It’s been five months since I first made my “bold predictions” for 2016. Today we’re going to take a look at all six of my predictions and how close, or far, they are to coming true.

Six Bold Predictions Revisited

1. Magic Online Will Get Better

As I said back in January, this is the easiest prediction to make, because honestly who could imagine Magic Online getting worse? That said, the team should be commended for delivering leagues, albeit seven years behind schedule. League play has allowed Magic Online to feel rejuvenated, especially when it comes to casual leagues such as pre-release events. Another improvement to Magic Online has been the support of the Super Leagues which showcase the platform to a wide audience.

We haven’t gotten any UI upgrades, nor have we gotten the ability to create custom cube environments, but the fact that we’re finally seeing any positive change at all is a good sign for the future. I think it’s still safe to predict that things can only get better for Magic Online, and will likely continue to do so before the year is out.

2. Cheating Will Get Worse

I don’t think I got this one right, but that doesn’t mean cheating has improved at all. We almost made it five months into the year without a well-known player getting banned, but then Fabrizio Anteri was served an 18-month ban for mana-weaving. The more traditional forms of cheating, mostly involving deck manipulation, seem to be showing up less, at least on camera. What has been slowly growing in frequency is the appearance of counterfeit cards.

With more players wising up to getting caught while on camera, and fewer high-profile vintage and legacy events on the schedule, my guess is that we’re not going to hear about cheating as much as I thought we would. Of course, that doesn’t mean it isn’t happening, but in any measurable way I got this one wrong.

3. The Supplemental Set Will be Conspiracy II

I was half-right about this one. When I made my predictions back in January, Wizards traditionally only had one supplemental booster-pack set each year. In 2013 it was Modern Masters. In 2014 it was Conspiracy. In 2015 it was Modern Masters 2. I predicted that this year we would get Conspiracy 2, but instead Eternal Masters was announced. I was excited for EMA but a bit bummed out that I was wrong about Conspiracy 2.

But then, lo and behold, Wizards added a second supplemental booster-pack set to the schedule and Conspiracy 2 was back on the menu! Hopefully this will give us an opportunity to get our hands on some cards that were left out of Eternal Masters, like Rishadan Port. We can hope, right?

4. Modern Will Get Shaken Up

I was wrong about cheating but I made up for it by being right about Modern, twice. First, the release of Oath of the Gatewatch coupled with the banning of Splinter Twin gave us one of the most warped Pro Tour metagames in recent memory. The Eldrazi tide completely devastated the Pro Tour before the swift banning of Eye of Ugin, giving Modern its second shake-up in a three-month span. It’s probably going to be smooth sailing for some time now, especially without any more Modern Pro Tours, but it was really shaky waters for a few months in the Modern community.

5. Social Justice Will Continue

You don’t have to look any further than this blog post from last week by Meg Rickman to see that there is still a problem with misogyny in the Magic community. What is more promising however is the fact that this article actually spawned a mostly-positive discussion on Reddit of all places, and was then featured prominently on Daily MTG’s daily update.

Progress doesn’t happen overnight, but efforts are clearly being made in some very visible parts of the community.

6. Judges Will Organize

Okay, I really didn’t know what kind of form the organized Judge movement would eventually take on, but I didn’t think it would be in the form of a lawsuit served against Wizards of the Coast. I’ve been told by several lawyers now that odds are that Wizards will a) settle the lawsuit and b) figure out a way to fix this problem once and for all before they end up in a situation like Uber.

I still believe that eventually the judges will have to organize, but it may not happen this year. At the very least it seems unlikely to happen until this lawsuit is settled, but the seeds of a future organization may even end up being sown in the lawsuit’s settlement. One can only hope that in the end the Judges finally get the compensation and respect they deserve.

What We Learned is a weekly feature here at Hipsters of the Coast written by former amateur Magic Player Rich Stein, who came really close to making day two of a Grand Prix on several occasions. Each week we will take a look at the past seven days of major events, big news items, and community happenings so that you can keep up-to-date on all the latest and greatest Magic: the Gathering community news.

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