Internal Memos to Wizards Employees

Memo to All Employees
Re: Avacyn Restored

Now is that glorious time of the year when all Magic-related talk changes from how badly we’ve screwed up past decisions to rampant speculating on what other horrid decisions we’ve made that aren’t public yet.

Employees are reminded that “spoilers,” terminology invented by players to describe the aerodynamic way we throw new cards at them, has been considered Not For Official Usage for over a year, replaced with the more enticing and less of a rotting-meat-vibe term of “previews.” Starting today, the time of year when some misguided members of the community refer to as “spoiler season” should only be referred to as “wondertime.” This has tested very well for us, especially with our growing Pre-K demographic.

On a related note, the term “flavor” is considered deprecated, per the legal team’s instruction that in the future, we’d like to avoid hypothetical, not-impossible lawsuits from players eating the cards and overdosing on the layer of strychnine in the middle of the card. Due to this possibility, the blue layer in the middle will (as of the 2014 fall set) be comprised of antifreeze instead, due to our increasing market share in Russia, Alaska, and Syracuse. Employees should describe cards as “top-down” rather than “flavorful;” our pending marketing campaign starring Pusha T of the rap group Clipse will reinforce this rebranding.

During wondertime, employees should make sure they do not speak about anything related to Avacyn Restored without prior authorization. Any employee who believes he or she is sufficiently authorized must also obtain his or her pre- and post-authorization permits to guarantee that any authorizations were, themselves, given by authorization-authorized personnel.

Memo to All Employees
Re: 2015 Fall Set

We’re pleased to announce to our valued and trusted employees the theme of the 2015 fall set! Due to the overwhelming success of Scars of Mirrodin and the fantastic initial reception to our public announcement of Return to Ravnica, the 2015 fall set’s theme will be nostalgia for the 2014 fall set (which our internal models are projecting will be received, adjusting for enthusiasm inflation, better than either the original Mirrodin or Ravnica blocks).

In these uncertain economic times, it’s important that we focus on making marketable, new-player-friendly sets, and a block that’s a sequel to the previous year’s block hits on all our desired Player Reaction Metrics. Returning players, put off by the projected mediocrity of the 2015 spring set, will be overjoyed to see their favorites from the 2014 fall set finally make their comeback. Longtime players will reminisce at the fun they had drafting those cards four months prior. New players, put off by the high barrier to entry that our previous sequel blocks imposed, will be familiar with the referenced and reprinted cards by virtue of their still being in print.

Due to privacy and potential information-leak problems, we have not, of course, revealed to our employees what the creative or mechanical themes of the 2014 fall set will be. We’re all still rattled by last year’s White 2-Drop scandal, when an unauthorized employee revealed that some future set would have a white 2-drop in it. These shocking displays of employees’ disregard for basic Magical information-guarding will not be tolerated, and we at Wizards will do our best to make sure such sad incidents are never repeated.

Memo to All Employees without Exception
Re: Employee Behavior at Public Events

Wizards as an organization understands the value of diversity to the game, and we’re all delighted at the recent rise of successful players of various styles, methods of play, race, gender, and sexuality. However, this does not excuse the behavior of our employees that has been described by some independent observers as “exploitative,” “predatory,” or “just some weird freaky stuff going on over there.” You all need to remember that you are professionals there on a professional basis; attempts to seduce the doe-eyed, star-struck, and just plain naive into your grotesque schemes bring shame on our entire game, company, and industry. Some of those people barely missed the cut for Modern legality.

While we are well aware it’s a unique and not-unpleasant experience to have a captivated audience that is intimately familiar with every nuance of your profession, passions, and life’s work, we must all resist the temptation to abuse that customer trust, no matter the clever double-entendre he or she might make regarding Bonds of Faith, Moan of the Unhallowed, or especially Bump in the Night. And under absolutely no circumstances should any employee engage in Magic-inspired and certainly-not-company-approved behavior based on “Commander,” “Archenemy,” or in general anything “multiplayer”-inspired.

Make no mistake, if this activity becomes a pattern in the nighttime hours once the last matches of Grand Prix events are concluded and even the law-abiding nightclubs have shuttered, our organization will be left with no alternative but to take harsh, punitive action. Any designers caught in these actions will be sent permanently to Creative. In the unlikely event that members of Creative are participating, they will be forced to design cards.

If we find out two weeks after Pro Tour: Return to Ravnica that legions of our fans are “summoning sick,” there will be consequences.

Memo to All Employees
Re: Story Text

As you may know, Wizards recently had an internal contest to rename “flavor text.” Mary Gladney, formerly of our mail room, came up with “story text” as a replacement, and we all think that sounds wonderful. Thanks to everyone who entered!

Unfortunately, as mail room workers are not technically employees of Wizards, the contest announcement memo was sent to her by accident, and as such, it was never our intent that she know of our plans to rename “flavor text.” Because of this, we had to terminate her employment. Best of luck in all future endeavors, Mary!

As part of our new-player-acquisition strategy, we have attempted to make all aspects of the game as accessible and understandable as possible. While this has begun to permeate story text, there is still plenty of work to be done. Let us examine the story text for the Innistrad version of Ancient Grudge:

If there's anything a werewolf hates, it's a collar—especially Avacyn's Collar, the symbol of her church.

This is no sleight against the creators of this excellent flavor text (yet another top-notch submission from Mrs. Traylor’s seventh-grade English class); however, in the future, we simply cannot have story text bring up so many questions and introduce so much jargon without explaining itself clearly. This story text, if written today, should be much clearer in its meanings:

There are things that werewolves, which are common on the plane of Innistrad, dislike, and one of those things is a collar that other people (who are either not werewolves or not currently in werewolf form) put around their neck—one sort of collar that they especially dislike is the collar known as Avacyn’s Collar, which is not the same sort of collar as that one would put around the neck of a dog (or wolf, or in this case, werewolf), but rather a religious symbol of the Church of Avacyn worn by its practitioners, and not, in fact, placed around the necks of anyone unwilling (like a werewolf currently in wolf form). This is because werewolves are considered both dangerous and sacrilegious to Avacyn’s Church, and people with Avacyn’s Collar will tend toward the disliking end of the spectrum when it comes to these previously-mentioned werewolves (in werewolf form; while in human form, they are indistinguishable from normal people). Also, the next set has a card named Avacyn’s Collar.

We have the utmost faith that less space for rules text is a restriction that will breed new creativity among our designers. If that fails, see attached file containing all as-yet-unprinted combinations of power, toughness, and mana cost.

Memo to All Employees
Re: the “Secondary Market”

Due to earlier inquiries from various employees regarding the existence of the so-called “secondary market” for Magic cards, Wizards commissioned an independent investigation into these rumors. The initial reports have returned, showing no evidence of any such thing existing (whatever it may be). Employees are reminded not to speak publicly or privately on any subject that has not been empirically shown to exist—other than the Future Future League.

@KillGoldfish

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