As 2021 draws to a close, many Magic players are starting to think about what 2022 will bring for Magic. With that in mind, I want to share three wishes I have for competitive Magic and organized play in the coming year.
But before we get into the things I’d personally like to see, it goes without saying that we need to continue to be safe in returning to in-person play. Many of us are returning to our pre-pandemic activities, and some things are safe to do with the right precautions. But at Magic tournaments, especially big ones, the chances of an outbreak is high. My greatest wish for 2022 is that every large Magic tournament requires vaccination for entry. While I would prefer to have multiple layers of requirements, I consider a vaccine mandate to be the bare minimum. Magic tournaments are my favorite thing to do, and we need to put players’ lives and safety above playing the game.
Another Arena Decathlon
The Arena Decathlon is a recent addition to the Arena tournament program, and I’d love to see it return in 2022. There are so many different Magic formats and cool cards that don’t see the light of day enough, and events like these let players experience the game in a totally new light. Take the Historic Artisan format, with a card pool of all the commons and uncommons in Historic – it’s a cool twist on a classic format, and now both casual and competitive players have even more reasons to invest in it.
I would love for Wizards to take this idea even further in 2022. New formats that allow players to draw extra cards per turn or have different life totals would be fun and challenging. This isn’t to say that the Arena Decathlon should only consist of wacky formats, but it’s a great chance to try things we can’t normally do in Magic. I hope we see a new Decathlon with each set release in the coming year.
More Grassroots Tournament Circuits
If Magic ever has another big boom at a competitive level, it will come from having more grassroots tournament circuits. That isn’t a knock against Wizards; the competitive play community benefits from having more tournaments in more places at every level, and that’s something that Wizards simply can’t undertake alone.
We have some great tournament organizers here in the eastern and central US, including SCG and NRG, that will be running events in the new year. I’d love to see more organizers, big and small, join in and support competitive Magic in other regions and parts of the world. The sooner we rebuild the tournament scene, the better it will be for players at large.
Lower the Power Level of Cards
So, hear me out on this last one. I’m not looking for Ixalan-level low power, but just getting Standard back to Guilds of Ravnica’s power level is a big wish of mine.
This year’s Modern Horizons set made Modern the best format in Magic, especially for players that like to interact. But when Standard cards start taking over Modern and other eternal formats, it’s a sign that the power level is just too high. Printing newer cards that have synergy with cards in older formats is great, in my opinion, since those cards often pose a low risk to Standard. Just look at Vizier of Remedies – that card breathed new life into the Modern format without warping Standard. I’d rather see more cards like that than cards that are just too good on rate.
The introduction of Alchemy could mean that Standard’s power level stays high for the next few months. But a year from now? That’s harder to say. Regardless, I hope we see more synergy and less raw power in Magic cards by the end of 2022.
What are your wishes for Magic in the coming year? Let me know on Twitter at @masoneclark!
Mason Clark is a grinder in every corner of the game who has played at the pro level and on the SCG Tour with Team Nova. Whether he’s competing in Standard, Historic or Modern, Mason plays with one goal in mind: to be a better player than he was the day before. Check out his podcast, Constructed Criticism, and catch his streams on Twitch.