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My Reaction to the Recent Historic and Alchemy Rebalances

Yesterday, there was an unexpected announcement of changes to the Alchemy format (well, at least I didn’t expect it). In this article, I’ll unpack the Historic and Alchemy rebalances and let you know what’s next. 

You can find the announcement here:

 

 

 

Header - Neon Dynasty Set Championship

This season’s premier play calendar is made up of three Set Championship tournaments. These are the high profile events, and invitations to the World Championship are determined solely via these three tournaments.

The next Championship is on March 11, with deck lists due on March 6. The formats are Alchemy and Historic (as a side note, you should definitely watch the coverage if you’re free on any days that weekend!).

I’m currently preparing for the Set Championship, and this announcement came as a surprise to me. I learned about it through an email titled: “PLEASE READ: Update for Neon Dynasty Championship.”

Competitors do not like unexpected rules changes in close proximity to the event. There’s been a steady stream of player feedback on this topic for at least a decade. These tournaments mean a lot to some people, and folks with busy schedules sometimes need to front-load their preparation in order to accommodate professional or family obligations. This is even more true for split-format events like this one. 

 

In the grand scheme of things, this isn’t a huge deal. These are relatively minor changes, and having 11 days of notice is a lot better than having less than a week of notice (which has happened). It’s not worth anyone’s time to get upset about it. Unfortunately, it does fit with a recent pattern of decisions which fail to accommodate and prioritize competitive play. 

In general, I think Alchemy is underexplored, and the number of dedicated players grinding the ladder right now is pretty small. I’m expecting to see a lot of new technology to show up at the Championship. The teams and individuals who can play a lot and process these changes efficiently might be able to leverage that to significant advantage.

 

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