Magic: The Gathering Head Designer Apologizes For Being Unsympathetic Towards Concerns About The Walking Dead Secret Lair

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The new Magic: The Gathering crossover product Secret Lair x The Walking Dead is now available for preorder, but the widespread community backlash on the cards featuring characters from AMC's popular zombie TV series continues, and Magic Head Designer Mark Rosewater has been receiving a lot of negative feedback, and questions about Wizards of the Coast's decision to make them black-bordered and legal in Commander and other eternal Constructed formats. On Sunday, Rosewater apologized for being unsympathetic towards concerns about the unique brand new product.

Credit: WOTC

Over on his Blogatog, he addressed the community's concerns and apologized:

"Focusing on the small differences between Nalathni dragon, nexus of fate, and the secret lair feels like a deliberate splitting of hairs and intentionally ignoring the commonalities which is what is upsetting players: once the window of opportunity to get these cards has passed, it's going to be incredibly hard to get them. This response feels like the communities concerns are being ignored which makes us more upset and feeling overall gaslit. It doesn't inspire confidence.
Here's my problem. My job is about splitting hairs. Chroma was a failed mechanic and Devotion was a hit. The difference between something working and something not can often be tiny executions. I try on this blog to let you see my designer persona which does a lot of nit-picking, but you bring a good point that when the audience is upset, that's not the persona you need and I apologize for that. You guys are hurting and what you need from me is an acknowledgement of that hurt. You need sympathetic Mark and not designer Mark.
One of the by-products of being a face of Magic is I'm a lightning rod for feedback. There's good and bad to that, but it does mean that I have a unique insight into what is upsetting you all. I just wrote a write-up to share with my bosses to explain what I've learned, and I want to thank you all for feeling comfortable enough with me to share your issues.
So, I'm sorry so many of you are hurting right now. I'll stop acting like designer Mark on this topic. It's just causing more pain and that's the last thing I want."

You can tell that Rosewater is genuinely passionate about Magic, and cares about what fans want or hate, and it's clear that many players are angry at WotC's decision to print these "mechanically unique" cards in a limited-time print-on-demand product.


Secret Lair x The Walking Dead will be available for preorder on October 4-12 on for $49.99/£49.99/€54.99. The estimated shipping date is January 4 to February 15.

Related:Secret Lair x The Walking Dead Fully Revealed; Now Available For Preorder