It’s the question that’s been on everyone’s mind since Wizards of the Coast first made their announcement about this week’s impending announcements. Mark Rosewater added fuel to the fire on his personal blog when he insinuated the announcement would be massive. He backtracked on that statement, clarifying that announcement week, not specifically his announcement, would be massive. But then he revealed his announcement would be titled “Metamorphosis 2.0.”

So where does that leave us? The original Metamorphosis article announced the two-block paradigm and killed off core sets. Magic survived, but has perhaps floundered in the following 2.5 years. Did Mark Rosewater finally finish the job and kill magic with the Metamorphosis 2.0 announcement?

In short, no, Mark has once again failed to kill Magic: the Gathering. Here is Metamorphosis 2.0. The main changes, which we’ll talk about below, all seem to be beneficial and will largely be appreciated by fans and players alike, or have been things that people have been asking for quite a bit anyways. So, if you were hoping for a swift death so you could sell off your collection, I’m sorry to disappoint you. For the rest of you, let’s dive into the details!

First off, here’s the full list of changes Mark Rosewater outlined:

  1. Fall, Winter, and Spring expansions will be large sets drafted on their own
  2. The Summer expansion will be a re-vamped core set
  3. The Gatewatch is getting their spotlight diminished
  4. Masterpieces will show up in fewer expansions
  5. There are more R&D behind-the-scenes changes

Large expansions are great, and getting three of them each year sounds like a great idea. Small sets have often been a drag on the game from many viewpoints and it’s interesting to see that what was thought of as a problem with “third” sets was a problem with “small” sets. Collectors, fans, and players should all be happy about this change.

The core set’s return, I think, is a welcome addition. In the past I was of the opinion that the core set was boring and redundant and I was happy to see it go. But last year, for example, was full of Magic players getting burnt out on too much product. With entrenched players being able to essentially skip the core set and focus just on three large sets and a supplemental product, things should be a little easier to handle.

One question with the core set’s return that Mark did not address is what will happen to the Pro Tour? Currently all four Pro Tours are aligned with expansions, but it’s hard to imagine we’ll go back to having Core Set expansions. This won’t be a problem until 2019, so I’m sure we’ll find out eventually.

The Gatewatch spotlight is something we’ve discussed a few times but ultimately I trust that the creative team knows what they’re doing. The problem hasn’t really been the story so much as the problems with development (another issue) so hopefully the creative team will still be able to do as they please, just with a slightly different roster of characters on stage.

Masterpieces will hopefully just show up once each year. This may be tougher on collectors and Legacy/Modern players, but there are so many reprint products nowadays that I think missing out on this one is fine. Honestly this affects very few people.

The last part of the announcement was very vague, but given the backlash Wizards has faced it’s not surprising to learn that there were more changes to R&D than the creation of the Play Design team. I’m looking forward to learning more about this.

So, while there are plenty of questions that remain, none of them have to do with the untimely death of Magic. Besides, if Mark killed Magic now he’d never get to finish designing the Riggers/Contraptions mechanic.

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