Modern and Organized Play Changes

At the recent Pro Tour Wotc announced a change to the Pro Tour schedule starting next year.

Two articles were posted that dealt with Magic Organized Play: The Premiere Play Changes for 2016/2017 posted by Helene Bergeot and the Where Modern Goes From Here article by Aaron Forsythe. The second one is what I plan to talk about a bit today, as it is the one where they explain why Modern is no longer a Pro Tour format and how this impacts players who love Modern.

The Good

Many people believe that the usual January bans were mostly because of the Pro Tour and the need to shake up the format in advance of the event. Hopefully this will alleviate those concerns some, and possibly result in fewer bans overall (though I feel that many of the recent bans were certainly justified, especially things like Deathrite Shaman and Summer’s Bloom). There’s also slightly less chance of the format becoming “solved” as fewer pros spend time on it yearly. We still will have a similar number of events each year, and the format will continue to be extremely diverse and popular.

The Bad

We’ve lost out on the largest spotlight in Magic being shined directly on Modern once a year. Really the only downside we have is that pro players will spend less time working on the format and determining what decks are really great for everybody else to copy. I think that most of the Modern exclusive players don’t care one way or the other if they can watch it for a Pro Tour once a year (while I watched some of last year, it didn’t really impact my life that it was on). My initial fears with the announcement have been alleviated after fully reading Helene’s announcement, as I originally expected that there would be no Modern PPTQ season with the change. Happily, this was a false assessment of how things would shake out, and WotC has committed to at least the “usual” Modern season in 2017 also occurring.


Chris Wendelboe

Chris is a level 2 judge from Ashland, New Hampshire. He enjoys Scapeshift, modern, and putting on the best events possible.