Magic Arcana / Card of the Day / Daily Deck for May, 2012

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This thread is for discussion of magicthegathering.com's Magic Arcana, Card of the Day, and Daily Decks features for the month of May, 2012.
Heh, Goblins is what I played at States. It was probably the fastest deck at the tournament (multiple turn 4 wins, thanks to Goblin Grenade and/or Brimstone Volley), but probably one of the most easy to disrupt, too. Tibalt and Reforge the Soul *are* good ways to dump excess lands, but...this looks like a spellslinging deck, albeit a nastier one than usual. :P
I know you're mostly going to use Pillar of flames to deal with creatures, but I doubt that turns it into a creature itself.

IMAGE(http://i1.minus.com/jbcBXM4z66fMtK.jpg)

192884403 wrote:
surely one can't say complex conditional passive language is bad grammar ?
I for one was confused by non-foil oversized generals in our Helvault, as it contradicted the presedent set by the Commander deck product line.
So most people got marginal stuff for their trouble, considering some stores didnt even do prize support beyond the helvault itself.  While a select few got ridiculus good stuff and the same marginal stuff everyone else got. 

I don't see that being all that fair.  I missed my store's pre release with a case of the flu, but if i had been up there and gotten the regular stuff for my 30 dollar entry i would have been very disapointed.  I realize its free and my money is really for the chance to play with the cards early, but with they way this was hyped up it just doesn't seem worth it at all.
I normally don't do this, but I am going to type in all caps to make sure that you understand the seriousness of my statements. I apologize in advance.

WE HATE THESE OVERSIZED PROMOS! IT IS NOT ONLY COMPLETELY POINTLESS TO GIVE US CARDS THAT WE CANNOT PHYSICALLY USE THAT IT COST YOU MONEY (I WOULD IMAGINE MORE MONEY BECAUSE THEY ARE LARGER) TO MAKE, BUT IT IS ALSO INSULTING. WE DIDN'T MUCH APPRECIATE IT WHEN YOU GAVE US THE USELESS OVERSIZED FOIL VERSIONS IN THE OTHERWISE AWESOME COMMANDER SETS, PARTICULARLY SINCE YOU DIDN'T GIVE US PLAYABLE FOILS OF THE LEGENDS THAT YOU KNOW WE VALUE IN EDH, AND WE CERTAINLY DIDN'T APPRECIATE IT WHEN YOU GAVE US THESE USELESS OVERSIZED CARDS THIS TIME AROUND.

WE DON'T PLAY WITH THEM. WE TREAT THEM AS A JOKE. WE FIND IT ANNOYING THAT THEY DON'T FIT IN OUR CARD BOXES. THERE WAS NOTHING APPEALING ABOUT THEM WHATSOEVER. AND WHEN WE FOUND OUT WHAT WAS IN THE HELVAULT BEFORE THE RELEASE, IT DISAPPOINTED US GREATLY TO FIND THAT YOU REPEATED A MISTAKE THAT WE EXPRESSLY FOUND OBNOXIOUS THE FIRST TIME AROUND. I WOULDN'T DOUBT THAT MAKING THIS MISTAKE EVEN RESULTED IN A LOWER TURN OUT FOR THE PRERELEASE (which is particularly true considering your new policy of never printing promo mythics again).

KNOWING HOW CORPORATIONS ARE, I HIGHLY DOUBT YOU WILL CATCH ON UNTIL IT HAS HIT YOUR POCKET BOOK. EVEN THOUGH LARGE NUMBERS OF US HAVE EXPRESSED OUR DISAPPOINTMENT AT YOUR CONTINUED PRINTING OF THESE USELESS CARDS, YOU WILL CONTINUE TO PRINT THEM REGARDLESS. JUST BE WARNED, JUST AS WE WON'T BE SURPRISED AT THE DISREGARD OF OUR DISGUST WITH THE PRODUCT, YOU SHOULDN'T BE SURPRISED THE NEXT TIME ONE OF YOUR BIG SURPRISES IS SPOILED AND WE DECIDE NOT TO SHOW UP BECAUSE OF THE CRUMMY PRODUCT WE DISCOVERED WITHIN.

HOW LONG DO YOU REALLY THINK WE WILL PUT UP WITH OPENING PRESENTS ONLY TO FIND GRANDMA GAVE US ANOTHER CRAPPY SWEATER?
Some small number of stores got awesome hellvaults and everyone else got useless chaff. Not a great experiance, and without release event promo it makes me question if I want to participate again.
Wow people are bitching about FREE stuff??? What is wrong with you people. I like my helavault schwag please don't listen to these malcontents wotc.
I normally don't do this, but I am going to type in all caps to make sure that you understand the seriousness of my statements. I apologize in advance.

WE HATE THESE OVERSIZED PROMOS! IT IS NOT ONLY COMPLETELY POINTLESS TO GIVE US CARDS THAT WE CANNOT PHYSICALLY USE THAT IT COST YOU MONEY (I WOULD IMAGINE MORE MONEY BECAUSE THEY ARE LARGER) TO MAKE, BUT IT IS ALSO INSULTING. WE DIDN'T MUCH APPRECIATE IT WHEN YOU GAVE US THE USELESS OVERSIZED FOIL VERSIONS IN THE OTHERWISE AWESOME COMMANDER SETS, PARTICULARLY SINCE YOU DIDN'T GIVE US PLAYABLE FOILS OF THE LEGENDS THAT YOU KNOW WE VALUE IN EDH, AND WE CERTAINLY DIDN'T APPRECIATE IT WHEN YOU GAVE US THESE USELESS OVERSIZED CARDS THIS TIME AROUND.

WE DON'T PLAY WITH THEM. WE TREAT THEM AS A JOKE. WE FIND IT ANNOYING THAT THEY DON'T FIT IN OUR CARD BOXES. THERE WAS NOTHING APPEALING ABOUT THEM WHATSOEVER. AND WHEN WE FOUND OUT WHAT WAS IN THE HELVAULT BEFORE THE RELEASE, IT DISAPPOINTED US GREATLY TO FIND THAT YOU REPEATED A MISTAKE THAT WE EXPRESSLY FOUND OBNOXIOUS THE FIRST TIME AROUND. I WOULDN'T DOUBT THAT MAKING THIS MISTAKE EVEN RESULTED IN A LOWER TURN OUT FOR THE PRERELEASE (which is particularly true considering your new policy of never printing promo mythics again).

KNOWING HOW CORPORATIONS ARE, I HIGHLY DOUBT YOU WILL CATCH ON UNTIL IT HAS HIT YOUR POCKET BOOK. EVEN THOUGH LARGE NUMBERS OF US HAVE EXPRESSED OUR DISAPPOINTMENT AT YOUR CONTINUED PRINTING OF THESE USELESS CARDS, YOU WILL CONTINUE TO PRINT THEM REGARDLESS. JUST BE WARNED, JUST AS WE WON'T BE SURPRISED AT THE DISREGARD OF OUR DISGUST WITH THE PRODUCT, YOU SHOULDN'T BE SURPRISED THE NEXT TIME ONE OF YOUR BIG SURPRISES IS SPOILED AND WE DECIDE NOT TO SHOW UP BECAUSE OF THE CRUMMY PRODUCT WE DISCOVERED WITHIN.

HOW LONG DO YOU REALLY THINK WE WILL PUT UP WITH OPENING PRESENTS ONLY TO FIND GRANDMA GAVE US ANOTHER CRAPPY SWEATER?



Admittedly, the stuff in the Helvault was free (well, for those of us who went to prereleases which didn't stiff us out of the WotC-mandated prize support), but I pretty much agree with this.  You guys cut Mythic rares from being Prerelease promos, and now it feels like you're waving it in front of our faces, in a "LOOK WHAT YOU'RE NOT GETTING ANYMORE!!!  HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA WHAT AN IDIOT" type of way.  Either give us real, playable, useful cards, or don't give us anything.  It feels like you guys just drank a can of Coke and giving us the empty can and asking us to do something cool with it.  We're just going to throw it in the garbage.
Wow people are bitching about FREE stuff??? What is wrong with you people. I like my helavault schwag please don't listen to these malcontents wotc.

The problem is that whoever decided on this promotion demonstrates a fundamental lack of understanding of psychology.

If you give one person a free $10 bill, he's happy. If he then sees you give another person a free $100 bill, he's suddenly unhappy because he feels that he had a chance at that $100 bill and missed out. Even though the first person is strictly better off than he was before, the fact that he got less than someone else leaves him less happy than he'd have been if neither of them had gotten anything.

What they should have done here is two-fold:
1. Lessen the obscene gap in value between the premium Helvaults and the ordinary ones.
2. Announce ahead of time that some Helvaults would contain better prizes than others.

This second even adds a sense of anticipation to the event, same as a lottery or gambling does, and would be positive marketing. Instead, they create a large gap between the haves and the have-nots (something to the tune of a $100 difference in value per person) and people only find out afterwards that other people got better prizes.
IMAGE(http://images.community.wizards.com/community.wizards.com/user/blitzschnell/c6f9e416e5e0e1f0a1e5c42b0c7b3e88.jpg?v=90000)
Wow people are bitching about FREE stuff??? What is wrong with you people. I like my helavault schwag please don't listen to these malcontents wotc.

FREE!?! F R E E ! ? !

If you believe this stuff was FREE you have poor understanding of Economics 101. Oppertunity costs aside, we pay for this stuff every time we open a pack of Magic and pay to participate in one of their events. Every single bit of die resin, every fiber of cardboard, and every ounce of foil is paid for by US - The Consumer. We CONSUME these products at a premium price that we are "willing" to pay. There isn't a single aspect of this game that we do not pay for. Right down to the dork sweat from the MTG judges, we pay for everything. Companies exist to turn a profit. The entire point of this "prerelease exercise" was to produce a higher profit, because some guy in front of a computer and calculator decided that if they take XYZ actions for A cost it will turn a profit of D dollars. Do not for one second believe that this is some favor of a benevolent company who wishes nothing more than for you to have fun.

Naturally, these people are not out to have a nefarious agenda of making dollars and cents. These are good people, and they want us to have fun, but they also (and primarily so) must turn a profit. We have every right as consumers to complain about the product that they are providing us that we actually wish to use. If money equates to speech for corporations, it also must be true for consumers. We have a voice. If we do not like something we can withhold our money and express our feelings. And if, and only if, those companies respond to those feelings will they survive. Don't ever forget that. This isn't complaining, it is exercising our free speech toward a product that we want to succeed. (Smart people will recognize this as a political critique on America...)
Glad to hear the Helvault was (apparently) a success, because I want the game to do well but I for one knew the contents would be... lackluster. It was an obvious marketing gimmick, and based on WotC's track record I had already guessed there'd be dice and tokens + something else marginal (I didn't spend much time thinking about it, but in hindsight oversized promos seem like an obvious choice). Frankly, the only reason I went to the store to play was because one of my friends was supposed to be coming from out of town to hang out for the day, and the only thing keeping my day from being mediocre since he ended up having to take care of his sick wife (and playing with random people isn't much fun) was that my other friend stayed to play in spite of having run the midnight pre-re (I'd fully expected him to go home and sleep instead). Honestly, since the change from large pre-releases, knowing that a friend is going is the only thing that makes me attend a pre-release anymore. At least with the large one, we weren't split between multiple stores and prizes were better, plus 2HG (or sometimes drafts) was a great way to spend the afternoon after playing in the morning flight. Too bad that's a relic of a by-gone era, never to be seen again, since the small store pre-res obviously pull in so much more profit for WotC (otherwise we'd have them back, since all I hear from people in the area is how much they miss the large ones).
Wow people are bitching about FREE stuff???

 I understand your point: how can people complain about free stuff? But Wizards is still interested in feedback, as was suggested by todays Magic Arcana. Let me say that I'm extremely grateful to have recieved my free stuff, but still, I believe my experience could have been better. Wizards is interested in my feedback, so here it is:

Spindown Counters
I loved the spindown counters. I always love dice, and couldn't get enough of them. This is also something that virtually every player in my area could use, and use frequently. Some variance in colors would have been nice, but I understand it may be cheaper (or more thematic) to go all the same color.

Tokens
I also enjoyed the double sided tokens. For me, tokens are fun to collect and use, so they were much appreciated. There were a few people at my pre-release who were uninterested, but those people didn't have too much trouble using them as trading fodder either.

Oversized Cards
I was, however, disapointed with the oversized cards. Sure, they're kinda fun and interesting, but at the same time, useless. When free stuff is handed out, I like it to be things I can actually use (such as the two previous items I was happy to get).

Perhaps a small handfull of people will use their oversized legends, but at my local store, I doubt it. I've never seen anyone use an oversized card (even the commander ones) for anything. In my opinion, it would have been better to just print normal sized versions of the cards. People would have been much happier to get something they could use. You guys used to hand out a free, foil  mythic promo to everyone at pre-releases, remember? If anything, I imagine it would have saved you money since it takes less paper to print smaller cards.

Heck, I would have even been happier with some extra tokens instead of an oversized card.
"54 Promo Foils thematically tied to angels or demons"
"a few of which were older judge promos"

I just wish WoTC didn't include these in their premium Helvaults, maybe I don't feel this much dissapointment........... 

Beware !!!! There are Zombies even in Spaces !!!
Wow people are bitching about FREE stuff???

 I understand your point: how can people complain about free stuff? But Wizards is still interested in feedback, as was suggested by todays Magic Arcana. Let me say that I'm extremely grateful to have recieved my free stuff, but still, I believe my experience could have been better. Wizards is interested in my feedback, so here it is:

Spindown Counters
I loved the spindown counters. I always love dice, and couldn't get enough of them. This is also something that virtually every player in my area could use, and use frequently. Some variance in colors would have been nice, but I understand it may be cheaper (or more thematic) to go all the same color.

Tokens
I also enjoyed the double sided tokens. For me, tokens are fun to collect and use, so they were much appreciated. There were a few people at my pre-release who were uninterested, but those people didn't have too much trouble using them as trading fodder either.

Oversized Cards
I was, however, disapointed with the oversized cards. Sure, they're kinda fun and interesting, but at the same time, useless. When free stuff is handed out, I like it to be things I can actually use (such as the two previous items I was happy to get).

Perhaps a small handfull of people will use their oversized legends, but at my local store, I doubt it. I've never seen anyone use an oversized card (even the commander ones) for anything. In my opinion, it would have been better to just print normal sized versions of the cards. People would have been much happier to get something they could use. You guys used to hand out a free, foil  mythic promo to everyone at pre-releases, remember? If anything, I imagine it would have saved you money since it takes less paper to print smaller cards.

Heck, I would have even been happier with some extra tokens instead of an oversized card.

While I agree with 99% of what you said, I feel the need to reiterate that this stuff is NOT FREE. It seems free because you didn't pay for it directly, but you did pay for it. Again, opportunity costs aside, they pass that overhead cost onto the consumer. We paid for it when we paid for the prerelease, bought a pack of Magic, etc. Also, it is important to include in this analysis that one of the reasons for issuing these useless oversized cards is to protect the secondary market from the flood of actual usable cards (aka m o n e y).

Don't get me wrong, I appreciate the gesture, but sometimes it's the thought that hurts - particularly when we do, in fact, pay for it.

Everything else you said was spot on.
I agree about the judge foil thing. If some helvaults just had foil oversized cards and tokens, most people would have just thought 'cool'. But including cards worth what, up to $100 each makes people really feel like they missed out, and in some cases because they may have been trying to support a smaller store and get screwed over for doing so.
I agree with Chronego.

As I've said before in Magic General, this is a horrible marketing decision. Not only are casual players completely "Huh?" about the prizes given (As my father, who's first prerelease this was will atest to) in the lesser vaults, the cards were mostly useless to more experienced players (Although I do appreciate the token), and the dice, quite frankly, are more appropriate for a D&D giveaway.

Furthermore, the community can not bond from this experience now, because one in 500 were treated much better than the other percentage. Now, if each vault contained a playable card (Not even judge, mind you. Just a normal FNM style gimme), there would have been no need to create a special vault. The main problem with the event is that instead of granting a bonding experience to the players, it created a reason for them to disassociate themselves from the game or the community.

This has hurt stores that are less than your Top Tier stores, and telling the community as a whole that only stores that hold hundreds of players are going to get the best prizes. This hurts your bottom line in the end, for that encourages players not to attend Gateway or Core stores, for the chances of chase prizes which shouldn't have happened.

This is a very nearsighted plan that was overly marketed, and poorly executed, and you can count me and my friends to not attend a prerelease based on your marketing ploys. We already had a bad experience when your distribution for Miroddin Besiged managed to not package rares in the stores Phyrexian half of the boosters. This further shows me that your promotions team can't handle this job.

I will continue to play magic, of course. I have faith in the development of the game, and enjoy the competition. However, I will be skeptical and ignore promotions from now on. You will have to prove through community that you can actually handle promotions responsibly for the community's welfare.
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When I heard that there were random way rare things found in some Helvaults, I thought I was being trolled.

Turns out, I was.

And from a really unexpected source. 
Another point against the Helvault "experience" is that it limited the number of people who could attend the event to 54.

I don't see how Wizards of the Coast could have given the green light to anything that would limit the number of customers giving them money.
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the Helvaults got extremely hyped by WotC before the event.
the basic Helvaults didn't live up to that hype. not even close.
I already had low expectations and WotC managed to undercut those.
the stuff of the Helvault that I got was basically worth $1.
that alone was already bad.
then I decided to share my experience of the prerelease online and learned about the premium Helvaults and felt cheated. BADLY.
I felt cheated so much that it now forever taints the memory of this prerelease. up until then, although the Helvault itself sucked, the tournament had been fun and enjoying. now all I can think of is how unfair those premium Helvaults are. did you honestly expect that the 99% of players who did not get a $100 bill for free would be like "ah, congrats to that lucky guys who got riches beyond riches because they are WotCs prefered customers while I'm content with the suck I got."

also, a playable card would have helped, imho. like, all-art basiclands.
Abbot Pheldy OSM Mafia Awards 2010 Most Unique Playstyle Designer of Game of the Year 2010 Designer of Most Flavorful Game My achievements random hum
Wow people are bitching about FREE stuff??? What is wrong with you people. I like my helavault schwag please don't listen to these malcontents wotc.



Its not the items themselves as much as it is the unequal nature of it.  Why should those 30 stores and their players be treated so much better than the others.  Is my store infinetly less worthy because it is small.  Had all the helvaults been the same I dont think people would be as disapointed.  Hell if it had been completely random like the hidden treasures in Zendikar I dont think people would have been as upset. 

The inequity wasn't equal.  It wasnt random.  Some were specificly chosen to be rewarded disproportionatly.

Hell if the things had had the FNM candy in them i would have prefered that to what was in there.  That stuff isnt worth much more than anything in there but it would have been cooler. 

I also agree that ever since WOTC stopped giving out Mythics for prerelease the incentive to go to them has dropped.  And quite frankly the quality level of the pre release rares has wayned far too much.  You dont have to give out a mythic to give out a good rare.

Mayor of Avabruck was decent (not great) but i wouldnt mind playing him.  Even in the pre mythic days we got stuff Like Ink Eyes.

Ravenous Demon and Moonsilver Spear are all but unplayable.

I don't like the whole concept of the mythic rare to begin with, but if we are going to have them then having them be pre release cards is a fine way to make sure people can get some of them reasonably. 


So sucktacular that i missed the helvault..i do have one piece of advice about how it would have been awesome... A PLANECHASE CARD!!! That's right..a plane card for Ravnica before the helvault opened and one for after..that would have been great..and hey. Do we have some Planechasae stuff coming this summer? yeah..i think so... SERIOUSLY!! WHY DIDN'T SOMEONE DO THEIR HOMEWORK AND GET US THIS!!..but what saddens me is that yes it was schwag but the whole event was something i missed since i had my friends wedding that day...oh well.
Kinda feel like I got pooped on.

And to anyone stating it is free, its not. It does however make the cost of playing at your local store cheaper.

The items might be "Extra" but that pools into the total of your purchase. Just like if I say "By 1 get 1 free" what I really mean is "50% off".

Edit: On the bright side that kitty looks just like one of mine. So that makes me feel good.

I imagine the event was good intentioned, it was just poorly executed. 
Already sent this in the feedback form, but I figured I would share it here for extra visibility:

I have been an avid magic player and collector for over 11 years.  I am a die-hard collector of angel cards, with thousands of dollars in rare and hard to find angels, accumulated carefully over years.

I am very bothered by the low number of these promotional Helvault cards in existence (~300 of each jumbo foil, and ~3100 foil tokens). I attended a Helvault event, but it was not a 'premium' one, so I had no chance to receive these foil promos.

I had a nearly complete collection of every angel printed or misprinted, but now, there are foil jumbo cards that will be nearly impossible to obtain, as there are less copies of each foil jumbo angel than there are MTG angel collectors in my state alone! There are ZERO copies even for sale on the internet right now.

If this was the doing of your marketing department, I would deem this a failure. These premium Helvaults were not announced before-hand, so players could not have changed their purchasing behavior to Wizard's financial benefit (i.e. "What cool promos! I should go to the prerelease after all, so I have a chance at them!"). These cards aren't even sold by Wizards, so players cannot even PAY YOU for them if they wanted to.

All you've managed to do is shift money to third-party dealers as the owners of these rare treasures inevitably get ripped off, make an absurdly small and lucky part of your user-base happy, and alienate and devastate loyal fans like me.

Maybe this is a good time to quit collecting angels/MTG, since I'll never be able to have a truly complete angel collection after this point.
Most disappointing pre-release I've ever attended. When the store manager asked me which over-sized card I wanted, I told him to keep it because it would just junk up my bag for two months and then get trashed. Discontinue this product. It has negative marketing value. It's not an in incentive to play, it's a barrier that I have to remove in order to get on with my day.

As for sending a few high-volume stores high-value promotional items...there are no words that apply that are forum-friendly.
Hey WOTC, if you're reading this... Its like a Kid on Christmas Day, instead of getting a Toy they get a pair of socks. Like that what we really wanted, Had the Helvault been packed with boosters pack I would've been happy with that as well.
Wow people are bitching about FREE stuff??? What is wrong with you people. I like my helavault schwag please don't listen to these malcontents wotc.

The problem is that whoever decided on this promotion demonstrates a fundamental lack of understanding of psychology.

If you give one person a free $10 bill, he's happy. If he then sees you give another person a free $100 bill, he's suddenly unhappy because he feels that he had a chance at that $100 bill and missed out. Even though the first person is strictly better off than he was before, the fact that he got less than someone else leaves him less happy than he'd have been if neither of them had gotten anything.

What they should have done here is two-fold:
1. Lessen the obscene gap in value between the premium Helvaults and the ordinary ones.
2. Announce ahead of time that some Helvaults would contain better prizes than others.

This second even adds a sense of anticipation to the event, same as a lottery or gambling does, and would be positive marketing. Instead, they create a large gap between the haves and the have-nots (something to the tune of a $100 difference in value per person) and people only find out afterwards that other people got better prizes.

This example and analogy works pretty well - with a minor change, and that is that for the Helvault promotion, a whole lot of the players value the stuff they got out of the Vault not as 'a free $ 10 bill', but as literally worthless. Which means that cannot even say 'well at least I got something', increasing the gap even more.

Hello WotC,


I realize I do not log in often. However, as a longtime consumer of your product, I have decided that it would be worthwhile to devote my precious time to providing you with feedback regarding the recent Helvault promotion.

You were lucky.


As bad as the reaction of the community is right now, it could have been a lot worse. Let us consider if the spoiled vault had been a premium one instead of the normal one. Keep in mind that the community had no reason to expect that the contents would not be the same in every Helvault. In such a scenario, last weekend would have been catastrophic. Helvault events would have sold out as everyone who normally would not attend a prerelease came out of the woodwork expecting to get a Judge foil. Imagine the pandemonium that would have ensued when the standard vaults were opened to reveal the mediocre contents within. I would not doubt that more than a few stores would have been accused of stealing "the good stuff" by those who were aware of the spoiled premium vault. The animosity and distrust that would have developed in such a situation far exceeds what is going on at this time.

I do not believe it is good policy to expose the WPN stores to that kind of risk. I do not believe that this sort of disparity in the promotional items distributed at events is good for the brand. Lastly, I do not believe the decision to even create premium Helvaults included enough consideration as to how customers receiving the non-premium Helvaults would react. I certainly hope steps are taken to avoid a repetition of this mistake in the future.

Regarding the actual contents of the standard Helvault:

Tokens: These are not exciting. Full art promos of the common angel and demon from the set would have been more exciting.

Oversized Magic Cards: These are useless, even to Commander players. If you must make oversized cards, please make them useful. For example, an "Innistrad" plane card or "Open the Helvault" scheme card would have been much more exciting and useful.

Dice: I understand other people like these, however I preferred the Ravnica-style dial counters. I hope those dial counters are brought back for Return to Ravnica.

Thank you for taking my feedback into consideration. I sincerely hope it provides some benefit to the planning of your future promotional events. Despite the negative reaction to this event, I do believe that the community in general does want WotC to succeed at making Magic the best game it can be. It is because of this that we become concerned when the company makes decisions that we believe might cause harm to the local game stores, the community of players, or the future of the game itself.

After finding out what was in the Helvaults, I was definitely disappointed. The hype leading up to the event got me pretty curious and excited, but then it was a total letdown once I received another spindown die and token that I don't care much about. What happened to the one of a kind experience? We've already seen all of this stuff, including the achievement cards. For goodness sakes WOTC, be creative! You already have some awesome talent when it comes to this kind of stuff. Use it!

I will definitely remember this prerelease - as a failure to live up to the big amount of hype you guys created, not a success.

Agent 1103, I agree with everything you've posted. Very good comments. 
As a longtime Magic player and collector, I feel cheated by the fact that some helvaults had special premium content, while others did not. I attend a new and small shop, who doesn't have Advanced WPN status yet and I hate that because of this there was no chance of our store getting the cool stuff. This is crap. If I want this content I have to track it down on the secondary market now and pay a premium. All helvaults should have been the fancy helvault to begin with. I'm seriously disappointed in the execution and conclusion of this promotion and don't look forward to participating in future ones if they're going to be like this.

I like the oversized cards, more specifically, I like foil oversized cards of legendary creatures.  I also like spindown D20's.  I even like the tokens.  But knowing that shiny versions of the shwag I got exist upsets me and makes me want to have it.  This does not benefit you in any way financially, so it was a bad move.  Also, taking away mythics as prerelease cards displeases me greatly.  It's enough of a pain to get 1 of any mythic.  It was nice knowing that it was remotely feasible to get a playset of at least 1 mythic rare per set, especially considering you have no stake in the secondary market.
Right now--for the next two weeks, anyway--I live in Annapolis, Maryland. I don't think there's an Advanced level store closer than Baltimore or DC, and I don't have a driver's license.

So basically, not only did you screw my local store out of a prerelease--thanks for that, by the way; getting to Glen Burnie was SO much fun--but even if you hadn't, I had absolutely no shot whatsoever at a premium Vault basically because of where I live.

Do you understand how much this sucks?
On the CO IRC, generally as TorpedoFish.
Vain? Me? NEVER.
57223408 wrote:
You're the straightest shooter I know on these boards. You don't mince words about your opinions, and I respect that about you. The whole fiasco you described in the last State of the CO Forum was particularly enlightening (and kind of disappointing with regards to how they see us).
56868168 wrote:
Ah, Tsuyo. When your post isn't one sentence long full of asterisks, you have much wisdom to share with us .
From the IRC:
(19:52) RuinsFate: You know, I was gonna agree with something PalOn said... but I think I'm just gonna through my lot in with tsuyo's sudden train-wreck grade interjection. (01:45) Nausicaa: yes your rage is a righteous rage :D (01:45) Nausicaa: righteous rage of torpedo
My sci-fi writing.
Congratulations, Wizards, you've done it again. After the "priceless treasures" of Zendikar, you've once again given way over 90% of your player base the feeling of being losers and not getting what they should have received just to give a few a grand feeling.

The priceless treasures fiasco still makes Zendikar emotionally feel like the worst set I ever opened even though I didn't really pull bad cards. But I was denied the experience of getting a treasure in spite of opening almost four boxes (which should be considered a purchase size to be rewarded with a good feeling at all times) and to this day, several years later, this annoys me. Done right, this promo would just have used more low and mid-level cards in the $2 to $5 value range but distributed them at one per 2-3 boxes, so a player buying enough to get a set is virtually guaranteed the warm feeling - it's not about the dollars, it's about the moment of drwaing something great. This is just like the autograph trading cards in many movie sets - you may be 1 in 100 to get a famous main cast member, but at least you DO GET ONE, even if it's by a bit player.

Now you do it again - you hype something to excess, make players spend their time and money to get to a prerelease (and for many of them this means more than just the entry fee but also gas or train tickets) just to tell them that (a) some very lucky others randomly got treated much better and (b) if they happened to be in a location that couldn't support your hyper-premium-superstores, they were not even given the chance. Bottom line - once again, you've made a lot of people angry to make a tiny subset happy. I am very happy not to have attended a Helvault prerelease because it saved me the experience of being made a loser by you again.

People are buying your product to be happy, not to be disappointed. People are coming to your tournaments to feel like winners, not losers. You've managed to make many of your 4-0 and 3-1 players from the prereleases feel like losers instead of winners with this little stunt. Well done, Wizards. Avacyn Restored just joined the growing list of good sets made to feel like bad sets by a marketing decision.

The problem is that whoever decided on this promotion demonstrates a fundamental lack of understanding of psychology.

If you give one person a free $10 bill, he's happy. If he then sees you give another person a free $100 bill, he's suddenly unhappy because he feels that he had a chance at that $100 bill and missed out. Even though the first person is strictly better off than he was before, the fact that he got less than someone else leaves him less happy than he'd have been if neither of them had gotten anything.


What they should have done here is two-fold:
1. Lessen the obscene gap in value between the premium Helvaults and the ordinary ones.
2. Announce ahead of time that some Helvaults would contain better prizes than others.


This second even adds a sense of anticipation to the event, same as a lottery or gambling does, and would be positive marketing. Instead, they create a large gap between the haves and the have-nots (something to the tune of a $100 difference in value per person) and people only find out afterwards that other people got better prizes.


I agree 100% with chronego's post. Though probably meant well, the whole gameplan was obviously rushed and not given due consideration as to the overall psychological effect. The result was quite close to an insult to all the non-Advanced level stores (and their players): "You're second-rate, so you're not included in the lottery. In fact, we're not even bothering to inform you about this exclusion - you can discover it after the fact. Hey, good luck with explaining this to your players!"

I had multiple players approach me during the event with questions about the reports of "premium Hevaults" being opened elsewhere. My response was "I have no official information about this, but maybe Wizards has upped the game and randomly provided superior versions (like foils in a booster). Isn't it exciting - we might be lucky as well?" Well, the first part was correct, but we had no chance of being lucky. We were excluded from the lottery, and my gut tells me this was unfair.

I've known companies where such an issue prompts a senior executive to offer a public apology. I wouldn't mind Wizards taking a page out of that playbook.

EDIT: I want to stress that there were many things done right. The incredible effort that goes into planning and executing the whole thing deserves to be acknowledged and appreciated. It's just that sometimes, a little oversight can threaten to capsize the ship and turn otherwise excellent experience sour. Too bad that it happened this way.
I liked the Helvault. It made the prerelease different. Otherwise it would have been like every other prerelease we've gone to. I mean they are never boring, but that isn't to say it can not be made more fun. Seriously my only gripe of the prerelease was the sealed format seemed clunky, especially for green. The Helvault actually helped me feel better about it.

<a href="http://www.wizards.com/Magic/PlaneswalkerPoints/1206663433"><img src="http://pwp.wizards.com/1206663433/Scorecards/Landscape.png" border="0" /></a>

Well, um, wow.
I wasn't able to make the prerelease due to financial constraints, but when I heard about the oversized edh-friendly promo cards I was excited, because sweet! oversized Gisela will be mine! Then, just today, I hear about these promo versions? foil oversized cards, in only 30 locations.

well.

a single foil angel/demon token is on ebay and it's the only one, valued at a ridiculous cost.

When the owners of those foil oversized promos realize that they're ridiculously rare, the cost of obtaining one will be obscene. And you didn't really hand those out to the players as much as you handed them out to the stores.

I liked the duels of the planeswalkers promo titans. That was a cool promo that didn't seem like a money grab. But this, for some reason really makes me feel bad. Not only would I never be able to obtain these promos legitimately, but even getting them through ebay will cost so much that I won't have any money left to buy cards from you.
Wow. I guess I'm glad I didn't make it to this prerelease.

...No, that's slightly an exaggeration. Although the local prereleases are always a wistful reminder of how great prereleases used to be, I would have enjoyed getting to play with flickering and soulbond. But yeah, I'm pretty glad I didn't get to participate in the Helvault fiasco. A spindown D20 would be marginally useful, though I already have a couple; the tokens are neutral (I have plenty of Angel and Demon tokens and no need for any more, but if the art's particularly nice I guess I'd like some); the oversize cards are utterly useless. I love EDH and have 15 EDH decks, in a big long deckbox. Guess what? Oversized cards don't fit in the deckbox. What are we meant to do with them, stick them on our wall?

And hearing about the random variance between regular and premium Helvaults leaves me feeling like I had a narrow escape. If I'd gone to a Prerelease, I would have felt much more disappointed to not get the awesome stuff.

So... between sad longing for the days of large prereleases, and the lucky escape of not getting to lose the Helvault lottery, yeah, you managed to make me the closest I've ever come to not wanting to have been at a prerelease.
Everyone else seems to have my civilized thoughts covered, so I'll just snark it up a bit;

Glad I missed the Helvault Event; seems like I would have had a better time opening a foil Helvault from a DA pack.

Seriously, though, I have to thank whomever it was that spoiled the contents. It was the final deciding factor in regards to allowing the prerelease interrupt convention plans. I decided against it, and therefore had an astronomically better time than pretty much all Helvault attendees I've heard from. Clearly, oversized cards are best left in our Magic Player Rewards envelopes.

As for the release promos; Well, that's a major reason why I've decided against playing this weekend.
Deck blog: http://alurenrecycle.blogspot.com/ http://gureiseion.tumblr.com/
It's a tough call for me.  I thought the idea behind the Helvault was excellent (although perhaps the methodology for opening it was flawed), and I think it helps in promoting the shift over to fixed size and limited number prereleases (regardless of whether that decision was sensible or not.)

But everything else that everyone has said here is also true.  To have some "premium" Helvaults was perhaps a logical idea, albeit extremely risky, but to fail to announce them ahead of time was a mistake on a par with the Zendikar treasures one.  And then to make the non-premium rewards feel largely worthless was also a bad move.  (e.g. why not a unique "Helvault" icon on the life counter/d20?)  

I admire the efforts that Wizards are taking to try and rescue the pre-release format, but it looks as though the teething troubles are very far from over.
I was initially happy with my tokens and spindown die, and the guy I gave the useless oversized angel to seemed happy with that as well, but then I found out that other people got stuff that would easily sell for $200 on eBay.  Good for them, but what did those people do to deserve such obscenely better treatment than the rest of us?  Now when I look at the stuff I got, all I can do is feel bad thinking about what I didn't get.

Sure, I still got something for free...

I got a free shafting.

...

But it's not too late to rectify the situation!  All it takes is some cardboard.  Just print more of the premium stuff to distribute it to everyone who missed out, and everybody will be overjoyed after all!
I like the oversized legends. Admittedly, I got lucky and got Avacyn, and pulled a normal Avacyn too, but they're fun and I can use them for desk decoration if nothing else.

Here's what I feel should be done differently next time you do something like this (Which you should, because it was fun


  1. NOT tied foilness to the other special stuff.

  2. Had something playable in every vault, ranging from the ridiculous stuff they did have down to commons out of the junk drawer. Or maybe full-art lands. Everyone loves those.

  3. Distributed them FULLY randomly, not randomly among a subset.

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