Saturday, May 12, 2007

Wizard’s Folly – Rav Duel Lands

I’m going to begin and end this article with the same question, “Why is Hallowed Fountain rare?” The cycle of 10 duel lands from the Ravnica Block like Hallowed Fountain and Steam Vents are great, everyone wants 4 of them. The only problem is that they are rare, and are the highest priced cards in the whole set. They are so powerful that they are even used in Extended. If Wizards of the Coast is trying give the majority of players use the best cards, why isn’t this cycle of rare lands common?

Wizards has admitted that the casual player is the lifeblood of Magic. Wizards doesn’t control or gain money from the secondary market. They don’t make any money if you buy Temple Garden for $14, its current value. Wizards would be encouraging thousands (millions?) of players if they would have made these lands common or at least uncommon. I know they are really cool cards, and really cool cards automatically become rare, but printing a few cards like these as common would really help the community. My question to Wizards is this, “Why is Hallowed Fountain rare?”


Zeigfreid said...


Wow! This is a very profound question and it gets at the heart of what is very wrong with our society and what is very right with open source programming. There is no reason for a card to be rare, you're right: it creates an artificial economy of scarcity.

I know that if I open a booster and get a lame rare, right away I want to open another. One of wizards most powerful tools for encouraging you to buy more cards is the way that they are distributed and the fanfare that is encouraged around rare cards.

Why are diamonds expensive? Carbon is pretty common, so what's all the fuss? Why is a hummer expensive when it is less efficient and no more productive in terms of what it can do for you than another kind of car? The frightening answer to these and other questions are actually the main reason I want to become a computer programmer.

We are the only industry that exists in essentially a state of post-scarcity. There is no reason for someone to pay even ~$50 for a product that costs ~$0 to reproduce. We know this, and people are spreading the word. Soon, I believe, and with our help, profit based economies (economies essentially based on lies and peer pressure) will be a thing of the past. This is it my friend: a window on the most beautiful future!

Ha ha, you got me started: not my fault! Time-traveler!


Anonymous said...

You want powerful narrow affects in the game to be rare so it doesn't mess up sealed deck games as much. Think of sealed deck or draft, and then on rarity.

Zeigfreid is right that chase rares cause people to open more packs, and then more $ for wizards.