Deep Analysis – How Destroying Modern Leads to Magic’s End Phase

Today I want to talk about something serious.

Hasbro is slowly killing Magic as we know it.  They have successfully destroyed Vintage and Legacy.

Now they are trying to do the same thing to Modern and they are using the same tactics as they did to make Vintage and Legacy feel unimportant.

Removing Modern from Pro Tour

This was the first step toward slowly making the format seem unimportant.

Wizards excuse was that Pros broke the format and made it unfun for everyone else.  Sure, Pros are suppose to break formats before Pro Tour events.  If you print powerful cards for Standard play that interact with Modern cards the way that the Eldrazi did, you might want to do more research beforehand.

Truth be told is that Hasbro didn’t get to showcase the new Standard environment at Pro Tour events and that is something they want to push sales.

Maintaining a low number of Modern Grand Prix

After Modern was removed from being featured at the Pro Tour, they said that Modern would still be featured at the Grand Prix.  The number of events has changed over the last 3 years:

Modern Based GP

 Events
201512*
20169
20178
These GP use Modern or Modern Masters set in a single player format.
*includes 3 Modern Masters 2015 Limited GPs

That is a disturbing trend.  This is following a similar trend as Legacy:

Legacy GP

 Events
20153
20163
20172
Number of Legacy Grand Prix

This spells bad news for Modern.  If Wizards keeps this trend, it will undoubtedly drop down until it is at Legacy level.  We don’t want that.

Improperly Promoting Modern Masters 2017

This one is really telling of what Hasbro thinks of Modern.

The last 2 Modern Masters have had large Limited Grand Prix associated with them and have been hugely popular.

Why would you suddenly cut out a record producing Grand Prix?

Because they are trying to kill the format.

Why is Wizards doing this?

I don’t believe that Wizards is the main problem in all of this.  Wizards parent company is Hasbro who purchased them in 1999.  Hasbro sees record breaking profits in Magic due to a substantial growth in the player base about 3-5 years ago and they want it to continue to get bigger.  Hasbro only sees the profit they make from Magic and not the whole picture.  I believe that Hasbro has forced Wizards to make a number of changes that have cause the shift in philosophy:

  • Force Standard and Limited to be the focus of competitive play to focus on the latest product release, thus pushing sales.
  • Put more promotions geared toward Standard play to attract players.
  • Add chase ‘legendary’ cards like the Expeditions and Inventions to sell more product.
  • Hasbro focuses mostly on ‘new’ and potential customers.

What are the problems with doing this?

Hasbro does not understand that players don’t like the constant cost of rotation.  Many players get burnt out due to their deck and/or cards rotating.  Players end up shifting to a format like Modern after 2 to 4 seasons playing Standard.

If you kill Modern and Legacy, what happens?

Without other formats to play, players who aren’t playing Standard will quit Magic entirely.  This loss hurts the local store more than anyone, but also hurts distributors as well.

Important Numbers from the Past 2 Weekends

SCG Regional events used Modern and players showed out in force.

GP Vancouver had 1548 players and GP Brisbane had another 981.  Both were Modern Grand Prix events.

Jeff Hoogland participated at the SCG Open in Baltimore this weekend.  The Open was a team event using Standard, Modern and Legacy.  Then they had 3 classic events, one for each format:

I think the only ‘dead’ format is Standard.

So What Can We Do To Make a Point to Hasbro?

Hasbro is not listening to the masses.  Its time to show them that we mean business.

  • Get your FLGS involved in Modern (if they aren’t already).
  • Organize and Promote Modern events at your store.
  • Participate in large Modern events.  Make sure that every Modern GP and large event sets event records.
  • Do not participate in Standard events.

One of the biggest things we can do is hit up larger events.  Talk with large retailer vendors who run larger Modern events about getting together to promote a Modern World Championship.  Legacy and Vintage have World Championships scheduled one weekend a year.

Make a statement, make a stand

@Nicol_Bolas_ on Twitter
Nicol_Bolas@MTGDeckTechs.com

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