Changes to the Block Structure

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Unless you start at the top of columns and work your way down which, while intuitive, isn't the best way to handle a list that populates with the newest article on top.

Go below this one and read Danny Brown's update from today. I'll make it easy- here it is. Danny did a great job of outlining the upcoming changes to Standard.

I thought it was likely that these changes were a long time in coming, but I read Maro's Tumblr today and I don't think that's the case. Take a look at what the blocks were to be called.

We kept the three-set block names because two-set blocks weren’t public yet. The small set that goes with the spring set ties into that set name.

We will have Blood (big) and Sweat (small). That’s a block. Them we will have Tears (big) and Fears (small). That’s a block.

The following year we have Lock (big) and Stock (small). That’s a block. Then we have Barrel (big) and Monkeys (small). That’s a block.

From then on our block names use a two-set naming convention - Blah & Blah.


The current way the blocks are arranged is

Blood Sweat

Tears Fears

Lock Stock

Barrel Monkeys

It's pretty obvious from the names that it was originally supposed to be

Blood Sweat Tears

Lock Stock Barrel

Of course they'll say that they kept the old names because they couldn't top their hat to the upcoming changes, but I think it pretty clearly indicates that this change to the structure of Standard has been proposed relatively recently. Cutting out core sets and changing the standard rotation time from 2 years to 18 months really impacts how the set needs to be designed with respect to reprints and staples for other formats. I think all signs point to this being a recent decision, so we'll see what comes down the pipe that may have prompted the decision. Keep your eyeballs peeled, and go read the posts under this one first.

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Jason Alt

Jason Alt is a value trader and writer. He is Quiet Speculation's self-appointed web content archivist and co-captain of the interdepartmental dodgeball team. He enjoys craft microbrews and doing things ironically. You may have seen him at magic events; he wears black t-shirts and has a beard and a backpack so he's pretty easy to spot. You can hear him as co-host on the Brainstorm Brewery podcast or catch his articles on He is also the Community Manager at and writes the odd article there, too. Follow him on Twitter @JasonEAlt unless you don't like having your mind blown.

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One thought on “Changes to the Block Structure

  1. It seems like they designed the names to work both in sets of 3s and 2s so that they could cleverly reveal it. Maybe I’m misunderstanding you, but are you suggesting it’s a coincidence that Tears and Fears and Barrel and Monkeys happen to go together? This doesn’t seem like a recent decision to me.

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