Monday, November 17, 2014

Evaluating the Polls

For those of you who either use mobile devices or don't pay attention to anything other than the pages and articles, we've got polls running on the right side of the site.

Normally only one runs at a time and a previous poll is kept around for a short time, but sometimes there are two or more polls running. We've gotten some good results from the polls, especially from the clans from KTK that people were looking forward to, or what people look for when looking up set spoilers.

Of course, I have a favorite poll.

Out of 68 people, these are some pretty good results as to where people want to go and see next in Magic. With some polls, multiple options are allowed (like the current poll on the favorite Commander 2014 deck), but this one was just single options.

There is a clear winner as to where people want to go next. 27.94% (apparently decimals don't show up in the polls) of voters want to return to Zendikar. It was a fan favorite. Full art basic lands, enemy fetch lands, the Eldrazi story line. What's not to love?

Next on the list is Lorwyn/Shadowmoor with 17.65%. I'm not particularly familiar with this group of two set blocks, but it had a tribal theme, and the Shadowmoor block had filter lands which are going up in price. Faeries is what came to prominence out of Lorwyn, and there was also a lot of goblins and merfolk.

Next in the line is Kamigawa with 13.24%, which the block was widely regarded as a mistake by Wizards and they have said many times that it is very doubtful we will return. Perhaps someone knows why and can explain in the comments below?

After that, we have a three-way tie between Mirrodin/New Phyrexia, Ravnica, and Innistrad, each with 10.29%. Mirrodin and New Phyrexia were popular because of the story line and how the Phyrexians are one of the three ultimate enemies in Magic (along with the Eldrazi and Nicol Bolas). Ravnica is a favorite because of shocklands and the popularity of multicolored and the guilds. Innistrad is one of the best blocks created and the tribal theme was pretty popular.

With 4.41%, Dominaria is next. I did this in order of the release of modern sets. Dominaria is the plane most of Magic as occupied prior to Mirrodin in 2003, and it was where the events of Time Spiral, Planar Chaos, and Future Sight took place as that is the story line about The Mending.

And last, but not least, we have a two-way tie with Alara and Theros, each with 2.94%. Alara had an interesting concept, but perhaps it was a bit too drawn out, and the story line is pretty much over. The five shards of Alara were pushed back together into a single plane through the events of Conflux. There isn't much left to do with that story.

My thoughts on Theros and why it has two votes is this: The poll was done around the time of the announcement of two set blocks following the Khans of Tarkir block, around the time between M15 and KTK. We just left Theros, so people don't want to go back there again, at least not for a while. Sure there is things that need resolving, but if you just left, you typically don't want to go right back. The two votes probably were either from new players who don't have familiarity with any other plane, or it is from players who ant the Elspeth story line resolved. She's "dead" but in the underworld and is building a mask to become a Returned maybe. What happens when a planeswalker "dies" and goes to the underworld of Theros? Can she planeswalker away, Will she retain her Spark if she chooses to become a Returned and becomes a zombie planeswalker with no memories of her past self? I find that an interesting concept and idea which is worth a visit.

Of course, everyone has their preferences, but Zendikar was pretty well received and I could see a return to Zendikar pretty soon, and maybe another trip back to New Phyrexia (as it is now known) after that. I also want to see some new planes, specifically an Egyptian plane and a steampunk plane, but a return to Zendikar, a trip back to New Phyrexia, and maybe a return to Theros in the next seven years is something I definitely look forward to, especially with space for fourteen different locations to visit during that time.

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