2019 Holiday Exchange!
A New and Exciting Beginning
The End of an Era
  • posted a message on R.I.P. Kazuki Takahashi (1961-2022)


    I don't think people realize the generational impact he made to get them into the world of Paper Trading Card Games / Collectible Card Games like what Richard Garfield did for Magic: The Gathering 30 years ago. Like many others my first Paper Trading Card Game / Collectible Card Game was Yu-Gi-Oh! before I got into Magic: The Gathering, Pokémon TCG, Duel Masters / Kaijudo, and others like it and had it not been for Kazuki Takahashi I probably never would've met all the wonderful people and friends I've made along the way in this 20+ year journey I've been in this gaming hobby. Sure Konami and Upper Deck Entertainment may have sullied the legacy of the Yu-Gi-Oh! franchise Kazuki created through power creep but it's stood the test of time long enough to where it's legacy still lives on to this day despite it's flaws as a card game.

    I remember when me and my friends used to play Yu-Gi-Oh! in high school during lunch time while we also watched the Anime series on KidsWB back in the day coming home from school to catch the latest episode on TV which was during the Anime Renaissance of Dragon Ball Z and Sailor Moon when Cartoon Network's Toonami exploded in popularity at the time as well. My first defeat against Exodia was during an assembly that my school had at the time while we even tried to trade cards at school in between. I remember how convenience stores and big box retailers would sell Yu-Gi-Oh! cards and people went crazy over them even myself. I remember buying the Seto Kaiba Tin at my local Kmart before it closed down for good where I eventually collected the tins for Yugi Motou and Joey Wheeler. I also remember getting the Toon World deck by Pegasus.

    Forbidden Memories on PS One was quite memorable as I also had fun dueling my cousin and my sister in the Paper TCG / CCG while I struggled to do well in tournaments at the Comic Book Shop that was once a Local Game Store (LGS). I remember how the tournament promos were such a pain to get like Needle Worm including the backlog of promo cards saved for future Yu-Gi-Oh! video games that we had to wait on to obtain. I even remember the Official Anime Soundtrack for the English Dub of the Yu-Gi-Oh! Anime that was available at McDonald's including promo cards like Millennium Shield in Happy Meals that are no longer advertised sadly. Duelist of the Roses on PS2 was fun while it lasted where as Master Duels I feel nowadays has definitely made the Yu-Gi-Oh! experience not as toxic as it is in the Paper Trading Card Game / Collectible Card Game.

    My condolences go out to Mr. Takahashi and his friends and family for pioneering what is one of the greatest renaissances in gaming history.
    Posted in: Other Card Games
  • posted a message on Are Local Game Stores (LGSs) Too Dependent on Magic: The Gathering?
    Quote from Mystic_X »
    When you boil it down, game stores are too dependent on consumers who like playing games.

    The truth is they should diversify their product line and increase their target demographic by also selling other intoxicating products, food, coffee, back-scratchers, masks, soaps, deodorant, and plungers.

    That alone would quadruple their sales volume!
    Not necessarily. I don't think you realize the importance of having In-Person Communities and fellowships in a society that is trying to be anything but by secluding them to a digital space that leads to a less desirable experience. Otherwise you'd be better off playing video games exclusively or some other online exclusive activity. That's another problem where remote jobs through online businesses and streaming services that became heightened as a result of the pandemic has made manual labor jobs more difficult in this day and age that still continue to struggle trying to hire new employees to be willing to work. We were designed to get exercise instead of just sitting all day in front of a computer screen.

    We hate inconvenience so much to the point that we're willing to sacrifice it for more convenience that may seem like it's more satisfying than inconvenience when in reality it isn't. We've become too obsessed with perfection rather than imperfection that it's ruining our quality of everyday life in general. Why do we desire a world with no touch, no feeling, no smiles, and no meaning? This I feel will only lead down the path of trans-humanism which is something we all need to avoid with the merging of man and machine as we've been warned about in fiction years ago. Why do you think people are too afraid to let go of their smartphones? FOMO makes us think that we're missing out on something that's not really as important as we like to think it is.
    Posted in: Magic General
  • posted a message on Are Local Game Stores (LGSs) Too Dependent on Magic: The Gathering?
    Quote from Perodequeso »
    If a store is truly a “game store”, especially in areas with larger populations, they’ll carry hundreds of different products. And it seems fairly apparent that they could survive without Magic. However, the Magic market is huge and it is in a stores interest to carry it.
    Even Magic players play other games, and as a Magic player I’ll buy those other games at the stores I buy Magic.
    I live in a small town and we have one LGS. At one point there were three, but the two that tried solely to survive on Magic didn’t.
    The Comic Book Shop I used to go to that once served as an LGS relied heavily on Magic but because of how small their overhead is we haven't had anyone be able to play in the store since COVID-19 started two years ago. The only times that they're really active in terms of Magic was usually on Friday evenings and Saturdays but with the current threat of Comic Book Shops going extinct due to Marvel and DC's Woke Propaganda machine that they're trying to indoctrinate in today's youth I don't see it lasting much longer unfortunately.

    Marvel and DC could completely gut Comic Book Shops entirely and still make tons of profit off of their Hollywood blockbuster films and with a push toward Digital there would no longer be any need of physically tangible Comic Books which more than likely won't have any affect on the Collector's Market for it ironically. I've known that Comic Book Shop that once served as an LGS for nearly 20 years and we had a really good community built up from it for awhile where as some folks I used to congregate there have either moved to other LGSs within the vicinity or moved on with life in general.
    Posted in: Magic General
  • posted a message on Are Local Game Stores (LGSs) Too Dependent on Magic: The Gathering?
    The biggest issue with most of Magic: The Gathering's competitors pertaining to other Paper Trading Card Games / Collectible Card Games like Yu-Gi-Oh!, Pokémon TCG, Flesh and Blood, MetaZoo, etc. is due to the consumerist attitude of having to keep up with multiple metagames simultaneously and by the time you think you've caught up then the decks you built will already be objectively worse than the newest decks that are now apart of the new metagame or whatever players consider the "flavor of the month" which ends up creating a sunk cost fallacy that ends up screwing players over thinking they can recoup their losses when in actuality they can't. The deckbuilding aspect is what makes Magic: The Gathering stand out from competitors like Yu-Gi-Oh!, Pokémon TCG, Flesh and Blood, MetaZoo, etc. where they're severely limited due to how linear and restrictive deckbuilding is which tends to create less of a draw for Local Game Stores (LGSs) to rely on these card games to get the kind of market shares and profits they need to stay in business. One of the goals of deckbuilding is consistency which means that you're hoping to get the same draws over and over again. So If you're good at deckbuilding and the said meta of said card game is "solved" then you're more than likely to play the same game, with the same very narrow subset of cards, over and over again.

    Most players don't really take into consideration just how much effort goes into a Paper Trading Card Game / Collectible Card Game and for Local Game Stores (LGSs) to take that kind of risk on anything outside of Magic: The Gathering, Yu-Gi-Oh!, and Pokémon TCG is too much of a gamble for them to take unfortunately. I don't mean this in terms of collecting cards or spending money, no. These are negligible or false complaints to me. If you're not willing to "netdeck" then you have to figure out a lot of stuff well before you ever sit down and play a game. I don't mean learning the rules. I mean building an entire game from scratch pretty much. You need to pick an archetype, theme, and strategy for your deck. You need to figure out how to execute these ideas. You need to play with some off-the-wall ideas sometimes. Then after you play a game you need to react to the meta. You need to find some answers and cut some problems. For a lot of players, this part is the game. For many others, it's just a pain, especially if they haven't done it with a particular card game in a while or every, and if their are no available resources or articles to help you out. Dead card games also don't have active tournament scenes to act as mass laboratories, figuring out many problems almost immediately. So it has to be done on a grassroots level which I've seen to some success.

    What makes Magic: The Gathering unique in this scenario is that the EDH / Commander format allows players to choose their own meta rather than the game's creators doing it for them. Since most other card games simply refuse to adopt a form of Casual Play as much as Competitive is why Local Game Stores (LGSs) are having to be heavily reliant on Magic: The Gathering. It doesn't have to be this way yet most of these card games are content with catering exclusively to the Competitive crowd yet at the same time also runs a risk of no Organized Play for such a practice which means less foot traffic at Local Game Stores (LGSs) so they need some kind of draw to get players coming back to play In-Person repeatedly. Other card games like Yu-Gi-Oh! and Pokémon TCG aren't willing to innovate and adapt even though some have already realized the importance of having online clients to help promote their Paper versions as much as their Digital ones. Flesh and Blood TCG on the other hand sort of makes sense of not having an online client while at the same time could help promote growth for the In-Person experience at Local Game Stores (LGSs). I think that If most other card games solve this problem of allowing players to create their own meta instead of being left to the game's creators then it would be better for Local Game Stores (LGSs) in the long run.
    Posted in: Magic General
  • posted a message on Are Local Game Stores (LGSs) Too Dependent on Magic: The Gathering?
    Legendary Wolf Games of Omaha, Nebraska is LITERAL proof that a Local Game Store (LGS) doesn't need Magic: The Gathering in order for the business model itself to succeed long term with UniVersus TCG: My Hero Academia when I think the biggest problem facing LGSs right now is that they've become so dependent on Magic: The Gathering that the risk to take that chance on other competing Paper Trading Card Games / Collectible Card Games is too much of a gamble If they haven't already stood the test of time simply because the margin of error in this gaming genre is much higher compared to Video Games even though the experience is better In-Person than in Virtual.

    Wizards of the Coast / Hasbro deliberately took advantage of Local Game Stores (LGSs) putting all their eggs in one basket for Magic: The Gathering over other competing card games like MetaZoo, Flesh and Blood, Yu-Gi-Oh!, and Pokémon TCG in an effort to put them out of business by not branching out into other card games to financially support themselves and I get it from the business owner / employee's perspective in that they need a fail safe in order to stay in business as Magic: The Gathering is an easy target due to how long it's been around, heck I remember one LGS that went out of business because it relied solely on the Force of Will TCG which had only been around since 2012 / 2013.

    So why is it so hard to run an LGS that simply refuses to support or even endorse anything related to Magic: The Gathering? I don't think it's healthy for this business model to carry itself solely on the success of Magic: The Gathering and not expect said company behind said game to eventually turn against the MTG community for the sake of corporate greed and profit margins. Not only are you disenfranchising players to other competing card games in the process but you're also shrinking their disposable incomes to the point where players can only afford to play Magic: The Gathering and no other card game. So what do you guys think? Is this a problem in your local community?
    Posted in: Magic General
  • posted a message on Double Masters 2 Singles price prediction
    If Double Masters 2022 ends up like Time Spiral Remastered where Wizards of the Coast / Hasbro decides not to issue another print run like they almost did with Jumpstart then we're in BIG trouble!
    Posted in: Magic General
  • posted a message on [2X2] SMOTHERING TITHE!!! — Riley knight preview

    Hope that Land Tax gets another reprint in Double Masters 2022 as well.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on Too Much Magic: Purp Rants
    The real question is how different this current situation with LGSs, local distributors, and Double Masters 2022 is compared to the fallout we witnessed from Masters 25 and Iconic Masters where there weren't any hurdles to purchase product as we still had MSRP. Nowadays everything has gone up from shipping and transportation to where it's become increasingly harder to keep up with a luxury item like Paper Magic under economic turmoil. The reason why the absence of MSRP is bad in this scenario is that it gives LGSs too much leeway to markup prices that customers might not be able to afford thus losing sales in the process. When your local distributor is secluded to just Amazon fulfillment that makes it even harder for these LGSs to get the piece of the pie that they would've gotten under the local distributors that are now being thrown under the bus.

    The recent trend of Wizards of the Coast / Hasbro pumping and dumping one Paper Magic product after another is really reflective of this instant gratification in our society that we've now become accustomed toward due to online algorithms and current market trends. Unfortunately it doesn't give these products enough time to appreciate in monetary value when it's an excuse to lower the cost to make them more affordable to purchase which was only made worse due to the inclusion of card variants with showcases, extended arts, and foils of that nature. It also affects the narrative of the MTG lore and how it's being disregarded because they know If they print cards with really good abilities then players and collectors will buy them. I feel as though the game itself is trying too hard to escape from it's own identity regarding it's own lore in an effort to be more sanitized and consumer friendly.
    Posted in: Magic General
  • posted a message on [2X2] Chaos warp (with art done by….) — cabrito_montes preview
    Quote from Dontrike »
    Surprised they didn't use this art in a Secret Lair.
    Surprised that they don't use this kind of art outside Secret Lairs.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on Too Much Magic: Purp Rants
    Granted this is all being done to make up for the absence of In-Person Organized Play events for Paper Magic on account of an ongoing global pandemic which is nearing it's end as we speak when we now have the implications of market inflation affecting how much players and collectors are willing to spend for Double Masters 2022 as opposed to what occurred with Masters 25 and Iconic Masters where real world events weren't that big of an issue as it is today. Additionally this is going to be a make it or break it moment for A LOT of Local Game Stores (LGSs) looking to cash out of their business for retirement instead of providing a public service for players to play at their venues In-Person where Pre-Orders for Double Masters 2022 are going to be through the roof as the LGSs that do survive from this are those that put local communities first over maximizing profit.

    Those that put profit first over local communities were never fully committed to owning and operating a Local Game Store (LGS) because dealing with this sort of business model is supposed to be a labor of love not a side hustle. You don't take the money and run to close your business permanently just to leave players who are wanting to play with the cards they purchased under the rug. Yes the cost of transportation nowadays due to market inflation under terrible economic policies is really bad but that's no excuse to just throw the baby out of the bathwater. The smart thing to do as a LGS owner would be to order less product for Double Masters 2022 and not take as many Pre-Orders that would cause these businesses to sit on products they aren't able to sell for being too expensive and with the absence of MSRP that does tend to complicate this situation even more.
    Posted in: Magic General
  • posted a message on [2x2] Divine Visitation and fiery justice — MTGGoldfish preview
    Mayael's Aria would've been a much better choice over Fiery Justice. A card that actually sees play in EDH / Commander.

    Shame that most of the spoiled uncommons and commons in Double Masters 2022 outside of Unearth, Mulldrifter, Thought Scour, Deep Analysis, Dragon Arch, and Rampant Growth are literal garbage.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on [2X2] Phyrexian Altar, Muldrotha, Vedalken Orrery, and Ulamog — The Command Zone previews
    At least we don't have to worry about Josh Lee Kwai spiking Vedalken Orrery anymore.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on [2X2] Double Masters 2022 Debut Stream — Weekly MTG previews
    Quote from Xcric »
    Unfortunately they commissioned the wrong artwork for the Dockside Extortionist reprint because it looks more like a Monkey Pirate than a Goblin Pirate. Did they forget that they were supposed to reprint Dockside Extortionist thinking they were actually reprinting Ragavan, Nimble Pilferer? Looks that way to me. Wonder If they'll correct the artwork for the second print run?

    its clearly from ixalan, where goblins are more reminiscent of monkeys, its just leaning into the idea of thieving pirate instead of bureaucrat. they're not going to change the art at this point in the process.
    The pitch meeting was more than likely the design team at Wizards of the Coast almost forgetting that Dockside Extortionist needed a reprint in Double Masters 2022 when they ended up commissioning unrelated artwork at the last minute due to Hasbro pressuring them to meet a specific deadline. This also explains why there's been so many product delays with each recent release because of how much they keep pumping and dumping Paper Magic products on a constant basis.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on [2X2] Double Masters 2022 Debut Stream — Weekly MTG previews
    Unfortunately they commissioned the wrong artwork for the Dockside Extortionist reprint because it looks more like a Monkey Pirate than a Goblin Pirate. Did they forget that they were supposed to reprint Dockside Extortionist thinking they were actually reprinting Ragavan, Nimble Pilferer? Looks that way to me. Wonder If they'll correct the artwork for the second print run?
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on Magic to become more expensive (again)
    The biggest problem I see with the Paper Trading Card Game / Collectible Card Game business model itself nowadays is how do you make it lucrative enough but not financially expensive enough to get as much out of the card game as possible while promoting more growth for local communities backing said card game? The problem is that unless your card game is tied to a successful anime/manga, video game franchise, or what have you and you're only relying on nostalgia alone to sell the brand which is where Magic: The Gathering is at right now then you're not going to be able to draw new blood into your card game unless they're cultured into it. The real challenge here is how to draw the attention of those who you're wanting to be cultured into your card game while simultaneously not alienating them in the process.

    Excellent point.

    I am trying to point out what NOT to do and they are doing it. I am not sure what TO do. I don't know if there actually is a solution at this point. They need a movie, they need a short Netflix like series if they want to expand. If not they need to make it cheaper and more accessible. This they are not doing and doing the exact opposite.
    Reminds me of a recent Tolarian Community College YouTube video debating about how popular is the Magic: The Gathering IP (Intellectual Property):

    <embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/YV3lR_iudc4&quot; type="application/x-shockwave-flash" data="http://www.youtube.com/v/YV3lR_iudc4&quot; width="425" height="350" movie="http://www.youtube.com/v/YV3lR_iudc4&quot; wmode="transparent"/>
    Posted in: Magic General
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