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By: one million words, Pete Jahn
Feb 02 2014 10:15am
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The State of the Program for January 31st 2014

This series is an ongoing tribute to Erik “Hamtastic” Friborg.
 

In the News this Week:

Are You Ready for some F.O.O.T.B.A.L.L?: This Sunday a lot of people will be excited about the Superb Owl (It’s a bird watching thing, I believe.) To help celebrate, Wizards is offering a special phantom limited event. The event, called Phantom Football Sealed is this Sunday, February 2. You open virtual packs from these sets:
 
·         Future Sight
·         Odyssey
·         Onslaught
·         Time Spiral
·         Betrayers of Kamigawa
·         Alara Reborn
·         Lorwyn
·         Legions
 
The event starts at 12:30am PST and fires every hour on the half hour. Players: 16-256. Four rounds of Swiss. Prizes are boosters, as listed below, and all participants receive a premium Screaming Seahawk and Nightmare.
 

Match Wins
Prizes
QPS
4
3 Mirrodin / Darksteel Fifth Dawn draft sets
16 Phantom Points
3
3
1 Mirrodin / Darksteel Fifth Dawn draft set
 16 Phantom Points
1
2
5 Phantom Points
0

 
Why is Wizards adding the promos? Well, apparently Seahawks are native to the Renton area. As for the Nightmare – I guess that’s what you get if the Seahawks don’t show up. Beats the alternative promos they might have used
 
Classic League Season 1 Sign-Up Ends Saturday: Registration for the 2014 Classic Quarter League Season 1 QT #1 ends tomorrow at midnight (meaning Feb. 1st at 11:59 pm EDT.) This will be the last season before the release of Vintage Masters. QT #2 will start in mid-April. You can also qualify by going 4-0 in a Classic DE between now and May 31st. The Invitational will be the last opportunity to play competitive Classic, so you don't want to miss it! More information regarding the league and the Invitational can be found here. You can register at www.gatherling.com. Good luck, all. 
 
Cube is Back: The Cube is not powered this time around. Details here
 
MOCS Makeup Preliminaries End Today: The MOCS makeup prelims will run from January 29th-31st. That means they end today. The format is Phantom Cube Sealed: three packs, build a deck. Details here
 
Flashback Drafts Will Continue: Wizards has announced that flashback drafts will be coming back later this month. The next two weeks of flashbackiness are:
·         Jan 29 - Feb 5 Mirrodin / Darksteel / Fifth Dawn + Cube
·         Feb 5 - 12 Invasion / Planeshift / Apocalypse + Cube
 
The price for flashback drafts has dropped – the flashback drafts are now just 14 TIX, like other drafts. That’s a decided improvement. The drafts are not great EV in any case, but the extra TIX was just too much for me.  
 
If you are drafting Mirrodin/ Darksteel / Fifth Dawn, the EV is in the play, not necessarily the opens. The average value of the cards in a draft set is $6.96 at retail. You can make money pretty much only by winning 8-4s, but here’s a list of the money cards to help stem the bleeding: 
 

Card
Set
Rarity
Retail Price
Crucible of Worlds
5DN
R
 $    17.67
Auriok Champion
5DN
R
 $    16.04
Oblivion Stone
MRD
R
 $    12.05
Vedalken Shackles
5DN
R
 $      9.84
Chrome Mox
MRD
R
 $      8.98
Staff of Domination
5DN
R
 $      8.10
Arcbound Ravager
DST
R
 $      6.65
Fist of Suns
5DN
R
 $      6.52
Sword of Light and Shadow
DST
R
 $      6.44
Sword of Fire and Ice
DST
R
 $      6.40
Engineered Explosives
5DN
R
 $      5.62
Damping Matrix
MRD
R
 $      5.62
Mycosynth Lattice
DST
R
 $      5.00
Goblin Charbelcher
MRD
R
 $      4.94
Sundering Titan
DST
R
 $      4.56
Trinisphere
DST
R
 $      4.42
AEther Vial
DST
U
 $      4.42

Wizards Looking for More Beta Testers: Wizards is still asking for more beta testers. This would cover testing of both the next sets and the closed beta of the new interface. You can get details and apply here.
 
HammyBot Update:   Hammybot is a great way to get cards and support the family of the late Erik Friborg. So far, Hammybot has raised well over $6,000!  Don’t stop now! Hammybot still has over 25,000 cards to sell, including a number of foil Mythics. Hammybot also has a nice collection of Foil lands, so if you want to pimp out your constructed decks… 
 

Opinion Section: Functional Reprints

I was listening to Mark Rosewater’s Drive to Work podcast recently, and he mentioned being surprised at the pushback when Wizards reprinted Searing Spear as Lightning Strike. After all, the cards were commons – they were not hard to get. Now Searing Spear had been a FNM promo foil, which meant that people had gone to some effort and expense to collect playsets of the foils. Replacing the card with a functional reprint was clearly a bad choice in that respect, but I have a problem with the whole functional reprints in general.
 
First, some definitions. Functional reprints, according to Doug Meyer’s article, are “older cards with new concepts, names, and art.” With functional reprints, the names change. Sometime things like creature type also change, but the card functions in the same way. Here’s an example:
 
 
A 2/2 for 2B that pumps by eating other creatures has been a black staple for a long time. These creatures have, on occasion, been playable in Standard: Phyrexian Ghoul was a part of Carpe Noctum, and Nantuko Husk featured in a recursion deck built around Elvish Soultiller. However, I could not play my playset of Korean Phyrexian Ghouls in my Soultiller deck, because the cards are not the same. The names are different, and the creature types are different. Blood Bairn even functions differently – unlike the others, you cannot sacrifice the Bairn to itself.
 
In other cases, however, the cards are identical, except for the name. Here’s another example. All of these now have the same Oracle text, same creature type and same CMC. Only the names are now different.
 
 
So why the change? Originally, Llanowar and Fyndhorn were forests on worlds created very early on in Magic’s backstory. Very few people remember that origin, and even fewer care to remember that Llanowar has two “L”s. Elvish Mystic is generic, and that makes it easier for new players to understand. New players have a ton of things to learn when they start playing Magic – the names of forests and what a Phyrexian is don’t really have to be part of that. I can understand that reasoning.
 
However, functional reprints have a downside. They are why experienced players often leave their commons and uncommons on the table after a draft. It’s why throwback formats have such a bad EV. Simply put, commons and uncommons have no value because Wizards is as likely to do a functional reprint as to reprint an old card, so those old cards are highly likely to be unplayable in the future. 
 
Now at least ninety percent of all cards in Standard at any given time are constructed unplayable, and of the playable ones, most are unplayable once they rotate. That’s a given. However, back in the day, a lot of tournament staples were reprinted in core sets and expansions. Cards like Terror, Disenchant, Counterspell, Llanowar Elves, Millstone, Birds of Paradise, Stone Rain, Serra Angel and Mahamoti Djinn were reprinted again and again. You could play older versions or copies with your favorite artwork. I did.  I still do, when possible.
 
Back in the day, I collected cool versions of my favorite cards. I loved my German (Uktabi Orangutans) and Korean Saga Duresses. Ingrid played the same version of Counterspell in every control deck she ever played.   Even online, I go for special versions, where possible. I bought a playset of Onslaught Naturalizes shortly after starting to play online, and those are the only Naturalizes I have ever put in a constructed deck. I also learned to play with the old frames. I like them. I play them whenever I can. That means I play the old Syncopates, not the new ones. 
 
More importantly, the ability to use older versions with artwork or frames I preferred was a big reason why I kept old cards. In paper, Ingrid and I kept a double playset of every common and uncommon from old sets. Online, I tried to do the same: keep a playset of every card I get. Playing in enough drafts and sealeds make this pretty easy, but it meant that we collected the cards. It was also a reason to play in older format events online, like Tempest and Masques block.
 
But now I am realizing that this is pretty pointless. Wizards may one day reprint old favorites, like Wild Mongrel or (Gaea’s Skyfolk), but the odds are good that 1) if they do, and 2) if the card is playable in constructed (both big ifs), then the odds are good that Wizards will do a functional reprint or rename them. No matter how much I may like Rebecca Guay’s art, or be amused by my French Bâtard Sauvages, the odds are very high that I will simply never be able to play them in tournaments again.
 
That’s the problem with functional reprints, even of commons. Yes, we can easily get commons. However, a functional reprint means we cannot play the old copies of the cards that we may have collected in the past. The fact that Wizards likes doing “more flavorful” functional reprints means I have really no reason to try to collect old sets online, or keep my paper cards. The odds that I will ever again need any of them are simply way too low. And that’s sad.   It is also the reason that the older commons, uncommons and even rares are all worth practically nothing online, and why Wizards cannot get people to play in throwback formats. At least in part.
 

Cutting Edge Tech: 

Standard: The format is on its way out, since Born of the Gods will be entering the format in two weeks. Until then, we have what we have. Last weekend, what we had was a Standard GP. The Top 8 was mono-black devotion, mono-blue devotion and UW Control. UW Control took it down, partly because Archangel of Thune beats the hoard from the Mono-blue player, and is a complete beast when paired with Elspeth. I hear soldiers are good when they come in threes, but beat down as 8/8s or better. 
 
 
Modern: The next Pro Tour, which will be Modern, is in a couple weeks. A lot of Pros are testing, but they are keeping their innovative tech to themselves.  One writer did share an interesting build, though: Travis Woo build a ramp / devotion deck that lives to cast Genesis Wave and Primal Command. His article on the deck is here.
 
Green Aura Ramp
Travis Woo, Test Deck for PT Born of the Gods
Creatures
4 Arbor Elf
4 Voyaging Satyr
4 Eternal Witness
1 Primeval Titan
13 cards

Other Spells
4 Utopia Sprawl
4 Fertile Ground
4 Overgrowth
3 Garruk Wildspeaker
4 Primal Command
4 Genesis Wave
23 cards
 
Lands
3 Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx
1 Stomping Ground
1 Temple Garden
4 Verdant Catacombs
2 Misty Rainforest
1 Kessig Wolf Run
8 Forest
20 cards

Primal Command
 
Pauper: Blue based control has long been a thing in Pauper. It still is, even if Prohibit (one of the first cards I bought just for Pauper) is no longer seeing play. Here’s the latest build to win a PE.
 
UR Delver Control
Someoldguy, Winner, Pauper Premier #6654143 on 01/27/2014
Creatures
4 Delver of Secrets
4 Mulldrifter
3 Sea Gate Oracle
11 cards

Other Spells
4 Compulsive Research
4 Counterspell
2 Electrostatic Bolt
4 Exclude
4 Firebolt
4 Flame Slash
4 Preordain
26 cards
 
Lands
10 Island
4 Izzet Boilerworks
3 Izzet Guildgate
6 Mountain
23 cards

Sideboard
2 Arc Lightning
2 Dispel
3 Gorilla Shaman
4 Hydroblast
4 Pyroblast
15 cards
 
Mulldrifter
 
Legacy: Just one big Legacy event last weekend – the SCG Open in Baltimore. Legacy is seeing a few more archetypes: the Top 16 (here) included at least a dozen different archetypes. The winning deck was a classic Life from the Loam / Manabond Lands deck, but with both Punishing Fire and Thespian’s Stage.   Not exactly the old 40+ land builds of the past.
 
 
Classic:  Wizards moved Classic back to Saturday night, and the events are firing. This week an actual creature-based deck went 4-0. Moreover, the deck is relatively cheap (for Classic). If you are looking for a deck for the Classic League Season 1 (see above), and can get the Force of Wills, go for it. (You are going to need the duals and fetches if you want to play any eternal formats, ever, so get them, too.) And check out the main deck Price of Progress.
 
 

Card Prices: 

Notes: All my prices come from MTGOTraders.com. For cards that are available in multiple sets, I am quoting the lower price. Thus, the price I’m quoting for Thoughtseize is generally the Theros price. In certain other cases (e.g Brainstorm) I will note which version I track. All these cards are generally available from the MTGOTraders Bots, so check out mtgotradersbot, mtgotradersbot2, mtgotradersbot3, mtgotradersbot4, mtgotradersbot5, CardCaddy and CardWareHouse, or you can order them directly from the website. Now, on to prices.
 
The cost of entire sets is relevant if you redeem, but it is also a decent indicator of overall trends. This week, things moved around a bit. A lot of the drop, though, can be attributed to the rise and fall of certain chase cards. For example, a big chunk of the value of a Dragon’s Maze set is Voice of Resurgence, which dipped this week.
 

Complete Set
Price
Last Week
Change
% Change
Dragon's Maze
$77.67
$83.25
($5.58)
-7%
Gatecrash
$112.36
$115.58
($3.22)
-3%
M14
$145.62
$144.28
$1.34
1%
Return to Ravnica
$160.88
$156.14
$4.74
3%
Theros
$112.00
$118.73
($6.73)
-6%

 
Standard prices are moving around, but are overall slightly down.  A few of the big dollar cards fell fairly hard. The big jumps are in UW, following Hayne’s win last weekend. Sphinx’s rev and Archangel of Thune are both key components of that deck.
 

Standard & Block Cards
Price
Last Week
Change
% Change
$7.97
$7.73
$0.24
3%
$19.87
$11.07
$8.80
79%
$6.07
$6.88
($0.81)
-12%
$17.68
$19.00
($1.32)
-7%
(Chandra, Pyromancer)
$19.82
$19.81
$0.01
0%
$23.85
$25.03
($1.18)
-5%
$13.41
$13.85
($0.44)
-3%
$7.45
$6.95
$0.50
7%
$15.37
$15.75
($0.38)
-2%
$31.62
$29.56
$2.06
7%
$7.45
$7.45
$0.00
0%
$7.03
$7.85
($0.82)
-10%
$25.61
$28.57
($2.96)
-10%
$12.03
$12.76
($0.73)
-6%
$9.44
$9.15
$0.29
3%
(Sphinx’s Revelation)
$32.13
$28.05
$4.08
15%
$16.00
$17.84
($1.84)
-10%
$7.00
$7.66
($0.66)
-9%
$7.44
$5.41
$2.03
38%
$30.64
$31.51
($0.87)
-3%
$6.71
$8.09
($1.38)
-17%

Modern prices are generally climbing. We are coming up on a Modern Pro Tour, and a lot of pros are testing online. By now, most know what they want to test, and what works. That said, some less likely decks are seeing some play: for example, Daybreak Coronet has climbed recently.
 

Modern Cards
Price
Last Week
Change
% Change
$19.25
$19.25
$0.00
0%
$37.22
$35.69
$1.53
4%
$16.19
$16.19
$0.00
0%
$21.31
$18.66
$2.65
14%
$15.51
$14.93
$0.58
4%
$26.59
$25.22
$1.37
5%
$13.17
$11.49
$1.68
15%
$12.00
$12.00
$0.00
0%
$12.00
$11.46
$0.54
5%
$35.23
$38.23
($3.00)
-8%
$24.22
$25.35
($1.13)
-4%
$36.06
$32.75
$3.31
10%
$46.26
$44.17
$2.09
5%
$8.50
$8.86
($0.36)
-4%
$74.35
$77.67
($3.32)
-4%
$14.67
$13.97
$0.70
5%
$51.63
$51.63
$0.00
0%
$21.20
$19.33
$1.87
10%
$12.05
$12.56
($0.51)
-4%
$20.65
$20.35
$0.30
1%
$14.63
$14.80
($0.17)
-1%
$11.00
$11.07
($0.07)
-1%
$80.08
$77.39
$2.69
3%
$41.46
$39.17
$2.29
6%

Pauper prices were climbing again this week. The price drops caused by the flashback drafts are ending, and those prices are returning to normal levels.
 

Pauper Cards
Price
Last Week
Change
% Change
$2.00
$1.46
$0.54
37%
$2.47
$2.10
$0.37
18%
$1.35
$1.46
($0.11)
-8%
$3.01
$2.67
$0.34
13%
$2.66
$3.36
($0.70)
-21%
$4.11
$3.39
$0.72
21%
$11.97
$11.29
$0.68
6%
$1.09
$0.96
$0.13
14%
$1.65
$1.65
$0.00
0%
$3.05
$2.48
$0.57
23%
$3.67
$3.31
$0.36
11%
$3.83
$3.49
$0.34
10%
$4.16
$3.42
$0.74
22%
$0.73
$0.73
$0.00
0%
$1.23
$1.30
($0.07)
-5%
$3.50
$3.00
$0.50
17%
$2.31
$2.31
$0.00
0%
$5.58
$5.19
$0.39
8%
$1.89
$1.73
$0.16
9%
$1.13
$1.13
$0.00
0%
$1.08
$1.33
($0.25)
-19%

Legacy and Classic prices were moving a bit more than usual. The big money cards climbed again. Force of Will is back over $500 a playset. Lion’s Eye Diamond is insane.   Show and tell dropped a bit – people are afraid that it will be banned next week. Time will tell.
 

Legacy / Classic Cards
Price
Last Week
Change
% Change
$32.90
$32.90
$0.00
0%
$24.38
$25.06
($0.68)
-3%
$26.79
$23.96
$2.83
12%
$130.97
$121.30
$9.67
8%
$68.78
$63.89
$4.89
8%
$29.13
$33.94
($4.81)
-14%
$185.94
$172.78
$13.16
8%
$26.30
$26.30
$0.00
0%
$12.50
$12.50
$0.00
0%
$66.09
$66.09
$0.00
0%
$29.48
$27.43
$2.05
7%
$36.92
$38.75
($1.83)
-5%
$18.30
$18.30
$0.00
0%
$22.54
$21.40
$1.14
5%
$35.33
$33.74
$1.59
5%
$94.17
$96.64
($2.47)
-3%
$8.67
$9.20
($0.53)
-6%
$68.87
$71.11
($2.24)
-3%
$32.55
$32.55
$0.00
0%
$26.66
$27.67
($1.01)
-4%
$16.62
$16.62
$0.00
0%
$28.61
$28.61
$0.00
0%
$40.69
$38.89
$1.80
5%
Vampiric Tutor
$41.12
$38.34
$2.78
7%
$31.25
$29.74
$1.51
5%
$79.53
$79.53
$0.00
0%

 

The Good Stuff:

The Good Stuff starts with a list of the non-foil, non-premium cards on MTGO that cost more than $25 each. LED jumped again. Force of Will is now above $120. The list of cards over $25 is now 55 cards long, and that does not include foils or special promos. 
 

Card
Rarity
Set
Price
Lion's Eye Diamond
R
MI
$ 185.94
Force of Will
R
MED
$ 130.97
Force of Will
R
PRM
$ 113.81
Rishadan Port
R
MM
$    94.17
Tarmogoyf
R
FUT
$    85.86
Tarmogoyf
M
MMA
$    80.08
Wasteland
U
TE
$    79.53
Liliana of the Veil
M
ISD
$    74.35
Show and Tell
R
UZ
$    68.87
Gaea's Cradle
R
UZ
$    68.78
Misdirection
R
MM
$    66.09
Tundra
R
ME2
$    54.28
Mox Opal
M
SOM
$    51.63
Tundra
R
ME4
$    49.92
Karn Liberated
M
NPH
$    46.26
Vendilion Clique
R
MOR
$    43.45
Vendilion Clique
M
MMA
$    41.64
Vampiric Tutor
R
VI
$    41.12
Underground Sea
R
ME4
$    40.69
Underground Sea
R
ME2
$    40.29
Bayou
R
ME4
$    38.97
Tropical Island
R
ME4
$    38.00
Bayou
R
ME3
$    37.74
Volcanic Island
R
ME4
$    37.24
Batterskull
M
NPH
$    37.22
Natural Order
R
VI
$    36.92
Griselbrand
M
AVR
$    36.06
Tropical Island
R
ME3
$    36.03
Volcanic Island
R
ME3
$    36.00
Polluted Delta
R
ONS
$    35.33
Fulminator Mage
R
SHM
$    35.23
City of Traitors
R
EX
$    32.90
Sneak Attack
R
UZ
$    32.55
Sphinx's Revelation
M
RTR
$    32.13
Jace, Architect of Thought
M
RTR
$    31.62
Mutavault
R
MOR
$    31.50
Vindicate
R
AP
$    31.25
Grove of the Burnwillows
R
FUT
$    31.18
Primeval Titan
M
M12
$    31.06
Primeval Titan
M
M11
$    30.66
Voice of Resurgence
M
DGM
$    30.64
Mishra's Workshop
R
ME4
$    29.48
Jace, the Mind Sculptor
M
WWK
$    29.13
True-Name Nemesis
R
C13
$    28.61
Flusterstorm
R
CMD
$    26.79
Tangle Wire
R
NE
$    26.66
Dark Confidant
R
RAV
$    26.60
Dark Confidant
M
MMA
$    26.59
Hurkyl's Recall
R
10E
$    26.48
Threads of Disloyalty
R
BOK
$    26.42
Mana Drain
R
ME3
$    26.30
Mana Crypt
R
ME2
$    26.00
Mutavault
R
M14
$    25.61

The big number is the retail price of a playset (4 copies) of every card available on MTGO. Assuming you bought the least expensive version available, the cost of owning a playset of every card on MTGO you can own is $26,800. That’s up a bit from where we were last week.
 

Weekly Highlights:

My spotlight article of the week is Paul Leicht’s Where Has All the Magic Gone, which mixes ruminations on the state of Magic, the digital divide and the power level of cards with some thoughts on where Paul is at and where he’s going, plus some interesting brews. I’m happy to see Paul writing again, and hope he doesn’t wait another 6 months to get another article together.
 
Prereleases this weekend. I’ll be attending some, and running others.   And maybe watching that Superb Owl thing.
 
PRJ
 
“one million words” on MTGO.

11 Comments

Pete, I believe your by Kumagoro42 at Sun, 02/02/2014 - 13:06
Kumagoro42's picture
5

Pete, I believe your functional reprint argument is blown out of proportions. It's strange that you didn't collect data to support your claim first, since you always do, and well.
How many new functional reprints are there in a set these days? Let's check (MTG Salvation wiki lists all of them per set).

Born of the Gods has 3 of them.
Theros: 4
Magic 2014: 1
Dragon's Maze: 0
Gatecrash: 4
Return to Ravnica: 3

So, that makes about 8-12 per year. Even more interesting is what happens when we go further back:

Magic 2013: 6
Avacyn Restored: 8
Dark Ascension: 6
Innistrad: 6
Magic 2012: 5
New Phyrexia: 0
Mirrodin Besieged: 1
Scars of Mirrodin: 1

Which means the trend has actually decreased since Innistrad, which was a particularly blatant case (and this without even mentioning the absolute irrelevance of most of them: who cares about Pillarfield Ox or Volunteer Militia being functionally reprinted?)

Now, 8-12 per year, probably 90% of which are irrelevant for Constructed. With these numbers, how can you possibly say that there are high odds that a given Constructed card will get functionally reprinted? I'd say the odds are actually negligible. Other than for Elvish Mystic and Lightning Strike, how many cards that you would actually play in Constructed have been functionally reprinted recently?
Plus, when you say "The odds that I will ever again need [old cards] are simply way too low", what you mean is actually "ever again need them for Standard". What is stopping you to play your old anything in any other format?

Functional Reprints... by Fred1160 at Sun, 02/02/2014 - 21:36
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I 100% agree with your complaint about functional reprints. I hate looking at a card in a brand new set and thinking, "I've seen this card way too many times." It seems lazy to me to just plug in a 2/4 for 3W in every set. I just had to laugh when I saw Searing Spear show up under another name. There's another burn spell in standard living under an assumed name: Arc Lightning is running around calling itself Flames of the Firebrand these days.
Just how bad would it have been to reprint Llanowar Elves and not give us Elvish Mystic? Same card, sure, but really does it matter that it has "Llanowar" in the name?
Personally, I love reprints. I think it's great when I can trot out fifteen or twenty year old cards and play with them in standard.

I strongly agree about the by RexDart at Mon, 02/03/2014 - 12:27
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I strongly agree about the functional reprints. There are shockingly few cards from Alpha and the early sets that are both A) not too powerful/complex to see print today and B) powerful *enough* to see tournament play. Llanowar Elves is one of the few that is still a perfectly reasonable card after 20 years, and I would like to be able to play my Alpha/Beta copies. I want to be able to use the artwork I like, or the old card frames.

Arc Lightning becoming "Flames of the Firebrand" was also an egregious error in this category, as Fred points out. Arc Lightning is a highly flavorful name, and perfectly describes what the card does. But it gets a clunkier reprint name for purely branding purposes, to associate a card with a named character.

I don't mean to sound by Kumagoro42 at Mon, 02/03/2014 - 13:45
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I don't mean to sound offensive, but it seems really rich that now we have a new silly complaint about Magic (because we really needed another one!), and it's "Boo-hoo! I can't play my old copies of these THREE cards when and if I would ever decide to play Standard this year!". Like, seriously, get over yourselves. It's a couple of harmless commons. They're not functionally reprinting whole sets of rares. It's the same company that still holds true to that stupid reserved list agreement to not hurt poor speculators' collections.

And don't even let me started on the nostalgia for the old frame, which I'm starting to associate with politically reactionary stances. You don't need to be a student of aestethics to immediately know which one between Llanowar Elves, Fyndhorn Elves, and Elvish Mystic is the professional design. Here's some hints: two have bad color palettes, messed up frames, and half-assed art. (Oh, I like punk elves as much as the next guy, I just don't like when drawing a profile head with no background qualifies as illustration). On top of that, Llanowar Elves depicts a warrior, Fyndhorn Elves depicts a few assassins, none of them depicts a druid and his connection to the land.
When something gets better is called progress. Resisting to progress is called stagnation.

And yes, branding purposes are legit purposes. Magic is a commercial enterprise. You do commercial synergies, or you die. In exchange for that, someone will have to put up with the hard reality of playing with Elvish Mystic. It's terrible, I know.

I agree with all of your by Paul Leicht at Mon, 02/03/2014 - 14:17
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I agree with all of your supporting arguments but I still feel for the guys with Beta Llanowars because when I had a serious paper collection that guy was me.

Didn't mean to? by Fred1160 at Mon, 02/03/2014 - 16:44
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You say you don't mean to sound offensive and then you launch right into a personal attack. I think you overreacted because someone disagreed with you. That's life, me bucko.

Just what I needed today: some dude with cheesy facial hair going on a rant because I didn't agree with him.

Hey Cheesy facial hair trumps by Paul Leicht at Mon, 02/03/2014 - 17:00
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Hey Cheesy facial hair trumps black shapeless shadow for a face. Lets see the REAL Freddie!

Is there even facial hair in by JXClaytor at Tue, 02/04/2014 - 08:25
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Is there even facial hair in this picture?

Not in mine, maybe I should by Paul Leicht at Tue, 02/04/2014 - 11:34
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Not in mine, maybe I should hunt down a photo with some?

I was answering RexDart, not by Kumagoro42 at Tue, 02/04/2014 - 09:45
Kumagoro42's picture

@Fred1160: I was answering RexDart, not you. You can tell (even if it's not really intuitive) from the nesting of the comments. Also from the fact that I directly reference stuff he said (the branding, etc.)

Elves vs Elf by GainsBanding at Mon, 02/03/2014 - 15:07
GainsBanding's picture

It's also the "Elves" part of Llanowar Elves that they don't like. Their creative team now generally wants creature cards to represent one creature. It's the same reason Grizzly Bears became Runeclaw Bear in M10.