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Shards of Alara Changes June 26, 2008

Posted by Norm in Casual.
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Back on June 2nd Mark Rosewater announced some changes to how Wizards will distribute Magic, specifically how many cards will be printed in a set. He also announced how cards will be distributed in booster packs, and that is what I want to focus on right now. 

Earlier today I read an article on Magic.tcgplayer.com, that was basically a follow up interview with Mark Rosewater (Maro), link to the article here. I haven’t really made a comment on the changes as of yet because I agree that there are too many cards to keep track of with a release every three months or so. Especially for the casual player.

At first I didn’t really think too much of the insertion of lands into the booster packs. I didn’t really like the idea because I don’t ever seem to have a problem collecting plenty land each new set (did Wizards forget about Tournament Packs?). Anyway why I’m bringing this all up is because Maro suggested that the land cards will be passed down to the newer players who need the land, which is the whole point to begin with. Here are his words as written, 

 The land in the booster packs is meant to supplement the intro pack lands not be the sole source. In addition, having the lands in every booster pack will help get more lands into the system which we anticipate will funnel down to the new players.

Now I’m all in favor of making Magic more accessible to newer players, but I’m a little annoyed that Wizards wants to pass the cost of getting lands into new players hands through it’s current player base. I really think this extra land will be really annoying in draft and limited. The more I think about it the more I feel like we, the consumer, are loosing out. And hey Wizards, for the record I have a whole box of land that I always share with newer players (or anyone) who needs some land. So the current player base is already out there to support the new guys. 

I think there are a lot of ways Wizards could use it’s current player base to help reach out to newer players. Like a referral program or official Learn to Play Magic days, bring a friend Friday. 

I’m not out to slam Wizards or Maro, I just thought that this piece of their new plan isn’t that great. I do believe that Wizards is trying to do the best for it’s players and I think that they do a good job overall to support the community. So if someone from Wizards is out there reading this I’d be happy to act as a sounding board for ideas. I’ve actually brought a few new players to the game myself this year.

Otherwise I can’t wait for Eventide.  

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