The 2012 Pro Tour season is the seventeenth season of the Magic: The Gathering Pro Tour. Due to major changes in the Pro Tour systems the 2012 season was retroactively made to overlap with the 2011 season. Originally the 2012 season was supposed to begin on 7 January 2012 with Grand PrixAustin, but retroactively the events from after Pro Tour Nagoya on 10–12 June 2011 were made to count towards the 2012 season as well as the 2011 season. The major changes included a shift of the season. Instead of Pro Tour seasons aligning with the calendar year, beginning with the 2012–13 season Pro Tour seasons will be going from spring to spring. Also a major overhaul of the ratings system was conducted. A new bye policy based upon the new ratings system and a new invitation policy for the Pro Tour were introduced. Finally the number of Grand Prix tournaments was greatly increased.
Four Pro Tours will be held in the 2012 season. The amount of Grand Prix is still unknown as only Grand Prix tournaments through March have been announced yet. The prize purse of future Pro Tours is also unknown, however Wizards of the Coast announced, that future Grand Prix tournaments will have a total prize pool of $10,000 to $40,000 instead of a flat $30,000 pool that was awarded at each Grand Prix in 2011.
Pro Tour Dark Ascension – Honolulu (10–12 February 2012)
The first Pro Tour in the 2012 season is the first to have a proper name. Previously Pro Tours were referred to by their location and/or date. The name Dark Ascension refers to the Magic set with the same name that is to be released a week prior to the Pro Tour.