MTGO Is Actually Doing a Pretty Good Job with the Cube Draft Schedule, Not So Much with Banned and Restricted Updates

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A little more than a month ago, I questioned why Cube variants were available on MTGO so infrequently. Based on the last 60 days or so, though, I think Cube is in a reasonable place on Magic Online. 

First, we had the Legacy Cube debut on November 19 through December 10. Then the Holiday Cube hit only a week later, running from December 17 through January 5. Wizards of the Coast only made us wait nine more days for the return of the Legacy Cube, which hit again on January 14 and will run through January 28.


I can't deny: having only 16 days of around 70 be Cube-free on MTGO is pretty good. It's really good, in fact, and if this kind of schedule keeps up, it will show that WOTC has really listened to the grievances of drafters who just want to enjoy their favorite format with ease. Good on you, WOTC, for making so much Cube a reality.

On the other hand, we have the already-much-discussed Banned and Restricted List update from this morning. Jason wrote a really good summary of these updates, and my thoughts on the bannings and unbannings mirror his in many ways.

What I want to mention here is when this all comes into effect. If you look at the official announcement, you will see that the MTGO effective date for these updates is five days later than the paper effective date: January 28 versus January 23. For players looking to test for the pro tour primarily using Magic Online, this is a huge disadvantage compared to those who have a local testing team to work with.

There's no real reasoning behind such a discrepancy that I can see. If it's a coding issue for MTGO, WOTC should have started the process five days earlier to get things in line with the paper game. Otherwise, it's just an arbitrary difference that has a real, negative impact on players the world over.

The good thing is that WOTC has a track record of paying attention to player feedback and implementing it (if sometimes a little slowly). If you think that banning and unbannings should take effect in the paper game and MTGO on the same day, make sure WOTC hears your feedback. Maybe we can get this discrepancy addressed by the next round of bannings. Or, you know, by 2016. You never know with MTGO.

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Danny Brown

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

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Posted in Banning, Cube, Free, MTGO

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