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2017 Magic: the Gathering Calendar


As I'm sure you know, today marks the beginning of a new year. 2016 is officially the past, which means it's time to look forward to a very exciting 2017! As someone who loves Magic, one of the things that drive me crazy about the game is that information about what's happening is scattered. Do you want to know when Aether Revolt spoilers begin? You probably have to find a random Reddit thread. How about when Magic Online has triple Zendikar flashbacks? You probably have to dig around old articles on MTGO.com. What about when the SCG Tour is coming to a town near you? Well, you have to go to the SCG website. But what if the event you are looking for is a GP? Then, you're back to digging around the Mothership. These examples don't even include things like video coverage, banned and restricted announcements, supplemental product releases, and all the other stuff that goes into being a Magic player and fan. 

So, for 2017, I decided to take matters into my own hands. Instead of wasting my life away jumping from website to website searching for information, I figured that I could make a Magic: the Gathering calendar that includes not only all the major tournaments and set releases but less obvious information like when spoilers start, what events have video coverage, and even Magic Online events. The idea is that this calendar will be a one-stop resource for everything you need to know about Magic for 2017! Because some information is still unknown, the focus for now is the first half of 2017; then, when the rest of the product schedule, release dates, and coverage schedule are released, I'll update for the second half of the year. 

One last thing before we get to the calendar: while tournament dates and release dates are set in stone, there is a bit of guesswork involved in things like when spoilers start, so while I'm very hopeful that all the information will be correct, there is an outside chance that there could be a few issues if Wizards breaks from its normal schedule. Also, if you noticed anything major that I missed, make sure to let me know in the comments so I can update the calendar! Anyway, here's everything you need to know to keep up with Magic in 2017!

Oh yeah, the calendar is also color coded to make it easy to find what you're looking for. Pink days are major tournaments (like GPs and SCG Tour events), blue days are spoiler related, purple days are Magic Online news, yellow days are casual events like prereleases and set releases, and orange is for Pro Tours and banned and restricted announcements!

January

January is pretty straightforward, with the highlight being the release of Aether Revolt on the 20th. Oddly, there's only one week of official spoilers for the set, when there is usually two, but this is likely the result of Wizards' annual holiday break (possibly combined with the early release of Modern Masters 2017 in March). As far as tournament coverage, it's a pretty quiet month. For some reason, Wizards decided to cover the Sunday Super Series Championship instead of a Legacy GP on the 7th, and StarCityGames doesn't kick off its 2017 tour until the 20th in Richmond. This said, the two SCG Tour events at the end of the month should be interesting because they will be the first major tournaments where Aether Revolt is legal, which leads us to February, highlighted by Pro Tour Aether Revolt!

February

February kicks off with a bang, with Pro Tour Aether Revolt coming on the very first weekend of the month! The bad news is, since the event is in Dublin, Ireland, coverage is at an extremely awkward time for Magic fans living in the North America, starting at 4 a.m. on the East Coast (which isn't as bad as it sounds, since you can sleep through limited and be ready for constructed at about 7:30 a.m.) and 1 a.m. on the West Coast. Apart from the Pro Tour, February might be the quietest Magic month of the entire year. Sure, there are some Grands Prix (with video coverage!) and the first SCG Tour Team Constructed event (the 18th and 19th in Baltimore), which should be interesting, but there are no product releases, and there likely won't even be any spoilers. This is just the calm before the storm though, because things get pretty intense starting in March.

March

March is a pretty absurd month on the Magic calendar and more than makes up for the relative quietness of February. The beginning of the month is focused on Modern Masters 2017, with spoiler starting on March 6 (there's also an outside chance they could start a week earlier, but typically we get one week of previews for reprint sets). In the middle of the month, Modern Masters 2017 releases, bringing with it (hopefully) a ton of sweet reprints and a great limited format. Then—and this is where it gets crazy—a mere 10 days after the release of Modern Masters 2017, Amonkhet spoilers start! Ten days! In this midst of all this, we also have a Duel Deck release at the end of the month and at least one Grand Prix every weekend of the month after the first weekend (which, for some reason, doesn't have any major tournaments at all). While Wizards hasn't released coverage information yet (I'll try to update when they do), I'd be shocked if New Jersey isn't covered, and likely one of the two on the following weekend as well. 

April

April is all about Amonkhet, with spoilers continuing from the end of March, followed by prerelease events on the 22nd and 23rd and finally release day on the 28th. Apart from Amonkhet, April is a pretty odd month. While the events are few in number, the events that do happen are incredibly interesting. GP San Antonio (which will almost certainly have coverage, but it hasn't been officially confirmed yet) is Team Modern, and based on social media, it seems like a like a lot of players are hyped for the event. Meanwhile, there are only two SCG Tour events, but one is Legacy (which has become an increasingly rare treat) and the other is the first weekend of Amonkhet Standard! Another note: MTGO hasn't released the schedule for flashback drafts and gauntlets past the end of Modern Masters 2017 limited on April 12. Most likely, there will be a flashback or gauntlet running from the 12th to the 19th and then cube from April 19 to May 5, when Amonkhet prerelease events begin online, but we'll update with more details as the time draws near. 

May

May is officially tournament month. While there are no set releases or spoilers, every single weekend is loaded with coverage. Most important is Pro Tour Amonkhet, which is in Nashville, Tennessee, meaning that the coverage should be at an ideal time for Magic fans from North America, which is nice after the 1 a.m. West Coast start time of Pro Tour Aether Revolt. Otherwise, most of the weekends of the month have multiple events, with the SCG Tour competing with multiple Grands Prix on the 20th–21st and 27th–28th. Sometimes I wonder why Star City runs events alongside Grands Prix, since it seems like the events would fight with each other for players, but in this case it actually makes a lot of sense. All of the Grands Prix are outside of the US, so SCG simply mirrors the format (Standard on the 20th–21st, then Modern on the 27th–28th) and offers US players a sort of mini GP of their own! Otherwise, we are getting to the point where information about things like Magic Online events is getting scarce, but the month will most likely be dominated by Amonkhet, since Wizards doesn't typically run flashbacks or gauntlets against a set release, but if something interesting pops up, we'll update in the future. 

June

We wrap up the first half of our year with June, which has a little bit of everything. Hour of Devastation spoilers both start and end in preparing for prerelease events on the first weekend of July. The tournament scene features not only Standard and Modern but also Team Limited; plus, we have an SCG Invitational at the end of the month, which will hopefully be extra special this year, since there are only two instead of four like there were in years past. On the set release front, we have a couple of oddball releases, with Commander Anthologies and then Archenemy: Nicol Bolas. Magic Online is a blank slate at this point, but as we get closer, I'm sure we'll fill in some dates with flashback drafts and gauntlets. 

2017: By the Numbers

It's been said that Magic isn't so much a game but more of a lifestyle, and looking over this calendar, it's pretty clear that this is true. As such, to wrap things up today, let's take a few minutes to digest this information and break down the first half of the Magic 2017 calendar by the numbers!

  • 181: The total number of days from January 1 to June 30. 
  • 42: The number of "spoiler season" days in the first half of 2017. This means we will be getting official previews of new Magic cards for approximately 25% of the next six months! 
  • 46: The number of days during the first half of 2017 that will have a major tournament (SCG Tour event, GP or Pro Tour), which happens to be another 25% of the next six months. 
  • 6: The number of products that will be released in the next six months, including two Standard-legal sets, Modern Masters 2017, and three other supplemental products. If we added in the first week of July, the number would jump to seven with the release of Hour of Devastation. Regardless, for the first half of 2017, we are averaging one product release each month. Get your pocketbooks ready!
  • $685: The cost of buying every Magic product over the next six months at MSRP, assuming you buy one booster box each of Aether Revolt, Amonkhet (at $100 each), and Modern Masters 2017 ($240); the Duel Deck ($20), Commander Anthologies ($165), and Archenemy: Nicol Bolas ($60). 
  • 11: The number of SCG Opens (including Invitationals) during the first six months of 2017. This is down from 14 during the same periods in 2016 and 2015, 18 during the same period in 2014, and 21 in 2013. 
  • 3: The number of chances you'll have to play Legacy (at a major tournament) over the next six months. The number jumps to four if you count the SCG Classic that runs alongside the Team Constructed Open.
  • 18: The number of major Standard tournaments over the first six months of 2017. 
  • 9: The number of major Modern tournaments.
  • 76: The total number of colored days on the calendar (and this number will likely rise as we get more Magic Online information for the spring and early summer months). This means that, as of right now, 42% of days over the first six months of 2017 have something Magic-related happening, and this number doesn't include spoiler days (I just highlighted the start / end dates of spoilers rather than filling in every day). If we add in the 27 colorless days on which we'll be getting official spoilers, the number of "Magic days" over the first half of 2017 jumps all the way up to 103, and the percentage increases to 57%. That's right: over the first half of 2017, there are officially more days with a Magic event happening than there are days without!

Conclusion

Anyway, that's all for today. Hopefully, this information will be helpful in keeping track of everything over the first half of 2017. As I mentioned before, I'll try to update things as more information becomes available, and if people find the Magic calendar useful, I'll try to do another one for the second half of 2017. 

What do you think about this schedule? Is it too much or not enough? What stands out to you? What product are you most excited for? What tournaments are you planning to attend? Let me know in the comments, and as always, you can reach me on Twitter @SaffronOlive or at SaffronOlive@MTGGoldfish.com.


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