The Magic Online 2014 Community Cup is coming up quickly. On September 12–14, the Community Team will face off against Team Wizards in a futile attempt battle to keep the Erik "Hamtastic" Friborg Memorial Trophy for itself.
The Wizards team has a thing or two to say about that, though. And while we're looking forward to ensuring that trophy belongs to Team Wizards, we're even more ecstatic for three days of awesome formats, representing a wide range of ways to play!
The first two days will pit the two teams against each other in a battle for the Community Cup trophy across four formats, the likes of which you're accustomed to seeing in years prior. But come Sunday, the Wizards team steps aside and the eight Community team members will battle against each other in a special Khans of Tarkir Sealed deck event!
Let's take a look at the formats that will be used in this year's Community Cup.
Vintage Masters Booster Draft (Friday)
Ah, Vintage Masters. It's way more than a way to gain access to the Power Nine. It's also a blast to play with in Limited. The rules for Community Cup Vintage Masters draft is the same as it is on Magic Online. Players will conduct a Booster Draft using three packs of Vintage Masters. Then, after all players build decks, everyone will compete in three rounds, Swiss-style.
However, there is one little twist.
Ironroot Chef (Friday)
Ironroot Chef returns after a successful run last year!
In Ironroot Chef, players will build and play Standard Constructed decks with a couple of spices added to the rules.
Five cards, the ingredients for the Ironroot Chef format, will be selected by Magic R&D, as well as Walking the Planes host Nate Holt. Prior to all participants building their decks, the five ingredients for Ironroot Chef will be revealed. Teams will have half an hour to build eight Standard-legal decks. All five deck ingredients must be used by each team, with three people required to use two of the ingredients, and all decks on a side must include at least one ingredient.
In addition to playing three rounds of Swiss with these decks, teams will also receive points from a judge panel for deck creativity and the use of the ingredients. Each deck will receive 0–5 points from each of three judges, and these additional points will be added to each team's score. Match wins are 3 points, but a flavor home-run also matters a ton, since there's a maximum of 15 points that each deck earns through the judges—so teams will need to find the right balance between creative use of the ingredients and power level!
You can see a sample of how these decks will be graded in last year's Ironroot Chef coverage.
Eight-Booster Sealed (Saturday)
On Saturday, players in the Community Cup will be challenged to build 40-card decks for three rounds of action from eight booster packs voted on by you, the community, in the days leading up to the event.
There will be eight separate votes that take place, with a few booster packs available to vote on each time. The winner of each vote will be one of the boosters that the community and Wizards team must build their Sealed deck from. The final vote will take place on Day One of the Community Cup, on September 12.
As an added bonus, the packs that the community votes on for this format will also be playable in scheduled phantom events during the Community Cup. You not only choose the format for the Community Cup competitors, but for yourselves as well!
Cube with Stipulations (Saturday)
Saturday finishes up with three rounds of Cube Draft...along with some stipulations that players must follow while drafting.
There will be sixteen stipulations, split into two envelopes, that will be randomly assigned to the eight players on each team. Once teams receive their envelope of eight stipulations, teammates are able to trade stipulations among themselves before going into the draft.
Drafting stipulations were designed by Magic designer Gavin Verhey, the only person to win the Community Cup as part of the Community team and the Wizards team.
Players must abide by these stipulations during the draft, and some of them can be a little crazy, so who knows how each person's deck will turn out?
Khans of Tarkir Sealed Deck (Sunday)
The Community Cup finishes up on Sunday, where the eight Community team members will participate in a single-elimination event featuring Khans of Tarkir a week before the face-to-face Magic Prerelease!
Players will choose from one of the five clans in Khans of Tarkir to represent. No more than two of each clan can be selected. Each match will be streamed consecutively, giving viewers the chance to see as many Khans of Tarkir cards before the the whole set is finally revealed the next day on the Magic: The Gathering website.
Want to see Khans of Tarkir in action before you get a chance to go to your Prerelease? The Community Cup Sunday coverage is what you're looking for.
With four different formats that the Community and Wizards team must compete in, along with some end-of-weekend Khans of Tarkir action, the 2014 Community Cup is going to be a memorable one!