The Mystery of Value

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(Yes, this is the start of another tired old thread about the Reserved List. You may stop reading now if you wish.)

I see that it has been an exciting year in Magic: the Gathering.

A while back, despite the previous existence of Judge foils, when the Reserved List foil card Pyrexian Negator appeared in Duel Decks: Phyrexia vs. The Coalition, there was quite an uproar. People had not understood "premium" in the Reprint Policy to include anything tournament-legal, even if it was foil.

Now, I suppose I shouldn't be too surprised that Commander's Arsenal did not cause any similar hue and cry. After all, the Reserved List cards that were "reprinted" in it, Karn, Silver Golem and Sliver Queen (Hmm, maybe they should have called it Commander's Typographical Error...) were not tournament-legal. They were oversized cards. And there have been lots of oversized reprints; for example, an oversized Black Lotus was included with SCRYE #15.

And yet I an going to say that Commander's Arsenal was transgressive and unprecedented in one way. The oversized cards in it weren't tournament-legal, but for the first time, they were intended for use in a kind of Magic play, even if it was a casual variant.

And, of course, an even bigger event happened - in MTGO. When the last Masters' Edition came out without the Power Nine - but with it appearing that their inclusion had been seriously considered - there was considerable dismay.  Wizards responded that the P9 would eventually come to MTGO, in a form worthy of their stature.

One component of how such a statement would be interpreted was, of course, that they would be released at a high price - the cynical among us thinking a very high price. That didn't happen; instead, the Holiday Cube Draft was Wizards' Christmas gift to its MTGO customers.

These things make me, at least, think about what it is that makes pieces of cardboard with printing on them valuable.

Well, some will say that value is not a mystery. It comes from supply and demand, end of story.

That's true enough, and supply is no mystery, since whatever X is, for every card, there were X copies of it printed for some X.

But demand is the mystery.

I mean, some of demand is obvious. If you need four copies of Underground Sea to build that hopefully prize-winning Legacy deck you want to play, you'll be willing to pay a few dollars for them.

But there's more to it than that. A part of the value of a Magic card is its collectability. So a Beta Black Lotus is worth more than an Unlimited Black Lotus.

Would having more Vintage events offset the negative impact on P9 prices of throwing the Reprint Policy to the wind and printing more copies of the P9? After all, if the demand for copies of the P9 comes from two factors -



  • their collector value, and

  • their utility in play



then, since reprints wouldn't be counterfeits (a Magic 2015 Black Lotus wouldn't be an Unlimited Black Lotus or a Beta Black Lotus), and Magic would remain a recognized game with a rich history, the collector value shouldn't change,

and the use value of the P9 cards would shoot up if there were more opportunities to play Vintage, the utility value would increase, wouldn't it?

Of course, this isn't true. The utility value, since it would be attainable at a much lower cost, would collapse to match that cost. So an Unlimited Edition Black Lotus might go from $1,500 to $200 if you could get a reprinted one for $20, and a Beta Black Lotus would likely lose a few more dollars off its price.

And what isn't lost in price would be lost in liquidity, particularly for Unlimited cards.

Demand is built on very subjective factors that motivate the desire for a thing. And so Wizards is right to tread cautiously with the Reprint Policy.

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These things make me, at least, think about what it is that makes pieces of cardboard with printing on them valuable.


The same thing that makes pieces of paper with printing on them valuable, the Social Contract and faith.  It doesn't cost any more to print a $100 bill than to print a $1 bill, the $100 doesn't weigh more than a $1, yet we accept that a $100 bill has 100x value because it says so.  If you had a $100 dollars worth of gold vs. a $1 worth you'd see the difference it's palpable.  With paper it's just based on acceptance.

This sort of thing only works in a closed system.  Some cards are worth more based on scarcity, yet that scarcity is artificial.  WOTC could print any card in any amount they want.  They've chosen to create a closed system with it's own rules.  These rules govern value based upon scarcity(supply), and utility(demand).  WOTC could just sell complete sets of 4 of every thing, eliminate Limited(along with all the "bad" cards for sed environment), and card prices would all be flat.

WOTC has created a "microeconomy" and has to balance all the factors to keep it going without it imploding(like the U.S. economy), or drying up.  IMHO they've managed to do a fine job.  They have more players than ever, they have tighter design controls, and create a kick-ass product.

I fell that the Reserved list serves mutiple purposes.  It keeps the design and color pie of the modern game in check(power levels too) and it keeps collector's happy.  Most of the cards on the list aren't even worth reprinting, and the ones that are don't fit into the modern game balance.

So what if Vintage and Legecy die off as formats, WOTC has more to gain going forward than looking back.  The fact that MTG is a collectable is oft overlooked by players, especially by the younger, newer, and poorer players.  The younger players want what they want right now without having to exert any effort to aquire.  The poorer players are indignant because they can't afford what they want.  I feel that people should just forget about the cards on the Reserved list and move on with life.  The Op is correct, WOTC is right to tread cautiously with reprints, and thet have that right.

Not having the Reserved list to begin with would have been the best policy, but it's there for whatever reasons they feel it necessary, and it doesn't look like it's going away any time soon.

If I had a point I may have lost it in my psycho-babble.  Need coffee!

STEP 1: Find your cousin STEP 2: Get your cousin in the cannon STEP: 3 Find another cousin
...
So what if Vintage and Legecy die off as formats, WOTC has more to gain going forward than looking back.
...



Then we all forever lose an incredibly deep, complex, and interesting game that plays a lot differently from the more modern version of Magic.

Also, a lot of those "collectable" cards I own.. the ones with value we're supposed to be "protecting" all become just scraps of cardboard because nobody needs them for anything anymore.

Trivializing this really doesnt help the issue.

...
I fell that the Reserved list serves mutiple purposes.  It keeps the design and color pie of the modern game in check(power levels too) and it keeps collector's happy.  Most of the cards on the list aren't even worth reprinting, and the ones that are don't fit into the modern game balance.
...



Absolute nonsense.  Reprinting cards does not require you to put them into Modern or Standard.  We have modern framed Counterspells from duel decks but they are still not modern legal.

Current decks
Comments or suggestions are always welcome

Modern
nothing at the moment

I fell that the Reserved list serves mutiple purposes.  It keeps the design and color pie of the modern game in check(power levels too) and it keeps collector's happy.  Most of the cards on the list aren't even worth reprinting, and the ones that are don't fit into the modern game balance.


Yeah, I'm not buying this one. There are a few reasons (Although I consider them insufficient) for keeping the reserved list, but this isn't one of them. How does not being able to print Thunder Spirit help keep game balance? What if a card is at basically a perfect power level and does something very basic? What purpose is served by forcing Wizards to create a card that is either more or less powerful in order to accomplish an effect that's already been done well? The only reason we were able to get Reverberate was because Fork had a convenient extra 'that spell is red' line that they could remove in order to reprint it as a 'different' card.

Wizards doesn't need the reserved list to keep the game balanced. Even if it vanished tonight, they wouldn't start put Library of Alexandria or Time Walk in the next expansion. The most likely course of action would be to use shiny special promo Power 9 as major tournament prizes and put others in a 'Vintage Masters' similar to the Modern Masters we're getting.

At the very least, the reserved list could stand to be reduced. Wizards should find a way to eliminate all cards at, for example, $2 or less average market value. I somehow doubt anybody is worried about the value of Storm Spirit dropping. Admitteldy, they'd have to find some way to acertain what market value is, but that's a relatively small concern. It's unlikely that they'll need or want to reprint Gosta Dirk but with a shorter reserved list collectors could at least pretend there was a sane reason for not reprinting any of them.
Immature College Student (Also a Rules Advisor)
@ Dragon_Nut, they do tend to remake those useful, perfectly powered cards from the past.  Your Reverberate example is perfect.  By the way, they remade Thunder Spirit, it's even better as Voiceless Spirit.  Why do we care if cards that would never see play to begin with are on some list to not get reprinted.  The  list keep set designers from going there without really good cause.  Us debating it is silly and moot.

@ Taldier, I find your first point to be a tad saccharine.  I own P9, a play set of Duals, Mana Crypt, Library of Alexandria, etc..  I never get to play Vintage or Legacy. 99.9% of players I encounter only play the more modern formats or casual.  Which brings me to your second point, why would they reprint money cards for a casual only product?  Nobody cares if Counterspell makes it into a casual product, but you won't see Mishra's Workshop there any time soon.

BTW, I was only tossing out some plausible reasons for the Reserved List.  I think they keep it in place for a varitety of reasons, besides keeping the second hand prices exhorbitant.
People are really good at finding reasons that they think the List should go, or why it exists, but thats all trivial to the fact that it does exist, and the reasons WOTC is keeping it. 
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Honestly the most annoying part of these discussions is that no matter how much back and forth we have, Wizards absolutely will not change.

With other topics if enough players dislike something, Wizards tends to take player feedback into account. There were a lot of players who didn't like the cheap hexproof + evasion found on cards like Invisible Stalker so they're dialing that back.

But with the reserved list, I'm reasonably certain pretty much every important figure at Wizards has said it was a mistake and quite a few have said they wish they could remove it. It's annoying knowing that something that bugs players and devs alike continues to exist due to people who never speak up continuing to support it for reasons they won't discuss.

I think this is the closest we've come in a long while to have an actual discussion with somebody who legitimately supports the continued existence of the reserved list.
Immature College Student (Also a Rules Advisor)
it seems the backlash from Phyrexian Negator and Karn, Silver Golem was big enough for them to never ever touch the Reserved List again

and with Modern I frankly don't see a need to, for most cards
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Yeah, I'm not buying this one.



Yeah, it's like when MaRo says "balance issues". Which apparently means Scryb Sprites is more broken than Channel. Not buying it.
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it seems the backlash from Phyrexian Negator and Karn, Silver Golem was big enough for them to never ever touch the Reserved List again


I'm actually conflicted about the list, but who is giving out the backlahings, you never see these people in public forums.
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it seems the backlash from Phyrexian Negator and Karn, Silver Golem was big enough for them to never ever touch the Reserved List again

I'm actually conflicted about the list, but who is giving out the backlahings, you never see these people in public forums.

I have no idea, but they must exist
somewhere
proud member of the 2011 community team
I'm actually conflicted about the list, but who is giving out the backlahings, you never see these people in public forums.


That's exactly what I'm talking about: Despite nobody ever standing up and saying 'The Reserved List is a critical part of Magic and I will withdraw all my support if it vanishes' on an internet forum where people threaten to boycott Magic just because they alter the borders of a card, they apparently hold enough sway to not only stop further action on what was fairly obviously a prelude to reducing the importance of the reserved list but to get Wizards to issue an apology. I mean, you're the closest we've gotten to anybody supporting it openly.

There are people who support it. Very important people who care enough that they're willing to push Wizards into keeping it in place. We, the public, just have no idea who these people are or what threats they could possibly make that would seriously worry Wizards.

I say this especially since the dev team has proven time and time and time again that they're willing to break the rules of what Magic is if they think it'll make the game better.
Immature College Student (Also a Rules Advisor)
...
@ Taldier, I find your first point to be a tad saccharine.  I own P9, a play set of Duals, Mana Crypt, Library of Alexandria, etc..  I never get to play Vintage or Legacy. 99.9% of players I encounter only play the more modern formats or casual.
...



I was being quite serious.  I would see losing Legacy as a competitive format to be a serious loss.  Even ignoring any economic repurcussions and just purely viewing it as a gamer.

Modern might be wide open compared to Standard, but it honestly feels like swimming in the shallow end of the pool when compared to what is possible in Legacy.

Current decks
Comments or suggestions are always welcome

Modern
nothing at the moment

A secret cabal of MTG Illuminati that controls the Reserved List.  Facinating, sexy even.
STEP 1: Find your cousin STEP 2: Get your cousin in the cannon STEP: 3 Find another cousin
A secret cabal of MTG Illuminati that controls the Reserved List.  Facinating, sexy even.


Heh. For all we know, they might as well. Personally, my money's on Gleemax being responsible.
Immature College Student (Also a Rules Advisor)
Team Fortress 2, the game that Valve uses for experimental tests in marketing, announced this yesterday: www.teamfortress.com/post.php?id=9714
I was reminded instantly of the reserve list. Mainly because its the same idea.
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Team Fortress 2, the game that Valve uses for experimental tests in marketing, announced this yesterday: www.teamfortress.com/post.php?id=9714
I was reminded instantly of the reserve list. Mainly because its the same idea.


The massive difference of course being that in TF2, unless it changed since last I player, the hats are literally useless. They do absolutely nothing. So the only thing which is becoming harder to find is a cosmetic feature.
Immature College Student (Also a Rules Advisor)
I would like them to dial back the reserved list. I think a special run of the original dual lands would be great for legacy and wouldn't break any part of the game. New art and style I think would keep the originals at close to there current price.
I am new to magic but old to stamp collecting. I find the existence of the reserved list to be a curiosity that does not make any sense. The physical item 'alpha black lotus' has equivalents in stamp collecting that when reprinted do not take away any value from the original. True, some of the value comes from the use of the card in play, but a reprinted Black Lotus with a Modern frame is physically some other collectable.

Flame me all you want for my ignorance, but I don't see how the value of those original printings of Black Lotus could be affected by any reprint, with the exception of exact replicas that you couldn't tell apart from the original, which is nearly impossible to attain in printing because the exact cardboard used for the original is probably no longer manufactured in that exact configuration.

Hope that makes sense.



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@Rubiera: that's actually one of the central parts of the debate: How much of the value of the Lotus is due to play value and how much is due to the collector's value. It's a question that's difficult to settle since the existence of the reserved list means that we don't exactly have a ton of good reference ponts within Magic itself.
Immature College Student (Also a Rules Advisor)
I have no idea, but they must exist
somewhere


We had at least one strong advocate of sticking to the Reprint Policy in this forum when the debate on this question was the most intense.

Flame me all you want for my ignorance, but I don't see how the value of those original printings of Black Lotus could be affected by any reprint,


As was noted, it is a major point in this debate how much value is due to rarity, and how much is due to utility. An Unlimited Edition Black Lotus represents the cheapest way to have a tournament-legal Black Lotus, and thus whatever the utility component of value is, it's a bigger chunk of its price than of a Beta.

But there are other subtleties. Postage stamps are printed by governments. WotC is merely a private company.

Look how valuable a copy of the issue of Action Comics with the first Superman adventure is. But what if you printed a comic book in your basement?

Wizards of the Coast is a big company, and Magic: the Gathering is a game that a lot of people like to play. Those factors affect the collectable value, not just the utility value, of Magic cards. So capriciously going back on the Reprint Policy is likely to get people to take Wizards and Magic less seriously.

So what if Vintage and Legecy die off as formats, WOTC has more to gain going forward than looking back.


Oh, I agree. I just don't think that what makes money for Wizards should be the measure of all things. And I don't think that even Wizards thinks so.

That doesn't mean I think anything's going to happen to the Reserved List. I want to be clear about that.

Instead, as Commander's Arsenal shows, they're willing to play games with it, although from a safe distance of breaking it. My post was chiefly intended to stimulate thought about just what is a "safe" distance for this?

Also, a lot of those "collectable" cards I own.. the ones with value we're supposed to be "protecting" all become just scraps of cardboard because nobody needs them for anything anymore.

Trivializing this really doesnt help the issue.


Well, Vintage and Legacy do now survive... in MTGO. Hey, maybe Wizards will be able to get away with selling the same cards over again in an oversized paper format. But I really doubt that they would even try; I threw this out as an example of what the question is.

On my blog, I noted that the Reprint Policy issue has three pieces:


  1. The Power Nine: the unfairness of the early adopters getting all the protection, and people who bought copies of Jace, the Mind Sculptor getting no respect.

  2. The original duals: Legacy is still a more fun game than Modern, and is slowly dying.

  3. Farmstead and company: it's silly to protect what isn't worth protecting, and some of those cards actually would fit well in current sets.


Breaking it up that way, the issues become visible.

Part 1 isn't valid enough for Wizards to take risks to do anything about: it would be nice if this frustration didn't limit a few people's interest in Magic, but better to lose a few whiners than lose your dealer network.

Part 3 - while nobody should get upset about unimportant cards, since they are unimportant, it isn't worth taking any chances at all for their sake.

Part 2 is the only really important issue. And Wizards is addressing it: through MTGO, and through Modern.

So that tells me that Wizards is aware of the issues raised by the Reserved List, and on the one hand is willing to do what it can reasonably do within limits to address the most significant one... and, on the other, given Commander's Arsenal, it is still interested, despite the Phyrexian Negator contretemps, in profiting from the mystique of the grand old cards.

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@quadibloc, thanks for laying it out. The comparison between stamps and magic is mostly apple and oranges, except that the vast majority of rare stamps, those at the Black Lotus equivalent, have been demonetized, meaning they are as linked to the original government that printed them as a magic card or any other collectable item.

What I am most curious about, and it is a bit of a side issue, is why no one has done a census of all of the Black Lotus and other cards in the P9 extant. In coins especially there are censuses that everyone knows about for those coins in extreme rarity.

There are many ways to get at separating the playability cost from the collecatble value. For example, many cards rotate out of standard, are effectively unplayable competitively in any other format, yet still command a price premium. I don't have a good example but I am sure someone does.

I think that even if there were zero players of magic if there was a ton of people who wanted to own a Black Lotus, the price would be completely unaffected by playability. Its not like there are many people playing vintage anyways..... there are so many examples of this in other collectables.

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We know exactly how many of each was printed. (Actually I don't but wizard does). They know exactly how many boxes they made and the rarity of each card on a sheet.

There are not just a few black lotus. There are 10,000 of them. Magic has a HUGE shadow inventory. Most of each print run is NOT in circulation.

Shops do not keep large amounts of each card on hand. The resale market just acts a middleman taking a cut on every exchange. Buy for one sell for two. "value" is far more fluid then most players realize. Most players who have played for awhile have many cards that have seen a huge increase in value but are still not worth going to the effort of selling.

What exactly do you do with 60 lightning bolts or 60 dark rituals? Sure they may be worth a dollar each but that is only because they are wanted and shops are out. You are not paying for the actual value, you are paying for someone to go find them and ship them.

The original duals are the best, they never should have made them reserved, but honestly they are not the barrier so many people are claiming. You can play legacy without them. Every new dual land they make lowers their value some and frankly they can make duals every bit as good if they feel like it without infringing on the reserved list. It is really a non issue.

The only reason they do not do so is that the inclusion of more duals is a major driver of pack sales in each expansion. It is a guaranteed 10 rares that lower the value of the other rares in the set while putting a floor on the value of the set as a whole. Now it is almost criminal them treating such a necessary resource this way but they have done it forever. They have zero incentive to stop.
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There are not just a few black lotus. There are 10,000 of them. Magic has a HUGE shadow inventory. Most of each print run is NOT in circulation.

Ten thousand actually is a very small number. But that does explain Zendikar.

Let's hope they fold them right next time. Smile

Coming up with weird ideas to make everyone happy since 2008!

 

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There are not just a few black lotus. There are 10,000 of them. Magic has a HUGE shadow inventory. Most of each print run is NOT in circulation.

Ten thousand actually is a very small number. But that does explain Zendikar.

Let's hope they fold them right next time.

That's just a conspiracy theory.  Wotc doesn't actually have a cache of old mtg cards on that kind of scale.  If they have anything, it's probably 100 or 1000 times less than that

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That's just a conspiracy theory.  Wotc doesn't actually have a cache of old mtg cards on that kind of scale.  If they have anything, it's probably 100 or 1000 times less than that


Depends how you take his statement. Wizards doesn't have a massive stockpile, but his point about most not being in circulation is still correct. There is a massive number of cards in boxes in garages, scattered about apartments and forgotten about in a stack of other junk commons. For Black Lotus and such there are probably fewer in such a state, but still quite a lot.
Immature College Student (Also a Rules Advisor)
A secret cabal of MTG Illuminati that controls the Reserved List.  Facinating, sexy even.



Yeah, I'm going to join them for the prerelease. Dimir thought of our existence is grounds for being dealt with.
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Its a fun conspiracy theory to think that Wizards has a massive stockpile of cards, especially P9s, that they can release on command. This is very unlikely. The company may have a vault with a dozen Black Lotuses....maybe, and that would be it. There is a very long history in stamps and coins with examples of why the stockpile never happens: its because in the early years Wizards needed to sell the cards for its very survival.

The 1000 Black Lotuses sitting in the garages and attics of the world is another impossibility. By the basic rules of rarity almost every human being that is within the same building as a Black Lotus, has searched through their cards, found it, and done something with it: sell it, keep it safe.

Most likely, the total number of Black Lotuses extant is approximately twice the number of those that can be easily traced, if that.

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Er... No. The rate of discovery among Black Lotii by people who weren't explicitly looking for the is reasonably decent, considering there's no concerted effort. That's not to say there are that many out there, but given the initial surge of magic, etc., they most certainly are there. If we ignore power and focus on other cards with better production and a release points closer to various artifacts ib the game's history- revised duals and p3k, say, it is likely more impressive.

That being said... Ugh. The reserved list. The only argument that I can support for it is the fact that I fund the collector's viewpoint so alien and incomprehensible that I realize that I am in no position to empathize with or engage in a dialogue with their viewpoint and unlikely to give what they have to say fair hearing.
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...and I guess I should explain a little more about the collecting viewpoint:

There is "type" collecting, in which all Balck Lotus printings are bunched into one and have any to represent it check the collector's box. Anyone who defends the reserved list is effectively a type collector.

There is "explicit" collecting, in which each printing of the Black Lotus is a "thing" to collect, and no matter how many more are reprinted, the demand is always there for the original alpha and beta printings. The latter group has no use for the reserved list.

In stamps and coins type collecting is less prevalent than explicit collecting, and that is why I was saying that anyone coming from those hobbies to Magic has no use and will not uderstand the need for a reserved list (and I am one of them).

...and fleshing this further, if the type collectors are also those who play Vintage competitively, then what we have is a very small group of current players in a format keeping a very large number of potential players out of the format by defending the reserved list. If this is what is really going on, Wizards will have to decide which players to keep happy: the current small number of Vintage players, or the potentially very large number of future Vintage players if the P9/P10 were to be reprinted in large enough quantities (say, equivalent to current expansion Mythic Rares).

As Magic moves into a longer-running game, in order to keep the total number of players on the increase, each of the formats needs to be kept alive by a supply of playable and accessible cards. Standard is the cash cow right now. Modern is half-dead and Modern Masters should help it be something like Standard. Legacy and Vintage are pretty much non-existent when we do the population ratios (10,000,000 players versus, say, 10,000 players is 0.1 percent). Something could be in the corporate plan to help Legacy if Modern Masters succeeds, and then if the Legacy product that boosts the format works, next will likely be the revamping of Vintage, maybe even with new cards only for that format that will diminish the relative power of the P9. And of course, the P9 would have to be reprinted. Does that make sense?

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We're not likely to get Legacy Masters or anything like that. That ship has sailed. I think Wizards is willing to let Legacy and Vintage die rather than continue to fight whoever it is who is so dead-set on keeping the reserved list. Instead, they're going to keep pushing Modern as hard as they can.

The big problem in my area with getting Modern to take off is that the experienced players mostly view it as a worse version of Legacy and the newer players aren't interested in paying more per deck than they are in Standard.
Immature College Student (Also a Rules Advisor)
We're not likely to get Legacy Masters or anything like that. That ship has sailed. I think Wizards is willing to let Legacy and Vintage die rather than continue to fight whoever it is who is so dead-set on keeping the reserved list. Instead, they're going to keep pushing Modern as hard as they can.

The big problem in my area with getting Modern to take off is that the experienced players mostly view it as a worse version of Legacy and the newer players aren't interested in paying more per deck than they are in Standard.



Yep, that's the modern dilemma. Add to it that if you are a new player like me and need to do as much budget as possible you have a really large pool of cards to scan from. Its a cool challenge (on the positive side) and perhaps an even bigger money pit than standard (on the negative side).

I think that, paradoxically, modern masters could increase the demand for anything modern legal to a point that the price of modern legal cards would actually increase. Supply and demand can be very tricky!

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Modern is just legacy light, that is why no one cares about it. The reason they push standard is that standard is their bottom line, the only way they make money.

Legacy is just as big, far from what you are implying on size of market, it is just all of it is casual NOT tournament, not controlled or profitable to WOTC. It is an odd phenomena that the standard people think they are the only ones that matter when they are not the larger share.

The reason they care is that their is a large amount of bleed between the 2 groups. People who get irritated at the quickly changing standard landscape retire for awile into casual legacy, and occasionally a standard environment will pull an older back for a year or so.

What they DO know is that very weak card sets see a huge fall off. The same with very unbalanced card sets. Everyone just goes and plays casual games with friends instead of buying for standard and keeping the card shops open.

Value of a card is determined by the intersection of usability and rarity and that is pretty much all. word of command is every bit as rare as black lotus yet is worth 1/10th as much. The thing that makes the original duals worth so much is that they are useful. What brings the value down is that every new dual printed makes running any single dual less crititical.

You can play legacy just fine without duals. It is not really the barrier so many people make it out to be. I wish they would just once and for all print another set of duals better then the originals and then we can all just arguing about this. The original duals were not in any way to powerful, yes it was a msitake to put them on any reserve list, no it is not really worth arguing over.
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Modern is just legacy light, that is why no one cares about it. The reason they push standard is that standard is their bottom line, the only way they make money.

Legacy is just as big, far from what you are implying on size of market, it is just all of it is casual NOT tournament, not controlled or profitable to WOTC. It is an odd phenomena that the standard people think they are the only ones that matter when they are not the larger share.


When discussing tournaments, Standard is far larger than Legacy or Vintage. I don't consider non-tournament Legacy to be that big of an impact on things like the Duals because it really isn't. I love casual 'Legacy' where you're throwing aroudn whatever you feel like building, but it's totally different from what we're discussing here.

That sort of non-sanctioned Legacy is unkillable (Except maybe through destruction of every Magic card not in standard) and not in any sort of danger. Tournament Legacy is a lot more likely to die and thus is the subject of concern for this thread.

And I'd say their reason for pushing Standard is more than just for the bottom line, it's also good for the game as a whole since it removes the need for excessive power creep. Creatures have been getting more powerful over the years, but there's still only one or two per set (if that) that make the jump to Legacy and Vintage permanently. That's okay, because the cards don't need to be Legacy competitive to sell.

If Standard didn't exist and Legacy and Vintage were the only two formats, every set would need to contain a lot of cards that are competitive in the format in order to sell well. Since there's only so many cards that can be competitive at the same time, they would need to be more powerful than older sets. So each set would need to be progressively more powerful in order to keep Magic profitable.

Instead, Wizards pushes the Standard format so that those of us who enjoy it can do so and those who don't can keep playing Legacy & Vintage safe in the knowledge that their cards aren't going to become obsolete within a year.
Immature College Student (Also a Rules Advisor)
Standard is indeed a cash cow, but... limited, man. Limited it what makes the packs flow. Every set is going to be designed for sealed first, constructed second.
76783093 wrote:
Luckily, we have stop-having-fun guys to remind us that having anything more than 60 cards in your deck is tantamount to being a rapist and anyone considering it should be strung up by their ****.
Standard is indeed a cash cow, but... limited, man. Limited it what makes the packs flow. Every set is going to be designed for sealed first, constructed second.


Y'know what the worst part is? Limited is so much fun I can't stop myself from playing it even though I know how much money it costs. I swear, marketing must have loved it when the players decided that one of the best formats ever is the one where you literally have to open new packs every time you sit down for a session.
Immature College Student (Also a Rules Advisor)
You're looking at it from the wrong direction. Folks like me love to open packs and know it's a bad idea. Limited means I can crack packs and not feel horrid. It even makes the speed of rotation an upside.

With draft I can go out on a Friday night, buy a couple of beers, spend as much as Friday night always entails and if my pod conspires to force me into drafting an 'I eat babies' Radkos deck I can take a Snapcaster home for my troubles.
76783093 wrote:
Luckily, we have stop-having-fun guys to remind us that having anything more than 60 cards in your deck is tantamount to being a rapist and anyone considering it should be strung up by their ****.

Y'know what the worst part is? Limited is so much fun I can't stop myself from playing it even though I know how much money it costs. I swear, marketing must have loved it when the players decided that one of the best formats ever is the one where you literally have to open new packs every time you sit down for a session.



Magic is at it's heart and soul a limited game, and was designed as one from the begging.
Richard garfield thought you would  buy a starter deck and maybe 12 boosters, tops. And you'd mostly improve your collection via trading and ante, not buying boxes or singles online.

Nearly every facet of magics core is built upon this truth, the large set sizes, the cost of removal, the complexity of creature combat, the proliferation of instant speed effects.

Many of these things could even be thought of as actively harmful to the constructed game, but they were designed around a game where limited card pool was the default.

If players hadn't grabbed onto the limited format magic almost certainly would not be the #1 trading card game, it wouldn't be able to play to it's strenghs.

Y'know what the worst part is? Limited is so much fun I can't stop myself from playing it even though I know how much money it costs. I swear, marketing must have loved it when the players decided that one of the best formats ever is the one where you literally have to open new packs every time you sit down for a session.



Magic is at it's heart and soul a limited game, and was designed as one from the begging.
Richard garfield thought you would  buy a starter deck and maybe 12 boosters, tops. And you'd mostly improve your collection via trading and ante, not buying boxes or singles online.

You are expressing an important truth, but it needs to be spelled out just a bit more to be understandable.

In the beginning, Magic was designed to be played in a Constructed format, but, as you correctly point out, it was expected that players would still be building their decks from a limited supply of cards.

Not netdecking by buying singles on the secondary market.

Which is, of course, why it was thought that cards like Black Lotus were reasonable to include in the original Core Set.

Now then: Magic therefore is haunted by the fact that the only way people have figured out to make the game really work properly requires the purchase of new cards for every game - since people's competitiveness, and the high disposable incomes of some players, has led to Constructed not being small-l limited.

There was an old article in Duelist, discussed in a column here, that proposed a points system for deck construction as a way to address this.

I fell that the Reserved list serves mutiple purposes.  It keeps the design and color pie of the modern game in check(power levels too) and it keeps collector's happy.

I don't want to belabor the point, but the misconception here needs to be addressed.

The Reserved List keeps collectors happy, yes.

But it isn't needed to prevent Library of Alexandria from being part of the next Core Set (as opposed to a Duel Decks product). After all, it isn't needed to ensure that Counterspell, let alone Dark Ritual or Channel, none of which are on the Reserved List, have absolutely no chance of ever re-entering Standard. Even though they have been reprinted in products that don't affect which cards are Standard-legal.

And then there's the famous "hit by a bus" comment concerning Mana Drain, specifically because it was not on the Reserved List, made in the specific context of noting this precise distinction. (Incidentally, while that card was not one of those reprinted in From the Vault: Exiled, it could have been reprinted there, or it could still be reprinted in a similar product, without anyone having to get hit by a bus, because in that sort of product, power levels are irrelevant.)

Coming up with weird ideas to make everyone happy since 2008!

 

I have now started a blog as an appropriate place to put my crazy ideas.

Magic is at it's heart and soul a limited game, and was designed as one from the begging.
Richard garfield thought you would  buy a starter deck and maybe 12 boosters, tops. And you'd mostly improve your collection via trading and ante, not buying boxes or singles online.

Nearly every facet of magics core is built upon this truth, the large set sizes, the cost of removal, the complexity of creature combat, the proliferation of instant speed effects.

Many of these things could even be thought of as actively harmful to the constructed game, but they were designed around a game where limited card pool was the default.

If players hadn't grabbed onto the limited format magic almost certainly would not be the #1 trading card game, it wouldn't be able to play to it's strenghs.


The original game may have been, but they've been developing with constructed formats in mind since probably as far back as Ice Age.

And I don't see how not having Limited would prevent Magic from playing to its strengths. In my mind Magic's greatest strength is that it's a different game to everybody. To some players it's limited. To others it's pauper. And so on for Commander, draft, Standard, Legacy, etc. Heck, some people on these forums mention only playing with Intro Packs VS each other across tons of sets.
Immature College Student (Also a Rules Advisor)
From my understanding the biggest proponent of the list is the major card dealers.  Probably mostly star city with their tournaments.  Since they interact with Wizzards the most they have the ear of Wizzards.

While its true that cutting down the list and allowing some of those old cards to be printed again would be interesting I would think this would make the people trying to keep the list a little uneasy.  It would be a step toward getting rid of it all together.  Also there is no public cry for those cheap forgotten cards to be reprinted so why would they take the risk of a law suit to print some cards a hand full of people would care about getting.  Just too much risk and no reward for them.

As far as the reprinting they have done, I believe Maro stated that the over sized cards were explicitly stated to be allowed in the original no-reprint terms.  So its always been an option and nothing really the people pro list could do legally.  The digital cards I think are probably far enough away from the intent of the original agreement as well as not competing for the same value that they are not covered nor do the pro list people care.  From my understanding the few reprints they did in the extra product was due to a loop hole.  Though the large card dealers probably complained enough about it that wizzards actually closed the loop hole so they made it worst for players.

The only hope of getting the list over turned is if the legacy and vintage formats start to tank so hard simply due to so few copies of the original cards left and in circulation that the values also drop and then the major card stores start to change their mind and push to have them reprinted so that the inventory of their older versions gain value again.  Start pushing modern to the point where it pushes out the legacy tournaments and stop buying those old cards and you will see the support for the no print list dry up fast.
As far as casual play goes, yes it is the largest group.  Though the thing about them is they will most likely not have the cards that are cared about on the no print list.  If they do then even a smaller group of them cares about if any of those cards get reprinted.  So I just can't see much push coming from a casual crowd on the reprint list.  Legacy casual just means you are not restricting cards based on when they were printed.  So I can throw my Black Vise in my deck against you and nobody is going to cry "thats not a standard card" because you have no concept or don't care.
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