The Reserve List - The Reddest Red Herring


  • TMD Supporter

    I still don't see what would be the problem with printing a dual land that also provides C mana (like "painlands" without the pain)? That kind of card would function the same way that duals always have until a year or so ago, but nowadays with C mana, it's a different card. This wouldn't unbalance Magic, it would help a few pillars get better (including budget), doesn't break the RL (if they are committed to C as a "sixth color"), and is even great for casual formats like Cube. Print them in a Conspiracy or Eternal set to keep them out of the other formats.

    The only reason not to do this, is because they don't want to crash the dual land market. If card value is the central issue, just announce them a few years in advance. People have time to unload their duals at a fair price, casuals and cubists will still be interested in traditional duals, and nobody can claim loss of investment, as they had adequate time to unload.

    It's not breaking the RL if you make a strictly better card, right?

    Disclaimer: I personally don't care if they reprint duals or not, but for the interest of this thread I am assuming they could.



  • @maximumcdawg said in The Reserve List - The Reddest Red Herring:

    @fsecco Would be fine except that Maro literally just said no. :)

    EDIT: Actually. It wouldn't be fine anyway. RL says no tournament playable cards. If your proposal was tournament legal, even with restrictions, it seems like it would be a no go.

    Oh don't get me wrong, I'm sure it can't be done - I said so in my post. I just thought it would be a perfect sollution for everyone involved, even investors, if it could happen.



  • @joshuabrooks The whole point of the RL is to not crash the market. So I don't think anyone would like a printing like that since it crashes the market without the benefits of the RL being gone.



  • @joshuabrooks said in The Reserve List - The Reddest Red Herring:

    It's not breaking the RL if you make a strictly better card, right?

    I don't think so at all because the RL says it only prohibits printing of cards with the same abilities, and if you add new ones, then the cards no longer have the same abilities. But, a few people in this thread read exactly this into Maro's comments about the "spirit" of the Reserve List. I've never seen him be so clear and I'm not sure this is a fair reading of what he has said.

    I suppose an enterprising attorney could argue that a new card having all of the abilities of a RL card, plus more, is a problem. Imagine your card:

    Eldrazi Tundra
    Plains Island
    T: Add <> to your mana pool.

    I guess the argument would go like this:

    Attorney: Does this card have the same abilities as Tundra? Yes! It has all of the abilities Tundra does.
    Wizards: No, it does not have the same abilities. It has additional abilities Tundra does not have.
    Attorney: Yes, but the RL does not say that Wizards will not print a new card such that the new card and the old card have identical abilities. It just says a new card cannot have the same abilities as the old one. It's a one-way street.
    Wizards: No, it says same. It doesn't say that we can't print a card that includes the abilities of a Reserve List card, just that we can't print cards that have exactly the same abilities. It's a two-way street.
    Attorney: It depends what you mean by same then, isn't it? Whether it's inclusive or exclusive. Sounds like a great issue for the judge to decide.
    Wizards: This is a fitting argument to be had over a game that came out during the term of a President who argued over what is means.
    Attorney: Also, can you point to a good example of where you literally just add text to satisfy the list? Even when you reprint cards that substitute for cards on the Reserve List, you never just copy-paste the same card and add text. You always change the color (Thunder Spirit becomes Sky Spirit f.e.) or you change the text entirely (Demonic Hordes becomes Helldozer).
    Wizards: That's silly. We did exactly this with the Shocklands, the Zendikar checklands, and the bicycle lands from Amonkhet. We literally put all of the abilities from Tundra on cards, added more abilities, and called it a day. No one cared.
    Attorney: Yes, but they were still violations, I say. Perhaps no one cared because they were drawbacks, but I think those were problems, too!

    Seems to me like Wizards has the better part of this argument, both based on plain text and on history.



  • I think you hit the nail on the head with that last example. Even if the letter of the law was broken, no one cared, because no one lost money. I really don't think the letter of the law or even the spirit of the policy is the issue. I'm pretty sure it's just money. If people aren't losing money, then they don't care.

    For example, if wizards came out tomorrow and banned all RL cards from all formats, which would also solve the barrier to entry problem incidentally, I think that would cause much more of an issue than the breaking the letter of the law of the RL policy you highlighted in your example. Why? Because everyone lost a ton of money, and money is what matters.

    Even though banning these cards has absolutely nothing to do with the RL policy, I highly doubt WOTC would ever do this because even though there would be no legal issues, a huge percentage of their consumers would quit.

    I don't think the legality is an issue, nor do I think the letter/spirit of the law is really the issue. It's all just a means of protecting the one thing that actually matters, money.



  • I like some the ideas to create new dual lands in this thread. I wanted to add my 2 cents. Create a new legendary type where only 2 of that type can be in play by the same owner. You get the benefit of the dual land but you can only have 2 of the same name in play. It replaces the effect of a dual land but it does not create a great incentive to play 4 of the same since you would destroy you own lands after playing the first 2. I have seen some threads speaking about money and the game and I do understand I got into the game when it was more cost effective but there was a lot of doubt 20yrs ago about the future of the game and whether it could thrive and grow. There have been some awesome sets and some horrible ones but overall the game has remained fun and competitive.

    I think for all the discussion of money in the game is the issue that stands out most to me, because I think that Standard as a format has become unplayable. I know it is a starting point for most players but I would like to re-imagine how players are introduced to competitive Magic. If players start by playing Pauper, Peasant, or Commander then the perspective of looking at the game as an Eternal format is baked in instead of starting when you get sick of Standard set rotations. I know Pauper and Peasant have a strong online presence and there is a growing paper presence in several communities. These formats play a lot like Legacy and offer some great player interactions with the using stack and combat tricks. I think looking at competitive Magic from the perspective of what is fun to play is what keeps the game growing and makes it fun for everyone. I hate playing Magic when it is not fun, which why I left Standard. I love Vintage because it is the most dynamic of the formats but also the most fun of all of the formats and that is what this is really all about, isn't it?


  • TMD Supporter

    Judging from the social media posts I see if the reserved list was ever broken, bent, or worked-around, you would have an insane revolt/hissyfit/legal battle as a result.

    That is my response to people when they say, "but what's the problem with ______? That would help people without dropping the prices of the original RL cards!" .

    Little Timmy and Tommy card collector do NOT care about anything other than the value of their collection and they'd gladly sue the shit out of Wizards for using pretty much any of the ideas mentioned in this thread.

    Also, as I mentioned before, what incentive does Wizards really have to keep any of us playing the eternal formats? I mean, sure, there's SOME incentive, but it PALES in comparison to the drive for Standard and Limited. This isn't a charity, this isn't Chess, this isn't anything other than a capitalistic enterprise. To expect something charitable from such a game is rather nonsensical. Even though Richard Garfield himself dislikes the idea of single cards being worth more than $20 that doesn't mean that Hasbro feels the same way.



  • @islandswamp said in The Reserve List - The Reddest Red Herring:

    Also, as I mentioned before, what incentive does Wizards really have to keep any of us playing the eternal formats? I mean, sure, there's SOME incentive, but it PALES in comparison to the drive for Standard and Limited.

    Yeah, this is right. I suspect that, all else being equal, Wizards would rather ALL formats are healthy. They also know they can maximize their return by printing for different kinds of players. We can see this in how aggressive they've been with Conspiracy, Eternal Masters, etc. They do care, and they can make money.

    The sticking point is that they can make the same money from the same people by reprinting Mana Drain (not RL) as by reprinting Tundra (RL) so they're never going to risk it.

    So, the only lever we have is to somehow help push them towards printing more cards allowing entry into the format WITHOUT violating the RL.

    @moorebrother1 said in The Reserve List - The Reddest Red Herring:

    I love Vintage because it is the most dynamic of the formats but also the most fun of all of the formats and that is what this is really all about, isn't it?

    Yup!

    I like some the ideas to create new dual lands in this thread. I wanted to add my 2 cents. Create a new legendary type where only 2 of that type can be in play by the same owner.

    Well, it can't be a new supertype like Legendary because, again, if two cards are the same except for the supertype, it violates the RL. But, at least according to the plain language of the List, you could print this:

    Sorta-Legendary Tundra
    Island Plains
    If this would enter the battlefield and you control two other permanents with the same name as this one, sacrifice this instead.



  • @hyperborea said in The Reserve List - The Reddest Red Herring:

    What if WOTC implemented some kind of "stock split" whereby owners of RL cards are invited to trade them in for X copies which are worth 1/X of the original (in order to increase circulation/liquidity)?

    WOTC can't control their value outside of deciding how much they want to print or not print. I mean they can't say "These new Lotuses are only worth $100 - don't rip anyone off!" and then print only a few thousand. They could decide to print 10000000000 of them to purposely tank them, though. But still hard to estimate, and black lotus really has very little demand overall. They could tank too far. If every unlimited Lotus were sucked into Wotc's hand and replaced by 10 new Lotuses, how can anyone know for sure that they are just not desirable enough to even be worth 1/10th the value the unlimited used to be? Wotc also can't guarantee that anyone who sends in a real unlimited Lotus won't just keep all 10 new Lotuses for themselves. Lotuses are probably sold at least once a day somewhere to someone, but many are in the hands of people who hoard, invest, collect, or just want theirs for themselves because they will always play and cherish it.

    I don't see how this could be likely to truly solve any problem. And it still goes against the reserve list.

    @takaryx said in The Reserve List - The Reddest Red Herring:

    It's not just collectors and investors, it's also players. My point was simply that legal action is not necessary to enforce the Reserve List policy, because normal market fluctuations resulting from a loss of faith would have the same effect.

    Seriously no clue how any of this can be true. Most players are new, which is known by the rate the game grows - approximately 35% growth in playerbase each year for a few years for example. The reserve list affects a very very small portion of the total playerbase (especially with declining support for major legacy events).

    It is also quite known that many (most likely a majority) people are against the reserve list.

    The kinds of people who are adamant about leaving the RL intact (and/or hoarding/investing) are not the people who make up the majority of packs sold.

    And yes legal action would still be necessary. What are you trying to say, because i think i may totally misunderstand? Are you saying that if they abolish the RL and reprint power/duals that the market fluctuations would cause a loss of faith and then what? And then people are happy that others lost faith, and decide NOT to litigate? If i am understanding you correctly, this is completely irrational. Having the RL reprinted would tank collections, and whatever faith people lost in Wotc does not replace the value that RL owners were promised would not be reprinted.

    @takaryx said in The Reserve List - The Reddest Red Herring:

    The stock example is just real-world example of something similar. You can't just arbitrarily change the value of a share, because it change the value of the stock as a whole. But if you simply split individual shares, the overall value remains the same. If this kind of thing can be done for a system vastly more complicated and worth vastly more money, why can't it be done here.

    I'm not 100% sure on this. I'm thinking very physically and literally. You cannot split a card. You could hypothetically send it to Wotc for a replacement of 10 of that RL card. But now you have 10. You don't have a split Lotus. You have 10 Lotuses.

    @takaryx said in The Reserve List - The Reddest Red Herring:

    The reason the value can be pinned to exactly 1/10th is because the only way to get the new lotuses would be to trade in an old lotus for 10 new ones. This means that everyone would be able to get any lotus and make it 10 new ones.

    Yep... So everyone with the money or luck to own a Lotus can now own 10 instead if they want... And then? And then they share with their friends? Or maybe people aren't interested in owning new Lotuses as much? And maybe they are just hoarded away until Wotc stops the redemption program?

    Here is what would happen. I own a Lotus. Let's just say it's worth $3,000. I trade it in for 10 cards you imagine are worth $300 each. Myself and everyone who has the fortune of owning a Lotus can do this. No one else. Because you are 'splitting stock', not adding them in packs. So if you do not own a Lotus, Wotc can not sell you a Lotus.
    Why on earth would anyone, besides a few nice guys, sell their lotus for less than $600?

    I'm gonna double my money, because if you want a Lotus you can pay $3,000 or you can pay $600. Why would this work any different? Is the market going to refuse to pay $600 for a Lotus? If you want to play Vintage you buy the Lotus for $600.

    Again, this still affects so few people.

    @takaryx said in The Reserve List - The Reddest Red Herring:

    If this approach is taken, that every person that doesn't hoard their lotus, can trade it in, keep a lotus and get $4,500 back for trading out the other nine. For every one person that doesn't this, there are 9 new black lotuses available for other players.

    How many are going to do this? Someone wanting to sell their lotus for $4,5 and having a hard time might enjoy being able to try selling 10 cards worth 450. Or they might list them for 600.

    There's seriously like less than 2 major Sanctioned Vintage events in the states in a year. Who needs Lotuses? Proxy events still draw less than other formats. I don't think we can accurately gauge if there's enough demand for them. A lot of the demand is not just scarcity but collector's or people who want 'real' Lotuses. Maybe this person has a hard time selling their Lotuses for the full value.

    I do not know the answer, but i believe i can be reasonably safe to presume it's just not going to work as intended.

    Side note; it will also cause many people to hold their Unlimited Lotuses. As others are snatched by Wotc, they are gone forever. Unlimited becomes a new premium in a way.

    @loukayza said in The Reserve List - The Reddest Red Herring:

    The funny thing about Maro's comment, is that anything he says can probably have an ending of "...at this time.", added to it. There are things that my company does every day, that I recall someone at some point saying we'd never do or have interest in doing.

    Well, depending on how pedantic and technically correct (say that with a snooty elitist sarcastic tone in your head for maximum effect), everything everyone says is probably "at this time". I don't know if that is really helpful, overall.

    That said, for analytical and learning experiences, i would love examples.

    Your corporation is not making promises that are legally binding and purchased by another entity, though. Whatever examples you come up with regarding that is liekly to be a lot different and applied much differently.

    @joshuabrooks said in The Reserve List - The Reddest Red Herring:

    I still don't see what would be the problem with printing a dual land that also provides C mana (like "painlands" without the pain)?

    The only reason not to do this, is because they don't want to crash the dual land market.

    That's pretty much it, i think.

    I pointed out, regarding 'reprints' of power, that printing deliberately overpowered cards is just poor design. I think better duals is not as egregious as "White Lotus", but still is poor form. Duals are already very, very powerful and while printing better ones in mass quantities would certainly be of use, it's just deliberate bad game design.

    However, mass bannings like is probably just also poor form.

    @takaryx said in The Reserve List - The Reddest Red Herring:

    Even though banning these cards has absolutely nothing to do with the RL policy, I highly doubt WOTC would ever do this because even though there would be no legal issues, a huge percentage of their consumers would quit.

    Or start playing, because a lot of people oppose the reserve list.

    Although, Legacy minus RL is a lot like modern but with a different banlist, and banning cards not for power but because of not reprinting them is poor design.



  • A couple of people have brought up the idea that Wizards won't risk altering the RL list because there isn't enough incentive, because these players are such a minority. But I don't exactly agree with that. They already have way to completely remove the barrier to entry without intervening with the RL policy at all, which is to simply ban all RL cards in all formats. This in no way violates the policy, but it would have the same effect, financially, people would quit magic outright and stopping buying packs and cards altogether. Also, if such a majority of the money (players, collectors, investors) were from people that want to abolish the RL, then WOTC would, because they would make more money than they would lose from the litigation and the loss of faith, but there's clearly enough money from people that want to maintain the RL.

    This is also what I meant by the litigation isn't the most pressing issue, if it were, then the above solution would be fine, but it's not. If WOTC abolished the RL, there would be litigation, but what I'm suggesting by the loss of faith is that even if the lawsuit couldn't happen (like with banning all RL cards, rather than reprinting them) or if the lawsuit happened and WOTC won, the consequences would still be pretty much the same. People would quit, investors would leave, and WOTC would lose a lot of money. I'm saying the market is a bigger factor in addition to the litigation.

    As for the stock split, I agree that some people would hoard their old lotuses, but people do sell them regularly, albeit at a very high price tag. So, while some people would hoard them, others wouldn't. It's not about charity, it's about making money without losing the ability to play Lotus in an sanctioned tournament, which is the obvious demand for it. If it weren't, even though there are only 2 sanctioned tournaments a year, the price tag wouldn't be so high.

    Furthermore, if they did the stock split, a lot of people just want to the lotus as a way of entering the format, so they could buy an old lotus for $3k, then immediately trade it in, keep one, and sell the rest, which is exactly what I would do. People wouldn't suddenly stop selling lotuses, because there's a trade-in for them, and if no one traded them in, then there would be no change at all. Again, this is something that happens all the time in the stock market, worth a lot more money. Why does it work there, but not here? Old shares are worth X times more than new shares. Any fluctuation in that exchange rate, causes arbitrage, which is then naturally corrected by the market.



  • @takaryx said in The Reserve List - The Reddest Red Herring:

    They already have way to completely remove the barrier to entry without intervening with the RL policy at all, which is to simply ban all RL cards in all formats.

    That's not lowering the barrier of entry into a format. That's just killing the format so there's nothing to enter into in the first place.

    The way they have to remove the barrier into entry is to print more [new] cards!



  • @maximumcdawg That is the idea of the sorta legendary type. I think it would help Standard and Modern too. It would be a great way to get around the RL.


  • Administrators

    I find it amusing/upsetting that this thread opens up stating that the Reserved List is a Red Herring, and then everyone in the thread immediately proceeds to go herring-fishing for 100 posts.

    The positions for functional reprints vs power creep vs repeal the reserved list vs leave everything the same all completely presuppose the idea that card prices are a serious problem for vintage and they make the format worse (or, for pro-reserved list people, at least different).

    We solved the price barrier problem 15 years ago with the rise of player-run proxy tournaments. On MTGO, which is by far the easiest way to find a vintage opponent, reserved list cards are cheap and plentiful.

    Any debate over the reserved list implicitly pushes the strange
    but common idea that players who don't own power are somehow "less than." Any problem that the reserved list brings to Vintage has a simple solution that is completely ignored when people talk about snow-duals.

    Power is for collectors. Vintage players are just people who like playing vintage.



  • @brass-man I don't completely agree with this though. I got power in paper to play with - I sought out power that was in decent shape but certainly would in no way be collector-grade. I would not deny that there is a collecting element to owning power, but the play experience with proxies has a much cheaper feel to it.

    Additionally, you can not play at Champs with proxies either ...



  • Mark Rosewater has two questions in his FAQ telling people to stop asking him about the RL and still answers "not going to happen" to each @MaximumCDawg that tries to circumvent it. This makes all discussion in this thread designing fantasy cards. Fantasy cards don't gain legitimacy just because:

    • You didn't post them in a fantasy card thread.
    • You're too poor to buy power/duals/expensive shit.
    • You're too lazy create a grassroots effort to run proxy tournaments.
    • Your feelings are hurt by having to Sharpie a Plains.
    • You're too antisocial/unprepared to borrow power for EW.
    • Whatever other shit reason you discussed in 100+ posts.

    Hopefully this is the sanity that @brass-man was looking for. If not, fuck it.


  • Administrators

    @themonadnomad surely the feel of the play experience is subjective, right? I've never felt cheapened by it. If someone wants to own power, they should own power, but I feel like our community puts an unnecessary and sometimes harmful mystique on owning cards.

    Being rich is not a prerequisite to enjoying strategy, and the fact that we put so much value on flashy cards, to the point where I've seen many people I care about make seriously unhealthy financial decisions, and many more people opt not to play at all, is one of my least favorite parts of the vintage community.



  • @brass-man It is subjective to an extent. There are a lot of elements to a real magic card; art, text, flavor, history, story (and, to your point, sometimes sacrifice) etc. These elements are seldom if ever captured or even well attempted on proxies - most of the time its just a junk card and a sharpy (and a painful exercise in "what does that scribbled on swamp do again?"). If there was no value in playing with real cards then there would be no need at all for the real cards.

    I do agree that people should make well-reasoned decisions though. Don't buy a mox if you can't feed your kids. I would never be like "oh you have to get X card that is $$$$$ expensive" - honestly to me the best inroads that I would recommend to paper Vintage at this point would likely be Fish or Eldrazi (unless it was someone that had a LOT of expendable income).


  • Administrators

    @themonadnomad said in The Reserve List - The Reddest Red Herring:

    If there was no value in playing with real cards then there would be no need at all for the real cards.

    That's kind of exactly my point :P



  • @brass-man Fair enough :P



  • @brass-man said in The Reserve List - The Reddest Red Herring:

    We solved the price barrier problem 15 years ago with the rise of player-run proxy tournaments. On MTGO, which is by far the easiest way to find a vintage opponent, reserved list cards are cheap and plentiful.

    You are absolutely correct. People can play unsanctioned Vintage and Legacy or they can play on those formats MTGO. This is a solution, and I'm completely with you.

    The problem is it isn't a complete solution because you cannot play in sanctioned paper events this way. I don't think that's immaterial. There's player awards, of course. There is tracking of your performance. There's champs. There's the ability to see large, high-profile tournaments in paper instead of on MTGO. I love the Vintage Super League, but it's not as fun as watching the players play with real cards.

    And I don't see that printing new cards circumvents or tries to weasel out of the Reserve List or anything. It's literally what WotC is supposed to do: print new cards, not old ones. And, if new cards can lessen the barrier to entry into sanctioned Vintage or Legacy, that's good, isn't it?

    @themonadnomad said in The Reserve List - The Reddest Red Herring:

    I do agree that people should make well-reasoned decisions though. Don't buy a mox if you can't feed your kids.

    Absolutely. No one has the right to own expensive things for free just because they want them. I don't think anyone here is saying that they do.

    What we're talking about instead is ways to allow people to enter the format without having to make this choice. Fish and Eldrazi are a good start, but you're still going to be sub-optimal unless you start spending serious money (talking sanctioned here). If you had cards you could run instead of RL cards without being sub-optimal, I think that would be a better situation. Don't you?


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