OP Data: This Event Boosts Standard By 48%, Drafts By 179%

July 31, 2018 | 3 min to read

Guilds of Ravnica scheduling is open, and we’re going to be up front about it: Standard Showdown is a priority.

GRN opens a transformative era for Standard. Four sets rotate out, condensing demand for Standard cards from eight sets into five. Plus, Ravnica has a near-perfect record producing great Standard environments. Google “best Standard formats ever” and you’ll see what I mean.

But there’s a more straightforward reason to prioritize Standard Showdown: the data say it works.

Plain and simple.

Here are four examples:

 

Percentage Increase in Standard Attendance When a Store Runs Showdown After Abstaining in the Previous Season:

 

Stores that choose to try Showdown see their attendance jump by about half.

Why?

Because it’s the most accessible format in Magic. When you run Standard, you give the most players the most opportunities to play. New recruits generally have Standard decks right out of the gate, and every card is in print and available. If you have an audience for Magic, you have an audience for Standard.

There’s also a social incentive. Standard is the most popular way to play Magic—if a store has a Magic community, they’re more likely to have a Standard community than any other format. By getting into Standard, a player gets access to that community.

But just any old Standard event won’t do the trick. The boost is associated with specifically with Showdown.

Here’s how we know:

 

Percentage Increase in Standard Participation During Standard Showdown’s First Season:

 

We launched Showdown in November 2016, about halfway through the Kaladesh season. When we did, Standard Play jumped 63%. Overnight.

It’s not hard to explain. There was an appetite out there for a more competitive weekly Standard event, something higher-stakes than an FNM but lower-pressure than a PPTQ. Plus, there was an appetite for promo boosters loaded with rares and foils. Go figure.

A twist: Showdown not only correlates with better Standard attendance, it correlates with better draft attendance, too.

 

Percentage Difference in Draft Attendance Between Stores that Run Showdown and Stores that Don’t:

 

Not a typo. Drafts.

Some of this is probably unrelated to Showdown. Stores with bigger Standard communities are likely have bigger communities overall. Hence, more drafts.

But even among stores with modestly sized player bases, weekly Showdown events are associated with higher draft attendance. One likely reason is that Standard fans—or fans drawn to Standard when a new option appears, like Showdown—need front-list product. Drafting is a good way to get it.

Especially considering the promo booster contents are all Standard-legal.

Which brings us to:

 

Percentage of Standard Play that Could Get Prize Support from Wizards, but Doesn’t:

 

Run Standard at FNM and you get promo cards. Run Standard Showdown and you get promo boosters. And all our advertising will point players at Standard Showdown, specifically—so you get the full force of Wizards’ marketing engine behind you.

Run Standard in almost any other form and you get zilch.

So why not sign up and get support?

Scheduling for Guilds of Ravnica, including Standard Showdown, closes August 13.

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