickets
  • Option 2: 80 Play Points

Size: The minimum number of players is 32. The maximum number of players will be increased over the course of the League as we continue to monitor the League’s stability and performance. It will start at 1000.
Structure: Up to 5 matches
Format: Modern
Prizes:

 

Match Wins Match Wins QPs
5 Wins 2 Magic Origins* booster packs and 150 Play Points 3
4 Wins 1 Magic Origins* booster pack and 120 Play Points 1
3 Wins 80 Play Points 0
2 Wins 40 Play Points 0
1 Wins 20 Play Points 0
0 Wins 10 Play Points 0

Note: During the October 14 downtime, Magic Origins booster pack prizes will be changed to Battle for Zendikar booster pack prizes.

Top


Standard League

League Start: Wednesday, October 7, after the downtime
League Closes: Monday, November 9, 10:00 a.m.
League Ends: Wednesday, November 11, 4:00 a.m.
All times are Pacific (for UTC, add 7 hours).
Location: Constructed Leagues
Entry Options:

  • Option 1: 8 Event Tickets
  • Option 2: 80 Play Points

Size: The minimum number of players is 32. The maximum number of players will be increased over the course of the League as we continue to monitor the League’s stability and performance. It will start at 1000.
Structure: Up to 5 matches
Format: Standard
Prizes:

 

Match Wins Match Wins QPs
5 Wins 2 Magic Origins* booster packs and 150 Play Points 3
4 Wins 1 Magic Origins* booster pack and 120 Play Points 1
3 Wins 80 Play Points 0
2 Wins 40 Play Points 0
1 Wins 20 Play Points 0
0 Wins 10 Play Points 0

Note: During the October 14 downtime, Magic Origins booster pack prizes will be changed to Battle for Zendikar booster pack prizes.

Top


Standard, Modern, Pauper, and Legacy Eight-Player Single Elimination Queues

 

Start Times: Wednesday, October 7, after downtime
Location: Constructed Queues
Entry Option:

  • 6 Event Tickets
  • 60 Play Points

Product: An appropriate Constructed-legal deck
Size: 8 players
Play Style: Single Elimination
Format: Constructed
Duration: Three rounds, each round up to 50 minutes.
Prizes:

 

Place Prizes QPs
1st 2 Magic Origins* booster packs and 120 Play Points 2
2nd 1 Magic Origins* booster pack and 80 Play Points 1
3rd-4th 60 Play Points 0

Note: During the October 14 downtime, Magic Origins booster pack prizes will be changed to Battle for Zendikar booster pack prizes.

Top


Vintage and Legacy Daily Events

 

Start Times: Wednesday, October 7, after downtime
Location: Constructed Queues
Entry Option:

  • 12 Event Tickets
  • 120 Play Points

Product: An appropriate Constructed-legal deck
Size: 12-256 players
Play Style: Swiss
Format: Constructed
Duration: Four rounds, each round up to 50 minutes.
Prizes:

 

Match Wins Prizes QPs
4 Wins 6 Magic Origins* booster packs and 360 Play Points 3
3 Wins 3 Magic Origins* booster packs and 180 Play Points 1

Note: During the October 14 downtime, Magic Origins booster pack prizes will be changed to Battle for Zendikar booster pack prizes.

Top


NEW DAILY EVENT SCHEDULE

Updates in yellow
All times are Pacific (UTC-7)

  Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
12:00 AM Standard Standard Standard Sealed Modern Modern Modern
12:30 AM         New to Magic Online New to Magic Online New to Magic Online
1:00 AM Legacy Legacy   Standard Sealed Sealed Sealed
1:30 AM              
2:00 AM Modern Modern   Legacy Standard Standard Standard
2:30 AM              
3:00 AM Sealed Sealed   Modern Legacy Legacy Legacy
3:30 AM              
4:00 AM Standard Standard   Sealed Modern Modern Modern
4:30 AM              
5:00 AM Legacy Legacy   Standard Sealed Sealed Sealed
5:30 AM              
6:00 AM Modern Modern   Legacy Standard Standard Standard
6:30 AM              
7:00 AM Sealed Sealed   Modern Legacy Legacy Legacy
7:30 AM              
8:00 AM Standard Standard DOWNTIME Sealed Modern Modern Modern
8:30 AM              
9:00 AM Pauper Pauper   Standard Sealed Sealed Sealed
9:30 AM              
10:00 AM Modern Modern   Pauper Standard Standard Standard
10:30 AM Legacy Legacy          
11:00 AM Sealed Sealed   Modern Pauper Pauper Pauper
11:30 AM       Legacy Vintage Vintage Vintage
12:00 PM Standard Standard Sealed Sealed Modern Modern Modern
12:30 PM         Legacy Legacy Legacy
1:00 PM Modern Modern Standard Standard Sealed Sealed Sealed
1:30 PM Pauper Pauper     New to Magic Online New to Magic Online New to Magic Online
2:00 PM Legacy Legacy Modern Modern Standard Standard Standard
2:30 PM     Pauper Pauper      
3:00 PM Sealed Sealed Legacy Legacy Modern Modern Modern
3:30 PM         Pauper Pauper Pauper
4:00 PM Standard Standard Sealed Sealed Legacy Legacy Legacy
4:30 PM         New to Magic Online New to Magic Online New to Magic Online
5:00 PM Modern Modern Standard Standard Sealed Sealed Sealed
5:30 PM     Vintage Vintage      
6:00 PM Sealed Sealed Modern Modern Standard Standard Standard
6:30 PM         Vintage Vintage Vintage
7:00 PM Legacy Legacy Sealed Sealed Modern Modern Modern
7:30 PM              
8:00 PM Standard Standard Legacy Legacy Sealed Sealed Sealed
8:30 PM         New to Magic Online New to Magic Online New to Magic Online
9:00 PM     Standard Standard Legacy Legacy Legacy
9:30 PM         Modern Modern Modern
10:00 PM Modern Modern     Standard Standard Standard
10:30 PM              
11:00 PM Sealed Sealed Modern Sealed Sealed Sealed Sealed
11:30 PM              

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