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Magic's New Rotation
Intro: The Legacy of Magic
Magic the Gathering has been around for a long time. It is the first real competitive trading card game and was first released back in 1993. As opposed to collectible card games, trading card games allow you to expand your collection of cards and strategy by trading with friends and other players. Since Magic: the Gathering was first introduced it has regularly released a new "set" of cards every few months which dictates that terms "block". One of the reasons Magic has been so successful, apart from it being the first card game, is its extensive release of new cards and abilities every few months. Allowing it to re-engage its devoted players as well as help encourage new players to join with the new set. The various styles of popular play also help contribute to the ever growing play of the game as well.
Since the beginning, to make sure that players stay engaged with new and fresh content, Wizards of the Coast, the creators of Magic, have released a new set or expansion of cards every couple of months. Each set consists anywhere from 150 cards to 300 cards. Generally the way card sets were released was the first set intending to be larger with a few staple themes for the next 2 sets to build off for combos and strategy. The 3 sets together are considered a "block" and each block separated by a Core set which is released once a year. So each year 2 blocks of 3 sets each are released and a standard core set as well. Once the following year's core set is released then the last and oldest block (3 sets) are rotated out and the new standard consists of just 4 sets of cards and gathers momentum back up to 8 sets before the last 3 are rotated out again.
Issues with Old Format
Wizards had been thinking for years on how to improve the way rotation and standard worked not only for competitive play, but also for those new comers to Magic as well. The issue this current format was every time an old block was rotated out, so many cards all of a sudden became useless making it difficult for new players to jump in and be relevant. It also stunted the play ability and worth of cards as well when such a large volume of the current standard because out of rotation. Why should a new player pick a set to invest in if that whole block will be obsolete in a few months. Also it made it hard for the old players to stay active in the game as well since the new sets never seemed to build too much off the older sets/blocks.
Wizards of the Coast has explained that also to try to make the game easier on new players they have tried to keep the abilities and mechanics as simple as possible. With the introduction of new cards and abilities it can cause for debate on the order of play and results. Adversely they have stunted the possibilities for the experienced players by not introducing the abilities and cards that would keep them interested and entertaining.
If you are interested in the new sets of Magic, a new set of Magic Origins was released today 7/17/15 in paper and can be bought on Amazon or your local card shop.
Magic came up with a solution for the problems they were running into to reach the demographic of people they were looking for, that was to adjust and change the way the boxes were rotating. Changing from a 3 set block to a 2 set block would allow for more cards to become core and abilities to be rotated in and out without cause for banning or exceptions. You can check out the release of new packs today with the release of the newest set for this rotation: Magic Origins!