As many of you already know Hasbro announced in an investors earning call that they will have Crossover MtG Products with other IPs naming Lord of the Rings (Hobbit etc.) as well as the Warhammer franchise.
TLDR: Crossover bad, pessimistic view.
While i like Lord of the Rings as much as everybody else, i am highly concerned about this. No i am not saying this will the death of magic or anything as dire as that. On the contrary i strongly believe that a Lord of the Rings Set will be financially speaking a massively successful if not the most successful Set ever released if correctly developed.
That aside: for a long time a have the feeling that MTG is, while not dying, getting worse by a thousand cuts, some of which are more personal and some are pretty widely spread not liked by the player base:
- creature power creep
- asymmetrical hate pieces
- some art direction
- some borders
- some mechanics
- general WotC greediness
- Lack of WotC testing for
- The resulting massive bans for nearly every set
And i would like to add to this list: Crossovers with other IPs.
Until now we had 3 kinds of Crossovers happen all of which where handled differently:
First of we had silver bordered crossovers like My little Pony and Transformers. I personally do not care at all for these, but i see that some people really liked these. I see no negative to this approach and would be fine which WotC to peruse more crossovers in this manner, since none of these cards are legal in any official formats.
The second type was more intrusive and i am of course talking about the Ikoria/Godzilla crossover. In this case the crossover was handled as official alters of existing cards. All the Godzilla names and Artwork was printed on cards that where also available as "normal" MtG cards with different artworks and names.
This felt strange to me to see Modern military hardware or buildings together with normal MTG cards, however with time i believe that this kind of crossover is not that different from people just altering their cards anyway with which i have no problem at all. Its your cards you can do to them whatever you want, and you can play whatever version of a card that you want, even if i don't like your specific version.
The third kind of crossover is pretty infamous and had a ton of backlash, but, and that's way more important, was financially incredibly successful. This was a clear sign to Hasbro and WOTC that fan backlash is worth it if the product still sells. (this is of course just a presumption by me). Why was this product so hated by most fans? First of all it was very limited and expensive and secondly the cards where newly designed cards, not reprints, that where only available in this version, and where black bordered, meaning legal in official formats. Now this was not just a fun thing to do, but it was actual legal, official cards that depicted modern real world weapons, equipment, clothing and faces of real people (we had real faces on cards this done before, but in a very different context).
I fear that these new crossovers will be black bordered and will change mtg for the worse while still being highly financially viable.
Yes it is Lord of the Rings and i am myself very much eager to see this crossover. However this is just one of them, pretend it isn't Lord of the Rings (which at least is a fantasy setting) but any of the other IPs that will surely follow if this makes enough money.
Warhammer (already confirmed), Star Wars, Star Trek, Harry Potter, Battlefield, Stranger Things, Cyber Punk, Grand Theft Auto, Song of Ice and Fire, Breaking Bad...
Sure some of them you might like, but now we don't have a choice anymore with playing these cards. Together with modern power creep and card design you wont have a choice to just not play a playset of [Going Warp Speed] in your deck because it synergizes so well with [Professor Dumbledore] if you want to stay competitive.
I know this seems pretty over the top and pessimistic, but is it really that different from The Walking Dead?
And if this makes money, which i am pretty sure it will, why would WotC and Hasbro have any reason to stop? For the last couple of years they definitely showed that they prefer short term profit over the long term health of the game.
Edit: Added pictures and TLDR and Poll
@brass-man Thank you so much for your very detailled response! I myself have gone through the B&R timeline to get the list, but just wasnt fast enough to post here, sorry!
My go to deck for this era would definetly be TPS.
As for the B&R List: I agree that there are many cards on there that seem pretty harmless conpared to other, even unrestricted cards of that era, however since i myself did not play Vintage back then, but actually just startet out with magic in general around that time, my own judgement on those cards is purely theoretical.
Another good point brought up is that the metagame back then was highly regional and very slow to develop compared to modern times. Iam aware that this might let the metagame of that period seem more open and wide, while in modern times it could very much happen that a couple of best decks will dominate the meta by a lot. A counterpoint to this is the wide range of 93/94 Decks that are absolutely viable and see play.
Generally i like to test the format with the orginal B&R List before making any changes to it.
So with the advent of community formats like Oldschool variants, Middleschool and Premodern, a friend and i wanted to try out Premodern Vintage.
All sets before 8th Edition are legal (old border) it basically should be a fusion of premodern and oldschool. We where talking about this for a while but Covid pretty much stopped us from actually playing and testing it in any significant enough way.
We want to start with the B&R List as it was back then and maybe change it from there as we see fit.
I have got three questions for you:
-Is that a Format you would be interested in?
-Do you think it is a good idea to start with the historic B&R List?
-What where your favorite Decks from that Era and what would you want to play?
You got a Duress/Thoughtseize as well as a Preordain/Ponder.
You are playing a combo deck, your opponent is the control in this matchup.
You want to play both cards this turn, do you:
- Play hand disruption first to inform your choice on what you are looking for with the cantrip,
- Play the cantrip first to inform you what to take with the hand disruption spell,
I personally tend to play hand disruption first in most cases.
I really hope for a errata or the companion mechanic as a whole.
However regardless of the changes made, the thing that interests me the most is if they actually acknowledge the mistakes they made with releasing this mechanic.
I just really hat to see the 2019 War of the Spark until present era of design continue.