Welcome to 2016! We're kicking it off with an explosive start. The new set, Oath of the Gatewatch, will be out on January 22. Prereleases—in-store events where players worldwide will have the chance to play with the new set before its official release—take place the weekend of January 16–17.
But the fun gets to start a little early in the first premier play event of 2016! It'll be a big kickoff as we move toward Prereleases, the big release, three Grand Prix showcasing the new Limited format, Pro Tour Oath of the Gatewatch, and beyond.
2016 Grand Prix Season 1 Kickoff
Before we get into the nitty-gritty, it's a good time to remind you that Grand Prix Oakland is the first event in Season 1 of the 2016 Grand Prix schedule. All Grand Prix in January, February, and March qualify all players who make the Top 8 or finish 13-2 in the main event for Pro Tour Shadows over Innistrad, which takes place in Madrid, Spain, April 22–24.
The Grand Prix is one of the most exciting ways for a player to qualify for the Pro Tour, so if a Grand Prix is happening near you, or if you're looking to make the trip out with some buddies, Pro Tour invitations only add to the thrill.
All Grand Prix in the first season of 2016 are listed on back of this very sweet T-shirt, by the way.
That. Kozilek. Art.
Want one for yourself? These t-shirts will be on the Grand Prix Prize Wall in January, February, and March, so make your way to a GP near you, play in some events, earn some prize tickets, and get one for your wardrobe.
Grand Prix Oakland
A few fortunate duos will get their very first Oath of the Gatewatch experience at Grand Prix Oakland, as ChannelFireball plays host to a very special Two-Headed Giant event on Sunday at the first Grand Prix of 2016.
Over the course of three days, starting this Friday at noon, players will have the opportunity to play in one of five scheduled Two-Headed Giant Sealed Deck events using Battle for Zendikar. Duos that achieve a 5-0-0 record will receive an invitation to play in an Oath of the Gatewatch Two-Headed Giant world premiere event on Sunday at 5 p.m. Not only is it a player's first chance to play with the new set, but they'll also have a chance to play against one of three celebrity teams competing in the world premiere (including Luis Scott-Vargas and Paul Cheon!).
Community manager Nate Price will be there during the weekend, roaming the room and talking to people as they take their oaths, battle for treasures from the prize wall, and more. Updates will be posted all weekend on the @Wizards_Magic Twitter page, so follow along for the fun!
But that's just one part of the weekend. All players who compete in the Grand Prix Oakland main event will receive an event-exclusive playmat featuring the art from Ugin's Insight.
Not able to make it to the Grand Prix this weekend? You're covered! ChannelFireball will be providing live video coverage of the two-day Standard Constructed main event, hosted by Hall of Fame pro Luis Scott-Vargas, Limited Resources host Marshall Sutcliffe, and Hall of Fame pro William "Huey" Jensen. Between-round content will be produced by Athena "Elantris" Huey. Live video coverage will also feature a few highlights from Sunday's Oath of the Gatewatch world premiere between Top 8 matches!
Reporters Marc Calderaro and Corbin Hosler will be present, bringing you the latest stories from the Grand Prix along with decklists galore!
Head on over to the Grand Prix Oakland website for all information on this weekend of oaths, epic battles, and fun.
Super Sunday Series Championship
Two weeks after Grand Prix Oakland is the Super Sunday Series Championship, featuring the winners of 2015's Super Sunday Series events that took place at each Grand Prix around the world. It'll also be some of the first Standard tournament decklists using Oath of the Gatewatch to make it onto the Magic website, so check back for those along with features and more!
Pre–Pro Tour Oath of the Gatewatch Grand Prix Weekend
And finally, January 29–31 is a triple weekend featuring a first look into what we can expect to see at Pro Tour Oath of the Gatewatch, as numerous players (ranging from new faces venturing into the wonderful world of Grand Prix to the top teams testing their Limited mettle) travel to one of three Grand Prix—each taking place in one of three different regions—for their shot at a $10,000 first prize.
Of course, each Grand Prix consists of more than the two-day main event, and each Grand Prix has a little something you can get as a memento of your experience.
Select players who preregister for Grand Prix Mexico City, Latin America's Grand Prix for the weekend, will receive an event-exclusive playmat featuring artwork from Magic Duels.
Can't make it to Mexico City? Corbin Hosler will be traveling down to report on the stories that come out of that Grand Prix, so check the Magic website during the weekend for articles and decklists!
Meanwhile, Asia's Magic players will have Grand Prix Nagoya taking place that same weekend. The first 1,500 players that pre-registered for Grand Prix Nagoya will receive an event-exclusive playmat featuring art from Witness the End.
What sorts of Limited strategies will Asia's teams test at the Grand Prix? Chapman Sim will be reporting on this one, so check throughout the weekend for articles and stories from Japan.
And finally, in North America, Vancouver will play the host to the weekend's Limited Grand Prix for players from the United States, Canada, and more. All players who compete in the main event will receive an event-exclusive playmat featuring the art of Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet.
Vancouver will also be the start of Magic live video coverage for 2016, hosted by Rich Hagon. Round-by-round live coverage will feature Marshall Sutcliffe and Randy Buehler, while Brian David-Marshall will be bringing you features between live matches. Working behind the scenes on video is Rashad Miller, Steven Leeming, and Neil Rigby. Marc Calderaro will be show-running, keeping the coverage moving and the feature matches coming. And finally, Melissa DeTora will be making her coverage debut as a reporter for this Grand Prix, bringing you the latest stories from the floor.
January's a busy month with plenty to keep you entertained. Take the oath, schedule your travel, and make your way to a Prerelease and a Grand Prix near you this month to take part in the Oath of the Gatewatch excitement!