|Pro Tour Guilds of Ravnica|
|Date||November 9–11, 2018|
|Location||Atlanta, Georgia, United States|
|Format||Standard and Booster draft|
Pro Tour Guilds of Ravnica was the first Pro Tour of the 2018–19 season. It took place on November 9–11 in Atlanta, Georgia, United States. With 510 attendees, it was not only larger than Pro Tour Paris 2011 at 483 players - the previous largest individual Pro Tour - but also larger than the Pro Tour 25th Anniversary, which was a team event with 495 players.
Pro Tour Guilds of Ravnica was the final event under the Pro Tour label, with Pro Tour events changing name to Mythic Championship in 2018.
2017-18 Player of the Year Playoff
Before Day 1 of the main event, a best of seven games playoff is held between Seth Manfield and Luis Salvatto, to decide the 2017-18 season's Player of the Year title: Both players tied 81 points in last season.
The format is modified format based on Standard. Both players has to build 4 Standard decks without sideboard, which their four decks must not include more than eight copies of any given card (other than basic land). Before each game starts, both players choose one of the available decks to play against each other. They can take a free mulligan in each game. Whenever a player wins a game, the deck that the winning player using would be unavailable in the rest of the match. The player who win with all four decks wins the playoff.
|Seth Manfield||Mono-Blue Tempo||Mono-Red Aggro||Boros Weenie||Izzet Drakes||Boros Weenie||Mono-Red Aggro|
|Luis Salvatto||Mono-Blue Tempo||Mono-Blue Tempo||Jeskai Control||Mono-Red Aggro||White Weenie||White Weenie|
Notably, all the decks chosen were part of the Jeskai color trio; despite the strength of the Golgari deck, the unsideboarded games meant the midrange decks are unfavored. Both players chose a Mono-Red, Mono-Blue and a White Aggro deck, and Manfield added a touch of Red to his otherwise mono-White. For the slower decks, Salvatto chose the anti-creature Jeskai control deck, while Manfield chose the combo-esque Izzet Phoenix deck.
Both players opened with the mono-Blue tempo deck, which benefited from the mulligan rules allowing players to search for Curious Obsession. Seth Manfield took the first game in the mirror, and Salvatto attempted to run back the blue deck on the play, which Manfield met with one of Blue's worse matchups in mono-Red. However, the curve-topping Experimental Frenzy failed to deliver a stream of card advantage, with Salvatto taking the second game with two hits of a Tempest Djinn.
Both players swapped out for the third game, with Salvatto's Deafening Clarion in Jeskai Control devastating the Boros Weenie deck. Manfield hit another string of bad luck with his Izzet Phoenix deck, hitting 10 of 19 lands, but took the second win thanks to Heroic Reinforcements. In the final game, Manfield's removal-heavy Red draw, normally good against Mono-White, was overpowered by double History of Benalia.
With Kaladesh and the Gods of Amonkhet rotating, many players expressed cautious optimism over the advent of a new format. The spectre of Teferi, Hero of Dominaria loomed over Standard, but the lack of Hallowed Fountain meant Settle the Wreckage and Cleansing Nova were inconsistent and resulted in difficult color bases. Mono-Red powered by Risk Factor and Experimental Frenzy were powerful, but having lost Scrapheap Scrounger and three powerful top-end cards, the deck was combatable with conventional removal and minor lifegain, most notably Wildgrowth Walker.
Golgari Midrange was pinned as one of the more powerful new decks, but the GPs at Lille and New Jersey demonstrated that if the field wanted to fight it, it could - Jeskai Control, Izzet Phoenix, Mono-Blue Tempo and aggressive white decks with Tocatli Honor Guard were favored against Golgari, as the deck began gearing up for the mirror. As such, the Standard metagame was expected to be very much about who correctly predicts the moving target coming in. Other decks played a smaller part in the early weeks included Blue-Black control with Teferi, Grixis decks focused on Nicol Bolas, The Ravager, Selesnya token strategies, and rotation holdover Steel Leaf Stompy.
Featured drafters: Ben Stark (Izzet), Luis Salvatto
Standard: Golgari held the largest metagame share, but unlike top decks in the previous two years of standard, the proportion was only 22%. The White Weenie with red splash featured in the Player of the Year race was a popular newcomer in the circuit, while Izzet Phoenix, Selesnya tokens, and Jeskai control remained major players. Blue-black-based control decks (Dimir, Grixis, Esper) solidified, while a large smattering of other decks populated the diverse metagame.
The top eight players after day one:
|1||Tay Jun Hao||24|
|8||Alejandro Olea Garcia||21|
Jeremy Dezani and Tay Jun Hao performed well in the draft, taking the co-lead at 10–1, with Michael Bernat winning the second pod to join them. Dezani would take a draw against Bernat and lose against Tay, leaving him with multiple win-and-ins. Tay and Bernat lock their places in round 14, alongside Canadian Wilson Mok, though Tay sought to improve his standings in the massive field as 37 had a chance to miss. Tay would go on to lose Round 15 to Teruya Kakumae, and take a draw with Luis-Scott Vargas for their two places. Watanabe and Bernat would draw for the fourth and second seeds. Dezani defeats Kakumae in Round 16, and Kasper Nielsen defeats John Girardot for the ostensible last two spaces. However, Wilson Mok decided that his Jeski control deck would need to be on the play for the aggro-heavy Top 8, so he played and won against his match with Makihito Mihara for first seed, opening up the eighth space for Andrew Elenbogen who defeated Mark Jacobson - in a turn of irony, Mok would lose to Elenbogen in the quarterfinals.
|1||Andrew Elenbogen||$50,000||30||Mostly-White Aggro|
|2||Luis Scott-Vargas||$20,000||28||Mostly-White Aggro||Ninth Pro Tour Top 8|
|3||Tay Jun Hao||$15,000||24||Reinforcements White Aggro|
|4||Jeremy Dezani||$12,500||22||Boros Aggro||Second Pro Tour Top 8|
|5||Wilson Mok||$10,000||20||Jeskai Control|
|6||Michael Bernat||$9,000||18||Mostly-White Aggro|
|7||Kasper Nielsen||$7,500||17||Reinforcements White Aggro|
|8||Yuuya Watanabe||$6,000||16||Izzet Drakes||Fifth Pro Tour Top 8|
Top 8 competitor Michael Bernat posted a 6–0 record for his drafts, allowing him to post a 6-1-3 record in constructed. Shuhei Nakamura, Mike Sigrist, Mike Chen, and Adriano Moscanto also did so. As an interesting note, ChannelFireball noted that their stellar Limited record made up most of their results, suggesting the White aggro strategy is not as dominant as the Top 8 would suggest.
Two players posted perfect records for Standard: Guillaume Gauthier piloting Mono-Blue Tempo, and Pascal Vieren with Izzet Phoenix; the first time two players have done so since Pro Tour San Juan 2010.