MTG, the Corona-Virus Pandemic, and future events.

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Post by Card Slinger J » 3 months ago

If Konami is postponing In-Store Play Events Indefinitely for Paper Yu-Gi-Oh! then what does that say about how Wizards of the Coast has been handling the situation with COVID-19 for Paper Magic? Most LGSs couldn't even get any of their Core 2021 Pre-Release Events to fire last weekend and even If you paid for a Pre-Release Kit with bonus booster packs at your LGS then what was the point of playing it at home when there's no one to play with? Did Wizards of the Coast expect every MTG player to have access to a $400 webcam with Discord communication to live stream Paper Magic games online or something?

I was talking to a Paper Pokémon TCG player a few weeks ago about whether or not If he was supporting his LGS by playing in their online tournaments (assuming he paid the entry fees) where they have Discord servers and frequent Twitch streams to be active on and then told me to %$#% off immediately after. I asked him what I said that pissed him off but he never bothered replying back to me about it. I got some feedback from some Yu-Gi-Oh! players online though one was suspicious about why I even bothered to communicate with them since I quit Yu-Gi-Oh! back in 2004.
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Post by robertleva » 3 months ago

If there is one thing we can count on from WOTC, it's that they will cave to pressure. Konami suspending paper yu gi oh indefinitely is a "woke" position for your company to take. I expect WOTC / Hasbro to follow suit. Though how they are going to justify selling a paper product that cannot be used is something I haven't quite figured out.

You could possibly solve a lot of paper MTG problems by making some form of reverse redemption where you can turn your cards in to your officially authorized LGS and get the card in MTGO. Your LGS would mail the cards to WOTC or even better dispose of them securely.
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Post by Card Slinger J » 3 months ago

robertleva wrote:
3 months ago
If there is one thing we can count on from WOTC, it's that they will cave to pressure. Konami suspending paper yu gi oh indefinitely is a "woke" position for your company to take. I expect WOTC / Hasbro to follow suit. Though how they are going to justify selling a paper product that cannot be used is something I haven't quite figured out.

You could possibly solve a lot of paper MTG problems by making some form of reverse redemption where you can turn your cards in to your officially authorized LGS and get the card in MTGO. Your LGS would mail the cards to WOTC or even better dispose of them securely.
As for justifying selling paper products that can't be used outside the Local Game Store (LGS) I haven't quite figured that out either. Given how terrible of a job Wizards of the Coast has been doing with the distribution of Secret Lair products, the lack of communication and transparency would make it more difficult for the LGS to mail cards to Wizards of the Coast for them to dispose of or even replace. If they're able to succeed it's because WIzards of the Coast is on good terms with these LGSs who share the same viewpoints as they do.

Someone on Twitter recently posted that Local Game Stores (LGS) apparently have to keep hosting official Paper Magic events in order to keep their WPN status now that stores are allowed to re-open. Though they're heavily encouraging people to "participate" in their "Pre-Release at Home" events where you just buy a Pre-Release pack and go home. However it was recently confirmed that WPN metrics are frozen for the time being and not running events are fine even If it costs you valuable customers at your Local Game Store.
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Post by Card Slinger J » 3 months ago

There were also rumors swirling in the news media recently about the potential for a second global pandemic with Bubonic Plague when China recently confirmed cases in the inner Mongolia autonomous region with two people currently in quarantine. On another note, the World Health Organization (WHO) recently said that they don't believe the resurgence of the Bubonic Plague in China to be high risk yet they said the same thing about COVID-19 as early as last year and look what happened afterward. Of course it didn't help when Trump ignored it as a hoax which led to our current predicament. Bubonic Plague isn't as deadly as it was back in the 14th century thanks to antibiotics though it could become a problem with rumors of antibiotics running out globally. If COVID-19 is found to only be curable and/or treatable with antibiotics as much as with the Bubonic Plague that could also spell disaster as well. Not saying it will happen but definitely something to watch out for.

As for the recent revelation about COVID-19 being airborne, yeah I can definitely see how this will be a major challenge for Local Game Stores (LGS) where their infrastructure was never really built for Outdoor Play since they were originally designed for In-Store Play hence the name. The problem is that these stores aren't able to function like how some sports stadiums have a interchangeable roof depending on the cost of how much overhead is being used. The cost to maintain that sort of environment isn't worth it compared to being an online vendor like Rudy from Alpha Investments and Sports N More where they don't provide In-Store Play for people to play Paper Magic with the assumption that they're just going to play at home when they're not. Apparently only half of all offline MTG players prefer to play at their LGS while the other half prefers to play at home even though it's less convenient for gathering playgroups especially with those who don't have access to social media.
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Post by Krishnath » 3 months ago

Card Slinger J wrote:
3 months ago
COVID-19 is found to only be curable and/or treatable with antibiotics as much as with the Bubonic Plague that could also spell disaster as well. Not saying it will happen but definitely something to watch out for.
Covid-19 is a virus. You do not use antibiotics against a virus, that's a waste of antibiotics. Antibiotics are only useful against bacteria.
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Post by motleyslayer » 3 months ago

so this is pretty unfortunate news for people in the US and Latin America. Wizards is suspending in store play in the US and LATAM even longer.

at this point I don't know what to think

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Post by Card Slinger J » 3 months ago

motleyslayer wrote:
3 months ago
so this is pretty unfortunate news for people in the US and Latin America. Wizards is suspending in store play in the US and LATAM even longer.

at this point I don't know what to think
So is this suspension just for Organized Play or In-Store Play cause I figured there would be a difference between the two seeing as though one focuses on the competitive aspect with Organized Play where as In-Store Play in general focuses on the casual aspect. It just seems like Wizards of the Coast is very vague about this especially other companies where they have difficulty being able to differentiate the two to where most people assume it applies to both which it sorta does but at the same time it doesn't.

The real tragedy of all this is that in the scenario that ALL Local Game Stores (LGSs) file for bankruptcy due to COVID-19, it wouldn't affect Wizards of the Coast's Paper Magic sales enough to where they hit the brakes and realize that it isn't making them any money anymore. It will just empower the collectors more than the players where non-Reserve List cards become a new pseudo-Reserve List of cards that have been short printed to oblivion in specialty products.
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Post by motleyslayer » 3 months ago

Looks like it's all in store play, due to how rampant Covid 19 is still in America and LATAM.

In regards to stores being at risk, it doesn't look good but I guess it's up to stores themselves to survive

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Post by Card Slinger J » 3 months ago

COVID-19 may have just forced Wizards of the Coast to expand the Reserve List to encompass the entire Modern format card pool. Why? Because realistically collectors will be the only target demographic that Wizards of the Coast caters Paper Magic toward as players no longer have a place to play at. The only way to get collectors to buy into non-Reserve List cards is by expanding the list itself to where they'll never devalue over time which gives Wizards of the Coast a good excuse to keep printing old / new card singles through Secret Lair drops.

Then they'll change the distribution of booster boxes / sealed product over to Arena / MTGO exclusively since players can only play digital nowadays where as collectors can still buy into Paper Magic. Imagine how much Ravnica Shocklands and Onslaught / Khans of Tarkir Fetchlands would go for If they were officially added to the Reserve List. Even popular Planeswalkers like Liliana of the Veil and Jace, the Mind Sculptor would double or even triple in price. Short printed cards like Sensei's Divining Top and Rings of Brighthearth would go through the roof.
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Post by WizardMN » 3 months ago

And Wizards would see none of those profits for those cards, so what's the point? To price people out of another format which only serves to drive more people away from the game? No, the smart decision is to print the cards so people can actually buy them. Imagine how much money Wizards would have made if they could print Moxen and Duals. Instead, they prevented any sort of future profits because of a short term decision. They are not going to make the same mistake again.

There are still players trying to play with friends and are buying cards. I just bought a bunch of cards for some EDH decks and anyone else at the kitchen table is still likely buying cards or packs. Wizards has certainly taken a hit during this crisis, but a knee-jerk reaction of "let's make sure we can never sell overpriced boxes again that promise high value cards" is one of the dumbest things they could do.

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Post by Card Slinger J » 3 months ago

WizardMN wrote:
3 months ago
And Wizards would see none of those profits for those cards, so what's the point? To price people out of another format which only serves to drive more people away from the game? No, the smart decision is to print the cards so people can actually buy them. Imagine how much money Wizards would have made if they could print Moxen and Duals. Instead, they prevented any sort of future profits because of a short term decision. They are not going to make the same mistake again.

There are still players trying to play with friends and are buying cards. I just bought a bunch of cards for some EDH decks and anyone else at the kitchen table is still likely buying cards or packs. Wizards has certainly taken a hit during this crisis, but a knee-jerk reaction of "let's make sure we can never sell overpriced boxes again that promise high value cards" is one of the dumbest things they could do.
Wizards of the Coast can still make themselves money off of Secret Lair drops since it's direct-to-consumer just like Amazon, eBay, and other online retailers. There's even some Local Game Stores (LGSs) on TCGPlayer that are confused with online exclusive vendors like ABU Games, Card Kingdom, and Sports N More that don't provide In-Store Play / Organized Play. So it can be hard to tell sometimes If you're supporting the right business or not. The problem with how Wizards of the Coast are managing specific reprints of popular cards is that they're adding in ones with the most monetary value in specialty sets where as cards that cost less on the Secondary Market are being put in Standard legal sets.

This creates a problem where the specialty sets are short printed usually with no second or third print run where when the product finally dries up the demand for these cards increase to where they're not as affordable as reprints in Standard legal sets where they normally have unlimited print runs. Sadly you're getting much better reprints from specialty sets than you are from Standard legal sets and that's sort of how Wizards of the Coast is screwing over Local Game Stores especially when they make certain specialty products that are WPN approved only. The WPN system is what dictates LGSs who are in favor of Wizards of the Coast and those that aren't. It only became more apparent during the pandemic when Mystery Booster was finally released.
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Post by robertleva » 3 months ago

I predicted this would happen a few pages days back. You guys need to start listening to me about paper magic. It is dead for the foreseeable future. Maybe years down the line if things ever return to some sort of normal we loyal players can resurrect it. But for now, it has no place in our society due to its social nature and triviality.

Digital cards are going to go up in value, I don't see how anyone can deny this. Paper cards, especially all the newish stuff that will rotate... all of that is basically just cardboard at this point.
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Post by Card Slinger J » 3 months ago

robertleva wrote:
3 months ago
I predicted this would happen a few pages days back. You guys need to start listening to me about paper magic. It is dead for the foreseeable future. Maybe years down the line if things ever return to some sort of normal we loyal players can resurrect it. But for now, it has no place in our society due to its social nature and triviality.

Digital cards are going to go up in value, I don't see how anyone can deny this. Paper cards, especially all the newish stuff that will rotate... all of that is basically just cardboard at this point.
How is Paper Magic dead for the foreseeable future when it WAS designed by Richard Garfield to be played AT HOME during Role Playing (D&D) down times if one group was separate with the DM and another group had some time to kill? It has changed from that model but it was initially DESIGNED as a play at home diversion LONG before Local Game Stores (LGS) were even a concept in the 90's. It's just an outdated business model that no longer serves any purpose.
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Post by robertleva » 3 months ago

Card Slinger J wrote:
3 months ago
robertleva wrote:
3 months ago
I predicted this would happen a few pages days back. You guys need to start listening to me about paper magic. It is dead for the foreseeable future. Maybe years down the line if things ever return to some sort of normal we loyal players can resurrect it. But for now, it has no place in our society due to its social nature and triviality.

Digital cards are going to go up in value, I don't see how anyone can deny this. Paper cards, especially all the newish stuff that will rotate... all of that is basically just cardboard at this point.
How is Paper Magic dead for the foreseeable future when it WAS designed by Richard Garfield to be played AT HOME during Role Playing (D&D) down times if one group was separate with the DM and another group had some time to kill? It has changed from that model but it was initially DESIGNED as a play at home diversion LONG before Local Game Stores (LGS) were even a concept in the 90's. It's just an outdated business model that no longer serves any purpose.
It's original design in the 1990's and what it has become to the fans who have remained loyal to the game up until this point are two different, but still interconnected things. Yes of course if you have the opportunity to play mtg at home you can still enjoy it in paper. But let's be honest, it gets old playing the same person over and over. Even the same 2 or 3 people. It gets stale quickly BUT if you can go to the LGS weekly and play in semi serious ranked games then you can practice with your fam during the week for those FNMs.

You see the at home play is completely linked to the LGS play. The one needs the other to a certain degree.

Anyways that's my point on that.
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Post by Card Slinger J » 3 months ago

robertleva wrote:
3 months ago
Card Slinger J wrote:
3 months ago
robertleva wrote:
3 months ago
I predicted this would happen a few pages days back. You guys need to start listening to me about paper magic. It is dead for the foreseeable future. Maybe years down the line if things ever return to some sort of normal we loyal players can resurrect it. But for now, it has no place in our society due to its social nature and triviality.

Digital cards are going to go up in value, I don't see how anyone can deny this. Paper cards, especially all the newish stuff that will rotate... all of that is basically just cardboard at this point.
How is Paper Magic dead for the foreseeable future when it WAS designed by Richard Garfield to be played AT HOME during Role Playing (D&D) down times if one group was separate with the DM and another group had some time to kill? It has changed from that model but it was initially DESIGNED as a play at home diversion LONG before Local Game Stores (LGS) were even a concept in the 90's. It's just an outdated business model that no longer serves any purpose.
It's original design in the 1990's and what it has become to the fans who have remained loyal to the game up until this point are two different, but still interconnected things. Yes of course if you have the opportunity to play mtg at home you can still enjoy it in paper. But let's be honest, it gets old playing the same person over and over. Even the same 2 or 3 people. It gets stale quickly BUT if you can go to the LGS weekly and play in semi serious ranked games then you can practice with your fam during the week for those FNMs.

You see the at home play is completely linked to the LGS play. The one needs the other to a certain degree.

Anyways that's my point on that.
No. "At Home" Play isn't "Completely" linked to LGS play. LGS play only makes up a minority of games played, while "At Home" numbers are hard to actually quantify and "At Home" is often also counted as "Anywhere that isn't an LGS or official tournament", so the games you get in at the college cafeteria while you wait for your evening classes count as "At Home" play by most metrics. So long story short, don't equate the presence of LGSs with the frequency of play in general. I know that's a bitter pill to swallow but it's the truth.

They do serve a vital role in the tournament structure and as a place for local communities to grow. But those same communities grow literally anywhere thanks to Social Media. LGSs just happen to sell the product that everyone is gathering for. Of course not everyone has access to Social Media or they don't trust it enough due to the toxicity of communities they simply try to avoid due to PC / Cancel Culture. So at best you're stuck having to rely on peoples' phone numbers and e-mail addresses for communication especially If you don't own a smartphone in order to setup playgroups for certain games.
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Post by robertleva » 3 months ago

You cant just ignore the fact that it DOES get boring to play the same people over and over. The motivation to do so only stays fresh with the illusion that you are "training up" for the real deal at paper tourneys. Without that spark, it gets stale fast. Usually one person in the group is better or uses better decks and the other person or persons have less fun and play less.
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Post by user_938036 » 3 months ago

robertleva wrote:
3 months ago
You cant just ignore the fact that it DOES get boring to play the same people over and over. The motivation to do so only stays fresh with the illusion that you are "training up" for the real deal at paper tourneys. Without that spark, it gets stale fast. Usually one person in the group is better or uses better decks and the other person or persons have less fun and play less.
I can safely ignore this "fact" because it isn't true or particularly relevant. If you meant it gets boring playing the exact same combination of players and decks then you have some ground to stand on but I question how many magic players who have nearby magic players only have one deck per person. Even then by trading decks you get significantly more replay value. Unless you are actually playing 5+ hours a day with the same group with the same decks I don't think you will run into the diminishing returns your speaking of.

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Post by 5colorsrainbow » 3 months ago

I've literally played with my same friend for 5+ years. Between us we typically hang out about 8-12 hours on one of the weekends. We got 4-7 decks or so each, sometimes we have another friend or two but typically just us. If its just us we will typically play for 6 hours then take a break for food or to switch to something his wife can join in on when she gets back from work (she plays magic but rarely in the mood too after getting off work). If we got friends over we will play the whole 14 hours.

Sometimes it gets boring but then we take a break, but id say we play at the very least 2/3 times a month. Also typically with magics cycle by the time we get kinda bored a new set comes out and likely one of us will make a new deck/get some toys for older decks. We also play a range of "formats", causal normal magic, commander, plane chase, many versions of mana drop, drunk/high magic and the Theros Heros path decks.
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Post by motleyslayer » 3 months ago

robertleva wrote:
3 months ago
You cant just ignore the fact that it DOES get boring to play the same people over and over. The motivation to do so only stays fresh with the illusion that you are "training up" for the real deal at paper tourneys. Without that spark, it gets stale fast. Usually one person in the group is better or uses better decks and the other person or persons have less fun and play less.
This pretty much sums up my feeling towards casual play, it gets super boring playing casual EDH "just for fun". I get bored of Magic like that. I need to feel like I'm accomplishing something spending my time playing. That could be either getting reps in with a deck or match, or playing events. Also with casual EDH I found that my decks just ended up better than the rest of the group's, even if I didn't really think I was "trying" to build good decks

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Post by Legend » 3 months ago

Does anyone else wonder how the reaction to COVID has effected WotC's bottom line?
Surely, paper sales are down and digital sales are up, but have the digital gains been enough to counterbalance the paper losses?
Are print runs and box openings low enough to effect the secondary market, especially later on?
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Post by robertleva » 3 months ago

Legend wrote:
3 months ago
Does anyone else wonder how the reaction to COVID has effected WotC's bottom line?
Surely, paper sales are down and digital sales are up, but have the digital gains been enough to counterbalance the paper losses?
Are print runs and box openings low enough to effect the secondary market, especially later on?
Great question.

I feel like paper sales are probably low now and in the near future they will be very low. The LGS owner may have some pre standing orders that will off set things?
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Post by motleyslayer » 3 months ago

there's a few things I'd consider when thinking about that. One thing is that product that has been released since the pandemic started hasn't really been opened as much, save for people buying boxes, prerelease kits or loose packs etc in order to support their local stores. On the other hand there isn't much of a demand for paper cards until the pandemic is over and we're allowed to play paper events on a more regular basis. I know some places are allowed to run events (albeit on a much smaller scale) but probably not enough to impact prices.

So I can see the lack of supply affecting prices once we get events on a more regular scale, which might not be until next year

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Post by Card Slinger J » 3 months ago

I feel as though the people who are trying to sell people into MTG while treating the Reserve List as a stock market are doing it either because they have personal connections in regards to corporate sponsors and other big businesses or they themselves had Local Game Stores (LGSs) that are either still in business or went bankrupt and are buying out big collections in order to bring the MTG market to them just so they can sell the cards. So why was Core 2021 officially released for Paper Magic a few weeks before Wizards of the Coast suspended ALL In-Store Play / Organized Play for Paper Magic through September during Zendikar Rising Spoiler Season? Doesn't that feel a bit shady? I mean If you're a Local Game Store (LGS) Owner / Employee then you just bought a bunch of product with no players coming into your store to play with the products which means you're not going to sell it unless it's through Curbside Pickup or Online via e-commerce.

Wizards of the Coast ended up hurting Local Game Stores by doing this. Now of course the company is going to blame it on the virus when the virus itself is being handled differently in each state / province, businesses are being handled differently by each state / province, but now there's no In-Store Play / Organized Play for Paper Magic. That's got to be very shady business and it's hard not for it to be a coincidence when just a few weeks ago Core 2021 was released, people bought the product up, wasted thousands of dollars on these cards, and now they can't even play them at their LGS unless they're at home. Then you have Arena / MTGO which is now being pushed more than ever due to being digital platforms with low overhead cost where you have to wonder whether If they have more profit tied to them. These digital platforms are still nowhere near replacing Paper Magic and unfortunately that's the only resource that players have right now.

I don't think it's any secret that Wizards of the Coast has allowed their political beliefs to affect their business decisions. In the meantime not every state in the U.S. is having a major problem with the virus where most of the activity is taking place primarily in big populated cities like Miami, Florida and Houston, Texas. Many rural areas don't have a problem at all with COVID-19 yet from a small business owner standpoint it doesn't make any sense why Wizards of the Coast is doing what they're doing. Governors in many states are allowing things in regards to business etc. to be operated on a county by county basis. Now logically that makes more sense however Wizards of the Coast made a decision based on "one size fits all" and that's just not the case with this current situation. They're just using Paper Magic to push their political beliefs and digital online platform business agendas. Why else would Wizards of the Coast want locations that aren't being impacted by the virus to not do business by holding Organized Play and Sanctioned Events at Local Game Stores?
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Post by user_938036 » 3 months ago

Card Slinger J wrote:
3 months ago
I feel as though the people who are trying to sell people into MTG while treating the Reserve List as a stock market are doing it either because they have personal connections in regards to corporate sponsors and other big businesses or they themselves had Local Game Stores (LGSs) that are either still in business or went bankrupt and are buying out big collections in order to bring the MTG market to them just so they can sell the cards. So why was Core 2021 officially released for Paper Magic a few weeks before Wizards of the Coast suspended ALL In-Store Play / Organized Play for Paper Magic through September during Zendikar Rising Spoiler Season? Doesn't that feel a bit shady? I mean If you're a Local Game Store (LGS) Owner / Employee then you just bought a bunch of product with no players coming into your store to play with the products which means you're not going to sell it unless it's through Curbside Pickup or Online via e-commerce.

Wizards of the Coast ended up hurting Local Game Stores by doing this. Now of course the company is going to blame it on the virus when the virus itself is being handled differently in each state / province, businesses are being handled differently by each state / province, but now there's no In-Store Play / Organized Play for Paper Magic. That's got to be very shady business and it's hard not for it to be a coincidence when just a few weeks ago Core 2021 was released, people bought the product up, wasted thousands of dollars on these cards, and now they can't even play them at their LGS unless they're at home. Then you have Arena / MTGO which is now being pushed more than ever due to being digital platforms with low overhead cost where you have to wonder whether If they have more profit tied to them. These digital platforms are still nowhere near replacing Paper Magic and unfortunately that's the only resource that players have right now.

I don't think it's any secret that Wizards of the Coast has allowed their political beliefs to affect their business decisions. In the meantime not every state in the U.S. is having a major problem with the virus where most of the activity is taking place primarily in big populated cities like Miami, Florida and Houston, Texas. Many rural areas don't have a problem at all with COVID-19 yet from a small business owner standpoint it doesn't make any sense why Wizards of the Coast is doing what they're doing. Governors in many states are allowing things in regards to business etc. to be operated on a county by county basis. Now logically that makes more sense however Wizards of the Coast made a decision based on "one size fits all" and that's just not the case with this current situation. They're just using Paper Magic to push their political beliefs and digital online platform business agendas. Why else would Wizards of the Coast want locations that aren't being impacted by the virus to not do business by holding Organized Play and Sanctioned Events at Local Game Stores?
As long as people are stupid, policies need to be made assuming people are stupid. This has nothing to do with shady business practices, this has to do with protecting the lowest common denominator. Each state is handling COVID differently, but each state isn't handling COVID intelligently, so Wizards stepped in because they decided they didn't want their product associated with an outbreak. As always, blame stupid people for why we can't have nice things.

The bolded portion. Are these real actual people or an assumption? Are there people who are both trying to get others into magic and treating the reserved list as a stock market? Or do you mean magic cards in general and not specifically the reserved list?

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Card Slinger J
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Post by Card Slinger J » 3 months ago

user_938036 wrote:
3 months ago
The bolded portion. Are these real actual people or an assumption? Are there people who are both trying to get others into magic and treating the reserved list as a stock market? Or do you mean magic cards in general and not specifically the reserved list?
I wouldn't be surprised at this point If there were people out there who would resort to those kind of manipulative tactics. I think Rudy from Alpha Investments' influence on Local Game Store (LGS) Owners and Entrepreneurs has in some ways had a negative impact on MTG as an affordable card game. Yet at the same time it's made Wizards of the Coast more cautious about the Secondary Market with the Fetchlands being a prime example. Why do you think they refuse to reprint them in a Standard legal set ever again?

Also I don't think it's right for YouTube MTG Content Creators who're bought out and paid for by Wizards of the Coast to publicly advertise for online vendors like Card Kingdom and Flipside Gaming instead of Local Game Stores (LGSs) where they need those funds the most. Especially when TCGPlayer is favoring online vendors more than Local Game Stores (LGSs) because they have more revenue and inventory due to less overhead being dealt with without In-Store Play / Organized Play because it's more about profits than community.
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