It’s time for us to officially announce how we will be handling rotation moving forward.
Goals and Challenges
Rotation in card games has two goals, which have to be balanced against two major challenges.
Goal #1) To get rid of cards, mechanics, or themes which may be overstaying their welcome.
Goal #2) To allow greater room for deck diversity by forcing players to adapt to a new meta environment in a more drastic way than just adding new cards.
Challenge #1) Have a bridge between the old meta and the new one by not pushing too much out of the card pool at once and overwhelming people with uncertainty.
Challenge #2) Ensuring enough cards in enough deck archetypes remain in the format to have a diverse array of decks.
Our Last Approach
With ARH focusing on releasing smaller sets than the ones we will be rotating out first, the challenges presented are much higher in gravity.
Rotating Legacies block with Faltering Allegiences was a bold move (some would say overaggressive) taken early on, but one which we felt was necessary because the cards and decks therein had been dominating the tables for far too long.
The only thing that made this possible upon FA release was the fact that we had Convergence block backstopping the loss of cards from the pool with three full sets and two additional supplemental products, the latest of which being chock full of deck-defining cards.
At our current pace of card production we would need to wait a minimum of one year from now before taking the same approach again, and that is too long to wait.
Starting upon the release of ARH4 (just began playtesting whoop whoop!), we will rotate sets on a one-in one-out basis, attaching supplemental products to the set immediately previous to their release.
This approach, while unconventional, will allow us to maintain card pool size at acceptable levels while still fulfilling the goals of rotation. On the average, it means that for every 180 cards moving out of the meta there will be 105 replacements, a significant loss in options available.
The other downside of this approach is that we will end up having somewhat “stranded” cards or mechanics at times where cards further along the release schedule don’t really function correctly (or sometimes at all) without the cards that had just been rotated out.
Both of these downsides will be mitigated by our Reprint List.
The Reprint List
The first Reprint List will be legal on 01SEP2021. This initial 100 card list was voted on by the SWD community, comprised of cards from Awakenings and Legacies block.
For full details on the first reprint list, and an explanation of where our decisions deviated from popular vote, head on over to this link.
But there, and here, the most important thing we want you to keep in mind is that the Reprint List is a living, changing document, and will be maintained by our team moving forward based on the needs of the meta.
Right off the rip, this list will inject a very Wild-West feel to our current meta, and we can already tell there will be significant changes in the future. Even still, this list when used as a tool for game health will prove to be invaluable, and will give our sets more freedom than ever to explore the possibilities of this amazing game system.
Our current timeline is as follows.
01SEP2021 – Reprint List Implementation
19NOV2021 – ARH4 / RL Update / Convergence and Allies of Necessity Rotation
01FEB2022 – RL Update
15APR2022 – ARH5 / RL Update / Spark of Hope Rotation
01JUL2022 – RL Update
17SEP2022 – ARH6 / RL Update / Covert Missions and Transformations Rotation
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