DGMA: Setting A New Standard of Tournament Play

There has been great concern within the last few months regarding how a certain segment of cards in the Lord of the Rings TCG are adversly affecting the game. These cards promote a very limited approach towards deck designs while advancing only certain powerful deck archetypes. In the opinion of the DGMA – the Decipher Games Management Authority – without check or challenge, these cards will cause a significant increase in deck design stagnation as players continue to build decks guaranteed to win – and win only. The LotR gaming community as a whole will suffer an incredible rise in negative experiences and newer players will lose interest in a game that does not afford them the chance to compete on a fair and balanced playing field.

Quite simply put, these types of decks utilizing these specific cards are designed to win – period. There is nothing wrong with winning – especially at the tournament level. However, when a majority of the decks used in high-level tournament play share a large percentage of these “cards” in common – it is very clear that there is a card pool in this game which offers great strategic advantages, yet promotes a very one-dimensional train of thought, in a game which has so many untapped levels of strategy. The DGMA feels that this trend will negatively impact many future experiences in casual, league and tournament play. Therefore, they have created a new format of organized play: STANDARD FORMAT.

Standard Formant will join the “Open” and “Block” formats of play – with a very serious and noticeable change. Officially starting April 15th, 15 cards will be RESTRICTED within the Standard Format of play. Due to their cost versus application relationship to the game, these 15 cards have been carefully selected from the overall card pool as card “types” which promote a very one-sided approach to deck design. The reasons for RESTRICTING these cards are because they are TOO POWERFUL, UNBALANCED and TOO COST EFFECTIVE – negatively affecting the outcome of the game in general.

However, these cards are only RESTRICTED in Standard Play. They are still very legal and playable in OPEN and BLOCK Formats. They are not BANNED by any means. However, this new Standard Format does open the door to the possibility of “restricting” other cards in the future if they too cause a negative impact on the game.

For a complete review on why the Standard Format was created click HERE for the DGMA’s Official statement on this addition to the game.

For the Official Restricted List, please click HERE.

And of course, for the most recent rules, reviews and LotR Tournament Event information such as Premier Series Qualiiers (PSQ) and Territorials, please visit the Decipher Games Management Authority at www.dgma.com.

My fellow card gamers, please realize that in all games – especially trading card games – changes like this are in the best interest of the game – always. Healthy competition only thrives when balance in the system is stable and respected. However, before this new Standar Format was created, 15 cards upset this balance and therefore have been placed in check to stabilize the balance for a better and longer-lasting LotR TCG future. Although we may not all agree with this change, let us all approach this new Standard Format with an open mind with support and justified criticism for the overall improvement of the game.

Thanks for reading,