[Off-Topic] Community Chat Thread

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cryogen
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Post by cryogen » 1 year ago

Hermes_ wrote:
1 year ago
i'm half tempted to make a topic in the general discussion area that is just "Secret lair bad" Discuss.
I like the concept of the Secret Lair products, and more broadly the "special edition" type product as well. The only reason I don't actually like any of them is because they are all foils, and I REALLY don't like foils. I also don't like the way the borderless "lets make an imitation altered card" look turned out.

Dunno, I'm a curmudgeon so there is something about the new design style that's bugged me ever since they went to the holofoil forward. It's too sleek looking or something.
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Post by tstorm823 » 1 year ago

If they print a fancy Zedruu at some point, I will forgive any flaws in the product.
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Post by bobthefunny » 1 year ago

cryogen wrote:
1 year ago
Hermes_ wrote:
1 year ago
i'm half tempted to make a topic in the general discussion area that is just "Secret lair bad" Discuss.
I like the concept of the Secret Lair products, and more broadly the "special edition" type product as well. The only reason I don't actually like any of them is because they are all foils, and I REALLY don't like foils. I also don't like the way the borderless "lets make an imitation altered card" look turned out.

Dunno, I'm a curmudgeon so there is something about the new design style that's bugged me ever since they went to the holofoil forward. It's too sleek looking or something.
They aren't all foils though.

Most are, but the life from the loam one, at least, was not.

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Post by SocorroTortoise » 1 year ago

Secret Lair has been hit or miss for me. I liked the snow lands and the 5C legends, but none of the others have really done it for me. They do seem like a decent way to make collector-aimed products. I haven't heard anything about supply issues like mythic editions had, but the single day sale means it's still fairly collectible. I like the variation in art styles too. Magic art has gotten a little homogenized for my taste as a longtime player. Having some that appeals to me and some that does absolutely nothing for me is a win in my book.
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Post by Hermes_ » 1 year ago

Apparently,the issues with the Secret Lair products is the fact that it's cutting the LGS out of the loop and one well known LGS had used it as the final straw and is closing it's doors.
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Post by toctheyounger » 1 year ago

Hermes_ wrote:
1 year ago
Apparently,the issues with the Secret Lair products is the fact that it's cutting the LGS out of the loop and one well known LGS had used it as the final straw and is closing it's doors.
My LGS sees them the same way. This guy is doing ok, but he's still not happy about it. He's already lost a lot of standard and modern business due to Arena so this is frustrating to him.

That being said from a collector's perspective they're sort of neat, so there's that. This guy is the sort of person who gets frustrated with the concept of money and influence being a barrier to the game though so that's where his frustration comes from, and being not all that well off myself I can't say I disagree.
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Post by Segrus » 1 year ago

Hermes_ wrote:
1 year ago
Apparently,the issues with the Secret Lair products is the fact that it's cutting the LGS out of the loop and one well known LGS had used it as the final straw and is closing it's doors.
I'd gotten the Kaleidoscope Killers Secret Lair since I'm a sucker for Slivers and Dragons, with the Reaper King being a bonus, but seeing discussions about that store closing and such does leave me a little concerned. I only play paper Commander (literally no other format currently) so I see the concerns surrounding all this. There isn't much I can do about it either way, I suppose. This is the first premium product/cards I've purchased in years though.

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Post by SocorroTortoise » 1 year ago

toctheyounger wrote:
1 year ago
That being said from a collector's perspective they're sort of neat, so there's that. This guy is the sort of person who gets frustrated with the concept of money and influence being a barrier to the game though so that's where his frustration comes from, and being not all that well off myself I can't say I disagree.
These really aren't a good product to solve that particular problem anyways, at least under the current model ($30-40 for 4-8 cards). It's definitely targeting the same market segment as masterpieces/mythic editions/collector boosters/etc, which have never been a a good way to lower the barrier to entry. I'm not sure there's anything that's really accomplishing that on the market right now and that's its own problem. Being frustrated about the collector product seems misplaced. I'm hoping that the draft focused commander set later this year is priced more like Battlebond than Masters sets for that reason and I don't really see why the mystery boosters aren't. Both of those seem like ways to better ways to ameliorate the barrier to entry than a collector focused small release.
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Post by toctheyounger » 1 year ago

SocorroTortoise wrote:
1 year ago
toctheyounger wrote:
1 year ago
That being said from a collector's perspective they're sort of neat, so there's that. This guy is the sort of person who gets frustrated with the concept of money and influence being a barrier to the game though so that's where his frustration comes from, and being not all that well off myself I can't say I disagree.
These really aren't a good product to solve that particular problem anyways, at least under the current model ($30-40 for 4-8 cards). It's definitely targeting the same market segment as masterpieces/mythic editions/collector boosters/etc, which have never been a a good way to lower the barrier to entry. I'm not sure there's anything that's really accomplishing that on the market right now and that's its own problem. Being frustrated about the collector product seems misplaced. I'm hoping that the draft focused commander set later this year is priced more like Battlebond than Masters sets for that reason and I don't really see why the mystery boosters aren't. Both of those seem like ways to better ways to ameliorate the barrier to entry than a collector focused small release.
Yeah, I know the frustration is probably a little misplaced. I think just the fact that this is only available from Wizards coupled with the lost business from Arena making him a little wary.

Can't say I blame him tbh; I'm personally a little worried that my paper collection will be a relic of forgotten times at some point in the distant future. Not anytime soon, but it seems like a possibility, eventually.
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Post by pokken » 1 year ago

This is probably not a super popular opinion but from what I've seen most game stores have proven they can't be trusted to distribute limited products fairly.

Take the FTV series as an example -- for years only one local game store sold them at msrp and the rest marked them up and sold them on the internet. The one that sold at MSRP generally sold them to specific customers who were their favorites.

Wizards and LGS business models are both just absolutely disastrous on so many levels -- printing millions of tons of useless ass cardboard that gets stored on pallets in warehouses somewhere, with most of the product opened for a handful of cards to sell on the secondary market. I'd guess that game stores (and smaller singles sellers) open more product than players at least 5 to 1.

So we've got this model where Wizards develops a set ostensibly with drafting in mind, and there's this absolutely insane amount of waste where the game stores pay Wizards a huge pile of money up front so they can sell the singles.

It's just horrendously wasteful and I don't see how it's sustainable.

If you couple that with Wizards somehow getting a pass on the abuse of operant conditioning to get players to keep on gambling on packs, it's just borderline criminal the whole enterprise.

Something's got to give but I don't know what it is. I know that if Wizards sold specific cards with the shops as distributors and I could just buy all the singles I wanted and LGS would 100% either have them in stock or get them on the next truck, that would really suit my buying style. I hate sorting through piles of cardboard and I hate ordering from 4 different stores online.

* And don't get me started on the ecological impact of all this unnecessary printing, cellophane wrapping, shipping. Wizards' carbon footprint has to be off the chain.

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Post by Hermes_ » 1 year ago

I don't think i've bought cards in more than a year
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Post by Segrus » 1 year ago

pokken wrote:
1 year ago
This is probably not a super popular opinion but from what I've seen most game stores have proven they can't be trusted to distribute limited products fairly.

Take the FTV series as an example -- for years only one local game store sold them at msrp and the rest marked them up and sold them on the internet. The one that sold at MSRP generally sold them to specific customers who were their favorites.
Oh, I would be inclined to agree with you more than disagree here; in other words, I don't know that the system that we have or the speculative system where Wizards cuts out LGS are good. When I first moved to where I'm at now, I went to a LGS and saw they were selling a recent Commander precon for like double the msrp or something absurd. I commented to the person running the store about it, and the response I got back was (paraphrased), "I don't care what you think, I'm going to gouge people however much I feel like."

I don't know how that ended up working out for them or if they moved away from that attitude, because I haven't returned to that store since.

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Post by toctheyounger » 1 year ago

Segrus wrote:
1 year ago
Oh, I would be inclined to agree with you more than disagree here; in other words, I don't know that the system that we have or the speculative system where Wizards cuts out LGS are good. When I first moved to where I'm at now, I went to a LGS and saw they were selling a recent Commander precon for like double the msrp or something absurd. I commented to the person running the store about it, and the response I got back was (paraphrased), "I don't care what you think, I'm going to gouge people however much I feel like."

I don't know how that ended up working out for them or if they moved away from that attitude, because I haven't returned to that store since.
FWIW this is a common practice here too. It's why I go to the LGS I go to. Every other within 30km of my home is notorious for hiking prices on chase product.

Precons usually go for around $45 NZD here, that's the MSRP. I still remember before finding this LGS the guy I went to prior was selling the Atraxa precon for $85 NZD. He espoused much the same opinion too, and in a lot of other ways shows that he really don't think much of his clientele.

My current LGS is great. He literally refuses to hike from the MSRP because he knows that it's bad practice, and no way to make a loyal customer base. On Eldraine release, he set aside collector boosters to go with boxes for his regulars for like a nominal additional price. He's that sort of guy and that's why I will keep my purchases with him.
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Post by SocorroTortoise » 1 year ago

I supported my LGS a lot more when they were in business with a local brewery to have a beer side of the shop.
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Post by Segrus » 1 year ago

toctheyounger wrote:
1 year ago
My current LGS is great. He literally refuses to hike from the MSRP because he knows that it's bad practice, and no way to make a loyal customer base. On Eldraine release, he set aside collector boosters to go with boxes for his regulars for like a nominal additional price. He's that sort of guy and that's why I will keep my purchases with him.
It would seem to me that cultivating a loyal customer base, like with the store you've got, would be fairly important. I think I *may* have found one near enough to me that the car drive isn't abhorrent. And I'd like to note here that I'm not expecting rock-bottom, store collapsing prices. Stuff costs money. Having a place to go to play isn't free. There's some kind of delicate balance there, which I'm admittedly not an expert in determining.

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Post by toctheyounger » 1 year ago

Segrus wrote:
1 year ago
toctheyounger wrote:
1 year ago
My current LGS is great. He literally refuses to hike from the MSRP because he knows that it's bad practice, and no way to make a loyal customer base. On Eldraine release, he set aside collector boosters to go with boxes for his regulars for like a nominal additional price. He's that sort of guy and that's why I will keep my purchases with him.
It would seem to me that cultivating a loyal customer base, like with the store you've got, would be fairly important. I think I *may* have found one near enough to me that the car drive isn't abhorrent. And I'd like to note here that I'm not expecting rock-bottom, store collapsing prices. Stuff costs money. Having a place to go to play isn't free. There's some kind of delicate balance there, which I'm admittedly not an expert in determining.
I mean I drive 30 mins for this guy (or ask my wife to go in as she works down the road). A good LGS is worth the travel. And I feel like we generally know reasonable prices when we see them. Like we know the staples of the format, generally prices don't change drastically aside from banlist changes. Im happy with the prices this guy gives me. Like for reprint stuff even, he'll discount stuff. When Battlebond came out he sold me an older Seedborn Muse for a discount because of the reprint. He does well purely based on repeat business, has a couple of leagues that run and is really well thought of.

By comparison I think it's easy to tell when your LGS is having you on too; my previous LGS' prices for singles are in general 10% higher than anywhere else in the area. Kinda rough, and you cannot debate it with him either. I've seen him just get angry and tell people to leave. Last time I went in there it was...not a great environment to say the least.
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Post by bobthefunny » 1 year ago

Hermes_ wrote:
1 year ago
Apparently,the issues with the Secret Lair products is the fact that it's cutting the LGS out of the loop and one well known LGS had used it as the final straw and is closing it's doors.
I don't necessarily get this.

#1, not all LGS sell singles, nor make their money making singles (mine does not). This does not affect sealed prices, which means that stores can continue to sell to customers and make profit on the primary market.
#2, while this is not necessarily "limited supply," since it is unlimited during the window, the limited time makes the supply of these limited after it is done. Their impact on the secondary market will be minimal over the long term - no greater than any other reprint schedule. Using Life from the Loam as an example, in December they were at 15-17. Now they are at 10-12. This is no different of a drop (and even less severe) than any other reprint schedule, such as what happened to Exploration when it was reprinted in Conspiracy, and dropped from $40 to 5-10.
#3, LGS and stores could also buy the Secret Lairs, and many online retailers did, considering their stock. They resold them afterwards to the people who missed them, or sold singles from them, at a higher price since it was no longer available. Not only that, but these premium versions will only increase in price, since no new supply will be added.
#4, The price point is high enough that most buyers, outside of collectors, would not bite on it.
#5, The straight up 'value' per drop by comparing existing card value to the price on most of the initial set of Secret Lairs was abysmal* - Most were straight up negative value if you were simply searching for a playable set of the cards (not including the stained glass PW, since most did not know about that at first). IIRC, only Kaleidoscope Killers was positive value, and mostly because Sliver Overlord had never been reprinted. These were premium products, at a premium price.

In short, I don't see this hurting Brick and Mortar stores in the long term, unless Wizards does something really stupid like tank a lot of major prices at once, which they already have the capability to do in regular sets.

*Some have speculated that the worst offenders of this (Cats and Snow Lands) may actually be better long term because of this. Since their rate of return was so terrible, fewer speculators may have purchased them, which will make their supply more limited comparatively. Especially the Lands one, since more of those are needed should you wish to build a deck with them. In fact, a Cat box is already $70 on tcg.

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Post by Ulka » 1 year ago

My play group asked I take apart some of my decks just because they are finding them too ridiculous to handle. Ephara Hatebears, Damia, and blind seer had to be decommissioned at the request of my playgroup.

But this does give me the opportunity to finally put into reality some decks I've had on the back burner along with finally put together the Tiny Leaders Cube I've wanted to build for a while. So I finally got to upload one of my classic decks along with one deck I've been testing online and a nice rebuild.

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Post by bobthefunny » 1 year ago

I just built Linden. I'm not happy with it, had to cut too much.

That said, I expect my playgroup to hate it. It's a bit... feast or famine-y.

From playtesting, I can say that a curve of Hero of Bladehold into Cathars' Crusade or Divine Visitation seems to be pretty ok. We'll see how the reality goes.

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Post by Hermes_ » 1 year ago

bobthefunny wrote:
1 year ago
Hermes_ wrote:
1 year ago
Apparently,the issues with the Secret Lair products is the fact that it's cutting the LGS out of the loop and one well known LGS had used it as the final straw and is closing it's doors.
I don't necessarily get this.
here's the thread in the general discussion area for here viewtopic.php?f=16&t=22440

In all honesty,if your lgs is only doing MTG then yeah it's gonna go down.
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Post by Toshi » 1 year ago

I gotta say, i am very happy with my LGS. Their prices are on line with MSRP most of the time, they sell singles at prices that compare to private sellers on cardmarket rather than those of professional sellers and their selection of available accessories is hand picked with customers in mind.
But what sets it apart from most other LGSs i visited is that it's just a great place overall. They are a game café for board and card games, tabletops and TCGs and while MTG is one of the driving forces in sales it is pleasant to have a diverse group of players around you at all times. I may be at a table playing EDH for a few hours but the next table could be a grandma playing checkers with her grandchildren, just because she may not have one at home.
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Ulka wrote:
1 year ago
My play group asked I take apart some of my decks just because they are finding them too ridiculous to handle.
That's unfortunate to hear!
I have a few decks that get complaints occasionally, too. Some for the sheer downtime they can create (e.g. Brago, King Eternal & Teshar, Ancestor's Apostle), the specific/unusual things to keep track of to use timely disruption (e.g. possible amounts of mana with Ezuri, Renegade Leader or available creatures in the gy for Lazav, the Multifarious). Luckily those problems don't come up too often and no one appears to be fed up soon-ish.

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Post by Rumpy5897 » 1 year ago

Oh man, that LGS looks gorgeous. Guess that lets me add Freiburg to the portfolio of backup places to evacuate to in case Brexit turns out horribly and I need to bail on the UK. Conditional on scientific opportunities, but still :P

The games situation in Cambridge is... weird, come to think of it. There are two chain geek stores, both with rather questionable pricing on MTG stuff (one had the audacity to charge 150 pounds for an ELD box!). The lone LGS in the area crapped out last summer, but I don't think it was an MTG-related death. They had lots of unrelated events, and were stocked floor to ceiling with a vast selection of board games. They were good people though, they had a box of spindowns that they'd sell for 25p each and all proceeds would go to charity. Also had a nice, pragmatic selection of sleeves and boxes that aligned perfectly with my needs. I tried to offer them custom whenever possible, but they didn't sell singles.

That said, I am notoriously poorly aware of my surroundings, so I should try asking around if there's anything else LGS'y going on around here.
 
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Post by bobthefunny » 1 year ago

Hermes_ wrote:
1 year ago
bobthefunny wrote:
1 year ago
Hermes_ wrote:
1 year ago
Apparently,the issues with the Secret Lair products is the fact that it's cutting the LGS out of the loop and one well known LGS had used it as the final straw and is closing it's doors.
I don't necessarily get this.
here's the thread in the general discussion area for here viewtopic.php?f=16&t=22440

In all honesty,if your lgs is only doing MTG then yeah it's gonna go down.
Reading through that thread, I still don't see any arguments why an LGS would go bust over this.
  • As I pointed out above, the reprint value is no less destructive than any other reprint made.
  • LGS could, and did, take part and actually profited from this venture, as they are now the ones with the only marketable supply.
  • As was said in the other thread, other major collectible games like 40k actually DO sell direct to customer, and WotC and Mtg actually the oddity in this, and those certainly are not suffering from it.
There are lots of reasons why LGS are hard to maintain and going out of business, but this... this doesn't look like it.

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Post by Hermes_ » 1 year ago

bobthefunny wrote:
1 year ago
Hermes_ wrote:
1 year ago
bobthefunny wrote:
1 year ago


I don't necessarily get this.
here's the thread in the general discussion area for here viewtopic.php?f=16&t=22440

In all honesty,if your lgs is only doing MTG then yeah it's gonna go down.
Reading through that thread, I still don't see any arguments why an LGS would go bust over this.
  • As I pointed out above, the reprint value is no less destructive than any other reprint made.
  • LGS could, and did, take part and actually profited from this venture, as they are now the ones with the only marketable supply.
  • As was said in the other thread, other major collectible games like 40k actually DO sell direct to customer, and WotC and Mtg actually the oddity in this, and those certainly are not suffering from it.
There are lots of reasons why LGS are hard to maintain and going out of business, but this... this doesn't look like it.
Oh, I don't think it lead directly to to Wizard's keep going out of business back in December,but it was the final straw according to the old owner Image (it's since with in the last 24hrs announced it's under new ownership)
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Post by lyonhaert » 1 year ago

Ulka wrote:
1 year ago
My play group asked I take apart some of my decks just because they are finding them too ridiculous to handle. Ephara Hatebears, Damia, and blind seer had to be decommissioned at the request of my playgroup.
I'm sorry they took that route, mate. Makes me appreciate my group a bit more, though.
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