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  • posted a message on Introducing Jumpstart
    Since the booster packs for this product are only going to contain 1 basic land each, why not just go the Duel Masters / Kaijudo route and allow mono colored cards to be treated as basic lands but played upside down? If you have multi colored cards why not treat them like ABU duals without the drawback from Shocklands?
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on Does Josh (CMZ) missplays on purpose for the show?
    I don't know If Josh is trying to hold back on purpose for the show due to how skilled his deck building for EDH / Commander is. It could be that the amount of access he has to a lot of expensive cards compared to other players makes it easier for him to acquire the type of consistency he's looking for in most of his builds. It almost kind of feels as though Jimmy doesn't put in as much effort to his EDH / Commander decks because he's more casual than Josh is where his play style tends to lean a bit toward cEDH without being cEDH. Either that or Jimmy doesn't run enough card advantage to prevent his decks from running out of gas often which seems to be a recurring theme I've noticed on Game Knights.

    I think it's more due to the amount of time they have to build decks between each Game Knights episode. Skilled deck building in EDH / Commander requires thinking outside the box more in terms of data mining all possible synergies, card interactions, and consistency in order to get the best results whether it's interactive or non-interactive. It's probably got less to do with misplays and more about making sure the decks they build don't unintentionally create a non-interactive board state that's too difficult for other players at the table to answer. As long as you've thought ahead of how the cards work then normally you shouldn't have a problem. You want to create opportunities for other players to counteract with your board state.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on Wizards Keep Games Goes Out of Business or Why You Shouldn't Open a Local Game Store
    Wizards Keep Games did eventually find a new owner to keep the business going as reported on their official Facebook page. I see the LGS as being more than just a franchise to sell MTG and Yu-Gi-Oh! products when it's about providing a place for people to play with these products. I just don't see a viable alternative that can continue to help sustain this gaming model without the LGS when it's increasingly difficult to advertise and market it the same way as your traditional board games with Monopoly, Scrabble, and anything made by Milton Bradley. Moving toward a digital space isn't the answer either.

    I get why Konami and WotC aren't obligated to support the LGS when it's themselves who are losing money on card singles and sealed product that helps sustain the LGS. If the LGS doesn't want to diversify their customer base and product offerings in order to stay in business that's on them. The problem is what can these companies do to help support the LGS that hasn't already been done before? Perhaps they need to go back to what has helped foster their relationship more by learning from their past mistakes. Instead they only see dollar signs instead of the importance of community.
    Posted in: Magic General
  • posted a message on $500 Fine for Anyone Who Criticizes the MPL and Wizards of the Coast
    Quote from SavannahLion »
    And Maros recent article on Unsanctioned seems to hint at internal problems at WotC.
    Speaking of internal problems at WotC, the Magic Historian had an interesting video on YouTube discussing the subject matter:

    Quote from The Magic Historian »

    The reason that MTG has so many problems is because it's an amazing game. It's the end result of the actions that are being taken because MTG is an amazing game that actually led to it's current problems. MTG has been a massive success which has led to really poor corporate decisions and an overall structuring of the company around that. MTG used to be a much smaller affair in terms of Wizards of the Coast and then the game itself grew larger and so dominant that Wizards of the Coast was actually able to purchase TSR the makers of Dungeons & Dragons. Hilariously enough MTG was made as "something quick and fun that people can play between games and at gaming conventions", quoting founder of Wizards of the Coast Peter Adkison.

    MTG has become wildly successful in terms of Trading Card Games / Collectible Card Games that it's being leveraged in a way that has a detrimental effect overall to the company and leads to us having a poorer experience as consumers because they're not putting in the effort to ensure that we're getting the best results. What's going on is think about it, wouldn't you like to work at Wizards of the Coast? There's a bunch of people thinking, "Oh I'd love to spend my time designing MTG cards, working with MTG, play MTG all the time, talk MTG all day and all that goodness". It's a pretty sweet deal when you think about it however what's happened there is the same thing that's happened in a number of different industries that are desirable.

    This is leveraged by all kinds of different companies and it generally leads to bad results. In this hypothetical scenario you desperately want to work for Wizards of the Coast so as a result you're going to put up with more hassles than a regular employee who doesn't care about the company the same way. Think about the place that would be your dream job and then thinking about working at a place you don't care about. Think about two equal jobs where one is like "Oh my God I get to be at Wizards of the Coast!" versus "I'm going to manage a Kmart." Now there's nothing wrong with being a Kmart manager (is Kmart even a thing anymore?), anyway like a department store manager, a perfectly respectable job where the employee gets paid fairly adequately.

    I'm NOT here using that as a knock on those kinds of jobs but just to give you an example of "you're going to dream about being a Wizards of the Coast employee and working on MTG" that's the dream. It's not a dream of being a Wizards of the Coast employee, it's a dream of working on MTG. There is no equal for like the department "so I can't wait to be the guy whose in charge of making sure we have enough pairs of jeans to sell." There's just no parallel there. So Wizards of the Coast has the ability to essentially pay their employees less except here's the catch, they can't pay them as much. So say you were one of these Wizards of the Coast employees and you were to go to work as a department store manager you'd get paid more with two jobs.

    If you go work for a company where you don't care about working there and you're doing the same level job then you're not going to take that level of pay but because you love Wizards of the Coast you're going to take this level of pay because you love MTG specifically. Mostly this is about MTG though there are people who feel the same way about Dungeons & Dragons. Wizards of the Coast will leverage that as well however MTG is the biggest draw. It's the most valuable property that the company owns and it has the most people who are scrambling. Look at all the people who spend their time designing their own MTG cards. There's tons of people who are from the outside because they don't see what it's like on the inside who would absolutely love to be there.

    This puts Wizards of the Coast in a scenario where they can essentially hire people, pay them less, treat them poorly, and throw them out the door like garbage because they don't matter. You've seen it within the Video Game Industry where people want to work on video games. The dream of working on video games is so amazing to them that they're like "Oh my God I can't wait to work on video games!" So what happens is that they end up getting hired for low-level pay and as soon as whatever project they're working on is done they all get thrown out the door so the corporation can go, "Look we made this much extra money, we can write all this off" and "Take a look at this we can trumpet our earnings!"

    Wizards of the Coast is owned by Hasbro so it's the same kind of scenario. So you have these people who are being hired because they love the game and they're taking less pay and you ask, "Well what's wrong with someone wanting to take less pay to work a job that is essentially their dream job?" There's nothing wrong from the perspective of the person who goes in all starry-eyed and wants to work for Wizards of the Coast. What's wrong is what happens as an end result of it. You end up with people with a consistent level of "churn". Churn is basically how many people end up leaving the business. Apparently around two years in is where all the Magic starts to rub off. That's the furthest most people will make it before they start to become completely disillusioned.

    So anyone who sticks around long-term is no longer going to be "full of the joy". The people who are there and are excited and new, they put absurd amounts of work on them while also shrinking down the work force. As an end result there's not enough employees to go around for all the work that needs to be done. You have to skimp here and there. So where do we see the skimping? We see it very clearly in things like Oko, Thief of Crowns in Throne of Eldraine. While they were looking to make fun, innovative, and exciting new cards; playtest design is really important in order to get a balanced environment. Wizards of the Coast admitted that they barely even playtested Oko for Standard in terms of his +1 ability which should've been a -1 ability.

    The employees didn't have time to playtest because they were being overworked. So this mentality that "You're lucky to get to work on MTG's premium product", "That it deserves sacrifices on your part", and "We're the best because we're MTG" infuses new people who apply to work for Wizards of the Coast who aren't even applying because they love MTG. So the manager who was in charge of developing MTG Arena came out with a very snobbish condescending attitude talking about MTG Arena and how it would be more expensive than other digital games purely because it was MTG. He wasn't a massive fanatic who came to work on the game because he had that instilled into him by the company itself.

    Dealing with that level of arrogance and attitude from the company infused its way into somebody who was relatively new to the company. That's the scenario we're currently in right now where you have employees getting burnt out, in fear of losing their jobs, overworked, and the company taking constant advantage of people who are willing to work under pay. For a part of the world that these employees are in they only receive below average pay while Wizards of the Coast expects them to work for the love of MTG. This leads to employees who aren't as good at the job as they could be. If you're paying below industry standards then you're not going to have the level of confidence and quality you would have If you'd paid for a higher level of confidence and quality.

    You're never going to have the best quality because the best employees are going to leave for better jobs. If you pay below the average people will go where they can get the average or better. These employees are only going to stick around for a certain amount of time before they're more preoccupied with life in general. Wizards of the Coast's most talented individuals are going to leave while they're stuck with essentially subpar employees that's led to this churn scenario. So you've got a situation where they burn their overworked employees, throw them out the door, and then bring a new wave. They're constantly doing that. There have been people talking about the lack of diversity inside the company.

    They tout these ideals but don't internally reflect them and that may be also my opinion what they do is predatory. It may have to do with the predatory way that they do things where they end up with a lot of particular people working for them because they're preying on those people to work for them. In other words they're taking substandard employees just because they love the game, the numbers look better on the spreadsheet, but at the end of the day If you have less competent people working for you then you end up with a less competent product. Look at the slew of problems that Wizards of the Coast has right now.

    They literally had to cancel a novel that they paid for to get created based on Theros: Beyond Death however they screwed things up so poorly that they couldn't even release it out to the public. They're unable to print cards to decent quality like they used to be able to or they just refuse to. So it's either incompetence or absolute outright greed. Either way this preying on MTG players the way that the Video Game Industry preys on gamers where they take advantage of them is causing their consumer base to feel that kind of pressure as well. We've probably all been in positions where we've been exploited to a degree by this sort of thing, not specifically with MTG but it's a very human sort of thing.

    Wizards of the Coast is just actively making these choices that are making things worse and it spreads out to every aspect of the company because of that corporate culture where they become complacent. They're like, "We're King of the Hill Card Game" and it just translates into them thinking that they're also going to be "King of Video Games" and it's just not going to play out that way. They're not hiring the best and the brightest to create this stuff when they're hiring people who'll work for what they're paying and considering how much money this company makes from all these products it makes no sense to see a shrinking employee base being loaded with more and more work.

    You can get away with that If you're running a Fast Food Chain since it's not going to change the quality due to already being a robotic process where you just need people to essentially fill the role of droids. However when it comes to MTG it requires a lot more thought and care to properly do things and we're seeing a number of different issues that are all cropping up because of it. So underneath it all it really all boils down to the biggest problem with MTG is the elitism that's felt by the company itself and the management that feels that you should feel privileged to work at Wizards of the Coast.

    They should be happy for their employees to work for them but it's at an unreasonable level that leads to them taking advantage of people who don't deserve to be taken advantage of. It leads to choices where people are being treated poorly and underpaid because MTG is a great game. The game itself is suffering because of incompetence, because of complacent management, because of taking advantage of individuals who don't deserve to be taken advantage of. So that's my opinion on the subject. I just wanted to bring that out as a conversation piece.

    Posted in: Magic General
  • posted a message on $500 Fine for Anyone Who Criticizes the MPL and Wizards of the Coast
    Quote from AtraxianShade »
    I personally agree with The Mmagic Historian video about this: WotC is becoming more and more controlling, demanding that you never say anything even slightly critical of them on any kind of platform. You pretty much must be a sycophant to work with them.
    The censorship on the tournament data is most likely a way to hide the fact that the standard environment is broken and stale.
    I also see the censorship on tournament data as a way to stop players from netdecking and be more original with what kind of decks they build. Then again you're always going to have players who will try to break the game in order to expose broken synergies and combos to convince WotC to ban. Instead of addressing the problem right away they wait til the last minute to do something about it. They don't ban anything because they don't want to hurt the monetary value of popular cards.
    Posted in: Magic General
  • posted a message on $500 Fine for Anyone Who Criticizes the MPL and Wizards of the Coast
    So they went after Saffron Olive before Frank Karsten?

    The $500 fine seems par for the course as far as "contracting" people's appearances which is what the MPL basically does.

    Punishing those with differing opinions has been an awful practice that Wizards of the Coast has been getting away with for a long time and it's a shame that they're now reaching out to others who are disseminating that information.
    Posted in: Magic General
  • posted a message on JANUARY 2020 RULES UPDATE (no changes)
    Shame they shut down the message board forums there though I understand why they did it since we already have other MTG websites to post content. I mainly went there to post a backlog of all me and my friends' EDH / Commander decks in which I did manage to get some helpful feedback from time to time. There was only like two to three active users on there including myself right before the site relaunch. I'm guessing everyone else has either moved onto social media platforms with reddit or they've already given up on Paper MTG in fear that digital might take over.

    Direct communication with the Rules Committee in regards to the health of EDH / Commander is probably going to be a lot harder without a message board forum unless they go on social media. They're probably already compromised with WotC similar to when they shut down the comment section for cards on MTG Gatherer. Something tells me that this isn't a good sign in regards to transparency between the Rules Committee and the players. That's one of the biggest reasons why Modern has been struggling as a format because WotC only listens to tournament results instead of the players.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on Secret Lair - Year of the Rat
    Screw this garbage. Support your LGS instead.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on Maze's End
    When Nylea's Intervention first got spoiled in Theros: Beyond Death it made me think that Maze's End in Pioneer could be viable so I just went with it. Unfortunately I was only able to put this deck together on a budget as I'd like to add expensive cards to the list such as Dryad of the Ilysian Grove and Courser of Kruphix for getting my win con out faster.

    I'm having a bit of trouble with cards that can help me stall for time or deal with threats on board as I managed to find room for a playset of Return to Nature. Golos, Tireless Pilgrim seemed like a perfect fit in here especially since I can cast spells for free with his second line of text If I get WUBRG on board which shouldn't be too hard with the Guildgates.

    Any advice, comments, and/or suggestions are greatly appreciated. Thanks!
    Posted in: Pioneer
  • posted a message on The command zone preview - Nyxbloom Ancient (the final mythic rare)
    There's better 7 drops for Mono Green EDH particularly Avenger of Zendikar which curves nicely into Craterhoof Behemoth to help close out games. Late game you'd want more value out of your creatures than mana unless you deliberately plan on winning with Helix Pinnacle. If anything Nyxbloom Ancient lends itself more to spot removal while relying too much on asymmetrical abilities to properly function.

    Seedborn Muse is the obvious choice since you can potentially tap your lands for triple the amount during your opponents' turns If you're lucky. If Nyxbloom Ancient was a 5 drop it'd arguably be on par with Paradox Engine but as it is, it's not as strong as everyone is making it out to be. I can definitely see this being a busted card in multi-color EDH decks but as for Mono Green deck space is tight enough as it is.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on Wizards Keep Games Goes Out of Business or Why You Shouldn't Open a Local Game Store

    So for those who don't know Wizards Keep Games was a really popular LGS for Wizards of the Coast employees especially on Tuesday nights for EDH / Commander. This was the shop Sheldon Menery played at, when he was in Seattle for his project with Wizards of the Coast. The sudden news of this closure will certainly impact Wizards of the Coast employees since they live right next door though probably not the employees that made decisions like Secret Lair.

    The owner of Wizards Keep Games firmly believes that the Secret Lair distribution model is final proof that Wizards of the Coast is in the process of cutting the Local Game Store (LGS) out of the loop entirely, and has decided to sell up before his business goes bust as a result. The problem is that players want the best prices and don't care about what goes into the LGS. Running a Local Game Store is a labor of love.

    If the LGS disappears then it will negatively affect the players. Kitchen Table will still be a thing but meeting new players will become increasingly difficult without getting in trouble with someone's parents. People will use the excuse of "There's no real point of going to an LGS for most adults looking to play Magic" when that isn't true at all. Magic isn't just for adults it's for people of all ages (well almost since they'd be better off starting with the Pokémon TCG).
    Posted in: Magic General
  • posted a message on The Future of Paper Magic by Saffron Olive
    That's what happens when you print Standard legal cards to be on the same power level as Modern in order to sell playable cards in eternal formats. Competitive Magic is currently in the worst state it's been in the game's history. Everyone seems to be moving to Pioneer since Modern is too expensive and too degenerate. The Grand Prix has been replaced with the MPL where it only rewards players who grind competitively on MTG Arena online instead of grinding competitively at a live event where they can socialize with others at the table.

    Now imagine If there was a Paper Magic tournament at an LGS where the only prize support was MTG Arena Codes. Why would an LGS sell a product that promotes their customers not to shop at their store? Imagine If this was a Pre-Release Event which is the biggest casual event to build up your player base, everyone of those participants are going to receive something to go online and get a free draft on MTG Arena. Why would someone want to be selling a product that's eating themselves? The answer is that they wouldn't.

    The scary thing about this is that the LGS would have to do it If Wizards of the Coast / Hasbro told them to even If they're a WPN store. If the LGS ends up getting rid of the prize support If it ends up being MTG Arena Codes then there's no incentive to play. The Collector's Editions that they started doing in recent Standard sets with Throne of Eldraine and now Theros Beyond Death is a deliberate attempt to get rid of Paper Magic. MTG Arena makes more money than Paper Magic where they don't have to rely on the LGS, local distributors, printers, packaging, etc.
    Posted in: Magic General
  • posted a message on Run more interaction! Run more fast mana! Or: The death of interesting edh deckbuilding
    The more consistent a deck is the less fun it is for opponents to interact with where as the less consistent a deck is the more fun it is to play and interact with. This seems to be an issue I keep seeing in EDH / Commander where a lot of times the lines are blurred between Casual EDH and cEDH. A lot of times when someone manages to Solitaire for a win everyone else seems to be tapped out to cast any sort of answer unless someone is running Force of Will / Force of Negation / Pact of Negation. Even If you have an answer in hand the combo player ALWAYS gets to resolve their abilities first on the stack so you're still screwed either way. Perhaps Play Design at Wizards of the Coast needs to start printing cards that punishes combo players by reversing the order of how the stack resolves in your favor which is actually pretty dirty but would be effective in prolonging games further.

    Part of the reason why there's less interesting decks to build for EDH / Commander right now and I've noticed this with a lot of the newer Legendary Creatures printed in Throne of Eldraine is that Wizards of the Coast isn't willing to think outside the box far enough to where brewing decks don't feel as "cookie cutter" which actually used to be a phrase for netdecking in Yu-Gi-Oh! way back when. Auto includes are definitely a problem in this format to the point where 50% of the time you're seeing almost the exact same cards played in almost every game thanks to draw and tutoring. My Nissa, Vastwood Seer EDH deck has a similar problem where it consistently gets out both Avenger of Zendikar and Craterhoof Behemoth to close out games almost every time. Shadowborn Athreos had the same problem where you just literally play all your Shadowborn Apostles with Thrumming Stone. It's so dumb.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on The Future of Paper Magic by Saffron Olive

    Found this article by Saffron Olive of MTG Goldfish and thought I'd share it.

    Posted in: Magic General
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