Design Class – How Much Fetch Could a Fetchchuck Fetch, Ohh, You Get the Idea

Admit it, you'd pay $30 for this card.
Admit it, you'd pay $30 for this card (or at least your #1 Dime)

Editor’s Note: Some of you might have read some of this before. I accidentally hit publish when I was still working on my draft. Sorry about that. Here is the full post. Also, I hate Jeremy Fuentes for picking the best title ever (Stop Trying to Make Fetch Happen).

Fellow blogger Kelly Reid runs the amazing blog Quiet Speculation about his love affair with a certain Judgment uncommon instant the financial value of Magic. On his blog he recently ran a letter complaining about the horrible effects that Fetchlands have on the Game of Magic, both from a financial and play standpoint. Mike wrote this:

I recently bought a box of Zendikar cards: $85 bucks paid partially in store credit and partially in cash. I’m working my way though the packs slowly and so far, in about 8 packs, I’ve opened up two fetchlands. A quick search of the internet tells me that this small portion of my packs is worth a little under $40.

See, like you, I’ve been making a lot of decks in preparation for the new standard format. I’m trying to be realistic with what I can spend money on, and the last thing that I want to do is spend $80 per playset of lands in order to just get my deck off the ground…

…To say it more briefly, fetchlands are boring. Dual lands are boring. Mana fixing is boring.

What if mana fixing was all in the uncommon slot? Sure, there could still be rare lands like Oran-Reef the Vastwood or Mutavault that have additional effects, but what if the foundations of deck building were more readily available?

This is a very interesting idea; making something like that uncommon. There are two facets to this issue, as a business model and as design.

Magic started off as a collectible card game (Hence, the CCG). Dr. Richard Garfield created a game to be played in between sessions of D&D, where he got the fantasy influence. Never in his wildest dreams (alright, maybe in his wildest wildest dreams) did he ever think that Magic would become so popular, that 17 years later people would be dropping hundreds of dollars every few months. So, he took an idea from D&D when making the game: different rarities. Continue reading “Design Class – How Much Fetch Could a Fetchchuck Fetch, Ohh, You Get the Idea”