These past few weeks have been a pretty crazy roller coaster of spoiler goodies for the Magic community. Things kicked off a couple weeks ago with a full slate of Vintage Masters previews. We learned all the new gorgeous cards that will finally (hopefully) make Vintage and Legacy playable on MTGO. Last week followed up with a full slate of Conspiracy spoilers. The week even concluded with a completely unexpected sort of spoiler…

Vintage Masters Spoilers


Most of the talk two weeks ago was about Journey into Nyx. The set was freshly minted and the Pro Tour in Atlanta was on the horizon. So it’s easy to understand if the spoilers and discussion around Vintage Masters, which comes out on June 13th, fell through the cracks. Also making this exciting set a little less enticing is the fact that it is exclusive to Magic Online. You may recall that sometimes Magic Online, or MTGO, doesn’t work quite right. Add to that the fact that the communities for Vintage and Legacy are already quite small compared to the wider community and you have a recipe for a lack-luster set launch.

But don’t let any of that fool you, because this set looks brilliant. The draft environment is a greatest hits collection from Magic’s exuberant youth. Powerhouse cards that are often found in Cube formats will be abundant alongside some of the most revered limited decks from the game’s past. Want to draft a goblin tribal deck? Vintage Masters. Want to draft a traditional mono-blue control deck? Vintage MastersWant to draft a brutal reanimator deck? Vintage Masters. Mono-red burn? White weenie? Astral Slide? Storm combo? Sea stompy? Land destruction? Ramp? ChannelFireball? Psychatog madness? All found in Vintage Masters.

You really don’t want to miss out on this opportunity. Find all the details on release events here.

Conspiracy Spoilers


Alright, maybe playing online isn’t your thing. Well, Wizards has a unique draft experience all for you. Maybe you’re bored of normal draft environments where everyone just picks one card from each pack and passes it along. Snore. What a snooze-fest, am I right? How about picking multiple cards from a single pack? How about picking every single card from a pack? How about opening a brand new pack in the middle of the draft and picking that card instead? How about looking at what the drafter next to you just picked? If any of these sound interesting to you, Wizards has a new set that’s right up your alley.


Welcome to Conspiracy. This is a unique multi-player drafting experience that’s one-half amazingly powerful cards (like the Misdirection and Exploration above) and one-half amazingly crazy cards that impact the way the draft and the game work. Conspiracy packs have had their basic land replaced by a card that somehow impacts the draft in unprecedented ways. Some of them are like our Construct friends above. They affect the cards you draft. Other cards have a new type, Conspiracy, and affect the game being played.


Conspiracy is meant to played in a multi-player environment. Once your table of eight finishes drafting (which could take a while thanks to shenanigans) you split up into two four-player groups and duke it out. It works with almost any number of players up to eight, but isn’t recommended for more than eight. This is unprecedented design space that Wizards is treading. Many of the cards in Conspiracy are going to find a home in Cubes, Commander decks, and even some Legacy and Vintage decks (hello foil Swords to Plowshares).

If multi-player Magic isn’t your think then Conspiracy probably isn’t for you. I’m sure Wizards will release something for you between now and Khans of Tarkir.

Magic 2015 Spoilers?!


As if all those spoilers weren’t enough, Wizards dropped this in our laps late last week. It turned out the unexpected Magic 2015 spoilers were somewhat intentional, though a bit surprising. M15 is less than two months away now, so we shouldn’t be too surprised to start seeing information pour in. Duels of the Planeswalkers has been a steady source of core set spoilers for the past few summers, so again no surprised there. It’s really just the timing that makes everything very strange. Journey into Nyx is still fresh from the printers, Conspiracy will be out at the end of next week, and Vintage Masters is releasing on MTGO the following week. Why distract everyone with Magic 2015 now?

Pro Tour Update

Top 25 Update

32 points separate (1) Reid Duke from (25) William Jensen which is only 10 fewer points than Jensen has to begin with. Yikes.

32 points separate (1) Reid Duke from (24) William Jensen which is only 10 fewer points than Jensen has to begin with. Yikes.

At this point the song and dance of the Top 25 is getting fairly repetitive. Every time a Pro Tour event comes along things get completely shaken up. Then we spend the next few months watching people make small movements after Grand Prix tournaments. I’m not really sure what Wizards can do to fix this but I think it’s going to cause the Top 25 to get stale sooner rather than later.

Grand Prix Atlanta

Just under 1,300 players descended on Atlanta just a week after Pro Tour Journey into Nyx. The format was Theros block limited, a calming reprieve from the intense Courser of Kruphix on Courser of Kruphix action that defined the previous week’s Pro Tour event. A lot of pros hung around for a shot at a small bonus of pro points and cash including (1) Reid Duke, (2) Jeremy Dezani, (3) Stanislav Cifka, (4) Josh Utter-Leyton, (5) Owen Turtenwald, (7) Sam Black, (10) Ben Stark, (11) Shahar Shenhar, (13) Alexander Hayne, (14) Yuuya Watanabe, (15) Shi Tian Lee, (16) Eric Froehlich, (18) Christopher Fennell, (19) Shuhei Nakamura, (21) Jacob Wilson, (22) Raphael Levy, and (24) Huey Jensen. That is a star-studded Grand Prix for sure.

At the end of day one, five players had a perfect 9-0 record, including (24) Huey Jensen. Surprisingly, (1) Reid Duke and a handful of other pro players missed the cut for day two. 167 players did make it however, and after two drafts of Theros/Born of the Gods/Journey into Nyx, Jensen was still sitting at the top of the standings with a 40 point performance. Joining him at the top was Canadian gamer Jon Stern. Also making the final draft were (12) Shaun McLaren who would play Stern in the quarterfinals, and (18) Chris Fennell who played Charley Murdock, a 28-year old data analyst from Virginia, in the quarters. The final match of the quarters featured Tomoharu Saito and Vidianto Wijaya.

In the end, Jensen’s trip to the top was stopped by Jon Stern in the semifinals. Stern went on to play the Japanese legend Tomoharu Saito in the finals. Saito had a solid aggressive deck featuring Eidolon of Countless Battles. However, it was no match for Stern’s blue/green deck, as he won the match 2-0 taking down the championship at Grand Prix Atlanta. Congrats to Jon Stern, your GP Atlanta champion!

The Quick Hits

  • Wizards is proud to announce Khans of Tarkir, this fall’s large expansion lead by Mark Rosewater and Erik Lauer [Magic Arcana]
  • MtgUK is looking to award you with your own Modern budget deck if you can design it for less than 65 quid [MtgUK]
  • Mark Nestico discusses the finer points of losing with grace. No one has to be happy about losing, but you don’t have to be a jerk about it either [StarCityGames]
  • The Magic Online Cube is coming back on May 28th with Kamigawa block (May 28 – June 4) and Dark Ascension/Innistrad (June 4 – June 11) flashback drafts running simultaneously [Daily MTG]
  • Sophie Barrass encourages female Magic players to be confident in themselves and express themselves however they’re happiest, even if it means wearing a dress to a Magic tournament [MtgUK]
  • Mike Linnemann responds to Noah Bradley’s rants on the portrayal of women in fantasy artwork [Gathering Magic]
  • Jared Boettcher shares his story from PTQ Grinder to Platinum-Level Pro Player [ManaDeprived]

Wallpaper of the Week

Well that’s not something you see every day.

Paliano, the High City is the setting for the Magic comic book series published by IDW, and also the setting for the upcoming Conspiracy set. This piece of art comes to us from one of the draft-matters cards in that set. The artwork is very much based on renaissance-period Italian architecture. Except for the massive Roman-columned structure in the middle, this could be Florence or Rome or… oh I guess the massive columnar structure in the middle makes perfect… wait, there’s another city on top of that thing?! Okay, I’m sold.

Grade: A-

The Week Ahead

This weekend brings us a Grand Prix double-header. Kicking things off on the other side of the pond is Grand Prix Manchester. The format will be Theros block constructed which you may be familiar with from the recent Pro Tour held in Atlanta. Coverage begins at 1:15PM EST with Tim Willoughby, Raphael Levy, Simon Gortzen, Rich Hagon, and Steven Leeming. Manchester’s last major event was a GP in 2012 (ISD/DKA Sealed) and before that it was a GP in 2000! Several hours later, a Theros block team limited Grand Prix comes to us from Sao Paulo, Brazil. It’s World Cup year in Brazil so the excitement in the country is high for any sort of competition. This will be the fifth GP event ever held in the financial capital of Brazil. Unfortunately there will not be any video coverage for this tournament. Finally, don’t forget that the Modern Event Deck hits shelves this Friday! What We Learned is a weekly feature here at Hipsters of the Coast written by former amateur Magic Player Rich Stein, who came really close to making day two of a Grand Prix on several occasions. Each week we will take a look at the past seven days of major events, big news items, and community happenings so that you can keep up-to-date on all the latest and greatest Magic: the Gathering community news.

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