If you look at most popular 1v1 games, there’s a specific design they share and it’s the Rock/Paper/Scissors type of meta.
If you were raised in the 90s, you may recall playing Pokemon with the choice of either (not in any particular order) a Bulbasaur, Charmander or Squirtle. One beats the other, creating a cycle of balance, never having one specific type of Pokemon stronger than the others (outside of Mewtwo/Legendaries).
With Magic the Gathering, we traditionally have Combo/Aggro/Control decks. There were time periods where all three existed in Standard, but due to being too dependent on market research and focus groups, WotC has severely de-powered most combo based decks. Maze’s End is a clear example of how they want to have Combo, but not exactly clear cut or fair enough at a FNM/Kitchen Table level.
Synergy still remains in the game, but rarely will we ever see anything like Splinter Twin or even Bloom decks in the 90s.
So when you see the recent earning report by Hasbro citing weaker sales of MTG, it’s not too surprising to see lower sales. Standard has become stale due to Mono-Black/Blue Devotion decks. Theros Block itself doesn’t appeal towards the Urban markets, much less only appeals to very niche groups that appreciate Mythology and stories.
When was the last time you saw/heard an Icharus joke in mainstream TV shows such as Family Guy or even Saturday Night Live?
Then there’s the whole fact that WotC didn’t even use actual legends from Mythology and created their own. I want to know who from marketing thought this was a great idea since there’s a reason why these stories are told through generations, not through 1 year’s worth of product releases in hopes players draw similarities between MTG’s version of Hercules and the actual Hercules.
Did you really just use “urban market” as a euphemism for minorities/people of color? Did you then continue to imply that such groups are uneducated, then misspell Icarus in the same sentence? Did you forget that Theros block was one of the most ethnically-diverse settings in Magic history, then assert that Theros was unpopular among PoCs? Pro tip: If you haven’t heard a reference to classical mythology in pop culture lately, you have not been paying attention.
I’ll agree with you that creating their own legends was a misstep, but the similarity to well-known stories was blatantly obvious. If a player didn’t notice the parallels, they aren’t playing for the stories anyway.