Next Magic: The Gathering Block & More Details About Nationals 2017 Announced

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Wizards of the Coast announced a lot of details about their upcoming Magic: The Gathering events today as well as the name of the next block.

The Fall 2017 block will be called Ixalan. Since we haven't heard of the name before before, Ixalan must be a new plane, and is name it sounds Meso-American to me, but the company hasn't released any details or concept art about the forthcoming block. Wizards also announced the way they're scheduling events following Ixalan's release.

The Pro Tour Ixalan will take place on November 3-5, rather than two weeks after a new set's release, and the 2017 Magic: The Gathering World Championships will take place just a week after Ixalan's release.

Director of Organized Play Helene Bergeot sums up the changes following Ixalan's release:

The 2017 World Championship will be the first major event to feature a new Standard and Booster Draft format. For the World Championship, we are exploring ways to address the narrow window competitors will have between the set's release and the event.
The Pro Tour, which usually happens two weeks after a set's release, will instead happen five weeks after. Between the release of Ixalan and the Pro Tour, there will be a few weeks of time where players can play new Standard decks, and one of the weekends for Nationals will also spotlight the new Standard.
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The Team Limited Grand Prix that will take place September 30–October 1 in Providence and Shizuoka will be using Ixalan. This means that those Grand Prix will provide the opportunity to play with the new set during the weekend's release.

Earlier this year, Wizards announced the return of Nationals 2017. Now, the company shared some details about the big event. Nationals 2017 will be scheduled on the following three weekends: September 9–10, September 16–17, and October 14–15 (Previously announced as September 23–24). Players can also earn pro points by placing in the Top 4 of a Nationals event.

The format? It's mixed: Draft and Standard. The September events will use 2 packs of Hour of Devastation and 1 pack of Amonkhet; the October Nationals will use Ixalan packs. Pariticipants will get this Inkmoth Nexus card:

If you want to know if you're qualified for this invitational event, you can check out more details in Wizards' website.

The company also announced that they're reverting the Pro Tour Top 8 back to the traditional single-elimination bracket, and they've adjusted the payouts that will be effective starting Pro Tour Amonkhet. As Bergeot explains:

"As discussed in July of last year, the new bracket and updated prize payout was implemented to reward players for finishing the Swiss rounds with a better record. At its core, this was done to mitigate intentional draws in the last rounds of a tournament. However, the reality is that players valued a Top 8 appearance so much that IDs were happening anyway to ensure that possibility. With the bracket and prize structure not living up to its intended purpose, we have decided to change back to something more familiar with our players and viewing audience."

I'm actually glad to see the return of Nationals as well as the changes for RPTQ and Pro Tours. You can read the full announcement here.

Related: Magic: The Gathering: Commander 2017 Edition Announced

Source: Wizards of the Coast