Wednesday, February 8, 2023

MTG’s Complex Card Variants Enrage Draft Community

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Now that Phyrexia: All Will Be One spoiler season is well on its way, the MTG community has become wholly enveloped in content about the new set. We’ve seen incredible new spoilers that will impact multiple formats in big ways. Whether you’re looking forward to the new Commander staples or some of the cards that may shake up competitive formats, Phyrexia: All Will Be One has some powerful cards. What has many MTG players’ attention, however, is the MTG Booster Fun variants appearing in the set. There are as many as ten variants on a single card in the set, and it’s becoming tough to figure out what special edition cards are available in specific pack types. Players aren’t thrilled about this, and some pushback on the newfound complication with Booster Fun variants has been seen.

Booster Fun Chaos

About eight hours after Phyrexia: All Will Be One’s preview season was kicked off on Twitch and YouTube, the official MTG Twitter account posted this infographic. Contained within is where players should expect to find specific Booster Fun variants appearing in Phyrexia: All Will Be One. Needless to say, there is a lot to break down here.

According to these infographics, seven unique treatments can appear at different rates in one of four different products. While this is an incredibly helpful tool for players after specific card variants, it also highlights just how many variants will be available in MTG’s newest core set. One shocking fact, in particular, is that the previously considered premium Phyrexian Language treatment will be available in every Phyrexia: All Will Be One product. Instead of players being excited about this, there is a surprising amount of pushback.

Phyrexian Barriers to Gameplay?

While many MTG players are not thrilled that they have to look at complex charts to figure out how booster packs work, there is a bizarre amount of pushback on specifically Phyrexian Language cards appearing in Draft Booster packs. This seems to be because, unlike many other MTG formats where only a small pool of cards actually see play, the pool of cards seen at a Limited table can be pretty large. That means that many MTG Limited players need to read their cards.

“The subreddit is going to be filled with “what does this card do” posts during draft weekend.” – @Madgwical

“Fully agree SCG Indy is wall to wall prereleases, I can only imagine what a pain this will be at that volume” – @JacobakaPywo

“I don’t think they should be in Draft boosters, as to avoid confusion while drafting.” – @Corbinisms

“I absolutely loathe that Phyrexian language cards are in draft packs. New sets have enough mechanics and suddenly players mid draft will need to pull out their phone or call judge?” – @PharmacistJudge

While this may not be the response that many were expecting, the suggested fix by many MTG players is, fortunately, pretty straightforward: take Phyrexian Language cards out of the Draft Booster packs. Many replies to these comments indicate that a surplus of players love treatments like this, so getting rid of them entirely is unwarranted. There is a possibility that only a few of these cards, like Elesh Norn, Mother of Machines, and the Compleated Planeswalkers, are actually going to receive this treatment. If that ends up being the case, these Phyrexian Language cards may not be a significant barrier to gameplay past the first few weeks of the format.

Complication Complaints

While the complaints about Phyrexian Language cards in Draft Boosters was definitely more than expected, they weren’t the most common thing that MTG players criticized about the Booster Fun charts. Many players were annoyed with how complicated the variant chart was overall.

“Is it common for companies to need spreadsheets to explain where to buy their products?” – @CubeApril

“Surely you gotta take a step back and realize if you need to make a chart for variants and where to get them you have to many products.” – @treeofdoom

Comments like these ones span for quite a while on various Twitter outlets. While no harm comes from having a bunch of different things to make a set feel special, players don’t seem very enthusiastic about the need for complicated graphics to know what they could be getting in various types of products. This feedback may simply mean the way that Booster Fun is approached for future sets will see a bit of a tweak.

Read More: Huge Phyrexia Leak Spoils New Card Type and Anticipated Mythic!

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