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Author Topic: Aaron Forsythe asks how Wizards can support Vintage  (Read 26639 times)
AmbivalentDuck
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« Reply #60 on: September 06, 2014, 05:52:53 pm »

I read your post correctly: you think cost is the issue. Cost isn't the issue: no matter how much you're willing to pay for a Black Lotus, no new ones will be printed.

And there are currently dozens of them available for sale on the internet, and far more if you really look.  Supply drives price up but it's not that people can't FIND a Lotus, it's that they can't afford one.  Cost is obviously the issue and I don't understand why you'd say otherwise.
Dozens of people could join Vintage tomorrow! There's enough power for sale in the world to furnish one medium-small local meta.

Snark aside, any growth in one meta comes at another's expensive. The supply of power is both very limited and shrinking year-by-year as cards get graded and/or damaged. Paper Vintage MUST die unless the reserve list is abolished. Online Vintage could grow faster if it was priced a bit more sanely and the interface didn't blow.
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« Reply #61 on: September 06, 2014, 08:32:33 pm »

Any growth in one meta comes at another's expensive.

Yet the number of players & new stores opening keeps increasing exponentially.

Last I heard was 12 million of active players for 22800 Power9. That's one P9 per 526 players = 0.19% of the whole player base (at best). That's worst than an endangered species.

They could set themselves a 1% target for the gentleman format whithout threatening nothing (and without dramatically change the feel of the format with "Snow-P9" or stupid printings).

PS: I think it is important for Wizards to keep Vintage alive. It is fuses the game's history & present together and makes it legitimate. It gives players old legends & ancient stories to dream of. Many times I had kids stop by and ask if they could take a look at my Black Lotus. I think you're hooking players for the long term with little things like that. I've done my part and at 30+ years old, you can't ask me to attend pre-releases or buy in Standard every 3 months.
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« Reply #62 on: September 07, 2014, 09:20:17 pm »

Any growth in one meta comes at another's expensive.

Yet the number of players & new stores opening keeps increasing exponentially.
Meta, not format. Limited and shrinking number of Black Lotuses -> Black Lotuses can only move from one location to another.
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« Reply #63 on: September 08, 2014, 12:35:13 am »

TheWhiteDragon--
This isn't the area of law that I practice, but I believe it would fall under the doctrine of promissory estoppel. Promissory estoppel can give rise to a cause of action outside of the existence of a contract, so long as three elements are met: (1) an individual makes a promise to induce another person into taking/not taking an action (2) that other person reasonably and detrimentally relies on that promise in taking or not taking that action (3) injustice can only be avoided by enforcing that promise.

In this case, even though there is no contract between Wizards and its customers, Wizards made a promise to its customers not to reprint certain cards following Chronicles' devaluation of the earlier sets (correct me if I'm wrong). In that context, one can see this promise as an inducement for collectors to continue purchasing cards; as a form of insurance to collectors that their collections will be less likely to lose value. A certain subset of Wizards' customers (collectors moreso than players) relied on that promise when purchasing more cards. If Wizards were to reprint cards on the reserved list, then those persons who relied on their promise would have relied on that promise to their detriment, in the form of lost value. The extent to which a given individual relied on that promise would be a matter for the courts. As another poster suggested, it would likely result in a class action lawsuit.

Damages in this instance would likely be the diminution in value of the collector's cards before and after the reprint. If recent reprints (thoughtseize, fetches vs. tarmogoyf) are any indication, one might expect Wizards to have to pay up to 50% of each re-printed card's value to collectors, depending on the scale of the reprint. For those in favor of reprinting cards to increase the player base, you're almost certainly looking at closer to the 50% mark, as smaller reprint quantities are going to be less likely to move prices down enough to make Vintage affordable to the average player. Given the current value of many of cards on the reserved list, it isn't unreasonable to expect that damages would be well over $100m, not even counting legal fees (my quick math: $10k for a set of unlimited power * 18,500 sets=$185,000,000 in value, 50% reduction is half of that in damages or $92,500,000 for unlimited power reprints alone).

The prior removal from and foil printings of cards on the reserved likely didn't trigger a lawsuit because of of the smaller values at stake. Most of the cards that were removed from the reserved list were one cent cards regardless of their presence on the list. Similarly, most of the foil printings either (a) came in small enough printings that they didn't affect the value or (b) people didn't care for as much as the original; again not affecting the value.


I could see that as a potential issue, however there is an easy way around this.  Dissolve the reserve list.  Don't reprint anything for a while.  That will give collectors an ample opportunity to sell, and if they don't, it is on their own risk, knowing they are no longer protected by a promise.  If the prices tank simply on retracting the promise, that is no legal issue either, since WotC wouldn't be going against there promise by reprinting...they'd just be making another announcement (totally legal) and collectors would have to sell or gamble and lose their legal ground.

If someone makes a promise and then changes course but leaves ample time for people to act to negate losses, then there should be little to no legal ramification.  If the reversal of course alone is enough to spark a fire sale and tank prices - that's not WotC's legal responsibility either, since they promised not to reprint...but never promised not to abolish the reserved list.
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« Reply #64 on: September 08, 2014, 06:50:11 am »

but if the solution to Vintage being expensive to play is to print so many new cards that remove what makes Vintage Vintagey, it's not something I want to be a part of any more.
You have it entirely wrong. There are a shrinking number of Black Lotuses available for Vintage play at ANY price. Vintage is dying and must die as cardboard goes into long-term storage or wears out.

Wizards idiotically cut themselves off from printing $20k packages of foily Vintage Arsenal.

Since all Black Lotuses that they ever printed were sold long before they modified the reserve to close the "foil loophole," it's not clear to me that they'd be subject to any liability for reopening it. People speculated on a premise. It's not clear to me that poor speculation  in an unregulated commodities market generates the sort of loss you could hold someone else accountable for.

Judging by what you cut off from my quote, you missread my post entirely.  it had nothing to do with quantities of existing vintage staples.
I read your post correctly: you think cost is the issue. Cost isn't the issue: no matter how much you're willing to pay for a Black Lotus, no new ones will be printed.

Ummmm.  Seriously.  Is this a joke?

I don't think cost has anything to do with anything.  It is a complete non-factor in my angle. 
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« Reply #65 on: September 08, 2014, 07:34:43 am »

The reason it's cost, not availability, is that the vast majority of paper power isn't used for vintage decks. There are more than ten thousand  paper sets of power by most counts. But how many total players in all vintage tournaments annually?  Less than a thousand.  

Limited availability of course drives up the cost of the cards, but lotus is expensive because of collectors who don't play vintage, not those that do.
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« Reply #66 on: September 08, 2014, 08:23:09 am »

The reason it's cost, not availability, is that the vast majority of paper power isn't used for vintage decks. There are more than ten thousand  paper sets of power by most counts. But how many total players in all vintage tournaments annually?  Less than a thousand.  

Limited availability of course drives up the cost of the cards, but lotus is expensive because of collectors who don't play vintage, not those that do.
That breaks down because steadily increasing cost is actually an incentive to sit on your cards as an investment rather than selling them.

If anything, we need the price of power to stagnate or decrease to get it out of collectors' and investors' hands.
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« Reply #67 on: September 08, 2014, 09:59:48 am »

The reason it's cost, not availability, is that the vast majority of paper power isn't used for vintage decks. There are more than ten thousand  paper sets of power by most counts. But how many total players in all vintage tournaments annually?  Less than a thousand.  

Limited availability of course drives up the cost of the cards, but lotus is expensive because of collectors who don't play vintage, not those that do.
That breaks down because steadily increasing cost is actually an incentive to sit on your cards as an investment rather than selling them.

If anything, we need the price of power to stagnate or decrease to get it out of collectors' and investors' hands.

Cost is certainly a barrier to entry into the format for new players.  But, it's not a ceiling to the size of the format.  Limited supply means that even if all the Power ever printed is getting played, there's an absolute maximum to the number of people who can play Vintage at any time, and it's a vanishingly small number of Magic players.  So high cost makes the format grow slowly; low supply means it can never grow very much.

Cost and scarcity are related, of course.  Low supply relative to demand makes prices go up.  And, as Duck said, upward pressure on prices means people will tend to hold onto their power to increase value over time, until they have a crisis and need to sell.

What's the point?  The point is that you can cure -- well, mitigate -- both problems by addressing one or the other.  Making more power or its equivalent available would decrease cost.  If prices crash due to a threat to avoid the reserve list (they'll never out-and-out defy it, that's a pipe dream) or because the market finally hits the Tulip point of absurdity (probably far away for Power in particular) then supply will increase as hoards get dumped.

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« Reply #68 on: September 08, 2014, 10:13:59 am »

Snow/Arcane power with a keyword that makes you lose if your deck contains any cards only printed in ABU Limited seems like plenty. That actually leaves real power in slightly better shape because of cards like Illusionary Mask and Time Vault/Timetwister.

Total aside: are there any non-P10 cards played in Vintage today that were only in ABU Limited?

Berserk and Mask are fringe (un)playables. Berserk got reprinted, but Mask never did. Gauntlet of Power sees play in EDH, but not Vintage. Duals had a printing in Revised. Word of Command gets mentioned from time to time, but it isn't even remotely playable.
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« Reply #69 on: September 09, 2014, 04:01:25 pm »

Yes of course it sucks Black lotus is ridiculously priced but we already all knew that and wizards is never abolishing the reserved list, best to get over it.

Back to original topic, in my opinion outside from breaking the reserved list, the best way for wizards to support vintage is a) reprint non reserved list staples (a paper sorta vintage masters would be perfect) b) give the format more coverage/ make it more visible/ Promote it c) break the common cliches (turn 1 format, Cointoss = Good game, ...) and show people the real face of vintage (skill intensive, Interactive, exciting, ...) d) authorize official proxies of reserved list staples at sanctionned events e)Host Regular High level vintage events g) since the supply of power is very limited, cards are getting old, and demand is likely to increase if they help it grow, do a special print with low print run to serve as special rewards
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« Reply #70 on: September 09, 2014, 05:15:00 pm »

I guess letter G would break the Reserved List and couldn't be done. Aside from that, I totally agree with the rest.

But since they most likely will continue with MTGO-only Vintage support, at least they could print a Vintage Masters 2 soon, including missed cards like Blightsteel Colossus, Goblin Welder and a lot of other really played cards that were missing from VMA. Blightsteel, Forbidden Orchard and whatnot tripled their prices since June.

And Online Tournaments giving out P9 would be great too. (but we could do that, right?)
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« Reply #71 on: September 13, 2014, 07:14:55 am »

Yeah, as long as Magic: The Gathering is in the hands of Wotc I don't expect an abolishment of the Reserved List. It wouldn't make much sense with so much emphasis on the marketing of Standard cards anyway. Their way of working around it with Magic Online might not be for everyone, but I think it's a neat idea. The only thing I'm missing are more premier events with emphasis on a heavy payout. I don't think it will happen but I keep my fingers crossed for a potential Vintage Mocs.
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« Reply #72 on: September 13, 2014, 10:35:19 am »

It's not just Magic: Online.  Modern is also a tremendously elegant solution to the Reserve List problem.  Give it five more years.  If Magic's growth is stagnant or better for that period of time, you will see far less distinction between Modern and Legacy during that time. 

What I like about Khans, which puts some of the self-limiting mechanics of Theros in perspective, is that Wizards is not at all afraid of powerful effects, even at cheap mana cost.  They just want to build in true barriers to preventing those effects from happening so early in the game that people don't get at least three or four good turns in. 

They're format-engineering Modern to be more what the early developers probably wanted Magic to be.  In the past, they stomped out unexpected interactions with power-level errata.  They're now far more savvy about designing cards around these problems.  We see this as their timidness (Heroic is limited to Spells, and only spells You Control, when removing either one of these makes it instantly a powerhouse, Endure taps and is sorcery speed, etc) but really it's just very careful format-engineering to stomp out overpowered combos before they are born.  As they have shown with things like Sundial of the Infinite and Stroinc Resonator, they're perfectly capable of printing crazy, niche, unique cards while still slipping quietly between the walls of combos.

They also benefit hugely in Modern from creatures and removal being potent enough to demand a very high level of performance out of combos to allow them to see play.  We don't see Mindcrank/Guildmage, Resonator/Seeker combo decks in Modern, even though they're totally possible. 

I guess the short version is that the Reserve List is a red herring today, as I said before, and will continue to get less and less relevant over time.  The problem is solving itself. 

That solution does not involve paper Vintage, sadly.
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« Reply #73 on: September 13, 2014, 03:55:45 pm »

I guess the short version is that the Reserve List is a red herring today, as I said before, and will continue to get less and less relevant over time.  The problem is solving itself. 

That solution does not involve paper Vintage, sadly.
The Reserve List does include Gaea's Cradle, the duals, and other effects that are strong, but not broken. I don't think Snow duals have the potential to break any format and should most definitely be printed. The should also print Snow Wasteland while they're at it (T: colorless; T, sac: Destroy target snow land).

Paper Vintage can only die without some unforeseen action. Power can only leave the market unless prices crash hard and fast and/or Wizards reprints it.
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« Reply #74 on: September 13, 2014, 11:11:46 pm »

I guess the short version is that the Reserve List is a red herring today, as I said before, and will continue to get less and less relevant over time.  The problem is solving itself. 

That solution does not involve paper Vintage, sadly.
I don't think Snow duals have the potential to break any format and should most definitely be printed. The should also print Snow Wasteland while they're at it (T: colorless; T, sac: Destroy target snow land).

Wasteland isn't reserved. They can just reprint it in a commander set or whatever. As for Snow Duals, people should pester Wotc about that. Just in case, they should make it clear that barely any decks would run more than four of a given dual.
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« Reply #75 on: September 14, 2014, 07:14:01 am »

They're never going to print Snow-Duals. When they closed the foil promo loophole WotC also made it very clear they would not do functional reprints i.e. Fork/Reverberate.
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« Reply #76 on: September 14, 2014, 09:19:07 am »

TheWhiteDragon--
This isn't the area of law that I practice, but I believe it would fall under the doctrine of promissory estoppel. Promissory estoppel can give rise to a cause of action outside of the existence of a contract, so long as three elements are met: (1) an individual makes a promise to induce another person into taking/not taking an action (2) that other person reasonably and detrimentally relies on that promise in taking or not taking that action (3) injustice can only be avoided by enforcing that promise.

In this case, even though there is no contract between Wizards and its customers, Wizards made a promise to its customers not to reprint certain cards following Chronicles' devaluation of the earlier sets (correct me if I'm wrong). In that context, one can see this promise as an inducement for collectors to continue purchasing cards; as a form of insurance to collectors that their collections will be less likely to lose value. A certain subset of Wizards' customers (collectors moreso than players) relied on that promise when purchasing more cards. If Wizards were to reprint cards on the reserved list, then those persons who relied on their promise would have relied on that promise to their detriment, in the form of lost value. The extent to which a given individual relied on that promise would be a matter for the courts. As another poster suggested, it would likely result in a class action lawsuit.

Damages in this instance would likely be the diminution in value of the collector's cards before and after the reprint. If recent reprints (thoughtseize, fetches vs. tarmogoyf) are any indication, one might expect Wizards to have to pay up to 50% of each re-printed card's value to collectors, depending on the scale of the reprint. For those in favor of reprinting cards to increase the player base, you're almost certainly looking at closer to the 50% mark, as smaller reprint quantities are going to be less likely to move prices down enough to make Vintage affordable to the average player. Given the current value of many of cards on the reserved list, it isn't unreasonable to expect that damages would be well over $100m, not even counting legal fees (my quick math: $10k for a set of unlimited power * 18,500 sets=$185,000,000 in value, 50% reduction is half of that in damages or $92,500,000 for unlimited power reprints alone).

The prior removal from and foil printings of cards on the reserved likely didn't trigger a lawsuit because of of the smaller values at stake. Most of the cards that were removed from the reserved list were one cent cards regardless of their presence on the list. Similarly, most of the foil printings either (a) came in small enough printings that they didn't affect the value or (b) people didn't care for as much as the original; again not affecting the value.


Even if all of that was 100% accurate, and WotC could be in reasonably sued, who would actually jump on board such a suit? It would have to be a class action suit, naturally, and how would anyone be able to claim that they should be a claimant? Are they going to take pictures of their cards to prove they own them, and is someone going to then say, based upon a likely settlement, that someone who owns a Alpha Lotus gets $Z, someone with an Alpha Ancestral gets $Y, and so on? It just sounds so unrealistically feasible to me.... would a court even entertain such a case? How difficult would it actually be for someone to prove the value of said cards on the reserved list.

Regardless, if people who own Power to play with it want more people to play against, some frivolous class action lawsuit would only be designed to delay such a possibility, all in the name of getting back a few $$ that you would otherwise lose. I think most people here would be open to reprinting Power in a fair way, such as a limited release set, perhaps a paper-equivalent of Vintage Masters that had a print run close to that of Modern Masters.

Let's also not ignore the fact that original Power will still command a HIGH premium over any new frame/art Power that they would reprint. I'm sure that would be a brilliant counter on the part of WotC in such a class action suit. Will it be 100% of today's current value? No, but would anyone doubt that it would hold 50-75%?
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« Reply #77 on: September 14, 2014, 10:54:34 am »

It's more stores that would sue, since a lot of them hold large stocks of reserve list cards.

It would also be pretty easy to prove the value of them, since there are enormous numbers of purchase records on ebay/tcg/scg/etc.
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« Reply #78 on: September 14, 2014, 07:33:20 pm »

It's more stores that would sue, since a lot of them hold large stocks of reserve list cards.

It would also be pretty easy to prove the value of them, since there are enormous numbers of purchase records on ebay/tcg/scg/etc.

So, the people that set the prices are the source for "authenticity" of said prices? Regardless, some legal intern with probably zero knowledge of MTG would compile these numbers anyway.

Also, would the stores really risk putting themselves out of business but shutting off their main source of income? I'm not 100% sure how the supply chain works, but I would be surprised if WotC doesn't have some control over who they sell too. Can't they revoke the "Authorized Seller" label from any store they want? WotC could also revoke their ability to offer sanctioned tournaments, which would be the end of SCG and TCG's open series, no?
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« Reply #79 on: September 14, 2014, 08:58:08 pm »

If any store is holding a large inventory of high value reserve list cards they deserve to go out of business because they suck at business.
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« Reply #80 on: September 19, 2014, 01:13:59 pm »

It's more stores that would sue, since a lot of them hold large stocks of reserve list cards.

It would also be pretty easy to prove the value of them, since there are enormous numbers of purchase records on ebay/tcg/scg/etc.

Nah, I think this one would be in the hands of attorneys eager to cash in on a class action.  Seems like you could define the class of people injured (in theory, anyway) by a reprint of reserve cards pretty easily for certification purposes.  I suppose there could be arguments about whether players / collectors / on-line stores / brick and motor retailers / big box stores / etc all really have the same interests, but eh.  The possibility is there from an aggressive class action attorney.

Why bother risking this?  Just print around the Reserve List and move on with life.
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« Reply #81 on: September 19, 2014, 05:47:14 pm »

Why bother risking this?  Just print around the Reserve List and move on with life.
It's not trivial to "print around" the Moxen. The last time they tried, we got Chalice of the Void.

It's easier to reprint power like so:
Quote
Mox Land
Land
Keyword
When ~this~ ETB, you may play an additional land this turn.
{Tap}: C

Quote
Lotus Land
Land
Keyword
When ~this~ ETB, you may play an additional land this turn.
When ~this~ ETB, add three mana of any one color to your mana pool.

Quote
Ancestral Recaller  {U}
Creature - Wizard
Flash
Keyword
When ~this~ ETB, target player draws three cards.
0/0

Quote
Time Walker  {1} {U}
Creature - Wizard
Keyword
When ~this~ ETB, take an extra turn.
0/0

And make a keyword ability that makes you lose the game if you play or control any cards only printed in ABU.
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« Reply #82 on: September 19, 2014, 07:16:40 pm »

Honestly, there is no chance at all that WotC will print any kind of clunky Snow Power, and especially not with riders prohibiting them being in the same deck as "real" power.

No, barring a 180-degree reversal on the reprint policy I think the future of Vintage is online. WotC has really dropped the ball with online play in general, and Vintage support in particular. Unlike paper Vintage, from which WotC profits only very indirectly, MTGO is (or rather, should be) a money-printing machine for them. There is no excuse for them offering such an unappealing tournament structure and prize support.
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« Reply #83 on: September 19, 2014, 07:31:05 pm »

The excuse is that they're making money.

"Hey, Joe, everyone is complaining about MTGO."
"Are profits down?"
"Nope."
"Will we make more money if we dump hundreds of thousands into better software?"
"Probably not."
"Okay, tell them we're working on it.  Then work on it between other projects, you know, whenever."

Anyway, Duck's psuedo-power is allowed by the Reserve List.  You may think they won't print cards like that, since they're clunky or overpowered.  You may be right.  But they're not barred from doing so, and something like that would be the only way to increase the "powered" player base in paper Vintage.
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« Reply #84 on: September 20, 2014, 06:58:00 am »

Honestly, I think it would be interesting to test the might of sideboard Donates and Blood Moons against uncounterable Black Lotus that doesn't use the stack and casting Ancestral Recall with Cavern of Souls.

But they're not barred from doing so, and something like that would be the only way to increase the "powered" player base in paper Vintage.
No new power printed + power leaving circulation by grading/damage/etc -> ever-less power -> ever-less power -> ever-less players

The only solutions are reprinting power or an alternative to it. If they just print Snow Power without a clunky no Power clause, the format devolves into turn 1 kills.

Or we could all just use Cockatrice. Just sayin'. It's not like the tourneys held on there in the past were disasters.
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Any interest in putting together/maintaining a Github Git project that hosts proven decks of all major archetypes and documents their changes over time?
Norm4eva
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« Reply #85 on: September 24, 2014, 08:36:27 am »

Is there anything that prevents the Vintage community from simply accepting CE as legal proxies in spite of WotC's refusal to do the same?

Maybe the angle is all wrong here. This very site can claim a lot of the refocusing, popularity and evolution of Vintage -- hell, the theorycrafting alone on this site gave me the know-enough to build (heavily) proxied lists back when Vintage was Still A Thing People Played around here and do far far better than I should have (walking into a tournament 10 years ago with UR Fish and little-to-no gauntlet testing and outperforming Tog, Stompy, Suicide Black? because I can read good? that's got little to do with me as a player, that's entirely on TMD as a resource for players)

If there is a major league upshot to staying sanctioned, and I am just too ill-versed in the regular goings-on to see it, then it's a poor suggestion -- but if there's not really a huge reason to stay legal then I say adopt gold borders and make a rule about opaque sleeves. Is it that big a dick move? Is there really enough incentive in staying sanctioned to hurry up and wait for more Power and Duals? (or just sitting and watching as the prices climb and the back-and-forth between "entry barrier" and "get a real job" keeps increasing in volume?)

I might be too far from the center to know why this is a bad idea, so like I said, ignore the hell out of me if it's damaging to Vintage. But really, consider the trends that are appearing in modern card design. MaxC is correct; there is a real willingness to print strong effects from time to time; just look at what Treasure Cruise is threatening to do to Blue in Legacy, and take a look back at the Delver/AD/Top/etc type cards that do drop out of Standard from time to time. They'll print to this format, even if it goes rogue; how many EDH plants were there before they actually took on Commander? They still have Legacy to toss a penny to now and again. And given enough time, even Modern will require plants which compete with those currently aimed at Old Eternal formats.
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AmbivalentDuck
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Exile Ancestral and turn Tiago sideways.

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« Reply #86 on: September 24, 2014, 09:15:44 am »

There's no meaningful legal distinction between an ace of spades with "Black Lotus" scrawled across it and any other ace of spades. You can sharpie whatever you want onto your playing cards and restrict their movement across a table and your hand however you want.

That said, some people think proxies are "bad" for reasons that are usually pretty silly. It's usually commitment principle/rite of passage "I paid for my cards so everyone else can/should pay for theirs." The problem is that there's not enough power to go around even if money wasn't a thing and that proxies function in game just like the genuine article. Gold-bordered power isn't in any sense superior to blanking a card with acetone and printing the relevant information on it (in a non-infringing way).

That said, proxies aren't useful for cultivating a feeling of "investment." If a Vintage deck comes out of a laser printer, the only investment/ownership comes from deckbuilding. But we have titans like Menendian and Shay who build mean decks.

If we want to grow the format, we have to give people a mechanism by which to feel invested. I'm always amazed by how much of the business from my online store is clearly driven by EDH. People both buy expensive cards and build "unique" decks because mean decks are implicitly forbidden.

So:
1. Ban Steve, Rich, and other good players from playing good decks.
--Oh. You've won how many tournaments? That's nice. If you want to play here again, your deck had better have 4 Goblin Lackey in it.
2. Lobby Wizards aggressively to reprint power.
--Fat chance.
3. Work with organized crime in countries with weak rule of law to produce high-quality forgeries of expense MTG cards and flood the market. Black Lotuses are way easier to smuggle than drugs. Just sayin'
--I'm not doing it, but feel free. Just don't tell me and don't tell anyone I inspired you.
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A link to the GitHub project where I store all of my Cockatrice decks.
Team TMD - If you feel that team secrecy is bad for Vintage put this in your signature
Any interest in putting together/maintaining a Github Git project that hosts proven decks of all major archetypes and documents their changes over time?
Greg
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« Reply #87 on: September 24, 2014, 09:36:30 am »

Is there anything that prevents the Vintage community from simply accepting CE as legal proxies in spite of WotC's refusal to do the same?

When I got back into playing Vintage in 2009 and 2010, I had a full set of Collector's Edition power that I used for proxies in my Vintage deck. I had rounded the corners of the cards and played with them using completely opaque sleeves. Several people knew I was doing this, but those that didn't usually couldn't tell that they weren't "real." For the intents and purposes of shuffling a double sleeved deck and playing a game of unsanctioned Vintage, they functioned exactly the same as the "regular" cards. It was indiscernible and provided no advantage, disadvantage, or "difference" from Alpha, Beta, or Unlimited power.

To me, Collector's Edition cards are the best form of proxy, because they were made with the same card stock and have the exact same image as the "regular" cards. There is never any "confusion" that can sometimes be experienced with the use of normal proxies. Collector's Edition cards will likely never become "legal," but for all of our community's usual unsanctioned purposes, they make for fun and appropriate proxies.
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MaximumCDawg
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« Reply #88 on: September 24, 2014, 10:02:36 am »

That said, some people think proxies are "bad" for reasons that are usually pretty silly. It's usually commitment principle/rite of passage "I paid for my cards so everyone else can/should pay for theirs." The problem is that there's not enough power to go around even if money wasn't a thing and that proxies function in game just like the genuine article. Gold-bordered power isn't in any sense superior to blanking a card with acetone and printing the relevant information on it (in a non-infringing way).

I'm all in favor of accepting proxies, but you're selling the counter-argument very short.  Folks don't say, "I bought in so you should, too."  They're saying that you are more likely to stick with a format if you have invested thousands of dollars into it.  It's like taking advantage of the Sunk Cost fallacy.  Now, you can certainly argue with how much of an effect "buying in" has on the format, but it probably does have some effect and you shouldn't dismiss the idea out of hand.

MaxC is correct; there is a real willingness to print strong effects from time to time; just look at what Treasure Cruise is threatening to do to Blue in Legacy, and take a look back at the Delver/AD/Top/etc type cards that do drop out of Standard from time to time. They'll print to this format, even if it goes rogue; how many EDH plants were there before they actually took on Commander? They still have Legacy to toss a penny to now and again. And given enough time, even Modern will require plants which compete with those currently aimed at Old Eternal formats.

I sure am!  

To analogize further, I like to think about Vintage as a forest.  There are some trees that are taller than others, and only the trees whose canopy can see the sky actually get any light.  (Cards = Trees, Height = Power Level, Light = Tournament Success).  The original Power Nine have established the top of the canopy and they crowd out and smother anything trying to grow in the same location.  (You play Power before Sky Diamond, Concentrate, etc).  It is safe to say there will never be trees taller than the Power Nine grove.  However, the area of the canopy parallel to the ground (the design space) is not limited.  The forest can, in theory, sprawl forever in every direction.  Those trees that do not grow in the same place as the Power Nine, or within their shadow, still have the capacity to reach the sunlight.  

So we get other peaks in the forest canopy representing clusters of trees (cards) that we recognize as things like Dredge or Shops.  Since Lorwyn, the formerly very low branches of trees representing creatures strategies started to rise, and certainly after Shards we have been seeing whole groves of creature-based trees reaching heights that, if not as tall as the Power Nine, are at least not completely in their shadow.  Diversity is increasing as the canopy rises and the forest spreads.

Even on the micro level, trees are managing to poke up and share space with formerly smothering rivals.  Counterspells in particular have undergone a Renaissance since Zendikar, with numerous trees now sharing sunlight with Mana Drain quite happily.

So, to complete the analogy, how do you save Vintage?  Well, it depends what you want to accomplish.  If you want more people to enjoy the topography of the forest canopy as it was in 2010, well, you're going to have to plant some trees just as tall as the Power Nine right next to them.  (Duck's Dumb Power or something like that).  If you don't mind the forest changing, however, then Wizards can keep right on doing what they are doing - printing other cards that create new local maximums that are not overshadowed by the Power Nine and can compete with them.  
« Last Edit: September 24, 2014, 10:14:10 am by MaximumCDawg » Logged
ben_berry
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« Reply #89 on: September 24, 2014, 10:15:55 am »

I counter the high investment cost with "I need major surgery" or "I got married and need a down payment on a house" Cheaper cards would make them less useful as a liquid asset meaning players collections would survive hard times and they could come back after an absence.
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