It was appropriate that Pro Tour Hour of Devastation, one of the most exciting Pro Tours in recent history capped off one of the most exciting Pro Tour seasons in recent memory. In case you missed all of the amazing action from Kyoto this past weekend, I highly recommend you checkout our recaps of Day One, Day Two, and the Top Eight.

Kaladesh. Aether Revolt. Amonkhet. Hour of Devastation. It’s been quite the year for competitive Magic. Vehicles. Energy Counters. Gods. Nicol Bolas. Multiple cards were banned in Standard bringing the format from perhaps its worst moments a year ago to its best moments this past weekend. Shota Yasooka. Lucas Esper Berthoud. Gerry Thompson. Paulo Vitor Damo da Rosa.

The 2016-17 brought us the first season of the Pro Tour Team Series. It brought us the most amazing Grand Prix Las Vegas including a gallery of original Magic art. It brought us Metamorphosis 2.0. It brought us the new Twitch partnership with Wizards of the Coast. If we recounted everything that was the past year in competitive Magic we would be here for a while, so we won’t, but we will touch on a few key moments before closing the record books.

A Year in Standard

After the travesty that was Pro Tour Oath of the Gatewatch, Wizards announced that all four Pro Tours this competitive season would feature Standard Constructed. The timing could not have been worse as the Standard format went through the most brutal series of events since the days of Affinity. First the Eldrazi were banned. Then Aetherworks Marvel was banned. Then there was the emergency Cat Combo ban.

It was a bad year for Standard, but then it was a great year for Standard. Seemingly in the blink of an eye Amonkhet arrived and then Hour of Devastation arrived and with it came new metagames with innovations and no more reliance on quick-kill combos or Eldrazi titans. Even though the “all-Standard” Pro Tour series experiment is over, Standard is better, perhaps because of the shining spotlight.

We also now have the new Play Design team and the horrid Standard environment is almost certainly to thank for that.

Improvements in Coverage

Every year we, the media that is, complain about Magic tournament coverage and this year was no different. However, for the first time in many years it feels like Wizards has really grown up in this department. Perhaps it’s the partnership with Twitch? Perhaps it’s the added impact that CFB Events and SCG Events have had to push the bar? Maybe it’s just the fact that they’ve finally found a broadcast team with a lot of chemistry?

The team this weekend at Pro Tour Hour of Devastation absolutely killed it and if Maria Bartholdi and Riley Knight are going to continue to be the core of this broadcast crew then we only have brighter things to look forward to in the 2017-18 season.

Exciting Changes Coming to the Pro Tour

The 2016-17 season has been fantastic, but I have to admit it almost feels like an extended prologue to what comes next. 2017-18 will bring us a full year of the Bronze-Silver-Gold-Platinum club. It will bring us a team pro tour to build off of a full season of the team series competition. The 2018-19 season will bring us a fully re-vamped Pro Tour system featuring rolling cycles instead of yearly cut-offs.

Exciting Changes Coming to Magic

And that doesn’t even cover the cool stuff going on with the end of block set design, the return of core sets, and the 25th anniversary celebrations. Closing the door on the 2016-17 season is very much the start of something full of promise and we’re looking forward to it immensely.

Stay tuned for the rest of this week as we kick off the 2017-18 Pro Tour series with a breakdown of this year’s Pro Player Clubs, an overview of the Ixalan Cycle (which begins today!), and some predictions for the next 12 months of competitive Magic!

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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