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.

2 thoughts on “Quick hit – revised Extended seems good

  1. I’ve actually heard primarily negative responses.
    I initially didn’t know what to make the change, but I’ve become more unhappy the more I think about it. My reasons are:
    1) This leaves a huge hole for cards in Ravnica and the few preceding blocks. I have a lot of cards from that era, and Legacy is now the only format in which to play them. Not good news for Stomping Ground.
    2) New Extended isn’t going to be cheap. Mythics are expensive, and good ones like Jace are going to be even more essential to the format because there’s simply less competition (Jace is a 95-ticket card on MODO right now). I don’t think the format will actually be any cheaper than it used to be. If you buy a playset of a new card, you’ll only be able to play it for four years, until it’s doomed to the depths of Legacy where it’ll probably not be good enough. A lot of people were willing to invest in Extended cards on the basis that they’d last a while.
    3) New Extended is too similar to the Standard of 1-2 years ago. I’ve already played these decks. Many archetypes were also linear (Faeries, Kithkin), and while five additional blocks change a deck enough to be distinct, two blocks don’t add a whole lot.
    4) This isn’t only a result of the change, but is a recent occurrence: the PT constructed format is not feeding into the PTQ format. It used to be that we’d follow PT coverage, see all these cool new ideas in the decks, and get excited about being able to play them in the upcoming season. Now we have a Block Constructed PT with a tournament-less format. And we’ll have an Extended PT where we’ll probably see some cool decks in the top-8 full of TSP Block cards that we’ll never get to play again.
    5) In the next Extended PTQ season, I won’t be able to play with: Magus of the Moon, Rift Bolt, Blood Knight,
    Magus of the Scroll, Keldon Marauders, Mogg War Marshal, and Greater
    Gargadon. I was playing those cards in Standard just two years ago, and they’re rotating out of Extended? What?
    I can accept this change more if they introduce that rumored Overextended format (Masques-and-later), but why wouldn’t they introduce that along with this one? People like to play with their old cards, and specifically play them alongside new cards, and that’s just not likely when Legacy is the only legal format for them.

  2. Initially, I was quite upset, as I love brewing for extended, and had a wicked deck ready for next season. However, I realized that I won’t be able *play* it until next season, as no one plays extended.
    Then I tried brewing. Still a vast card pool, and powerful decks are there to be built, and we don’t have to compete with theps.
    Still a bit worried about it becoming “last year’s standard”, but after my initial revulsion, I’m cautiously optimistic about this.

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