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.
“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
- “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”.
AND THERE WAS MUCH WAILING AND GNASHING OF TEETH
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.