Tuesday, October 4, 2011

No, no, no.

Sometimes, I have to see it with my own eyes to understand it. Yes, I was told that the Checklist card was going to take a common slot-replacing the land in boosters, so less land was going to be printed (three instead of the traditional five) but I didn't exactly get what that meant.

Now that I've opened two boxes of Innistrad, I do:

The pile on the far left is nothing but checklist cards. I need these under one and only one circumstance: to replace a double-faced card, specifically one in the Innistrad set. There is nothing else in Magic that requires use of these cards and will probably never (if ever) be used or referenced again.

The barely smaller pile to the right of that is advertisements. I don't ever need these. I have bought your product, WotC; advertising to me at this point is meaningless and wasteful. It's like finding a tiny can of Coke inside a two-liter bottle of Coke. There isn't more cola goodness inside, just a can where cola exists while the aluminum takes up space.

The second-to-last pile is tokens. These have all kinds of uses! Many players find them enjoyable, the art is pretty, they do come in handy from time to time. I don't use them often myself but that doesn't change the fact that if, for example, a card makes a zombie token instead of a creature, (and at last count there were 25 cards that mention this) then those cards can fill that role. Forever, most likely, because token creatures tend to be the same--in the case of zombies, 2/2s. Not 100% of the time but enough that players can make the token cards work across multiple environments.

And do you know what's on the back of the token card? Advertisements. Just like the ones in the pile before. Fine, whatever; Bill in Marketing is insisting that we do branding shit and now instead of adding value to the players in a booster pack, we have to holler at them to make sure that they know the product they bought has product to buy.


But that last pile, the one on the right? The smallest one. That contains basic land. The stuff you need to play a game of Magic. Seriously: You cannot play a game without lands: it would be like removing dice from a game of Yahtzee.

Now, I have to say that "the sample size is clearly a small one" and "My experience isn't equal to everyone's" because if I don't, someone's going to call me out on it, rightly or wrongly. But if I was a new player and I needed lands, I would be really angry that I just spent $200 on Magic cards and didn't get enough land to BUILD A DECK. As it is, I'm still pretty irritated that I didn't get enough basic lands (lands that are very pretty and a critical part of evoking the world they're building, you know, flavor stuff) and here's why:

See that stack of advertisements above? Those ads that are also put on the back of token cards?

Those ads should have been lands. Took me five seconds to think of a great solution, while my displeasure at not getting the building blocks for the game I love will last for months.


  1. You know, they could have even done double-sided lands. Lands that transform into ads!