Welcome to this week’s Hipsters Weekly MTG Newsletter. Every Monday, we tell you know what you need to know about the week’s most important Magic news. Subscribe here!

This weekend in Oakland, California, Eli Kassis defeated (almost) all comers to win the first Grand Prix of 2019.

In a Modern format dominated by linear, non-interactive decks, Kassis brought UR Phoenix to a Top 8 of four copies of Krark-Clan Ironworks, plus one copy each of Hardened Scales Affinity, UW Control, and Titanshift. Yes, that’s 50% KCI Combo—though it’s a foolish business to try and predict bans, it’s worth noting that the next Banned and Restricted announcement will be in two weeks on Monday, January 21.

Kassis defeated two of the four KCI players to reach the finals, where he was due to face Hunter Cochran, who was also on KCI. But before coverage of the finals could even start, Cochran told Kassis that he was conceding the finals because he had to catch his flight in order to make sure he could attend and important meeting Monday morning.

No one saw a concession in the finals of a GP coming—and the looks on the commentators’ faces say it all. Wizards of the Coast definitely didn’t know how to handle the situation, either, leaving out any mention the concession in their coverage. Instead, the official recap says that Kassis defeated “three successive KCI opponents” to win the GP.

Debate raged on social media all Sunday night about the ethics of prize splitting, concessions, and intentional draws, but I think Paul Rietzl put it best: the core of the problem is that the small prize pool doesn’t provide enough incentives for players like Cochran to commit 100% to professional Magic, forcing a responsible adult with a job into a tough decision. Blame the poor support for competitive Magic at the non-Magic Pro League level—not the player who flew to a tournament to pursue his hobby.

MTGCast Suffers a Massive Server Failure

MTGCast, a service that allowed content creators to upload their podcasts for free for over 10 years, suffered a massive server failure on December 28, 2018. While all of the user records and posts were lost, it does seem like most, if not all, of the hosted podcast files were recoverable.

Stay tuned for more information about how the service plans to rebuild.

Ravnica Allegiance Previews Continue This Week

After some early previews during the holidays, Ravnica Allegiance previews officially started last week and will continue throughout this week. We should get an image gallery of the full set on Friday, then Ravnica Allegiance will be available on MTG Arena next Thursday, January 17, which will be followed by paper prereleases that weekend.


Thanks for reading!


Your friendly neighborhood robot,

David McCoy (@dmccoy)

Thanks for reading this edition of the Hipsters MTG Newsletter! Don’t forget to subscribe here!

Don't Miss Out!

Sign up for the Hipsters Newsletter for weekly updates.