You can find Jordan on YouTube (youtube.com/orcsheadmagic) and on Twitter @OrcsHeadJordan.
Q1: How did you get into MtG and what inspired you to start a YouTube channel?
Jordan: I had recently left a position working for Games Workshop and was struggling to find time with a very young family to play my favourite table top. That's when a good friend of mine suggested that I try MTG 2012 Duels of the Planeswalkers which is a free(ish) app and after the tutorial I was hooked on Goblin Tribal with raid bombardment as a win condition.
Next thing I know I'm on a weekend excursion in Glasgow and see a poster up in forbidden planet saying they sell MtG and next thing I know is am I walking out with a deck builders’ toolkit in which I pulled a foil rare Dromoka the Eternal and I was truly hooked! YouTube was interesting, as being part of Orcs head, I became the MtG expert and decided to promote us through YouTube as I was inspired by Loading Ready Run (LRR) who do a series called Friday Nights in conjunction with Wizards of the Coast. We just celebrated our 2 year anniversary and have been gaining subscribers regularly which each upload.
ElspethFTW: It's great to see that you've had so much success in just 2 years! Also, Dromoka the Eternal is awesome!
Q2: As a Magic YouTuber who's been enjoying steady growth, what advice would you have for aspiring MtG Tubers & vloggers?
Jordan: My biggest piece of advice i would give is "Do not expect to make money!" Youtube is not the platform it once was the adpocalypse was a real thing and it sucked alot of profit out of the platform. That is the reason why most channels have sponsorships but even those can be risky both ways as you're representing that company and vice a versa.
Another piece of advise is make sure the content you create is something you enjoy because at times being a creator can be a grind i.e. What videos do you have to film this week? Editing? Uploading? Promoting on Social Media?. It can be very tiring and a mental drag, i have been through it myself and that's why i reinvigorated my channel to be mainly MtG based as my previous content was also on miniature wargaming (which never got many views).
Also when you are genuinely passionate about your content people will respond to that in kind i have made some amazing friends through collaborations with other channels and content creators and hope to one day reach the heights where i am shoulder to shoulder with The Prof at Tolarian Community College or Saffron Olive from MTGGoldfish.
ElspethFTW: Great advice! Basically, be community first and money last! Then, with time, energy, and passion, the sponsorships and other compensation will come.
Q3: As someone who regularly opens MtG product for the channel, do you feel like Wizards is releasing too many products for people to keep up with?
Jordan: In my mind the answer is "no" but my wallet tells me "yes". I have no issue with the standard sets 4 a year equates to a good meta and little stagnation. My issue comes with the filler products. My main ache comes down to reprints and wizards is making a duel deck, a masters set (2 with iconic masters) and planeswalker decks I don't know why we have reprint issues.
OK I know we can't stick Tarmogoyf in Standard but can it get put into a mass box to make it accessible. Hell I was on board with masterpieces until Amonkhet fiasco happened I mean they went from Expedition Lands to Masterpiece Artifacts to Invocations on Control? I mean come on were in Egypt so why not do creatures or enchantments etc. So bringing it back I do think there are too many filler products on the market as they don't bring any value to the game!
ElspethFTW: I agree that there are just too many filler products. I know local game stores are having trouble keeping up with product staying stuck on shelves. They should focus their energy on just the Standard sets, the duel decks and planeswalker decks and not come out with three or four extra expansion sets a year. I feel like they spread out R&D too thin.
Q4: Following up with that last question, do you think that Wizards flooding the market with so many products is actually diluting product quality? If so, what do you believe should be eliminated or streamlined to make players, stores, and Wizards alike happy?
Jordan: Now that's a tricky question I don't think you can eliminate a product as they are either aimed at getting new players in or getting returning players back to MTG. But I think that WotC need to look at their suppliers of the cards after recent issues of quality foiling process and incorrect card stock being used.
ElspethFTW: They definitely need to work on the foiling and cardstock. And yeah, every product has an intended audience. But I feel like they need to spread them out more.
Q5: Besides the obvious cardstock and foiling issues, is there any other issue that you currently have with MTG? Or something you would improve?
Jordan: Reprints are my only worry with MTG and if I can change one thing that would be it. Personally I think MTG is in a good place and with MTG Arena coming out I'm super excited for the direction WotC are going.
ElspethFTW: How do you think reprints should be done differently?
Jordan: I think that reprints are needed and need to happen more frequently in order to allow the older formats to be played. As buying into legacy or modern alone is a large expense.
ElspethFTW: So, you think there should be more. I agree that card accessibility is an issue and with a lot of new products coming out, I think we will be getting some much needed reprints - such as in Explorers of Ixalan.
What are your future plans for the channel and Team Orcs Head?
Jordan: Future plans are to do lots more deck techs and beginning to stream and record gameplay on mtgo, obviously going to be jumping in on MTG Arena when we can. #TeamOrcsHead are planning on going to more GP's maybe even venturing abroad for one. Also we have applied for Season 3 of the CreaYTors as we got knocked out at Semi-Finals in Season 1 and are looking for redemption.
ElspethFTW: Awesome! Hope you guys make it to the CreaYTors finals next season! And, I think MTG Arena will be great for everyone, especially content creators.
Jordan, thanks so much for taking the time for this interview!
** Disclaimer: I was compensated in absolutely no form for this interview. It was done purely for the good of the Magic the Gathering community and the goodness of my own heart ;)
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