An Offer You Can't Refuse | Regional Championship Qualifier Promo
21, Jun, 23

MTG Players Baffled by Disappointing Promo Cards

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In order to celebrate the game as much as possible, Magic: the Gathering has an awful lot of promotional cards. Between Stamped Cards, Datestamped Promos, Prerelease Promos, and Dark Frame promos, players are certainly spoilt for choice nowadays. Despite having all these options, however, the myriad promo cards in MTG do little to get players excited about a set’s release. 

Judging by their name, each one of these cards should, in theory, be a collectible and celebrated promo. Since they only feature a small barely noteworthy stamp, however, these cards are typically no more expensive than basic variants. Thankfully, however, while these plentiful promos may be a flop, there are still some celebrated promotional cards.

Typically released to commemorate events and occasions, MTG does have a number of awesome and gorgeous promos. One of the most consistent sources of these is Magic’s competitive circuit. To prove that point, Wizards just announced a new string of stunning promos available at upcoming Regional Championship Qualifier events. As good as these cards look, however, not every MTG player is entirely happy with them. 

Perplexing Promos

Perplexing Test | Commander 2021
Perplexing Test | Commander 2021

In theory, Regional Championship Qualifier events are a perfect opportunity to provide players with some absolutely amazing promotional cards. Playing into the format of the event, Wizards could delight players with highly prized and valuable competitive staples. More than just being a nice reward for participation and performance, this could entice new players toward the competitive scene. 

Unfortunately, while this theory is rather compelling, recent promos have left much to be desired. Rather than choosing to reprint and celebrate some of a format’s most played cards, recent promos have been practically unplayable. This was certainly the case for Regional Championship Qualifier promos in 2022, which left players feeling confused and disappointed. 

Following on from this rather dismal showing in 2022, thankfully, Wizards improved their selection somewhat for 2023. Offering a gorgeous Mystical Dispute as a qualifier participation promo and Snapcaster Mage to Regional Championship participants, Wizards definitely understood the assignment. In fact, the Unholy Heat currently available in this season’s Regional Championship Qualifiers may be the best promo of the entire series. Unfortunately, however, despite this successful showing, Wizards has taken a step backward with their latest promos. 

For upcoming Regional Championship Qualifier events, beginning September 9th, Wizards is squandering the awesome potential of the promos. For these events, every round must be run as either Limited or Modern Constructed. Due to this narrow scope, Wizards had the perfect opportunity to reprint enticing Modern staples. As you might be able to tell from our tone, Wizards didn’t do this. 

Instead of printing promos that players may want, Wizards has instead appeased a much smaller subsection of players. Subsequently, many MTG players are understandably disappointed by this wasted potential. To explain exactly why, here’s a rundown of each of the new Regional Championship Qualifier promos.

An Offer You Can’t Refuse

An Offer You Can't Refuse | Regional Championship Qualifier Promo
An Offer You Can’t Refuse | Regional Championship Qualifier Promo

Available as the participation reward from the upcoming Regional Championship Qualifier events, this MTG promo is admittedly absolutely adorable. Just look at kitty Jace’s face! How could you not want to accept their somewhat dubious offer?! 

Due to the adorable art, this upcoming promo is understandably already beloved by much of the MTG community. That being said, however, not everyone was happy with the art choice. For players like u/ZestfulHydra, this wasn’t because the art was bad, but instead because the art is just wrong. 

Rather than being a whole new take on An Offer You Can’t Refuse this art appears to be just Fact or Fiction. With both cards featuring Jace and the same sparkly objects, it’s easy to see the similarities between them. The cards are so similar, in fact, that some MTG players suggested this could be leftover and repurposed art! Thankfully, even if this is the case, as u/Draffut notes, the artwork is still fitting for An Offer You Can’t Refuse. 

Outside of the somewhat perplexing adorable art, An Offer You Can’t Refuse is hardly a competitive staple. Only played with a handful of Oops All Spells Modern Decks, this card is typically only used in Commander. Here, An Offer You Can’t Refuse sees an impressive amount of play, being included in 169,982 decks according to EHDREC

Due to the amount it gets played in Commander, it’s possible this new promo card will Command some decent value. After all, the basic version of An Offer You Can’t Refuse is currently worth around $2.50 on TCGplayer. That being said, however, this Regional Championship Qualifier promo will be the most common out of the bunch, so don’t expect great things. 

Death’s Shadow

Death's Shadow | Regional Championship Qualifier Promo
Death’s Shadow | Regional Championship Qualifier Promo

According to Wizards of the Coast, Death’s Shadow is “everyone’s favorite 13/13 avatar of unspeakable death and despair!” While this is technically true, this doesn’t mean that Death’s Shadow is a staple in the current Modern environment. Saying that, however, it does get fairly consistently played as the core of the aptly named Grixis Death’s Shadow lists. The card has also had a massive competitive history in the Modern format, creating a fantastic nostalgic promotional card for players.

Unfortunately for fans of this 13/13 Avatar, Death’s Shadow-centric decks are hardly Tier One on the competitive ladder. Subsequently, for better or worse, Death’s Shadow is not a very expensive card, typically only worth around $2.50. On the surface, this may make this promo rather disappointing, however, there is a lot of love for Death’s Shadow. 

Due to being somewhat of a pet card, unique art for Death’s Shadow has a history of selling well. The Secret Lair variant, for instance, currently sells for around $15! Since this Regional Championship Qualifier promo is only available for top finishers at qualifying events, it’s likely copies will sell for a similar price. It’s possible, in fact, this Death’s Shadow could go for even more, as MTG players are seriously loving the art!

Dragonlord Silumgar

Dragonlord Silumgar | Regional Championship Promo
Dragonlord Silumgar | Regional Championship Promo

Alongside the promo cards received for attending and performing well at qualifier events, the Regional Championships themselves also have a unique promo. Unfortunately for excited MTG fans, however, the promo available for participating in this exclusive competitive event is just bad. So bad, in fact, that many MTG players are completely perplexed as to why it was chosen. 

Unlike the other newly revealed promo cards, Dragonlord Silumgar is barely played anywhere. A niche card in a tiny percentage of Commander decks, this card also has practically no competitive presence at all. Due to this, it feels like Wizards had completely squandered this promo’s potential. Compare this to the past Snapcaster Mage Regional Promo, for instance, and it certainly feels like a miss.

“What EDH players are playing competitive magic for that Dragonlord promo? Seems like an odd and out of touch choice by Wizards to be commander focused again.”

u/TeaorTisane

“Silumgar is such a weird pick here – the others can at least claim to have been played or intended for competitive play, but Dragonlord hasn’t really done that since standard uhhh 8 years ago?”

u/AbsoluteIridium

While they’re far from being a competitive powerhouse, there were a few players excited for Dragonlord Silumgar. This is thanks to their admittedly niche Commander appeal and occasional appearances within Cube lists. Thanks to these excited players, the promo copies of Dragonlord Silumgar could be fairly lucrative. Prerelease versions of the card, for instance, currently sell for around $16. While this is less than half of what the Regional Championship Snapcaster Mage is worth, it’s nevertheless better than nothing. 

Squandered Potential

At the end of the day, none of these promos are inherently bad cards, especially since they’re all technically free. That being said, however, they do feel somewhat out of place since they’re being given out at Regional Championship events. Due to the competitive nature of these events, it feels appropriate that competitive cards be given out, rather than these predominantly Commander cards. 

Thankfully, despite Dragonlord Silumgar’s promo, it seems Wizards of the Coast do know this. After all, there have been some absolutely stunning Regional Championship promos announced previously, like Ugin, the Spirit Dragon, and an absolute slam dunk promo in the form of Unholy Heat. Due to these past promos, hopefully, there will be plenty more competitive viable promos in the future to delight fans. 

Read More: Unique LOTR Card Interaction Makes Commander Staple Even Better!

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