Sunday, Sunday, Sunday!

Posted in Competitive Gaming on January 14, 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.

The Fate Reforged preview season has come and gone, and with the release coming up on January 23, there's another big date to keep in mind that follows release day.

That date? January 24-25, the weekend of the 2015 Super Sunday Series Championship.

The 2015 Super Sunday Series Championship, a small invitational tournament that brings the 45 winners from the Super Sunday Series events held in Grand Prix last year, takes place January 24-25. The tournament features players from all over the world—including some of the game's top pros—as they compete across three formats at Wizards of the Coast headquarters for their share of a $20,000 prize purse.

The 45 competitors will start off the tournament with two great tastes that go great together: Sealed Deck and Booster Draft. The first three rounds are all about a combo-format known as Sealed Draft.

In Sealed Draft, players will open up two packs of Khans of Tarkir and one pack of Fate Reforged. Those cards will be registered and verified, and players will have a few minutes to review those cards after the fact. Once the review process is done, those cards are set aside for the time being.

Then players will participate in a booster draft where they open two packs of Fate Reforged and one pack of Khans of Tarkir (in that order). It's the same as a regular booster draft (although the order and number of each pack differs from the typical Booster Draft format), and once the draft is completed, players will be able to build the best 40-card deck they can muster using their cards from the draft as well as the cards from the three packs they opened prior to the draft.

After players build their decks, they will compete in three rounds of Swiss play. After those three rounds, the players will wrap up the first day of competition with three rounds of Standard Constructed.

With Fate Reforged releasing so closely to this event, all Super Sunday Series Championship competitors will have the option to borrow any Fate Reforged cards that their Standard decks will require for the event.

Cached Defenses | Art by Zack Stella

On Sunday, the players will compete in three more rounds of Swiss. The format? Booster Draft (Fate Reforged/Khans of Tarkir/Khans of Tarkir). Once those rounds are over, a cut to Top 8 takes place, and players will use their Standard decks from Saturday's Swiss rounds to compete for the 1st-place prize.

The Super Sunday Series Championship boasts a $6,000 1st-place prize, with cash payouts to the Top 16 that totals $20,000. Not bad for a tournament that the players receive airfare and accommodations to attend!

Some of this year's competitors include Belgium's Marijn Lybaert, Swedish national champion Joel Larsson, three-time GP champion Seth Manfield, South Korea's Park Jun Young, and many more!

You can follow along all weekend as well since we'll be bringing you live video and text coverage from Wizards of the Coast HQ. Join Marshall Sutcliffe, Hall of Famer Randy Buehler, Rashad Miller, Garth Avery, and Nate Price as they bring you live video both days. Coverage begins on the Magic Twitch channel at 9 a.m. local time (PT)/12 p.m. ET/5 p.m. GMT on Saturday, January 24. Coverage resumes at 10 a.m. local time (PT)/1 p.m. ET/6 p.m. GMT on Sunday, January 25.


The Flashback

Two Grand Prix featured two different formats last weekend. While Shizuoka was the last Limited GP to feature Khans of Tarkir before the addition of Fate Reforged, Omaha was North America's first Grand Prix to feature Modern since the start of the Khans of Tarkir block.

Starting off with Shizuoka, 2,205 players—including a number of globetrotting pros from other parts of Asia, Europe, and North America—came into Saturday hungry for mana-fixing lands, and entered Sunday with their top draft strategies ready to go. The Top 8 featured China's Sun Bo as well as Japanese rising star Yuuki Ichikawa in his second Top 8. Ultimately it was student Akito Shinoda who took home the trophy after a hard fought weekend.

Full coverage of Grand Prix Shizuoka can be found here, but let's dive into some highlight features:

Globetrotters in Shizuoka—Coverage reporter and Hall of Famer Frank Karsten catches up with the numerous globetrotting Magic players who made the trek out to Shizuoka last weekend.

Return of the Manila Six—Veteran reporter Josh Bennett checks in with the "Manila Six," players who finished in the Top 8 of Grand Prix Manila the previous weekend, to see how they were faring in Japan.

Last weekend, many of North America's top players traveled to Omaha, Nebraska, to compete in the wildly diverse Modern format. The field of 1,139 was whittled down to eight players and seven distinct archetypes among the playoff competitors. After three more playoff rounds, it was local competitor Erik Peters who took top honors with his Abzan Pod deck (all value, no combos).

Full coverage can be found here, but let's take a look at a few highlights:

Siege Rhino: Multi-Format All-Star—Coverage reporter Marc Calderaro dives into one of the marquee pillars of Modern, and no, it's not Treasure Cruise. It turns out that Siege Rhino, Standard powerhouse, is also pretty awesome in Modern, and he talks about its inclusion with various pros, setting the stage for the card's big show all weekend.

Day Two Metagame Breakdown—The Modern format is in a unique state, and the Day Two metagame breakdown, conducted by reporter Adam Styborski, gives us a look into the depth of the large-scale format and its principle archetypes (as well as the percentage of Day Two competitors who did not play one of the key archetypes).

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