Weekly Blog - July 11, 2023

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Freeform with Commander Debuts Tomorrow!​

We’re particularly excited to roll out this new feature following tomorrow’s downtime – Freeform with Commander!

Imagine an Open Play room with the ability to use Commanders (with color identity rules in place).
  • Perhaps you’re seeking a Duel Commander match with someone who agrees to use that ruleset* – go for it!
  • Want to try out Oathbreaker with its Signature Spell variant*? Go for it!
  • Maybe you just finished a Commander Legends draft league match (see below) but want to play another game – go for it!
  • Wanna make up and test the newest variant using the Command Zone? Go for it!
How is all this possible? Freeform with Commander doesn’t have a Banned List – it's essentially Bring Your Own Ban List.

Check out Ryan Spain’s article describing the how, what, and why of this wild new play mode, then give it a shot! And what better way to try out cards in a new format than ...

*NOTE: Recent rule changes in Duel Commander (removal of Commander damage win condition, etc) and playing Oathbreaker with partners (I.e. more than 2 objects in the Command Zone) are not supported.

All-Access - Now Until July 24th!​

Back by popular demand, All-Access is back in the Magic Online Store. The sooner you purchase it, the longer its benefit works for you! This edition will run until Monday, July 24th at 10 a.m. PT.

Like the June version, the Mythic Event Token will cost $25.00 USD. July’s version is running a few days longer than usual to support those playtesting for Pro Tour Barcelona, the Modern-format tabletop Premier event that starts July 28.

To use the Mythic Event Token, simply purchase it in the Store, build any legal deck in your chosen format, and enter a game or event. No cards will be added to your collection, but you'll be able to play even if you don't have all the cards in your collection.

There are no Super Qualifiers during this run, so the most any account needs is one Mythic Event Token to get All-Access.

We'll remove all Mythic Event Tokens from accounts and turn off All-Access on July 24. If you’re still competing in a Constructed League when access ends, you’ll be allowed to complete that course.

Build anything cool and new to you in Commander using All-Access? We want to hear all about it on our Discord’s Commander channel!

Note: Just like previous All-Access periods, certain cards (Secret Lair versions, TRANSFORMERS, Battlebond, and old-frame Power Nine) are unavailable. All-Access doesn’t apply to Limited events.

Commander Legends Draft Returns Tomorrow With New Wrinkles!​

It’s time to return to a draft format that got a bad rap on MTGO the first time out – Commander Legends Draft! The set returns for one week only, from the end of tomorrow’s downtime until July 19 at 10 a.m. PT (17:00 UTC).

In the spirit of experimentation, we’re going to try things a different way this time …

First of all, Commander Legends booster packs – which each contain 20 cards – will return to the MTGO Store following downtime at a reduced price of $4.99 USD.

Rather than having 8 players draft together and split into games, we’re trying a 4-player draft pod. To the MTGO team, that experience represents how this format is played now at the kitchen table.

If you need a refresher on the nuances of Commander Legends Draft – draft 2 cards at a time, 60-card minimum including commander(s), duplicates permitted, what The Prismatic Piper is – check out this short Good Morning Magic video from the set’s release.

There will be two Leagues available over the course of this week – Keeper and Phantom. Like the previous iteration, prizes are determined by player votes. Each player gets to vote for their favorite opponent – which is cast when that player is eliminated or at the end of the game – and the game’s winner receives two bonus votes.

Each League course is just one round of play. However, if you play a Keeper match (or have All-Access activated) and had a particularly good experience, you can opt to create a match in the new Freeform with Commander room to play additional games for fun.

Here are the details for the Leagues – we hope you have a great time!

Commander Legends Keeper Draft League

Entry Options: 15 Event Tickets, 3 Commander Legends (CMR) boosters and 2 Event Tickets, or 150 Play Points
Prizes (based on player votes with one bonus vote to the game winner):
  • 5 votes: 4 CMR boosters + 100 Play Points
  • 4 votes: 3 CMR boosters + 100 Play Points
  • 3 votes: 2 CMR boosters + 80 Play Points
  • 2 votes: 1 CMR booster + 80 Play Points
  • 1 vote: 50 Play Points
Commander Legends Phantom Draft League

Entry Options: 4 Event Tickets or 40 Play Points
Draft Product: 3 Commander Legends boosters – cards opened in Phantom events aren’t added to players’ Collections
Prizes (based on player votes with one bonus vote to the game winner):
  • 5 votes: 1 CMR booster + 90 Play Points
  • 4 votes: 1 CMR booster + 70 Play Points
  • 3 votes: 1 CMR booster + 50 Play Points
  • 2 votes: 40 Play Points
  • 1 vote: 20 Play Points

Store Outage Plus Downtime Tomorrow​

Magic Online will be down for scheduled maintenance tomorrow from 9 a.m. to 12 noon Pacific time (16:00-19:00 UTC).

Additionally, the MTGO Store will not be available for purchases starting 3 hours prior to downtime at 6 a.m. PT (13:00 UTC). The rest of the game will function normally – trade, play, opening packs, etc until downtime, then everything will work normally once downtime concludes.


MOCS Season 2 Postseason Continues This Weekend!​

It’s time once again to qualify players for the next Magic Online Champions Showcase on August 26th! This weekend, Top 8 finishers from Showcase Challenges and 5-win players from Last Chance events in Pauper and Legacy will battle until one remains as this season’s Showcase Champion for that format.

In addition to reaching the Champions Showcase (with its $70,000 prize pool and two Worlds invitations), the winner of each Showcase Qualifier is invited to the first Pro Tour of 2024 plus the Regional Championship round feeding that event this fall. Leaderboard Points are also on the line as players seek one of two At-Large invites at the end of the postseason.

Saturday, July 8 8:00 a.m. 15:00 Modern Showcase Qualifier
Sunday, July 9 6:00 a.m. 13:00 Pioneer Showcase Qualifier
Saturday, July 15 8:00 a.m. 15:00 Pauper Showcase Qualifier
Sunday, July 16 8:00 a.m. 15:00 Legacy Showcase Qualifier
Saturday, July 22 7:00 a.m. 14:00 MOCS Showcase Open
Sunday, July 23 7:00 a.m. 14:00 MOCS Showcase Open
If you did not reach the Showcase Qualifier stage, your chance to reach the Showcase will be the weekend of July 22-23 in the Showcase Opens – events featuring The Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth™ Limited where the winner earns a Showcase invitation.

For more information on MTGO Premier Play, click the link at the top of the Blog.

Showcase Prestige Avatars for 2023​

We had a fan request to see what avatars are being given to Showcase Qualifier participants.
Look here to see the images: https://www.mtgo.com/news/mtgo-blog-7112023


Supreme Draft: Gold Edition Ends at Downtime​

We’ve got a treat for multicolor aficionados wrapping up tomorrow – it's Supreme Draft: Gold Edition! This Phantom experience starts with a single-player draft. Select two cards, then that pack goes away. Repeat that until you have 36 cards in your pool, build a draft deck, then play up to three matches.

Do you aim for mana fixing or take the best available cards? The choice is yours! Entry options are 10 Event Tickets or 100 Play Points, and prizes are the same as normal Phantom Leagues. Be sure to get your matches in before tomorrow’s downtime.

Each entry will see one booster from each of the following sets (cards won’t be added to Collections):
  • Invasion, Planeshift, Apocalypse
  • Ravnica: City of Guilds, Guildpact, Dissension
  • Return to Ravnica, Gatecrash, Dragon's Maze
  • Guilds of Ravnica, Ravnica Allegiance
  • Shards of Alara, Conflux, Alara Reborn
  • Shadowmoor, Eventide
  • Khans of Tarkir
  • Streets of New Capenna

Upcoming Schedule​

Here is the lineup of other play formats that will be available between The Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth™ and the release of Commander Masters on August 3rd:
  • July 12-19Commander Legends makes its return to digital draft tables in a very different form! Each League course will consist of a 4-player draft pod, followed by a single game of play. Prizes are still awarded by votes with the game’s winner receiving an extra vote. (Keeper and Phantom)
  • July 19-26 – We return to the plane of innovation and energy – for the first time (somehow), it's Aether Revolt-Kaladesh Flashback Draft! (Phantom)
  • July 26-August 3Magic 30 Cube returns for its penultimate run. The Cube’s designer, Carmen Handy, has some extra special surprises in store for this edition.


The Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth™ on MTGO​

Check out this article for the scoop on everything on offer:
  • Art Bundles and other items
  • Event updates, including special prize structures
  • Jumpstart’s return as a New Player experience
  • Treasure Chest update
  • Alternate Play, including Supreme Draft and Commander Legends in a whole new format

Redemption Corner​

Redemption Tokens for March of the Machine, Phyrexia: All Will Be One and The Brothers' War remain available – except for Phyrexia: All Will Be One Premium (foil), which are now completely sold out. We’ve updated our Redemption page with that information.

IMPORTANT: As of May 23, all new orders of Redemption Tokens are non-refundable!

For more details on the redemption program, click here.

Two-Factor Authentication Is Now Live – Protect Your Account Today!​

A long-requested security feature is now part Magic Online – check out Ryan Spain’s article to learn the why, what, and how to put Two-Factor Authentication into effect to help protect your account!

Magic Online Format Challenges Every Weekend​

Format Challenges are the first step toward qualifying for Premier Play through your favorite Magic formats and provide excellent prizes for those looking to test their mettle in their favorite formats. Learn more about Premier Play qualification to get started today.

Magic Online's Format Challenges run as shown on the schedule below.

On weekends featuring Showcase Challenge events, the Format Challenge that starts at either 6 a.m., 8 a.m., or 10 a.m. Pacific time is pre-empted by the Showcase Challenge; Format Challenges scheduled at other times remain in place.

  • In MOCS Season 3, Vintage and Pauper Challenges are never pre-empted.
  • 32-Player events require 32 players to fire and give prizes to the Top 32.
    • Pauper and Vintage Challenges are always 32-Player tournaments.
  • All other events listed require 64 players to fire and give prizes to the Top 64.
  • 32-Player Limited Challenge events are 6 rounds with no playoff
  • 64-Player Limited Challenge events are 7 rounds with no playoff
12:00 a.m. Vintage Challenge
1:00 a.m. 32-Player Limited Challenge32-Player Limited Challenge
2:00 am. Pauper Challenge
4:00 a.m. 32-Player Legacy ChallengeModern Challenge
6:00 a.m. 32-Player Standard ChallengePioneer Challenge
8:00 a.m. Modern ChallengeLegacy Challenge
10:00 a.m. Vintage ChallengePauper Challenge
12:00 p.m. 32-Player Limited Challenge32-Player Limited Challenge
2:00 p.m. Pioneer Challenge32-Player Standard Challenge
4:00 p.m.32-Player Limited Challenge
6:00 p.m.Modern ChallengeModern Challenge
Check out the Magic Online Format Challenges page for further event details.

PATCH NOTES – July 12, 2023​

  • Freeform with Commander is now available as a MTGO game mode.
    • Support for the Commander 1v1 format has been removed. Players who still have Commander 1v1 decks can convert them to Freeform with Commander format.
  • If a player has multiple Bewitching Leechcrafts on an opponent’s creatures, the game will correctly leave them all tapped unless a +1/+1 counter is removed.
  • Clues created by Wernog, Rider’s Chaplain will correctly draw cards.
  • Gonti’s Machinations will function correctly in all cases.
  • Graveyard order will be selectable for cards leaving a library (Grisly Salvage, Old Stickfingers, Hermit Druid, etc) in formats that care about graveyard order.
  • The minimum costs of X spells imposed by Trinisphere will correctly be payable using delve, convoke, and other non-mana payment methods.

NEXT SCHEDULED DOWNTIME – August 2, 9 a.m. to Noon PT​

After tomorrow, the next scheduled maintenance is set for Wednesday, August 2, from 9 a.m. to noon PT (16:00-19:00 UTC). This is to support the release of Commander Masters.
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