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  • posted a message on The Coronavirus Pandemic and the Future of the Local Game Store (LGS)
    A realistic timetable for a modern vaccine is two years not a decade, including all three trial stages. It was "rushed" this time because it is literally to combat a global pandemic that has a lethality of over 2.2%, and as such more resources were allocated to allow for a larger number of subjects that normal during the tests. It is literally the same with each of the 56 COVID-19 vaccines currently in phase three of testing, and the 20 additional ones in stage two. Rushing vaccines through testing by increasing the number of subjects involved in each phase is nothing new. The same was done when they feared Ebola would become a pandemic, as well as SARS and the Avian Flu (that turned out to be less harmful than the regular flu).

    Speaking of Flu, the testing period for the yearly Flu vaccine is only around 6 months. Vaccines aren't tested for a decade, because that would make them completely and utterly useless. For non-lethal diseases or diseases with very low mortality rate, it is usually around one to one and a half years. The timing of Pfizer CEO's sale of stock was unfortunate, but understandable. But I don't believe it is anything other than a coincidence. Tolarian Community College's interview with DeQuan Watson a.k.a. PowrDragn (which you may remember from Pojo's Famous Card of the Day reviews from way back when) on YouTube shed a bit more light on COVID-19's impact on Paper Magic going forward which kind of gives a somewhat optimistic viewpoint:

    <embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/v2G4XLJZl74&quot; type="application/x-shockwave-flash" data="http://www.youtube.com/v/v2G4XLJZl74&quot; width="425" height="350" movie="http://www.youtube.com/v/v2G4XLJZl74&quot; wmode="transparent"/>
    Posted in: Magic General
  • posted a message on Brewing Nevinyrral: From Disk to Dawn
    I wonder If Mycosynth Lattice and Darksteel Forge could be useful as a one sided board wipe with Nevinyrral, Urborg Tyrant? Just use Master Transmuter to cheat out one of the two artifacts mentioned along with something else that cheats artifacts onto the battlefield and you should be good to go.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on The Coronavirus Pandemic and the Future of the Local Game Store (LGS)
    https://icv2.com/articles/columns/view/46912/rolling-initiative-magic-d-d-time-covid-19
    Quote from ICv2 »
    Hasbro sales for the third quarter were pretty interesting (see "Big Gains in Hasbro Gaming in Q3"). Total sales for the company are up 11% for the year, including a 19% drop in April , May, and June (see "Hasbro's Total Gaming Sales Down 19% in Q2"), and a 40% increase in WotC sales in the first quarter (see "Hasbro's Total Gaming Business Up 40% in Q1"). D&D sales for the third quarter are up about 20% and Magic sales are up "double digits" , although the company did not specify what percentage of those revenues came from digital sales of the product line.So looking pretty impressive so far for the year and, based on the interest showing in Tasha's Cauldron of Everything and Commander Legends, not to mention Commander Legends Green (see "Preview: 'Magic: the Gathering' 'Commander Collection: Green'"), I expect to see Hasbro/WotC closing out the year up by double digits. So what can we conclusions or inferences can we draw from this:

    1. "Cause the players gonna play, play, play, play, play". Players of both Magic and D& D, as well as Pokemon and Yu-Gi-Oh!, as well as board games and miniatures games (Games Workshop's stock is up about 125% over the past year) keep buying products for their respective games. Here in Illinois, even with the epidemic and restrictions on groups getting together, our store is seeing sales on a par with 2019, and if we were not taking the hit from restrictions and people leery about going out, we would likely have seen a record setting year and I have heard similar stories from other stores. Players appear to have migrated to at-home play as well as play on platforms such as Discord and RollD20. I also find it interesting that, despite. as I pointed out last week the increase in online sales (see "Rolling For Initiative -- Getting in the Spirit Again"), our store is seeing steady, socially-distanced foot traffic during the summer and throughout the fall.

    2. Organized Play. Despite the importance that WotC, The Pokemon Company, and Konami put on Organized Play, the lack of it in the short term, does not appear to have hurt Magic and D&D and Pokemon sales (Yu-Gi-Oh! on the other hand, has taken a hit with the lack of Organized Play, again for the foreseeable future, as, without tournaments, our foot traffic of Yu-Gi-Oh! players has dwindled to next to nothing, save for the release of really anticipated products such as Maximum Gold (see " Konami Reveals New Premium Gold Rare Set for 'Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG'"). Despite the ability to play in sanctioned tournaments, players have kept up a steady demand for premium and limited Magic releases such as Mystery Boosters, Double Masters, and Jumpstart. Daily, we get calls or messages for the above. Customers buy packs and booster boxes daily and weekly despite not having any Organized Play events in which to participate. It appears players have not only moved their play in home but WotC was correct in creating the Set boosters, as players still embrace the pack opening experience.

    Is this a long term change in the OP dynamic? How will this affect stores built around the OP model? If OP does not come back soon, do stores built to serve it transition to a different model? Let me know what you think by emailing castleperilousgames@gmail.com
    The notion that ALL players moved their play at home instead of the Local Game Store (LGS) is a false assessment on ICv2's part. I get that most of these stores are built around the Organized Play model of hosting events but that shouldn't be their only source of income when there's still a demand for Casual Play at Local Game Stores (LGSs). The problem is that most of MTG's competitors with Yu-Gi-Oh! and Pokémon TCG are built solely around competitive formats with no real avenue for casual like MTG does with EDH / Commander. The reason why sales are still doing well for these Paper Trading Card Games / Collectible Card Games is because players still have a place to play instead of being forced to play at their friends house during a pandemic. Some of my friends have already started doing that while visiting other LGSs within our vicinity.

    If Local Game Stores (LGSs) are forced to transition toward a different business model away from Organized Play due to the ongoing pandemic then what do you think it would look like? Personally I still believe play space / overhead is still important to play with these products otherwise there would be no reason to spend money on this hobby anymore given how unforgiving the Secondary Market is. The only return we get out of a hobby like this is by having fun aside from competing for prizes but it's not the "end all be all" If you know where I'm getting at. The notion that there's no longer a need for the Local Game Store (LGS) as far as the social experience goes is utter nonsense IMO. My LGS doesn't enforce 6 or 12 feet social distancing because of the ongoing mask mandate and so far we've had no reported cases of COVID-19 among our customers.
    Posted in: Magic General
  • posted a message on [CMR] Jeweled Lotus
    Despite the fact that there's been tons of cards come out that large swaths of people claimed were problematic auto includes and then they tested them only to find out they weren't? Remember how everyone thought Drannith Magistrate was going to be an auto include in EDH / Commander and then 6 months later it didn't break 4% of decklists? I remember when a friend of mine thought that Tarmogoyf was an auto include in any EDH / Commander deck running Green when it simply wasn't true at all.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on [CMR] Jeweled Lotus
    As DirkGently mentioned on Nexus, Jeweled Lotus is another symptom of a problem seen in Wizards of the Coast's viewpoint of EDH / Commander and how they often fail to grasp what makes it good on a basic level. They're willing to print stupid broken things in the format because it's not a "real" format. Command Tower in a lot of aspects was the first wake up call. It's simply perfect mana fixing for no cost that's cheaper to get a hold of than City of Brass, Reflecting Pool, Forbidden Orchard, and Mana Confluence. Now we got a Black Lotus reprint stapled onto the format because balance doesn't matter If it's just caaaasual. Remember how competitive players used to poke fun at them by calling them "filthy" casuals? Go look at Standard right now.

    This is literally the worst blatant attempt to push boxes to gambling addicts since Jace, the Mind Sculptor which was roughly sitting at around $200 at the time it was first printed in Worldwake. Granted, Jeweled Lotus isn't an auto-include though it is good enough to run in a majority of decks especially those who play cEDH. Whether the card is insanely broken or niche, it doesn't change the possibility that Wizards of the Coast printed this in order to move boxes because they care far more about short-term money than the long-term health of the format. That's the main problem not the cards themselves. Wizards of the Coast doesn't have as much insight into the format as the EDH / Commander Rules Committee does.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on [CMR] Opposition Agent
    I wonder how good Opposition Agent would be in Sen Triplets for EDH?
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on Possible Secret Lair Leak
    Glad the rumors from Alpha Investments about a Rick and Morty Secret Lair didn't turn out to be true.

    I ended up dropping the show after Season 2 when it started to get a lot darker.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on The Coronavirus Pandemic and the Future of the Local Game Store (LGS)
    https://icv2.com/articles/news/view/46787/wizards-coast-extends-magic-the-gathering-in-store-play-suspension-till-january

    Also Wizards of the Coast recently announced a few days ago that they're pushing the current In-Store Play Suspension due to the ongoing pandemic til January 2021. So it's looking as though both Commander Legends and Kaldheim will both be Take Home Pre-Releases similar with Core Set 2021 and Zendikar Rising. Wizards of the Coast also mentioned that they will be keeping tabs on the state of In-Store Play on the second Wednesday of every month as they will make official announcements on those dates regardless of whether or not they choose to take action at that time. I meant to post this a few days ago but was exhausted from work and tweaking EDH / Commander decks.
    Posted in: Magic General
  • posted a message on Just How Important is MTG Lore To You?
    Quote from Flisch »
    I'm not sure how this is relevant to the topic of MtG Lore. Are you just trying to cause a stink?
    Well that wasn't my original intent If that's what you were wondering when I was mainly concerned with Wizards of the Coast attempting to politicize future IP crossovers when there's really no need for it.
    Posted in: Magic Storyline
  • posted a message on The Coronavirus Pandemic and the Future of the Local Game Store (LGS)
    Quote from motleyslayer »
    I think that they made the safest call tbh. I don't know what it's like in the US rn(but assuming bad if it warranted extending the suspension on in store play) but it's been getting worse in Canada for just over a month I'd say. I can't see in store events happening on a large basis until at least halfway through next year and that's just for small level events. Magic Fests and in person Players Tours are probably out of the question until probably 2022 at the earliest and that's assuming they figure out who will run them
    I'm not sure If it's like this for other people however I've started noticing that some Local Game Stores (LGSs) while In-Store Play is suspended as far as running events and tournaments go that they perceived it as suspending casual play as well which does have the potential to hurt their business in the long run If they primarily sell Paper Magic with little to no overhead. If these businesses do have large overhead and they also suspended casual play along with events then they're going to run out of money unless they replace the overhead to sell more merchandise in place of potential customers who would normally be playing at their store where as with the owners' perspective it's about less risk of infection from COVID as possible but the question is for how long? They must be thinking about how COVID will impact 3rd and 4th Quarter sales in 2020 or 1st and 2nd Quarter earnings in 2021.

    Even If you're not allowed to run events at your store you still need money to pay rent since the owners and employees work paycheck-to-paycheck and eventually the landlord still needs to be paid $1,000 bare minimum each month in order for the LGS to stay in business and I think it really depends on how much money they made on Paper Magic Pre-COVID compared to how little they may be making Post-COVID. If they're making little without expanding their business portfolio then of course they need to allow casual play at their store despite the infection risks since events are temporarily suspended due to the pandemic otherwise they aren't going to be able to stay in business for very long even with e-commerce sales alone. I haven't seen anyone at the LGS I frequent on Saturdays test positive for COVID-19 from allowing casual play.
    Posted in: Magic General
  • posted a message on The Coronavirus Pandemic and the Future of the Local Game Store (LGS)
    https://icv2.com/articles/news/view/46750/wizards-coast-extends-suspension-magic-the-gathering-in-store-play

    With the October 15th deadline already here, Wizards of the Coast has decided to push the goalpost further of keeping All In-Store Play Suspended at least until November 11th following the Take Home Pre-Release for Commander Legends. This means that Local Game Stores (LGSs) are still unable to host and run In-Person Events due to the ongoing pandemic while players can still show up to play EDH / Commander and other formats casually among their local playgroups.
    Posted in: Magic General
  • posted a message on Just How Important is MTG Lore To You?
    I remember hearing that there was supposed to be a Harry Potter crossover in Strixhaven: School of Mages however J.K. Rowling's political beliefs didn't align with Wizards of the Coast's so she got tossed aside in much the same way they defamed Terese Nielsen. If you haven't figured this out by now it means that whatever future IP Crossover MTG receives after The Walking Dead could be determined based on the creators' political beliefs. IP creators are more likely to be accepted by Wizards of the Coast only If they're liberal or progressive cause If they fall into being conservative or moderate then they won't want to have anything to do with them.

    Now I could care less about the political affiliations of Robert Kirkman, Tony Moore, and Charlie Adlard who're the creators of The Walking Dead franchise. I find it hard to believe that Wizards of the Coast would refuse to profit off of an IP based on the creator of that IP's political beliefs. Did Wizards of the Coast care about the political beliefs of the creators of Godzilla when designing Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths? No. So why did they fire Terese Nielsen for her political beliefs If they don't care about the political beliefs of the creators of said IP they want to crossover MTG with? I just find it very hypocritical If that actually turned out to be true.
    Posted in: Magic Storyline
  • posted a message on RC STATEMENT ON SECRET LAIR: THE WALKING DEAD
    Quote from DirkGently »
    Quote from Cranky »
    The reality is that, while there was always a very small contingent of people legitimately upset about 'immersion breaking,' the vast majority of people are just using it as an additional excuse to complain when someone refutes their arguments about why this product is bad and evil.
    Dear god am I tired of this armchair psychologist garbage. The reddit poll - 30K respondents - had 93% in favor of banning these in commander. And that's not even including people who dislike them but didn't want them banned. Everyone hates these stupid cards. If you don't, that's fine, but stop acting like everyone who disagrees secretly hates magic.

    I guarantee that if YouTubers like Brian and Mitch didn't irresponsibly abuse their platforms to start a knee-jerk sky-is-falling *****-fest, we wouldn't still be talking about this product. Mitch literally attempted to undermine the integrity of the format by actively trying to splinter people off into a sub-format out of pure petulance, so you can tell how much people like him really care about the format, and Brian has always been trying to peel people off into other games because deep down he hates Magic (counter to what he always melodramatically claims in his complaint videos).
    I don't think this particular product is the end of magic, obviously. But I do think that it's very emblematic of some very serious problems with how upper management is treating magic. They're focused entirely on making money ASAP, and not on creating an enjoyable game that can sustain long-term. This product itself happens to be particularly odious, but as far as the existential threat to the game it's a lot bigger than just SLxTWD. And that threat is what I think people are freaking out about, and trying desperate measures to try to correct the direction the ship is heading before it smashes into an iceberg.

    That said, this was a huge uproar before there were any YouTube videos about it and it would have been huge without any. Mitch and co rode the wave of anger, they didn't start it. They probably increased it a little, but this was going to be a PR nightmare no matter what they did.
    Yeah I was wondering who Jimmy Wong from The Command Zone was directing his anger toward on their episode discussing Secret Lair x The Walking Dead. It's during the 37 minute mark of the YouTube video right after Josh Lee Kwai was done discussing something. I don't see how having a genuine concern about the health of Paper Magic in general equates to toxicity and vitriol or in my case being hyperbole otherwise nobody would care and would've sold off their collections by now. As you've pointed out Dirk the threat that seems to be being undermined is Wizards of the Coast printing mechanically unique cards in a product with very limited access outside the Secondary Market.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on Avenger of Zendikar and Blasting Station
    Say it's turn 7 and I cast Avenger of Zendikar by making 7 0/1 Plant tokens for each of the 7 lands I have on the battlefield along with Blasting Station. Can I sacrifice the Plant tokens to deal damage at the same time the tokens enter the battlefield while untapping the Blasting Station for each token that enters the battlefield by dealing 7 damage divided in any way I choose to any target (creature, player, or planeswalker)?

    I assume what happens is Avenger of Zendikar's ETB trigger resolves first then Blasting Station is only able to sacrifice 1 out of the 7 Plant tokens produced instead of being able to sacrifice all the tokens at once while untapping itself for each Plant token entering the battlefield from Avenger of Zendikar entering the battlefield. You can't place an activated / triggered ability on the stack while an ETB trigger hasn't finished resolving from what I'm getting at.
    Posted in: Magic Rulings
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