One week ago, it was made official that the format of Pro Tour Prague would be Ravnica-Guildpact-Dissension draft. I therefore asked Pro players what they were thinking about it. Initial reactions were often surprise, and also disappointment for a few of them, but after giving second thoughts, it seems like most players will find a way to manage and playtest, and we can now feel a lot more excitement.
But as the Pros represent probably about 20% of the players’ community, what do the other players think about it?
Justus Roennau (Germany, Head judge in GP Cardiff):”I SEE IT AS A CHALLENGE”When did you learn the PT would be RGD?
A week before the announcement.
And what was your reaction?
I enjoyed it! As a judge, I see it as a challenge. It's also good for the players to have a PT not influenced by Magic: Online. It's a very interesting experiment, but I think it should have been announced a little bit earlier.
Isn’t there a risk that judges might not know the cards well enough? I mean players will play test, they know the interactions, but what about judges?
I don't think there will be any bad ruling. Any judge on the PT is able to do good rulings in any situation, even though it will slow down the event as both players and judges will have to read the cards sometimes.
So rounds will be extended?
They will be 55 minutes instead of the usual 50 minutes.
How will you prepare to be ready?
I'll get the list as soon as possible, then I'll play at my prerelease, it seems better to me if I want to understand the interaction between cards faster.
Loïs Jacquet (France, First appearance on a PT in Prague):”GLAD IT'S NOT ON MAGIC: ONLINE”How do you feel about the format of the PT?
Quite glad I have to say. I don't play Magic: Online so I won't be behind on my preparation.
Are you afraid or excited by the challenge?
Pretty excited I'd say. I was surprised by the announcement, it will be difficult but I'm glad.
How did you qualify?
I won a PTQ in Dijon (France) the very first day Guildpact was allowed on tournaments.
So you're in the same situation again, how was it last time?
Pretty difficult, but I managed to qualify. And the tournament was interesting overall.
Do you have a plan to play test?
I'll play on my prerelease, of course, and then I'll go to the South of France for 2-3 days where a local store offered the French qualified players to come over and test with their products.
Thanks Loïs, and good luck!
Brian David-Marshall (Reporter for Sideboard.com): “CARDS EVALUATION BETTER THAN REPETITION”What do you think about the PT being RGD?
I think it is very exciting to see a new set introduced into Pro Tour play so close to its release.
This will test players in a way that they don't normally experience. Card evaluations will have to be made almost on the spot for some players who normally rely on repetition, repetition, repetition to develop their card valuations.
As a reporter, will you play test yourself to make your coverage easier?
I draft several times a week with Jon Finkel so I expect to have a pretty good handle on the format, but I have no specific knowledge.
So, that's not a rumor, Finkel will come to Prague?
There is always a chance he will not but I would say he is 90% likely to attend. He is practicing in real life and on MTGO constantly. I think Dave Williams will be in New York also to practice in the days leading to Prague.
Thanks a lot to Brian, Justus and Loïs, see you in Prague!
I wrote this article while listening to The Arcade Fire/FUNERAL and then to The Arcade Fire/FUNERAL again, cause it's really good.