Throughout its nearly 30-year history, Magic: the Gathering has been no stranger to change. With New productsnew formats and many new maps having been introduced, the modern MTG is very different from its 1993 original. This, however, is not a bad thing. For many players, one of the most exciting parts of MTG is how new maps can change and break the meta of older formats in the game. These occasional meta changes can even upset tried and tested Eternal MTG formats like Legacy or Vintage. For some players, however, an occasional meta-definitive card just doesn’t do enough, with more affirmative action needing to be taken. Other players, however, are quick to lament that it can ruin the formats players are trying to save.
Recently, MTG players pointed out that Legacy is the last format supposed to need saving. With a competitive meta dominated by UR Murktide decks, the format is certainly somewhat outdated, even with the rise of four-color Minsc & Boo. Because of this disappointing lack of variety, some actors, such as Tumblr user rationalism, have suggested something needs to be done. Presenting a solution to Mark Rosewater via Blogatog, Rationalism asked: “Is there a plan to make an “Eternal Horizons” that completely ignores modern and adds a whole lot of power to Legacy and Vintage?”
In response, Mark Rosewater simply bounced this loaded question back to the community asking, “Is this something people would want?” Within minutes, Mark Rosewater was inundated with responses from players who loved and hated the idea. Consensus ? A very mixed, perhaps.
On the one hand, many MTG players were seriously excited about the possibility of another Horizons set. Not to mention one that focuses on improving Eternal formats such as Legacy and Vintage. Along with shaking up a tired old format, many players noted that an Eternal Horizons set could be a lot of fun to draft. Tumblr user I-am-nickelbolt, for example, said, “if I can write it, I want it.” In the same way, on Reddit, u/CarpetbaggerForPeace claimed they would be happy at “$4.30 a pack, so I can draft it a lot.”
Because of the fun of drafting Horizons sets, Tumblr user Metallix87 suggested that Wizards take it a step further. “I would love this product with other Modern Horizons sets. I think the ”Horizons” line is the best thing that has happened to Magic. High-power Limited is fun, shaking up stagnant old formats is fun , and getting a bunch of nice cards to try out in Cube and Commander is just awesome. Please, Mark, more Horizons sets! Annualizing the product line.
In addition to being nice for limited players on social media, MTG players noted that the hypothetical Eternal Horizons set could help mitigate the obscene cost of playing Legacy and Vintage. “I think the only way it makes sense is to make Legacy much more affordable,” Giftsstorm commented on Tumblr. “Otherwise, it will likely remain a niche format for some time.” Similarly, on Reddit, u/Frank_the_Mighty said they would “only want this if it made Legacy more affordable”. Unfortunately, as other players have been keen to point out, lowering the cost of Legacy, let alone Vintage, is nearly impossible.
With cheap Legacy Decks Costing More Than $1000 and Vintage turntables being ten times higher, it is safe to say that these formats are not affordable. It’s thanks to the stalemate Reserved list, which prevents Wizards from reprinting keycards and formatting staples. Unfortunately, while theoretically new Dual Lands and Power Nine maps could be printed, Eternal Horizons is highly unlikely to do so. Afterwards, many gamers said that Eternal Horizons would ultimately be useless, as it won’t combat the format’s biggest problems. “Why would I want a product for a format [where] I can’t buy a mana base,” u/Jocis declared.
Unfortunately, while gamers have repeatedly campaigned for its removal, the reserved list is not going anywhere. Subsequently, players such as radiant-windrunner on Tumblr said, “I think an Eternal Horizons set is a bit questionable.” Luckily, as a Horizons set, Eternal Horizons wouldn’t just be made up of unreprintable reprints. Instead, Eternal Horizons would mostly be all-new, incredibly powerful cards that would redefine the Legacy and Vintage meta. Unfortunately, however, dozens of players were quick to point out that this wouldn’t be a good thing on its own.
In principle, Modern Horizons one and two succeeded in what they set out to do; shaking up the modern meta. Unfortunately, however, these two sets are not particularly appreciated, thanks to the quality with which they have accomplished this task. Boasting power levels that cannot be matched in Premier sets, many Modern Horizons cards have come to dominate the meta. This has led some players, such as Justinfrskie, to claim that “Modern is essentially a rotating format”, after Horizons sets. Naturally, players are therefore weary of the potential impact of Eternal Horizons. Tumblr User sir-chandestroy-blogfor example, flatly said, “Please, please, no, we don’t want Legacy to be a fast-moving format as well.”
Will they or won’t they?
Since Mark Rosewater only asked for player feedback, it’s too early to tell if Eternal Horizons will actually make it. Judging by the majority of players who vehemently oppose the idea, Eternal Horizons may not take off. However, other players, such as Llanowarminotaur, think player opinions don’t matter. “It’s something people would feel compelled to buy, so I guess it’s coming soon.” After the successes of the Modern Horizons sets, Wizards certainly has some compelling precedents to follow, and as we know, “success breeds repetition.”
Ultimately, despite the immediate backlash from players, Eternal Horizons has plenty of reasons to get crafted. Therefore it might just be a matter of time before Legacy and Vintage were inundated with new format-defining MTG cards. We can only hope these cards won’t be legal in Commander either, lest that format be rooted out as well.
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