Updates in Alara

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Updates in Alara

Post  peterakeley on Mon Jun 02, 2008 7:54 am

in case you have missed it wotc dropped a bomb tonight with their anouncement on the home page...


"Set Size
We have received a tremendous amount of feedback from fans that the
volume of cards released each year is too high. After evaluating the
set sizes, we have decided that card sets will be smaller than they
have traditionally been. For example, the set size for the Shards of Alara block is as follows:

  • Shards of Alara: 249
  • "Paper" (codename): 145
  • "Scissors" (codename): 145


The set size of the core set to be released in July 2009 is still to be determined.Rarity
In conjunction with the reduction of set sizes, Wizards will also be introducing a new level of rarity called mythic rare.
The mythic rare cards will appear in approximately 1 out of every 8
booster packs instead of a rare. Here is the rarity breakdown for Shards of Alara:

  • Mythic rare 15
  • Rare 53
  • Uncommon 60
  • Common 101
  • Basic land 20


For "Paper" and "Scissors," the rarity breakdown is as follows:

  • Mythic rare 10
  • Rare 35
  • Uncomon 40
  • Common 60


Premium foil versions of mythic rare cards will be distributed
inside booster packs in the same manner as existing foils are. There
will be a full parallel foil set available.
Booster Composition

We will also be replacing one common card in each booster pack with
a basic land card. The expected composition of a booster pack will now
be 1 rare, 3 uncommons, 10 commons, 1 basic land, and 1 tip card or
token (with the mythic rare replacing the rare in approximately 1 out
of every 8 packs)."

This change could turn out to be a huge blow to the existing magic community...
What is going on and why is the game i love being made for kids. I realize magic is a card game but look at the juct apposition of the games target and fan base. the game has a current pro tour that pays out thousands of dollars a year and plans to make "Super Rares" in a new set that will destroy the 2nd market and bannings on cards in older formats that compleatly destroy the meta of competive play.


sorry for any poor spelling and/or grammer issuses haha...
Peter Akeley

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Re: Updates in Alara

Post  kcolloran on Mon Jun 02, 2008 9:56 am

I'm actually much less concerned about the mythic rares than I am about another change: replacing a common with a basic land. That's a huge change for draft. It now becomes that much harder to get things to table in draft and in general decks are going to be weaker for it. And it punishes new drafters as they've got less chances to come up with acceptable decks. Players who struggled to get their 23 playables now will have junk decks in the future. I just don't understand why they'd make such a change to one of their main formats.

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Re: Updates in Alara

Post  peterakeley on Mon Jun 02, 2008 7:17 pm

Also sealed is going to be a lot worse cause of the 3 less commons and the mythic rares more then likely will be bombs.

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Re: Updates in Alara

Post  Shadowhunter483 on Tue Jun 03, 2008 6:50 am

Well my question is this are they decreasing their total volume of cards or is that staying the same. What I mean is that There are a total of 249 different cards in Shards. But wizards prints several million of each. Is the total number of each card that they are printing changing or is that staying the same.

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Re: Updates in Alara

Post  thepchapin on Wed Jun 04, 2008 10:36 pm

Seriously, think about the moves they are making with Alara. It is actually very beneficial. The points:
1. The basic land replaces bog hoodlums. How can I be so sure? Aside from discusions with r and d, look at the set size. Part of the reduction of set size is reducing percentage of unplayables, as per player request. As a result, there is actually a higher concentration of playables. This would tend to over power draft. Reducing one card per pack will help keep draft power level down... but it will still be a little higher.
2. Mythic Rares occupy same slot as the rare, so you wont get a rare and a mythic rare unless you get a foil. Mythic rares are just a subset of rares that only show up 1 in 8 packs, but are 4 times as common due to size issues (only 15 mythics). As a result, Mythic rares are just like regular rares, except that they are almost exactly twice as rare. That is not a big issue. With a set as small as Alara, they are actually as rare as a time shifted card from time spiral. That will hardly ruin the secondary market. Regular rares will actually be easier to find as a result of smaller set size as well. This is seriously a net positive. Think carefully about it.
3. This does not make the game "for kids." This is a good business move that will allow us more opportunity to further the game we love. They are not making thoughtseize mythic, etc. They are making cards like Garruk and Ajani Mythic. Would it have been so bad if Garruk was a $5 more and Thoughtseize was $5 less? That is the sort of change this might cause. Surely Ajani at $2 more and Mutavault at $5 less is a fair tradeoff.

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Re: Updates in Alara

Post  kcolloran on Fri Jun 06, 2008 4:16 am

"1. The basic land replaces bog hoodlums. How can I be so sure? Aside from discusions with r and d, look at the set size. Part of the reduction of set size is reducing percentage of unplayables, as per player request. As a result, there is actually a higher concentration of playables. This would tend to over power draft. Reducing one card per pack will help keep draft power level down... but it will still be a little higher."

If this is true than I'm fine with it. My fear is that instead of replacing bog hoodlums it replaces a random common. Losing bog hoodlums won't effect drafts, but losing nameless inversion from a pack would. It still doesn't make sense to make the change from a perspective of getting people land, as buying booster packs to get land is about the dumbest idea I've ever heard of. No one's going to drop hundreds of dollars to get land to try the game. If new players can't get starter packs or get lands from their friends I just don't see them starting.

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Re: Updates in Alara

Post  Reindeercards on Sat Jun 07, 2008 4:18 pm

1) We're told that crap rares are necessary. After this change, are they still necessary? I mean, are they cutting out both good and bad rares out of Shards in order to bring the number of rares down? Or are they only cutting the crappy rares that people complain about opening?

2) Magic Online and Mythic Rares
Doesn't this change mean you have to draft a heck of a lot more in order to get a complete set for redemption? So all the regular rares are going to stay in the market online longer than they have before. More supply depresses the price.

Also, there are few rares in a set. So if there's the same amount of drafting, there will be more of each particular rare. More supply means the price goes down.

Online card prices are going to get a double whammy and go into the toilet.

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Re: Updates in Alara

Post  mercenarybdu on Wed Jun 11, 2008 11:49 am

Wizards has made this move for a dozen of reasons if you look at it closely .....

1. they need people/players to constantly bring in revenue, and how they are going to get it is from the people who are either newcomers or people returning with the occasional players who just want the new cards. Not from just the thousands of drafters out there as they tend to come and go on this part. Without the support of the people, the company starts to close it's doors on the game.

2. they have learned a considerable amount from previous findings that they finally realize that just making core product to give to beginners aint cutting it much anymore as most starters are only going to start playing the game by which ever sections of the game they are exposed to first by a large margin (I started playing in 1998 although I was first exposed to Alpha product).

3. once the player has dug up and into a considerable amount of the game, they start to either lose interest in the game (like what happens in PTQ and FNM formats after rotations) or go to the secondary market (like a lot of us around here) to go acquire the cards they need. So this move is considerable to bring magic back together with it's fun factor roots rather than just a brain cracking sport.

4. If they release too many cards too quickly, they won't have any ideas or cards left to release from what they have on the shelves and in the notepads they have behind the closed doors. It takes a lot of time to balance out the cards and make them not so much like Urza Block or Mirrodian Block (at the time of developing the blocks, R&D was understaffed and rushing them to meet the deadlines).

.....so there is a lot that goes along behind closed doors in the decision process of making an honest profit off of product. This game is what we love and without the people there won't be many of us left at all to replenish the pool globally.
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Crap Rare

Post  kj_4247 on Sun Jun 15, 2008 6:26 am

The concept of "crap rare" is completely subjective. Zur the Enchanter (despite recent success) might be a two dollar card but to an EDH Player he's far more Valuable. Also the playability of certain cards varies over time, for example, Horde of Notions.

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