Explaining Jace and New Phyrexia Sales

Here’s the problem – I’m not the guinea pig for formats. I play what looks interesting, I buy what I am excited about, and if I become jaded about something it takes evidence of actual changes before I’m going to come back in the water. I know what Jace winter looks like and I recognize it as horribly broken. Therefore, I am checking out of Standard until I have proof that something is fixed. This is mildly ironic given the fact I JUST got back into real life Magic so that I could play in some UK regionals.

Magic isn’t my job any more. I think about it and talk to friends about it, but there are literally thousands of other things competing for my time. I don’t have to stay involved at any level. As a consumer, if I get bored on MODO I can turn on the PS3 or Steam or read a book or comic books or watch movies, Glee, blah blah blah. This is true for any entertainment vendor, which is what Wizards of the Coast is. If I want to stay involved in Magic, I can just draft and play Legacy on Magic Online. What I won’t do, however, is bang my head against a wall trying to beat something I know is broken. This is a normal and healthy response and there are plenty of people who share this perspective.

Do I think Jace will be banned at any time in Standard? Not really. I agree with Seth Burn that the odds are about 20:1 against. Is Standard horribly broken and exceptionally non-diverse (assuming your object is to give yourself the greatest chance of winning the game, of course)? Abso-freaking-lutely. This needed to be said and said publicly. If I had been around during the Jund dominance, I might have written exactly the same thing.

In the end, New Phyrexia sales come down to some form of this question: Will I (or anyone else who is tired of the whole Jace thing and really dislikes broken metagames), be really excited to buy boxes of New Phyrexia and brew new things to bring down this bad boy?

Not a chance. I’ll Legacy. Or I’ll play my 3DS. Or maybe I’ll just enjoy a book in the summertime sunshine.

Ain’t nothin’ wrong with that.


Post Script
People keep saying there’s no way an emergency ban will happen. That precedent was set aaaaages ago, at a time when most people didn’t even have broadband, let alone smart phones. Honestly, how is the Magic community not adaptable to one-month notice? Again, I don’t think it will happen, but information doesn’t really come in three-month chunks, so why would WotC be forced to make decisions in that way?


3 responses to “Explaining Jace and New Phyrexia Sales

  1. I have to disagree with you on that last point. And I actually think it’s the core of why we haven’t seen Jace banned already (Or Bloodbraid Elf. Or Bitterblossom. Etc.)

    It’s fine in Eternal. Legacy is played by connected individuals, it’s their responsibility to keep up with thing, blah blah. But for Standard (and to be honest, the change in Extended is IMO motivated by this as well).

    There’s a sizable portion of the Standard, FNM/casual playing community that doesn’t even not read up on Magic online. They see reading up on Magic online as being akin to the devil. It’s outright cheating. So as such, they show up to a FNM ‘cos they feel like playing and they show up with their rogue Grand Architect deck and find out that their one copy of JTMS is actually banned now, or worse, they find out in the middle of a match.

    Because of that, WotC seems to want casual/modern constructed formats to be entirely ban-free. It’s also why I think Extended was changed, from a format that needed bans to a format that didn’t. (I also think you’re going to see Extended as an allowed FNM option starting this fall)

    Now, I personally think that NPH is going to shake things up in a major way, to be precise, that Phyrexian Mana-based cards are going to be Eternal contenders, let alone Standard. But that said, I’d like to play the current Standard minus Jace, Mystic and Valakut. I think it might be a lot of fun and have a lot of potential untapped creativity. Which is why I think that there should be bans (and unbans) announced, like clockwork every 3 months, about midway between each set release. So it’s predictable, repeatable, and you probably have a good idea of what’s facing the banhammer. Even better they could communicate what they’re looking at, so investors can be forewarned.

  2. I’ve been bummed.

    Ever since I got a big boy job, I was like sweet, time to get back into Standard after my grad school-enforced penury. I was bummed that my poverty had caused me to miss out on great blocks like Ravnica and Time Spiral.

    Then I was like damnit, I don’t want to play 2 years of a Faeries-centric best deck metagame.

    Then Lorwyn finally rotated and I was like sweet, time to get back into Standard.

    Then I was like damnit, I don’t want to play another year of a Jund-centric best deck metagame.

    Then Shards finally rotated and I was like sweet, time to get back into Standard.

    Then I was like damnit, I don’t want to play another year of a Jace-centric best deck metagame…

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