I don’t know about you guys, but when your “favorite” deck is within the price range of a month’s rent or even a mortgage, then there might be a slight problem.
Sure, you’re going to have someone sit you down and say any other hobbies would cost over a grand easily…
I’d like to respectfully disagree with your statements. Yes, Magic is an expensive hobby. But the concern that modern is exceedingly expensive, as compared to any other tournament format, is simply unbased. Modern decks, at this point in time, have fallen in price significantly since the format was introduced. Compare deck prices in the most recent reported MTGO Modern tournament results to those in the most recent Star City Games standard open. With one notable exception, the Modern decks range from around $400 to $500 in price, while the standard decks run from $350-$500 in price.
The concern that shock lands and staple modern cards have risen in price since the format’s inception isn’t a concern at all - it’s economics. Demand has risen sharply for cards (esp. shocklands) that see no play in sanctioned formats outside of modern and haven’t seen play since their respective standard environment. Modern’s purpose - to give old cards “new life … in another sanctioned format.” - was fulfilled with gusto, and the risen price of the old cards is a brilliant testament to that fact.
As for the plan you laid out in the middle section for annual releases, you have essentially restated what wizards has already done. Many notable legacy and EDH staples are contained in the from the vault and premium series decks*, and the duel decks have reprinted a significant number of Modern and Standard staples as well**.
Your concerns about new Expert and Core-level expansions include both legitimate concerns (for instance, DOTP’s misrepresentation of what is legal to play at your local FNM), some also come off as pet peeves. More importantly, you suggest taking out “filler in booster packs,” presumably referring to below-curve cards like Silverclaw Griffin or Public Execution because “they’ll almost never see play because they’re overcosted." Perhaps you are not aware of their value in limited formats, or perhaps you simply do not value limited play, but these cards are the backbone of a healthy limited format.
Another part of your statement about “Big Annual Sub Sets" is that Wizards should “Stop printing bombs unless you provide enough answers for them in the common slots. You know, like more basic creature removal for one…” The reason so little powerful removal and so many bombs is that the limited power level is generally far, far lower than the constructed power level. Having played limited formats with a lot of removal and few bombs, I can say: in that arrangement, games do not end in a timely manner, or any matter at all. However, environments like Dark Ascension/Innistrad/Innistrad draft are rich in powerful common spells like Skillful Lunge, Hysterical Blindness, or Furor of the Bitten that behave like removal while also allowing the game to progress.
Is Magic an expensive hobby? Unfortunately, it is. But every design has a reason, and prices are determined by what people will pay, not some edict from Wizards. As time goes by, more and more eternal format staples will be reprinted, but the card pool is huge, and as long as people will spend $16 on a dual land, playing tier 1 decks will continue to be expensive.
*progenitus, kiki-jiki, rafiq of the many, Aether vial, mox diamond, nevinyrral’s disk, berserk, lotus petal, sensei’s divining top, goblin lackey, Niv-Mizzet, entomb, cabal therapy, reanimate, animate dead, dread return, grim lavamancer, figure of destiny, chain lightning, and price of progress to name a few.
**Path to exile, anger, Qasali pridemage, lightning helix, shriekmaw, undermine, deep analysis, rise//fall, knight of the reliquary, silver knight, loxodon warhammer, seething song, Elspeth, Knight-errant, swords to plowshares, steel overseer, master of etherium, echoing truth, thirst for knowledge, artifact lands, to name a sample.