An Appeal for Non-Foil Promos

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I played a Two-Headed Giant Khans of Tarkir prerelease this weekend, and it was extremely satisfying to play with all these new cards we've been looking at for the last few weeks. This set seems like it's going to offer lots of depth. Two-color decks are perfectly reasonable (and perhaps, much like in Dragon's Maze, the most consistent strategies), but the fixing is also prevalent enough that five color decks should be easy enough to pull off if you do it right.


The prerelease packs were pretty well done, too. For the first time since Return to Ravnica, I did not choose my my color based on what the most powerful promo was. That's important. In fact, I had fun just not really having an opinion on what the best pack to grab was, thinking I might go Temur or Jeskai but making a last-minute audible into Mardu instead.

Unfortunately, the seeded pack was short a rare from what we've been given the last two years. From Return to Ravnica to Magic 2015, the seeded pack has included the guaranteed promo in addition to an on-theme, semi-random rare. With Khans of Tarkir, since the promos themselves were semi-random, WOTC gave us only the foil promo in our seeded packs.



Losing out on a free rare is kind of a bummer, but it's important to remember that promos are a bonus and that we don't have any inherent right to them. Yes, it's kind of a feel-bad that WOTC took away something that we had plenty of time to grow accustomed to, but it's not as if they're taking away the rare slot altogether. WOTC could even make the argument that we were given a guaranteed foil, which is a bonus over what one would expect to get in a normal booster pack.

That point, however, is what I'm taking issue with. I don't like foils. In fact, I despise them. They warp, can you get disqualified from tournaments, and inspire more stress in situations where someone is playing with your cards (such as loaning a deck or cubing).  I opened a Bloodsoaked Champion in my seeded pack, a card that will almost certainly be going into my cube. But the fact that I refuse to run foils means that this particular card is useless to me. At least with a normal pack foil, one could make the argument that it's worth more, but that just isn't true with promos—in fact, they're often worth less than their non-foil counterparts.


I'm probably in the minority of people that don't want foil promos, but I'm sure that I'm not the only one. The point of this post isn't to complain about something that's ostensibly a bonus—I had a blast at the prerelease and think Wizards did great work making it fun. But I do want to publicly appeal to Wizards for one simple thing: more non-foil promos. I want to add sweet, alternate versions of cards to my cube, but short of Game Day participation promos, we haven't got a lot of goodies for foil-haters in the last few years. If you're with me, voice your opinion below. More non-foil promos, Wizards!

Danny Brown

Danny is a Cube enthusiast and the former Director of Content for Quiet Speculation.

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24 thoughts on “An Appeal for Non-Foil Promos

  1. I think that promo foils will be treated a bit differently in this instance given their limited quantities. I would be surprised if you couldn’t find someone to trade the promo foil for a non-foil and call it a day…

    From a community standpoint, I’d rather focus on and praise Wizards for their decision to give 40 different promos in the prerelease seeded packs instead of nitpicking on what they “aren’t” doing (non-foil promos).

  2. I do not like foils in general for many of the reasons you mentioned here. When I pull a foil playable, I inwardly groan at the awkwardness of it all. Maybe it is OCD but I don’t want to play it in a constructed deck that is a mix of foil and non-foil cards. I don’t want to sell it because that takes work. And trading it away is a pain because most players don’t want a version of a card that costs more than the regular and I don’t want to let it go for less than its value. So, when I pull such a foil card it can be a bit of a feel bad moment for me because I know due to my own OCD, laziness, and insistence on not bleeding value in a trade it will just sit and do nothing in my binder.

    1. Unless you have to wash your hands until they bleed and can’t leave your house unless you lock every door and window 13 times because you have a serious mental illness, stop referring to your reluctance to play with foils as OCD. You don’t have OCD, you just have a lack of sensitivity.

      1. Jason, truth is I don’t really know much about OCD. It is something me and others I know have probably used incorrectly in place of more accurate words such as “fussiness” or “quirkiness”. Too many people, like me, have made the mistake of thinking of OCD as a collection of endearing quirks such as modeled by the character Sheldon Cooper on the “Big Bang Theory” TV show. However, as you have pointed out, OCD can be a living hell for people suffering from it and it shouldn’t be used as flippantly in speech as some of us have been using it. I am making an effort here to be a better person and you have done me a service by pointing out my mistake.

        1. Don’t feel bad, man. I thought the severe tone of my post was funny. I mean, if you end up being a little more sensitive to certain mental illnesses as a result, that’s cool. But I wasn’t being harsh for seriousness, I just have a screwed up sense of humor. Good on you, though.

        2. Sheldon is actually an example of Asperger’s Syndrome, or possibly OCPD (Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder… very muchly not the same as OCD)
          I wash my hands 240 times a day, yet do not have OCD.
          The word you want to be using is either “anal” (retentive) or “fastidious”.

          Just my 2 cents (only 19999998 more to go to jusitfy this silly BS in Psychology!)

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