Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Core Sets Are Returning

There's a lot of information coming out this week-Aetherworks Marvel was just banned in Standard, Tuesday (which is what happens when you don't have enough artifact destruction)-but the first big news is how sets will be released in the future.

I have to say that overall, I think these changes are good things. Good Core sets can be great training grounds for new players as well as allowing for interesting reprints, a la the Commander sets, and cool new cards, like M15 had. In addition, it lets WotC put in necessary answers to situations that wouldn't fit thematically in any of the 'world' sets. That kind of flexibility seems like it will be good for the overall health of Magic

Plus, it means that my expenses will go down as I don't have to buy all new cards every three months. I can pick and choose from the Core sets the things I want, and there is always something cool.

I'm quite thankful that we will get less Gatewatch focused cards. Not much to add there.

I'm disappointed about the Masterpiece series becoming intermittent, although I understand the reasoning, in a big picture sense. However, the bit about "the audience never quite warmed up to it (the Amonkhet invocations)" because they felt they had to change those  "to a flavor-based theme built around the Gods, but it required explaining", is absolutely false.

Look at this. This is bad visual design. This isn't the audience needing an explanation, this is the audience telling you that there was a massive failure and it's WotC's cock up of design that has us down on these cards, not the Masterpieces themselves.

A reddit user articulated my fears: "Masterpieces will just go in sets they (WotC) aren't confident about."

Right. They'll use this as a carrot to sell packs. I would've been happier if they had kept the series and instead printed fewer cards. Of the 30 reprints, only 5 are from Amonkhet and 25 cards to elevate to Masterpiece each time is too many, even with Magic's long, interesting history.

Still, I'm glad that this will continue to go forward. Reprints like this are useful tools to help both reduce the prices of expensive cards while still boosting the secondary market and I see it as a win-win.

Finally, the Play Design group is a very interesting notion but until the Friday article goes up, really explaining what it is they do, I don't feel comfortable commenting on it, yet.

Finally-finally, this image of Ixalan? Hits all my buttons. I want pirates and dinosaurs.

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