Quick hit – revised Extended seems good

There’s been mostly positive responses among folks I know for the resizing of Extended, but naturally there have been complaints. Our Blackborder author calls the change “a horrid move and an outright slap in the face to all the players (new or veteran) that have spent time and money on Magic the Gathering.”
So, I really liked “old” Extended – it was a nice format with a lot of depth, but not quite the barrier of entry present in Legacy, with the advantage that keeping up with Standard meant that, after some initial setup time, I was keeping up with Extended as well.
That said, no one was playing it. Think about it this way:
I am a new player. I want to play Magic. I pick up cards via drafting, cracking packs, or buying singles, and eventually make a Standard-legal deck. Woohoo! Now there’s a tournament in the Extended format, and…wow, those cards are pretty expensive. In fact, they’re so expensive that maybe I Just want to add a little bit more of a premium on top and play Legacy instead. After all, once I’m in the Legacy ballpark, almost anything goes, so I don’t even need to think about set rotation.
I am a veteran player. I got into the Extended format a couple years ago, when Onslaught was legal. Then it rotated out. Now Mirrodin is rotating out. I have all these cards…but I still need to buy a lot to be able to play Legacy. Hm. Well, that sucks.
I am a veteran player. I have my one Legacy deck which I bring to Legacy tournaments, and otherwise I just keep up with Standard.
As I said, I really like Extended, so I played in a lot of PTQs in the last Extended season, and I know that they were really small. I was shocked at how “tiny” the PTQs at PT San Diego were. I was at PT Hollywood, and the Block PTQs there were enormous – roughly twice the size of the Extended deals at San Diego. Lauren Lee, who will be playing in the new Extended format at Amsterdam, played in Standard side events at PT San Diego and GP Oakland rather than trying to get into the not-quite-Legacy-yet-still-convoluted Extended format.
Outside of PTQs, the few attempts at Extended events locally have been busts.
Players simply don’t play Extended when they’re not forced to, and that’s a problem for what’s meant to be a mainstream format.
There’s some justification for being a little surprised by the change, inasmuch as Devon Low had this to say the last time they changed how Extended rotates:
We haven’t changed the Extended rotation policy since May 2002. I won’t say we’ll never change it again, but I would expect this rotation policy to last at least that long, which takes us up through 2014 and beyond. If anyone has early predictions about which Extended decks will be good in 2014, send them my way!
But then, that was 2008, and Extended hasn’t done well since then.
Overall, I’m happy to have a format that’s bigger than Standard, lets recently lapsed players come back into the fold, and that doesn’t require a high buy-in for new players. I’m hopeful that this will see an uptick in player participation in the new Extended over the old one. I’d like to see a steady stream of Standard, Extended, and Legacy tournaments out there.