Ten Minute Magic (May 6, 2016) – MTG Pro Announcements, Magic Card Reprints, Community Super League
Join Joseph Dunlap and Ben Cottee in this week’s episode of Ten Minute Magic, a weekly podcast format that highlights recent news in the world of Magic: The Gathering and looks at exceptional comments from recent Magic content on the internet.
This is what’s going on in Magic: The Gathering this week…
1. The Shadow over the Pro Tour Continues
During the Top 8 of Pro Tour Shadows over Innistrad, Wizards of the Coast announced changes to organised play:
- No modern Pro Tours.
- Hall of Fame appearance fees have been reduced.
- RPTQs now only award Pro Tour qualifications to Top 4 regardless of size, and Italy gets an additional RPTQ.
- Platinum appearance fees cut for all non GP events and from 3k to $250 at Pro Tours. Around $11-15k cut depending on which events you attend and if you are also a member of the Hall of Fame.
- Increased prize pool for the World Championships. $250k this year, $500k next year.
The platinum cut was the main contentious point. It wasn’t even that the cut was so large that drew the ire, as you could make a business case for funneling the money into the World Championship pots to drive better value for money to Wizards. No, the issue was doing this three-fourths of the way through the season while pros are still attempting to achieve Platinum status.
This was subsequently reversed the following Tuesday, at least for the upcoming season, so people get what they have been playing for and the Worlds pot stayed higher for the season. Discussions will still be taking place on the changes going forward. Some questions still remain:
- How much damage has this done to the trust of WOTC from Platinum players?
- What will the future look like?
- Who made this decision and how did it get past WOTC PR?
- Why was the announcement made during the Pro Tour Top 8? It overshadowed what should have been a defining success for WOTC with 8 decks in the Top 8 and many big name players.
- Is Hasbro behind these changes to the game?
As if to sum up the totality of how much harm this has all potentially done, Jon Finkel – arguably the best Magic player of all time – has taken part in his first two streams of Hearthstone on Twitch since the announcement. This may be a sign of things to come.
2. Maro Responds to Lack of Card Availability
Recently on the Blogatog, Mark Rosewater responded to complaints concerning lack of availability of competitive staples. A few days ago a user asked: “It’s quite upsetting that we can’t easily access and play the game competitively because of availability of cards. Should this be as much, if not more of a concern?”
Maro replied that this is a problem that Wizards is aware of and are working on. He starts off by bringing up Modern Masters and Eternal Masters. Then he points out: “It’s very easy to make a video or write an article and say ‘Just do X’ when you don’t truly understand the repercussions of doing X. … Players are excellent at identifying problems but have a harder time solving them because they’re not privy to the hundreds of issues and restrictions you have to deal with.”
These could be restrictions from R&D, or passed down from Wizards, or even from Hasbro itself. Hopefully a solution is arrived at soon.
3. Community Super League
Community Super League started last week and is running every Thursday night for the next few weeks. Made up of podcasters, streamers, and Aaron Forsythe of Wizards of the Coast, CSL is the newest member of the Super League family led by Randy Buehler.
This league is designed to showcase the more casual side of Magic with some interesting stipulation weeks. This week’s theme is Innistrad Plane constructed and the return of Ironroot Chef where deckbuilding is designed to be more flavourful than powerful (top marks for both). As well as looking like a lot of fun last week as everyone battled with decks from the SOI Pro Tour gauntlet, everyone in the super league gets a shot at commentary. The ability of entertaining people to cast a match of Magic really does highlight the sometimes stale state of the mainstream coverage team.
4. Popular Magic: The Gathering Articles This Week
Thank you for joining us in Ten Minute Magic. We would love to hear your feedback on the presentation, format, and length – the idea is to run through Magic news and recent article discussions in roughly ten minutes – so please leave a comment with your thoughts and we look forward to hearing from you.
Joseph and Ben