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CardName: Topical Constructed/PreConstructed Cost: U Type: New Format Pow/Tgh: / Rules Text: _DrugsForRobots_ likes LCGs and so do I, so how about a _Magic the Gathering_ format that does away with randomized boosters? Flavour Text: Set/Rarity: Conversation None

Topical Constructed/PreConstructed
New Format
DrugsForRobots likes LCGs and so do I, so how about a Magic the Gathering format that does away with randomized boosters?
Updated on 6 Dec 2017 by SecretInfiltrator

History: [-]

2017-12-06 10:26:45: SecretInfiltrator created and commented on the card Topical Constructed/PreConstructed

For reference DrugsForRobots likes LCGs.

So thinking about this made me realize that while I was starting to move away from randomized booster products in my own designs favoring preconstructed duel decks and planar boxes based on officially released supplemental products WotC has not been sleeping either. The quality and casual appeal of supplemental products has been incrased with new products that are designed to be playable out-of-the-box while still providing you with cards that can be used to construct your own decks if you desire so. This actually is an interesting modell and adresses certain scarcity problems in formats whether rotating or eternal.

Hence I propose a new format: Topical Constructed which is a regular (currently nonrotating i. e. eternal) format that restricts the card pool to cards (or copies of those cards) that were available in a preconstructed product (excluding highly exclusive promotional products). All cards that have been available only in randomized booster pacts or through means that cannot be bought "off the rack" (Judge-promos, pre-release promos, all-black planeswalkers etc.) would be not legal in the format.

To avoid issues with too old precons that clash with the restricted list etc. (looking at you, Phyrexian Negator) I want a cut-off that excludes older precons. As a cut-off date I suggest 2015-06 (right after Modern Masters 2015 which is illegal as a booster-only product anyway; and right before Magic Origins which thematically makes for a great jumping-off point).

So the first legal cards would be those contained in the Magic Origins precons. The latest cards would be from Explorers of Ixalan/From the Vault: Transform.

I'm currently debating wit myself whether products like the From the Vault and Planechase Anthology/Commander Anthology are in the spirit of this format or should be excluded, but maybe you have input on this.

I'm a big proponent of out-of-the-box (board game) MTG and I like the model of all LCGs, but I think restricting a cardpool to only cards that are found within precons opens up to a power level that I'm not too sure would be fun in gameplay. So of all of the preconstructed decks Wizards has printed since Origins, you have:

Intro Decks/Planeswalker Decks

Duel Decks

Commander Sets



You have a couple of good cards here and there, but many of the cards in your format are geared specifically for multiplayer, fall into the "junk common/uncommon" bin, or are geared specifically for a certain type of deck that doesn't have much payoff behind it (i.e. Warren Instigator). I don't see much of a draw to it other than WOTC promoting it because it means that precon sales go up. In fact, due to the power level alone, I could see {u}{b}{r} being one of the dominant decks simply because Bolas's deck has Baleful Strix, Lightning Bolt, and Flametongue Kavu in it. You also lack a lot of sideboard cards, which doesn't bode well for a potential metagame.

It's probably better to design sets that would be part of a Magic LCG. I toyed with the idea a while back, where you design every card to be played in a certain type of deck of relatively equal power level, but ultimately I think the biggest draw to Magic is its large card pool, even in standard. If you're not going pure precon-constructed (where you choose a precon and play it forever, similar to the Theme Deck format on Pokemon TCGO), I don't see a reason why people would want to play it.

I think that's a very interesting take on FFG's LCG model, and it could be a lot of fun. I'm still of the opinion that WotC should adopt something like this for the entirety of Magic, since their current business model results in: 1) tons of terrible cards / rehashes of old cards (yeah, yeah, I know there is the whole "but its decent in a limited format" but I don't think that justifies printing trash cards that no-one cards about) and 2) ridiculous card prices that are great for collectors but bar entry to the game for new players / most would-be competitive players, i.e. pay-to-win.

There is also a 3rd much darker implication: if the economy goes south and money gets tight, people are going to buying less cards (obviously) but I think FFG's LCG format has more staying power as people who do decide to splurge on buying cards are going to know exactly what they're getting and know that the relative power-level of the cards are fair, whereas WotC would be asking people to gamble, and when they are subsequently disappointed, their players will likely quit, at least for a little while.

As a format TopConstructed/PreConstructed has potential, but I really just think WotC should change their business practices. However, about this idea of yours, I think it could be really great if WotC gave it the support like they've given the multiplayer formats (which could be included, I don't think they're necessarily against the spirit of the idea, since everyone gets the same cards and knows what they're getting and the power-level is fairly balanced across products.)

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