I think Aaron's been doing a really good job with what used to be my column, but I'll be pinch-hitting for him this week anyway. That means I get the honor of sharing some really cool news with you: over the course of the next three months, the readers of magicthegathering.com get to help us select the cards that are going into Ninth Edition!
When Aaron first suggested the idea a little over two years ago of having a promotion on magicthegathering.com where the readers would vote on which cards to put into Eighth Edition, I didn't think it would work – these decisions were really important and they would have a big influence on the game. Isn't that what R&D is paid to decide?
So here we are two years later and this time there was no question inside Wizards about whether we should do the same thing with Ninth – of course the public would get to have their say again. And this time we have some tricks up our sleeve too. I am particularly happy with the way the art votes are going to go. Instead of just letting you choose between two pieces of art that already exist, we're going to let you play the role of art director. We're going to commission two sketches from two different artists for the same card, and then we'll let you decide which artist gets to paint the final piece.
(By the way, we still believe that the Core Set only has room for one green creature that taps for mana and only costs . Having two in the Core Set means Standard would always have a lot of very efficient green mana acceleration, and there would be no room left for us to do any more really good mana critters in expert-level sets. In addition to this, we think Elves are a much more iconic part of green than Birds are, so (please don't panic until you finish this paragraph) we're not going to put Birds of Paradise into Ninth. HOWEVER … you showed us with your vote last time how much you love your Birds, so we promise that we will reprint them in "Control," the first set in the block after the Kamigawa block. "Control" comes out about two months after Ninth.)
Here are the details about how this is all going to work: Every Monday from June 14th until September 6th, we'll post 2 or more cards for you to vote on. You'll need to register with the site before you're allowed to vote (this allows us to make sure no one votes more than once). In addition, starting in July we'll start posting sketches in addition to the card vote. Both sketches will be for the same card, and that card will definitely be in Ninth. Whichever sketch wins will be used by its artist to guide the final piece. Finally, there will also be an opportunity for all of you to try your hand at writing flavor text. During August we'll tell you which cards will have player-written flavor text and we'll start accepting submissions. In September we'll let you guys vote from amongst the best submissions to choose which ones make it onto the actual cards.
So that's the big news for this week: get ready because Selecting Ninth Edition gets cranked up next week!
Click here if you want to see a full run-down of all the votes from last time.
Last Week's Poll Results:
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