Why Bad Cards Are So Good (for the game)

Why does Magic: the Gathering have bad cards? Wouldn’t it be great if more cards were playable or if there was less jank? Well, no. There are two answers. The obvious answer is that “one man’s junk is another man’s treasure”, and that there are cards designed for all different formats and player types. For example, Panharmonicon might not be the standard hit (though some people keep on trying to make it work), but in Commander, it’s a powerhouse. As for cards not for 60-card constructed or casual formats, there’s also limited. Cards that are not efficient enough for the competitive card card pool in other formats sometimes have the opportunity to flourish in formats with a smaller card pool. However, what about filler cards that no one will ever play?

The second answer is just simply: they can’t be better. Of course, Wizards could’ve printed them better, but these cards were made to reduce the overall value of packs and increase the amount of money needed to play. It may sound sinister, but it’s not. Wizards has to make money, and the money they make improves the game we play. As the value of packs go up, the amount of packs purchased goes down, because you get more playable cards that you need, and less filler. If Wizards didn’t have filler, we would just have more mediocre cards, because Wizards can’t just increase pack value without losing sales.

I hope this helped you understand why bad cards exist. Looking at you, Gonti’s Machinations.


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