Mtg artists: yongjae choi

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Community’s resilience during lockdown undermined by divisive sầu kiến thiết và controversial business decisions.
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Image: Yongjae Choi/Wizards of the Coast
About Magic: The Gathering

Players: 2-8

Rules complexity: Medium

Strategic depth: Medium

Publisher: Wizards of the Coast

Designer: Richard Garfield


It’s probably fair to assume that notoàn thân quite realised how difficult 20trăng tròn was going to lớn be. Nobody’s had a particularly good time of it and, as many of us are stuck in countries where the people in charge seem khổng lồ have sầu underestimated the toll of the pandemic, it’s important to take stochồng và rethành viên that a lot of us are doing the best we can. The same is true of the games we play, especially the ones we normally play in person. Magic: The Gathering has had what you could probably say is a good year by all accounts, but it’s not been without some troubles.

The year kicked off while Pioneer was just picking up steam, & a lot of people were excited about the potential of the new format. Paper MTG was doing well thanks to lớn this & formats such as Commander, Standard & Modern; it all looked as though things would be gravy with some of the exciting sets we had coming up.

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The first mix of the year was Theros: Beyond Death, released in January. As a return to lớn the setting inspired by Greek mythology, a lot of people were quite excited about the whole thing. There were some heavy hitters from the mix too, with the likes of Uro, Titung of Nature’s Wrath really cementing Simic, which is Blue và Green, as a powerhouse in Standard and beyond. Of course, a lot of people felt that having one single definitive sầu best deck in the format was less than igiảm giá, but that didn’t really get addressed for a few more months.


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Next up was Unsanctioned, which saw UnMTG become a proper game with players mashing together two different 30-card theme decks to lớn create one of the most definitive sầu Un-experiences around. While it wasn’t a full phối as such, it still gave players a chance lớn experience MTG in a different way, và it made for an entertaining way to introduce new people lớn the game.

If there was a point at which players started to feel as though this year would be an odd one, in terms of MTG anyway, it was probably after the release of Ikoria.

Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths was the next proper set. Ikoria turned out to be very appropriately named due to lớn the sheer form size of the impact it made on MTG, as it sort of broke Magic for a little bit during the spring. This is because it introduced the world to companions. This was a mechanic so absurd that not only was one of the cards, Lutri, the Spellchaser, actually banned before the mix even released, but they actually had khổng lồ change the rulings for the mechanic entirely once it was out in the wild. In fact, Companion was so impactful that you can still find it trashing people in most formats now, even if you’re looking for a budget deông xã. If there was a point at which players started khổng lồ feel as though this year would be an odd one, in terms of MTG anyway, it was probably here.

The summer’s bộ vi xử lý Core Set 2021 was another set that brought out the big guns. There were some obscene cards in the phối, và it felt defined by obnoxious creatures and potentially broken planeswalkers. While the set was aimed at helping newer players into the fold, the re-introduction of Phasing still seems like an odd choice. Phasing - which sees cards treated as if they don’t exist before the player’s next turn - remains one of the most misunderstood mechanics from a gameplay standpoint, & it’s one of the reasons why there are so few cards that include the từ khoá.

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Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths lived up lớn its imposing name with a massive impact on MTG"s meta. Image: Wizards of the Coast

Jumpstart - released digitally in July, và then actually on October 16th - might be the most fun a new player can have with MTG. The ease of use and simple gameplay makes for a game mode that is perfect for newcomers khổng lồ the game. However, despite how good it was, the difference in thẻ selection between the Aremãng cầu version và the normal version left something of a sour taste.

While the thẻ selection in Double Masters was truly wonderful, the sheer expense of it made it borderline offensive sầu.

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The alặng of any business is to make money, but nowhere was that more apparent this year than Double Masters. While the card selection in the August set was truly wonderful, the sheer expense of it - at £260 a booster box and nearly £100 for a VIPhường booster paông xã - made it borderline offensive sầu. This is a set that should have helped lớn lower the cost of the much-needed reprints featured. Instead, it was a set that made players feel as though Wizards of the Coast viewed them as ngân hàng accounts and little more.

It’s at this point you might be thinking “the MTG never ends” - and you’d be right. September brought us bachồng khổng lồ another much-beloved plane thanks khổng lồ Zendikar Rising. This set lacked some of the punch of the previous sets this year, but Lotus Cobra proved to lớn be the straw that broke the camel’s dechồng, mostly thanks to its Landfall ability that gives the player one mana of any colour whenever a l& card enters the battlefield. It effectively pushed any dechồng with Green into even higher heights. Also, we got a br& new Omnath - one of the best creatures in MTG, fight me - who was also way too good for, well, Magic.

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As the first full set for the hugely popular format, Commander Legends was a standout release for MTG this year. Image: Wizards of the Coast

A lot of players play Commander. In fact, it’s the most popular format in MTG. It makes sense then, that 2020’s Commander decks would be a blast to play. Each deông xã offered a very different gameplay experience, & they’re all quite a lot of fun to play around with. The mutate-based Enhanced Evolution dechồng, in particular, was a standout, and the release continued khổng lồ tư vấn 2020 being an excellent year to be a Commander player.

Commander Legends could well be the highlight of the year.

Commander Legends, which launched in November, could well be the highlight of the year as the first-ever draftable set for the format. In a year where many felt as though Commander was getting all of the good toys anyway, it’s hard not to lớn feel like this was the nail in the coffin for that idea. Wait, in a good way. Maybe the tail on the pinata? Anyway, the mix is great, even if it doesn’t always work as an actual draft.

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On top of all of this, we saw Kaladesh Remastered in MTG Aremãng cầu, Historic improve sầu significantly as a format and even a bunch of Secret Lair drops.

It’d be wrong to discuss MTG’s 2020 without discussing the fact that we got brand-new cards in a time-limited premium product. When Wizards of the Coast partnered with The Walking Dead for one of those Secret Lair drops, people were generally pretty happy about the concept. However, rather than simply reskinning current cards, Wizards decided that it would be better to lớn make new cards.

The issue with this is that it’s hard khổng lồ get your hands on a Secret Lair phối as it is, which means there are only a limited amount of these cards in existence. Not khổng lồ mention the fact that the phối cost around £50 & you only got five sầu cards. This made it unaffordable for a lot of people, and it definitely aggravated some of the negative sầu sentiments against Wizards of the Coast regarding pricing & accessibility. While everyone understands that MTG is a game designed to lớn make money, it’s still disheartening for a lot of fans when it’s this blatant.

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MTG"s crossover with The Walking Dead sparked controversy by introducing new cards that could only acquired via the time-limited - và costly - Secret Lair store. Image: Wizards of the Coast

Despite how good a lot of the sets this year were in a vacuum, the effect that many of them have had on the competitive sầu formats has been woefully unbalanced. At the time of writing, there are eight cards banned in Standard. This, as many people are taking it, shows just how peculiar the decisions being made by the thiết kế department are.

Despite how good a lot of the sets this year were in a vacuum, the effect that many of them have sầu had on the competitive formats has been woefully unbalanced.

People have lost faith in Wizards lớn a degree after so many bannings and some very obvious money-making schemes in the khung of the Secret Lairs - and, in a year when paper MTG has been hit incredibly hard, it’s difficult not lớn worry about it. A lot of us are missing going khổng lồ our FLGS & sitting down with friends, but it’s not something you can vị, và people are falling away from formats such as Standard and Modern because they over up dominated by whatever the lakiểm tra overpowered creature thẻ is.

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Despite the various challenges faced by the card game, the community found ways to lớn keep playing using online tools such as SpellTable. Image: SpellTable

Of course, people persevere anyway, and thanks to lớn things lượt thích SpellTable, Discord, MTG Arena, MTG Online & Tabletop Simulator, MTG is still doing well. At least, plenty of people are still playing MTG, & it’s these online tools that make that possible. SpellTable is probably the best possible thing khổng lồ happen to lớn MTG this year, allowing players to mix up webcams or use their phones lớn play with their paper MTG cards over the mạng internet. It’s all kinds of wonderful.

20đôi mươi is a year where we’ve seen loads of exciting cards, sets & even new ways of playing. It’s also a year where paper Magic has become unsafe, online Magic remains expensive sầu và the vast majority of the solutions have come from the people who love sầu to lớn play the game. It’s been a svào year mix by set, & a good year overall for a lot of fans, but it’s not been without its problems. It feels as though there really needs lớn be a change khổng lồ the way cards are designed to stop players feeling as though power-creep is eternal & bannings are essential.


Chuyên mục: Tin Tức