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  • 1

    posted a message on Is Commander killing Magic?
    Toys R Us recently announced that they're going to be closing ALL U.S. stores. They're $5 billion in debt, so yeah Toys R Us was very much a part of my generation's childhood. There's some implications that this may potentially have on MTG and other Trading Card Games/Collectible Card Games going forward and that's because most of Hasbro's revenue originally came from Toys R Us and they're not getting it anymore. Now you have to understand the way WotC and Hasbro works is that they sell their products to distributors and that they don't perceive us as a customer for buying their products because we're not WotC customers.

    The distribution company that buys the sealed product from Hasbro or WotC are the customer and we're the distributor's customers or the stores' customers that they're being distributed to. That's ultimately the supply chain, but you know our sales obviously impact the entire supply chain so there's a cause and effect relationship there. If the customers aren't buying it and the stores aren't ordering it then the distributors aren't ordering it etc. But with the power that Hasbro had they could strong arm distributors into taking X amount of products based on certain deals that they would work out and whatever. Basically If you want to order Star Wars action figures they're going to shackle you with a bunch of other action figures you don't want.

    In relation to MTG If you want the Atraxa, Praetors' Voice Commander pre-con that's okay you're gonna have to get the Breya, Etherium Shaper pre-con which is good and then the other two pre-cons as well. It's just how it's gonna have to go and yes even though you'd like to order just 50 Atraxa, Praetors' Voice online that's not how this is going to work so they have the power to do that but that power will be waning with their influence because of what happened with Toys R Us. There was a phenomenon from a YouTuber: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4hNAji3lIGE who would go to his local Toys R Us and different Toy stores to show all the Star Wars toys literally just rotting on the shelves collecting dust.

    These toys were made by Hasbro, the same company that owns WotC and they weren't even selling. With The Last Jedi being as bad as it was, Star Wars is a dying brand as far as toy sales go which was a huge part of Hasbro's business and now it's either all gone or slowly drying up. Toys in general just aren't what they used to be anymore. The reality is you go into a mall or a store and you see what all of today's kids have, they have the latest smartphone or tablet device to stream TV shows, movies, and play games, the reality is when you get a shell case like that on an iPad that probably costs $400-500 by handing it to a kid then you don't have to buy them anything else again.

    You could give them a new app every once in a while, you know kids nowadays download apps since a lot of them are for free anyway. That's a lot cheaper than buying new DLC for video game consoles/handhelds, new video game software that costs $50-60 a piece, action figures which are now $12-14 a piece and it's like, "Wow... You're really gonna give your kid just one action figure?" Kids from my generation were into that kind of stuff but not today's generation. So let's say you buy a kid 6 action figures, well you're looking at almost $100 there after tax and then depending on the type of child If they don't open the toys they're just gonna go on a shelf and look at them and that's that but If you give the kid an iPad you're done. Congratulations you've literally just bought yourself a babysitter.

    Now we can debate the morals and ethics of that later and how involved parents should be in raising their own children which obviously I'm gonna take the stance that they should be more involved in raising their own kids down the line but that's a conversation for another day. The reality is that parents in America are spending less time with their children and as an end result they're not buying toys for them anymore. They're buying one or two pieces of electronic equipment and that's their new mom and dad stereotype. So that's bad news for Hasbro and table top games in general not just MTG and other Trading Card Games/Collectible Card Games.

    Most of their products are going the way of the dodo and that means Hasbro's going to need to find money elsewhere. They're gonna start squeezing MTG hard, we've already started seeing this with the increased flow of Masters sets and I think a lot of that had to do with Hasbro making up for poor sales of Star Wars toys. I wouldn't be surprised If this motivates Hasbro into looking at other ways to shake down WotC for more money and one of those would be rescinding the Reserve List. Hasbro bought WotC after WotC created the Reserve List, ergo Hasbro can say:

    "Yeah we didn't write this policy. WotC has altered this policy repeatedly throughout the years but by not following it, they removed stuff from it, they added stuff to it. We're Hasbro we don't care we're just gonna do whatever we want. It's our company and we're not WotC since they're a part of us now and they're young." They could chuck it and start reprinting Reserve List cards again which would be a huge boom for sales. I'm just saying that it's a possibility. As far as the culture war stuff and everything that we seem to be dealing with and again hopefully Hasbro as a company learned their lesson from Star Wars but then again both Hasbro and Mattel bought into this regressive PC Marxist culture that we live in.

    Ya know put Barbie dolls in the boys toys section, so this whole push for just basically disrupting and destroying the traditional and biologically driven notion of gender and sexuality, they just went full on postmodern feminist on it and we've seen the results. You have Rose action figures sitting on dollar store shelves because they couldn't sell them at Toys R Us and they either needed to fire or sell them to someone else. Toy stores are going out of business because they're unable to move this crappy merchandise. In one of the videos of the YouTuber I previously mentioned, Toys R Us had Rey cosplay in the boys department and of course it wasn't selling.

    Hopefully Hasbro learned a painful financial lesson because of it and maybe they'll start to take a look into the complaints about WotC and say, "Ya know, we've already lost a huge portion of our toy business to this stuff and we're not gonna lose another with a multi million dollar franchise. You guys got to pull it together, over half the people in the United States are Conservative, not everyone is Liberal, you need to pull it together." So we'll see. I just know that just like Blockbuster now we've lost Toys R Us and If WotC doesn't pull it together then we're going to be losing most of our local game stores. If no one wants to buy the products, If nobody's showing up to play Standard, then these stores aren't going to be able to stay open forever and we're going to continue to move into a digital space.

    If we've learned anything over the past year it's that WotC doesn't know how to properly manage a digital space, you look at the disaster with MTGO and it's only going to continue to get worse with MTG Arena. All of the sudden they turn into George Orwell's nightmare as soon as you give anyone who works there a little bit of power. You can't keep a customer base especially an online one with that kind of attitude. So anyway sad day for America, sad day for a lot of jobs from Toys R Us with 33,000 employees displaced and looking for new jobs. This is really depressing for people who were born in the early 80's since Toys R Us was definitely a part of their life, myself included.

    Hopefully one day a phoenix will rise from the ashes where something good comes out of this and maybe these manufacturers will learn their lesson about the type of products that people want to buy, that men and women have different tastes, and that they need to stop trying to pretend otherwise. Don't get the wrong idea I'm not trying to come off as being sexist here but it is what it is. The statistics you pointed out Hermes_ seem to showcase the continuing lack of communication between the company and consumer because they're stuck in their own social media bubbles of who they choose to listen and ignore. The fact of the matter is that they need to start listening to the consumer outside of social media.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • 1

    posted a message on Is Commander killing Magic?
    Quote from Boros_Blendo »
    ”Toys R Us recently announced” ... blah blah... random rant... Richard Garfield tries to run my dog over .... I don’t brush and floss... “they need to start listening to the consumer outside of social media.”
    Huh? You lost us there.
    Whatever...don't say I didn't warn you.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • 1

    posted a message on Masters 25
    Well either way this isn't going to stop me from buying singles for this set since I'm already aiming to pick up a few cards for Commander. I need to pick up a Protean Hulk for my friends' Reaper King deck unless he decides to go with one of the new Commanders in Dominaria. I've also been thinking about running Azusa, Lost but Seeking for Duel Commander yet I don't want to pay an arm and a leg for Crucible of Worlds which should've got a reprint in this set.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
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    posted a message on Masters 25
    Quote from Antiantiserum »
    So apparently on WotC's official reddit page and 4chan they're deleting posts/threads that link to Rudy's box openings of Masters 25 that he already pre-ordered. Each of the two boxes were nearly identical except for Jace, the Mind Sculptor in place of Mikokoro, Center of the Sea in the second box. My guess as to why they took the link to Rudy's video down was because they were afraid that nobody would buy Masters 25 If they found out that none of the boxes were randomized properly.



    Or you could instead link to the thread you can access in this very moment.
    Won't be long before the reddit mods delete that as well.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • 2

    posted a message on What does Wizards of the Coast need to do to improve magic the gathering?
    Quote from Rudy of Alpha Investments »

    Even If Wizards of the Coast gets all their little ways of everything they stand for, their goals, their beliefs, their "market research" and the kicker of this whole story is by the time they succeed in all of that Magic: the Gathering is going to fail. IT WILL NOT MAKE IT. That's the ironic part of this entire story is that by the time Wizards of the Coast gets all their goals, their beliefs, and all this stuff they want to push around the world, Magic: the Gathering is not going to have any players left to connect to.

    The game won't make it all because we don't care about the cards anymore. All we care about is artificially fighting this disruptive divided community that Wizards of the Coast does nothing but make worse and they just don't get it. And that's the best part about all of this, even If Wizards of the Coast gets what they want chances are the game won't be around for them to leverage and utilize it. That's the ironic part of life and karma of when you do these things. I mean it's just sad, it really is.
    Posted in: Magic General
  • 2

    posted a message on Masters 25
    Quote from Colt47 »
    This company is in a seriously bad spot right now with sealed product sales outside of Unstable and maybe challenger deck presales, but the challenger decks are arbitrage friendly for stores, which is extremely rare. Something is happening over there and I hope it carries over to other formats.
    The sealed product distribution model was solely based on the exact same model as loot boxes/crates which has become a recent practice within the Video Game Industry that Congress is currently looking into. If they come to the conclusion that loot boxes/crates are classified as gambling then past case law doesn't matter. The companies behind this business model are still going to be charged with a misdemeanor or a felony regardless of what happens.

    The Trading Card Game/Collectible Card Game business model would be forced to go out of business because the practice would be considered illegal as far as the U.S. Government is concerned. If WotC publicly acknowledges the Secondary Market with the Reserve List then MTG would be classified as gambling. Those who continue to play these games illegally by making profits from gambling or uses gambling as a business are subject to prosecution.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • 1

    posted a message on What does Wizards of the Coast need to do to improve magic the gathering?

    This is what happens when you have a company that hires employees based solely on their political beliefs instead of the merits of their talents and work.
    lol sorry but I cannot take you seriously if you actually believe WotC does that. Hilarious.
    We're all entitled to our own opinions here so I don't necessarily expect you to agree with what I said earlier. The point I was trying to get at was whether or not If there's some rational basis behind WotC limiting personal political views or If they just have an irrational fear of differing opinion. If WotC spent less time policing social media and focused more on improving MTG instead of banning dissenters to their opinions then we would be much better off.

    Instead they continue to side with people who don't play MTG while disrespecting the people that got them to where they are today. Not only does it set a dangerous precedent for other Trading Card Game / Collectible Card Game companies but it also encourages them to get away with the same kind of shady and questionable tactics that ruined Yu-Gi-Oh! and discontinued Trading Card Games / Collectible Card Games over the last couple decades.
    Quote from Trumplebot »
    Quote from Colt47 »

    What is kind of funny is that if someone actually could furnish proof on this I think that could actually start a lawsuit. Laughing

    There doesn´t have to. He can just explain his reasoning behind his comment, and then back the facts behind his reasons with sources.

    Then, you have the sources he funded his believes on, as well as the reasoning that lead him there. If the reasoning is wrong, someone will notice.
    If some of the things he funded it on are not facts, but rumors or something, someone will notice.

    Like Sayiny "a lot of companys do this, so wizard does it too" is a wrong conclusion,
    sysing "all companys do this, so wizard does it too" is the logical conclusion, but i would like a source that proves all companys do it.
    I don´t have to explain the difference between prove and claim, do i?

    Freedom of Speech is protected by the 1st Amendment but only where the U.S. Government is concerned. What most Americans generally don't know is that the 1st Amendment of the U.S. Constitution only applies to government entities. Over two hundred years ago, Americans decided that they were no longer going to allow the U.S. Government to violate their human rights. Now is the time for our employers to respect our rights as well.

    Wizards of the Coast is not a publicly traded company since they're completely owned by Hasbro which technically makes them a non-government entity. On the basis as to whether If Wizards of the Coast is a publicly held company, the question is whether If they can legally enforce social media policies on their customers. We don't even know If Wizards of the Coast or their parent company Hasbro is being subsidized by the U.S. Government.

    Why should someone still continue to support MTG If the company who manufactures and sells product for it doesn't respect the 1st Amendment (despite not being obligated to) rights of customers? Confiscating people's MTG cards/collections and terminating DCI accounts so that they're unable to play MTG competitively as a way to prevent them from speaking truth to power is a violation against free speech IMO.

    Here's a list of glassdoor reviews from former Wizards of the Coast employees with one particular review of the company that caught my attention:

    Wizards of the Coast has problems. In 2016-2017 after the new CEO and Digital Game Studio leadership were onboarded, whatever culture that made WotC a great place to work was quickly undermined. The value that the company had previously placed on work-life balance has deteriorated and shifts in the management structure have made the last couple of years very difficult ones for the organization.

    There have been significant culture shifts. Instead of the "work hard, play hard" ethic, the focus became the "True 40" [hours per week]. Mandatory play tests and extra work hours on Friday afternoons, nights, and weekends were demanded. PTO requests became highly scrutinized. Leadership would walk around early (before 9 AM) and late (after 6 PM) and take note of who was working at their desks. Productivity was the mandate. While nominally still allowing "half-day Fridays" (most engineers choose to opt for the 4x9 and half-day Friday schedule), mandatory play tests are scheduled for Friday afternoons.

    Pre-releases and other company-wide events which had previously been scheduled for weekday afternoons (The goal is for everyone in the company to play!) were moved to after-work hours so productivity would not be impacted. Success criteria for performance reviews became harsh and people not meeting the bar were escorted out the door.

    Part of the cultural shift in 2017 was how engineers were managed. Engineering managers became a thing of the past. In the new world of the Digital Game Studio, HR management functions and responsibilities for performance reviews have shifted to lead or principal developers.

    In 2017 there were two significant workforce reductions in technology. In October 2017 a full third of the FTEs in the technology groups at Wizards were laid off. Unsurprisingly, most of the employees impacted by this layoff were people who had had long tenures at Wizards. A large percentage of these employees were over 40. The layoffs in 2017 smacked of age discrimination. The mean age of engineers in the technology organization has shifted significantly in the last two years as the older, dedicated remnants of the former Wizards' culture were separated from the company.

    Wizards has hard choices to make. Do they cultivate a workplace where human interactions are valued? Is work-life balance valued or are they treating resources as fungible driving toward one release after another? Do they promote a culture where diverse individuals are valued for their skills or are they a strict meritocracy? Do they value gender, cultural, and age diversity or are they a 20-to-30-something, white-boy gamers club? Is leadership invested in the career growth of their employees or are they just worried about cranking code and releasing product?

    I fear the answers to these questions do not bode well for people who love Wizards of the Coast and support the values of collaboration and diversity.

    Most people who have worked at Wizards of the Coast since its founding in 1990 believe it has been the best work experience they have ever had.

    That is no longer true.

    At the cost of shipping Arena and building a "Digital Game Studio", Wizards no longer values its employees, nor are they committed to a diverse and welcoming workplace.

    Today, Wizards is not a good place to work. I hope someday it will be again.

    Advice to Management

    Value people. Dedicated, passionate employees are your key to success.
    Respect the culture that made Wizards successful. Don't turn it into a Turbine or a Riot.
    Do better.
    Also I agree with Tara Sophia of MagicalTabletopGirls on this:

    Posted in: Magic General
  • 1

    posted a message on What does Wizards of the Coast need to do to improve magic the gathering?
    Quote from Trumplebot »
    First, can you give a source fot MTGO making more money than paper magic? I actually can´t belive that until i see the mumbers for that. And you woulnd´t just make something like that up, would you?
    Well I did manage to find a source in reference to this to help back up my claims -


    According to the web article it says, "By 2007, it is estimated that over 300,000 registered accounts existed for MTGO, with a Magic executive stating that “[Magic Online] is worth somewhere between 30% to 50% of the total Magic business [3].”

    Paper Magic makes up only 35% of Wizards of the Coast/Hasbro's total revenue of MTG compared to MTGO which apparently is more successful, not to mention that the supporting infrastructure for Paper Magic is at an all time low due to the low print quality of products. So that statistic isn't too far off.

    I apologize If you felt that I was misleading you. We all want to get to the facts on certain things it's just that sometimes it's hard.
    Quote from Trumplebot »
    Second, Video gaming is quite different from magic. I know some people that play magic and don´t play video games, although they are a minority.

    Third, if there is no difference between an AI and a real player to you, it says a lot about your social life.
    I do still know people who have lan partys, where they meet up for video games, even if they could just do it over the internet. Any idea why?
    How is playing against an AI just as rewarding as playing against a real player? Back when I used to play video games during my childhood I hardly had anyone to hang out with to play games with aside from my family until I discovered Trading Card Games/Collectible Card Games where I realized just how fun it was to enjoy a similar hobby with others.
    Quote from Trumplebot »
    I know a lot of magic players who next to never played in a LGS, a lot of them women. Mostly, because they do it after work or on the weekend, when most LGS are closed. Some do it, because they have no intrest in playing with strangers anyway. At least one does it, because he dosn´t want to be seen playing magic in public. They do run tournaments at home. I thought i have seen a research of wizards that the biggest group of players were casual players which are not assosiated with any LGS. Why discount that group (Actually, i don´t have a source to that, and even if i did, that was years ago. Its just my private belive that this is (still) the case. If you disagree with kitchen table casuals being the biggest group, i am not going to convince you. Might just be a case of what you belive).
    I go to my LGS to hang out and play games with others who share similar interests as I do. I patron and spend money there vs. online to keep the store alive for that reason alone. The store and the community are what makes the LGS special. For some people it's not all about getting booster packs 50 cents cheaper online with free shipping. If we allow LGS's to die just to save a few bucks on a box then why would that be more important than no longer having a place to go to play the games we love? At the end of the day people need to stop being so cheap for whatever reason. What's the point of owning paper cards with no place to play?
    Posted in: Magic General
  • 1

    posted a message on Is Magic Attendance and Sales dropping?
    I can't help but wonder If the biggest reason for why Magic attendance and sales are dropping is due to people who are waking up to the reality that Magic is a dangerous psychological addiction in much the same way as crystal meth and heroin. When you put it that way Wizards of the Coast/Hasbro are no different than tobacco companies who are only out to benefit themselves. The consumers on the other hand are being spoon fed with the "illusion" of instant gratification releasing endorphins in the brain that's associated with Maslow's hierarchy of needs particularly in regards to Esteem as a way to gain recognition through hobbies.

    It's basically a way of using instant gratification to turn a profit which in a sense is the Entertainment Industry in a nutshell. While it's something that's completely unavoidable there is a way to achieve balance through moderation. In my case changing my addiction from Video Games to Trading Card Games/Collectible Card Games over the years not only rewarded me with more direct social interaction with my friends that I wasn't able to get out of playing Video Games however the current ongoing trends in today's society seem to suggest that nobody wants to be a part of that anymore. They feel as though it's become too much of a burden on them as it's gotten in the way of everything else in life.
    Posted in: Magic General
  • 1

    posted a message on Is Commander killing Magic?
    Quote from JDviant »
    Computer generated art? What does political correctness have to do with digital painting? My favourite art is Bird Maiden but I just don't see how Dreamcaller Siren is a politically correct illustration just because it uses modern art techniques. It this just a way of saying you don't like the stricter style guides?
    I've got nothing against the stricter style guides when it's got more to do with modern day cards not having that old feel to them anymore. Today's card illustrations have become less abstract by focusing too much on realism where it doesn't capture one's sense of imagination anymore. I personally don't believe that there's been any sort of political correctness throughout the evolution of Magic card illustrations when I was really going off of someone's opinion on YouTube where they felt that the change was negative to how they perceived what the game went through over the last 25 years. I should've been more straightforward on that and I apologize.
    Quote from Hermes_ »
    I think what really is killing magic are those collectors who played Magic: The investment over Magic: The Gathering....
    They've been using MTG as a 401k retirement plan in the happenstance that they can sell off their Reserved List collections before they're worth pennies on the dollar from whoever buys out Wizards of the Coast.
    Quote from Drain Life »
    What nostalgia are you talking about? As I illustrated earlier, at the competitive level, the best players found the best decks really fast. The rest of the casual players were sitting around having no idea what they were doing and making terrible decks out of garbage cards. How is that any different today? There are plenty of garbage decks and inexperienced casual new players who have no idea what they are doing either today.
    The best players from the past found the best decks really fast because they were willing to innovate as opposed to today's players who would rather net deck to stay ahead of the competition since it's less time consuming while helping them get a better understanding of card ratios and consistency. More casual players nowadays have a much easier time innovating a deck for EDH/Commander as opposed to a 60 card Kitchen Table Casual deck where they're likely to get criticized over format legality for running specific cards. I've actually had that happen to me once when I was running Lotus Petal in a Dragonstorm/Epic Experiment combo deck I once ran when the person thought I was playing Modern instead of Legacy.
    Quote from Drain Life »
    (...)with illustrations becoming too "politically correct"(...)

    I can ONLY assume you mean cards like from alpha showing a pentagram, with its bondage faerie, and how magic got rid of demons and replaced them with horrors oops demons were brought back over 15 years ago. Maybe you are talking about how there are finally gay and transgender characters? If so, then you are coming off as bigoted, which I will happily assume you are not, as that would be the dumbest thing to complain about and make everything else you say irrelevant.
    Don't get the wrong idea I wasn't trying to come off as being bigoted.
    Quote from Drain Life »
    There's an argument as to whether or not If Old School 1993/1994 Magic is the best place to put your time, money, and effort into compared to EDH/Commander. (...) Even If you're a newcomer that missed the boat on Old School Magic back when it was played 25 years ago you can still print off proxies with an ink jet printer.

    No, there isn't. If I cared enough, i would ask to meet you on Magic Workstation to play old school 40 card 1993 magic with you and just win turn one all the time while you can play lands and Savannah Lions or what ever casual jank you want to play and then you can run away with some excuse or complaint. Otherwise, you will also play a competitive turn 1 win combo deck and it comes down to who wins the coin flip, and we really might as well not even play magic... or we can use a ban list. oops, now we are going down the slippery slope that real magic went down that led us to today.

    Maybe you want to play 60 card 4x copy magic? I will still beat you turn one every game with Power 9 + Demonic Tutor, Channel, Fireball, and so forth. Maybe we still need a ban or restricted list.

    Shall I continue? Magic was far more broken back then that it is today.

    You are tugging at the heart strings of nostalgia for a day when you and your friends played with bad cards and didn't know any better. That has nothing to do with the era of magic, but your own ignorance. Once you open Pandora's box of knowledge, there is no closing it.


    When it comes to commander, the lack of variance is the result of tutors. the ability to consistently get what you want from your deck is what makes games repetitive and streamlined. If you want to play commander with higher variance, then just start a group where the best tutors are frowned upon and everyone agrees to play without them. After all, when you can't go find anything you want in a 99 card singleton deck and are at the mercy of what you draw, then redundancy becomes king, and still some of the variance vanishes because you have percentages of similar effects with different names, and some being more powerful than others.

    That is the nature of this game. You cannot change that, no matter how much fist waving at the sky you want to do about these darned kids and their elder dragons and their highlanders.
    Fair enough. I guess a part of me was really curious to see what Old School 1993/1994 Magic was like when Edwin the Magic Engineer posted a YouTube video saying that it's the best format in the game. Truth be told I was in 4th grade at the age of 10-11 when MTG debuted as I only read about it in advertisements from collecting video game magazines at a time when I mainly played Retro Video Games. Yu-Gi-Oh! was my gateway into Trading Card Games/Collectible Card Games until I started playing MTG when 8th Edition was the latest Core Set with Psychatog and Mono Red Goblins being my first entry decks into the game until I found my calling with Mono Green Elves. I eventually tore the deck apart because it got too annoying at my locals.
    Quote from Serberus_08 »
    The game has also become increasingly popular, meaning that they have to marginalize the products or formats that sell. Commander/EDH moves products which means that it hits stores like targets which draw people in. They do have duel decks and all that, but I don't think it's as appealing. LGS where I live don't have casual 60 card night, because it's just called 'standard' lol. LGSs need to support it more or else will eventually fade.
    Drawing players away from local game stores just so that they can buy MTG products at big box retailers like Walmart, Target, and Amazon only takes away from growing player turnout for EDH/Commander when the format itself is too dependent on the success of Standard and Modern in order to keep these local game stores from going out of business. The only way to stay in business is through voluntary support for other Trading Card Games/Collectible Card Games aside from MTG. It doesn't make any sense to me why players would want to divert their physical product in favor of digital when there's no direct social interactivity that fulfills a sense of instant gratification that players are hoping to get from playing MTG Arena or Hearthstone that's completely non-existent.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
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