According to one of my friends at my locals, the cEDH community didn't take the recent ban on Golos, Tireless Pilgrim too lightly as someone just started an online petition to convince the EDH Rules Committee to unban Golos for EDH / Commander claiming that their recent bans / unbans as of late proves that they're completely out of touch with the format. There was already speculation that the EDH Rules Committee was pushing for the cEDH community to create their own separate ban list for cEDH instead of following the traditional ban list for EDH / Commander back when Hullbreacher got banned from the format because it was more of a linchpin card for the competitive side of the format compared to casual where it was more oppressive. If you've seen that one Game Knights episode where Cassius Marsh pressured Josh Lee Kwai into casting Deflecting Swat to save the playgroup from Hullbreacher then you know what I'm talking about. Cassius tried to deny everyone cards by casting Timetwister with Hullbreacher to net Treasure tokens.
Look. We all need to come to terms that the EDH Rules Committee are stuck in their own bubble as they don't care If their decisions are relevant to the vast majority of players let alone the financial / time ramifications of their decisions on the player base. This IS the same EDH Rules Committee who had a knee-jerk reaction (well mainly Sheldon Menery) about Wheel effects (named after Wheel of Fortune) having a negative effect on the format as well as debating whether or not If cards like Grave Pact and Dictate of Erebos are too divisive. Josh Lee Kwai who doesn't necessarily work for the EDH Rules Committee but is a part of the advisory group seems to be a rare voice of reason among them. This is what I feared would happen is that the player base is beginning to lose their trust with the EDH Rules Committee. It's really baffling that players would spend their hard earned money and free time to play a game only to be told that they're playing it wrong when it's a social game that can easily self regulate. Isn't that why Rule 0 is a thing?
- Card Slinger J
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Aug 19, 2021Card Slinger J posted a message on Magic Modern more expensive than ever, despite lots of reprintsPosted in: Magic General
Yeah but not to this degree. Let's put it this way, If you have a sitting U.S. President who is giving bailout after bailout and the inflation is 5.4% since he/she took office and up to 9% a day to a month which is over 10.8% a year then yes it does change how you view things. Paper Magic is getting more expensive because of U.S. politics. Costs are going up due to hyperinflation which is why Modern is more expensive now than it's ever been. You also have to take into account transportation costs to deliver these sealed products containing Paper Magic cards which also adds to the Secondary Market value of card singles in terms of how much product is opened to lower demand by increasing supply. Since whales are really good at bottle necking supply in order to increase the demand for sealed products they're able to flip online that leads to more expensive cards due to supply shortages within the Secondary Market and less people willing to sell cards in eternal formats. Paper Standard cards move more due to set rotation.Quote from Vendilion_Critique »nothing new, magic has always been an expensive hobby
You don't have as many people willing to crack booster packs anymore outside of playing in a booster draft or a sealed event because the risk simply isn't worth the reward when there's no guarantee of pulling specific card singles needed for certain deck strategies not to mention how bad the pull rates might be. Otherwise you have a scenario where people resort having to Buylist what they've pulled at their LGS until they pull what they need when they can just simply get it from someone through a trade deal, their LGS If they have a card single inventory, or from an online vendor. This would also be really bad for Local Game Stores (LGSs) because they would have piles upon piles of Buylist orders waiting to be graded on a weekly basis before the sellers can spend their store credit to buy what they need from them which takes up lines at the cash registers in front of these stores. Since these stores only have few employees to stay in business in order to pay rent every month that means that there aren't a lot of spare hands to deal with these kinds of issues.
You also have to factor in how the current state of the manual labor market and unemployment is affecting Local Game Stores (LGSs) with more jobs available now than people willing to work in which some people on social media call, "The Great Resignation". We now live in a business market where most people feel more comfortable to work from home rather than at the office or their mom and pop / brick and mortar retail store while having that physical location is still the lifeblood of WHY players engage in these gaming hobbies like Paper Magic and other Tabletop games. That's why hybrid business models are becoming the new normal where you can work from home AND still provide a physical location for your business with the potential of not cutting the middleman or in this case the local distributor. Because of market inflation you're getting less Paper Magic cards for the same amount of money because your money has less buying power so unless you're making more money then you're only losing out on life.
Aug 2, 2021Card Slinger J posted a message on 31 new digital-only cards for upcoming Jumpstart : Historic HorizonI could see Sheldon Menery make an excuse for players who are wanting to run Digital Exclusive cards from Arena for Paper EDH / Commander by printing them off with a color ink jet printer to make playable proxies. Not sure If the EDH Rules Committee is willing to tackle how to incorporate these Digital Exclusive game mechanics in Paper when it was purposely designed not to be duplicated for that reason. If someone finds a way to make it work in Paper then more power to them I guess. There IS a limitation to what gameplay designers and playtesters are able to accomplish on Paper compared to Digital as we haven't quite scrapped the bottom of the barrel of new ideas as much as Wizards of the Coast / Hasbro thinks they have with MTG itself at least not yet anyway. There's still a lot of new possibilities with the current existing card pool that's left unexplored.Posted in: The Rumor Mill
With Hearthstone no longer being a competition to Arena with Activision / Blizzard going out of business soon, Wizards of the Coast / Hasbro can literally swoop in and buy all the rights to Hearthstone from them and still stay ahead of the curve within the Digital Card Game Market with the main competitors being Legends of Runeterra and Shadowverse. Wizards of the Coast / Hasbro is probably looking to acquire the majority of Hearthstone players for Arena due to the game's online server getting shut down with Activision / Blizzard going belly up though they might move on to other Digital Exclusive Card Games out right now. Unlike Paper Trading Card Games / Collectible Card Games the market for these Digital Exclusive Card Games aren't as crowded BECAUSE they don't rely as much on a Secondary Market which lowers the barrier of entry to players in order to play tremendously.
Wizards of the Coast / Hasbro is actively trying to price players out of EDH / Commander, Modern, Pioneer, and Legacy in Paper while simultaneously turning Paper Magic into nothing more than a collector's item for collecting and investing similar to the Reserve List with Arena potentially being the only choice for players to actually play MTG being on a Digital Exclusive format. The beauty of MTG is being able to play the game however you want as long as you're following the rules of a given format you're playing in within the official rules of the game itself but by shoehorning players into Arena because Wizards of the Coast / Hasbro is salty that EDH / Commander is more popular than Paper Standard is a bit childish at best If that happens to be the case. They tried with Brawl I'll give them that at least though it would've been better If it was a non-rotating format IMO kinda like Oathbreaker.
Jul 28, 2021Card Slinger J posted a message on The Fate of the LGS, Paper Magic, and the Future of RetailSo as we all know Wizards of the Coast / Hasbro's business partnership with Amazon has been catastrophic for anyone online including local distributors such as Southern Hobby (who just recently merged with another company) that Local Game Stores (LGSs) used to be able to rely on by being forced to charge for their products more allowing Amazon to charge for less by cutting the middleman out completely. It's not just game over for local distributors but also for Rudy's No Employee / No In-Person Play business model and Local Game Stores (LGSs) whose business is open to the public for In-Store Play and Events. People are ALWAYS going to buy what the cheapest items are. When they come to your physical store, they'll buy a booster box from Amazon in the Amazon box, take it to your LGS to try to trade it or sell it in cash to your customers. Local Game Stores are actually making less by ordering from Amazon than from their local distributor despite Amazon being cheaper.Posted in: Magic General
If you're the business owner of a Local Game Store (LGS) you can't compete against Amazon it's just impossible in this current small business climate that seems to be eroding away. You literally have to match prices which you can't with an employee and since Rudy doesn't have any employees who work for his business, he's still good. Any Local Game Store (LGS) with employees the profit margins aren't there because the more they pay the employees the more it hurts the business overall. Less employees to work with means more profit margins for your business which means you'll have enough money to pay rent to stay open. An employee can cost roughly $35,000 to $40,000 a year as most Local Game Stores (LGSs) would need 2 full time employees. If the rent to keep your business open is $200 a month from an empty lot that one of your clients owned then of course you'd be forced to close shop for good. You'd probably need a self-help / staffless store at that point just to compete against online retailers.
One thing you need to realize is that local distributors are always going to behave in their own best interest. They have a lot of product and they'll give you a discount If they don't have much product then they're not going to give you as big of a discount or any discount. They'll even recommend that you buy these products on eBay because it's cheaper that way. A lot of Local Game Stores (LGSs) nowadays are having their products being delivered from Amazon and GameStop cheaper than their local distributors especially during the whole Pokémon TCG scalping craze from last year when the local distributors didn't have any Pokémon TCG products to deliver while Amazon had Pokémon TCG products at a reasonable price. So If Local Game Stores don't need a local distributor why even own a store? The reason is because you want to provide a physical location for people to play their favorite Paper Trading Card Game / Collectible Card Games In-Person with their friends and local community. You also want to get distributing pricing and the pricing isn't what it used to be.
Unfortunately the future of retail is not community based in terms of an In-Person community in which retail stores of course are. It's going to be more YouTube content creators, more mass box openings in terms of "Hey my customers pay me a lot of money to open a box for them" akin to what Rudy does for his Patreon followers or used to anyway. Most YouTubers from Yu-Gi-Oh!, Pokémon TCG, Flesh and Blood TCG, etc. they're not opening their own products as they're opening someone else's products for them. Rudy used to come in as an eBay seller for card singles and of course it's very difficult to sell card singles on eBay. You have returns, you've lost mail, you have all types of things that can go wrong. Conditioning issues right? Angry customers for no reason, however selling sealed products are a little bit better because it's a "fungible" item If you will so you don't have to catalogue different inventory right? Maybe the problem is that the sellers aren't getting enough positive feedback for the items they sell.
The Hasbro business model (based on their recent earnings report) has proven that you don't need a Local Game Store (LGS) to provide a physical location for players to play In-Person. During this period of "growth" there weren't any In-Person Pre-Releases that could be done due to the ongoing pandemic, there were no Channel Fireball Events because they realized they could still make record profits without providing players a physical location to play In-Person. With Arena replacing Paper Standard that's going to make it more difficult for these players to dip their toes into these eternal formats particular EDH / Commander that are more reliant on Paper than in Digital because aside from MTGO there's no consistent way to play these formats and still have the kind of social aspect as In-Person. SpellTable or any other Webcam app doesn't cut it IMO. Deep down we all crave the LGS experience as much as the Amusement Arcade experience from way back when. Of course not everyone feels that way.
Jul 28, 2021Card Slinger J posted a message on The Fate of the LGS, Paper Magic, and the Future of RetailPosted in: Magic General
What's wrong with me being concerned about not having a physical location to play Paper Magic at my Local Game Store (LGS)? I know I'm not the only one who feels this way but to those who mostly just play on Arena online they could probably care less. If I didn't give a damn I wouldn't be spending as much of my disposable income on this gaming hobby of Paper Magic. I do it because I care. I care about hanging out with my friends playing EDH / Commander and having a good time. A corporate monopoly like Amazon has no right to take that away from me and anyone else whose spent their hard earned money on Paper Magic as a gaming hobby. Sure it doesn't seem to be having an impact in the short-term but in the long-term there could be potential consequences involved If something isn't done to stop Amazon's takeover of small business retail and Local Game Stores (LGSs).
Pretty much everybody within the MTG Community already knows who Rudy is as I didn't realize that I was publicly advertising for his business assuming that not many people knew who he was. That was a dumb mistake on my part. The truth of the matter is that Rudy could care less about the Local Game Store (LGS) when he's really good at tricking people into thinking he does through his charismatic personality. It can be real easy to fall for. Part of the reason why I brought up Rudy's business earlier was to give an example as to how his vision similar to Amazon's is ruining the Local Game Store (LGS) business model and why the LGS desperately NEEDS to avoid that trap in the first place. People hate the way he runs his business model sure that I understand completely but as a person he seems pretty down to Earth who actually sometimes knows what he's talking about.
I have taken it a bit too far. I'll do my best to tone it down a bit.
Jul 25, 2021Card Slinger J posted a message on 31 new digital-only cards for upcoming Jumpstart : Historic HorizonThis is really nothing more than a push for Arena to compete against Digital Exclusive Card Games like Hearthstone and Shadowverse with card effects and gameplay mechanics that are almost impossible to be duplicated in Paper form. The more that Wizards of the Coast / Hasbro are able to entice players to help compete against the Digital Card Game Market the more it could potentially backfire on the Paper version that got MTG where it is today. If Arena stops relying on a Secondary Market to compete against these Digital Exclusive Card Games that aren't tied to a Secondary Market then it becomes less of a luxury where you're not having to spend as much as you would in Paper. It's good in the fact that it feels less obligatory compared to the daily grind of having to keep up with Paper MTG in regards to the latest product releases constantly in fear of missing out due to inside traders making specific cards more expensive on the Secondary Market. It's more of a luxury and incredibly taxing to those where they feel like they're dedicating most of their personal lives on a particular Paper Trading Card Game / Collectible Card Game when life is short and tomorrow is no guarantee especially in the age of COVID where people are still dying everyday.Posted in: The Rumor Mill
The events of 2020 as well as all the chaos and turmoil we see in our world today made me realize just how fragile it really is. It almost makes me wonder how long Trading Card Games / Collectible Card Games will continue going in Paper form before the entire ecosystem and economy built around it eventually becomes completely unsustainable. Video Games have it easy because it was a system that wasn't primarily built on In-Person social interaction like Paper Trading Card Games / Collectible Card Games are however I do feel with Video Games relying as much on the Internet as much as Paper Trading Card Games / Collectible Card Games that we could be cruisin' for a bruisin'. I don't feel we pay enough attention to the world around us or how we're affecting the world today outside of gaming in general as we've become slaves to Social Media and Smartphones forgetting what life was like beforehand especially with how we seem to be indoctrinating future generations to be more reliant on technology rather than our humanity and empathy for one another as human beings. It's hard to keep away from technology nowadays due to how enticing and seductive it really is.
Jul 8, 2021Card Slinger J posted a message on The Supposed "Death" of Card Single Sales at Local Game Stores (LGSs)?Thought I'd share this again from Rudy of Alpha Investments:Posted in: Magic General
I don't know about you all but I've also been noticing this problem in specialty products not just Standard products at my own Local Game Store (LGS) recently. After Zendikar Rising there was this sudden shift of behavior with the employees there where when I tried to pick up the card singles I was wanting to purchase from Modern Horizons 2 I'd assumed they'd crack boxes of it during Pre-Release Weekend but they didn't have the cards available yet apparently. Little did I know that they were only relying on people actually placing Buylist orders to carry the new card singles from these sets instead of doing mass box openings to place them in stock which I found to be very suspicious. I'm guessing it had to do with the EV of Modern Horizons 2 tanking in price to where Local Game Stores didn't think they'd get any money selling card singles for it.Quote from Alpha Investments »Are mass box openings dead? Obviously there's a couple of ways to address this. We can discuss this in respect to sets like Modern Horizons which are specialty sets or we can address the mass box openings with Standard products. Now in the past, mass box openings were normally done by Local Game Stores (LGSs) by using Standard sets cause that's when customers would come in and want to be able to have inventory on all the new Standard releases especially with the big Secondary Market values and that's where they would recoup a lot of their money with cash transactions at their local store. Mass box openings were not really invented or targeted or supposed to be for specialty sets like Modern Horizons or Masters sets in the past, Conspiracy / Battlebond type sets. Aside from that lets talk about Strixhaven. So because we're on the back of the new Dungeons & Dragons set for Magic: The Gathering I know a lot of the regular player base is very happy that sealed product is very cheap and expected value is very low.
The player base segment of the game is very happy with it. Now of course everything in life is a teeter totter, the more they're happy with it that means the prices are very cheap. The cheaper you tilt that way that means well unfortunately stores are aware of that and stores are ordering less of it from their local distributors and they're also not cracking boxes at the rate they used to which is also not absorbing as much of the supply. This has been one of my theories for awhile that Wizards of the Coast not only do they notice less stores are cracking the boxes and stocking card singles in their inventory, I feel this is one of the many long list of reasons that they're using Amazon as the future for selling card singles via direct-to-consumer online. It's complicated. The original idea was to keep Standard cheap and insert really high end lottery cards or really high end chase cards that would help dilute the value of the base set and keep the players happy by keeping it cheap.
That was the original intention of like Expeditions and Masterpieces and Invocations. I was actually very critical of that at first. I looked back at that and got that wrong. I think that was actually the right way to go about it. I wish they would return to that business model because I think that's healthy, it adds more excitement, and it provides an incentive for stores to really go back to cracking lots of boxes to REALLY hunt for those 1 in 1,0001 to 2,000 booster pack type of chase cards. I do think Wizards of the Coast will return to that eventually. Unfortunately again it takes a very long time for them to react because I don't think they're very happy with the overall sales of Draft Boxes. I think as they continue to push all this to Set Boxes because again they charge more wholesale and they put less booster packs in. So they get paid more per box as there's less cardboard in each box so they "win" on both ends of the spectrum. So for them that's a positive financially sound decision.
I really think the reason as to why the market isn't factoring it in enough is because people aren't cracking boxes and flipping card singles, the economy behind a Standard legal booster box is VERY VERY weird. This could be caused by the Set Boxes and the Collector's Edition Boxes diluting, there's a lot of variables that go into it as I don't have an easy clean answer to how to solve something like this. You can argue in so many different ways I'm just presenting to you all as to what I see going on. One of the ways that Mass Box Opening Stores' Secondary Market has remained very healthy for a long time was the Foil Multiplier. Back in the day getting a foil Rare or a foil Mythic was two or three times the price. If you had a $10 Mythic you could sell the foil version for like $30 which could pay for half a box 10 years ago. It was very different because now not only is there almost a zero foil multiplier or a premium for a foil price of a specific card variant (etched foils, extended arts, showcases, and retro frames).
It's so much now that even people selling the cards actually have a hard time identifying which type of card they're selling, buyers are upset because they're getting the wrong version or the wrong variants and the wrong types of foiling, it's so extreme now that to me it's just feels and I HATE to use this analogy where it feels like the Sports Card World of the 90's where it's becoming so many versions of the same Baseball card and so many versions of the same player. There's so many special versions that they're all useless. I think Wizards of the Coast will adjust unlike the Sports Card World where 20 different companies were printing the same Baseball card player. The only printing in Magic: The Gathering is by Wizards of the Coast so we're not gonna go in the same direction as the Sports Card World because the dynamics and the number of companies printing is very very different. Still doesn't mean we can't have a different problem with a type of crash as far as that particular example.
For Standard legal sets I wouldn't recommend anyone doing mass box openings. I just don't see the point in why you would engage in that much risk and labor and time to lose money or break even or to even have less than minimum wage style returns. Not to mention the rising cost and problems associated with online selling like on eBay and TCGPlayer in regards to their fee structure AND the actual shipping costs which continue to go up. I've been starting to hear rumors now that we're going to have a FOURTH price increase from the United States Postal Service in August 2021. A fourth price increase within 12 months. This is the fastest rate of increase for shipping costs in HISTORY! So I also expect Wizards of the Coast is going to continue to raise prices on all their Paper Magic products. I am expecting to see more super high end $100+ booster packs coming. Overall I think mass box openings are dead. As of in the current environment it's dead.
Now when we have specialty products like this Modern Horizons. Now Modern Horizons 2. I feel like they were so concerned with the high price they were attaching to it with the fear of an Iconic Masters type of erosion or crash that they overdid it. They overdid it so much that If you open 30 or 60 boxes of Modern Horizons 2 Set Boxes or Draft Boxes that people were averaging from $400 to $500 Expected Value (EV) where the box prices are dropping and the singles for the set aren't. I don't know how long it's going to stay this way. So do I think Wizards of the Coast really cares about mass box openings in this new era? I don't. All they're focusing on is the sales numbers and I don't think we're going to see a return to that. The way I see this going is very bearish and a little aggressive. So recently there's been a drop in supply for Strixhaven and Mystical Archive products. Is it out of print or is there a supply problem?
What's going on with some of the card prices for Strixhaven for certain single cards and Mystical Archive that's holding up good while the supply is going down? Well I think it's a combination of Local Game Stores (LGSs) not cracking booster boxes. Why? Because they're tired of losing money opening new Paper Magic products being diluted so much that stores are not updating their card singles inventory whenever there's a new set release. After this initial release where all the money has been made during and shortly after Pre-Release Weekend, nobody's opening boxes anymore. Therefore Local Game Stores are not ordering as many booster boxes unless it's just to sell sealed to customers and whales but they're not actually cracking and stocking Standard card inventory. This is leading to the slow erosion of the quantity of card singles that are available online because as the Local Game Stores sell them they're not restocking the Card Singles even by refusing to accept Buylist orders for them.
Wizards of the Coast limits their Standard product releases very tightly to make sure that the set releases for them goes smooth, to make sure that the cards within the Secondary Market don't collapse, and they really bottleneck that to make everyone feel that the set was a success. So don't get the wrong idea right now, just because you see the quantity of a certain card in Standard dropping be aware that it's not because the card is rare or out of print it's probably because the Local Game Stores and the employees who work there just aren't touching the product. Magic: The Gathering isn't dying, it's doing very well, it's just that we don't like the direction in which they're implementing it. But they are doing very well. Final thoughts though? The more things change the more things stay the same. The trend will ALWAYS be our friend.
There is one factor that Rudy forgot to mention for why Local Game Stores aren't as reluctant to do mass box openings for carrying card single inventory nowadays and that's because a lot of competitive players are patiently waiting for the next Standard rotation before these stores feel more "incentivized" to do mass box openings again. As we all know Standard is a mess right now due to all the unchecked power creep from Ikoria onward with no one being able to play In-Person due to the global pandemic which has also caused a lot of Local Game Stores to go belly up and out of business for good. What Local Game Stores don't realize is that while they may be losing more money doing these mass box openings they're still helping out players who play in other formats outside of Standard with EDH / Commander being the most popular format in the game.
Not only are they making it hard for EDH / Commander players to get the card singles they need but they're making acquiring these singles less convenient by forcing their customers to purchase most of their card singles online via eBay or TCGPlayer where they have to wait weeks on end to get the cards they need instead of having instant access toward it. They're under the assumption that the majority of EDH / Commander players play at home more than at their Local Game Store (LGS) where it's much easier to meet up with playgroups without having to rely on Social Media without getting associated with the everyday toxicity we see on Facebook and Twitter. Local Game Stores don't want to live with the reality that EDH / Commander is the new lifeblood of their business more so than Standard nowadays and that's what frustrates them the most.
Only problem is that without Standard you won't have as many new players entering into Paper Magic with less interest of them getting into other formats like EDH / Commander, Modern, and Pioneer to a lesser extent. Arena is already causing an exodus of players not wanting to have anything to do with other formats outside of Standard for In-Person play at Local Game Stores probably because the sound of a digital card game not being tied to a Secondary Market appeals to them more which is understandable I get it. If Richard Garfield had designed Paper Magic what that future aspect in mind 30 years ago knowing that his game would stand the test of time then we could've seen an alternate version of Magic: The Gathering that's more consumer friendly that doesn't cater solely to those who only want to play the stock market or treat the collectibility of the game as a 401k retirement plan.
Mar 19, 2021Card Slinger J posted a message on Read this announcement at your own risk (it involves mtg)Remote Play in general costs way too much money to setup compared to sitting next to a group of people wearing face masks at a Local Game Store (LGS) playing EDH / Commander for hours on end. It's unfortunate that it's too dependent on the size of an LGSs overhead cause If it's too small then the risk to allow In-Store Play that's separate from Organized Play isn't really worth the reward in the middle of a pandemic. There was a small comic book shop I used to go to for getting my EDH / Commander fix on Friday nights but when COVID-19 hit me and the local community we've built for almost 20 years were forced to go our own separate ways. Luckily there's a Local Game Store with bigger overhead that I'm able to attend on Saturdays to get my EDH / Commander fix.Posted in: The Rumor Mill
Most of my friends that I used to hang out with on Friday evenings have to work during the weekends which is why I don't see them as much as I used to. They don't ever bother to show up at the other LGS I go to due to lack of trust, competitive pricing, and lack of events but that's to be expected. I did manage to collect their phone numbers in case I need to contact them since I refuse to use Facebook and Twitter from getting addicted to Social Media though I only use YouTube so it's not too bad. I do use Twitch but that's mainly for logging into the MTG Salvation forums. If you really want to play Paper Magic online via EDH / Commander then Spelltable is also an option but the experience itself isn't the same as In-Person IMO. Reminds me of how much of a pain in the butt Wi-Fi Battles for Pokémon were back in Gen 4 (ugh!).
Mar 17, 2021Card Slinger J posted a message on Read this announcement at your own risk (it involves mtg)Posted in: The Rumor Mill
If the cards are mechanically special then why not design regular MTG cards based on them so that there's two versions, one that's the actual IP Crossover card and the other being a regular MTG card? Mark Rosewater actually hinted about this on his Blogatog awhile back though apparently Wizards of the Coast / Hasbro never bothered to release regular MTG versions of The Walking Dead Secret Lair cards or maybe they're actually coming down the pipeline like how they teased the first printings of cards in Future Sight that eventually got reprints such as Aven Mindcensor and Horizon Canopy which is still the most expensive card based on it's land cycle alone compared to how expensive Fetches are like Misty Rainforest and Scalding Tarn.Quote from Dontrike »
To be fair the Godzilla cards were more of a home run as they were just alternate art version of cards that someone could get cheaper elsewhere. These on the other hand will be mechanically special and harder to reprint in the future, unless a slew of functional reprints are made. While some didn't like that Godzilla cards, and that's okay, I was fine with them for what they were, promos.
The Professor talks about this, if these were Godzilla esque cards no one would have had a problem with these, comparatively, and these could have been easily skipped to find the real cards. By making these mechanically special you can't ignore these if they happen to improve your competitive deck(s) and that's part of where the problem lies. Many don't want to play with Gandalf in Magic, they want to play with Magic characters or creatures.
I guess this also begs the question, will we receive regular MTG cards based on mechanically special designed cards for Warhammer 40k, Lord of the Rings, and other IP Crossovers in Universes Beyond? That at least should be something that Wizards of the Coast / Hasbro needs to look into at least for those who still want the classic aesthetic of the game left intact, after all the game is called "Magic: The Gathering" not "Magic: The Licensing". They might not owe us anything but it's something that we can both agree on that benefits both sides of the aisle. Wizards of the Coast has already done enough for Hasbro so why not support the MTG community more for a change? The ongoing pandemic was probably the wake up call they needed.
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Oct 5, 2021Posted in: The Rumor Mill
60 card formats just aren't worth it these days because they severely lack the kind of variance that a format like EDH / Commander provides. In a 60 card format you're guaranteed to make the exact same plays as If going on auto-pilot because you have 3-4 of playsets of the same card to dramatically increase your odds of winning. In 99 card Singleton no play is the exact same unless you tutor. It seems as though the lines are starting to become more blurred on this the more functionally identical cards are printed with different names in order to make these decks more consistent than they should be.Quote from Crazy Pierre »We had a weekly "Gauntlet" event on Sundays in Ottawa for close to 10 years until the organizers moved on.
Round 1: 4-player pod, no infinite combos. 1 point per player killed, 1 point for last-person-standing.
Round 2: 2 v 2, but players on same team were diagonal from each other like so:
You could table talk but if you wanted to ask about casting a card in your hand, for example, you had to show the whole table.
Round 3: 1 v 1
You had to use the same deck throughout, so you got some pretty neat showings. Ad Naus won a lot, but then meta adjusted and Thalia, Guardian of Thraben shows up, or Thrun, or Azusa. Entrance was $5 store credit and it was split among top...8? I think. It's been a while.
Wizard's Tower did pre-con leagues pre-pandemic, everyone got a pre-con and you all battled in a pod of 4. Then next week you could add $X in upgrades to your deck, based on non-foil pricing at the store. Then $50 upgrade, then $100+. Sometimes you got ganged on and it sucked waiting for the next round, but overall it was pretty fun.
It really is a matter of time until Wizards does this on its own, they don't really need the RC or CAG either way, and they could even incentivize players by allowing the big event winner to make a custom legendary. The salty streamers would have no choice but to get on board because, believe me, they would love to see their face on a Magic card.
To continue this tangent: A lot of people REALLY value consistency. Myself included. The first cards that go in any blue deck for me are Ponder, Preordain, and Brainstorm. Variance is an extremely dirty word lol. If I build a deck to do a thing, I damn well want it to do that thing. Not everyone specifically seeks out a lack of variance, but I think everyone CAN get on board with with the fact that its incredibly frustrating when your deck doesn't 'do what it's supposed to do.'
Sep 17, 2021Here's a question: if someone said that the Standard ban list, or the Modern one, or the Legacy one, was no longer going to be controlled by Wizards of the Coast (who have access to huge resources in terms of player feedback, data, etc.), but would instead be controlled by just four people who are all friends (and a few "advisors" who don't seem to have much sway), would anyone be surprised that the ban list was a mess? Would you be surprised that it reflected the strange whims of certain group rather than a measured and consistent approach? Would we be surprised that they get super defensive and take valid criticism personally? Nope. That would be completely inevitable.Posted in: The Rumor Mill
Hear me out. The problem here isn't really the Golos ban per se. My personal opinion on that ban isn't relevant. The problem is that the RC is way too insular and way too small to be steering this ship on their own. The truth is, whatever you personally think about Golos, a huge portion of the community feels that this ban is completely crazy, like it's from upside-down world. And that group includes a ton of thoughtful folks who spend their whole careers thinking about Magic -- folks like Josh and Jimmy from the Command Zone, the Prof, Mitch from Commanders Quarters, DJ from Jumbo Commander, etc. etc. When that many people, including high level thinkers, believe a high-stakes ban like this is absolutely wrong for the game, you have to start questioning the process by which we got here, even if you personally agree with the outcome.
My opinion is that it's time to massively expand the RC. Give seats to Josh, Jimmy, DJ, the Prof, etc. and let a larger group of folks weigh in and make the call together. Maybe even include a few folks from Wizards, like Gavin Verhey. Side bonus, give some seats to folks who aren't white guys. My point is that, individual bans aside, we as a community deserve a better process. And speaking for myself, if I felt that a large group of smart, critical people, all came together and voted by 2/3 majority (or something, it's an example), it would be a little easier for me to understand and accept why my (expensive) deck is no longer allowed.
It's about the process, even more than the outcome.
Sep 13, 2021I've been on team "Unban Sway of the Stars" for a long time, Worldfire is pretty close to being the same card but better. So if Worldfire is fine, surely Sway will come off the list.Posted in: The Rumor Mill
Still looking forward to that Thassa's Oracle ban. Where u at RC, I know you can hear me!
Aug 18, 2021Remember, "premier" sets means 'Standard-legal'. And it was _always_ stated that UB would not be Standard-legal.Posted in: The Rumor Mill
AFR is an exception because, though it's not a Magic property, it IS a Wizards of the Coast property so it got to be Standard-legal.
Aug 8, 2021Posted in: The Rumor Mill
Yes, but if you're casting Wrenn on turn 5, and assuming 5 mana at the time, then you can't Life From the Loam that turn as per your example.
Aug 4, 2021There has never been a need for internet resources. Even in the early days decklists for tournament play became quite centralized through other methods. In this format, where decks are increasingly designed for personal expression or interactive gameplay with a group of friends, there is absolutely no need for that. I'm sure we've all used it, but it isn't necessary by any stretch.Posted in: Commander (EDH)
Quote from FetalTadpole »Why would WOTC print a huge, unsearchable physical book that'll be out of date in a couple months? What a terrible idea.
Aug 1, 2021It could be a 2/2 for only G if the ability says all other creatures have haste. Still functionally the same card as the crossroads and magus combined. Crossroads never gave itself haste except under very situational circumstances.Posted in: Custom Card Creation
Jul 28, 2021TheOnlyOne652089 posted a message on The Fate of the LGS, Paper Magic, and the Future of RetailThe biggest issue are the people themselves and the market changes in a drastic way.Posted in: Magic General
There clearly are a lot of people that just buy product online and never play anywhere outside with other people, just some selected few friends if at all.
That number is increasingly large and these people spend more money in the game.
Also, these people are "hidden" from the people that would seek out the social community of a store.
The "LGS community" is a group of players that is quite sadly dying out.
Its not growing in any big numbers, as the store itself is limited by space.
If people in a LGS dont spend much money there and only invest time, its less profitable.
If a store can ignore all that, including space for playing and just ship the product to a customer and receive cash, thats a much simpler and easier investment, so it pays in high revenue to kill the entire social aspect, as it doesnt bring in big money (while its incredible big for the health of the game to have it in the first place, people that actively want it, will bleed to keep it, but ultimately the entire game is changing away from it into a much more digital world, which frankly, is not the kind of Magic that builds a "strong" local community, its building a more broad de-socialized skeleton community).
Rudy is not new, and hes dealing with the Magic market in many iterations over the years and is capable to adapt to whatever is the current business model thats profitable. Some of his content videos have a lot of insight in the business that people would never get a glimpse otherwise.
He had a store as it was mandatory, now its just extra cost.
He did sell a lot of singles on ebay, now its much simpler to ship lots of sealed product (to god knows who is buying them, as i frankly dont know any Magic players that buys that many sealed product at all, so it has to go somewhere, but i cant say who exactly consumes it, as a lot of places just buy product to sell it, but someone has to be the actual end-customer to keep the product for good).
In huge areas a lot of people have to just order a bunch of sealed boxes for themselves. its private and hidden, if these players never get out to socialize in a LGS, nobody will know they exist, except the people they pay for the product.
So for a LGS community, these people basically dont exist, and the demands and needs of a LGS community basically dont exist for the hidden individuals, completely isolated groups.
Digital is quite frankly a different game.
I would argue the game we know as Magic is actually quite different depending on which group is playing it.
Paper Magic with actual cards in a store, has a very social community, new players, new people, for me thats much more important than the game itself.
People that like the game itself, but basically hate other players, also exist, and in the past they couldnt play the game in a LGS, so resorted to MTGO or played something else. Thats a pretty large group of people, the anti-social incels (not as a insult, but a broad description of what that group is made of).
You only really notice the existence of this group in the amount of extra revenue that WotC brings in, as you wont hear from them in a forum or anywhere else, as they actively avoid any social interactions with other people (but consume a lot of Magic online, youtube, twitch and all kinds of websites to generate traffic).
To play Magic in digital has no actual player social interaction, so that really speaks to this group, and thats a large increase of people that a former LGS net of shops simply did not speak to at all.
Tournament players that seek out competition are basically dead now, WotC scrubbed it.
Bigger tournaments in paper basically represented events like concerts, a Grand Prix was an event to meet even more people in person than a LGS.
Today people play digital and cant even know if the opponent is not just a bot, or halve asleep, or goes afk in the middle of the game, its not social at all, its just a time-wasting mechanism like so many mobile games and a lot of the computer game industry shifts into that gear already for quite some time.
What really boggles my mind is the fact that an LGS even has to go over a distributor at all, its completely avoidable today.
To compete in price tags with Amazon and the like is not working, and a LGS can really only provide one thing that Amazon is not, and thats the space to play the game.
WotC is not providing any support for stores to do that, and they lost any financial incentive to do so as well, and the LGS that still exist either have a extremely strong community with lots of disposable income, or they simply bleed money till they are gone.
For a lot of people that play Commander you can also cut them into subgroups that have different interests.
The nostalgic players dont really buy new product, just very few singles for a existing deck.
The revenue these players bring in is minimal.
Completely new players at least buy a bunch of product and if they are not aware to efficiently buy singles, they buy a lot of sealed product as they simply dont know better (yet, as very learns at some point, or leaves the game).
So yes, for WotC its much better to simply abandon existing players and seek out new players.
Its long time quite destructive to piss off old players, but the deal is, the old players are not the whale customers.
And then we get the increasingly more expensive "premium" products that is leeching even more money from people.
A lot of people had a mentality of "buy a box of a new set" and thats about it, they never spend more money on a set.
Some of them now buy a collectors box of a set, thats already more expensive and then they buy all Commander decks of a new set, thats like 4x the amount they spend before, and then they order some SecretLair boxes, and what not ... and if any of that money would actually be funneled into an LGS it would help a lot, but its quite simply not cutting, as WotC is at the same time taking customers away from a LGS with their own product (assume you have advertisment for digital in a LGS, like what?).
So the "endgame" is probably going to be that Magic is losing the LGS and WotC as a game will sell product themselves.
At that point, someone else might take over the LGS, might even be a new card game (which is hard to sell for nostalgia players, as abandoning a game you played for 20years is quite heartbreaking and nothing you just do out of the blue).
We already have new games that are quite profitable already.
Flesh and Blood is pushing in the LGS-market for Magic (but sadly i just dont like the game, so its not for me).
With rent going up for all city-areas having a space to play Magic is expensive.
People play in restaurants, fast-food chains, or anywhere with a table and space.
Its certainly not the same as a central hub LGS that acts like the defacto-go-to location for everyone.
Jul 18, 2021peteroupc posted a message on Question Regarding When to Copy Triggered AbilitiesWith Strionic Resonator's ability or Lithoform Engine's first ability, you can target a triggered ability only while it's on the stack (which means that ability must have triggered, gone on the stack, and not yet resolved or otherwise left the stack) (C.R. 115.1c, 113.1c). If the triggered ability has already resolved (or has already left the stack), that ability can't be targeted anymore.Posted in: Magic Rulings
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