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The Future Future League (or FFL for short) is an internal playtest league in Magic R&D that attempts to test and predict what Magic: The Gathering and the metagame will be like a year from now. The FFL primarily tests Standard. There are teams dedicated to different seasons of the FFL.[1]

Originally, development created the “Future League”, which was six months ahead.[2] It turned out that it provided enough time to figure out there were problems, but not enough time to change anything to stop the problems. They then decided to move it forward by six months, and changed it from the "Future League" to the "Future Future League".

At a period prior to 2013, which corresponded to the time of development of Khans of Tarkir, the teams originally dedicated to FFL testing had been stretched thin, leading to a time where effectively nobody was testing Standard, leading to the overpowering presence of Theros's devotion cards and the ineffectual follow-ups in the block. Two new contractors were brought in to reinvigorate deck testing: Adam Prosak, who stayed and would later head up the FFL's successor; and later Gerry Thompson, who left after six months. The rapid expansion of data in the real world had begun to cut into development cycles, as Thompson noted that the strongest FFL decks for Khans were no match for the Pro Tour Khans of Tarkir decks, despite having only two weeks of testing.[3]

With only a few players and low investment, balancing continued to struggle, with Battle of Zendikar contributing exactly Gideon, Ally of Zendikar and almost nothing else; colorless Eldrazi in Modern with Oath; the infamously miserable experience of Emrakul, the Promised End, culminating in the bans in Kaladesh block. The decision to change the nature of rotation twice during this period exacerbated testing issues. This lead to the establishment of Play Design in 2017, which was dedicated to Standard testing. While many articles were published in transparency up until Ikoria, the nature of playtesting is now unknown.

References[]

  1. Sam Stoddard (April 22, 2016). "FFL FAQ". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  2. Henry Stern (April 1999) "A Peek into the Future". Duelist #36
  3. Gerry Thompson (February 25, 2022). "The Untold Stories From Developing Khans of Tarkir, Part I". StarCityGames.

External links[]

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