Announcement Date: September 1, 2003
Effective Date: October 1, 2003
Goblin Lackey is banned
Entomb is banned
Frantic Search is banned
(All cards on the Type 1 Banned and Restricted Lists are banned in Type 1.5.)
Here is an explanation of the changes from Magic R&D:
The Extended Constructed format has gotten too fast. One of the biggest culprits is the Goblin deck and Goblin Lackey is the most egregious offender. The introduction of the Onslaught block (and especially the Scourge set) has given Goblin decks some extremely high quality Goblins and the Lackey’s ability to put them into play for free is simply too good for a first turn play.
Entomb is also an extremely powerful first turn play that speeds up the format too much. Entomb serves as a “tutor” for Reanimator decks, putting a card into the graveyard where it’s easy to get into play very quickly. That’s simply too much power for a one-mana spell.
We’ve known for years that the “free spells” from the Urza block were a mistake. This whole class of spells keeps showing up in combo decks that need only a few turns before they can “go off” and win the game in a highly noninteractive manner. Frantic Search was contributing significant power and speed to multiple combo decks in the Extended environment, so it had to go.
The annual update for the DCI Universal Tournament Rules, Penalty Guidelines, and Floor Rules for all supported games has been posted to the web.
Beginning with the new season, the DCI will begin a process of shifting the start and end dates of the tournament season. The 2003-2004 season will begin September 1st, but will run 13 months, until October 1st, 2004. The subsequent season, to be known as the 2005 season, will end on December 31st, 2005. This will conclude the shift in season start and end dates. Subsequent seasons will be 12 months long, and will be identified by the calendar year in which they occur.
This change in season start and end dates will affect all policy and rules update schedules. It will also affect certain game-specific programs, such as the Magic: The Gathering Pro Tour and World Championship. Notably, the 2003-2004 Pro Tour season will include six PT stops, instead of the usual five. The 03-04 Pro Tour Season will conclude with the World Championship in September. Here for reference are all the major stops on the 2003-2004 Pro Tour circuit:
With the Team Limited format Pro Tour moving from September to July, QT formats will change slightly. Here for reference are all the Qualifier/Grand Prix rounds and formats for the 2003-2004 season:
The 2005 season, still being scheduled, will likewise consist of 6 stops (including one in November of 2004) followed by the World Championship in November of 2005. Subsequent Pro Tour seasons will revert to the usual five stops followed by the World Championship in November.
Invitations to individual Pro Tour stops on the basis of pro standings will continue to be calculated using the preceding 6 major event pro point totals. Therefore, there will be no disruption in the flow of pro standings calculations. Player of the Year and Rookie of the Year determinations will be made by calculating pro points from all relevant events in the season. That is, one more Pro Tour and the intervening Grand Prix will be used to calculate the Player of the Year race.
As part of our efforts to continue to improve the quality of competition at Pro Tour stops, the DCI will be attempting an experiment with the November Pro Tour stop in New Orleans, Louisiana. Two additional rounds of competition will be added to the Swiss portion of the tournament, one each on Friday and Saturday. This will bring the total number of rounds to 8 on each day. This information supercedes format information currently posted regarding Pro Tour – New Orleans.
Based on the results of this experiment, the DCI may consider keeping the expanded number of rounds at future Pro Tour stops.
Fan voting for the 2002-2003 season Magic Invitational has concluded. Last year, the Magic Invitational was held online, using the Magic: The Gathering Online software. This turned out to be very popular, and we will host the Invitational online again this year. However, the time frame is being pushed back. Instead of happening in the late fall of 2003, it will happen in the late winter of 2003-2004. This change is being made for this season to give the DCI additional flexibility in managing the event schedule.
Recently, the longtime senior manager of the DCI, Jeff Donais, left the employ of Wizards of the Coast in order to pursue other professional opportunities. We here at the DCI are sorry to see Jeff go, and want to publicly thank him for his years of service.
The incoming head for the DCI will be Mr. Ilja Rotelli. Ilja has been with the DCI for three years, until recently as the head of Organized Play in the Wizards/Hasbro Italy office. Ilja has been instrumental in the planning and operation of such programs as the Magic Pro Tour and PT Qualifier programs, Magic Prerelease tournaments, and various local Magic programs in Italy such as the Italian City Championships. He also has extensive experience with DCI operations for other games such as Football Champions and, until recently, Pokemon.
As sorry as we are to see the departure of Mr. Donais, we look forward eagerly to the contribution of Mr. Rotelli.