Friday, June 20, 2008

From the Wire, to the Soapbox

There have been a lot of announcements recently from Wizards regarding changes to this game we love so much. In case you have not heard, here are the high-lights, and my thoughts on the issue(s) created by these announcements.

First up: Changes to set statistics, and how they are marketed. If you have not read these articles, they will give you the basic outlines of what will be happening effective with the release of Shard’s of Alara scheduled for October.

Changes as of Shards of Alara: Official Announcement, and Mark Rosewater’s spin.

There are several important changes here. First off I think smaller set sizes will be a good thing. In short, it will cut down on the number of cards needed to assemble a play-set, and increase the number of extra copies in circulation, and should have a net effect of lowering the cost of single sand play-sets. I don’t think the size of the set will have any direct impact on deck building itself, but the ripples caused by playable, or conversely reject cards will have larger impact on deck building, all else being equal. As a budget player, I rejoice at the possibility of maybe having some funds left over to buy rares!

And on the subject of rares…

Mythic Rares:

Sally take a memo, to everyone crying in their beer over the impending doom from mythic rares.

“I have had the opportunity to review pack data from large scale “openers-of-packs” for nearly every set over the last several years, and access to older data from sets thought most of the game’s history. I am not talking about folks who simply bust a box or two, but folks who bust cases of cards for some of the largest scale singles operations in the United States. I am here to tell you definitively that Wizards has used different print frequencies with-in rarities for years. The only thing that has changed here, is that now they have announced it. The good news is, that at least they respect you enough to tell you the truth now! Nothing has really changed here, in fact this is better then some of the print disparities they seem to have used in the past.

In conclusion, wipe those tears away, order another beer, and get over it.”

As always your friend The_Magi… yada yada…

Sally, make sure we get enough of those sent out, because the next person I hear crying over this crap is gonna get fired, oh and could you bring me a coffee-thanks.

I trust that this covers this issue, but if you still have reservation allow me to recommend the following interview with the WotC Brand Manager.

Basic Land in Booster Packs

When you get right down to it, this really only effects people who open booster packs. I know this seems to be a really obvious point, but I just can’t escape the feeling that this fact is being overlooked. Aside from the singles operation out there, there are really only two kinds who open packs, and odds are if you are still reading this section, you maybe one of them.

Drafters open packs. When they do most of them are concerned with quality of the cards, not the quantity. When was the last time that your last gifted card in a pack really had an impact on the deck you ended up playing. What about he second to the last? I’m gonna go with “Rare, or Never” for 100 Alex. For more detail on how this will affect a draft near you check out my recent post on the issue.

The second group of individuals that open packs, are the addicts. If you are still opening packs in the hope of getting a specific card, please be aware that you are playing the lottery. Most people who buy lottery tickets are hoping for the big win, not the 10th place prize, so I assume that you are not opening the pack for a specific common. A lot of people open packs as an addiction. If it’s the new packs smell, or what ever it’s an addiction. You need a 12-Step Program, not better crack. Either way you should get the same buzz from opening packs with land, as packs without. No real effect for you here. Your 100th copy of a common is worth about he same as a land card to your collection. Just go drop a dime for a few packs, and you will feel better, trust me! In fact, spend a little extra and go for the good stuff. Maybe a little Futresight, or Morningtide. You will get a heck of a buzz, and you may just win the pack lottery.

Theme Decks become Intro Packs

I think this may well be the best change to come from this announcement. This is a solid step to give new players a solid base to build from, while still leaving a need for them to acquire more cards in order to progress. In short it makes a fun start but gets them to bust more packs, and to continue to grow as a player, and collector. The pledge to include “good rares” guarantees them a solid playable card, or a viable piece of trade bait with which to grow their collection.

So I’m wrapping up my first week of blogging. I feel like I have accomplished a lot, and would like to thank those who have given me their feedback and support. I would also like to invite those who have not contributed to consider doing so. This is intended to be a documentation of our community, and it will be shaped either through your input, or lack there of. If you are reading this, you are a member of this community, and your perspective is important, so please share it. Your submission can be directed to, and I only insist on them being nice. I really make an effort to keep editing to a minimum.

1 comment:

Jeff said...

yea yea yea. i like my crack. i definitely open packs for the sake of opening opening packs. for the mystery of what could be there. I agree on the mythic rares part too. we all know there are rares, and there are ultra rares, now they have just named the ultra rares. yay for magic