Announcement: Two Intro Decks Stapled Together

Spoilers, Rumors, and Speculation forum

Posted on Aug. 13, 2018, 8:29 p.m. by YaBoyScoot

Okay, past the sardonic title, Wizards announced the 'Spellslinger Starter Kit'. It's aimed at new players and teaching them to play. That's cool.

It's also just a watered down Duel Deck or Clash Pack.

Or two intro decks.



Boza says... #2

Sardonic is a cool word, so anytime you could be, you should be.

But yeah - one player gets a ghalta and some chaff, the other player gets chaff. Weren't they giving these out for free at LGS?

August 14, 2018 2:32 a.m.

Looking at the list, at least we know there'll soon be spoiled a new boros card and a new golgari card. The lists look fine for a starter kit.

August 14, 2018 4:45 a.m.

Btw, as a non-native english speaker, learning the word "sardonic" is a great thing from this post ;D

August 14, 2018 4:47 a.m.

Boza says... #5

Is it just me or is it weird to have an intro deck come out days after a new set releases only to see 2-3 cards from the newest set in it?

August 14, 2018 5 a.m.

TypicalTimmy says... #6

As someone with both ADHD and Dyslexia, I can't stop thinking about sardines.


August 14, 2018 10:32 a.m.

Phaetion says... #7

TypicalTimmy: Maybe because this product will probably be sleeping with the fishes.

Simply put, not going to sell well outside of Ghalta and whatever those new cards will be.

August 14, 2018 11:21 a.m.

TypicalTimmy says... #8

Sometimes I buy products like this for that sweet, sweet dopamine fix but realistically I feel like these are the sort of products Wizard's gears toward people like moms / dads and the like to buy for birthday presents for their teens.

You know, the whole "I know you like this game so I bought you this two-deck pack (For only $24!), happy birthday!"

I can't see any other reason these are made. Sure, back in the day some of the Dual Decks were really sweet. But now they all suck major butt.

It's almost beginning to feel like Wizard's follows a "quota" kind of schedule where they HAVE to print so many of certain products, and that makes them just genuinely run out of ideas.

Truthfully, I feel like this whole "Gatewatch / Bolas" story is killing MTG.

Yeah, it's nice to have an EXCUSE to visit each new world and be introduced to each new character, but it also feels like it's being strained. Plus the whole "ghost writer" thing, where each chapter is written by someone else, really freaking sucks.

Of course this ties into the idea that there really isn't any "original" content anymore, in general. Everything is becoming a knock-off of something else. That's due to corporate trends, though.

Companies see something that "works", so they copy it for a quick buck. Then when that idea collapses, they look for the next newest "thing" that "works". You can see it all over, but it is especially prevalent in today's music industry.

Ending that stupid segue, remember a few years back when Hollywood kept churning out these "universe" titles? Marvel hit a huge homerun with theirs, so DC attempted it, then Paramount tried their's, Fox tried one I think, Disney is rebuilding one... well, Wizard's jumped in on that, too. That's about when the Gatewatch story unfolded.

It's all just one big stupid corporate scam, really. It's a trend. And the thing about trends is that while they spike for a while, they all inevitably crash when hype and faith die down.

That gets back to my whole sthick about the "quota". We all saw sales drop with Amonkhet, the failure of the Iconic and Modern Master's sets, the slew of crap-tier products that line Walmart / Target shelves, the progressive increase in booster pack prices, the price gouging at LGS', and the resentment of the secondary market.

Wizard's, in my opinion, is struggling. So they are attempting to do two things:

  • Attract new customers (One of which is tapping into the Chinese market, which is a HUGE pool of money in any form of media, but is also HIGHLY restrictive and selective - evident by the Global Series products and things like this, geared toward teens new to the game)

  • Build a competitive story so they can cash in on secondary merchandise such as comics (Which is just announced), board games (Think about how they just made D&D 5E core book), and we will probably begin to get toys and maybe within the next few years a movie

All in all, Wizard's is cornered. Hasbro bought them out, demands more income, and is forcing them to meet a quota. It's basic business garbage. CEO's and CFO's want more money so they demand faster products, meaning more floods of crap.

-Rant Over-

Sorry, that's my unbridled ADHD. I just sort of let loose there to make a point.

August 14, 2018 11:51 a.m.

SpammyV says... #9

I think the new intro kit looks great.

Magic has a big problem in the form of its barrier to entry. Not even getting into deckbuilding, the basic rules of the game can be daunting for some people. Magic: the Gathering is more complicated to play than other CCGs (Hearthstone and the Pokemon trading card game come to mind) and there are concepts that are omnipresent in Magic that are missing even from nerdy boardgames. Turn phases for instance, I know several games that are basically, "Start of turn stuff, then do anything you want in any order, end of turn stuff," as opposed to the structure of main phases and all the segments of the combat step.

The second problem is that Magic is going to require two players. You can read up on everything yourself, but you still need someone to play with. And it's also kind of unfortunate that a lot of the playing that we (myself included) do is not a good example for someone to get into Magic. I've had curious people watching my Commander group setting up to get into a four-player game and it breaks my heart when I can't think of anything to tell them except that this is going to be a complicated experience and it's not what I'd choose to get them into Magic or to help them learn.

Which is why I think that scripting the draws is a good move, especially if the how-to-play guide is set up well, so that you can build up the details and complexity and on-ramp new players.

So while it is true that there's really going to be nothing in here for me, the product's not for me, and that's okay. I get booster boxes and supplemental sets and to come up with weird house rules like Contraption Drafting for my commander group. I think it's great to have a product I could go to if I knew someone was interested in learning.

Although I would've chosen some other art for the center fold. Somehow a durfy looking picture of Gideon throwing a really awkward looking punch doesn't give me that feeling of wonder I got when I first got into Magic.

August 14, 2018 7:09 p.m.

YaBoyScoot says... #10

SpammyV I don't think the problem lies in the decks being designed for beginners, or with the scripted draws. In fact, I completely agree with you that this product is a great way for players to get into the game.

However, it is a lackluster product to keep players in the game. As Boza says, there is basically one card that isn't jank in these decks. How do players continue from here?

I understand the decks need to be easy to use, but come on. Lightning Bolt is easy to use, but still powerful. Same with Primeval Titan. I'm not saying they should fill the decks with Bolts and Prime Time, but simple cards can still be powerful. Hell, Ghalta, Primal Hunger is simple and powerful, so why is there only one copy of a card that can interest new players, as well as keep them invested in the game?

I hope to see an introductory product that has simple, easy to understand cards, but doesn't cheap out and fill it with vanillas and unplayables.

August 14, 2018 8:45 p.m.

Boza says... #11

WOTC would say that they cheap out with bad cards in these products because they do not want you, the enfranchized player to get them. If the product had 2 ghalta and 2 Jadelight Ranger, the product would be like twice its MSRP in value from these two cards alone, making this an attractive product for enfranchized players. However, there are problems with this logic:

1/ The other cards are essentially bulk - nobody really wants them and they command a price that reflects that. So why did Wizards just not include all-jank cards and gave that products to LGSs to give out for free?

2/ If you include a lot of high value cards in highly produced products like New Player Decks, those cards will not be high valued for long.

3/ This product eats at the sales of other Wizards products - why would would you spent 15 on something that has 7 bucks of value in it, instead of a Challeger deck that contains numerous mythics and rares and has more value than its MSRP?


All of this leads to one conclusion and it is blatantly stated in the article reveleaing the product:

"This product will be sold ... at mass market stores like target and walmart" or whatever it said. That is the whole point of this product.

August 15, 2018 2:47 a.m.

Argy says... #12

They aren't even Intro decks.

They are the same as the free decks you get at Open Day, with two spin downs and some instructions.

New players should avoid these and get the free decks.

September 2, 2018 8:26 a.m.

Please login to comment