Experiencing SOI at Your Store

Posted in Competitive Gaming on March 17, 2016

By Mike Rosenberg

Mike Rosenberg is a writer and gamer and has been part of the Magic text coverage team since 2011. He joined Wizards as organized play’s content specialist in June 2014.

Shadows over Innistrad previews are in full effect, as this site as well as many other outlets worldwide are piecing together the entirety of the brand-new set.

Looking to play with Shadows over Innistrad? Starting April 2, you'll have that opportunity at your local game store with Prereleases, along with ample opportunities to experience the new Standard following that. Read on for a quick rundown on ways to unravel what the new set is all about.


Prereleases offer players worldwide a chance to play with the new cards before they are officially released. Shadows over Innistrad Prereleases take place April 2 and 3, and it'll be your first opportunity to open up boosters filled with brand-new Magic goodness, as you'll receive a Prerelease pack with six boosters of Shadows over Innistrad and will be able to build a 40-card sealed deck out of the contents of those packs (along with basic lands). Need help building a deck? Not a problem! Ask your fellow players or helpers at the store, and they will be able to assist you.

Gavin Verhey will have a complete rundown on what the Prerelease experience is like on March 28 here on this very website. That said, planning ahead is highly encouraged. Prereleases are very, very popular events, featuring players ranging from longtime fans to brand-new ones. If you would like to attend, contact your local store today to ask about how you can secure your spot in a Shadows over Innistrad Prerelease.

Launch Weekend

Following the Prerelease is Launch Weekend, a weekend that, well, celebrates the launch of the new set. Shadows over Innistrad will be for sale in stores starting April 8, and Launch Weekend events take place April 8 through 10.

These events, which take place at hobby stores worldwide, have a variety of formats, so check with your local store to see what their offerings will be. Some stores run Standard tournaments as part of their Friday Night Magic offerings and combine the excitement of Launch Weekend with their weekly FNM. Others run Booster Draft events. Others run midnight celebrations, where players have an opportunity to get the new set as soon as the clock strikes midnight on April 8, and will sanction Booster Draft events as soon as it's officially April 8 in their store. There are a ton of possibilities for the new player and the veteran alike, so check with your local store to see what all there is for you during Launch Weekend!

Friday Night Magic

Got a sick combo you want to explore? Looking for a place to try out those new copies of Arlinn Kord, Avacyn, and more that you got during the Prerelease and Launch Weekend? Or are you just looking to draft, draft, and draft? Friday Night Magic is your opportunity to ignite your weekend with a Shadows over Innistrad flare, as they are one of the highlight days to play Magic at your local store. Friday Night Magic can be a wide variety of formats, but Standard and Booster Draft are among the most common that you'll see at your local store on a Friday.

Standard also marks the beginning of something new, as the release of Shadows over Innistrad brings with it a rotation, since Khans of Tarkir and Fate Reforged leave the Standard format on April 8. This means the landscape for Standard will be brand new, and ripe for experimentation, so explore your favorite strategies and find what works for you each week.

Bring your latest decks and Draft strategies to Friday Night Magic starting April 8—part of Launch Weekend—and unravel the madness of Shadows over Innistrad for weeks!

Game Day

If Friday Night Magic is your opportunity to explore the new set through a variety of formats, Game Day is your chance to wade into the competitive waters of Standard Constructed one week after seeing Standard at its height during Pro Tour Shadows over Innistrad.

Game Day is one of your first steps into a competitive store-level tournament, as the winner of Game Day will receive a really, really cool champion's playmat, and the Top 8 players get sweet full-art event-exclusive promo cards. Participants also get a full-art promo (while supplies last), so everyone has the opportunity to receive something for playing in Game Day.

You can also get an edge on the competition by checking out coverage of Pro Tour Shadows over Innistrad, which takes place April 22 through 24 and will be broadcast all three days on twitch.tv/magic, so tune in to see the world's best and their top Standard strategies.

These are all your in-store opportunities to experience Shadows over Innistrad. It all starts April 2 and continues every week thereafter. Find a local store near you, check to see what events they're running and when, and unlock the secrets of the new set week after week.

Magic Online Pro Tour Qualifiers This Week

The next batch of Magic Online Pro Tour Qualifier Preliminary events start today at 10:30 a.m. PT, and carry on through Sunday at 3:30 p.m. All of this week's Preliminary events are Oath of the Gatewatch/Battle for Zendikar Sealed, and award Limited Pro Tour Qualifier Finals tokens.

Those tokens are what you need to play in a Pro Tour Qualifier Finals event, which award winners an invitation to Pro Tour Eldritch Moon and the Challenge Event that takes place on Sunday at the Pro Tour. This week's Pro Tour Qualifier Finals event takes place Sunday, March 20, at 7 a.m. PT.

For full information on this season's Magic Online Pro Tour Qualifiers, check out the season information page.

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