2018 Nationals Details

Posted in Competitive Gaming on March 15, 2018

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.

Back in January, I talked about a few initial tidbits regarding 2018 Nationals. Today, we've posted the full event information as well as the schedule for most of the 74 (!) countries running Nationals tournaments this year. The remaining Nationals that have not been scheduled will be updated in the next week or two.

If you're planning to play in your country's Nationals—and you totally should—then you should dive into the full event information. But if you're just looking for a quick download on 2018 Nationals and what's new, different, and the same, I can help you with that.

I've also got a little bit of Pro Club news for you today, as we've posted the updated Pro Club rules following the introduction of the cycle system beyond 2017–18.

NEW: Welcome, Honduras!

First up is the brand new, as Honduras will be making their debut at the 2018 World Magic Cup. Welcome, Honduras, and we look forward to hosting you in Barcelona this December!

Honduras Nationals will have a Planeswalker Points qualification threshold of 100 (as well as a one-round bye threshold of 1,500).

The addition of Honduras brings the total number of countries running Nationals—and the number of countries being represented at the 2018 World Magic Cup—to 74.

DIFFERENT: Rounds, Days, and Last-Chance Events

One of our lessons from last year is that, when dealing with a variety of countries with a wide range in numbers of players, we did not differentiate enough in our structure so that each Nationals could be best set up for success. We've got a year of Nationals on the books to learn from and help address that.


For 2018, we're recommending a fairly wide spread in the number of Swiss rounds, and how the rounds are divided across the days, to each organizer that is running their country's Nationals. Number of rounds will be determined by the attendance estimate for each individual Nationals.

Smaller Nationals in 2018 (up to 200 players) will feature six to eight rounds of Swiss (three to five rounds of Standard, three rounds of Booster Draft using the latest Standard-legal card set), followed by a cut to a Top 8 Standard Constructed playoff.

Larger Nationals in 2018 (over 200 players) will feature a total of twelve or thirteen rounds of Swiss: six to seven rounds of Standard, two Booster Drafts using the latest Standard-legal card set), and a Top 8 Standard Constructed playoff.

That said, there will be mixtures between both of those ranges. Some Nationals will be seven rounds of Swiss. Others will be eight. A few will be twelve rounds of Swiss. In short, check with your Nationals tournament organizer for the exact details for your country.


Nationals can be either one-, two-, or three-day events. Once an organizer announces that their Nationals will be a certain number of days, it won't change. Again, check with your country's organizer for the full info.

Last-Chance Events

We've changed how byes work for Last-Chance Trials. First up is that these events—which take place the day before each Nationals—will only award one bye for their respective Nationals. (Last-Chance Trials are only open to those who have already qualified for their country's Nationals.)

Each Nationals organizer may only run a set number of Last-Chance Trials based on which country their Nationals is based out of as well. For reference:

  • Nationals with a Planeswalker Points threshold for player qualification of 100 can run one Last-Chance Trial
  • Nationals with a Planeswalker Points threshold for player qualification of 200 can run up to two Last-Chance Trials
  • Nationals with a Planeswalker Points threshold for player qualification of 300 can run up to three Last-Chance Trials
  • Nationals with a Planeswalker Points threshold for player qualification of 500 can run up to four Last-Chance Trials

Additionally, Last-Chance Qualifiers—in which players not qualified for Nationals may compete for a shot to play in Nationals—are only for unqualified players, and do not award byes.

THE SAME: Just About Everything Else

Outside of some minor improvements, Nationals in 2018 aren't going through many changes from last year.

  • Players can still qualify via their Planeswalker Points threshold, depending on their nationality (see the Magic Premier Event Invitation Policy for the full breakdown)
  • The tournament still awards the finalists invitations and airfare to represent their country at the 2018 World Magic Cup
  • This event still awards first- and second-place finishers at each Nationals 3 Pro Points, and third- and fourth-place finishers 1 Pro Point each

The most up-to-date schedule for 2018 Nationals, including which countries are hosting their events on which weekends, can be found on the event information page.

The 2018 Nationals are going to be a lot of fun, and we're excited to see who will emerge and represent their country at the World Magic Cup this year!

Pro Club Rules Beyond 2017–18, Milk Cycle Thresholds

I've got a few things to highlight for you that have gone live this week regarding the Pro Club.


We have the full rules for how the Pro Club will work beyond the 2017–18 season now up on the Pro Club rules page. This reflects everything that was announced in 2017 with our changes, including how cycles work.


The Pro Club thresholds for the "Milk" cycle, which begins March 25, 2019, will be the same as those announced for the Spaghetti and Meatballs cycles. For reference, those are:

  • Bronze: 10 Pro Points
  • Silver: 22 Pro Points
  • Gold: 37 Pro Points
  • Platinum: 52 Pro Points

That's it for this week. We look forward to this year's Nationals, and if you're going to Grand Prix Seattle (April 5–8) in the coming weeks, I'll be attending for a few days, so maybe I'll see you there!

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