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the degradation of MTGO without IPA
By Jeremiah Johnson
The Future of Extended in MTGO

I started wanting to write this column almost more as a question to the rest of you than what it ended up being. I wanted to gather opinions as to what was gonna happen to extended online. But well…plans changed and it ended up being almost more of a rant than anything else. But I think I'm asking some important questions here. So here I go.


Extended online. Basically online there are three blocks. IPA, OTJ, OLS (Invasion, Planeshift, Apoc – Odyssey, Torment, Judgement – Onslaught, Legions, Scourge). That is the environment. You could buy them all at the online store. Now Wizards has the bright idea of no longer selling certain sets. They have already done this with 7th edition, which really isn’t that big of a deal considering that 8th has most of what you would want out of 7th in it. Right down to Vizzerdrix…but that’s another topic.

Back on task here. So needless to say, as of Oct 15, 2003 IPA will no longer be available for sale in the online store. Big deal you say, you say to yourself I don’t play extended or rarely open, so how does this affect me? It affects you plenty my friend. Plenty. Its going to affect the people coming into the game. Ok I’m wandering again, let me start at the beginning so you can all follow my reasoning.

In the last two weeks I’m sure anyone in here that watches the TP or the auction room has noticed a very disturbing trend. Even the worst IPA rares are starting to sell for 1 ticket each. The good ones like monger, vindicate, undermine, deed, etc are all starting to creep up. I suspect that once they completely stop selling IPA packs that they will stop creeping and skyrocket.

I admit that like a lot of you I have subscribed to this irrational fear. But I also think its not irrational. I am buying all the IPA I can now, rounding out playsets and such, because I have a terrible feeling that come six months from now, a spirit monger may fetch as much as 25 tix even in the auction room. And that scares me. It is not going to be good for the game.

To draw a real life parallel type 1 has often been called the rich boys game. With a play set of the power 9 reaching as high as 2,000$ even on E-bay. So consequently a lot of new players feel that they cant compete in the game at that point, so they stick to the new stuff. I think the same may happen to online extended as prices creep up. People that have money or just have been around a while will have a tremendous advantage over those that haven’t.

To sound like a vampire when people are scared to play and/or cant afford to play, there is no fresh blood coming in. And when there is no fresh blood coming in, the game and the people that play the game, it gets stagnant. And playing the game with different people all over the world is half the allure of online play.
What I’m trying to say here is that, I personally am afraid that IPA may turn into the alpha and beta of the online world. And when it turns into money, a small part of the fun may be taken out of the game. I think that wizards is making a poor decision to remove these cards from the store, and I ask all of you to pray to the God you believe in, while I pray to mine, that this doesn’t have the negitive impact I fear it will. That maybe wizards showing their greedy side doesn’t start the downfall of magic online.

Of course friends, maybe I’m paranoid, maybe I just am reading too much into this. But supply and demand are fairly simple things to understand and demand for IPA isn’t going to go away and supply is very, very limited.

Until next time….may you pull a spiritmonger in your last Apoc pack.


Jeremiah Johnson

Read More Articles by Jeremiah Johnson!

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