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May 25, 2016

22

In Defense of Intro Packs

by Dredd77

Last week Mark Rosewater announced that as of the large Fall set, Kaladesh, Intro Packs would be retired in favor of the Planeswalker Decks.

I registered my disappointment today in this week’s article on Gathering Magic.

How do you feel about all this? I’d enjoy hearing your perspectives, too.

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22 Comments Post a comment
  1. May 27 2016

    Honestly, I mostly don’t feel like intro packs were accomplishing their goal all that well and felt more of a loss when they discontinued the event decks and clash packs right when they were getting good, which I felt were a bit more fun and sometimes valuable.

    For casuals, I think that a souped up theme deck, like your post-meddling decklists would be better, since they better capture the feel of each set without the junk. Beginners I think will be served fine by the thirty card welcome decks as a way to learn how to play and then they can move into sealed to learn deckbuilding skills.

    Reply
    • Icehawk
      May 28 2016

      You know. It’d be nice to have two event decks a set and 2 of these walker decks. Still potentially short a color, but it’d be 4 precons a set. You’d get an even better for the set that way.

      Reply
      • Jun 2 2016

        I wouldn’t refuse more, but the Event Decks were a headache for retailers. One deck would have “higher EV” and sell out. The other would languish on shelves. But retailers had to order equal quantities of each. Curious to see how that dynamic plays out with the Planeswalker Decks…

        Reply
        • Icehawk
          Jun 3 2016

          True. I keep forgetting how the singles market on “children’s card games.” Started thinking of magic in terms of Hearthstone lately, since I haven’t bought anything magic related save since the last duel deck. *shrugs*

          Reply
    • Jun 2 2016

      Your comment here I think hits the issue squarely- the “Meddled” decks (with their higher consistency) solve a few problems with the Intro Pack decks- and without adding a lot more ‘EV’ because no rares are introduced. I think their mediocre construction had some things to recommend it to the introductory player- I’ve taught many through them- but there wasn’t always a reason for many players who didn’t need to learn the game to even care. But maybe that was outweighed by the bad- that certainly seems to be the consensus opinion. Thanks for the comment!!

      Reply
  2. Jeskai Angel
    May 27 2016

    I still miss theme decks (especially the “golden age” theme decks from Time Spiral block and Lorwyn block), and agree with refresh that the ending of event decks / clash packs was also sad. Really, the event decks (and clash packs for the brief time they existed) were more of a successor to theme decks than the intro packs were. They had more developed mechanical themes, limited amounts of redundancy, and overall bore more of a resemblance to real decks than the intro packs ever did. I never liked the idea that the product for new players was an random pile of garbage. It’s one thing to give players something they can customize and improve; it’s another thing to give them total junk that doesn’t even give them an inkling of a what a real deck looks / feels / plays like. Intro packs were legitimately terrible and I won’t mourn them. I don’t want precon products purely for sake of having precon products – I want GOOD precon products! Theme and event decks (and clash packs) were a mixed bag, but some were truly excellent. At this point, the only sometimes-quality precon product left seems to be Commander decks. Now, I guess, we’ll have to see if WOTC does any better with these PW decks.

    Reply
    • Jun 2 2016

      I absolutely agree about the Theme Decks. It was especially disappointing when they moved to Intro Packs because the Gen 1 decks were particularly poor (41 cards). I disagree that they were garbage (though some absolutely fit the bill)- there were some gems out there amonsgt the rest, just like there were good and bad in Theme Decks. But you’re right- Theme Decks and Event Decks had some similarities, though the latter was tuned less to showcase a set and more to permit entry into a Standard environment… albeit a quasi-mythical Standard environment where one could actually compete with an Event Deck (I tried that for awhile, just to test… didn’t go well). I’m with you, though- I’d LOVE some better precons! Improved Intro Packs in addition to PW Decks would have been thrilling news indeed!

      Reply
  3. May 28 2016

    I think that intro packs were not accomplishing all of the goals that WoTC wanted. It was a perfectly satisfactory introduction product for new players, but likely was a little more trouble than it was worth. They likely discovered that new players didn’t need 5 decks to choose from, they often didn’t know the real differences between the different colors, or the pros and cons of picking one intro deck over another. In this way, wizards only needs to make 2 products instead of 5 without any real impact on sales.

    They have confirmed a few things about the intro products that they felt they could address:
    With only 2 rares in each intro deck, the decks were very volatile. If you were lucky enough to draw one of your rares, you were much better off. If you happened to not see your rare during the game, you likely were playing with a mediocre pool of commons/uncommons, and just try to trade well with your opponent until one of you could squeak ahead. The new Planeswalker decks will address this with tutors.

    2. The land base of the intro decks was severely limited, and it was far too eay to experience mana screw and floor – Wizards has done a lot in recent years to allow anyone who modernly invests in the game to get decent uncommon lands that help to shore-up your deck’s mana base. But if you were playing intro deck vs. intro deck, the mana base was completely absent. I’m happy to see that they are beginning to address the two biggest shortcomings of intro decks.

    My friends and I have “solved” the same sort of problems with the intro decks (we typically play with slightly modified intro decks – as the power levels make for great games without breaking the bank. Plus with all the money we save, we can easily build a few decks each!) So, it’s very interesting to see how WoTC has “solved” some of these intro deck problems, because it basically confirms the solutions my crew has come up with. We used a tutor/mana based focused solution when we developed our own custom format – we call it “Intro Deck Mayhem”. It’s basically, the rules from the Toy Boat Mayhem format (but with 6x Toy Boats), and rules to ‘Build Your Own Intro Deck’
    Deck construction as follows:

    60 Card Decks which must include 2x Rares, 12x Uncommons, and 46x commons, and only 12x duplicate cards (4x duplicates at uncommon, and 8x duplicates at common). I know, lots and lots of deck building rules, but all the restrictions make for an awesome and tight format, with very little need for a banned list.

    Reply
    • Jun 2 2016

      Thanks for the well-thought-out response, Byron! Not sure I agree with every point- the flaws you (rightly) identify here could have been tinkered with rather than scrapping the whole deck. For instance, would four rares have been too much? By the same token, new players who come up in the game on being able to influence variance through tutoring may with reason think they’ve ‘taken a step back’ when that sort of consistency isn’t as prevalent. In addition, as someone who owned a game store and frequently interacted with customers coming to the game for the first time, introducing them through the themes of the colors was the easiest way to give them an early feeling of ‘investment’ into the game. When you tell them what the colors represent and ask them to pick two of them, then have a deck that fits that choice (we kept multiple sets’ decks in stock), it’s an easy sale and great onboarding experience.

      I completely agree that they could have done more for the manabase. Awhile back they started creeping the land count from 24 to 5 and as high as 26, with the logic perhaps that for the new player, having too many resources was more appealing than having too few. Here again WotC could have tinkered, adding in a playset of some uncommon duals or the equivalent (rather than the stock 1 or 2 of Evolving Wilds/Terramorphic Expanse).

      I’ve never heard of this Toy Boat concept, I’ll have to check it out. Again, thanks for some great insight!

      Reply
  4. signofzeta
    Jun 22 2016

    I don’t mind the quality of the decks, but what I am upset about is the quantity. Like the article says, you can’t showcase the entire set’s themes and mechanics in just 2 decks.

    Do you guys feel that the Planeswalkers are shoe horned? The reason why they have to go for 2 decks is because of the Planeswalkers. They probably don’t want to release 5 planeswalker decks in a set anyway.

    What they should have done per set is have 2 planeswalker decks and 3 legendary mythic creature decks. If there is a White Planeswalker and Red Planeswalker decks, the 3 legendary mythic creatures would be Blue, Black, and Green. Each of the deck would be story driven, meaning that if you bought a deck, you basically are saying you want to be part of that clan or alliegience. What Planeswalker decks do is say that you MUST be allied to a Planeswalker. What if I don’t want to ally myself with a Planewalker, but want to oppose that Planeswalker?

    As I said, I don’t care what’s in them, so long as set associated precons come in sets of 4 or 5.

    Reply
    • Jun 22 2016

      Although not a bad idea on the face of it, there’s a problem here with distribution.

      Remember back when we had two Event decks? A big complaint on the retail side was when one would be a great value deck, and people would snap it up. The other deck would just gather dust. And as retailers, we had to order a “display” of the decks, meaning the same amount of each. It put us in a tough position: to satisfy demand, we had to essentially over-order.

      I think that would happen here. There may be a lot more demand for “new planeswalkers” than “new legendary creatures,” even with the EDH appeal. It’s a tough problem, and why WotC dropped down to a single Event Deck model.

      Reply
  5. signofzeta
    Jun 22 2016

    Have you guys considered voicing your displeasure in Mark Rosewater’s tumblr? I tried doing that, but with the character limit, I don’t think I can get my point across. My point was, I don’t like it went from 5 per set to 2 per set. I would rather have 4 or 5 per set.

    Changing Intro Packs to Planeswalker decks is like when a bad hockey team that finishes last in the standings every season, signs a hockey superstar for a lot of money, in order to “right the ship” immediately. The superstar hockey player might turn the fortunes of the team around, or the team is so bad that the superstar hockey player might have no impact. The Planeswalker, of course, would be that superstar hockey player.

    I’m going to tell you about another preconstructed product for a different card game that I also collect. The Pokemon Theme Deck. At first, the Pokemon Theme Deck contained 24 energies, 10 different Pokemon, and 3 rares. It also came with damage counters, a plastic coin, and a rulebook. For the third set of 2010 and beyond, that being HS Undaunted, they changed their theme deck contents. I think the contents are better. They now contain 18 energies, 20 different Pokemon, and 5 rares, 2 of which are the same. In additon to what it had before, it had a deckbox that came with it, although it was paper and only held the deck unsleeved.

    WOTC could have easily added a third or fourth rare in it, and preserved the idea of keeping the decks at 5 per set, but nope.

    Here’s another thing to think about.out of the products were canceled because no one was buying them, do you think those products, like Premium Deck Series, for example, be fixed by lowering the MSRP? For the Intro Pack, I hated the fact that the MSRP went up by $2 because of the 2nd booster. Same goes with the Fat Pack, or should I say Bundle. Original Fat packs came with 6 boosters, a magazine, a book, a spindown, and a promo card all for $24.99. Now they contain 10 boosters, a player’s guide, a spindown, and land pack for $42.99. I’d rather have the option to buy 6 boosters in a fat pack with a bunch of other stuff, and buy 4 more boosters later, even though I might be paying more than $42.99. I like that option. WOTC, with the increase in price with the fat pack, or the lowering of decks from 5 to 2 per set, is not giving players options.

    It’s like they compensate for a crappy product or a price increase by adding a booster. Sorry the theme deck became a crappy intro pack. Here’s a booster. Sorry that you have to pay $2 extra. Here’s a booster.

    Reply
    • Jun 22 2016

      I did try to Question Mark, but he never chose to respond to it. At this point, feedback may be better received once the product is out. I can see how some might dismiss our concerns as “who moved our cheese?” I take your point about streamlining the product- personally, I don’t like having boosters in there at all, but I understand and accept why they’re there. I’d be just as happy with a $10 ‘starter’ that had a deck, a deck box, and a spindown.

      Reply
  6. signofzeta
    Jun 24 2016

    WIth the change to Planeswalker decks, the face of the packaging will be the same once every, I don’t know year or 2 when they have to recycle the same planeswalker. The card might be different, but the Planeswalker in front, back, and probably on the strategy sheet is the same. Chandra will look the same no matter what pose she takes, but all the intro packs with dragons as the cover: Shivan Dragon; Flameblast Dragon; Hellkite Charger; Mordant Dragon; Hoard Smelter Dragon; Moltensteel Dragon; Hypersonic Dragon; Forgestoker Dragon; Spawn of Thraxes; Siege Dragon; Arashin Sovereign; Pristine Skywise; Necromaster Dragon; Boltwing Marauder; Harbinger of the Hunt; and Tyrant of Valakut, all look different. Heck, even all the intro packs with a human or humans as the cover card all look different. It’s like if Chandra wore a different shirt every time she poses as the cover model of the Planeswalker deck, but nope. Every 2 or 3 years, we will be seeing the same Chandra, or Jace, or whatever Planeswalker, wearing the same shirt.

    As a collector of theme decks and intro packs, what attracts me to them is the cover artwork. With Planeswalker decks, even if 2 decks featuring Chandra might be different, it is as if I was buying the same deck. Seeing the same character in the front of a Planeswalker Deck once every 2 or 3 years just makes the product bland and boring.

    As one last hurrah of the intro pack, there should be an intro pack championship series featuring all 159 intro packs. Each intro pack will play each other in a single match, with the odd one out playing against the imaginary Black-Green Mirrodin Besieged intro pack that doesn’t exist, thus getting no points. Wins get 2 points. Losses get 0 points. All the points are totaled, and the top, um, I don’t know, 128 intro packs move on to the bracket. The matchups are 1 vs 128, 2 vs 127, all the way to 64 vs 65. The first round is single elimination. Best of 64, 32, and 16 play 3 game matches. Best of 8 and 4 play 5 game matches. The final 2 play a 7 game match. This would give us a clue as to the ultimate intro pack of all intro packs.

    I’m probably going to still buy Planeswalker decks though, not for me, but for future me. When Theme Decks became Intro Packs, I stopped buying Magic, although I was kind of strapped for cash when Tenth Edition came out, and I wanted to take a break from buying theme decks starting with 10th edition, the change to intro packs cemented the fact that I won’t buy anymore ever again… until the word Mirrodin popped up. I was way into Magic, well playing Theme Deck vs Theme Deck when Mirrodin came out, although I started when Scourge was the newest set. Scars of Mirrodin brought some nostalgia in me so I decided to collect intro packs. It also helped that the decks were 60 cards as well. Now I am in a situation when it is hard for me to find older intro packs and I wished I bought them when it was new.

    I own every theme deck and intro pack except for the following:

    Here are the 2 intro packs I want really really bad, and they have to be sealed:

    Esper Artifice
    Primordial Jund

    I always collect the Blue, and Red themed intro packs before the White, Black, and Green themed ones. For example, the Red themed usually is the 4th column in the strategy sheet, except for Return to Ravnica block, they usually have a mono red or a multicolor with red in it card as the foil card, the packaging in the newer intro packs have the red cardboard insert, and the little number in the bottom next to the UPC ends in a 4, meaning it is deck 4 of 5. Alara Reborn is weird though. Usually, if you look at the strategy sheet, from left to right, the left most is has the code next to the UPC ending to 1, and it goes 2, 3, 4, then 5. Eternal Siege is shown in the left most column in the strategy sheet, but the code next to the UPC ends in a 5. Legion Aloft is the next one, and the code under the UPC ends in a 1, and so on, so it is difficult to tell which one is the White themed deck. Eternal Siege, or Legion Aloft. So for other sets, it goes 1, 2, 3, 4, then 5, while Alara Reborn, it goes 5, 1, 2, 3, then 4. I already own what I think is the red themed and blue themed Alara Reborn intro pack, and they are Dead Ahead and Legion Aloft respectively, and I overpaid for them because I wanted them so bad, and I hope I didn’t make a mistake and that I should have bought Unnatural Schemes and Rumbler instead. All I am looking for are the 2 decks from Alara Reborn that have the biggest Jund theme and the biggest Esper theme, or the 2 decks that work well with the Jund and Esper decks from Shards of Alara and Conflux.

    Here are the intro packs that I want really bad, but not as much as the above:

    Phyrexian Poison
    Feast of Flesh

    This allows me to own every intro pack from Magic 2011 core set onwards. I also recently bought, and overpaid for some intro packs to cut this list down to 2 intro packs. It used to be 8.

    Here are the theme decks that I want more than the other theme decks:

    Merrow Riverways
    Elemental’s Path
    Warrior’s Code
    Battle Blitz

    I don’t know, I am trying to place a color coded theme to them, kind of what they did with intro packs, and since I collect the blue and red themed decks, these are the ones that are either blue themed, or red themed.

    Here are the ones that are more lower in my list of theme decks and intro packs that I want:

    Cho Manno’s Resolve
    Evincar’s Tyrrany
    Molimo’s Might
    Kithkin Militia
    Boggart’s Feast
    Battalion
    Shamanism
    Aura Mastery
    Army of Entropy
    Turnabout
    Life Drain
    Death March
    Superabundance
    Bant Exalted
    Grixis Undead
    Naya Behemoths
    Bant on the March
    Grixis Shambling Army
    Naya Domain
    Eternal Siege
    Unnatural Schemes
    Rumbler
    We are Legion
    Death’s Minions
    Kor Armory
    Rise of the Vampires
    The Adventurers
    Flyover
    Fangs of the Bloodchief
    Brute Force
    Invading Spawn

    Out of all of these, I am probably more interested in the Shards of Alara ones for the sole fact that I own none of the Shards of Alara intro packs. If I can find any Shards of Alara intro pack laying around in some LGS, I am buying it immediately just to get the strategy sheet.

    For every theme deck from Tempest all the way to Planeshift, those are way low in my priority list.

    Reply
  7. signofzeta
    Jun 24 2016

    A little off topic, but back to the whole Alara Reborn thing. Let’s say you want to make 5 3 color mega decks that combines one intro pack from Shards of Alara, one from Conflux, and one from Alara Reborn. This deck also must have a consistent theme.

    It is obvious we combine Bant Exalted with Bant on the March, Esper Artifice with Esper Air Assault, Grixis Undead with Grixis Shambling Army, Primordial Jund with Jund Appetite for War, and Naya Behemoths with Naya Domain. We can’t combine Bant Exalted with Esper Air Assault as that would make a 4 color deck with 2 themes that may be inconsistent.

    How would you combine the Alara Reborn intro packs with the Shards of Alara and Conflux ones? Remember, they have to be 3 color, with the exception of Naya Domain, but other than that, it must be Naya colors, and each deck must be used once, meaning that if you use one deck from Alara reborn, you can’t use it again with another mega deck. It is obvious that anything with White in it must go with Bant, Blue with Esper, Black with Grixis, Red with Jund, and Green with Naya.

    Would you go like this?

    Bant with Eternal Siege
    Esper with Legion Aloft
    Grixis with Unnatural Schemes
    Jund with Dead Ahead
    Naya with Rumbler

    Or would you go like this?

    Bant with Legion Aloft
    Esper with Unnatural Schemes
    Grixis with Dead Ahead
    Jund with Rumbler
    Naya with Eternal Siege

    Reply
  8. signofzeta
    Jul 7 2016

    Ok guys, I finally figured out something with the Planeswalker deck. Planeswalker decks feel like the featured Planeswalker is the main character. Theme Decks and Intro Packs feel like you are the main character. I see the different choices of intro pack or theme deck as joining different factions or choosing my own destiny, but with Planeswalker Decks, it is follow this Planeswalker because you are his/her lackey. Even if the cards suck, just by naming the deck Sultai Schemers make me feel that I am part of the Sultai, or Eldrazi Assault makes me feel I am allying myself with the Eldrazi.

    When playing the theme deck and intro pack, do you feel you are part of the MTG world? The storyline blurb in the theme decks make them totally immersive.

    Reply
    • Jul 7 2016

      What you are highlighting has been something I have seen in other games as well – in Warhammer 40K, for example, you can include generic army generals or Named Special Characters. I never cared much for the special characters, as I always felt more immersed in the game by having a generic army general that ‘could have been me’, or at least a character/backstory that I created myself.

      I think this creative buy-in (seeing yourself within the product) is more important to the Timmys and Vothros of this world, then to the Spikes. I guess we will have to wait and see, but I suspect I won’t care too much for the new Planeswalker decks for this very reason. Ironically, I own almost every intro/theme deck ever made, and I am not even convinced at this point that I will buy the Planeswalker decks – but once the previews start rolling in – who knows!

      Reply
      • Jul 12 2016

        I agree with that. I suppose the counter would be, “well, we had long enough to do it that way, let’s see how the players respond to the other way.” There’s no way I can’t get them, but it will be a bittersweet moment…

        Reply
    • Jul 12 2016

      Great Vorthos perspective! I’ve honestly never stopped to consider it that way, but that makes a lot of sense. I probably stopped being immersed in my deck in that sense a long time ago, but part of that probably comes from churning through decks. The vast majority of the decks I own, I’ve only ever played them for Ertai’s Lament, then packed them away as museum pieces.

      Reply
  9. signofzeta
    Jul 16 2016

    I used to collect MTG theme decks between 2003 and 2007, and then quit. I started back up in late in 2010, and at that time, I started collecting Yugioh and Pokemon TCG precons. Right now, since Intro packs are becoming Planeswalker decks, it sort of gave me an end point. I am probably going to still collect the planeswalker decks, just not to the point where I have to buy them immediately when it comes out. I would say that the ones I collected between 2003 and 2007 would be unused and in storage, with the cards all beat up because I never used sleeves back in the day. I sleeved every yugioh starter and structure deck for the sheer fact that the cards are too small to handle. I sleeved every Pokemon theme deck made since the past year, and one of 2 theme decks per set for every theme deck before that, all the way back to 2009. Same thing with MTG. Sleeved every intro pack release since the past year, and only 2 of 5 of then all the way back to 10th edition, as before the announcement of the planeswalker decks, the ones released within the year, that is 4 sets worth of intro packs, is “active”, while anything older goes in storage. I do buy new sleeves for the “red” and “blue” themed intro packs and transfer sleeves from the old “white”, “black”, and “green” intro packs, hence why 2 of 5 intro packs per set made more than a year ago is sleeved while the other 3 are not. Now that the planeswalker decks are announced, I decided a start and end point of MTG intro packs, Pokemon theme decks, and Yugioh starter/structure decks. The decks I will only use when it comes to MTG, is Magic 2010 core set all the way to Dragons of Tarkir. Anything before and after these are in storage and never used, meaning that my 2 of each of Alara Reborn and Conflux intro packs, all 5 Magic Origins, Battle for Zendikar block, and Shadows over Innistrad block intro packs, and every theme deck I own will be in storage. I chose this range because it contains the Magic (year) core sets, and 3 set blocks, as well as having it contained so that no one card is from the era of theme decks, as with Alara block intro packs which contained 10th edition cards. I did the same thing back when I started to collect intro packs in 2010, where I always played with the theme decks I had gathered from 2003 to 2007.

    Enough rambling. Here is what I really want to say. I’ll just leave a new reply for this.

    Reply
  10. signofzeta
    Jul 16 2016

    I am going to give you a description on how I feel when I play the Pokemon TCG theme decks, when I use the code card to unlock them online and play with them against opponents who also use theme decks. Here is my strategy: Get 1 of 5 rare card pokemon in play, and try to get the other 4 rare card pokemon on the bench, and feed them energy. When Active Pokemon dies, you would have one on the bench ready to go. This strategy is used no matter what different theme deck I would use, and the only difference I would feel is that I am using grass and psychic types instead of water and fire types. It also doesn’t matter what set the theme deck is from.

    Do you think that this feeling is going to be present with the planeswalker deck, where the only difference will be what color it contains, and that you will get the same feeling if you played a planeswalker deck released in 2017 as opposed to one released in 2019?

    I do have to say though, even if I gave a start and end point for what intro packs I use, I feel uncomfortable using 10 year old precons, even if they are sleeved, especially when 10 year old intro packs are so hard to come by, so just think in 2025, I am really going to feel uncomfortable, right when I adjusted to getting used to the intro pack, or should I say 5 precons per set. Now that it is 2 precons per set, I have to readjust. How is my pattern going to fit when it went from 5 to 2 precons per set?

    I am also a classic You Don’t Know Jack fan, so I associate the 14 (12 PC and 2 PS1) classic YDKJ games with a specific precon, 4 of them (Volume 1 XL, Sports, Volume 2, Movies) with Pokemon TCG theme decks, 1 of 2 per set, and there are 4 sets per year, so 4 YDKJ games associated with 4 Pokemon TCG precons, and 4 left over.

    Theme deck from Winter set = YDKJ Volume 1 XL
    Theme deck from Spring set = YDKJ Sports
    Theme deck from Summer set = YDKJ Volume 2
    Theme deck from Fall set = YDKJ Movies

    8 YDKJ games (TV, Volume 3, Headrush, Volume 4: The Ride, Offline, Playstation, Louder Faster Funnier, Playstation Mock 2) are associated with MTG intro packs. 2 of 5 per set, 4 sets per year, so 8 YDKJ games associated with 8 MTG intro packs, with 12 intro packs left over.

    Blue intro pack from winter set = YDKJ Offline
    Red intro pack from winter set = YDKJ Louder Faster Funnier
    Blue intro pack from spring set = YDKJ Playstation
    Red intro pack from spring set = YDKJ Mock 2 (for playstation)
    Blue intro pack from summer set = YDKJ TV
    Red intro pack from summer set = Headrush
    Blue intro pack from winter set = YDKJ Volume 3
    Red intro pack from summer set = YDKJ Volume 4 the Ride

    The final 2 YDKJ games (5th dementia and Volume 6 The Lost Gold) is associated with the 2 yugioh structure decks released per year, and they must have counterparts in the Japanese OCG and the international TCG territories. There is the starter deck left over.

    TCG counterpart of an OCG structure deck released in June = YDKJ 5th Dementia
    TCG counterpart of an OCG structure deck released in December in = YDKJ 6 the Lost Gold

    I am not finished yet. There is Doom, Doom 2, Quake, and Quake 2. There are 3 versions of Doom and Doom 2 if you are looking at 7th generation consoles and PC, so PS3, Xbox 360, and PC. 2 versions of Quake 2, Xbox 360 and PC, while one version of Quake. I associate Doom and Doom 2, which have exactly the same graphics and animations, and enemies, to the point that they are the same game, with MTG. I associate Quake with Yugioh, and I assoiated Quake 2 with Pokemon TCG. There are 20 MTG intro packs per year right? 2 of 5 per set are associated with YDKJ games with 3 left over per set. For every 2, there is 3 left over, 3 versions of Doom/Doom 2. For every YDKJ associated structure deck from Yugioh, there is one starter deck left over. 1 version of Quake. For every 2 Pokemon TCG theme decks associated with a YDKJ game, there is 2 left over, 2 versions of Quake 2. I created an equation for this:

    (Total number of precons in a specific game that contains 1 packaged deck and costs less than $15 MSRP released per year – number of precons of a specific TCG associated with a YDKJ game) / (number of precons of a specific TCG associated with YDKJ game / 2) = number of versions of FPS game, where Doom/Doom 2 is to MTG, Quake is to Yugioh, and Quake 2 is to Pokemon TCG, and there are 3 versions of Doom/Doom 2, 2 versions of Quake 2, and 1 version of Quake.

    For MTG, (20 – 8) / (8 / 2) = 12 / 4 = 3, 3 versions of Doom/Doom 2. (PC, Xbox 360, PS3)
    For Yugioh, (3 – 2) / (2 / 2) = 1 / 1 = 1, 1 version of Quake (PC)
    For Pokemon TCG, (8 – 4) / (4 / 2) = 4 / 2 = 2, 2 versions of Quake 2. (PC, Xbox 360)

    I am still not done. Local professional sports teams. In the city I live in, there are 2 professional hockey teams, 1 professional football team, and 1 professional baseball team, although some are minor league. Doom is associated with one of the hockey teams, Doom 2 is associated with the other hockey team, Quake is associated with the football team, and Quake 2 is associated with the baseball team, so in essence, MTG is to hockey, Yugioh is to football, and Pokemon TCG is to baseball.

    I basically started to play Doom, Doom2, Quake, and Quake 2, as well as follow my local sports teams because of the way WOTC, Pokemon Company, and Konami all released their preconstructed products (5 intro packs per set, 4 sets a year for MTG, 2 theme decks per set, 4 sets per year for Pokemon TCG, and 2 structure decks + 1 starter deck per year for yugioh). Now that WOTC changed that 5 into a 2, my pattern is ruined, and therefore my life is ruined. Ok, not exactly. It goes like this. There is my love for YDKJ games, and coming from that is my love for TCGs, and coming from that is my love for classic id FPS games, and coming from that is my love for local sports teams, so they are linked in a sense. Because WOTC changed that 5 into a 2, the link between YDKJ and classic id FPS is severed, and because Local Sports is tied to classic id FPS, it is also cut off too. So this means I can’t enjoy my local sports enough for the sole fact that it isn’t linked to the primary thing I enjoy the most, YDKJ. Just think of it like this: I can’t find a pattern that fits 14 YDKJ games with 4 local sports teams. It just doesn’t go evenly, nor could I find a pattern that fits 14 YDKJ games and 6 id FPS games, (3 different versions of Doom/Doom 2 + 2 versions of Quake 2 + 1 version of Quake). I can find the connection between classic id fps and local sports, but not between classic FPS and YDKJ. The one thing that bridges that gap are preconstructed decks that come in one per package, cost less than $15, and belong to a game that was in print in 2005, and is still in continuous print today without any breaks in between. Now that WOTC changed that 5 into a 2, everything falls apart. I though it would be Konami that would ruin my pattern, but WOTC beat them to the punch. Pokemon Company is less likely because no matter how much they change their theme deck, which as of now, is never, they still release 2 theme decks per set, 4 decks per year, so that number is always 8.

    I could also say WOTC ruined my pattern when they started the 2 block paradigm and getting rid of the core sets, but it isn’t as severe as changing intro packs into planeswalker decks. You see, I created a “precon of the day” schedule, where I have 2 precons, 1 associated with a YDKJ game, 1 associated with a classic FPS game. I don’t want every sunday be the same precon of the day, so I rearranged it so that it is a 12 day cycle, not a 14 day cycle. The cycle goes in order of YDKJ games that I specifically ordered myself:

    Volume 1, Louder Faster Funnier, Volume 6 the Lost Gold, Sports, Volume 3, Headrush, Volume 2, Offline, 5th Dementia, Movies, Volume 4 the Ride, and TV,

    and looking above, I listed the decks associated with it. To incorporate the remaining 2 playstation versions of YDKJ, and because YDKJ Playstation is simply taking questions from Volume 3 and Offline, and YDKJ Mock 2 (for playstation) takes questions from Volume 4 the Ride and Louder Faster Funnier, once every 9 days, the YDKJ game of the day would be the playstation version, and the Playstation version would substitute Volume 3 or Offline, while YDKJ Mock 2 for playstation substitutes Volume 4 the Ride and Louder Faster Funnier. Today is YDKJ Playstation day, which is currently substituting YDKJ Offlne. if you look at the original 12 YDKJ game cycle, go 9 days later, you end up on YDKJ Volume 3, in which place, it would be substituted with YDKJ Playstation. 9 days after that, it would be Louder Faster Funnier, but it would be substituted by YDKJ Mock 2 for playstation, so in essence, it would be a 36 day cycle, with most of them happening 3 times in the 36 day cycle, and only 6 of the 14 YDKJ games happening 2 times in a 36 day cycle. Now, how does this have to do with the 2 block paradigm ruining everything? If you look at associated precons above, There are 8 YDKJ games associated with MTG. The precons from block expansions are associated with a YDKJ game that happens twice in a 36 day schedule, while the ones from the core set happens 3 times, so a block expansion intro pack happens twice per 36 days, while a core set intro pack happens 3 times per 36 days. With the 2 block paradigm, the second set of one block would happen more often than the second set of another block released in the same year, and it just doesn’t fit very well. Now on to the deck associated with the classic id FPS games. Yugioh is easy. There is only 1 starter deck, so it is paired with both structure decks. No matter if the day is one structure deck or the other, it is always paired with the same starter deck, and as such, every time the schedule arrives at a YDKJ game associated with Yugioh, it is always Quake day, and I refuse to play any id FPS other than Quake. For Pokemon, it is also easy. If the precon of the day is from a specific set, and only 1 of 2 theme decks per set is associated with one of 4 YDKJ games associated with Pokemon TCG, the other theme deck of that set is always paired with the first theme deck in the same set. The Winter and Summer theme decks that isn’t paired with YDKJ Volume 1 XL and YDKJ Volume 2 respectively is paired with Quake 2 for PC. The Spring and Fall theme decks that isn’t paired with YDKJ Sports and YDKJ Movies is paired with Quake 2 on Xbox 360, and lookng at the cycle above, every 3 days it alternates between PC version and 360 version. For MTG, it cycles between the White, then Black, then Green intro packs for each set independently, so if it is the day of the fall set intro pack, the intro pack (blue or red) associated with a YDKJ game is paired with an intro pack (white, black, or green) associated with a Doom/Doom 2 version. White is associated with the PC version, Black with the PS3 version, and Green with the Xbox 360 version. The White changes to Black then to Green the next time the day of the fall set intro pack happens, and as I said this switch happens independent of set. If it is the Summer intro pack day, and the second intro pack is at white, and looking at the schedule cycle, the next time it is MTG intro pack day, it would be either the intro pack from the winter or spring set, depending on whether the 9 day substitution is happening. Let’s say for the next time it is MTG intro pack day, it is the winter set. The secondary intro pack isn’t going to be black just because the previous time it was MTG intro pack day, that is, the summer set intro pack day, is white. The next one would be the one after the previous time it was winter set intro pack day, meaning it the previous winter intro pack was black, the next one would be green.

    The schedule is made so that there is always 1 YDKJ game, 2 precons of the same game, 1 specific version of a classic id FPS game, and 1 local sports team. I have been following this cycle since fall of 2011. At that time it only contained YDKJ and TCG’s, and it wasn’t until Doom and Doom 2 released on PS3 in Fall 2012 that I began completing the intro pack sets, whereas before I only bought 2 of 5, as well as completing Pokemon TCG theme deck sets, whereas before I only collected 1 of 2. The “day” is between 12AM local time and 11:59:59PM local time.

    Today’s YDKJ game of the day is YDKJ Playstation, which is connected to Spring Blue intro pack, which is currently Unearthed Secrets for 2016, Enlightened Mastery for 2015, Fates Foreseen for 2014, Simic Domination for 2013, Sole Domination for 2012, Devouring Skies for 2011, Leveler’s Scorn for 2010, and Legion Aloft for 2009. The other intro pack is the green intro pack, because the previous time it was the spring set intro pack day, the other intro pack was the black one so today it is green. That means the deck is Horrific Visions, Furious Forces, The Wilds and the Deep, Gruul Siege, Bound by Strength, Ravaging Swarm, Totem Power, and Rumbler. Because it is green MTG intro pack day and it is paired with the blue MTG intro pack, the classic id FPS of the day is Doom on the Xbox 360. (If the YDKJ associated intro pack was the red one, it would have been Doom 2). Because it is Doom day, it is minor league local professional hockey team day. (Doom 2 being associated with the major league local professional hockey team that happens to be affiliated with the local minor league professional hockey team and as such, they were the same uniforms, just with different logos, much like the player character when viewed in multiplayer wears the same thing in Doom and Doom 2).

    Ok I’m rambling and talking nonsense again. What were we talking about? Ah yes, comparing Pokemon TCG theme decks to Planeswalker decks.

    Reply
    • signofzeta
      Jul 16 2016

      If there was a way to edit comments, when I said sole domination, I meant solitary fiends, which is the blue spring set intro pack from 2012. Sole Domination is the black summer set intro pack from 2012.

      Reply

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