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Magic the Gathering 2022: A Year In Review

            It is pretty fair to say that 2022 was a huge year for Magic the Gathering. There so many amazing products and some not so amazing product released for Magic the Gathering that honestly, it would take me into next year to give a full detailed list of what exactly went well and wrong with each product. With that being said, I want to give a positive end to the year so we will be covering the top 3 things Wizards of the Coast got right for Magic the Gathering this year.

Commander Got Better for New and Veteran Players.

There is no argument that Commander is the most popular format for Magic the Gathering and Wizards of the Coast knows it. In 2022, they released what I consider to be some of the best pre-con Commander decks that we have seen in a while. Of course, a large part of this would be the Warhammer 40K Commander decks. These decks were well balanced and honestly, they were fun to play. Each one had their own unique way of playing and felt strong right out of the box. As a veteran player, the decks felt pretty easy to understand and you can immediately see what your strengths and weaknesses are. They might be a little too advanced for brand new players but, it’s not a bad place to start out either if you have a helping hand.

While the Warhammer 40K Decks are a little more on the advanced side, Wizards of the Coast made sure to not forget about new players getting into Commander. Enter the Commander Starter decks that were released in early December. These 5 decks are PERFECT for getting people into Commander and teaching them the basics. They are unique and give new players a chance to try different styles of play. They are a great starting point for new players and the upgrades they can make to them to give them more power are honestly affordable.

Reprints, Reprints, and More Reprints!

Imperial Seal – Double Masters 2022

Wizards of the Coast knocked it out of the park with the reprints they brought out in 2022. Double Masters 2022 gave us reprints like Imperial Seal, which hasn’t been seen since Portal Three Kingdoms. Yes, it has literally been that long. Reprints like that are so important in today’s Magic the Gathering because it helps bring these cards to an affordable price for everyone to obtain for whatever format they wish to play. For example, before Imperial Seal was reprinted, this card nearly costed $2,000.00 to purchase at near-mint. That is WAY too much money for a decent tutor card. When the reprint for Imperial Seal was revealed, in a matter of about six hours, the price went from that $2,000.00 mark to roughly $700.00. This is amazing and a good thing.

Liliana of the Veil – Dominaria United

The secondary card market can make this game hard to play if you haven’t started from the beginning and while Wizards of the Coast have said on numerous occasions that they do not look at the secondary card market, they know that reprinting things like Imperial Seal or Liliana of the Veil is going to tank those prices. I can’t tell you how happy it makes me to know that if I want to get a Liliana of the Veil for one of my decks that I know its only going to cost me around $22.00 versus the old price point of about $90.00. This is something that I know will continue to happen going forward but, it gives me hope that maybe one day in my lifetime that I will see them reprint things from the reserved list.

Day One Card Legality Announcement

In December, Wizards of the Coast announced that with the release of Phyrexia: All Will Be One that the cards will be tournament legal on prerelease day. This is a huge win for players. It has always been an annoying feeling that you had to wait a week to be able to play with brand new cards. In addition to being able to play with these cards on day one, it is also something positive for local game stores. During the old prerelease rules (excluding The Brothers’ War), local game stores were only allowed to sell a select number of booster boxes and prerelease kits during the prerelease weekend. Selling singles, bundles, and individual packs were not allowed. While the majority of players were buying booster boxes, it did set back those with a more limited budget to make them wait a week until they were able to get their hands on the new cards. Meanwhile, those who were able to play in prerelease or obtain booster boxes during prerelease weekend, got a head start on learning how to play with the new cards and gained a pretty big advantage over the others. The changes to when you can play with the new cards now makes it more of an even playing field and its something that I hope continues going forward.

Elesh Norn, Mother of Machines – Phyrexia: All Will Be One

Magic the Gathering saw so much happen in 2022 and while I am normally critical over how Wizards of the Coast responds to their player base; I can’t deny that they have done a lot of good this year. They are showing that they are paying attention to some extent to their players and it’s something I hope they can continue to grow on going into 2023. Wizards of the Coast knows that their players have made Magic the Gathering what it is today, and I really feel that these examples show that they are listening to us, and I hope they will continue to do so. Here is to a fun and amazing 2023 for Magic the Gathering!

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