Mtg arena open beta

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me_in_japan
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Re: Mtg arena open beta

Post by me_in_japan » Wed Aug 25, 2021 2:17 am

weeeeeell,

lots to digest here. https://magic.wizards.com/en/articles/a ... 2021-08-24


My thoughts, in no particular order...

commander collection Black: Super good value. I got the green one for 5000en, and in doing so got some really, really good staples for every green deck I'll ever build. The only problem with the black one is...I....kinda already have a lot of them already? :oops: That said, the two I don't have (Liliana and Ophiomancer) come to 3200 yen between em just for the two, and I know fine well that half the other cards are worth more than 1000 each, having bought them at one time or another. Maybe Gisa might be a smidge under that these days, the green sol ring is 500 and the comm tower is...hard to find? But aye. Even though I own 6 out of the 8 cards, I might pick this up. Ophiomancer is screaming out to go into Sean's Hapatra deck, if nothing else, and any Lils will always have a home in my G&G deck.


Middle Earth set being Modern and Historic legal: This one raises my eyebrows. It raises em right up, lemme tell you. While it's clear that LotR is a pretty close match for MtG, flavor-wise, it is nonetheless a non-Magic property. God help them if even one of the cards from this set turns out to be a staple, because there ain't gonna be reprinting that bugger once the license expires. Yes, there's functional reprints, but then you get into the 8-copies-per-deck problem. Plus there's the whole "I cast Gandalf, equip a storm bolter, tap Grandpa Rick to bounce your Optimus Prime back to your hand and swing for the win" problem. yeuch.

pioneer challenger decks: *shrug* I don't play pioneer and dont intend to. But hey ho, if the decks arent too expensive and have value, then sure. Interestingly, looking at the deck lists, there dont seem to be huge amounts of very expensive cards in there. Also, interestingly, I think I actually have most of that spirits deck at home. Who knew?

Innistrad double feature thing: uh? eh? what? How will this be different to just buying, say 2 packs of one set and 1 of the other and just drafting those? Like, y'know, people used to back when there were blocks in Magic? Also, surely if the two innistrad sets are being largely reprinted with different art (Say what? new art for all the cards? That seems a large investment for what is basically a reprint set) it'll massively impact the value of the cards from the actual midnight hunt/crimson vow sets. Like, if you double the supply of the cards, their individual value will roughly half, no? It just seems a bizarrely costly thing to do - reduce perceived value for the normal sets (announced in advance of their release!), flood the market, and pay for your artists to redo the art for an entire set's worth of cards, plus packaging, printing costs etc. For something that could easily be achieved by just opening 2:1 boosters like the old days? I'm baffled. There must be more to it that hasn't been announced or something.

In store stuff: Good, I guess? I mean, I think it is fairly interesting to have the actual store name printed on the card. Doesn't affect me in the slightest, but fine for those who care.

Kamigawa Lasers and Stuff: Actually, yeah. I like this. It's kinda silly, and I'm a sucker for laser ninjas. I suppose there's an argument to be made for Magic not being the place for SF themes, but we have Mirrodin/Phyrexia, and they seem popular. They're not exactly SF, I know, but it's close enough. I also think it's a very smart idea to explore the planes at different times in their history. Theyve been doing it since forever with Dominaria, so why not everywhere else? Which brings us to...

Streets of New Capenna: Another good one. As with Kamigawa 2049, crime fiction is a genre that's kinda outside the traditional high fantasy explored by Magic, but I can totally see this working. The stylings of the logo and the mood of that demon mobster in the picture give me great hope that it could be handled right.

Dominaria United: Sure. I have no strong feelings about this either way, but after the possibly polarising previous sets, this is a safe space for any players who feel that their beloved IP has been wandering too far off the rails.

The Brothers War: again, sure. It's basically a shoe-in for all the same players who froth at the mouth when cards are re-released in old border frames. That's all before my time, so it gets a *shrug* from me. I did spend a few hours yesterday reading up on the story of the brothers war/phyrexia/karn etc (I was bored at work with no students and bugger all else to do). Did you know that Karn spent a bunch of time being (basically) a mad phyrexian god? There's some interesting art and stuff. Worth a look, if you can be arsed.

Unfinity: meh, it's another un-set. The lands will no doubt be lovely. The rest ignorable. I notice it mentions sci fi shock lands. That will be very interesting to see, especially because as un-cards they will be silver bordered, but as reprints of black border cards, theyd be legal? I guess? I also wonder if it will be all 10 shocks. Also, full art shocks. That'll be expensive...

Commander Legends, Baldur's Gate: I dunno how I feel about this. I have no interest in Baldur's Gate, but the last Legends set was great. I'm kind of in the "Oi, gerrof out of my IP, ya damn kids!" camp here. I'd have preferred another Legends set without the sticky fingers of DnD all over it, but hey ho. I'll live. At least it's not...

Secret Lair - Fortnite: No. :| This is dreadful, and despite it only being reprints, still very damaging to Magic's IP. Such a poor choice of franchise. Sure, it'll bring in new players, but the kind of person who plays Fortnite is hardly the kind of person who plays Magic. Too many of the pew-pew instant gratification crowd and there will start being calls to simplify Magic, make counterspells less playable, no more boardwipes because theyre frustrating, BAN ISLANDS! BAN EM, I SAY!

'tis the beginnings of the end. The end... :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock:

Secret Lair - Streetfighter: No. But that's a very good picture of Chun-Li. Credit where it's due. Still a bloody dreadful idea, though.

Secret Lair, commander decks - 40k: No. It'll depend on the interest of the kiddoes. If they're super keen, I could see myself buying the commander decks. Secret Lair, as always, will be hamstrung by stupid shipping costs. As a franchise, it's marginally better than the above two, but as the thin edge of the wedge I'll still condemn it. I'm vaguely interested to see who's drawing the art, and if any GW artists will be on mtg cards (Blanche springs to mind) and if any MtG artists will do 40k stuff that finds its way into actual 40k (The thought of Seb McKinnon doing dark eldar makes me go "ooooh!"). Of course, a great number of artists work for both companies already, but regardless, it could be interesting.

Secret Lair - Kamigawa: Very pretty. Irrelevant to me, but very pretty.

Secret Lair - olde school planeswalkers: Clearly not aimed at me. Vaguely amusing, I guess? *shrug*

Other stuff relating to actual cards! - Double Masters, JumpStart: Eh, fine. Good. The original Double Masters did wonders for dropping prices of staples, and Jumpstart was fun. I can't say as I'll actually buy any packs of these, but when it comes time to buy singles I'll be grateful they exist. Also, yay Aminatou! :D (I keep filtering all my best cards into my Aminatou deck, btw. My kids refuse to play against it, and I cant say I blame them. At least I'm clear where it sits in the relative power levels of my decks, though... :P )

I think that's it? Quite the info dump, to be sure.

What say you? Any thoughts?
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Wow. And then Corona happened. Just....crickets, all the way through to 2023...

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Re: Mtg arena open beta

Post by me_in_japan » Wed Aug 25, 2021 2:21 am

I wonder why not Japan? Or maybe it is Japan, just for English language stuff, and they didnt think to mention it?

https://magic.wizards.com/en/articles/a ... tions-2021

*edit* actually, now I think on it, they print the cards here, both English and Japanese. Problem solved.
current (2019) hobby interests
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Wow. And then Corona happened. Just....crickets, all the way through to 2023...

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Re: Mtg arena open beta

Post by Primarch » Wed Aug 25, 2021 4:15 am

Really? A Cyberpunk set gets the M_i_J thumbs up? A core, standard, legal in every format cyberpunk setting is okay, but a dozen cards that are time limited, not available retail and are alt-art reprints of existing cards are dreadful and damaging to the IP?
Don't get me wrong, I like cyberpunk and have no interest in fortnite. I just don't see how either has a place in MtG.

The continued mixing of WotC properties like Magic and D&D, I can kind of understand. They have similar themes and mesh together without any major issues. Revisiting Dominaria and the Brother's War, sure. The city being run by gang bosses, isn't that just Ravnica but in anachronistic suits?

Every other crossover and tie-in though. No thank you. A LotR or 40K card game could be a lot of fun, but I'd prefer not to mix them in with MtG. 40K is easily avoidable as it is Commander only. LotR though is a full set that is legal in Historic and playable in Arena.

Whatever shark it is that you're worried about WotC jumping, is already passing by beneath the company as the designers aim for the landing area. And the worst part? Beyond some vocal critics among the online community, a lot of the new sets will still probably sell well enough to keep the company moving in that direction. The grumpy old guard will either quit or adapt and the fresh-faced youngsters will lap up the new releases with relish. This all feels very similar to how I felt when 40K 8th edition was announced with its new big-marines. Many of the things I liked about the game are still there, they just aren't for me anymore.
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Re: Mtg arena open beta

Post by me_in_japan » Wed Aug 25, 2021 6:12 am

There's a couple things worth chewing over here. First, the easy bits:

cyberpunk kamigawa - I maintain that this is fine. Good, even, if done right. I think a key difference is that it's not a specific property, it's a genre. WotC has always been very good at taking a setting and magic-ifying it. These have traditionally been real-world mythic settings (Amonkhet, Theros, Kaldheim to give 3 very obvious examples, but Eldraine, Lorwyn and Kamigawa also fall into this category.) The cyberpunk genre and archetypes associated with it are just modern examples of the same stories people have been telling for centuries. Likewise the gangster stuff. It could even be argued that theyve already dipped their toes into modern storytelling with Innistrad and the eldritch horror genre. So, I do trust the creative people at WotC to get the right balance between rain-splashed neon and magical spellslinging. Other properties, whatever they are, are outside the ecosystem of Magic, and can never be modified to suit the needs of the setting or game. There will be a ton of stuff to tie Kamigawa 2049 into the main magic story. If there isnt an Umezawa in there somewhere (or a descendent thereof) I will eat my shoes. You can't do that with another property. Even if (somehow) WotC were given complete creative control of, say, StreetFighter, from now on, they couldn't retcon all the previous stuff so it gelled with the current Magic setting. There's just too much dissonance. It's like water in a pond. You can pour more water into that pond, and while there may be ripples, once its in, it all merges together. Dropping rocks in, however, makes a big splash. Things take much longer to settle, and when they do, there's still a rock on the bottom of the pond. Throw in too many rocks, and you end up with a pile of rocks, with all the water splashed out over the side. It is, in fact, no longer a pond. That's why the WotC-developed Kamigawa 2049 is ok, but outside properties are not.

And now the tricky bit:
Whatever shark it is that you're worried about WotC jumping, is already passing by beneath the company as the designers aim for the landing area. And the worst part? Beyond some vocal critics among the online community, a lot of the new sets will still probably sell well enough to keep the company moving in that direction. The grumpy old guard will either quit or adapt and the fresh-faced youngsters will lap up the new releases with relish. This all feels very similar to how I felt when 40K 8th edition was announced with its new big-marines. Many of the things I liked about the game are still there, they just aren't for me anymore.
oh, absolutely. Absolutely. I'm fully aware that that shark has been jumped. Heck, a line of sharks has been jumped, through a flaming hoop, most likely.

I can see echoes of the Bad Old Days, Spevna-stance inducing GW here in spades. The willful ignoring of the already enfranchised players, the cries of "down with our evil capitalist overlords!" (drowned out by the "where can I buy it?"), the hand-wringing indignation at how the lore is being chewed up and spat out, with blatant disregard for How Things Used To Be. The ever increasing profits being squeezed out of the player base. It's all there.

The trouble is, the criticisms were fairly leveled at GW, and are being fairly leveled at WotC. These are all examples of corporate interference at the expense of the end user. It's clear that the approach of "attract new players in preference to retaining old players" is highly profitable, and from a business perspective makes sense. When GW did it I was confident that the vitriol of the outgoing players would sufficiently poison the waterhole that over time word would get around and profits would fall. I am very much not sure of that anymore. It seems (from what is admittedly now an outside perspective) that the ex-players and new players dont mix, and so there is no understanding of "how things used to be." I wouldnt be shocked if Magic went the same way. That sucks, because both games require a lot of commitment to collect and play, and knowing that it will all ultimately be wasted is terribly jading. Both games also share the burden of a heavy and ongoing financial investment which becomes largely valueless once interest is lost in whatever happens to be current. (By which I mean, I spent years and thousands of quid buying 40k stuff. Now I don't like the current state of the game, it's all sitting there, wasted. The idea that my magic cards may go the same way quite understandably fills me with what could not unreasonably be described as dread.) One things that WotC is doing that GW didnt do too much, and which may prove to be their undoing, is the speeding up of releases. There's just so many sets being released that it's impossible to keep up. As someone who plays a particular format, it's possible to ignore certain subsets. As someone who mostly plays commander (which, of course, is the majority of the player base) it's crushing. I see so many heavily entrenched youtubers/forum members/article writers/pros saying theyre getting burned out by the pace of releases, and then a few weeks later doing articles/vids etc about Flesh and Blood or whatever.It may just be the old guard being pushed out, but it has the stink of a long term problem in the making. But then I felt the same about GW a few years ago, and theyre off to the races these days. *shrug*
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Wow. And then Corona happened. Just....crickets, all the way through to 2023...

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Re: Mtg arena open beta

Post by Primarch » Fri Aug 27, 2021 12:55 am

Assuming you are playing Jumpstart, SAVE YOUR DECKS, it allows you to exceed the total number of decks you can have.
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Re: Mtg arena open beta

Post by me_in_japan » Fri Aug 27, 2021 1:38 am

interesting. I wonder if that'll be changed with an update. There be bugs a-plenty at the mo. 100 card brawl having 20 life being the most egregious that I've spotted so far.

On that note, would you be free for a game this evening at all? No worries if you're busy, but I built some 100 card decks (the usual suspects so far, sorry*), or I'd be happy to grab a couple jumpstart decks and try those? Let me know :)

*or, given the lack of things to do at work right now, I could realistically build a deck on some online deck builder then import it when I get home. I can probably get away with net surfing in a teachers room containing half a dozen people, but actually starting up Arena would probably be a bridge too far...
current (2019) hobby interests
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Wow. And then Corona happened. Just....crickets, all the way through to 2023...

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Re: Mtg arena open beta

Post by Primarch » Fri Aug 27, 2021 2:52 am

I can't make any promises, but I will try to get online later tonight.
I have a couple of 100 card brawl decks and some saved Jumpstart decks too.
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Re: Mtg arena open beta

Post by me_in_japan » Fri Aug 27, 2021 4:39 am

coolio :)
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Wow. And then Corona happened. Just....crickets, all the way through to 2023...

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Re: Mtg arena open beta

Post by me_in_japan » Sun Sep 05, 2021 2:01 pm

Just a psa, but the code PARCELMYR gets you a...random bunch of stuff. Good stuff, though. I got 2k exp, an erebos sleeve, 3 random rares from DnD, and a J-art for grapeshot. Mightve got 2k gold, too, but Im not sure. I believe its an apology for the server shenanigans last week.
current (2019) hobby interests
eh, y'know. Stuff, and things

Wow. And then Corona happened. Just....crickets, all the way through to 2023...

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Primarch
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Re: Mtg arena open beta

Post by Primarch » Tue Sep 07, 2021 6:29 am

Thanks for the info.
Just entered the code.
2K gold, 2K Xp, Thassa Sleeve, 3 Rares (Kald, Strix, D&D) and an alt art of Birgi god of storytelling.
Painted Minis in 2014: 510, in 2015: 300, in 2016 :369, in 2019: 417, in 2020: 450

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