Sweepstakes Changes

WRITTEN BY

I'm writing to you today to talk about a change that we will be implementing for the Sweepstakes process. As you might have noticed from the announcement a few of weeks ago, I've been working more closely with the core management team to implement their initiatives for the PucaTrade community. As the Content Manager, I spend a lot of time reading feedback and working with writers from our community, as well as hanging out swapping cards and stories. This time with you gives me the opportunity to raise some points in our team meetings based on community feedback.

One of these points was the sweepstakes. There was a gap in the sweepstakes between August 28th and September 11th, and at the time questions were being raised in the community. The team was already discussing the schedule and how to proceed in the background when I raised the questions from the community. You may or may not know this, but in the past, sweepstakes cards largely came from either a PucaTeam member donating the card from their own collection, or a community member contributing something.

As we started discussing the topic of what to do for the next sweepstakes, it turned into a brainstorming session—or sesh, if you're a hipster—about how we want to handle sweepstakes going forward. We came out of this meeting with the following initiatives:

  1. We do want to continue to do the sweepstakes weekly.
  2. We want the sweepstakes to have a consistent level of quality (in the higher caliber).
  3. We want to be more proactive about sharing about the economic impact that the sweepstakes are having.
  4. We want to include the community whenever possible.

Based on these initiatives we've outlined a new process. This process will center around the Puca Sweepstakes Account. This account will not only help to source new cards for the sweepstakes (while including the community), but will also bring another layer of visibility to the sweepstakes point destruction process. Here's how it will work: As sweepstakes complete, the points that were gathered from the sweepstakes entries will be deposited into the Puca Sweepstakes Account. With these points, the account will promote trades (at 200%) for the future sweepstakes items. Each month, we will destroy some percentage of the points in the Puca Sweepstakes account.

We've already used this process for the Masterpiece Mana Vault from Sept 11th—I'll use that as an example to illustrate. The sweepstakes before the Mana Vault was a Battle for Zendikar Fat Pack (Contributed by Tim on the PucaTeam), which brought in 57,400. Those points were deposited into the account and the Mana Vault was promoted at 50,223 and contributed by TheGodPizza. Now that the Mana Vault sweepstake has closed, 392,200 points were deposited into the Puca Sweeps account. It's very unlikely that we'll use that many points for the next few sweepstakes, so at the end of the month we'll destroy some amount of those points. What this does is that it allows you to easily check in on the account and visually see how many points the sweepstakes are destroying. It also give you the opportunity to contribute and receive a strong promotion for that contribution.

The 200% Bonus

The promotion bonus mentioned above may raise some eyebrows, so I wanted to take a moment to talk about it. One concern may be that the Puca Sweepstakes account will "block" members from getting cards that they need. We will be treading very lightly here, so as not to disrupt the flow of trade. We will only be promoting a small number of cards per month—between four and 10—and we would only promote 10 in cases where we want to offer two playsets in one month. The other concern might be that paying a 200% bonus may not leave enough for points to be destroyed at a meaningful rate. I had the same thought until I looked at the numbers—the sweepstakes is a really great tool for destroying points. Check out some of these past sweepstakes:

Promo Abrupt Decay: Valued at 3,681 PP, destroyed 128,600 PP. That's almost 30 times its value!

Alpha Lich: Valued at 38,625 PP, destroyed 233,400 PP. Even this lower performer destroyed six times its value, and on the whole destroyed more than the Abrupt Decay.

Tropical Island: Valued at 25,368 PP, destroyed 1,153,000 PP. The Tropical Island destroyed a whopping one million points (45x its value)! That's over 13% of all points destroyed by all sweepstakes.

In all these cases, offering the contributor a 200% bonus would still result in destroying a massive number of points, over 10x what we "paid" in many cases. I didn't go over the numbers of the smaller items, because it's our hope that we will keep the sweepstakes above the value of some of the items offered. Let's wrap up with some questions you may have.

How will you pick who gets to contribute the items?

For the first few items, I've already reached out privately to some members of the Puca Family. Going forward, for anything in our database, we will be using the new Puca Sweepstakes account to promote these items. The first member to fill the promotion will be able to claim the 200% bonus. For things that are not in our database like the custom, handmade deck box offered, you'll still email sweepstakes@pucatrade.com for consideration.

What kind of items can I expect to see in the sweepstakes?

We are going to be very targeted about things that we want to include, and we'd like to keep all sweepstakes above the $50 value. We've already have sourced two very exciting items: A Masterpiece Mana Vault, and a Foil Leovold, Emissary of Trest which is currently running. (It was contributed by Celeborn, so thank you!) For future sweepstakes, I'd like to source some key Modern playables, typically in non-Foil. I'd also like to source some key Old School cards, like an Unlimited Chaos Orb. You can actually check out the Puca Sweepstakes want list right now to get an idea of what's to come.

Wrapping Up

This won't be the last you'll hear from us on the topic of sweepstakes. As I alluded to before, each month you'll get a report of how each sweepstakes performed, how many total points were destroyed, and what sweepstakes are planned for the coming month. This is another step toward clarity in our communication, and visibility—we hope you will apprciate that. As always, please feel free to voice your thoughts in our Discord community. Thank you for being here, and thank you for reading.

Jonathan Medina is a casual Magic player, and lover of people. He as a long history of writing for various Magic sites. He's currently the Content Manager at PucaTrade, and a semi-regular writer at GatheringMagic.com

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