In an article released today by Chris Tulach, Wizards of the Coast announced a series of changes to their in-store Magic: The Gathering play program. While the article detailed such changes as the renaming and re-purposing of the “Game Day” event, and special foil lands as Standard Showdown rewards, the biggest shock to players involved Friday Night Magic promotional cards. Friday Night Magic is an in-store event held every Friday, in which top-ranking players win a special foil promotional card from recent sets. The quality of the promotional cards has been incredibly inconsistent, ranging from strong, multi-format cards to those that don’t even see play as Limited fodder.
The inconsistent quality of cards will no longer be a problem however, as Wizards of the Coast has decided to abandon their long-running promotional program in favor of awarding foil, double-sided tokens, such as those seen in the Eldritch Moon pre-release kits.
These changes to Friday Night Magic will go into affect beginning October 06, 2017, after the release of Ixalan. The final promotional card in the old Friday Night Magic reward system will be Aether Revolt‘s Fatal Push, a black uncommon which has become a multiple-format staple.
Player response to this announcement has been overwhelmingly negative, with many asserting that while they liked the foil double-sided tokens from Eldritch Moon and wanted to see more of them, they didn’t want to see them at the expense of another promotional card. Others have brought up that, with Standard event attendance being on a decline, getting rid of one of the reasons players compete in Standard events will only serve to further alienate them from the game.
It feels like every time Wizards of the Coast has addressed player concerns about Standard, it’s led to one step forward and many, many steps backward. The proper response to concerns over the quality of Friday Night Magic promos shouldn’t be to get rid of the promos entirely – it should be to pick higher quality cards to feature as Friday Night Magic promos. Unfortunately, this method taken by Wizards of the Coast – to get rid of something entirely, rather than actually address and try to fix it – seems to becoming more and more prominent; the multiple recent Standard bans, which were once a rarity, is only one of many examples. Ultimately I’m concerned for the longevity and future of the game if Wizards of the Coast keeps making these off-the-cuff decisions.
What are your thoughts on these changes for Friday Night Magic promos? Do you think this is the right direction for Wizards of the Coast to move