Many things have happened over the last 24 hours in the Magic: The Gathering world. Typically, I don’t address these issues here on the Paper Champion and I especially don’t offer knee jerk reactions to issues off the playing table. However, in this case I feel I have some insight and can offer a different viewpoint to the outrage that has surfaced in our gaming community.
Let’s take this step by step.
Modern is no longer a Pro Tour format.
If you haven’t heard by now, Modern will no longer be supported by the Magic Pro Tour. Initially, I was upset by hearing this but the more I thought about the decision the more confidant I was in their choice.
I wrote about the fate of Modern over a year ago and Wizards of the Coast is following the formula I laid out. Wizards is currently four years ahead of my predictions which is a little scary.
I mostly play Modern, both competitive and casually. I’m sure I’ll still find Modern games in the future in person as well as online so this is not a worry. If I ever feel the need to watch competitive Modern games on Twitch they should still be available but in lesser quantity.
The downside to this announcement is that there are several Pro Tour players that are Modern specialists that will have to reach outside their comfort zone in order to achieve magic greatness. Pro players are smart and since they now can focus their play on one less format they should be fine.
But what does this mean for the causal player? That’s hard to say right now. According to statistics, half of all casual magic players go by Modern banned lists and rules. It seems to me that players will begin to gravitate towards formats they can visibly see.
This out of sight-out of mind mindset means casual play will begin to lean towards Standard. This will be a bit more difficult since most casual players enjoy having a large card base to build their new decks around, which is why Commander is so popular.
Standard being the new casual format and requiring more laid back players to buy more cards will be a bitter pill to swallow. I look for Modern to still stay strong in casual circles despite the changes to the Pro Tour. Modern may still even get supplemental product like Modern Masters since wizards has not made any announcement about cutting that type of product out of their production.
If you haven’t yet read the previous prediction article, I mention a new format coming to be. This “Post Modern” format will take the place of Modern in the Pro Tour but I think it will be one or more years before this format is announced. Currently, the card base to create a deck is too small and for all intensive purposes is just a few more sets than Standard.
Diagnosis: Don’t panic, Wizards has a plan.
Platinum and Hall of Fame players will receive less money for appearances.
Casual players that visit the Paper Champion may not really care about this issue but hear me out. As grim as this may seem, this choice by Wizards is a great thing.
Pro players all have several things in common. First, they are smart. This includes being knowledgeable about the game of Magic itself. not only are they intelligent about the game, they are smart enough to know this is a business to them and they will do what it takes to make the most money from their still set.
Believe it or not less money is great news for all of us but will create more work for the Pro player. Since players will be making less at the table, they will be forced to make money from behind their keyboards. Many Pro players already write for sites and receive sponsorship for playing and writing. The amount of content that can be found online will now in crease exponentially and that’s great for all of us.
I believe Pro players will now be forced to ask their current sponsors for more money. The larger sponsors will be able to handle this strain but some may have to let players go from their contracts. This will result in Pro players to either quit or take sponsorship elsewhere, like lesser known sites which will increase content tenfold. if there is anything a Pro player does best, it’s adapt.
Diagnosis: Don’t panic. Pro players will adapt and survive.
Any time money is involved in your hobby, it seems like a big deal. In this instance, I believe everything in time will be fine. Please watch this and repeat this mantra….
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