Sunday, May 17, 2009

Core Set Overhaul for Magic: The Gathering

I've posted about spoiled cards several times over the last week or so, but I haven't addressed the changes that are coming to the core sets. For the casual "I buy a few packs of every set" kind of player, these changes probably won't make much of a splash. For tournament players and collectors, this is huge.


The changes at a glance:
  • Core sets will no longer be called editions. They will now be referred to as "Magic + (year+1)". This year's set will be Magic 2010. 
  • Core sets will be released every year instead of every other year.
  • Half of each core set will consist of reprints, and the rest will be new cards. This is the biggest change. It has been a long time since a Magic: The Gathering core set featured new cards. In fact, if I'm not mistaken, a core set hasn't included new cards since Beta.*
For more details, check the official announcement.

My predictions? Core sets have been the red headed stepchild of Magic for years. The white borders were undesirable and sales were crappy compared to the expansion sets. Who wants to buy uglier versions of cards you already own? The new policies will certainly help, but I doubt core sets will ever keep up with expansions. I think this is a step in the right direction, but I don't think Wizards of the Coast will see the sales increase they are likely hoping for... but I guess any sales increase at all is a good thing.

My wish? I wish this change would keep vanilla creatures out of "Expert" sets. Pulling a Grizzly Bear out of a booster pack is pretty disappointing even if the new version is an elf. Unfortunately, I doubt it will happen. Here's hoping, though.

*It would be Alpha, but two cards (Circle of Protection: Black and Volcanic Island) were accidentally left out of the set and were therefore technically new in Beta.
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