metalmusic_4 wrote: ↑
2 years ago
But I digress, a full detailed review of the B&R list won't be released to us but I very much believe if that was done they would find some things worthy of being released.
I do think Wizards could release a statement on some cards that are never coming off and explain why. This could guide future discussion. Cards like Skullclamp, Glimpse, Dread Return, Misstep, etc. could go on here, which would be a way of indirectly highlighting cards that maybe could come off in the future.
Damn, this is so true. Just throw in a comment about shake up bans and, "they can't ban that new card because they are still making money selling it," and I think we've nailed it.
As IDS and I have reminded before, please consider Occam's Razor when making these kinds of cynical, suspicious arguments about Wizards' bans. Is there a chance Wizards chose to ban Bridge instead of Hogaak to not hurt MH1 sales? Sure, there's definitely a chance. But the simplest explanation is they banned Bridge instead of Hogaak for the literal reason they cited in their article. In summary, they noted:
"As new card designs that have synergy with the graveyard are released over time, Bridge from Below is the most likely key card in the deck to become problematic again.
"This should open additional avenues for other decks to interact via creature combat, creature removal, or graveyard removal, and may also force graveyard decks to include more interactive cards, further slowing themselves down.
They were totally wrong about Hogaak being acceptable, but that doesn't mean the Bridge ban was wrong. For one, it's possible an Altar/Bridge/Feeder/Looting deck would still have been very broken even if Hogaak got banned. Second, although FCG has disputed this point, I will emphasize the OVERWHELMING majority of pros/authors I read agreed the Bridge ban was sufficient in the 1-2 weeks after the update. It was only after further testing they realized Hogaak remained super broken. Hindsight is 20/20 and it's easy to accuse Wizards of sandbagging the real ban to boost sales, but a much simpler explanation is that they simply got it wrong. A company is MUCH more likely to be incompetent and make mistakes than to have hidden, sinister agendas.
cfusionpm wrote: ↑
2 years ago
I still can't get over how Jace's unban conveniently timed with a miraculous reprint in Masters 25 a month later. It's like they're not even trying to hide it anymore. They just don't care if they can't make money off it.
idSurge wrote: ↑
2 years ago
If they had not preprinted him, people would have complained about unban's without reprints, you know that.
They cannot win when it comes to reprints, its a complete non issue to me. There IS however equity in reprints, and unban's are part of that. The secondary market matters.
We have an in print STANDARD Foil going for $1000.
I cannot emphasize IDS's point enough, which is one we have made before. If Wizards had unbanned JTMS with no reprint, people would have been furious about a $400+ card and blamed Wizards for mismanagement. When Wizards unbanned JTMS with a reprint around the corner, people accuse them of profiteering. It's lose-lose on all fronts for Wizards. Also, as Ym1r posted below, who cares if they are making money off the game? This is a for-profit company with publicly traded shares. Their bottom line is profit. We don't get any Magic or Modern if they aren't making money. I I'm fine with profit being one of their potential motives, as long as its not a sole motive in any decision. Finally, there's no actual evidence to suggest this other than circumstantial timing. The simplest explanation is a coincidence at best, or a "hey, JTMS is also getting reprinted soon" as reason #55 why they unbanned him in their R&D meeting.
Ym1r wrote: ↑
2 years ago
It's like people feeling "entitled" that Wizards "owes" them a Twin unban, or a good blue reactive spell or whatnot. Well, companies care for peoples' feeling inasmuch it helps them push the right type of sales and increases their sales. Besides that, it is just so baffling that people believe that, even worse, within a small subset of a product (modern format), an even smaller subset of this subset (banned cards), have some sorts of entitlement. As the popular meme goes, "You don't hate Wizards for not unbanning Twin, you hate capitalism".
I largely agree with this, but also don't think capitalism has much to do with any particular unban or ban decision. Maybe indirectly insofar as they need people to play the format and if the format is broken and unenjoyable, they can't fill TO seats. But that's a little indirect for my tastes and doesn't even create a scenario where the profit-driven motive is any different from the player experience motive. Neither of us want a %$#% format.
As for entitlement, that is definitely an issue in all fan-driven communities. It's especially true where there are different subsets of fan loyalty and commitment. Magic has a hyper-informed and vocal minority of pros, and a slightly less informed (in many cases) but no less vocal minority of online users. I'm sure this accounts for less than 5% of the total Magic-playing population. Wizards needs to make decisions for everyone and it's easy for vocal, minority interest groups with vested format engagement to feel like they are the only group that matters. Hence why MH1 got initially blasted for being a Commander set as a stupid meme (note on this: that meme was totally ridiculous and wrong - card evaluation is hard and people need to stop being so skeptical just to win upvotes). I expect this is just a human issue because we see it in all franchises, so I'm not sure what Wizards can do to stop this in Magic/Modern. Probably nothing.
witness wrote: ↑
2 years ago
Observation: Prior to the banning of Splinter Twin, bans appear to have been timed to shake up the format ahead of Pro-level events, and unbans appear to have been timed to coincide with bans. From the GGT unbanning article
: "When cards are banned from a format, Wizards investigates whether there is a banned card that, if not banned, might add new decks to competitive play."
Very interesting observation. I've never noticed that quote before. This does suggest unbans and bans should coincide, although there are definitely a few unbans (Valakut, BBE/JTMS) that happened in vacuums. At the least, it shows Wizards will often consider unbans at the same time as bans, which helps us predict timing.
Observation: After the Splinter Twin ban and subsequent player outcry, Wizards seems to be shy of banning cards to shake up the format. However, their desire to shake up the format periodically, especially before large public events, appears to be intact. From the Jace unbanning article
: "Modern's return to the Pro Tour, shining a spotlight on the format, makes this a great time to revisit past decisions and see if they still make sense in the current era."
Speculation: Shaking up the format appears to now be an unban consideration, rather than (or at least more strongly than) a ban consideration. In this era, Wizards is 'saving up' potential unbans until they feel the need to shake up the format.
I agree this remains a motivation, especially the shakeup unban bit. The ban shakeup met with extreme, vocal, negative backlash across all viewable Modern communities I know. If nothing else, that's bad for business in a community-driven game. I suspect Wizards is done with the pre-PT shakeup ban for good but will continue to use unbans to shake things up and shine spotlights on the format.
Observation: Recently, cards entering the modern cardpool through Standard and Modern Horizons have significantly shaken up the Modern metagame, introducing entirely new decks and ensuring that large public events do not feel 'stale' or 'solved'.
Prediction: Wizards will be largely successful in 'disrupting' Modern through newly printed cards over the next few years, and will not unban any cards in that time.
Speculation: If Wizards becomes confident in their ability to consistently disrupt Modern through Standard and Modern Horizons products, they will eventually shift their unban criteria back towards the idea of 'swapping in' potential unbans when the inevitable mistakes (such as Hogaak) slips through.
I sort of agree with this, largely because at one point, Wizards was very vocal about not adding cards to Modern through supplemental sets. I can't find the quote, but some R&D or design/dev member said they are confident Standard-legal products can introduce Modern cards without bypassing Standard. They were hesitant for many years to do an MH1 product, and now they did just that with the likely promise of more to come. This suggests Wizards' confidence in shakeups through new products is at least malleable, and might extend to their confidence in unban shakeups. If so, we could continue to see unbans at key moments even with products introducing new Modern playables.
I'll end by reminding everyone how impactful new Standard sets continue to be for Modern. Basically every new set has introduced potent new tools or complete new decks. I understand unbans have a symbolic importance, and even a metagame one, but at the same time I respect Wizards' ability to introduce new competitive effects into Modern... even if by mistake or coincidence.