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By: hk3family, Hunter Kessell
Aug 17 2007 1:25pm
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A Classic Situation of Survival

With 195 cards (okay, 180 witholding the basic lands) entering the Classic format as of September 10th of this year, the Classic format will either remain as stale as it currently is, slowly waning from existence, or it will  receive a large bolster in  support from the online crowd. This article will discuss both sides of this given the information we currently know to be true, and  will (hopefully) leave you with your own decision.


The Facts

We do know the set is going to be 180 new cards to Magic: Online (henceforth MOL). Rarities of these cards are still fully unknown, but we do know that it has a 60/60/60 distribution. Which, to you newer folks, means 60 commons, 60 uncommons, and 60 rares.

Collation includes: 10 Commons, 3 Uncommons, 1 Rare, 1 Basic Land

Master's Edition will be legal in the Classic format (duh!) and all formats using the Classic Cardpool.

Premium (Shiny pieces of internet) cards will be inserted at roughly 1:56 ratio


The 25 previewed cards so far are:

Force of Will, Juzam Djinn, Armageddon, Lightning Bolt, Berserk, Mirror Universe, Thawing Glaciers, Moat, Sylvan Library, Goblin Grenade, Khabal Ghoul, Serendib Efreet, Forcefield, Lim-Dul's Vault, Yavimaya Ants, Lake of the Dead, Ball Lightning, Diminishing Returns, Preacher, Hymn to TourachPhelddagrif, Argivian Archaeologist, Jokulhaups,

A flood of new cards and changes to many formats!

High Tide


Nevinyrral's Disk [Thanks to Classic Quarter]

Zuran Orb [Thanks to PureMTGO]


And He said: "You will need to anticipate differences!"

The cards we have been told are not in this set:

Nothing post-mirage []

The 10 original duals []


 Rarities Spoiled so far:

Common: Lightning Bolt, Hymn to Tourach, Goblin Grenade

Uncommon: Force of Will, Berserk, Khabal Ghoul, Lim-Dul's Vault, Yavimaya Ants, Zuran Orb

Rare: All the Rest

So, we know [theoretically]: 3/60 Commons are spoiled, 6/60 Uncommons have been spoiled, 16/60 Rares have been spoiled.


2+2=4 (or, 'Lets put it all together now'):

Force of Will [FoW], Berserk, and Zuran Orb [Zorb] could possibly be shifted into rare. Lightning Bolt [Bolt] and Hymn to Tourach [Hymn] into uncommon. If these shifts are put into place, it could increase the barrier to play Classic. If left as they are, they would promote classic like no other set has! My reasoning behind this is if FoW [especially] is still uncommon, then people could easily enter the format, and have a small fightning chance against the reigning combo decks that can go off Turn 0 or 1. Albeit, it would be an insanely priced uncommon, but not near as high as it would be as a rare. The other cards, follow the same reasoning. If it's easier to acquire some power commons/uncommons that outperform most rares, then people would be more likely to play the MOL equivalent of Legacy: Classic.

Many more old-school [style] decks will be brought back, whether Tourney viable, or not.  Ball Lightning promotes Mono-Red Burn, FoW brings back most control decks, and variants thereof, including my personal favorite: Landstill. Hymn brings back mono-black discard, mono-black control... well... mono-black anything!

However, without the 10 original duals, starting at 14 to 17'ish life, is not healty for control and combo style decks. The RAV duals give Aggro an advantage over anything except Flash-Hulk. Also, without the 10 duals this set is starting to look like it won't have many chase cards [especially if rarities are changed as described above] that can be easily acquired. This means that the set won't sell too well and the cards we all need to play competitive classic will be so astronomically priced that people won't want to play!

"So what?" You might be saying. "I don't care if we don't have the duals this time around, I'll just wait for ME2!"  If these cards are not moving, because it's too hard to get the 'chase' rares, then we probably won't have ME2! 

Currently, as I've noticed, the Classic format seems to be slowly growing, but not in the competitive aspect, moreso in the Casual Rooms. The tournament scene is likely to die soon if we don't get what we need for this format!

Dangerlinto and ClassicQuarter are doing their darndest to keep the format up and running, and I applaud them for their efforts. Despite their efforts, however, it's hard to keep a format growing when the cost of entry is $40 per card for many competitive decks. Decklists going over $200 is a normal thing, so I've seen... not a bad thing, could be worse, but DEFINITELY could be cheaper. A theory that I have, and a few tend to agree with is: if ME's FoW is uncommon, it won't be astronomically priced, and cards like Vampiric Tutor and such will drop in price [slightly] even with the supply as low as it is, due to the ability to stop such powerful cards being broken.

ME is shaping up to be a great addition to MOL, even with the Dual Land Dissapointment going on [].

The Beta for ME is scheduled to go live next Monday, August 20th, and the rarity question will be answered as well as a full spoiler known. Over the next 6 days, we'll also have a spoiled card on

What will become of Classic? Only time can truly tell. Feel free to voice your opinions in our forums or as a comment on here!

Another article will be put up pending the final spoiled list of cards in ME and their rarities, as well as newly viable (some old) decklists for the competitive Classic player (Including possible changes in "other" formats!

Until next time!



PS: Bear in mind: images will not be avilable until the cards go online Xp


by hk3family at Sun, 08/19/2007 - 12:03
hk3family's picture

If I did this as you suggested, then there wouldn't be ANYTHING under the "facts" category... as then they could change the set size by +10 cards to incorporate this, instead of changing out some cards... or other things could have changed.

As current, it's FACT, so it belongs there. :) 

by hk3family at Sun, 08/19/2007 - 12:06
hk3family's picture

Allow me to comment on this:

I do not think classic will die, per-se, but will be reduced to the stagnant form it once was... that's all... I don't think it'll go away entirely.

I probably came across the wrong way, as people seem to think that's what I was saying, but maybe I just typed something different than I was trying to say. That's not how I interpret what I said. :(


Anyway, Thanks Danger, your input is important on this topic :) 

dangerlinto's picture

Regardless of whether or not duals are in MED, classic will be just fine. Even the small number of playable cards - of which I'd say somewhere close to 25-40% of the previewed cards are worthy - will have an impact on classic.   That's an insanely high ratio.  DOesn't mean the whole set will be like that, but the set will bring many more cards into the play pool.  THis is a good thing.  Right now, classic would just be extended+ if it wasn't for flash.

It's a little like King Longshanks in Braveheart ideology.  Just breed the cards out of the format through sheer numbers.  :)

by hk3family at Sat, 08/18/2007 - 16:12
hk3family's picture

This is the type of discussion I hoped to spark.

I do not think Classic is slowly dying, but rather, CURRENTLY, sitting in a stagnant pool of it's own filth... I agree, it really has almost nowhere to go, but up. However, this set can either 1) Advance the format as a whole, or 2) Decay the format UNTIL such time as the 2008 rotation or ME2.

I was hoping to wait a while before doing a topographical article on the effects of 2008 or ME2. As of NOW, though, is what I'm trying to focus on. 

Thanks for the constructive input, so far, you two. 

Duals by iceage4life (Unregistered) (not verified) at Sat, 08/18/2007 - 14:55
iceage4life (Unregistered)'s picture

Yes but you put the fact that rares will not be in the set under "facts".  I would recomend having a seperate heading title "speculation" listing the cards from the promo tab (we expect all will be in there) and that duals are not in it (with link to Worth's post.)

 Fox News has a slogan "We report, you decide."  Clearly a flase statement because if you report something as fact you shape someone's views on the subject.

by hk3family at Sat, 08/18/2007 - 11:08
hk3family's picture

While Worth never said, for CERTAIN, the duals wouldn't be in the set. The current, most common, belief is that they are not.

I was not saying that, for sure, they wouldn't be in; but, that they were not believed to be in the set.

 Also, as I mentioned in the start of this article (which is why I put links to all my information and sources), the concept is to formulate your OWN opinion(s) of the set as we know at the moment.    

The Future of Classic by iceage4life (Unregistered) (not verified) at Sat, 08/18/2007 - 14:52
iceage4life (Unregistered)'s picture

Your basic premise seems to be that Classic is slowly dying.  I don't see where this is coming from.  WotC just restarted weekly Classic PEs and unlike some other formats all have fired.  The two 3x events along with the IPA qualifier drew large crowds.

 While the Classic scene isn't exactly "thriving" at this point it has no where to go but up.  One thing you didn't mention is the extended rotation in fall, 2008.  This will move one core set and three blocks out of Extended.  This will clearly make Classic much more popular with the casual crowd but I expect a fair number of Extended players will ether still want to use expensive cards they own (rather then selling them at the much reducded prices they will see post-rotation) or just some old favorites.

 The ratity of Force of Will is a real issue that I am worried about adding $100+ to the format's entry barrier.  However I don't think Classic will die if Force of Will is rare.  Worth has already said ME2 is in the works and Wizards has plans to release Weatherlight and 3 more pre-Invasion blocks online.  Wizards has inintrest in supporting Classic simply to sell cards from these forthcoming blocks.

by largebrandon at Fri, 08/17/2007 - 17:50
largebrandon's picture

Actually, Worth never specifically said there won't be any duals in the set.  To tell you the truth, I think that they will end up in the set, whether we see them in the beta or they plug them in as a surpise.  Worth wanted to do the same for FoW, but was told that it actually needed extensive testing, so he decided against it.  The duals, on the other hand, don't need more testing than what the QA people do.

by hk3family at Fri, 08/17/2007 - 15:32
hk3family's picture

Yes, this will be tossing up some new ones into RS, I look forward to playing RS again, if I can ever see any of you online! :P

Anyway, I will be putting that info up as well as prismatic, in addition to Classic in general!

Let's do what we can! 

classic mmm by mtgbaron at Wed, 08/15/2007 - 11:07
mtgbaron's picture

you of course realize the effects this set will also have on rainbow stairwell!!!!!!! that is what i am excited about.. (flexes his RS might.)  err uhm.. :)  well thanks hk for the article it filled me in on the new classic expansion. something which i really have not been paying attention to.  !!!
see you online and keep that RS deck handy.