Last May we announced that we would be taking multiple steps to revitalize Standard play at local game stores. The first steps involved getting the format into a spot where more players would enjoy it. We banned several cards to help shift the metagame to a more fun space, and we changed the format to rotate every three years to make cards more useful for longer. At the time, we also indicated this was only the first step, and that there was more work to be done.
Today's announcement is all about that next step: giving players, and stores, enticing events that they want to play in and run, and to give them something at the end of the rainbow for building up their Standard decks.
To that end, we've created a slate of Standard play at every level—from Store-level play to a $75,000 Standard Open all the way up to the Pro Tour—to demonstrate your mastery of Standard. I spoke about the opportunities on stream today, which you can watch here:
To capture what I discussed, here are the Standard play opportunities we'll be rolling out soon with more details on each in the coming months:
Local Store Play
In February, alongside the launch of Murders at Karlov Manor, we'll be bringing back Standard Showdown! For players not familiar with the program, it includes:
- A weekly Standard play program held at local WPN game stores.
- Special promos and other prizes for players who participate and win.
- A special oversized card for retailers who successfully complete a number of designated events.
Starting with The Lost Caverns of Ixalan, we'll be shifting Store Championships to Standard Constructed, giving players an additional chance to compete at local game stores for exciting promos and prizes.
At MagicCon: Chicago in February 2024, we'll hold a $75,000 Standard Open similar to the Limited Opens held at MagicCon: Barcelona and MagicCon: Las Vegas.
- The $75,000 Standard Open in Chicago will be the first large, open field standard tournament in quite some time, with significant prize money and Pro Tour invitations on the line. This gives the format a chance to shine and offers anyone who wants to compete in Standard a chance to play.
Running January through March, the third round of the 2023–24 season Regional Championship Qualifiers will be Standard.
The global Regional Championship round immediately following Pro Tour Outlaws at Thunder Junction will feature the Standard format.
- After several big events and ongoing in-store programs, a large swath of players all over the world will get their chance to put their Standard chops to the test in the global regional championship round.
Pro Tour Play
Pro Tour Outlaws at Thunder Junction, the second Pro Tour of 2024, will feature Standard as the Constructed format of the event. It will, of course, be fully covered.
With this slate of play opportunities, combined with a more enjoyable Standard environment, now is the time to start honing your Standard skills.
Healthy Standard play is vital to thriving local game stores, and we believe this slate of play—plus more improvements to come—is the next step in helping stores provide engaging Standard content no matter what level you game at.