Lost Words – The Reserved List Project


Editor’s Note: What follows is the first part in a series I was going to write about the Reserved List. This was written in February of last year, when the talk of the Reserved List heated up and we, the players, didn’t know what was going to happen. While all of this in the air, I had an idea. I wanted to write a four part series about the Reserved List and what should be done with it. My goal, if the editors allowed it, were to have this published on four different websites: Old Gathering Magic, Old Mana Nation, Quiet Speculation and here. To my knowledge nothing like this had ever been attempted (and still hasn’t).

This was abandoned when the announcement of the Reserved List was made public as half of the series dealt with what should happen with it. While I don’t agree fully with the decision, this is neither the time nor the place for that discussion. Part One, what you’re about to read, dealt with the history of the Reserved List, and why it was created. If you’re relativity new to Magic, or just haven’t kept up with the political aspects of the game, then hopefully this will shed some light on the topic.

Why this is coming out now is that not everything I write makes it to publication. I was going through some of my writing documents and found this. Creating a straw poll on twitter, I asked if people wanted to still read this. If you don’t like this, blame them. Most of this is still in its original state (some mention of dates and events). Please remember, this is about the history, not if you agree with Wizard’s final word on the topic.

It all started with trying to be everything to everyone.

Certainly we all know that can’t happen, so a choice had to be made. What good is a game without its players? If there’s no one to play, is it still a game? A decision was finally made and that has made all the difference.

It was decreed that Wizards of the Coast said they wouldn’t print certain cards ever again. Not only was this a game, but a dream for collectors as well. With one single mistake, Wizards upset a section of their fans. Wizards backed up, evaluated everything and said, “No more.”

This is what players and investors have to remember: All Wizards did was make a promise not to reprint these cards. There was no contract signed by anyone, the government didn’t force Wizards to do this, and there weren’t any lawsuits involved. Out of their own good will, Wizards created a list of cards they said they would never reprint because some players cried foul. The events that proceeded it changed the way the game was made, marketed and played.

Continue reading “Lost Words – The Reserved List Project”

Here a Format, There a Format, Everywhere a Format

They should've sent a poet


Editor’s Note: I’m going to be trying some small changes here on the Blog. First, WordPress has short link capability, but the only way you can get to it is by editing the post (the only spot to find it). That’s bad, so you’ll see a url at the beginning of these posts that relate to that particular post (this one is: http://wp.me/p5VSx-Jd for example). Makes it easier for me, for you if you want to copypasta the link to share with your friends, whatever.

Second, I’m going to use the Tags option more often now. I like how Flores does his “Concerning” at the beginning of his posts, so I’m going to be using the tags for that. It’ll be more humor related. If I feel like it, I’ll go back and add tags to old posts, but this is the point where I’m going to be using them more often.

Third, I’ve been planning on doing another facelift of this blog (again) and updating some of the buttons along the sides. Look for those in the upcoming weeks. Thanks.

The big “news” that came out last last weekend was not from the Rise of the Eldrazi pre-release (I hope everyone had a great time), but from MTGSalvation’s rumor board. Yes, this is a baseless rumor and we don’t know if it’s true or not, hence “the rumor” part. This is something that @Robjelf and I tweeted about a while ago (You’d get links, but until the Library of Congress starts to organize them, searching for the tweets is too much for too little effort) and while I thought it was going to take a couple years for it to materialize, it looks like it’s just happening months after the Reserved List announcement was made.

To the rumor:

First, some background.

The people at WoTC want to support Eternal formats at all levels of competitive play. Unfortunately, the format is simply too expensive for something like a Pro Tour and associated qualifier season to be economically viable. The price of key staples would be even higher they are now if they did this, due to increased demand. And because of the reserve list, they can’t simply print more.

So, a new format is coming. It will be released later this year, with high-level events next year and probably a Pro Tour in 2012, assuming the format catches on. Here’s how it will work.

1. Normal constructed Magic rules apply. This isn’t a special-rules format like EDH or Planechase.
2. All cards printed during Masques block and later blocks, plus associated core sets, are legal (except banned cards, of course).
3. Nothing ever rotates out.

One point of uncertainty. My source says they haven’t definitely decided on Masques block as the cutoff yet, but it will be around that time.

With the ability ro[sic] reprint staples if necessary, the people at WoTC hope they can make a non-rotating format which is accessible enough to use in a PT and qualifier season.

This is basically a “fixed” Legacy though starting (hopefully) with Masques Block.

And just like frilly toothpicks, I’m for Wizards doing this.

Oh, you wanted more? Fine fine.

Continue reading “Here a Format, There a Format, Everywhere a Format”

Design Class – Designing for a Post-Reserved List World

So deep undergound, you can't find it anywhere

So that happened…

Listen, no matter how you feel about the Reserved List, it’s clear what the position that Wizards has taken is to reprint a few cards, then lock up the Reserved List forever. That’s fine, it’s a business decision as there have been several WotC employees who have come out against the Reserved List. I’m not here to get into what it happened, or what it’s been doing to the game (for those of you following me on Twitter, that’s been my secret project for a while, a huge, huge Reserved List article that goes over the whole situation and possible solution. It will appear soon).

What we have to do is move on. Of course, there’s the issue that most people are worried about: Eternal formats. While it does close off such re-printings of certain cards, there was almost no chance of WotC reprinting the Power 9, or any of those high cost cards. The worry comes from a format not getting an new players, so the growth gets stunted and therefore, eventually “dies off.” I know what it’s like when no one around you doesn’t play the same format as you. And since that has happened to Vintage, people (like me), are worried the same thing might happen to Legacy, right as it’s starting to grow and get more and more popular.

I believe that niche cards can be expensive because they fit in niche decks. The Tabernacle at Pendrell Vale only sees play in one deck, 43 land. While it’s disgusting to see a land see prices of $300+, the deck only runs one and it’s only one deck. Lion’s Eye Diamond is approaching $50, needs a playset, and is seen in one or two decks. Force of Will is practically $50 as well, but sees play in a variety of decks, and was uncommon. But I believe that it’s all okay for all of that to happen (maybe not Force, but that’s another article) for Legacy to survive if not for one thing.

Dual Lands.

They’re on the Reserved List too.

Continue reading “Design Class – Designing for a Post-Reserved List World”