The Information Age has brought about many changes in our lives, even in the most unexpected areas. Magic the Gathering is no exception and the Internet has deeply affected the experience of playing the game. No, I'm not referring to the handful of digitized versions of MTG out there, I mean the collectible card game available at your favorite local comic shop. ;p
Why does this matter? Well, if you decide to try out the "sealed deck" or "draft" formats of Magic, the difference is obvious. The idea behind playing the aforementioned game types is to highlight strategy and adaptability. When you have a "preview" of the full set, you get to make plans and contingency plans ahead of time. Not only that, but it makes some players dissatisfied with the contents of their pack simply because they didnt' pull the hottest card in the set. If they didn't see what they don't have, they might appreciate what they do and learn to use it. Rather than facing variations of the same combos, we might see more creativity out there. I'm not saying it makes Magic any worse, but like peeking at presents, it dampens the experience.
That being said, Scars of Mirrodin, the newest set of Magic is due out on October 1 and looks to be a dynamic and fresh set. With new mechanics infect, metalwork, and proliferate, there are too many reasons to give this set a try.