Pro Tour Ixalan FAQ

Posted in Competitive Gaming on November 2, 2017

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.

New Draft, new Standard, and three days of action.

That's typically what I say in the days leading up to a Pro Tour. Thing is, "new Draft" and "new Standard" were a little more accurate about four weeks ago in the lead-up to the World Championship. So with that said . . .

While players have gotten a glimpse of the Draft and Standard formats in the last few weeks, the Pro Tour has the potential to highlight new angles for attack. After all, some of the world's very best will be competing for their share of $250,000, so tune in for three days of Pro Tour Ixalan to see what might emerge!


Here's the basics that you need to know about Pro Tour Ixalan:

  • The Pro Tour is a three-day, invitation-only event featuring some of the greatest Magic pros as well as top-finishing Grand Prix competitors, Hall of Famers, and players who found success in August's Regional Pro Tour Qualifiers. Those players will be competing for a share of the $250,000 prize pool, with $50,000 going to the winner along with an invitation to the 2018 Magic: The Gathering World Championship.
  • Pro Tour Ixalan is the first Pro Tour of the 2017–18 professional season, and the debut of the 2017–18 Pro Tour Team Series rosters, featuring 37 teams—many new, some returning—as they strive for Pro Tour greatness.
  • The formats for Friday and Saturday are three rounds of Booster Draft—using three Ixalan packs—and five rounds of Standard Constructed. All matches on Friday and Saturday are best-two-out-of-three games.
  • The following sets are legal in Standard Constructed for this tournament: Kaladesh, Aether Revolt, Amonkhet, Hour of Devastation, and Ixalan.
  • The following cards are currently banned in Standard Constructed, and cannot be used by players: Smuggler's Copter, Felidar Guardian, and Aetherworks Marvel.
  • All players with 12 or more match points (a 4-4 record or better) at the end of Day One will advance to Day Two of the competition.
  • The Top 8 players at the end of Day Two will advance to Sunday's playoff, featuring a traditional single-elimination bracket.
  • All matches played on Sunday are best-three-out-of-five, with the first two games featuring pre-sideboard action.
  • The winner gets $50,000, Platinum status in the Pro Tour Players Club through December 9, 2018, and an invitation to compete in the 2018 Magic: The Gathering World Championship.
  • The $250,000 prize pool pays down to 64th place, awarding a minimum of $1,000. In addition, all players with 33 or more match points at the end of the Pro Tour's Swiss rounds will receive an invitation to compete in the next Pro Tour.

That's the quick hits about the first Pro Tour of 2017–18, but if you want a deeper dive, Rich Hagon—as always—has you covered.


You can watch every round of Pro Tour Ixalan on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday beginning at 9 a.m. local time.

Local time, in this instance, is Mountain Time. That means 8 a.m. PT, 11 a.m. ET, and 2 p.m./14:00 UTC each day.

However, if you're living outside of North America, things get a bit more complicated. Daylight saving time for North America rolls back the clocks this Sunday in the early morning. That means running back 1 a.m. local time for an extra hour, and another 60 minutes of sleep before Sunday's Top 8 begins. Which is great . . . except that it alters the start time for a lot of regions for that one day.

So for Europe, South America, and Japan, follow the chart:

Time Zone Day 1 Day 2 Day 3
Brazil (GMT-2) November 3 at 1 p.m. November 4 at 1 p.m. November 5 at 2 p.m.
Central European Time (CET) November 3 at 4 p.m. November 4 at 4 p.m. November 5 at 5 p.m.
Japan November 4 at 12 a.m. November 5 at 12 a.m. November 6 at 1 a.m.

If you can't watch the broadcast live, no worries! We'll be replaying the broadcast once each day concludes, so just in case you can't watch it all in your time zone, you'll have a chance when the hours are a little more convenient.

In addition to that, VODs (videos on demand) of each round and segment will be available on our Twitch page, so if you can't catch it all live, catch it all on demand later during the weekend!


Here's who you will see on Twitch this weekend bringing you live coverage.

Play-by-Play Commentators: Marshall Sutcliffe, Riley Knight, and Tim Willoughby
Color Commentators: Simon Görtzen and Paul Cheon
News Desk: Rich Hagon, Brian David-Marshall, and Maria Bartholdi
Feature Match Spotters: Rashad Miller and Neil Rigby
Writer-Reporters: Marc Calderaro and Corbin Hosler
Content Managers/Editors: Mike Rosenberg and Chris Gleeson
Social Media: Nate Price and Chris Peeler
Executive Producer: Greg Collins

We're excited to have many of our Pro Tour regulars returning to the news desk and feature match booth alongside new Pro Tour regulars Riley Knight and Paul Cheon, along with European commentary mainstay and Pro Tour winner Simon Görtzen.


Round-by-round content, decklists, articles, pairings, results, standings, and more can be found on the Pro Tour Ixalan coverage page, so be sure to bookmark that and check back regularly for all sorts of goodness. The Pro Tour will also be broadcast in Japanese on Nico Nico, with Tomohiro Kaji and many other Japanese coverage mainstays bringing the tournament's latest to folks following along in Japan.


Standard Constructed Top 8 decklists will be posted shortly after the Swiss rounds conclude on Saturday, and as for the rest of the top decklists—all 6-4 or better decks—those will get posted Sunday morning.


If you can't watch the live broadcast and are looking for some TL;DWs or TL;DRs on the go, follow @magicprotour on Twitter for the very latest. Join in on the conversation using the hashtag #PTXLN.

With 37 teams, hundreds of players, and hundreds of thousands of dollars up for grabs, you won't want to miss a second of the Pro Tour on this weekend!

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