84 thoughts on “Magic TV: Show #82 – The State of Extended”

  1. From one perspective, you have an ailing format. From another you have a format that’s suffering from huge price inflation. Solution: kill extended replace with over extended.

  2. Very interesting show, I’d have appreciated more “solutions” from LSV and Tristan.

    The first solution that comes to mind is going back to the old extended. (why was it changed again?)
    and yes u 2 are definitely right on the main 2 points :

    1_ Feels like Standard without the support
    2_ No one cares.

  3. As cool as it was to pick up and try to play mythic again the decks are just so stale. Like lsv said all the decks are just hybrid decks of the ghosts of standards present, past, and future. From someone who is an avid Legacy player and wishes there was more support for paper Legacy in my area, Chicago, I would LOVE to play Legacy as a ptq format. It’s already very popular and such a blast to play. Granted I have about 90% of the staples of the format and can build 9 or 10 tier 1 decks. It’s just really fun Magic, Legacy is the way to go. But then that brings us back to the bogey man know as the Reserve List. I really hope Magic doesn’t kill Legacy. I really think it is the soul of the game.

  4. yes yes and yes, the changes killed what made ext cool. There is a giant gap of cards that just aren’t being used and makes no sense to have a format like this which is basically “double standard”. Bring it back to 6th ed + and that will make sooo fun.

  5. One of the things that made the old extended format so great was to test and see the synergy between older and newer blocks. I remember when the first mirrodin block came out and we loved to see the synergy between Urza block and Mirrodin block. I loved tinkering for a mindslaver or a darksteel colossus. You guys are right. All extended is now is old standard decks with a couple of new cards thrown in. One of the solutions I think would be to take it back to the way it used to be and rotate it only every two years and extend it to maybe six blocks instead of four. Extended used to be one of my favorite formats before the change. I have been playing since 2001 and I think that extending the extended format would make it healthy again. I also think that the increasing power level of cards has had a negative impact. Why play the older cards when the newer cards are more powerful? Great topic and I applaud CF for bringing this up to discussion. Keep up the great work!!

  6. I personally believe that they switched the format to increase accessibility slowly, but also to kill thepths without banning anything. One possible solution would be to not let Lorwyn block rotate, and just go to 5 years, then 6 years, then back to 7 year extended. This is a great solution, because
    1. I can keep playing faeries 🙂
    2. It will keep the format consistently increasing in size/interest until it is as complex as it used to be; and
    3. It will allow players who play standard now to keep their standard cards and get into the format.

    Personally, I would also love to see at least a few legacy PTQs, because I’d love an oppurtunity to play some 6-round PTQs where top-8ing isn’t extremely difficult and overly luck-based. Legacy is a wonderful format, but if it weren’t for Star City, it would be almost as overlooked as extended (though it has far more “legacy only” aficionados). Extended does need to change to stay interesting, and Wizards starting here and advancing back to 7 years seems the best way to do that.

  7. Extended were really at its best when you could play Duals.
    So basicly it wa its best when it was what we now is calling Legacy. Sure the bannedlist looks different, for example. You could play vampiric tutor and oath of druids but not dark ritual.

    TSG were mentioning that the change to extended would make people holding on to their cards but then there´s the problem. What do you do with them once they rotate out of Extended. Sure pre changes to extended maybe only 10% of the standardcards were good enough for Extended but post the changes maybe 1% are good enough for legacy. So instead of giving cards a longer life they did the opposite since now cards become useless after only 4 years instead of 6 even though some of them will have a better life once out of sandard

    To me (and most others I´d guess) the problem is tht Extended and Standard are basicly more ofthe same. It´s basicly updated blockcontructeddecks in both formats with very few exeptions and I think the reason for that is that Wizzards are very good at building these mechanics for their blocks, with powerful cards working togather in a nice little symbiose. To beat that you have to either have some very powerful cards and/or some random interaction between cards from compltely different sets and Extended got neither of those or atleast to few of them. Valakuth + Prisatic Omens and Stoneforger + Sword are the two most obvious and one of them is in both formats.

    I could really see them printing something like Commander for Extended. It doesn´t even have to be new cards but it could be cards that will be legal for Extended independantly of rotations. Throw in soem cards that are accually played in legacy aswell and you have a product that would be attactive to many players and if done good could rally help the exendedformat because it really needs something that make it stand out from other formats and giv it an ow identity. I know it won´hapen though and if anything I guess they might just go with the overextended which does also seem kind of sweet to me.

  8. I liked the old rumoured idea of an “Extended Plus” format which included all sets from MM onwards. The major difference from Legacy being the loss of Force of Will and Wasteland, which define the Legacy metagame. It should appeal to old players by offering old favourites like Brainstorm, Counterspell and Dark Ritual (and more!). The effect this format would have is the deckbuilding flexability of Legacy, but doesn’t require a huge buying commitment of the expensive Legacy “staples”.

  9. Extended as a format, up until some recent changes were made, has always been so far reaching that it could pluck certain cards out of sets long past in order to create new archetypes using utility cards from the more recent sets. Legacy is that format now. You do not see bitterblossom fae in legacy, nor jund, because they are not good enough decks to compete, but there are decks in legacy that pull some really key staples like nobles, pridemages, kotr, Jace, and gsz into decks with very powerful utility cards from ages long ago. It is the support found in the older cards that make these decks so playable, decks that seem to suffer from lack of card pool support in extended. Tribal decks are doing well in extended because they are so block specific, and when elves, fae, and cascade decks are basically pushed into the top tiers by their synergy being supported so heavily, people become pretty burned out on them.

    I think that TSG’s point about the extended format being the decks that everyone hoped would die is one of the better points that was made. In Legacy there are so many decks to meta for that everyone complains about variance (those who care about such trivial issues, level 4+), and tries to squeeze as many answers to the 4-5 decks that curb stomp them into the 15 slots they have left. Extended at present is 5 decks, which are the only decks that have consistency enough to compete for the top tier, yet fae, jund, and Valakut are always decks that you have to have on your radar. Why won’t they just go away? There are decks that next level, and are able to meta into the top spots, but the tribal decks still boast the top finishing percentages. I wish I had the stats to see exactly what records Valakut, Jund, Elves, Fae, and UW had in the ptq season, but my bet is that they account for close to 75% of the format’s match wins this season. That would mean that there is very little innovation, and if you look at each deck there are very few changes from when those decks were in standard.

    Variance, or rather overcoming variance in magic, has always been the key to its innovation. Innovation allowed extended as a format to stay on top. Legacy used to be where good decks went to retire, but now it is where innovators are able to really wield their wizardry to its fullest. Super standard is less fun than actual standard, because the decks that have just rotated are just no fun to play anymore. Bring back Time Spiral block to this extended season, and the decks would be much more creative. How well would fae do if punishing fire was still in the format?

    Extended needs to go away, and legacy should take it’s place. A more proactive banned list should be put into place, and a stipulation about card pricing should be enforced to cap the market. If a card costs more than $75 per, then it should be banned in Legacy, to be determined quarterly. This would serve to both limit price push, and to keep the price of entry at a place where people can enter the format by trading into it from standard. I have a pretty large Legacy collection, and I would hate to have to stop playing dual lands, but would find ravnica duals in every deck that I play if it was necessary to win.

    Legacy staples are starting to exceed Vintage staples in value, like time vault being cheaper than candelabras now, and cards such as mana drain are now in a comparable value to force of will, a card it had dominated in value for more than a decade. Mana drain has not budged in price in about 7 years, while force of will has trippled in value in that time. Moats and Tabernacles were in the neighborhood of $40-50 until about 3.5 years ago, and now are quadruple that. I thank my luck that I was able to start collecting in the mid 90’s or else keeping up with the joneses would be impossible.

  10. The solution is about the easiest thing ever – Overextended. Masques forward, never rotating. It’s like legacy without all the expensive cards (FOW, Duals, Mox Diamond, Lion’s eye diamond, etc), but you still get brainstorm, daze, counterspell, and more. The format would be incredibly diverse, fun, and not feel “forced”, plus it wouldn’t be any more expensive than old Extended, with fetches/ravinca duals.

    And i wanna cast Psychatog again 🙁

  11. When I started playing Extended didn’t exist, a year later they started it up. The basic idea was that it would be just like Legacy is now, a large format with an always growing rate of cards in its cardpool, but unlike the eternal formats it would get spruced up by cutting a block of cards from time to time, much like type II (standard). Only at a slower rate.

    The way the new extended works by my understanding is that it has become a fixed cardpool like standard, where the number of blocks in it will always be roughly the same. They cut off cards at a similar rate to which they add cards to the format. Any format like that will always feel like ‘standard ++’

    In itself that is not a bad thing, but it does lead to the problem TSG mentioned, if one standard format has a few of dominating decks they will carry over into extended a lot faster and for a much longer time. Some blocks just have more powerful deck strategies then others. If the last blocks in your extended rotation just come from such a standard block, then those deck strategies will re-emerge easily if the other cards in your cardpool are too new, or if there are just not enough blocks in your cardpool to prevent those decks from rising up again. Although it is never guaranteed (no matter how you structure extended) to prevent this from happening I believe a few things could be arranged differently to give the format a more permanent unique feel (not one that depends on the standard ones coming before it).

    First I believe that the blocks in extended should always have a minimum of 3 completely different standard rotations in it (meaning 6 different complete blocks should be in extended at all times)
    Secondly I believe that returning extended to an always extending (no PUN intended) card pool will return the complete different feel from both Legacy and Standard. (like where standard loses and gains a block every year, you could make extended only lose a block once every 2 or 3 years, but still have it gain a block annually )

    I understand why wizards made the original changes,.. but I feel (and have felt since they made those changes) that they cut too deep in the format.

    Reversing some of those changes (not by re-introducing old blocks but just by delaying the cut of other blocks in extended) might help the format regain its unique feel again, which will in turn up the support for it once more.

    Other then that I also think that wizards has to step back a little bit from their ‘magic is about creatures’ credo that they have implemented in the last blocks. It is certainly an improvement but leaving a bit more room for the importance of spells (or non-creature interaction) in their vision might give the boost needed to a format that should thrive on interactions between cards printed over 4 years apart.

    Making extended bigger again and slower will also give it more time to find interactions between cards that might exist in the current extended or in blocks that are now immediately relegated to Legacy but are found to be not powerful or interesting enough there because they are drowned in the immense power of the second largest card-pool in all Magic formats…

    Don’t know if this all makes sense?

  12. To be of any to players, a format has to be really different that what is available and played. That’s obvious. Standard is the small format that rotates often. Legacy is the eternal format that holds the most interest (no power nine, for one thing). Extended has to be something that the others are not.

    IMO, you go for the rumored Overextended from last year (Mercadian forward) which had many of us really excited. Eternal but without the price barrier (let’s call it a wall of bricks). Many, many new interactions, best decks to be determined, so many cards in the format that there probably has to be a foil to any deck that becomes dominant, etc.

    I miss the old extended, but apparantly it failed at holding players interest. It had many interactions, decks that didnt exist in standard or legacy, it gave value to cards that would otherwise be almost useless to players …

    I guess they just have to find a way to do this AND hold players interest in said format. It would be nice to know that once a card rotates out of standard, you can do something other than throw it in the fire if it’s not legacy playable …

    My 2 cents

  13. You two are right, there is no support from Wizards for Ext.
    I believe a few things can revitalize this format.
    1. Wizards supports Ext tournaments (fnm’s)with format relevant cards. Alt art, full art,or foil of Ext staples.
    2. If Ext is a format for Nationals (which it should be) ,make Nat Qualifiers Extended.
    3. Truely extend the format
    – go as far back as Masque block

    I like that Ext now is easy to play last years Type 2 , but lots of people don’t like playing vs fae or Jund.

    4. Selective bannings to make popular decks unviable and therefor open the format up to more deck design

    Just my two cents

  14. Having never played an extended tournament I have a very limited experience on the topic, but from where I sit the solution seems simple enough. You ready?

    Legacy Extended Standard

    If legacy represents a 100% card pool (not strictly true, but close enough), extended should quite simply represent 50% of that card pool, or, if you will, the most recent half of Magic cards. That way extended changes by half the rate of standard as for every two new sets released extended loses one. It would keep it vastly different from standard – which is the current problem -, while still not being legacy at all.

    At the same time, whatever the attention span, extended would strike right in the middle and be as different from the other two formats as possible. In other words: if you don’t like standard and legacy, your odds of liking this new extended are maximized.

    Now, shred my reasoning to pieces 🙂

  15. The largest problem is lack of support. As legacy’s recent surge in popularity shows, price is a barrier to entry up to a certain point, at which point the support makes the price worth it for many people (and possibly this relationship might invert again if the price keeps going up).

    Interestingly, support is one area where wizards has the most control. If they wanted new extended to succeed, why did they make it and then ignore it like old extended? They should find some way to give incentive to stores that make it an fnm format. Or else try to team up with an independent tourney organizer to do a regional series which can pick up its popularity (like what scg did with legacy).

  16. My solutions would be to extend the rotation and to have a banned list with each Rotation I mean how much space would be oppened up with the banning of a couple of cards. I think this would bring deck builders to the format and it is they who in my opinion keep formats fresh. The SuperSTD or what ever you call it dosen’t capture the imagination and does little to hit the mark with Timmys, Jonny’s and Spikes or Volrath’s.

    This would take a lot of future league work from WOTC as the opening up of Rotation and the banning of cards would create power vacuums that would need to be looked at. This said if WOTC want EXT to succeed then it needs work to establish and maintain it as they are near enough making a new format with new sets as set defining/ format warping cards would be with removed.

  17. what makes extended suck the most is not the amount of cards in the format is that there is no new interactions coming out of it. When magic makes a new set they should put cards in the set that seems horrible in standard but has a great interaction in the older set. When I say this I mean a card like necrotic plague. It sucks now, and no one would play but mabye once it rotates to extended magic makes newer cards that makes you want to play that type of card. I mean dark depths and hexmage was a good case for this.

  18. After reading peoples comments a couple of ideas have sprung to mind;

    To make Extended hold a little more interest and gain more interactions make it rotate less frequently, so maybe from now forward rotate to the last 4 or 5 years every 3 years this has the disadvantage have having some of the more popular T2 decks relevant every 3 years.

    The other way to increase the popularity of extended is for somewhere to hold more events. Maybe something like Starcity or CF holding an Open for EXT as well, i.e. Starcity could hold an EXT open parrell to the Legacy, this would make more people want to develop and play more often than just for a PTQ

  19. I should preface this post by expressing my bias in stating that I top 8’d the only two extended PTQs I played this season, winning the second-

    I really like extended right now as an extension of why I don’t like standard. In standard I find myself unable to build a deck that can corner a metagame and usually being at least 4 cards short of a list than I can say I am completely happy with. Extended makes the format just wide enough to play with an entire 75 that actually feel good in a deck. Extended is wide enough where the field will surprise you, but not so wide as legacy where your testing can be COMPLETELY useless in a random matchup.

    That being said I have always been a fan of extended in every season that I’ve played, starting with when IPA was the oldest set in extended. I think that a lot of people just didn’t like the changes because they were change for the sake of change on the surface and for this reason they never bothered to even play the format. I honestly don’t get why anybody would complain about Faeries and Jund being decks in extended because they’re nothing like they were in standard. Yeah, there is a reasonable chance you’ll play against bitterblossoms and/or bloodbraid elves in extended but this go round there is a good chance that you’ll BEAT them.

  20. abolish extended, reprint non-reserved list legacy staples, and ban duals from legacy (or say the hell with the reserved list and reprint them.)

  21. Maybe friday night magic should be played as extended rather than standard? This is an essentially casual activity anyway, and a more diverse format would keep obnoxious decks like Faeries and Jund from being dominant and becoming dominant in the first place.

    If you do get rid of extended, how would you change the ptq format? Right now, the first ptq is sealed, the second is extended, and the third is standard. If you remove extended, then the easiest progression is new set sealed, then standard, then block constructed and finally Magic 20xx sealed.

  22. block constructed is not a format that should be a PTQ format, it is even more stagnant have way through a season

  23. I tend to agree with previous statements about scope of cards being printed and interactions. I would think that designers have to always check long term implications of creating cards that interact, however, I feel that the focus here revolves around legacy and vintage. It is hard to create a card that interacts with a short system of cards that will eventually rotate to more powerful larger pool of cards. The ramifications long term will always supercede what falls in the middle.

    Honestly I feel if you want to create interest in a format, increase the payout. Money drives peoples interest. It may be partly the reason that legacy has done so well. PTQ spots are cool and all but everyone loves money! Banning cards may or may not be the right idea. You would have to examine if banning cards would bring more players to the table?

    There has to be a catalyst that sparks momentum. I do agree as formentioned banning would force creativity. Innovation equals excitement, and extended is obviously stale bread. Fae and Jund are beasts, and could truly be the reason why people tend to stay away. That or the boredom of playing the same match time and time again.The meta game is so slow in extended. However, once these rotate you will have to still deal with, for example, caw-blade, or whatever current beast holds over time. When money talks, people listen. Pay the people and they will be there sleeved up ready to go. Moeny is the catalyst that drives everything.

  24. Keep printing cards until they run out of extended so the prices stay down? Though I would just want them to have more prints of cards that way its easier to get some of them rather than card prices being way too high like they are now.

  25. i really liked ext back in the time of aluren and tinker, then they killed ext for over standard, i dont think money is going to solve it either you could offer double the prize pool and i still will not be sleeving up to play a bad format when i could go play standard or legacy.

  26. Gotta say, i haven’t really got into extended since i only started playing again around Zendikar laucnh. I feel like the wave of people who came to Magic via DoTP just don’t have the cards for that format. Personally i stopped playing back around Invasion, and i don’t feel like spending a ton more money buying a Faeries deck.

    That said, the format does interest me (i actually enjoyed playing Jund, believe it or not – even with my underpowered budget build). My local store here in England has 2 extended nights every month, including one for FNM, Standard still outshines it, of course, but you’re always going to have that, no matter how poor T2 might be at any given time.

  27. More legacy support, people will buy what they want regardless, when you see people with all foil valakut decks, but they dont own a dual land, or the monored players with no Koth because he is too expensive. To get more support for extended Wizards has to incorporate it into FNM’s since that is your target play group. What extended will cost after shards rotates and people have to go back and pick up Jace again. Legacy has support because people realize they dont have to worry about picking up new cards at certain point you cant pick the few cards needed from new sets as u go, in that way it is kinda self supporting.

  28. Great video!

    I have been very upset with the new extended. The main reason is that I cannot find any events to play in and prepare for ptqs.

    The format is soo unhealthy that at the last ptq I was at, one of the players brought in a standard caw blade deck, then essentially added cryptic commands and registered the deck for the ptq.

    It seems silly but the caw blade deck and UW extended mystic deck are very similar with just upgrades in a few card slots.

    I think new extended should just not rotate this upcoming season. Then we would have 5 blocks in extended plus the core sets. We will then have enough card interactions that new decks will arise and the old standard decks may not be tier 1. I don’t like going back to old extended because of the price fluxuations in all of the cards (like revnica duals, goyf, etc..). I remember a lot of people were mad at the price fluxuation the first time and I don;t think they should do that again. They just should not rotate yet.

    Plus Lorwyn block is awesome. Everyone knows that.

  29. It’s funny because the old Extended was changed because of lack of interest in the format, and now people’s solutions are to basically change it back to old Extended, or make it an even older format. For the record I liked the old Extended rotation…

  30. Create your own standard is the solution. Why this isn’t a format just boggles my mind. Everyone egets to play with their favorite cards, but there is way more room for innovation because it’s a completely fresh format, that is also constrained by card limitations. They idd this for the invitational, and it was awesome. I know it’s slightly hard to explain, but PTQs are supposed to be for more serious players anway, and they can figure it out.

  31. Joel (Samuel Beckett on MTGO)

    I never could understand why people were so happy about the changes to extended. We already had standard and it wasn’t like people were falling all over each other for another standard format. In brief, the latest changes to extended were bad for the format. Extended was the midpoint between Legacy and Standard, now it’s just double standard and Legacy is miles different.

    As for the 100-odd man PTQ, this is also a result of the format change. On MTGO in particular, there is a constant fear that the value will fall away of all of your rotating staples when the season ends. The extended PTQ’s online were well attended at the start of the season, but now everyone is dumping their Lorwyn block cards and can’t make an extended deck anymore. Those reflecting pools you bought for 20 bucks are worth 6 now. In old extended this was less of a problem because no single block accounted for such a high percentage of your tournament staples. As Lorwyn prepares to rotate people are dumping upwards of 35% of their extended staples, which makes it kind of hard to put a competitive deck together.

    If Legacy becomes a PTQ format, people will lose their minds at the price hikes, IMHO.

  32. I can’t believe you guys haven’t (to my knowledge) done this yet, but how about a “Top 5 Favorite Magic Cards of All Time” show. It’s not really original, but I’m interested to see if there are any non-Blue cards on LSV’s list.

  33. When Wizards made this change, they seemed to think that acquiring the right cards was what was keeping people out of Extended. However, all the “New Extended Experiment” has proven is that they were wrong.

    When it comes down to it, I think LSV and TSG were right when they talked about the amount a Magic player can stay up to date. Magic formats can be easily divided into 3 camps — Eternal, Rotating, and Limited.

    Eternal, Rotating, and Limited formats obviously hold different appeal for different players.

    The point is, if 1/3 of players prefer Eternal, 1/3 prefer Rotating, and 1/3 Limited (or whatever) things will tend to coalesce to one format of each type.

    Imagine a store where there is a Tuesday night Vintage tournament and a Thursday night Legacy tournament. Maybe for the first week the Vintage tournament draws 30 people and the Legacy tournament draws 50. Well both tournaments are doing fine, but maybe a few of the Vintage players care more about having a large tournament with the prizes that come with it than which format they are playing. Next month, the Vintage tournament draws 20 people and the Legacy draws 60. Clearly now even more Vintage players will drop ship, until eventually either the tournament gets canceled or you have the same stubborn 10 guys that just don’t care their tournament is tiny.

    If Wizards wants to have 3 PTQ formats, each of which gets played outside of PTQs, it’s only logical they should have one Eternal format, one Rotating format, and one Limited format. If Wizards had realized this 5 years ago before the Legacy boom, I think introducing some sort of Masques-foward Eternal format could have had great success if it was pushed by GPs, PTs, and PTQs. Unfortunately the success of Legacy might mean it’s too late to make this change, and of course Legacy PTQs would be a huge disappointment to new players, particularly as prices for dual lands, etc. continue to skyrocket.

    I think there are two possible solutions, neither perfect.

    1: Use Legacy as a PTQ format, print “snow duals,” “Tabernacles at the Snowy Vale,” and whatever else is needed to make it possible for tens of thousands of players to acquire the cards they need.
    2: Introduce Masques-forward OverExtended and start it off with a huge push – PTQs, lots of GPs, a PT, Worlds, and bribe/overwise convince SCG to change their Legacy events to it. Basically go to war with Legacy and make sure you win.

  34. Something that may be interesting would be for wizards to try to reach out to FLGS to maybe try to do a “free extended” night. Try to reach out to that part of the community and sponser it with extended promo cards. It might help drive up the turnouts of tournaments.

    Another thing is I know of people not wanting to play against faeries and to a lesser extent, Jund. Faeries moreso than Jund. I have some new players who are interested in the format, but have seen what Faeries does to most decks and how dominating that list is, and they decided that it’s not worth the effort to work up a competetive enough list to combat it. This might not be a huge portion of the problem, but it certainly doesn’t help it, either. And these players are waiting for that list to rotate before taking another look into extended.

  35. @Joel

    People complained about the previous Extended because it was becoming too combo centric and because you could play four, even five, colours with minimal cost as if it was a slower form of Legacy where the decks aren’t fast enough to punish you for doing it. Personally, I’ve never liked most combo decks because they tend to be non-interactive and create a ton of variance, so I didn’t really like Extended, either. Also, the mana bases were ridiculously expensive for a non-dual format.

    I think the issue is more psychological than anything. People aren’t used to always being on top of Extended. It’s always been a purely seasonal format and that’s not going to change over night regardless of MTGO tournament offerings and card pools. Perhaps if support for Extended is extended (pun intended) to more FNMs, over time people will learn to think of it as a viable alternative to Standard.

  36. How about a format that goes back x number of blocks, but only every other block is legal. As each new block comes out you have a completely refreshed format, with cards you havent played all year. Would be completely different from standard as you would get none of the same inter-block interactions.

  37. I think having a format that is aimed at more competitive players only is fine. Extended has had that feel for a long time. Having tons of Extended FNMs everywhere is just going to cut into the attention people have for other formats. The real problem is that Extended “feels” the same as Standard.

    The golden age of Extended in my mind was when it was the format with Ravnica duals and Onslaught fetchlands. At that time, Vintage had all the fast mana, Legacy had real duals, Extended had fetchlands and shocklands, and Standard had only shocklands.

    The availability of manafixing is the most important component in determining how a format “feels.” Extended decks right now have virtually the same manabases as standard decks, aside from the Shadowmoor/Eventide filter lands. In modern Extended the linear decks that dominated previous Standard formats (e.g. Jund, Faeries) are more simply powerful than any Extended-specific strategies that would be possible with better manabases and more cards.

    Do other people have the same fond memories of going to 17 on turn one that I do? Do you think manabases are as important as I think they are?

    PS Since LSV thinks Standard and Legacy are the most relevant constructed formats, does that mean there are some Legacy videos coming to Channel Fireball?

  38. I think Extended is losing people is that it feels like Standard 2.0, but I say there is a small group out there that is totally against the format because they think rav. block, and time spiral block got the short end of the stick by having their lives cut short with the change.

  39. I would say go with eight blocks as extended. This would make it different enough from both standard and legacy to be considered worth time to play. To many blocks and you have mini legacy to few and you have super standard

  40. I remember extended being fun to play years ago. Sure the format was really huge and harder for people who recently started playing to be able to join in, but part of the fun was when extended season rolled around getting together with your team of friends going to a ptq and digging through each others boxes of collections to find Thirst for Knowledge’s or tooth and nails. The format seemed better when they were making it a once a year rotation instead of every few years rotate like 3 sets or something. Changing the format again really hampered on the creativity of the format that made it fun, now it’s kinda stagnant.

  41. This year, i did sleeve up a deck and go to an Extended PTQ. I had actually planned on attending another until i actually saw how bad the format truly was. I could count on one hand the number of archtypes at that PTQ: Jund, Fae, Naya, Valakut, RDW. I was playing rogue, i was playing Doran Rock. Not the most competitive, but I felt it was my last chance to play the deck before rotation.

    Wizards’ changes to extended were made with good intentions. I am one of those players who could not afford to get into the old extended. Shocklands and onslaught fetches were something like $20-25, Goyf was approaching C-note, and most of the other staples were up there. Changing Extended the way they did was for the better in theory. Shortening the format would mean players who picked up the game more recently wouldn’t need to hock a kidney to get into the format. There aren’t many extended-legal cards that are what i would consider to be in the “break the bank” category. This was a good idea, but it also limited the amount of innovation available.

    According to one organizer i know, this PTQ season has had one of the lowest attendance records of ANY PTQ season for any format. The one I attended had 76 people. Yes, double digits. Why? We all cheered when Fae died in standard. We all cheered again when Jund died. We will likely cheer again when Jace dies. However, now we just have to put up with these same menaces again only they have better tools this time. Fae now has Sword of Feast and Famine to go alongside Bitterblossom, and you can’t say Mana Leak isn’t an upgrade over Broken Ambitions.

    Frankly, the extended scene is just dull. The pool of cards is bigger than standard, but not by enough to cause any sort of major innovation. You could sleeve up a standard Caw-blade deck, swap in Cryptic Command and Path to Exile, and the deck could probably compete in extended and do well. That’s not what extended should be like. I went 2-1 at a local extended event (barely got 8 people, btw) with what was essentially standard boros with path thrown in for journey. No rangers, just path. Extended needs to be bigger than four blocks.

    Here’s what I suggest: Make extended 6 sets again, but allow a set to rotate each year. This is 3 standard environments in one format, which should open up for some innovation. The constant rotation means that the format gets an injection of fresh blood each year.

  42. Overextended does nothing other than creating yet another format people will only play unless they are forced to do so. You may or may not agree with last years extended changes but they were done in an attempt to get out of this same situation that we are now in. So re-instating it will do nothing other than tickling the interest of your nostalgic fantasy’s about a time where you seriously believe that this game was in some way better, where creatures were less relevant and games ended in the first four turns. People were upset about a bloodbraid elf cascading into blightning, do you honestly believe new players will be happy about a daze into a foil followed by a psychotog? Or turn 1 manadork turn 2 LD, and just LD greif them until they run out of steam? Well then you’re delusional and I’m glad that that the direction of this game isn’t decided by people that preach about how planeswalkers are broken, mythics should never of been printed, and combat damage should still stack, it’s 2011, get over it and move on with your lives.

  43. Nobody thought that the changes to extended were good, TSG. I have no idea what you’re talking about. Everybody thought it would basically just be Lorwyn standard + Jund, which it is.

  44. I think the best way to keep extended from being old dominant decks just dominating another format is to make it such that you dont have all the blocks together. So for instances, instead of having the 4 most recent sets together, make it so that each set has one set apart? and always change it with the rotation, that way every time extended rotates, instead of going 1 for 1 with a new set, it might literally just become 4 entirely different new blocks (or keep 2 blocks the same and change 2 with 2 random blocks from the past) you’ll always have new card interactions

  45. The problem isn’t how many sets, it’s how the sets are designed now-a-days. There’s TOO much synergy. Too much focus on pushing the theme of the set to it’s limits, so there is very little room for cards outside a block to make room into the decks because of it. This is the reason that the best decks in Block have become the best decks in Standard have become the best decks in Extended. Very few outside decks are even playable, let alone competitive, with only Omens coming to mind as truly original, and even then only to a degree because Valakut is already a boogy-man kill engine in Standard.

  46. I think the solution to the problem of extended is pretty clear-cut: create the rumored “Over-Extended” format that stretches back to Mercadian Masques and get rid of the current Extended altogether. Then there could be a Sealed PTQ season in the fall and early winter, an Overextended PTQ season in the winter and early spring, and a Standard PTQ season in the late spring and summer. The Over-Extended format would be a fine format that would feel somewhat like Legacy, would never rotate and wouldn’t shut people out the way that Legacy does because people can’t afford duals, Wastelands, FoWs, etc.

  47. I think we aren’t thinking outside the box enough for extended. Obviously if we make every different format in the same way, all beginning with the most recent set and extending back X amount of blocks, then there will inevitably be similarities between formats. In the case of old extended, it felt too much like legacy, and in the case of new extended, it feels too much like standard. Because trying to find the perfect middle ground for extended, where it would feel like a dissimilar format to standard and legacy would be a trial and error process involving wizards retooling the formats extent into the past every year, it’s probably better to create a new format that’s unlike the others in a linear chronological sense. What I’m suggesting is that every year, the community would vote on 3 blocks in all of magic. The following year, those blocks are the format. Due to the non-linear selection of the blocks, the format would differentiate itself from others through a vastly different selection of sets than standard, and a much more limited selection of sets than legacy. Without having the in between blocks, people would be forced to abandon tried and true archetypes of the past, and create entirely new strategies that weren’t possible before in any format. The format wouldn’t be extended obviously. It’s a replacement for a dying format. I imagine that this would be called something like “Players Choice” format.
    I’d love to hear what other people think about this.

  48. People talk about the ‘legacy price barrier’, but it’s really not all that formidable when compared to standard where you need 4 jace, 4 vengevine, 3-4 Tezzeret, at least one of every other relevant planeswalker, all 20 fetchlands, 4 primeval titan, at least 2 of each non-primeval titan, 1-2 baneslayer angel, 4 lotus cobra, 4 stoneforge mystic, 2 of each sword, and I could go on, but you get the point: With the number of $10+ cards in standard, it’s really not at all unreasonable to spend a bit more and just play some legacy. You can get a set of ‘goyfs for 65-80% the price of a set of Jaces, a set of Force of will for the same price as vengevines, and a grab a few duals (all of which are less than Jace) and a few of the onslaught fetches, and you’re almost there. Not only that, the cards are good FOREVER and will all be going up since they’re not going to reprint Unl. rev. duals, forces, or tarmogoyfs. The BSAs I traded for at 50 apiece are now worth 12, the underground seas I bought at 40 are now worth 80. It’s a more stable format, and, therefore, a more stable investment.

  49. Wow very nice dialog by all. I like the smaller extended and the format looks really sweet to me, I want to play it but just dont have the cards. I think its the case for a lot of people because a huge influx started just after Lorwyn. They should make it 5 Blocks long after lorwyn and just ban 2-3 cards. Simple clear balanced accessible. Perfect. Then increase the support and there you go. Or they should just make standard 3 blocks long with 2 corse sets. ITs not like standard is so accessible any how with million dollar mythics, opening up the card pool wont change much in that regard.

  50. Why are we all trying to save the metaphorical sinking ship? PTQ grinders will do anything Wizards tell them they have to, and everyone else is enjoying Magic. I would personally like to see if a card flicking contest would draw as much attendees as an extended tournament for a definitive answer.

  51. Drop Extended and promote block-party, or a “create-your-own-block” party. Keeps alive the the use of old cards while promoting an environment both controlled in power and vastly different from Standard. Because of the extra limitations, run the set legality across 6 blocks instead.

    Of course, they changed old Extended for quite similar reasons that they should change new Extended (though the results obviously came from opposite conditions). How do you compromise the middle-ground between Standard and Legacy? Its an old question that has never quite been answered well.

  52. Getting rid of Extended for Legacy isn’t an option in my opinion. From a corporate perspective, there’s no reason for Wizards/Hasbro to support Legacy as a competitive format. The benefits from it would be minimal compared to how much money and resources they would need to put into it. For better or worse, MtG is a dynamic brand and the company makes it money with new products, not formats supported by second-hand market.

    Extended works… but it does need to be tweaked. IMHO, the major issues with the format are that it’s too narrow and that they’re too much overlap with Standard. Right now we have access to only four years and that’s not enough.

    Why not try 6 years minus the current Standard? The overlap would be limited and players would have access to a larger pool of cards. Right now such a format would gives us cards to sets from MIrrodin to Alara, with nothing from Zendikar or Scars of Mirrodin. Players use ‘old’ cards, which makes prior investments in Standard worthwhile, but use ’em in a completely different environment. Port from Standard, once the format rotate, would be possible, but these decks, having never performed in a wider format before would likely need to evolve quite a bit. And obviously, it would be impossible for a deck to exist in both format during the course of a single season, which limits the Ad Nauseam effect of seeing the same decks over and over again.

    One way or another, Extended needs to be limited in a certain way. If the format has access to too large a card pool, it raises issues not too different from the issues it current suffers from. Its overlap with Standard is a major issue, it shouldn’t overlap with the Eternal formats either. There’s enough room out there for an Extended format. Wizards just needs to find the right formula.

  53. I think extended could be differentiated from standard if they just don’t include the same sets. New extended can be the same size, but make it the last four blocks that aren’t in standard.

  54. Almost Skillfull

    The best way to reinvigorate Extended would be for them to increase the card pool. The best way to do this would be by going back one block each year / rotation, then after you reach a certain point (Where you start to cross over into legacy) you climb back up by eliminating two blocks each year that way as you go back in sets new decks pop up, and then as you begin to cut down the pool again new decks pop up because your getting rid of two blocks worth of cards while introducing a totally new block. Then once you get back to what is now double standard you then begin to go back and expand the card pool again. That way its always in flux.

  55. I think people even prefer Block to Extended, and Block should be the premier “alternative” to Standard because of this reason:

    When a set comes out, you have to examine it in a larger context. Is this set’s Naturalize better than Nature’s Claim? Is it better than the Core Set’s Naturalize? The same thing applies to Bolt, Inquisition, etc.

    Playing block lets you see a greater percentage new cards as playable and unique, and I think this is a great thing for new Magic sets.

  56. I think the biggest problem for extended right now is the price point. That may sound a little out of place considering the huge rise in popularity of Legacy, where the average deck price far exceeds that of extended, however anyone who picks up any of the staples legacy knows that they can view their purchase as an investment. In fact, some of the casual-competitive legacy players around here only play legacy, because they find spending their money on cards in standard which will be useless in 1 – 2 years is not worth it compared to the investment in cards in legacy.

    Shortening the list of cards in Extended, and increasing the frequency of rotation just makes Extended a big cash sink with no return on investment, so yes, although it may be fun for people to play, it’s not THAT much more fun than any of the other formats for those of us with a smaller budget to work with. That is why competitive players feel forced to play it.

    I’m going to agree with those people who say wizards should just dump extended and put more support behind block or legacy. I’ll even go as far to say there should be a reprint of legacy cards to allow it to be more of an open format for people to compete in at PTQs etc., though I know a lot of people won’t agree with that.

  57. Print a Legacy Deckbuilder’s pre-con (FTV: Legacy, Duel Decks: Llawan vs Progenitus, whatever). Make Legacy a PTQ format. Abolish Extended. Players get to play formats they like, Wizards makes some cash. Now everyone is happy.

    I for one would definitely make an effort to grind some Legacy PTQs. I’ve always hated extended, and faeries has been a tier 1 deck since I started playing extended. Playing against fae every extended ptq got old years ago. Adding just a few more sets won’t make faeries go away, and letting faeries rotate but then starting to add sets won’t let Jund go away. Just let extended die.

  58. I played Extended at GP Atlanta, and it was a very fun format. But the biggest problem with extended was very noticeable at the GP, as it seemed every other deck was jund naya or faeries. Not really naya, but jund and faeries made people hate standard while they were legal, so why would they want to “do it all over again”. I really can’t think of anything that would make extended a big format though, with those two decks roaming around in the meta.

  59. No mention of the fact that Standard still feels like people are still testing the viability of the cards and there are still new cards seemingly coming out.

    I remember trying extended, and then.. . .faeries.

  60. Extended just seemed to lack any accessibility with people creating new decks.

    Having a deck that has a chance vs self-contained win conditions (valakut), outward win conditions (faeries), and board presence (elves) just seems impossible. The format seems to have used up its creative energy. . I think that’s the reason why extended fails.

    Not to mention a lot of the cards are vastly expensive.

  61. I think part of the problem is that Wizards should ban certain cards much more frequently. This applies to all the formats, and would keep formats new feeling without waiting several months for a new set to try to change things up.

    In standard last season when Jund was dominating, if Wizards banned Bloodbraid Elf, they would have changed up the format entirely, and I’m sure most people would have rejoiced. Or at this moment in time, if Wizards banned Jace the Mind Sculpter and Valakut, imagine how much more healthy standard would be. Same goes for extended with Wizards banning Bitterblossom, Scapeshift, and BBE, it sure would shake up the format a bit.

    These wouldn’t need to be permanent bans either, and could be reversed just as quickly if a new deck pops up that completely dominates. Its like a video game. It needs patches from time to time, to keep things from getting too stale, while everyone waits for the next expansion pack.

  62. I dont think wizards needs to ban anything to make extended more interesting.
    They have to let it grow for a few years without dropping blocks too quickly, and print hate for the dominant decks, just like they do in standard. I’m sure they could find one or two cool spells that hate Fae and Jund adequately but don’t do anything too ridiculous to standard. This will encourage people to develop new decks for extended rather than just recapitulating the most powerful old standard decks.

    People saying “the format should be abandoned altogether” or “wizards needs to ban a bunch of cards” are not offering constructive advice. Both these acts would hurt Magic in general more than they would help it.

    Wizards can just make slow adjustments as they have done so well in the past, and eventually the format will bloom again. Extended is like a tree that has been recently pruned; it will grow back stronger but this will take some time.

  63. The only suggestion I can think of besides making extended go back would be to increase the amound the extended needs to be played while decreasing standard. As in for Pro Tours, make the limited rounds extended instead, or make bigger event qualifiers extended.

  64. I think actively banning some cards could make extended interesting. Say after the next rotation, JTMS, Stoneforge Mystic, Primeval titan, Bloodbraid Elf, Vampire Nocturnus( random) and Goblin guide get banned. Just take out some staples from stale decks and switch it after a few months. As said the format does nothing at the moment, why not have fun with it?

  65. @ ExarCoen and Forcemage: Banning so many cards seems stupid. I remember how I felt playing Y-G-O (I know, I know 😉 ) , when you would spend a lot of mony for the playset of a certain card just to have it banned over and over again; all of this of course very near to the original release date!

    I know I kept thinking: “Man, if they have to ban cards in almost every edition they make, it must mean they clearly don´t know how to design the f***ing game… ill quit diong this!”

    Banning cards to soon after their release (wich would be the case in standard and arguably in extended as well) will make people feel messed around with… Imagine if JTMS would have been banned when M11 released and it had hit a momentary price peak… wouldn´t that have been fun? 😉

  66. As for Extended, I would say expand the card pool and expect Wizards to make more interesting sets that involve less of a creature domain and more of a spell domain. Creatures have become more and more powerful over the years. Ever since Lorwyn creature decks have become steadily more powerful. First with Faeries. Next with Jund. Now with Caw-Blade. Of course these were all standard decks in their own respective era’s but ironicly they are all in the same Extended. If you expand the pool of card I think these decks will become less concintrated and maybe not as a consistant top 8 archtype.

    As for Legacy being more popular than Extended but less of a format to play bc of the price restrictions, they should just continue to do what they have been doing. Reprinting Legacy staples in the “From the Vault’s” sets. They have done an artifcat one with Vial and Mox Diamond in it and they also have done Sensei’s Divining Top in the Exiled one. The side-effect to mass printing is a tumble in prices of the cards which is the reason they wont make it a PTQ format right?? Well theoreticly it would solve that problem and generate some cash flow for Wizards. I would feel bad for the card vendors like Channel Fireball or Star City because they would loose money dramaticly depending on how impactful the reprinted cards are on the market.

  67. The way I see it, there are several problems with Extended right now, some of which are just specific to this particular Extended format, not Extended in general.

    It is true that right now, there just aren’t enough unique Extended decks (or they aren’t quite good enough to compete, see for example Conley’s Ooze deck), but that won’t always be the case. In fact, even the format of PT Amsterdam (which was only played by PT players, unfortunately), saw a lot more decks that had not existed before in Standard or Block (Orim’s Chant/Ad Nauseam).
    This might be partly because WotC hasn’t had enough time yet to design cards with this Extended rotation in mind. I don’t know when exactly the decision was made, but it’s quite possible that a lot of the current sets were already through design at the time, and that future sets will feature more cards with Extended-only synergies. At least that’s what I hope.

    Apart from actually redefining the format once again, there are a few things that can be done for its health:

    1) From WotC’s perspective:
    They should make Extended a (bigger) factor in the design and development process. A big part of the appeal of Old Extended was all those crazy synergies that just weren’t possible in smaller formats.

    2) From the tournament organizers’ perspective:
    The format simply needs more support. Something equivalent to SCG Opens would be awesome.

    3) From the players’ perspective:
    If you like the format, speak up! I believe that there are actually quite a few people (like me) out there who care about the format, they just don’t care enough to do anything about it. I believe this might have been what killed Old Extended, because there actually WAS a reasonable amount of interest in the format, as far as I can tell.
    So encourage your local TOs to hold Extended tournaments and see where it leads.

    Of course, there is also a chance that there is something inherently wrong with Extended, that only another revamp can fix. I believe that outright abolishing the format is not a viable solution, as there should be some format between Standard and Legacy. Otherwise, new cards would truly not have enough of a lifespan.
    I would advise people to not think too far outside the box, however, as that would only result in nonintuitive formats.
    More aggressive Banned List management is also a bad solution IMHO, because there needs to be a decent measure of predictability and transparency. This is more important than ever with the extreme split of prices right now between high-end cards and the rest. People want to be relatively certain that their investments are safe.

    Right now, I believe that Extended can thrive in its current incarnation (even if I still prefer the way it used to be), and that it’s only this specific format that’s unhealthy and stale.
    Thus, it’s hard to propose a solution on how to fix it, should it need fixing after all. Besides, personally I liked Extended the way it used to be, so my default solution would be to just go back to the way it was, while making the format more relevant to more players. Unfortunately, people didn’t realize what a great format Extended was when it was still a great format……

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  69. I actually like extended more. I find it easier and cheaper to build a deck that’s somewhat competitive and different enough to be fun. This was even truer before extended shrunk but it’s still the case for me – I feel standard goes to fast for me, since I play casually. I’ve now mostly turned to Pauper due to the lack of people playing extended, like discussed here…

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  71. In my honest opinion, I have been underwhelmed by the “super standard” format that is extended, simply because it is standard 2.0. I am not going to claim that I know all that there is to know about the format and the impact of it post-change, but it is certainly in a unhealthy state right now.

    It may be because lorwyn was a tribal set and it supports the creation of mono-colored tribal decks like elves and faeries to seem boring, despite a greater variety of cards to mess with.
    Should wizards decide to keep extended in it’s current state for another year to see if that is the case, only time will tell. The limitation of cards to just 2 blocks beyond standard makes it unappealing when the support for the format is so dismal like TSG and LSV mentioned.
    “Why play extended when it’s so hard to find people to play with and events to go to?”

    I personally wouldn’t have changed anything about extended, as such a wide variety of cards encouraged maverick decks to pop up and card interactions that hadn’t been considered. Sure there were staples for the format depending on the colors you were running, but there was no where near the price gap between them and the staples of legacy. Simply put, it was more accessible.

    Because Wizards may have wanted players to feel like they were getting more “value/playability” from their cards, they have constricted the potential deck lists to old ones like faeries and jund and adapted decks like the scapeshift/valakut one, all because they were the best and still are in most cases.

    If I could suggest one thing it would be to have an additional 2 blocks (for a total of 4) behind standard instead of the 6 that extended used to be. So standard through Iceage for example.
    This could broaden the amount of decks being created, while still reducing the amount of cards a player would have to potentially acquire to make the deck they want to compete with. Obviously more support would be needed on Wizard’s end, but changes like these could serve to revive the format.

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