Thursday, January 31, 2013


I do not have a problem with the Pauper bans. I think in the end they will be good for the format.
I do not take umbrage with how the bans were communicated.
However, the weeks leading up to the bans implied a level of thought and consideration from the people at Wizards, and the announcement on January 28th gave no detail to the bans in Pauper, but gave a short essay on the updates to Modern.
This felt like a slap in the face.
Before going further, I want to make some things clear. I understand Pauper is a niche format, only played on Magic Online. I know Modern has a wider player base and is mirrored in paper play. From a pure monetary perspective, it makes sense to focus on Modern over Pauper.
However, Wizards prides itself on the ability to connect with its player base. They don't just make cards for the tournament player, but for everyone who plays the game. The wonderful people who make Magic (and they are all exceptional people) reach out to the community, understanding our world is larger than the card table. I've managed to have conversations with people via e-mail, twitter, facebook, and many other avenues on Magic. I was lucky enough to sit down with members of R & D at the first Community Cup and share my insight, and see those changes implemented. When Pauper made the migration from a player-run format to a fully supported option, Wizards got the banned list wrong. When the Pauper community told them, they made the fix almost immediately. Wizards clearly cares.
In the weeks leading up to January 28th, two different members of Wizards discussed Pauper via social media. They asked for feedback and the community responded. I wrote two personal e-mails, largely containing the same message. This gave me, in hindsight, an expectation of an explanation.
On January 28th, after the out reach from Wizards, after having them ask for input and act on it in the past, to be given nothing, it felt like an insult. 
I do not think this was intentional. I think everyone (including myself) did not realize how much the people who played Pauper cared about the format. I've been involved in a number of conversations on twitter and message boards about the bans. For or against, people are passionate about the format.
Do I think Wizards will provide an explanation? Absolutely. My only hope is that in the future, the people who play Pauper are given the same consideration as any other niche of the community. And knowing how awesome the people at Wizards are, they will provide one.

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