Demonic Tutor

Magic: the Gathering in the UK

As some of you are already aware we will be hosting one of the World Magic Cup Qualifiers on Saturday 14th April. The format is standard constructed and full information can be found at

Best wishes,

The Dark Sphere Team

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Phil is the Affinity of the moaning-metagame.

if TOs ran tournaments specifically targeted at me then those tournaments would own

The reason PTQ entry fees are £20 when they used to be £5 is:

1 - Booster costs (and thus prize pool costs) are at least 50% higher than they were back then.

2 - Judge support used to be covered 100% by WotC. It no longer is. A PTQ requires multiple judges, all of whom need paying.

3 - TO support which WotC also used to provide is no longer provided. A TO now makes a loss in terms of his own time until he takes a small profit off the entry fee.

4 - Venues are more expensive than they were back then.

5 - Prize support is also no longer provided by WotC.

To give you a simple idea, back 'in the day' I remember running a PTQ sized event with support from WotC where we got almost TWO CASES of booster product from them to help us run the tournament. That represents, in today's terms, > £1000 worth of investment from them which was needed to run a tournament at a lower price. If you get 100 players, that's £10 per player that no longer comes from WotC. Not taking into account anything about venue costs or anything, that immediately takes the cost of entry from £5 to £15, without blinking.

Just food for thought.

I have a quick question for Crispin

you have become incredibly defensive of this game, now you can say that I don't really deserve an opinion as I have given it up, but I have played it for over 10 years and there has been many changes, it has just got to the point now where it is just not worth the time and/or money

My issue isn't actually with the increase in costs which makes sense, it's the fact that wizards aren't helping at all, I know that all this we need to make more money, the easiest way of doing that is take away prizes and increase booster costs but that will in the long run affect the game.

It is still a very fun game but I would much rather sit round someones house and play cube for free than spend £13 to draft or £20 to play constructed with very little in the way of prizes

Consumer goods companies are shrinking pack size but keeping the price point the same, to hide the fact that you get less for your money. Wizards killed off tournament packs, now charge TOs for lands and are generally squeezing their customers more.

Philip Dickinson said:

also aren't changes in the price of milk due to inflation rather than the milk authorities deciding to arbitrarily start charging more for less milk because they can?

LOL Phil. If they did, they'd be free to enter, have sick prize support and essentially just be TOs taking you to a cashpoint, handing you their card and telling you the PIN.

I have no problems with the TO's it's wizards that have been taking the piss for a long time now and I have just had enough now, will happily come down for cube and beer but screw giving them my hard earned money

it'd priced at enough to cover the venue! there would be a variety of hors d'ouevres available (no smoked salmon canapes at the tables though dudes!) and there would be table service offering a nice [european only, obviously] wine list. a selection of fresh presses would be available for those who are not drinking. all prizes would be provided on a voluntary basis by entrants with the distribution also decided by entrants. there would be a dress code - not a formal one of course but gross dudes wouldn't be allowed in. we would only play fun formats (incl pauper, old block constructed, old extended etc) which would permit proxies on this basis that players would donate a certain amount to a charity of my choosing per proxy they had in their 75.

basically my tournament would own so hard

Crispin Bateman said:

LOL Phil. If they did, they'd be free to enter, have sick prize support and essentially just be TOs taking you to a cashpoint, handing you their card and telling you the PIN.

Glenn, was there a question there?

I'm not really defensive of the game, I just like being Devil's Advocate in situations like these, which against you guys always seems to be defensive of the game. I also have a more relaxed attitude about it I guess.

"Worth the time or money" is utterly subjective. It is worth it for me. It is worth it for a new player who has no memory of when it was cheaper. It is worth it for someone with more money than sense. It is worth it for someone who believes the playing of the game is excellent fun.

Magic is a good game because you CAN just say 'OK, I'll play cube instead' and enjoy the game without making more investment. A new player wants to get cards, you already have cards and can play with what you have. No one is making you invest to get more, not even WotC. They appreciate that the current tournament structure isn't for you; it's for other people, and those people are turning up to tournaments, so it must be working. Personally, I hate the cut-throat attitude of players in tournaments, but I enjoy testing myself against the field so I put up with it. Sometimes I feel like not going to tournaments because of those players, and when I need a break I take it, and when I feel like putting myself forward, I do. You pick and change.

Using cinema as an analogy, there are hundreds of films you don't want to see at the cinema, and a few you cherry pick to go and see. That doesn't make cinema flawed at all, just cos you might not like chick-flicks, or long documentaries about penguins, it makes it diverse. Magic is diverse. These tournaments are not for you, so don't go and keep enjoying your cube. But why moan about it? Do you moan about all the films that come out that you don't want to see? 

OK Phil, I tell you what.

You design your tournament properly as a document. Send it to me. I'll tell you back how much I think it'll cost and if you agree, I'll run it. If it works, great, I'd love a tournament like that. If it doesn't, we tried. :)

there's only 1 way to settle this:

Team drink cube draft guantlet

me, phil and josh


Crispin, Dan and random other

Phil's "luxury tournament" sounds pretty decent.

There should be a guest list, and bouncer with velvet rope to stop the riffraff getting in.

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