Robert Chesley

Wizards Adding More Formats to FNM Line-up.

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In an announcement made this week, Wizards will be offering more constructed offerings for its popular Friday Night Magic program.

From WPN :

This summer there will be a few changes to the Friday Night Magic program. Starting with July, we are adding two formats to the available options. In addition to the existing formats, which are Standard, Booster Draft, Sealed Deck, and Two-Headed Giant, we will also be adding the Block Constructed and Extended formats.

Also, effective immediately, there is a new policy in place for the use of excess Friday Night Magic prize cards. Tournament Organizers with a surplus of Friday Night Magic cards may distribute them as prizes in another Friday Night Magic tournament, but only after those cards are no longer the current month’s prize cards. Excess Friday Night Magic prize cards may not be used for anything else.

On Magic Online, Block Constructed is a very popular format. It is a lot like Standard but you can only use the cards in a given block. The format is really fun if you like a particular block and it is really flavorful. It feels like a “Super Sealed” deck from the block and the games are always really interesting. Considering most stores only run Magic events 1 or 2 nights a week, being it usually always falling on the FNM schedule, I’m interested to see how many stores start scheduling these formats.

Extended is a great format and is a great “gateway drug” into my favorite format, Legacy. Extended uses the last 4 years of Magic expansions as it’s card pool. The decks feel more like Standard decks, but this should help preserve the value of the cards better. In the past, Extended was only played during one Pro Tour Qualifier season, so the relevant cards would lose value for the rest of the year and really only get played during the 2 or 3 month period. Stores should really alternated between Standard and Extended and they’ll probably see a lot more turnout for events.

Some people believe this is a response by Wizards to help ease the investment that many Standard players made when they bought Jace, The Mindsculptor. That card is currently sitting at around $80.00 a piece and is due to rotate from Standard in October. I don’t feel this is the case. I think Wizards needed to help other formats see “the limelight” so to speak for them to actually grow communities and be seen on a larger scale. Offering them as Friday Night Magic formats will help with visibility as well as playability and we will probably see more higher end events using Extended and Block in the future.

As for the unused foils, I haven’t ever been to a store that didn’t give out all the foils to players each week. Store typically get between 4 and 6 promo foils to give out per FNM. Usually it is always the Top 2 players, one random, and the last place player gets the foil promo. But this makes sense. I hope that stores give out more promos to the players that come week in and week out to support the game.

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