Days away from the start of Pro Tour Shadows over Innistrad, a change to the operations associated with the Draft rounds has been announced. Due to the presence of Double Faced Cards, all boosters at this Pro Tour will be pre-sleeved.
Re: DFC drafting procedure: boosters for #PTSOI will be sleeved. Procedure for future Pro level events will be reviewed after the Pro Tour— Helene Bergeot (@HeleneBergeot) April 19, 2016
This announcement came in the wake of some professional players, notably Hall of Famer Jon Finkel, noting that some players may have an advantage depending on the shape of the table and their particular seat.
Are we going to have round draft tables for the Pro Tour? @HeleneBergeot— Jon Finkel (@Jonnymagic00) April 17, 2016
@HeleneBergeot Thanks, because it's impossible to have a fair draft in this format without them. A square (but not rectangle) works too.— Jon Finkel (@Jonnymagic00) April 17, 2016
Reaction has trended towards positive, but there has been some pushback due to the proximity of the announcement to the start of the tournament.
The DFC rules have transformed. I'd prefer this, even if it's late in the game. I can understand people who dislike the timing though.— Luis Scott-Vargas (@lsv) April 19, 2016
@HeleneBergeot I think this is a good solution but wish you had told us before we practiced for weeks with double faced cards in drafts— Paulo Vitor (@PVDDR) April 19, 2016
@HeleneBergeot I might be the only one who doesn't like this change. I like seeing what flip cards people open and select.— Brian Braun-Duin (@BraunDuinIt) April 19, 2016
2 drafts in GPABQ, one i sat in middle knew 6/8 archetypes, other sat edge of table knew 3. https://t.co/cZFThmDsxc— Matt Sperling (@mtg_law_etc) April 19, 2016
The question remains if this policy will remain in effect for Professional level events featuring Shadows over Innistrad moving forward and what effect, if any, this will have on Local Game Store drafts.
Update: Judge Toby Elliott posted this Tweet after the initial post went live: