Relentless Pursuit
25, Nov, 22

MTG Players Don't All Hate Wizards' Relentless Releases

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Article at a Glance

Love it or hate it, 2022 has been a busy year for Magic: the Gathering. Alongside the usual quartet of Standard legal premier sets, MTG players have also had four major supplemental sets to enjoy. As if that wasn’t enough, frequent Secret Lair drops, commemorative products, and Alchemy releases filled out the busy release calendar. While more MTG products may seem like a good thing, many players have been complaining about Wizards creating an overwhelming release schedule. These community concerns were recently typified in a Bank of America report, which accused Hasbro of “killing its golden goose.” 

In the report, the Bank of America’s assessment that “Hasbro has been overproducing Magic cards” resonated with the community. Following this damning assessment, some players lept to Wizards’ defense, however, those positive voices would soon be drowned out. Thanks to Jumpstart 2022 capping off the end of the year, MTG players are once again debating product fatigue. Not all players, however, agree that Wizards of the Coast’s chock-a-block release schedule is such a bad thing. Specifically, for new players, 2022 has been a godsend of exciting sets and compelling releases. 

Being a New Magic Player in 2022

Begin Anew
Begin Anew | Alchemy: Innistrad

The fact that 2022’s myriad releases aren’t meant to be for every enfranchised MTG player is a statement Wizards has repeated recently following the growing concern. Many players, however, have been hesitant to accept this sentiment because, of course, Wizards of the Coast would say that. Despite these dissenting opinions, it appears that Wizards’ statement might not be all PR spin to diffuse a turbulent situation. According to Reddit user u/TheAwkwardSilent, Wizards of the Coast might actually be onto something. 

Throughout an extensive Reddit post, u/TheAwkwardSilent claimed that, as a new player, there’s a lot to enjoy about Magic right now. This includes the Universes Beyond products, which have been a point of contention within the MTG community for some time. Stating they first jumped into Magic with a Battle for Baldur’s Gate Commander deck, u/TheAwkwardSilent highlighted the draw of these products. Alongside the influence of friends, u/TheAwkwardSilent “figured that, since these were ‘Dungeons and Dragons’ decks, I wouldn’t have to worry about getting too invested in the story,” which removed a barrier to entry. 

Following this initial venture, u/TheAwkwardSilent professed how their love of MTG has developed throughout the year. “Fast forward to now, and I have several more Commander decks, including a Jodah one I built myself.” Additionally, u/TheAwkwardSilent shared how despite Universes Beyond being a touchy topic “I’ve been excited about that too. The Warhammer 40K decks were a fun way to get me into 40K without feeling like I need to collect an army of models, and I’ve always loved Transformers.” 

A Fresh Perspective

New Prespectives
New Prespectives | Amonkeht

Considering how enfranchised MTG players have been heavily criticizing Wizards recently, u/TheAwkwardSilent’s perspective may appear to be in the minority. In the comments of their post, however, many players in a similar position reiterated this supportive sentiment. Reddit user u/Basic-Philosopher-49, for instance, stated, “great post! Same here, pretty new to the game, I love all this stuff coming out, this endless list of cards, no fear that I ever run out of things to do in Magic.” 

It’s no secret that not every player holds this optimistic view of Wizards’ near-endless spoiler season. In their comment, u/Basic-Philosopher-49, however, claims there needn’t be that negativity. “No matter how many products they release per year, I don’t understand why someone should be stressed, just get into sets you are interested [in].” Backing up this point, u/MagnesiumStearate detailed how they’ve learned to live with the release schedule. “Honestly, I am not bothered by the constant product flood anymore, ever since I learned to become selective. When you only narrowly care about certain products, the pace of the release is actually kinda reasonable.“ 

While it may not be for everyone, this approach is exactly what Wizards want. After being questioned about the pace of releases in a recent Livestream, Weekly MTG host Blake Rasmussen explained that not every product is for everyone anymore. Previously, the release of an MTG set was a “momentous occasion that you had to be a part of because the next one wasn’t coming for months. That isn’t the case anymore. My advice is to engage with the parts of Magic that you find fun and that you want to engage with, and not that you feel that you must engage with.”

MTG Is Fun

Urza's Fun House
Urza’s Fun House | Unfinity

This approach may seem to work in principle, however, many MTG players aren’t so convinced. After all, it’s hard to ignore a product when it may contain new format-warping staples or highly requested reprints. Subsequently, many players feel like they have no choice but to keep up with everything MTG, regardless of whether they want to or not. “For me (and many others), the problem is that the formats that don’t rotate (like Modern) have been given a semi-rotation with the last few years of releases,” u/PreTry94 highlighted. “Never before have this many changes happened to our favorite non-rotating formats in such a short time.” 

Despite these problems, throughout the post, several players were quick to enjoy with u/TheAwkwardSilent’s belief that MTG is still fun. Reddit user u/sumayaosumunod, for instance, left an impassioned response about how, at its core, MTG has always been enjoyable. Even when players get outraged or Hasbro makes a dodgy business decision, u/sumayaosumunod claims, “there is just So. Much. Joy. in this game, and it gets lost in the noise sometimes. Don’t pay that noise any mind. Have fun. Play well. Enjoy everything you want to.” 

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