L.A. Dreams: Level 57 Lulzmage

Wizards has just announced their new rating system. Planeswalker Points is the name and it murdered the ELO system that needed to be killed off anyway. Other than the fact that there is no level that actually earns the title of “Planeswalker” there are issues with this system. I will give it a season before I really say if it’s too broken or not, but something is a bit screwy.

You can check the following links for more information.

Gathering Magic

Daily MTG


Now that that’s out of the way we can get to the juicy stuff.

Wizards did an excellent job at finding a system that didn’t punish you for losing. I applaud that fact alone. Except we still do have to win a lot to qualify for anything, but it’s not so terrifying that we just don’t show up to events. That was a hindrance of Ratings invites and the ELO system. This system makes people try to play as much magic as possible every season. It’s even possible to just not play for one season if it’s a problem.

The issue is that you HAVE to play magic. Not a bad thing in itself, but some places just don’t have a community to support this. It becomes impossible as a player in a small town to every qualify for anything without travelling to multiple GPs in a season. Before you could hope that your one GP a year might come with a top 16 and an Invite to the Pro Tour. Now it just means a bit of cash and being on fair grounds with about 60 other people. Then you get to lose any hope when they go to another GP or do OK at an FNM that has double your average attendance. If your area never sees a PTQ? Then you definitely will never be on the Pro Tour without huge luck.

Just to get an idea of what I’m talking about.

My FNM has 16 people maybe once a month if we’re lucky. That means I’m basically in the 8-15 bracket that awards 1 participation point. It also means I will play a max of 4 rounds of swiss and top 4, maybe top 8 if we’re desperate for games/points. So going by just swiss let’s say I 4-0. That means I walk away with 39 points. Now if someone is playing in a 16 person FNM and goes 4-0 they beat me. Just because they had 1 or 2 people more they will hands down beat me at my same record. When you get up to 32+ person FNMs I have to make up a 6 point deficit every night. So every 3 weeks they have 2 match wins over me. That’s depressing.

I already can’t go to GPs since Canada only gets about 1 a year if that, but I also am losing to someone because I live in a small town? Why does he get to have a better score than me just for being in a big city? If he wins as much or more than me then fine. But he can lose more than me and still beat me. It’s unfair enough that he has more chances to win by playing more rounds.

I’m making it personal because, while I know people in similar situations, it is unfair for me to name people without their approval.

Punishing people just for having a smaller community is a big flaw in my eyes.

If I went 6-0 at every FNM this season I’d earn 969 points. A Player in a 32+ FNM will have a minimum of 153 off participation. In the end they only need an average of 5.3 wins a night. They even get 5 rounds of swiss to start off. When I have to win 100% of my matches to match someone going x-0 in swiss it seems like something needs work.

Drop participation. You may end up with ties, but you are at least giving people a fighting chance.

I have been tempted by the troll in me to present the next argument as almost discrimination. Canada is in the North America category for PT Qualification. This is insane. The fact that the US has 20 times as many GPs and a thousand other events from tournament organizers means Canada can never have as many points as the US. I will wait until the end of this season to prove this. If GP Montreal doesn’t result in a non-PT playing Canadian even breaking the top 50 in rating for North America, what will? Mexico is in North America but it instead gets counted as part of Latin america. That’s fair because South America gets about the same number of GPs as mexico. Which is still really mean since it’s probably even harder to travel in South America. I hear arguments about how “Canadians can just come to an American GP” and I have to fight the urge to punch people in the nads.

Do people realize how ignorant it is to say we’re equal because you can pay insane money to fly to events? If it’s the same thing why doesn’t wizards hold 20 GPs in Canada and 1 in the US and you guys fly up here? It’s ignorant as hell to say Canada and the US aren’t different enough to warrant being factored differently. The way PW Points work means Canada is being crippled by lack of events but still has to match the US.

I can only hope Wizards sees this and does SOMETHING. It can only hurt Canadian Magic if we are crushed under this comparison to the US.

There are probably more things that needed fixed but I will wait out the first season to see how things turn out. These points are serious and really have to be considered for change. I hope this was at least informative and not as aggressive as I felt on the inside. I want to help magic and I can’t see how either of these things do anything good for the community as a whole.

17 weeks


Posted on September 7, 2011, in Articles, L.A. Dreams. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Well reasoned, and these are exactly the thoughts going through the European community. It’s a US-centric system. In addition, I think Kai Budde put it correctly when he wrote in the PlanetMTG forum: “This is not a rating, it’s a frequent flyer system.” If the GP invites were still there, it’d only be half bad. But this way, it shafts all non-US territories at the moment.

    • Thank you for the support. It’s good to know I’m just being a “butthurt canadian”. The one thing I hope is that wizards realizes after this season that it needs a lot more work or they will cut off a lot of other countries from taking magic seriously.

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