“Gah, Delver again!”
“God, I hate Thragtusk!”
“Mono Back Again!? I’m so over Thoughtseize!”
Sound familiar? If you’ve ever had cause to complain about a dominant card or strategy in standard, today your prayers have been answered.
We have some major news from the mothership about the ways in which standard is moving forward, and dear god is it a game changer! By now you probably know what’s going on, so I’ll let you read exactly why the changes are happening over here because Mark Rosewater goes super in-depth, but I’m happy to share a few of my thoughts on what this means for us.
1) Standard will become harder to solve.
With sets rotating out every six months, we’re going to have some massive shake-ups to the format much more often. This also means that new cards will only be around for 18 months rather than 24, so if Wizards does happen to print something completely overpowered, it won’t be around for as long. This change will hopefully move towards fixing the problem of standard going stale. I’m hoping that this new version of standard will be a brewers paradise, because that’d make me extra happy.
2) More attendance.
Generally speaking, third sets and core sets attracted less attendance to events that the first two sets of a block in many places. Keeping things this fresh is going to mean that we’re going to see even more players at all events. While this is very good for Wizards’ bottom line, gaming stores all around the world, and the game itself, I do have one small worry…
3) Card Prices.
I’m not entirely sure what this will mean for the prices on cards. Mark Rosewater mentions twice in his article that he wanted to release this information now to serve as a warning about Khans of Tarkir – specifically the length of time the block will be in standard. I can assume that having smaller blocks that are around for less time before a new block is released means that we may be opening up less copies of certain cards, but there’s also the argument that we always move on to the next set as soon as it’s released anyway and we’re still getting four sets a year – they’re just broken up differently. My question for this comes about because of the time we have available to play with them, though. My first reaction to this news was very split down the middle. I was excited that standard was going to become fresh more often, but I was also worried about the new player aspect. I remember saving up for weeks in order to justify buying myself a playset of Snapcaster Mage, back when I was just getting into competitive magic. If the format rotated so quickly back then, I’m not sure if it’s something I would have done.
Overall, I’m pretty excited about these changes. I can say with certainty that I had basically stopped playing standard for a while there because it felt like there was nothing else I could do to make it fun. I was on mono black from day one of the format, and it became a little tiresome that the only changes I was making to my deck was in the sideboard. What are your thoughts on this? We have a forum thread here for all your discussion needs. Jump on over to it.