Zendikar Rising: Magic Online Edition

Posted in Magic Online on September 11, 2020

By Alli Steele

Zendikar Rising is almost upon us, and that means it's time to talk about lots of new things in the world of Magic Online. In just a few short days—less than a week!—we're all going to be queuing up to party!

(I used to give articles clever names. For Battle for Zendikar, I used the portmanteau "zendikarticle," and that was wonderful. For this one, I would have gone with "Zee-Enn-Article," because, you know, the set code for this set is "ZNR." Alas, the convention of "[Set Name]: Magic Online Edition" is better for the search engines, and these articles are often commonly referenced.)

We're going to be taking the system down on Wednesday, September 16. As normal, this is planned to start around 9 a.m. Pacific time (UTC-7) and last until noon Pacific time. When we come up, you'll see a few changes immediately:

  • All legalities are updated. Standard will rotate out everything prior to Throne of Eldraine, and all the reprints will be Standard-legal once again. Welcome back, Lotus Cobra!
  • The treasure chest will be updated. Some Zendikar Rising cards will be found inside, so if you see someone with a card a day or two early, don't be alarmed: they were probably just saving up their treasure chests. The full update details can be found at the Treasure Chest page here, and will be updated on September 14.

Zendikar Rising Redemption Schedule*

​*Please click here for updated info regarding ZNR redemption delays. (11.10.2020)

  • Zendikar Rising redemption will begin on October 14.
  • The availability guarantee for Zendikar Rising redemption will expire on December 30. After that, redemption will only be available as supplies last.
  • Zendikar Rising redemption will end entirely on February 3, 2021.
  • As a reminder: Core Set 2021 redemption's availability guarantee will be ending on October 7, and that set will no longer be redeemable at all after November 11. (These dates were originally announced in that set's Magic Online article.)

'Cause We Like To Party (Hey, Hey, Hey, Hey, Hey, Hey)

The party mechanic in Zendikar Rising represents the strength and size of your adventuring party. In game, it's a complex way to track numbers from 0 to 4. It's that complexity that makes it important to have a lot of information on hand, so we created a small collapsible tracker on the battlefield that tracks the things you need to know.

For you, it'll appear only if you have a party creature type represented on the battlefield while having a card that cares about the size of your party (or having a full party) in your deck. On your opponent's side of the board, it'll appear only once you see that they've got a card that cares about party in their deck; this could happen when they play one of those cards, when you look at their hand and see one, or anything else that gives you this new information.

What you'll see starts off small and unassuming. It's just a little box with "Party" and a number in it.

party tracker 1

But wait, there's more! If you click the attached arrow, the little box will expand and you'll see a breakdown of each of the four party creature types. For each of those types, you'll see how many creatures on that side of the battlefield have that creature type.

party tracker 2

This gets a little more complicated when you have a single creature with multiple types: whether it's Tajuru Paragon, Mothdust Changeling, or even the obscure Wandering Mage. They'll increment all relevant lines, even though they can only count toward one creature for your party. So, if you have that Tajuru Paragon . . .

party tracker 3

Why might you care about those numbers, independent of the party-size tracker? Well, if you've got a removal spell in your hand and want to knock your opponent off a full party, you can quickly tell if that'll be possible. If one of the party creature types has a 1 next to it, you just need to destroy that single creature to prevent your opponent's Squad Commander from making their whole team indestructible.

Think of it this way: each line is calculated separately. The "Party" line at the top isn't just "how many creature types are represented," it's "how large does the game of Magic think my party is?" The specific type lines, on the other hand, are simple answers to "how many of this creature type does this player control?"

party tracker 4

Zendikar Rising Avatars

New Magic Online accounts, and any account that purchases the Deck Builder's Essentials, will receive this exclusive (and tradeable) "Planeswalking to Zendikar" avatar:

Planeswalking to Zendikar avatar

The Prestige Avatars for this set will be using the now-familiar system: players get five points for each Competitive Trophy and one point for every Friendly trophy. At the end of a season (when the next Standard-legal set releases), players with 40 or more points will get this mythic rare Nahiri, Heir of the Ancients avatar. Players with 20 or more points get the gold-bordered Nissa of Shadowed Boughs avatar, and anyone with five or more points gets the Jace, Mirror Mage avatar. Prestige Avatars are never tradeable.

Jace, Nissa, and Nahiri avatars

If you're looking for tradeable avatars, though, you're in luck. There are three found in Treasure Chests this time around!

Everyone's favorite returning Snake, Lotus Cobra!

Lotus Cobra avatar

The Mouse in the house that's captured hearts with his cute fuzzy parts: Canyon Jerboa!

Marc Canyon Jerboa tweet

Canyon Jerboa avatar

And, just as lovable but with almost none of the grace, we present Sqwakward, Fearless Fledgling!

Fearless Fledgling avatar

Alternative Play Calendar*

This season is going to have something for everyone! It's a long season, so there's plenty of room for exciting new things! One thing to note: this is a high-level overview of what's to come. Most events will have more details coming later, as the event nears.

*Note: This calendar has changed. Click here for the most up-to-date listings. (11.10.2020)

  • September 16–October 7: Modern Cube – Back with a new iteration, we're going to launch ZNR side by side this beloved cube's return. (Don't forget to check out the update article going live next Monday!)
  • October 7–14: Mystery Booster: Magic Online Edition! Constructed to be a mostly faithful replication of the Retail edition. Mostly. We worked closely with game designer and original product architect Gavin Verhey to make some small tweaks for the Magic Online release. Full details to come closer to that event release.
  • October 14–21: A brand-new addition to the Spotlight Cube Series debuts in this time slot. The designer will tell us all about it when we get closer.
  • October 21–28: Supreme Draft returns, but 'tis the season, so this time, we're headed to Innistrad! Visiting Ravnica in July was good, but late October is when we get spooky.
  • October 28–November 4: One of my favorite Magic Online traditions is that we run Triple Innistrad Draft for Halloween each year. Spawn those Spiders and Prepare for those Travels, because we're going to be drafting like it's 2011. (Oh, also, we'll be putting out a little product called Commander Legends this weekend. Lots to say on that later.)
  • November 4–18: Vintage Masters Flashbacks return for two weeks, and we can all rejoice. Maybe this will be the time that I finally succeed at drafting more than three Battle Screeches in the same deck. (Narrator: Deep down, she knew she was setting herself up for disappointment.)
  • November 18–25: We've mentioned this before, how it's coming "probably in late November," and so this is it: the week for our first Supreme Chaos Draft.
  • November 25–December 2: A popular entry in the Spotlight Cube Series, this week will see the return of Kyle O'Neill's Core Set Cube, updated through Core Set 2021!
  • December 2–9: Chaos Draft: Masters launches. Imagine some of your favorite Masters sets all jumbled up into a single wild Draft experience. Then imagine that you can draft it for a whole week. That week is here, in early December.
  • December 9–16: For the second time this season, we're going to debut a brand-new addition to the Spotlight Cube Series! And of course, we'll hear more about this one from the designer when we're close to launch.
  • December 16–23: Vintage Cube Supreme. The Vintage Cube returns for the winter holidays, and for this first week, we're going to Supreme Draft it. Instead of ridiculously powerful decks like normal Vintage Cube, we'll play with ridiculous-er-ly powerful decks! And then . . .
  • December 23 – the launch of Kaldheim: Vintage Cube. It's a classic, beloved experience for a reason. And we'll be running it for a while, starting on December 23.

Event Details

FRIENDLY SEALED LEAGUE

Schedule: This League will begin on September 17, at 10 a.m. PT. This League is planned to run until the release of Kaldheim early next year.

Product: 6 Zendikar Rising boosters, with the option to add a Zendikar Rising booster after each of the first two stages.

Structure: 3 stages of up to 3 matches each, played at your convenience

Entry Options:

  • 24 Event Tickets
  • 6 Zendikar Rising boosters + 4 Event Tickets
  • 240 Play Points

Upgrade Options:

Upgrades are available at the beginning of each stage beyond the first. Choosing any of these options will add the contents of one Zendikar Rising booster to your Sealed pool.

  • 4 Event Tickets
  • 1 Zendikar Rising booster
  • 40 Play Points

Stage Prizes:

Stage prizes are earned for each of the three stages in the League.

  • 3 wins: 40 Play Points + 1 Friendly Trophy
  • 2 wins: 30 Play Points
  • 1 win: 20 Play Points
  • 0 wins: 10 Play Points

Course Prizes:

Course prizes are earned after completing all three stages.

  • 9 wins: 3 Zendikar Rising boosters + 200 Play Points
  • 8 wins: 2 Zendikar Rising boosters + 200 Play Points
  • 7 wins: 1 Zendikar Rising booster + 200 Play Points
  • 6 wins: 200 Play Points
  • 5 wins: 100 Play Points
  • 4 wins: 50 Play Points

COMPETITIVE SEALED LEAGUE

Schedule: This League will begin on September 17, at 10 a.m. PT. This League is planned to run until the release of Kaldheim early next year.

Product: 6 Zendikar Rising boosters

Structure: Up to 5 matches, played at your convenience

Entry Options:

  • 24 Event Tickets
  • 6 Zendikar Rising boosters + 4 Event Tickets
  • 240 Play Points

Prizes:

  • 5 wins: 6 Zendikar Rising boosters + 360 Play Points + 5 Qualifier Points + 1 Competitive Trophy
  • 4 wins: 3 Zendikar Rising boosters + 240 Play Points + 2 Qualifier Points
  • 3 wins: 1 Zendikar Rising booster + 120 Play Points + 1 Qualifier Point

ZENDIKAR RISING DRAFT LEAGUE

Schedule: This League will begin on September 17, at 10 a.m. PT. This League is planned to run until the release of Kaldheim early next year.

Product: 3 Zendikar Rising boosters

Structure: Draft, then up to 3 matches at your convenience

Entry Options:

  • 12 Event Tickets
  • 3 Zendikar Rising boosters + 2 Event Tickets
  • 120 Play Points

Prizes:

  • 3 wins: 6 Zendikar Rising boosters + 2 Qualifier Points + 1 Competitive Trophy
  • 2 wins: 2 Zendikar Rising boosters

ZENDIKAR RISING ELIMINATION DRAFT

Schedule: This League will begin on September 17, at 10 a.m. PT. This League is planned to run until the release of Kaldheim early next year.

Product: 3 Zendikar Rising boosters

Structure: Draft, then single-elimination rounds until a winner emerges. Round 1 will begin as soon as the deck-building period after the draft ends. Rounds 2 and 3 will begin 2 minutes after the last match in the previous round ends.

Entry Options:

  • 15 Event Tickets
  • 3 Zendikar Rising boosters + 5 Event Tickets
  • 150 Play Points
  • 3 Zendikar Rising boosters + 50 Play Points

Prizes:

  • Winner: 6 Zendikar Rising boosters + 150 Play Points + 3 Qualifier Points + 1 Competitive Trophy
  • 2nd Place: 3 Zendikar Rising boosters + 150 Play Points + 1 Qualifier Point

CORE SET 2021 SWISS DRAFT

Schedule: This queue of the previous Standard set's Draft environment will launch on September 17, at 10 a.m. PT and is planned to run until the release of Kaldheim early next year. Events launch as soon as eight players have joined.

Product: 3 Core Set 2021 boosters

Structure: Draft, then single-elimination rounds until a winner emerges. Round 1 will begin as soon as the deck-building period after the draft ends. Rounds 2 and 3 will begin 2 minutes after the last match in the previous round ends.

Entry Options:

  • 12 Event Tickets
  • 3 Core Set 2021 boosters + 2 Event Tickets
  • 120 Play Points

Prizes:

  • 3 wins: 6 Core Set 2021 boosters + 2 Qualifier Points + 1 Friendly Trophy
  • 2 wins: 2 Core Set 2021 boosters

CONSTRUCTED LEAGUES

Schedule: These Leagues run continuously but reset with downtimes that introduce new Standard-legal sets. The downtime to introduce Zendikar Rising will begin at approximately 9 a.m. Pacific Time on September 16. Each of these Leagues will run until the downtime preceding the release of Kaldheim early next year.

Formats: Standard, Pioneer, Modern, Legacy, Vintage, and Pauper

Structure: Up to 5 matches, played at your convenience

Entry Options:

  • 10 Event Tickets
  • 100 Play Points

Prizes:

  • 5 Wins: 150 Play Points + 5 Qualifier Points + 11 Treasure Chests + 1 Competitive Trophy
  • 4 Wins: 120 Play Points + 2 Qualifier Points + 5 Treasure Chests
  • 3 Wins: 100 Play Points + 1 Qualifier Point + 1 Treasure Chest
  • 2 Wins: 50 Play Points

ALTERNATIVE PLAY ELIMINATION DRAFTS

Schedule: These queues will begin at approximately 10 a.m. PT on the first day listed. They will end at 10 a.m. PT on the last day listed, except on days when there's a scheduled downtime. Not all alternative play experiences offer elimination drafts; they're most common with major Cubes (this season, that's Modern and Vintage).

Entry Options:

  • 10 Event Tickets
  • 100 Play Points

Product: Based on event

Structure: Draft, then single-elimination rounds until a winner emerges. Round 1 will begin as soon as the deck-building period after the draft ends. Rounds 2 and 3 will begin 2 minutes after the last match in the previous round ends.

Prize Structure:

  • 1st Place: 240 Play Points + 2 Qualifier Points + 1 Competitive Trophy + 1 Treasure Chest
  • 2nd Place: 160 Play Points
  • 3rd/4th Place: 100 Play Points

ALTERNATIVE PLAY DRAFT LEAGUE

Schedule: These Leagues will begin at approximately 10 a.m. PT on the first day listed, which is always a Wednesday. These leagues will be closed to new entries at 10 a.m. PT on the last day listed and ended no later than 2 p.m. that same day.

Entry Options:

  • 10 Event Tickets
  • 100 Play Points

Product: Based on event

Structure: Draft, then up to 3 matches played at your convenience

Prize Structure:

  • 3 wins: 150 Play Points + 2 Qualifier Points + 1 Friendly Trophy + 1 Treasure Chest
  • 2 wins: 100 Play Points
  • 1 win: 50 Play Points

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