What’s the format?

I recently made a poll asking what is everyone’s all-time favorite Magic the Gathering format. Unsurprisingly the top format chosen was Commander with 26 out of 80 votes. What were the other options though and what was the point of this poll anyway? I will describe everything in detail. The poll was made to check out what people prefer playing. Link to the poll: https://www.strawpoll.me/17178853/r Each community has a specific format it favors. Apparently, ours leans towards Commander, followed by Limited Booster Draft.

I. Commander

I mean it’s not a big surprise that Commander is the favored format. It’s easily accessible, highly customizable and very entertaining. A group of 4 to 6 people can easily play hours on end with multiple commander decks for nights in a row. It’s the type of format that grabs you and doesn’t really let you go 🙂 Compared to other formats where cards need to have a strong presence in your deck and must be in multiples otherwise they are very unreliable, commander decks want to have anything that can buff their decks regardless of mana costs and also have the luxury of the one copy per deck rule, which coincidentally saves a lot in terms of financial output in the game. Once you start thinking in terms of “commander bomb” you feel this sense of release regarding prices of meta cards. At least I did once I stopped taking competitive magic seriously. But speaking of competitive, Commander also provides that with the 1v1 format. You can play the most busted cards and combos you want (and can afford :3 ) if you want to break the game. All in all Commander is a solid choice as the number one format that is prefered by the Magic community around Ingolstadt. Because the response was so tilted in favor of Commander I will do my very best to get my hands on more unique Commander products and cards so that my customers can feel like they have enough choices to satisfy their needs. I will also try pushing the 1v1 Commander more and establish it as a format here at the store. FNM will still highlight Commander as the number one choice for the evening with 1v1 Commander making an appearance every Saturday from now on at 15:00. As long as there are no big tournaments such as Prereleases, Draft Weekends, etc. I will try to get Commander 1v1 off the ground. What’s the banlist? The one that WIzards offers seems like the best choice right? 😉 Here’s the link: https://magic.wizards.com/en/game-info/gameplay/rules-and-formats/banned-restricted/magic-online-commander

II. Booster Draft

Booster Draft huh? I assume I had a bit to do with this as well. I have favored Booster Draft since forever and a half and pushed it hard especially during Shadows over Innistrad where there was a draft basically at any point there were 6 people who played magic at the same time in my store 😀 Those times are long gone, but it’s nice to see Booster Draft still being in the top 2. Grabbing 17 out of 80 votes was a nice surprise from my perspective. Every new edition brings in a huge wave of renewed interest in the game and therefor Drafting takes the wheel and drives quite fast until the interest fades. This has been a problem at my shop with people not wanting to draft much anything else except the same edition over and over until we all hate it 🙂 I guess the best solution for this would be a Flashback Draft? Or maybe Chaos Draft? The NML (Neuburger Magic Liga) does Chaos Drafts as part of their monthly events and I would assume it’s going well enough since people are interested and it really doesn’t sound bad having stuff like Innistrad, Modern Masters, Coldsnap, etc. in the Booster Pool. I am tempted to dabble a bit more into this since the attraction is there. I will try to fit more types of Booster Drafts in the weekly schedule. Perhaps some surprise purchases of specific displays that we can draft here would also be a thing. I personally would love to redraft Shards of Alara 😀 An awesome edition with a lot of Nostalgia for me.

III. Standard

Third place with 14 votes out of 80 is Standard. This actually is the biggest surprise of them all. I did not expect this. In my mind I placed Legacy and Modern higher than Standard, but it seems the people have spoken. Why could this be though? I assume it’s because Standard is the most accessible format after Commander. Having the possibility to get most of the cards for your deck because all editions are still in print is quite the advantage. I assume this is the main factor influencing the decisions of people interested in magic. It could also be that the majority of players are actually new to the game and have no real Modern or Legacy collection and obviously favor what they started with. But this begs the question: where are these players when Standard Showdown season is open? Why aren’t people showing up to these tournaments? Regarding Standard there isn’t much more I can do except change the date which until recently was Saturday. For example tomorrow at 18:00 there will be the first weekly Standard event of the year in the Arena. Will anyone show up? I would hope that the 14 votes that got Standard to third place translate into people participating in the weekly events that I offer. Let’s see what happens, right?

IV. Modern

Modern had 9 votes out of 80. We’re getting into the lower bracket now. It’s really not a big suprise here since the player base is rather new, therefore preferring formats like Standard and Booster Draft. The one thing Modern has going for itself is that once cards rotate out of Standard, people might still be in love with their deck. I was infatuated with my Aristocrats deck (during INS and RTR) and tried taking it to modern. I failed, since there are much too powerful strategies that trump my turn 4 Falkenrath Aristocrat, but I had my fun with it and I still have it on MTGO. Yes. I really do 🙂 My expectation for modern is that it will grow slowly, but it will grow. The reprinting of shocklands offers another way into getting a solid mana base for all modern decks. Yes there are other lands such as Cavern of Souls or Horizon Canopy which cost money, but it’s still a nice beginning. With the two groups around Ingolstadt, NML and Nackt & Rosa (Pfaffenhoffen), and with the Arena gathering players to the wonderful world of Magic the Gathering, perhaps sooner is actually the time Modern will shine rather than later. In the meanwhile, you can expect one Premiere Modern event with a top 4 or top 8 in the Arena once per month. Appart from that Wednesdays are dedicated Modern days with the tournaments starting weekly at 18:00.

V. Legacy

(You can totally skip this if you’re not interested in Legacy. This will be a huge rant on my side because I am somewhat tilted about a specific situation 😀 Read on for salt. Skip this for no salt.)
/Open rant.
I guess I have to talk a bit more about this one… It has something that needs fixing right here and now. This format got 7 votes of 80. Legacy is like the class clown in the back. Everyone likes him because he makes jokes and makes things interesting from time to time, but everyone also hates him because sometimes it’s just not worth the effort to try to tell him to shut up. It’s a love-hate relationship I have with Legacy. Last week I posted about leaving open proxies for cards which are above 100€ per card. I think that is in fact the correct choice if I would be a random dude from Nürnberg or whatever, who organizes non-sanctioned tournaments and expects all official stores to work around his set in stone dates for his events. I am, as you might know, not that guy, but I won’t go back on my word with the proxies. A customer of mine who is a big legacy enthusiast proposed that I do it and I think it’s a great idea if people want to get into this format. My beef with legacy is of another nature though. While proxies are something that I can’t stand seeing, I have something bigger on my mind regarding legacy that makes proxies pale in comparison on the dislike/hate scale. The actual organization of the tournaments. It takes FOREVER to get a legacy tournament together with enough players and pleasing them as well. If there’s not one thing, it must be the other and I have run out of patience. The last straw was when I had this chat that I wouldn’t like repeating with this dude from around Nürnberg (I think he’s from there, no idea really, don’t care). Apparently, I have been unknowingly setting my legacy tournament dates at the same time as his. For the past six months, he insists. Interestingly enough I even skipped a month or maybe two when I didn’t organize a legacy tournament, but that’s beside the point. So it seems I have been this guy with a huge ego that is purposely placing the events at the same time as him. I will be painfully honest here: I forgot the dude exists. Where in my god damn schedule do I have time to fit in his casual proxy tournament and work around him? First off: why? Secondly: triple lolozaurus! I have a ton of things to do and in no way possible would I purposely look for his tournaments and place mine at the same time as his. What would even be the point of that? It’s like shooting myself in one leg and then wanting to place first in a 5km marathon. The only reason why I am flaming is that I read randomly in a facebook group some comments he made about him “talking to me multiple times” about setting the dates differently. I don’t recall him messaging me about anything in the past half a year and it also proves the point that I didn’t even remember he exists. What’s the conclusion here though? You didn’t read all of this for nothing. Starting now there will be no more monthly legacy tournaments in the Arena. I am done trying to satisfy a group of people that is not even heavily represented locally. Placing the Legacy tournament on Saturday actually robs me of chances to organize something else that I have more interest in. For example a Starcraft 2 tournament, a Hearthstone tournament, etc. There are plenty of other events I can stack into a free Saturday. I was also told that I would lose my customers because I don’t care about the community and that my shop will close sooner rather than later because customers bring in money. This is a huge revelation for me. I always thought my store worked on cheese and crackers. I guess I have been paying my rent and all the products in my store with milk and cookies as well. Regardless of the colorful descriptions that I thoroughly enjoy, the end result is not that I will turn my back on Legacy either. I would never do that. You wanna play Legacy in my store? You get your weekly event set by the community, not by me so that it’s even more in your hands. Place it any time you want. You’ll have two tables for that and if you’d like to, let’s make it regular as you’d like. Let’s even make a small tournament of 5€ with a booster in the prize pool. I don’t see why I keep trying to attract people from far away who may or may not come. I have my garden to think of and I want to stop wasting time looking in the garden of my neighbor and question why he has prettier flowers than mine. Maybe I should take care of my own first.
/End of fucking rant 😀

VI. Limited Sealed

This is quite the low of lows. 5 votes out of 80? That’s a fraction of what the Prerelease format has to offer in terms of preference of our community. I assume that the people who voted for this are heavily relating Sealed to a Prerelease event. The cool atmosphere with loads of people around you buzzing about some new cards. The shouting you hear from some random table because somebody opened a foil mythic. These things are part of the Prerelease experience and are what I really enjoy living every 3 months. But this has not much to do with a typical sealed event. Once you know all the cards and the strategies because the format has been “figured out”, is it still that interesting? Apparently, Ingolstadt says no. From now on sealed events will be only for Prereleases and PPTQs (or whatever is the future equivalent of this).

VII. Pauper

2 votes out of 80. Need I say more? I will of course. It’s not a surprise that Pauper is the last format people voted for. It’s quite obscure. We had a similar format going here years ago: Peasant. Perhaps you even remember it from days gone by. Peasant allowed 4 uncommons to be played in the deck. Pauper doesn’t. It’s just commons. I guess this can be a way to play buget decks, but Peasant for example had people playing 4 Force of Will. Pauper decks, however, can’t, so they should be quite cheap to purchase. I can assume that people don’t really like playing this format because it’s not as flashy as the other ones where rares and mythics can break the game and construct awesome stacks that nobody even remembers how they start resolving (looking at your commander players :D). Regardless of the 2 votes, I still have pauper planned on every Wednesday at 18:00. It’s placed together with Modern. Presumably, if there is any interest, people will start showing up. If not, there’s nothing wrong with trying 🙂

So this is it for the formats that people from and around Ingolstadt prefer playing. Like I said before, I will look to mirror the needs and wants of the local community towards the votes given.

Regarding this week’s plans remember that Open House will happen on Saturday. You should join and bring some new friends into the game. There will be a special promo waiting for you 😉 Next week we’ll have a full weekend of Prerelease action with Guilds of Ravnica throwing foil shocklands at us 😀 Remember, I will most likely buy them all if you open them 😀 Curse my addiction to shiny stuff hahaha 😀

Thank you for reading and have a great week!

See you in the Arena!

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