Let's make block constructed a dream come true

Tilwin90 Posts: 662 Critical Contributor
In the "which do you prioritize" thread, I made quite a long ramble about altering events as a simple means of shaking things up and keeping the game interesting. In the spirit of not spamming that thread, I am opening a new topic here specifically regarding the block constructed suggestion.

1. A bit of rambling about blocks and block constructed (paper magic players can probably skip this, or correct my many technical mistakes)
What are blocks?
Blocks group together multiple sets under one umbrella and are a big thing in paper magic.
In the past, a block consisted of 3 sets. Examples of such blocks include
- Khans of Tarkir (Khans of Tarkir, Fate Reforged and Dragons of Tarkir sets)
- Innistrad (Innistrad, Dark Ascension and Avacyn Restored sets)
- Theros (Theros, Born of the Gods and Journey into Nyx sets)

In recent history (at the same time MTGPQ came to be), blocks were reduced to 2 sets only, such as:
- Battle for Zendikar (Battle for Zendikar and Oath of the Gatewatch sets)
- Kaladesh (Kaladesh and Aether Revolt sets)
- Amonkhet (Amonket and Hour of Devastation sets)

Presently the focus of paper magic is on singular sets, but we can still continue to see themes being represented in successive standard sets if the need arises (for instance there are three upcoming Ravnica sets, out of which the first two are said to be centered on the 10 guilds, while the last one will feature a different theme).

What about block constructed?
Well, block constructed is a format for paper magic events where the card pool is limited to a specific block. (for instance, a Return to Ravnica block constructed event allows decks containing only cards from the Return to Ravnica block)
These events make a lot of sense since:
- blocks usually have a close theme spanning across its sets, the cards inside them featuring nice synergy and being highly cohesive. a good example here resides in some of the mechanics we also saw in MTGPQ, such as void gems (BFZ), energy (KLD), discard (SOI) or legendaries (DOM).
- limited, another popular and important format in paper magic (that can either be pseudo-constructed, draft or maybe some other form), is also centered around one set or multiple sets in the same block. Since Wizards design magic cards with primary focus on Standard and Limited, this is also a very influential (and fun) format! In fact, card rarity, while having as primary factors card complexity and power level in a vacuum, are strongly influenced by limited formats too! (this is why you might see an uncommon card in a set be "reduced" to a common card in another set, and vice-versa).
2. So why this in MTGPQ?
Reasoning #1: The legacy card pool
As many of you probably already know, legacy cards are no longer that relevant. We have occasional legacy events here and there, but the main focus is on Standard events.
With the rotations having been accelerated and so many sets having already gotten into legacy, we now have 5 Standard sets (ORI, HOU, IXN, RIX and DOM), while 7 sets are already marked as Legacy (BFZ/OGW, SOI/EMN, KLD/AER and AMK). In the future, the pool of legacy events only grows bigger.

With such an unrestricted format, more and more of those cards become irrelevant, leaving a lot of waste into the game (hundreds, soon thousands of cards being designed, only not to be used by 99% of the players of the game). This raises the question: can there something be done to keep those cards relevant and fun?

Reason #2: Reduced development effort
Having configurable features into the game allows setting up events easily without requiring too much coding. You basically configure events, opponents in the case of PVE events or simple nodes on PVP events, each with objectives, and sets restrictions for the event. (we recently started seeing color restrictions which are also super interesting)

The latter is an interesting feature that right now is quite underused. While the UI nicely suggests that any combinations of sets would be possible, in practice we see only two combinations: standard and legacy. This leaves a lot of potential to be taken advantage of to shake things up for the players.

3. The proposition/suggestion
Block constructed seems like the most obvious possible transposition to MTGPQ. We have cards, we combine 10 cards to make a deck, and then we play in an event (be it PVP or PVE). Now the question is, why would we not make events in this spirit? And no, I'm not talking about bending the objectives with parasitic constraints to encourage players to play with those events. That ruins the whole purpose of block constructed where players actually only play with cards from a specific block.

So why not take advantage of that wonderful configuration that allows configuring the unlocked sets for an event to reflect block constructed events? To avoid getting all coalitions munch me for influencing all time scores with such a proposition I'd be more than happy to see these events as non-coalition if that would be what the majority likes. It's more about fun than another reward bag.

- This would bring diversity to the game since we are not playing the same cards again and again.
- It would make older cards great again, putting all that design and development time and energy to good use.
- Minimal effort if older events are recycled, more effort of course if new events need to be set up (though much less in PVP events since you don't have to come up with opponent decks).

Any cons?
- Of course there are people with richer legacy collections and others with poorer collections. I am not necessarily talking about huge prizes here (HoD or RTO big) since this could lead to some of the "the rich will get richer" hate. I'm talking more about a fun environment where people get to play like this and have fun!
- Naturally I would like to see those legacy boosters get cheaper so that they are more accessible to players. Right now they are overly expensive for how often we get to play with them.
- Bottom line, a good balance between cost and reward needs to be set up so that more players would be interested in this!

4. What's your opinion on this?

I'd love to hear other players voice their opinion over such events.
Do you think such an event would keep the game interesting or it would turn into a lame excuse for recycling?
What are your pros and cons?
Would you be interested in such an event and would you play these events regularly?

Thanks all!


  • DBJones
    DBJones Posts: 803 Critical Contributor
    I think this would be interesting. There's a few tweaks that would make it better though. Putting Legacy cards back in the free boosters would help quite a bit with newer players collections of the lower rarities. Also, the way color tier works would really screw over lots of players, a tweak to let them choose one tier lower when the event starts would help quite a bit (Platinum > Gold/Platinum, Gold > Silver/Gold, etc.).

    Personally, I'd be pretty badly set up for SOI or BFZ. For KLD I've had some lucky pulls,  Baral and Dynavolt alone leave me pretty well off.