Pro Tour Battle for Zendikar Approaches

Posted in Competitive Gaming on October 2, 2015

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.

Today is Battle for Zendikar Release day! With the release of the first set in the new block, the following sets have rotated out of Standard:

  • Theros
  • ­Born of the Gods
  • Journey into Nyx
  • Magic 2015

Meaning that today is Day #1 of the Standard Constructed featuring only the following sets:

  • Khans of Tarkir
  • Fate Reforged
  • Dragons of Tarkir
  • Magic Origins
  • Battle for Zendikar

The landscape has shifted, and the coming weeks will be all about discovering the new Standard and Booster Draft formats as we approach the big event of October: Pro Tour Battle for Zendikar!

But first . . .

Extra Life

For those unfamiliar, Extra Life is a non-profit organization that supports healthy and safe gaming for children. Specifically, it is an organization that encourages gamers to game and give, as people play games for 24 hours and collect pledges and support, with all money raised going to children's hospitals.

I'll be participating in the broadcast as well, playing against Kenji "NumotTheNummy" Egashira and Robert Schuster of Magic R&D from 8 a.m. until noon Pacific tomorrow. To see a full schedule of folks who will be participating in our 24-hour stream, and to learn how you can participate as a part of Team Magic, head on over to the Magic team page on the Extra Life website or check out the article by Sean Gibbons on DailyMTG today.

Battle for Zendikar's Grand Prix Debut

The first big stage for the new set is next weekend, with two Grand Prix—one taking place in Australia and the other just a stone's throw from the city where the Pro Tour will be taking place a week later.

The action starts with Grand Prix Sydney, where players will face off in the very first Battle for Zendikar Limited Grand Prix, October 9-11. Sealed Deck and Draft present some interesting challenges for this set, and the players at this event will get the first opportunity to test its waters.

Longtime reporter and residential transplant Ray "Blisterguy" Walkinshaw will be providing coverage of this Grand Prix, bringing you the latest stories and trends from down under as the Battle for Zendikar Sealed Deck and Booster Draft formats unfold. So if you're not going, then check back next weekend to learn the latest!

Also taking place next weekend is Grand Prix Madison, where many of North America's pro players and many globetrotters stopping in before the Pro Tour will converge for some pre-Pro Tour Battle for Zendikar Limited practice. Madison is expected to sell out, so pre-registration is advised!

If you're not going, you can still check out the live coverage to see what some of the Pro Tour competitors will be gravitating towards for Limited strategies. Live video coverage will take place on the Magic Twitch Channel starting on October 10 at 2 p.m. local time (CT)/12 p.m. PT/3 p.m. ET/7 p.m. UTC featuring Marshall Sutcliffe, Randy Buehler, Rich Hagon, Rashad Miller, Rich Castle, and Rusty Kubis. Showrunner Adam Styborski and reporter Corbin Hosler will also be present and providing the latest decks, metagame analysis, and more.

Pro Tour Weekend

And of course, in two weeks you'll be able to see what the world's best bring to the table each round in both Battle for Zendikar Booster Draft and the brand new Standard, when Pro Tour Battle for Zendikar sets the stage for both formats.

This Pro Tour is more than just a Standard reboot. It's also the start of the 2015-16 Premier Play season, as players seek a solid foundation for their path toward Platinum status in the Pro Tour Players club.

Pro Tour Battle for Zendikar is open to any and all spectators as well. The tournament floor is set up to allow spectators to view nearly any match in progress, and a viewing area for the coverage will also be set up to allow folks a place to get off their feet and watch Magic the way hundreds of thousands watch it from home.

Spectators as well as Pro Tour competitors will also have the chance to purchase some Pro Tour-exclusive merchandise at the Magic Merchandise booth, including this eerie but awesome event-exclusive playmat:

Who will emerge from the season's first Pro Tour triumphant? Tune in to find out! Pro Tour Battle for Zendikar will begin October 16 at 9 a.m. local time (CT)/7 a.m. PT/10 a.m. ET/2 p.m. UTC on the Magic Twitch Channel. Coverage will resume on the second and third days at those same times.

Viewing Guide

Magic Twitch Channel
Saturday, October 3
8 a.m. PT/11 a.m. ET/3 p.m. UTC—Extra Life 24-Hour Stream

SCGLive Twitch Channel
Sunday, October 4
6 a.m. PT/9 a.m. ET/1 p.m. UTC—SCG Open Indianapolis

Release weekend is here!

As discussed earlier, the Magic Twitch Channel will be undergoing a 24-hour stream, featuring a rotating ensemble of Magic-centric folks from Wizards of the Coast along with Kenji "NumotTheNummy" Egashira and host Matt Tabak as we conduct a 24-hour stream in the name of a very, very good cause. Tune in all day tomorrow to take part in the fun!

Want a first look into Battle for Zendikar Standard? Then check out the Open Series in Indianapolis this weekend, where you will get to see what strategies this weekend's players gravitate towards as they vie for their share of the $20,000 prize pool.

Join Patrick Sullivan and Cedric Phillips for two days of live Standard goodness on the SCGLive Twitch Channel! It all begins Saturday at 7:30 a.m. PT/10:30 a.m. ET/2:30 p.m. UTC. Coverage of Day Two starts on Sunday at 6 a.m. PT/9 a.m. ET/1 p.m. UTC.

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