Challenger Decks are coming; Duel Decks are leaving

Today Blake Rasmussen announced a change to the products Magic will be offering in 2018. A familiar product line will be sunsetting while something new will emerge.

First off, the Duel Decks line, two decks built around a theme meant to be played against each other, will come to an end on April 6, 2018. The final edition of this product will be Duel Decks: Elves vs. Inventors. Ten years ago Duel Decks started with Elves and Goblins. Goblins just had their turn with Merfolk and now the Elves will be able to bid us a fond farewell.

Also being released on April 6, 2018, will be Challenger Decks. These are four decks, with sideboard, meant to be played in Standard. According the Gavin Verhey, the entire process behind the design and development of this product was reworked so that the decks would be finalized closer to release. This change is designed to have the decks be relevant in Standard, as they are built upon seeded themes.

The Challenger Decks are noteworthy because they showcase the willingness of Wizards of the Coast to change how they think about their processes in order to provide the best possible product. If the Challenger Decks were designed earlier they would not be relevant to their Standard format and potentially fail as a result. This change is intuitive but represents a shift in how the new design structure can be used to the game's advantage.


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