Last weekend, during Pro Tour Khans of Tarkir, Director of Global Organized Play Helene Bergeot announced some changes to Friday Night Magic. The announcement covered significant changes to the program’s play structure and promo card distribution policies.
The first change is what formats stores can run for Friday Night Magic. Previously, formats eligible for play at Friday Night Magic events were limited to Standard, Modern, Booster Draft, Sealed, Block Constructed, or Two-Headed Giant. Now, stores may run their Friday Night Magic events as any format they wish.
The second change is to the distribution of promo cards. Promo cards originally were to be distributed to the first and second place winners of each Friday Night Magic event, with the remaining two given out to other participants. Promo cards were also given to stores based on the number of Friday Night Magic events scheduled each week.
Now, stores may run any number of events each week, and receive promo cards based only on their store level. Stores will now have the opportunity to set their own methods of distributing promo cards to players at their events.
What does this mean for players? For many, it could be that nothing changes. Stores may choose to keep running their events as they have in the past. However, if a store wishes to run, for example, a Commander format Friday Night Magic that randomly distributes promo cards to its participants, they can. These changes offer stores more flexibility to players the kind of Friday Night Magic that they are looking for, whether that is a weekly Standard tournament with promo card prizes to top players or something a little more laid back.
"The goal of these changes is to offer stores more flexibility in giving players what they want every Friday night, and to give players a destination for all things Magic on a Friday night," said Bergeot. "Whether you prefer to play Standard, Modern, Limited, or Commander, Friday Night Magic will become a night where you and your friends can play what you enjoy the most in a fun and welcoming environment every week."
The changes to Friday Night Magic will begin in January of 2015, but sanctioning for those events is opening up soon. Be sure to talk to your local host of Friday Night Magic to let them know what kinds of events you would enjoy playing in on a Friday night.