Thursday, October 29, 2015

An Open Letter to Wizards of the Coast

On Tuesday, social media exploded after the announcement was made that Wizards of the Coast was dropping support for many casual formats on Magic Online, including Standard Pauper. I responded with several ways that you as the community could lobby to keep the format. Today, I want to post an open letter to Wizards of the Coast about this issue. Feel free to use as a template for your own correspondence with them. In particular, contact,, and via E-mail and urge them not to remove the Standard Pauper format from Magic Online. 

Dear Wizards of the Coast,

I was saddened and disappointed by your recent decision to remove the Standard Pauper filter from Magic Online.  When the filter was added back in August of 2009, it was a major milestone for our community, and contributed to an immediate growth in the popularity and accessibility of the format. To see the format removed now would be a devastating blow to a community that has stuck by Magic Online through all of its growing pains during this ongoing transition to the new version of the client.

Standard Pauper contributes to both your company and the community in several meaningful ways:
  • It gives new players a lower complexity format to learn the intricacies of Magic in general and Magic Online specifically before moving on to more popular formats.
  • It provides an inexpensive way for players to experience the game without having to pay the expense of high-level formats such as Standard or Limited.
  • Since it uses the most popular format as its base, there is relatively little additional programming needed for its infrastructure. 
  • It is supported by a diverse community of players who participate from all over the globe in weekly Player Run Events.
  • It allows players to actually play in a competitive Constructed format with the majority of cards they receive through booster packs and Limited play.

On behalf of the 50+ players who regularly participate in Standard Pauper events and many others who play more casually, I urge you to reconsider your decision. Support the community who value the casual formats that you have pledged to uphold in the past. Don’t remove what has become my personal favorite way to play this great game.


George M Leonard

MTGO: gwyned


  1. I've just e-mailed a slightly modified version of your letter to all three of those addresses. I've been a Magic fan since 1998, and when my circumstances made it mostly impossible to play paper Magic, I passed my collection on to a friend's younger brother; being able to play Standard Pauper online has given me a way to stay connected with a game that's brought me so much joy for so many years, and if Wizards removes the Standard Pauper functionality from MTGO I may never feel the need to sign in again.

    I want to thank you for taking the time and effort to champion the Standard Pauper community; I may not have had the opportunity (yet!) to play in one of your tournaments, but I appreciate all the work you've done building a community and talking to Wizards on our behalf.

  2. Point of fact: The Standard Pauper filter was added in August of 2012, not 2009. This is actually a very hard fact to find out when the PDCMagic website is experiencing difficulties, so no fault on your end, G.

    But I think this point of fact and another gives us hope: Gatherling seems to be working and it says the first Standard Pauper PDC event occurred in September of 2006.

    So the format has been going on for nine years. The past three with a filter, yes, which is convenient. But it got started and survived its first six years without one.

    That's a good 2:1 ratio. I like those odds :-)

  3. standard pauper is the best entry to magic... cheap, simple, diverse