Arsenal: Really?

15 Aug

The Commander intro decks that were produced last year performed so far above expectations that Wizards of the Coast decided that the Commander format was here to stay (duh), and that they would support the format by releasing Commander specific products every single year.

And there was much rejoicing

“But,” Wizards said, “we work so far in advance that we can’t do that this year. So instead, we’re going to release… The Commander’s Arsenal.” And I quote from Mark Rosewater at San Diego Comic Con:

“So what is Commander’s Arsenal? The best way to describe it is a treasure trove of Commander Goodies” … “If you’re a Commander player, lots of goodies for you.”

And there was cautious optimism.

A little while ago, the nature contents of the “Arsenal” were revealed:

  • 18 premium foil cards
  • 10 oversized premium foil cards
  • 120 UltraPro foil card sleeves
  • 20 double-sided Battle Marks (+ and –)
  • A life counter that goes up to 99

So far we know there is a Sylvan Library, a THE Mimeoplasm, and an oversized Azusa, Lost but Seeking. It also appears there’s going to be a Command Tower (althought that’s unconfirmed)

Some thoughts:

  • “premium foil”? I thought “premium” and “foil” were the same thing – c.f Super Secret Tech? If not, I assume it means the foiling process will be similar to the Premium Deck Series ones and not the standard foil.
  • Oversized cards. What a waste of cardboard. I have the oversized cards from the Commander decks. I don’t use them. I have oversized cards from the AVR pre-release. I don’t use them. PLEASE STOP MAKING THESE STUPID THINGS
  • 120 card sleeves. Well, I’m going to go ahead and assume that’s because prints runs are done in lots of 60 and they put in two packs. A less charitable person would say “You know how many cards in in a Commander deck, right?”
  • What The Fuck is a “Battle Mark”?!? Not Battle Marker, mind you…. Battle Mark is a cut and paste direct from the Wizards website. It’s a double sided counter with “+” and “-” on it. I cannot see a use for these, given that if you play with +1/+1 or -1/-1 counters you already use something….
  • Life counter. Different. Ugly, but different. I can see the use for this.
  • 18 (usable) cards. 18. That isn’t what I’d call an Arsenal. That’s less than a 21 gun salute, and I don’t think anyone would call that an arsenal. I was expecting much much more in this than 18 cards. Ah well, if it’s the same price as the precons (which were, need I remind you, 100 cards) then I can deal with that, I guess. Seems like not much for the money though.
  • Wait, it’s $75 freaking dollars? HOLY SHIT SON WHAT THE FUCK. Actually, by the time it gets to my sleepy little shores, I’m told by my FLGS that it’ll “probably be around $100”.


Way to drop the ball Wizards. You have proved that you are willing and able to provide an ENTIRE DECK to us for half this price. You’re giving us 20% of a deck, plus a bunch of stuff we don’t want and didn’t ask for, for 200% of the price.

What really pisses me off about this is if it sits on shelves and Wizards then thinks “oh maybe Commander isn’t as popular as we thought; we’ll cancel the yearly release idea.”…. That thought scares me.

Hey Wizards: We want cards. We don’t want undersized wallpaper. We don’t want counters of negligible worth or use. We don’t (necessarily) need more sleeves. And we sure as fuck don’t want to pay twice the price of the premium deck series – something that was cancelled because it wasn’t selling – for 18 freaking playables.

The hell.


Posted by on August 15, 2012 in EDH/Commander


Tags: , ,

8 responses to “Arsenal: Really?

  1. Gene Taylor

    August 15, 2012 at 1:49 pm

    In defense of the product, I averaged the price of the 3 known cards (Azuza, sylvan library, and the Mimeoplasm) and multiplied it by 18. That is 100USD right there, although the library is most likely skewing things a bit. If we ignore the oversized cards as gravy lets break it down. The sleeves are worth say $10, the life counter and the tokens are worth maybe $5 together. That leaves $60 of value for the 18 foil cards. This means you are paying 3.33 for each of the foils, which sounds reasonable for rares.

    • Viperion

      August 15, 2012 at 2:17 pm

      Yeah, for the cards they’re putting in it’ll probably be worth the money… however I’ve got a couple of gripes about that too…

      1) If they were regular cards, not “premium foils” (like the Commander products) they’d get more cards for the same value. I realise (for some odd reason) that I’m in the minority as far as not wanting foils goes, but again the word Arsenal implies to me a hell of a lot more than 18 cards, at least 2 of which are in there pretty much to be Generals and bugger all else

      2) If the cards do end up being expensive, store owners will just jack up the price even more (c.f FTV: everything except Legends)

      • Gene Taylor

        August 15, 2012 at 2:30 pm

        This is a bit of a different situation from FTV. It sounds like FTV are a way for Wizards to give a bonus to stores for buying old stock, how many a store gets is based on how many boxes of boosters they buy from sets that are not currently drafted.

        I agree that it would be better to get more cards and not get foils, but commander players are a group that on the whole care about foils more than most other groups.Given that there are a number of popular commander generals who are not available in foil, giving them foil versions sounds like a reasonable way to generate sales.

        • murkymercy

          August 15, 2012 at 4:06 pm

          If they are the same as the FTV foils, they are fucking horrible. I’d rather play with bent, coffee-stained 4th edition cards that have been though a washing machine than play with FTV foils.

  2. Jonah

    August 30, 2012 at 7:29 am

    You can add that they will be more rare then FTV. right now stores can only get 2 or 4 depending on their teir.

  3. Gene Taylor

    October 23, 2012 at 4:33 pm

    Does the inclusion of Loyal Retainers mean an apology to wizards is going to be forthcoming?

    • Viperion

      October 23, 2012 at 6:03 pm

      From me? No. It’s still a good idea badly executed.


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