How Does Card Quality Affect EDH?

How Does Card Quality Affect EDH?

Wizard's recent problems with card stock quality is going to have a larger impact on eternal formats than rotational ones.

A growing concern in the Magic community is the increasing decline in card stock quality. At this point you’ve probably seen the issue first hand, but if you’re not sure what I’m talking about, I’d suggest checking out Tolarian Community College’s video on the subject. Their video is very well constructed, holds valid points to not just the problem itself but also steps towards solutions that Wizards should take. The question this article is going to tackle though is how it affects us, EDH players.

The obvious start to this is that it will immediately affect the collections of all players. Cards will no longer sit right after being owned for a while. Tolarian even references the effects that can be seen after only twelve hours; just imagine what your Choke or Stranglehold would look like today if this was the quality printed then. Imagine what’s going to happen to foils a year down the line. Personally, I feel like the check lands’ new art is an amazing improvement; in my opinion, it really shows how digital art and printing has changed. Unfortunately, these beautiful lands are going to deteriorate rather quickly, especially the foils. These cards specifically came to mind because I played pack wars with a friend last night. The cards shown have been sitting in a deck box for just over 24 hours. Now, I know that that’s not the best way to keep cards, but what’s going to happen to cards left in bulk? I can guarantee that players do not keep all of their owned cards in sleeves.

There are two things to note about these cards:

1. These cards are not nearly as bent as the ones shown by Tolarian Community College. I don't have any particular reason for that. He does state that his cards were kept in a significantly more controlled environment, meaning that his should have been in even better condition than mine, but I don't have anything else to add other than that.

2. The foil is just as bent as the non-foil. Let that sink in. The foil is just as bent as the non-foil. When people say there has been a depreciation in card quality, this is what's getting worse. The card itself is so poor that it's even comparable to a foil's bend.

That’s not where the damage ends though. Not only do these cards pose problems because they themselves are warped, but they have the potential to warp other cards you own! Put that foil Glacial Fortress in a deck: by the next time it’s played, the card above or below it may be warped. That’s the worst part about warping; if one card in a stack does it, the rest will follow suit. Cards are in no way heavy enough to flatten each other. Personally, I use books to reshape my cards. I’d hate to be the player that has a Karn, a Goyf, a Liliana, or even an Underground Sea become damaged because of another card’s fault.

The solution to this problem is few and far between. So far, there are two viable options. The first is to double sleeve. This only goes so far. Double sleeving can delay and slow down warping, but I doubt that it will work forever. This mostly goes for foils; regular cards might be saved by double sleeving, but I’d be wary of foils. The second solution, and far worse, is to just not play them at all. If you’re willing to risk damage to your cards, something I’m fine with, then play them. Yes, that Glacial Fortress will be on my mind, I’ll blame it for any major warping that happens to my deck, but I’m willing to risk it. If you only play with mint cards that are perfectly flat, then I can only say that you’re SOL. Warping is an inevitable part of a game made entirely out of cardboard. The only thing you can do is slow it down. The real problem is that Wizard’s poor quality control is speeding it up.

Cover Image Credit: Kyle Siegl

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Sorry Not Sorry, My Parents Paid For My Coachella Trip

No haters are going to bring me down.

With Coachella officially over, lives can go back to normal and we can all relive Beyonce’s performance online for years to come. Or, if you were like me and actually there, you can replay the experience in your mind for the rest of your life, holding dear to the memories of an epic weekend and a cultural experience like no other on the planet.

And I want to be clear about the Beyonce show: it really was that good.

But with any big event beloved by many, there will always be the haters on the other side. The #nochella’s, the haters of all things ‘Chella fashion. And let me just say this, the flower headbands aren’t cultural appropriation, they’re simply items of clothing used to express the stylistic tendency of a fashion-forward event.

Because yes, the music, and sure, the art, but so much of what Coachella is, really, is about the fashion and what you and your friends are wearing. It's supposed to be fun, not political! Anyway, back to the main point of this.

One of the biggest things people love to hate on about Coachella is the fact that many of the attendees have their tickets bought for them by their parents.

Sorry? It’s not my fault that my parents have enough money to buy their daughter and her friends the gift of going to one of the most amazing melting pots of all things weird and beautiful. It’s not my fault about your life, and it’s none of your business about mine.

All my life, I’ve dealt with people commenting on me, mostly liking, but there are always a few that seem upset about the way I live my life.

One time, I was riding my dolphin out in Turks and Cacaos, (“riding” is the act of holding onto their fin as they swim and you sort of glide next to them. It’s a beautiful, transformative experience between human and animal and I really think, when I looked in my dolphin’s eye, that we made a connection that will last forever) and someone I knew threw shade my way for getting to do it.

Don’t make me be the bad guy.

I felt shame for years after my 16th birthday, where my parents got me an Escalade. People at school made fun of me (especially after I drove into a ditch...oops!) and said I didn’t deserve the things I got in life.

I can think of a lot of people who probably don't deserve the things in life that they get, but you don't hear me hating on them (that's why we vote, people). Well, I’m sick of being made to feel guilty about the luxuries I’m given, because they’ve made me who I am, and I love me.

I’m a good person.

I’m not going to let the Coachella haters bring me down anymore. Did my parents buy my ticket and VIP housing? Yes. Am I sorry about that? Absolutely not.

Sorry, not sorry!

Cover Image Credit: Kaycie Allen

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Kendrick Lamar Lost The Grammy, But Won The Pulitzer


This year was one for the history books, as Kendrick Lamar won a Pulitzer Prize for his newest album "DAMN". This is a huge change, as all winners in that category in the past have been either of the classical or jazz genres. This is the first year that a different type of album, one of hip-hop no less won this coveted prize.

Reports said that the album "DAMN" was a unanimous choice amongst the jury in charge of picking who the awards go to. The board even stated that the album “a virtuosic song collection unified by its vernacular authenticity and rhythmic dynamism that offers affecting vignettes capturing the complexity of modern African-American life” (NYTimes). Even the other nominees express their agreement with giving the prize to Lamar and are honored to be runner-ups to such a fantastic artist. They even expressed that they are fans of the artist.

This is a huge step for the hip-hop genre, as it tends to be overlooked when it comes to awards. Lamar was up for a Grammy this year in the category "Album of the Year" for the album, "DAMN," but lost to Bruno Mars's "24K Magic". This has been a common occurrence in the Grammy world, as hip-hop artists may be nominated, but they rarely win the Grammy for the best album, the only exception being Lauryn Hill and OutKast.

The Pulitzer seemed like the last kind of Prize that would go make a Grammy sound less than it is, but it did just that when it awarded Lamar the prize. It shows a step into a more integrated kind of world and an appreciation for the lyrical story that each kind of musician tells. This step also shows that the Pulitzer acknowledges all kinds of music that deserved to be recognized, whether it be classical, jazz, or the newest inductee, hip-hop.

Cover Image Credit: Wikipedia

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