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Core Set 2020 Changes

With the release of Core Set 2020 comes a number of changes to our weekly events. Read on to find out more!


Before we get too far into the details let's talk about when these changes will start. We've been considering changing things up for our weekly tournaments for a while now, but with the changes to promotional cards / packs that start with Core Set 2020 we were given the perfect opportunity to do so. So, having said that, the changes to our weekly events will begin Friday, July 12 following the release of Core Set 2020.

Promo Pack Implementation

During the spoiler season for Core Set 2020 we got our first look at the new promo packs that all stores are being issued. There's a ton more information in the linked article, but for our purposes here are the highlights.

These promo packs replace Open House, Draft Weekend, Magic Weekend, and FNM Promos. Each promo pack will also contain 4 cards that follow a specific formula. Promo packs also come in 2 flavors - regular, and premium (foil).

  • • A Promo Stamped Rare or Mythic Rare from Core Set 2020
  • • A Promo Stamped Rare or Mythic rare from a curated list of cards (75% of the time) OR a Japanese Alt-Art Planeswalker from War of the Spark (25% of the time).
  • • A Promo Stamped Alt-Art Basic Land
  • • One of 5 possible dark-framed Core Set 2020 promos.

We thought long and hard about how to use these. Ultimately, we decided to include these in the prize structures for our weekly Standard and Booster Draft formats.

Draft Prize Structure Changes

For a while now we've been using a slightly modified form of pack-per-win for our booster drafts. Each player that goes 3-0 receives an extra pack for a total of 4 boosters. That seems to work for most folks, and we didn't really want to do a lot to change that. But at the same time we also want to make sure we're giving the draft players some cool promo pack love too.

So, under the new system the standard booster prizes for a pod will be pack-per-win. Instead of that bonus pack, players that go undefeated will now be awarded one of the regular promo packs in addition to their standard booster winnings.

Standard Prize Structure Changes

Seeing as how the prize structure for standard was already pack-per-win, we didn't feel the need to change much there. Players who go undefeated during the event will be awarded a regular promo pack (up to a maximum of 4 players per standard event). If we have less than 4 undefeated players in an event, extra promo packs will go out at random.

Modern Prize Structure Changes

A few months ago we started a Legacy night on Thursdays with an $8 entry fee. Legacy was received well enough to become a mainstay on our weekly calendar. This system awards store credit based on final record rather than placement in the standings, and we'd already kinda moved into a system like this for prizes for modern. We decided to just go the rest of the way and adopt the same pricing and prize structure for our Modern tournaments as well.

In the new system, prizes for going undefeated (3-0 or 4-0 depending on number of players) range from $24 - $32, up from $16 - 20. Prizes for going 'x-1' range $10 - 18.

Premium Promo Packs

So far all we've mentioned is the regular promo packs. And...well...we've also got these premium promo packs full of shiny foily goodness. We should probably talk about how these will be given out. We wanted to make sure that we not only rewarded top players, but also players who display excellent sportsmanship, help new players, or generally contribute to making Phoenix's magic community awesome. Speaking as the store owner, I really appreciate how inclusive and amazing our player base is and I most certainly want to reward that.

So with that in mind, each week we'll be giving away up to 3 premium promo packs across any and all of our Magic events to players who have stuck around through the final round of the event and also meet the following criteria:

  • • Demonstrations of excellent sportsmanship
  • • Helping new players learn Magic and making the space inviting for those players.
  • • Assisting our staff with keeping the play area clean (i.e., disposing of any extra draft and prize pack wrappers left on tables, helping put chairs away or up at the end of the night, etc.)
  • • Acts the make the space a safer, more inclusive space.

Additional premium packs will be held for special events like our Commander Weekend this August, and our next Open House event in mid-September.

Pricing Changes - Modern and Standard

One of the other sets of changes we need to make around the shop relates to pricing of our weekly events. We know that any change in price impacts a player's decision to come play, but there are a few reasons that we strongly feel necessitate these changes be made. So let's rip the bandaid off and then go over them, shall we?

Under the new system, all constructed format events will have their entry fee set to $8 (taxes included where applicable).

There's a couple of reasons for that. First off - for clarity. We had 3 different events with 3 different prices, and that's confusing for both players and staff. Right now, I'm the one that's usually running events, but at some point in the future it might not be me running things, so standardizing prices across formats seemed like a reasonable move.

The second reason pertains to specifically to standard. It's...kind of an unpleasant truth to be honest, but it's one that needs addressing so I'm gonna address it in the interests of being transparent. When we first started running them, standard events were basically break-even. Since that time we have had increases in basically every part of the event's cost (boosters, sales tax, and credit card processing fees). The net result was that every standard entry at $5 lost us anywhere from $1-2 per player.

By setting the price across the board to $8, that returns us to a much more sustainable state for running Standard events and it lets us dole out a little bit more store credit for Modern.

And that's it for the changes coming to your FLGS this July. We're not 100% done though...look for more changes coming in a few months (these are all good though, I promise!). If you have any questions or feedback for me, please don't hesitate to reach out to me through the store's contact page or at an event.

Nick Nazar
Owner and Manager, Phoenix Comics and Games

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