01/31/2011 MM: "War Stories"

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Why are people more upset about Creeping Corrosion than they are about Day of Judgment? Mass removal of a single permanent type at four mana is a long-term benchmark of the game, and unlike in original Mirrodin block, this won't wipe out your artifact lands, because there aren't any. I dislike Back to Nature because it breaks this benchmark so viciously that enchantments are very devalued, as if Tranquility at common in numerous reprints weren't harsh enough. And let's not discuss Harmonic Convergence, maybe the harshest in-block theme-hoser ever.

Creeping Corrosion just makes the artifact deck question its board commitment like every beatdown deck has done since 1993.

I endorse green Shatterstorm. My objections to trample on BS Colossus and power creep on Go for the Throat don't need to be repeated.
"What I really enjoy about this card is that it's a poison granting card that the opponent can interact with whether to Giant Growth their creature or even to kill it first."

This is somewhat true, but it also causes a fair amount of confusion.  Here's a scenario from the PR:

"I cast Virulent Wound on your Myr."
"In response, I cast Unnatural Predation on it."

"JUDGE!  What happens at the end of the turn?  Does he get a poison counter?"

Players naturally think that they can save themselves from the poison counter, but it doesn't work.  In the cleanup step, all "Until End of Turn" effects go away, and then the game state is checked.  This means the +1/+1 from Unnatural Predation goes away; the -1/-1 counter does not.  State checks, and lo!  the poor Myr is 0/0 and dies.  The turn is not yet over, though, so the poison clause of Virulent Wound triggers and goes on the stack.  This means that another cleanup step is created.

Note that this is different from what happens if the creature is larger than 1/1, but has damage on it.  If you substitute a 2/2 with 1 damage for the Myr Token, the creature will survive.  During the cleanup step, damage gets cleared at the same time the Unnatural Predation wears off.  This means the 2/2 now has a -1/-1 counter and 0 damage on it and no state-based actions apply.

Because this happens so rarely, it is confusing to players.  It doesn't always interact the way they expect.
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the various criticisms of the card



This article made me gnaw on my keyboard.
Another good article, i am always interested in learning about Maro's design philosophy.  Personally i like BSC.  Darksteel Colossus is so iconic as a powerful creature that seeing the new "strictly better" version was sort of exciting. 

As far as it becoming the best tinker target i think people are overselling that a bit.  A cheated out BSC is easily negated with bounce, exile, pacifism, or countering the spell thats cheating him into play.  In addition against creature heavy decks he can be blocked by a 2 toughness creature to buy another turn, giving you time to find an answer or possibly just kill your opponent.

I also dont see how "invalidating" darksteel colossus is necessarily a bad thing.  Old cards are invalidated all the time and although its sad if you were attached to those cards, thats just the way of the game.  As more and more design space is discovered its inevitable that there are going to be upgrades to older cards.  Plus i hear the argument that BSC is so unfun because it kills in one hit, but i dont see how thats so much less fun than dying in 2 attacks, or having all your lands blown up, or dying in 3 attacks but being unable to target or block it.

Granted its completely broken in Commander but i highly suspect it will get the banhammer in short order.

The least fun cards from this set in my opinion are the new crusaders.  Protection from colors is such a frustrating mechanic and double protection is so much worse.  Ive played several RB decks against a paladin en vec and it is one of the worst feelings ever.  Literally none of your cards interact in any way with them from your removal spells to your creatures in combat.  In addition there is very little favor involved in the protection and the ability is inconsistent as it ranges from completely backbreaking to doing nothing.  It would really please me if R&D would take another look at the protection mechanic (specifically from colors, protection from other things is generally much easier to balance and is less restrictive) and decide whether it was worth keeping in the game.
"What I really enjoy about this card is that it's a poison granting card that the opponent can interact with whether to Giant Growth their creature or even to kill it first."

This is somewhat true, but it also causes a fair amount of confusion.  Here's a scenario from the PR:

"I cast Virulent Wound on your Myr."
"In response, I cast Unnatural Predation on it."

"JUDGE!  What happens at the end of the turn?  Does he get a poison counter?"

Players naturally think that they can save themselves from the poison counter, but it doesn't work.  In the cleanup step, all "Until End of Turn" effects go away, and then the game state is checked.  This means the +1/+1 from Unnatural Predation goes away; the -1/-1 counter does not.  State checks, and lo!  the poor Myr is 0/0 and dies.  The turn is not yet over, though, so the poison clause of Virulent Wound triggers and goes on the stack.  This means that another cleanup step is created.

Note that this is different from what happens if the creature is larger than 1/1, but has damage on it.  If you substitute a 2/2 with 1 damage for the Myr Token, the creature will survive.  During the cleanup step, damage gets cleared at the same time the Unnatural Predation wears off.  This means the 2/2 now has a -1/-1 counter and 0 damage on it and no state-based actions apply.

Because this happens so rarely, it is confusing to players.  It doesn't always interact the way they expect.



NOTE:  There seems to be some discssion on this amongst the rules gurus. So this may not, in fact, be the final official ruling.

This does not, however, invalidate my point that it's confusing to players.... if anything, it further proves it!  Tongue out


I am Blue/White
I am Blue/White
Take The Magic Dual Colour Test - Beta today!
Created with Rum and Monkey's Personality Test Generator. White/Blue? Go figure. I'm an L3 Judge!
This seems perfectly straightforward to me, so I'm interested to see what they rule.
the problem with go for the throat is its flavor. In a set desigend around phyrexian-mirrodin war, you are showing a vampire killing a human. this flavor fits to zendikar block not mirrdodin. you should have shown a vampire killing a phyrexian black creature. at the end they are joining the war in the mirrodin side. great card, very poor flavor.



I think that the general trope of vampires as jerks works for the card, and that most conflicts have at least some internal tension within each side, and the vampires are the most likely to reflect that, seeing as to their nature.

Regarding name, I happen to like it.

Sometimes you need your spell to be commands.
Why are people more upset about Creeping Corrosion than they are about Day of Judgment? Mass removal of a single permanent type at four mana is a long-term benchmark of the game, and unlike in original Mirrodin block, this won't wipe out your artifact lands, because there aren't any. I dislike Back to Nature because it breaks this benchmark so viciously that enchantments are very devalued, as if Tranquility at common in numerous reprints weren't harsh enough. And let's not discuss Harmonic Convergence, maybe the harshest in-block theme-hoser ever.

Creeping Corrosion just makes the artifact deck question its board commitment like every beatdown deck has done since 1993.

I endorse green Shatterstorm. My objections to trample on BS Colossus and power creep on Go for the Throat don't need to be repeated.



Except most decks in standard don't use artifacts to a great extent.  The ones that do are going to be completely wrecked while the ones that don't use artifacts are going to be unharmed.  Whereas Day of Judgement destroys the primary way that most decks do damage.  Why use an artifact deck when the opponent can just put some creatures on the board, wipe away all your artifacts (some to most of them being creatures) and swing for the win?

You don't hear many complaints about Back to Nature because enchantments have almost never been a large part in decks.  You don't hear many complaints about Day of Judgement because it forces BOTH players to start again from scratch (with the exception of manlands and other such cards).  Although Creeping Corrosion affects artifacts on both sides of the board, the people using the card either have no artifacts or only a few inconsequential artifacts that they don't mind losing if it clears away the opponent's side of the board.  In that essence, it only affects one side, the artifact deck side.
IMAGE(http://pwp.wizards.com/1205820039/Scorecards/Landscape.png)
I think it would have been really cool if the phyrexian infection had morphed the robot into an actual character; I'm talking legendary dude here. That would at least dull the power level somewhat (though it'd still be better than the original). The phyrexians might have seen a specific colossus and decided to make it a corrupted general. That's one idea. The other thing I think might have balanced it some more would have been to give it a ridiculous mana cost like 19 or something, so at least the iconic robot wouldn't get kicked out of every role it played. Its biggest role was obviously Tinker/Polymorph effects but if robot poser had a mana cost of 19 then the robot would at least trump it for ramp decks.
the problem with go for the throat is its flavor. In a set desigend around phyrexian-mirrodin war, you are showing a vampire killing a human. this flavor fits to zendikar block not mirrdodin. you should have shown a vampire killing a phyrexian black creature. at the end they are joining the war in the mirrodin side. great card, very poor flavor.



I actually totally agree with this. One of my main peeves with Rise of the Eldrazi was that over a quarter or so of the cards were about humans fighting other humans and ogres and whatever. I'm pretty sure that's not what happens when giant plane-eating monsters show up and try to destroy the world.

"What I really enjoy about this card is that it's a poison granting card that the opponent can interact with whether to Giant Growth their creature or even to kill it first."

This is somewhat true, but it also causes a fair amount of confusion.  Here's a scenario from the PR:

"I cast Virulent Wound on your Myr."
"In response, I cast Unnatural Predation on it."

"JUDGE!  What happens at the end of the turn?  Does he get a poison counter?"

Players naturally think that they can save themselves from the poison counter, but it doesn't work.  In the cleanup step, all "Until End of Turn" effects go away, and then the game state is checked.  This means the +1/+1 from Unnatural Predation goes away; the -1/-1 counter does not.  State checks, and lo!  the poor Myr is 0/0 and dies.  The turn is not yet over, though, so the poison clause of Virulent Wound triggers and goes on the stack.  This means that another cleanup step is created.

Note that this is different from what happens if the creature is larger than 1/1, but has damage on it.  If you substitute a 2/2 with 1 damage for the Myr Token, the creature will survive.  During the cleanup step, damage gets cleared at the same time the Unnatural Predation wears off.  This means the 2/2 now has a -1/-1 counter and 0 damage on it and no state-based actions apply.

Because this happens so rarely, it is confusing to players.  It doesn't always interact the way they expect.



Actually, this came up in my prerelease (I played double Virulent Wound in my deck and actually kept playing around the Unnatural Predation).
76125763 wrote:
Zindaras' meta is like a fossil, ancient and its secrets yet to be uncovered. Only men of yore, long dead, knew of it.
On an semi-related note, it seems like his "favorite tweet" contradicts a lot of the what it seems like they are doing currently in design. Avoiding things like LD or counterspells, not printing rares with drawbacks, and the constant talk of sets like Odyssey being mistakes for making players do things that some players didn't like doing all seem like examples of "trying to avoid things that people hate."


Heartily agreed. You like making things people love, Wizards? I love Counterspell. So do a lot of people I know.
blah blah metal lyrics
On an semi-related note, it seems like his "favorite tweet" contradicts a lot of the what it seems like they are doing currently in design. Avoiding things like LD or counterspells, not printing rares with drawbacks, and the constant talk of sets like Odyssey being mistakes for making players do things that some players didn't like doing all seem like examples of "trying to avoid things that people hate."


Heartily agreed. You like making things people love, Wizards? I love Counterspell. So do a lot of people I know.



Yeah.  It's pretty obvious that MaRo is pretty much willing to say anything to justify what he does, no matter how many times he contradicts himself.

@WotC - Matt  I'm sure he is absolutely incredible.  Doesn't mean I can't grow completely sick of his unending arrogance.  I'd like for him to acknowledge that he isn't the only person working on Magic.  From his tweets and articles you would think he is the only one doing anything there.  I find it despicable that he almost always refuses to admit that he is, in reality, part of a team.  Maybe head of the team, but a team none-the-less.  If he were on any team I have been a part of in my life, the rest of the group would have, no matter how talented, removed his arrogant butt for someone who plays and works nicely with others.

Also, that article by Geordie Tait hits all the right notes.  I think all WotC design employees should take a good read of it. 

@WotC - Matt  I'm sure he is absolutely incredible.  Doesn't mean I can't grow completely sick of his unending arrogance.  I'd like for him to acknowledge that he isn't the only person working on Magic.  From his tweets and articles you would think he is the only one doing anything there.  I find it despicable that he almost always refuses to admit that he is, in reality, part of a team.  Maybe head of the team, but a team none-the-less.  If he were on any team I have been a part of in my life, the rest of the group would have, no matter how talented, removed his arrogant butt for someone who plays and works nicely with others.

Also, that article by Geordie Tait hits all the right notes.  I think all WotC design employees should take a good read of it. 


Um....did you read his Under Besiege, Part 1? He spends close to half the article talking about the other people that went into making the set. Hell, the week before that he talked about how the people in development play a huge roll in making sets. Really, your over reacting A LOT. MaRo may be arrogant but no more then any other normal person.
The impression that I've gotten from most sources is that Mark actually has more influence than he lets on. He mentions being overruled fairly often, but look at the output of R&D over the last few years. It's basically his dream come true. The current block is Poison and Counters World, for crap's sake.

R&D might not be "Mark Rosewater and his team of editors," but you sure as hell can't tell that from what they've been producing. 
This seems perfectly straightforward to me, so I'm interested to see what they rule.

We had a discussion about it at my pre-release as well.  It seems obvious until you find this rule regarding the cleanup step:

514.2. Second, the following actions happen simultaneously: all damage marked on permanents (including phased-out permanents) is removed and all "until end of turn" and "this turn" effects end. This turn-based action doesn't use the stack.

So at the moment, I believe the ruling is that the player does not receive a poison counter.  It's unknown if this will change.  It's been sent to the official mailing list, so I know it has / will be looked at.

EDIT: I believe the ruling has been made that the player does receive the poison counter, as "this turn" is using its English meaning on Virulent Wound.  I won't be updating this topic further, so those interested should check out RQ&A or RT&T.

EDIT: On-topic: Ichor Wellspring is one of my favorite cards of the set.  Thank you to all responsible for designing and fighting for cards such as those.  (And yes, I'm totally a Johnny Melvin.)

As for BSC... I was initially very against it, but I admit MaRo has put up a good defense.  I'm not sure where I stand on it.  I do think it's better than Emrakul, though.
Magic Judge Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? Rules Theory and Templating: "They may be crazy, but they're good." --Matt Tabak, Rules Manager*
Heartily agreed. You like making things people love, Wizards? I love Counterspell. So do a lot of people I know.

Counterspell certainly came to my mind when I read that sentence.

But on reflection, that is taking things the wrong way. Merely avoiding what people hate, and not making things people will love, won't give people a reason to play the game. But including what people hate will give them a reason to stay away.

So making things that people will love is the important part, while avoiding things that people will hate is the easy part - but it, too, is essential.

Coming up with weird ideas to make everyone happy since 2008!

 

I have now started a blog as an appropriate place to put my crazy ideas.

I think there will always be strong reaction to cards like BSC from those who desire "gamestate equity" (for lack of a better term).  

I replied earlier to MaRo on Twitter and I'll restate the case again with more detail.  For the record, I've spent the last 9 years in the console game industry in various roles and spent a fair amount of that time contributing to multiplayer balance on RTS and FPS titles.  

As anyone who plays multiplayer FPS titles will know, there's a design tool that I'll call "the rocket launcher effect" (or the Big F****** Gun (BFG), for those old school players.) - It's also present in the grenade, to a smaller extent.  

The BFG/Rocket Launcher is a very polarizing tool.  It's usually difficult to get to, it's often the rarest weapon on the map, it's usually centrally located.  To balance out its absurd damage ratio and damage radius, it's given limited ammo and is usually extremely difficult to reload.  But the beauty of the BFG is that it turns even the lowliest of the lowest player into a GOD, even if it's only for a few shots.  

In general, we note that experienced MP players despise the BFG, and new players love it.  There are many reasons for this, (great stories, incredible special effects) but it's also tied to the same reason that we have mana screw in Magic - New players love the fact that they can randomly pull a win, that even the tightest player in the world can be pulled down once in a while.  In some strategy related games (chess) - better skill, by definition, goes a long way to triumphing over worse skills.  Luck, (or in this case the BFG) creatively applied, creates a much more enjoyable and "fair" game.  (Richard Garfield wrote more than one article on this)  

Related story - when Valve put out Team Fortress 2, they got a lot of complaints from people about the "critical hit" - basically a percentage chance per shot of getting in bonus damage. Responses broke down pretty much as you might expect - players who were more experienced with Team Fortress felt it gave away too much to the new players, and of course the new players loved it. 

Here's the thing with experienced players - they don't really need a BFG, and its presence in the game, just in principle, will usually annoy them. 

But then you watch, as they actually get a chance to pick it up, and you can see the inner glee come out when someone gets blown completely off the map with a shot.

In summary - Blightsteel Colossus is the new BFG.  It's unwieldy, there are a several hoops you need to jump through to grab it - but when you do wield it, you'll revel in your temporary deification as you leave your opponents in a pile of pulpy mush.  

Another related story -  I got into magic in 1993.  in 1994 I got my first black lotus, a beta.  I recall trading very carefully for the card since it was worth an absurd amount to me back then. ($70)  
 
I couldn't wait to get back home!  I really wanted to try the Lotus/Channel/Fireball combo on my friends. 

I played the turn 1 combo exactly one time.    

The thing is, once you've executed the ultimate combo, what more is there really to do? 

That's really the question.  

You see, I had just observed that eliminating my opponent from the game before they actually had a chance to play against my deck resulted in two things: 
1. A rather miffed opponent, and
2. A sort of deflated feeling inside.   I had found the cheat in the game, and used it, and it didn't feel very good, and I didn't understand why. 

It should be obvious now, to anyone who has played a significant amount of competitive gaming. - Cheats are cool, but for a person who is really interested in competition, they don't give you that sense of fulfillment that you get when you've won a hard fought game.  

Yes, we'll gladly tinker and sneak attack and ramp into our BFG, and we'll blow you into mush, but will it feel fulfilling?

I can't say, but then I never tinkered for the original Colossus either. 

Development's bet is yes, it will.  There are already solid tools in all formats to deal with it.  And I strongly feel that Commander will have an easier time with it than Emrakul. 

At the end of the day, Magic won't suddenly stop being a back and forth contest of minds between two opponents who are both vying against the luck of the draw.  House Rules or DCI bannings are there for a reason.  Emrakul and Progenitus and forgettable legions legend have all had their moments and the world didn't end. 

But if you are reading this, and you are jumping up and down at the possibility of cheating the new BFG into play, keep track of how you feel the first time you swing for lethal (if your opponent doesn't outright concede to you on the spot.)  

Did it feel good?  

Not "Does it look too good?" 

That's really what I'd like to know.  And I'm wondering why that's the one question MaRo and friends have avoided asking us this entire time.  
Yes, we'll gladly tinker and sneak attack and ramp into our BFG, and we'll blow you into mush, but will it feel fulfilling?

I can't say, but then I never tinkered for the original Colossus either. 

Development's bet is yes, it will.

(...)

Did it feel good?  

Not "Does it look too good?" 

That's really what I'd like to know.  And I'm wondering why that's the one question MaRo and friends have avoided asking us this entire time.



I think you've stumbled onto something here, but backwards. I think on some level they want it to feel as disappointing and unsatisfying to pull off a killer combo like this as you say it is.

Have you read Rosewater's defense of the "lucky charm" cards, or their modern equivalents, which end up in every core set even though "everybody" hates them? They're mostly there, as he and others explain it, to be one of the first things new players learn aren't as cool as they once thought. They're a deliberate stepping stone from "Magic player" to "experienced Magic player."

I think that, at least partly, they allow cards like BSC or Emrakul, cards that spawn decks that end casual games inside of three turns, to teach the exact principle you described. Watching somebody's reaction when you Channelball them into first-turn oblivion is an experience a lot of Magic players need. They don't learn why its bad gameplay until they do it. Every so often they have to print a Blightsteel Colossus to show people why the whole game can't be Blightsteel Colossi.
There's some good discussion going on in this thread.  Briefly, my thoughts are as follows:

Blightsteel Collossus: Once people realize that it isn't as good as they think, the furor will die down.  There are plenty of ways to deal with this card, even on turn 4.  Jace, TMS comes to mind.

Creeping Corrosion: People, Wizards needed to print a Shatterstorm varient.  In the original Mirroden, they tried a weaker version that didn't quite cut it, and we know what happened there.  Of course, it's clear that they thought that metalcraft would be much more powerful in Standard than it actually turned out to be, but given that assumption, the second set was the appropriate place to put the board-sweeper.

Go for the Throat: I hate this name.  They should have called it De-larynx or something.  I'm also not sure I like the card, although it's an auto 4-of in just about every black deck ever.  (Slight exaggeration, but not by much.  Expect this card to be a player for many years to come.)

And now, to add something new to the discussion.  What I've been wondering, is why on earth Into the Core exiles artifacts rather than destroying them.  Red pretty much always destroys artifacts.  Why did they choose to make it exile here?  This card almost feels like it should be white.
On an semi-related note, it seems like his "favorite tweet" contradicts a lot of the what it seems like they are doing currently in design. Avoiding things like LD or counterspells, not printing rares with drawbacks, and the constant talk of sets like Odyssey being mistakes for making players do things that some players didn't like doing all seem like examples of "trying to avoid things that people hate."


Heartily agreed. You like making things people love, Wizards? I love Counterspell. So do a lot of people I know.



Yeah.  It's pretty obvious that MaRo is pretty much willing to say anything to justify what he does, no matter how many times he contradicts himself.

@WotC - Matt  I'm sure he is absolutely incredible.  Doesn't mean I can't grow completely sick of his unending arrogance.  I'd like for him to acknowledge that he isn't the only person working on Magic.  From his tweets and articles you would think he is the only one doing anything there.  I find it despicable that he almost always refuses to admit that he is, in reality, part of a team.  Maybe head of the team, but a team none-the-less.  If he were on any team I have been a part of in my life, the rest of the group would have, no matter how talented, removed his arrogant butt for someone who plays and works nicely with others.



Read this.

While I do think it would befit MaRo to just use we a lot more, I don't think he's all that arrogant.

As far as Counterspell goes, it would likely put blue way over the top (again, I might add). The card is just pretty unfair as is. They might reprint it at some point in the same way that they brought back Lightning Bolt, but I highly doubt it will be very soon.
76125763 wrote:
Zindaras' meta is like a fossil, ancient and its secrets yet to be uncovered. Only men of yore, long dead, knew of it.
@ Blightsteel Colossus:

When I first thought about that card, i thought:
"Man, that Rosewater guy! He always talks hours about elegant design, and then this thing!

Wouldn't it be so much cleaner when it simply lost trample and cost 11?
Tagging on an extra mana doesn't change anything about the card only that it looks odd.
Because, whoever casts this will cheat it into play or have 4 Cloudposts anway. So what's the deal?"


Imagine that card was presented in the Designer Search. I think that's exactly the response the designer would get.

Then I read your article, and smiled.

After all, you ARE the man, Rosewater.

I think that, at least partly, they allow cards like BSC or Emrakul, cards that spawn decks that end casual games inside of three turns, to teach the exact principle you described. Watching somebody's reaction when you Channelball them into first-turn oblivion is an experience a lot of Magic players need. They don't learn why its bad gameplay until they do it. Every so often they have to print a Blightsteel Colossus to show people why the whole game can't be Blightsteel Colossi.



Possibly. I mean, it's not like they didn't actually play with it or have discussions about it.

I'd love to see the card file discussions about this card, to see what the thought process was.

The key to good Magic design isn't innovation. It's making cards people want to play



Yes, if you give the option to a player in Dungeons & Dragons to play a character with all 16's, 17, and 18"s, they will probably say yes, and they will probably have a good time. 

But is that what the rest of the game is really designed around?  No.  Will the other players, who don't have that awesome character, enjoy the game as much?  Debatedly not.  

Fortunately for Magic, the card pool usually abides. 
 
Creeping Corrosion: People, Wizards needed to print a Shatterstorm varient.  In the original Mirroden, they tried a weaker version that didn't quite cut it, and we know what happened there.  Of course, it's clear that they thought that metalcraft would be much more powerful in Standard than it actually turned out to be, but given that assumption, the second set was the appropriate place to put the board-sweeper.



The original Mirrodin had far better artifacts compared to this block so far.  If there were any strong artifact decks running rampant instead of something like RG Valakut I wouldn't complain because it would be fair.  However, because of this card, there will be no non-blue artifact decks and any blue ones are going to have a fair bit of fighting to do in order to get anywhere near the top.

Wizards has taken one of the major themes of the block and said that there can't be any viable standard decks following that theme.  All artifact decks that are made while this card is in standard are either going to have to be blue or splash blue in order to survive.  Black with Memoricide might also occur.

And now, to add something new to the discussion.  What I've been wondering, is why on earth Into the Core exiles artifacts rather than destroying them.  Red pretty much always destroys artifacts.  Why did they choose to make it exile here?  This card almost feels like it should be white.



Because that fits the flavor of the card, both color and effect.  It is red since it deals with opening up the earth (or what passes for it on Mirrodin) and sending the creatures into whatever passes as a molten core.  The creatures are exiled because it is very hard to climb out of a pool of lava even if you can't be destroyed.

There are of course some rather large corner cases that come up (flyers, non-artifact creatures getting caught in the hole, etc) but that is the gist of it.

IMAGE(http://pwp.wizards.com/1205820039/Scorecards/Landscape.png)
Re BSC Its a flavourful card in a flavourful set. Sure, it might be lazy design, but note that Rosewater explicitly states-multiple times-he did not submit it that way.

Re Creeping Corrosion: It completes a cycle. DoJ, Damnation, Chain Reaction, Creeping Corrosion, and Sleep. Sure, Sleep is an uncommon and Creeping Corrosion was meant to be uncommon (I think), but they are 2XX that shows what the colour does to control.
The original Mirrodin had far better artifacts compared to this block so far.

Yes. That's not surprising.

Wizards R&D - and Design - is, perhaps quite reasonably, terrified of the bad old days of Unlimited Edition, Arabian Nights, Antiquities, and Urza block when powerful instants, enchantments, and artifacts walked the Earth. Only in the relatively "safe" domain of creatures is a little trickle of power inflation permitted from time to time.

Elsewhere, to avoid the game being overwhelmed... below the past there lies a glass ceiling, beyond which the cards of today shall not venture.

Coming up with weird ideas to make everyone happy since 2008!

 

I have now started a blog as an appropriate place to put my crazy ideas.

The original Mirrodin had far better artifacts compared to this block so far.



"Better" is a hell of a loaded word. If you're talking about better as cards to play, then of course they aren't as "good," but anybody who thinks R&D should be seeking to emulate the Mirrodin block's power level has a screw loose.
There's some good discussion going on in this thread.  Briefly, my thoughts are as follows:

Blightsteel Collossus: Once people realize that it isn't as good as they think, the furor will die down.  There are plenty of ways to deal with this card, even on turn 4.  Jace, TMS comes to mind.

This sounds like a competitive response to what many of us see as a casual problem.  Jace, the Mind Sculptor is very rarely played in any casual multiplayer games that I have seen; much less than, for example, Emrakul, the Aeons Torn.  Emrakul can be a big problem in those games, especially playing with relative strangers, where peer pressure isn't so effective at convincing them that turn two Channel-Emrakul is poor form.  I'm concerned that Blightsteel Colossus will be much the same way, except far easier to put onto the battlefield quickly.  Taking away trample would have made it a much more interesting card.
Creeping Corrosion: People, Wizards needed to print a Shatterstorm varient.  In the original Mirroden, they tried a weaker version that didn't quite cut it, and we know what happened there.  Of course, it's clear that they thought that metalcraft would be much more powerful in Standard than it actually turned out to be, but given that assumption, the second set was the appropriate place to put the board-sweeper.

The good thing about narrow hosers is that if the deck to be hosed isn't commonplace, the narrow hosers don't see play, and the deck is safe.  The hoser only appears when it is needed.  Green also had Fracturing Gust in Shadowmoor - Creeping Corrosion isn't particularly noteworthy or powerful for Green.
Go for the Throat: I hate this name.  They should have called it De-larynx or something.  I'm also not sure I like the card, although it's an auto 4-of in just about every black deck ever.  (Slight exaggeration, but not by much.  Expect this card to be a player for many years to come.)

Yeah; even with Mirrodin in the environment, this card is just better than the already super-strong Doom Blade.  What were you going to Doom Blade that you can't Go for the Throat? Wurmcoil Engine? Myr Battlesphere? Blightsteel Colossus?  The artifact creatures are already prepared for your feeble attempts to kill them.
And now, to add something new to the discussion.  What I've been wondering, is why on earth Into the Core exiles artifacts rather than destroying them.  Red pretty much always destroys artifacts.  Why did they choose to make it exile here?  This card almost feels like it should be white.

I guess they were trying to introduce some variety into Red's artifact answers.  I'm okay with it, I suppose, especially when they're printing the sort of artifacts I just mentioned that dare you to try to destroy them.
Thanks to everyone who helped with the design of the plane of Golamo in the Great Designer Search 2!
My Decks
These are the decks I have assembled at the moment:
Tournament Decks (4)
Kicker Aggro (Invasion Block) Sunforger/Izzet Guildmage Midrange (Ravnica/Time Spiral/Xth Standard) Dragonstorm Combo (Time Spiral/Lorwyn/Xth Standard) Bant Midrange (Lorwyn/Shards/M10 Standard)
Casual Multiplayer Decks (50)
Angel Resurrection Casual Soul Sisters Sindbad's Adventures with Djinn of Wishes Sphinx-Bone Wand Buyback Morph (No Instants or Sorceries) Cabal Coffers Control Zombie Aggro Hungry, Hungry Greater Gargadon/War Elemental Flashfires/Boil/Ruination - Boom! Call of the Wild Teysa, Orzhov Scion with Twilight Drover, Sun Titan, and Hivestone Slivers Rebels Cairn Wanderer Knights Only Gold and () Spells Captain Sisay Toolbox Spellweaver Helix Combo Merfolk Wizards Izzet Guildmage/The Unspeakable Arcane Combo Niv-Mizzet, the Firemind and his Wizards Creatureless Wild Research/Reins of Power Madness Creatureless Pyromancer Ascension Anarchist Living Death Anvil of Bogardan Madness Shamen with Goblin Game/Wound Reflection Combo Mass damage Quest for Pure Flame Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle/Clear the Land with 40+ Lands Doubling Season Thallids Juniper Order Ranger Graft/Tokens Elf Archer Druids Equilibrium/Aluren Combo Experiment Kraj Combo Reap Combo False Cure/Kavu Predator Combo Savra, Queen of the Golgari Sacrifice/Dredge Elf Warriors Eight-Post Sneak Attack Where Ancients Tread Zur the Enchanter with Opal creatures Tamanoa/Kavu Predator/Collapsing Borders Esper Aggro Mishra, Artificer Prodigy and his Darksteel Reactor Theft and Control Unearth Aggro Soul's Fire Vampires Devour Tokens Phytohydra with Powerstone Minefield Treefolk Friendly? Questing Phelddagrif Slivers Dragon Arch Fun I'm probably forgetting a few...
There's some good discussion going on in this thread.  Briefly, my thoughts are as follows:

Blightsteel Collossus: Once people realize that it isn't as good as they think, the furor will die down.  There are plenty of ways to deal with this card, even on turn 4.  Jace, TMS comes to mind.

This sounds like a competitive response to what many of us see as a casual problem.  Jace, the Mind Sculptor is very rarely played in any casual multiplayer games that I have seen; much less than, for example, Emrakul, the Aeons Torn.  Emrakul can be a big problem in those games, especially playing with relative strangers, where peer pressure isn't so effective at convincing them that turn two Channel-Emrakul is poor form.  I'm concerned that Blightsteel Colossus will be much the same way, except far easier to put onto the battlefield quickly.  Taking away trample would have made it a much more interesting card.



As a casual player, I honestly kind of fail to see the problem. In casual, you have access to all the answers you could possibly imagine. Basically, the only advantage Blightsteel Colossus has over Emrakul is that it can be Tinkered for (Shape Anew over Polymorph isn't really an upgrade). In return, it is weak to basically everything. Journey to Nowhere, Path to Exile, Leonin Relic-Warder, Revoke Existence, Pacifism, Lignify, Rites of Rebuking, Steel Sabotage, Into the Core, Torture, Unmake, Faceless Butcher, the whole bunch. And, unlike in competitive play, casually you can actually just find answer cards throughout the history of all Magic.

There's absolutely nothing wrong with turn 2 Channel-Emrakul (seriously, do combo decks all have to be crappy and/or slow or something?). If they want to set themselves up for a double Bolt to the face, they can be my guest. On a more philosophical level, you play against what the opponent brings to the table. At most, you might ask him after a couple of games to grab a different deck. If the guy you play with constantly plays Channel-Emrakul even when you ask him not to, there's something wrong with your relationship, not with Emrakul. Blightsteel Colossus doesn't actually come close to Emrakul in annoyingness. Emrakul wipes your board even when you're chump-blocking, making Emrakul a far more dangerous late-game threat. Blightsteel Colossus probably has more than ten times the amount of answers that Emrakul has (it doesn't actually have any protection at all beyond indestructible, whereas Emrakul requires a creature-based solution).
76125763 wrote:
Zindaras' meta is like a fossil, ancient and its secrets yet to be uncovered. Only men of yore, long dead, knew of it.
The original Mirrodin had far better artifacts compared to this block so far.



"Better" is a hell of a loaded word. If you're talking about better as cards to play, then of course they aren't as "good," but anybody who thinks R&D should be seeking to emulate the Mirrodin block's power level has a screw loose.



I am not saying that this block should be emulating the original Mirrodin block in terms of artifact power.  But since the power of artifacts is lower in this block why did they print a card that can completely mutilate any potential artifact based deck for the duration of the time this block is in standard.

If the artifacts in this block were as powerful as those in the original Mirrodin block I can understand them printing an answer such as Creeping Corrosion.  If they had printed Creeping Corrosion in either Zendikar block or the next block then it would be fine since either it would leave or SoM block would leave after a little while.  But printing Creeping Corrosion in a heavy artifact block negates the point of the block. 
IMAGE(http://pwp.wizards.com/1205820039/Scorecards/Landscape.png)
As a casual player, I honestly kind of fail to see the problem. In casual, you have access to all the answers you could possibly imagine. Basically, the only advantage Blightsteel Colossus has over Emrakul is that it can be Tinkered for (Shape Anew over Polymorph isn't really an upgrade). In return, it is weak to basically everything. Journey to Nowhere, Path to Exile, Leonin Relic-Warder, Revoke Existence, Pacifism, Lignify, Rites of Rebuking, Steel Sabotage, Into the Core, Torture, Unmake, Faceless Butcher, the whole bunch. And, unlike in competitive play, casually you can actually just find answer cards throughout the history of all Magic.


The problem is that BSC can actually kill you in an instant when you are tapped out, unlike any other creature ever printed (it only needs haste, which cards like Sneak Attack grant). If that alone wasn't enough reason to see why this card is a problem, there's also the problem that BSC doesn't exist alone, but there's also a whole bunch of other "unfun" fatties recently printed that have a totally different set of vulnerabilities. These are: Iona, Progenitus, Vengevine, Inkwell Leviathan, and Emrakul.

A deck playing BSC only needs to pick the single unfun fatty he needs for every match, and done. The term that I've been hearing all these months is "Fool-proof", in that even a monkey can play this "cheap" strategy against an experienced player and win.

The uproar against Blightsteel Colossus is because it's a clear proof that R&D is out of touch with reality, having that the recently printed Emrakul also had to be banned from Commander because the "difficulty to cheat into play" vs. the "difficulty to answer" ratio was stratospherical.

Blightsteel Colossus also breaks a lot of hidden rules that makes the game thick, I've got a very fine sense of balance and I can predict easily the impact this card is going to have in the environment, and I claim it's going to be a lot worse than it already was after the printing of Progenitus, Iona, and Emrakul. Basically, R&D has ruined every single "cheat-into-play" effect for the rest of the game's lifespan.
The original Mirrodin had far better artifacts compared to this block so far.



"Better" is a hell of a loaded word. If you're talking about better as cards to play, then of course they aren't as "good," but anybody who thinks R&D should be seeking to emulate the Mirrodin block's power level has a screw loose.



I am not saying that this block should be emulating the original Mirrodin block in terms of artifact power.  But since the power of artifacts is lower in this block why did they print a card that can completely mutilate any potential artifact based deck for the duration of the time this block is in standard.

If the artifacts in this block were as powerful as those in the original Mirrodin block I can understand them printing an answer such as Creeping Corrosion.  If they had printed Creeping Corrosion in either Zendikar block or the next block then it would be fine since either it would leave or SoM block would leave after a little while.  But printing Creeping Corrosion in a heavy artifact block negates the point of the block. 



Actually, I kind of like the idea of Creeping Corrosion in another block because then at least it could be printed as an uncommon. On the other hand, it does work nicely as a Phyrexian card this way.

As a casual player, I honestly kind of fail to see the problem. In casual, you have access to all the answers you could possibly imagine. Basically, the only advantage Blightsteel Colossus has over Emrakul is that it can be Tinkered for (Shape Anew over Polymorph isn't really an upgrade). In return, it is weak to basically everything. Journey to Nowhere, Path to Exile, Leonin Relic-Warder, Revoke Existence, Pacifism, Lignify, Rites of Rebuking, Steel Sabotage, Into the Core, Torture, Unmake, Faceless Butcher, the whole bunch. And, unlike in competitive play, casually you can actually just find answer cards throughout the history of all Magic.


The problem is that BSC can actually kill you in an instant when you are tapped out, unlike any other creature ever printed (it only needs haste, which cards like Sneak Attack grant). If that alone wasn't enough reason to see why this card is a problem, there's also the problem that BSC doesn't exist alone, but there's also a whole bunch of other "unfun" fatties recently printed that have a totally different set of vulnerabilities. These are: Iona, Progenitus, Vengevine, Inkwell Leviathan, and Emrakul.

A deck playing BSC only needs to pick the single unfun fatty he needs for every match, and done. The term that I've been hearing all these months is "Fool-proof", in that even a monkey can play this "cheap" strategy against an experienced player and win.

The uproar against Blightsteel Colossus is because it's a clear proof that R&D is out of touch with reality, having that the recently printed Emrakul also had to be banned from Commander because the "difficulty to cheat into play" vs. the "difficulty to answer" ratio was stratospherical.

Blightsteel Colossus also breaks a lot of hidden rules that makes the game thick, I've got a very fine sense of balance and I can predict easily the impact this card is going to have in the environment, and I claim it's going to be a lot worse than it already was after the printing of Progenitus, Iona, and Emrakul. Basically, R&D has ruined every single "cheat-into-play" effect for the rest of the game's lifespan.



Phage obviously kills you in one turn, but I see where you're going with it (can't cheat out a Phage). And do all strategies need to be fool-proof? I appreciate the strategic games now and then, but smacking face with huge creatures is just fun. Besides, like I've said before, Blightsteel Colossus is far easier to answer than Emrakul, or any of the other cards you named. Just make sure not to tap out against a Sneak Attack deck (which I honestly wouldn't do to start with).

On another note, I do kind of agree with you that the fatties these days have become somewhat silly. I mean, you get an 8/8 for 7 mana, and then guys like the Colossus at 12. But I prefer the Colossus by far over Iona, the Leviathan or Progenitus (especially Progenitus. That guy is just a huge turn-off from a playing point of view). It has a lot more answers than the others as well. Overall, I think the Colossus will have far less impact than Emrakul. The Colossus is about as difficult to sneak into play (like I said, it only has Tinker as advantage) but has tons more counters. Also, it's not legendary and will therefore not be able to function as Commander.
76125763 wrote:
Zindaras' meta is like a fossil, ancient and its secrets yet to be uncovered. Only men of yore, long dead, knew of it.

On another note, I do kind of agree with you that the fatties these days have become somewhat silly. I mean, you get an 8/8 for 7 mana, and then guys like the Colossus at 12. But I prefer the Colossus by far over Iona, the Leviathan or Progenitus (especially Progenitus. That guy is just a huge turn-off from a playing point of view). It has a lot more answers than the others as well. Overall, I think the Colossus will have far less impact than Emrakul. The Colossus is about as difficult to sneak into play (like I said, it only has Tinker as advantage) but has tons more counters. Also, it's not legendary and will therefore not be able to function as Commander.

There are many ways to tutor for artifacts, and several to put artifacts directly onto the battlefield.  Master Transmuter will remain in Extended for more than a year and a half.  The ways to get generic creatures for free are slower and more conditional (and can also be used with BSC).

Progenitus is a fine card, but much harder to cast, and can be raced (unlike Blightsteel Colossus and Emrakul, the Aeons Torn).  In fact, Progenitus was successfully raced, in the top eight of a Pro Tour, by Baneslayer Angel.  About the only way you could race the Colossus is if you had Progenitus to block for you.


On a slightly related note, is there a point to encouraging formats with enhanced life totals, such as Archenemy and Commander, if those totals can be circumvented by the same 10 poison counters?  Or should the amount of poison required to kill be increased?

Thanks to everyone who helped with the design of the plane of Golamo in the Great Designer Search 2!
My Decks
These are the decks I have assembled at the moment:
Tournament Decks (4)
Kicker Aggro (Invasion Block) Sunforger/Izzet Guildmage Midrange (Ravnica/Time Spiral/Xth Standard) Dragonstorm Combo (Time Spiral/Lorwyn/Xth Standard) Bant Midrange (Lorwyn/Shards/M10 Standard)
Casual Multiplayer Decks (50)
Angel Resurrection Casual Soul Sisters Sindbad's Adventures with Djinn of Wishes Sphinx-Bone Wand Buyback Morph (No Instants or Sorceries) Cabal Coffers Control Zombie Aggro Hungry, Hungry Greater Gargadon/War Elemental Flashfires/Boil/Ruination - Boom! Call of the Wild Teysa, Orzhov Scion with Twilight Drover, Sun Titan, and Hivestone Slivers Rebels Cairn Wanderer Knights Only Gold and () Spells Captain Sisay Toolbox Spellweaver Helix Combo Merfolk Wizards Izzet Guildmage/The Unspeakable Arcane Combo Niv-Mizzet, the Firemind and his Wizards Creatureless Wild Research/Reins of Power Madness Creatureless Pyromancer Ascension Anarchist Living Death Anvil of Bogardan Madness Shamen with Goblin Game/Wound Reflection Combo Mass damage Quest for Pure Flame Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle/Clear the Land with 40+ Lands Doubling Season Thallids Juniper Order Ranger Graft/Tokens Elf Archer Druids Equilibrium/Aluren Combo Experiment Kraj Combo Reap Combo False Cure/Kavu Predator Combo Savra, Queen of the Golgari Sacrifice/Dredge Elf Warriors Eight-Post Sneak Attack Where Ancients Tread Zur the Enchanter with Opal creatures Tamanoa/Kavu Predator/Collapsing Borders Esper Aggro Mishra, Artificer Prodigy and his Darksteel Reactor Theft and Control Unearth Aggro Soul's Fire Vampires Devour Tokens Phytohydra with Powerstone Minefield Treefolk Friendly? Questing Phelddagrif Slivers Dragon Arch Fun I'm probably forgetting a few...
Yeah, it'd be only fair if it took twenty poison to kill someone in EDH.
blah blah metal lyrics

On another note, I do kind of agree with you that the fatties these days have become somewhat silly. I mean, you get an 8/8 for 7 mana, and then guys like the Colossus at 12. But I prefer the Colossus by far over Iona, the Leviathan or Progenitus (especially Progenitus. That guy is just a huge turn-off from a playing point of view). It has a lot more answers than the others as well. Overall, I think the Colossus will have far less impact than Emrakul. The Colossus is about as difficult to sneak into play (like I said, it only has Tinker as advantage) but has tons more counters. Also, it's not legendary and will therefore not be able to function as Commander.

There are many ways to tutor for artifacts, and several to put artifacts directly onto the battlefield.  Master Transmuter will remain in Extended for more than a year and a half.  The ways to get generic creatures for free are slower and more conditional (and can also be used with BSC).

Progenitus is a fine card, but much harder to cast, and can be raced (unlike Blightsteel Colossus and Emrakul, the Aeons Torn).  In fact, Progenitus was successfully raced, in the top eight of a Pro Tour, by Baneslayer Angel.  About the only way you could race the Colossus is if you had Progenitus to block for you.


On a slightly related note, is there a point to encouraging formats with enhanced life totals, such as Archenemy and Commander, if those totals can be circumvented by the same 10 poison counters?  Or should the amount of poison required to kill be increased?




Heh, funny how I forgot one of my favourite cards in recent sets.

Casting doesn't really matter, I daresay. Most people just sneak them out anyway. And while Progenitus can be raced, you only get one extra turn. This extra turn doesn't really help that much.

I also think increased life total formats should also get double the poison counters as a requirement.

76125763 wrote:
Zindaras' meta is like a fossil, ancient and its secrets yet to be uncovered. Only men of yore, long dead, knew of it.
On an semi-related note, it seems like his "favorite tweet" contradicts a lot of the what it seems like they are doing currently in design. Avoiding things like LD or counterspells, not printing rares with drawbacks, and the constant talk of sets like Odyssey being mistakes for making players do things that some players didn't like doing all seem like examples of "trying to avoid things that people hate."


Heartily agreed. You like making things people love, Wizards? I love Counterspell. So do a lot of people I know.



They DO print Counterspell. It's called Cancel. Remember, MaRo is talking about design principles. From a design perspective, Counterspell and Cancel are exactly the same card.
On an semi-related note, it seems like his "favorite tweet" contradicts a lot of the what it seems like they are doing currently in design. Avoiding things like LD or counterspells, not printing rares with drawbacks, and the constant talk of sets like Odyssey being mistakes for making players do things that some players didn't like doing all seem like examples of "trying to avoid things that people hate."


Heartily agreed. You like making things people love, Wizards? I love Counterspell. So do a lot of people I know.



They DO print Counterspell. It's called Cancel. Remember, MaRo is talking about design principles. From a design perspective, Counterspell and Cancel are exactly the same card.



I would dispute this.
In casual, you have access to all the answers you could possibly imagine.

Umm...

It certainly is true that long-term Magic players, when playing casually, would indeed include cards from Magic's entire history in their decks. But where Blightsteel Colossus would be a problem is neither in that kind of casual game, nor in the serious Standard competition where it would meet with Jace, the Mind Sculptor. It's in casual games among new players, who would likely be building their decks from the Standard or new Extended card pools.

Coming up with weird ideas to make everyone happy since 2008!

 

I have now started a blog as an appropriate place to put my crazy ideas.

In casual, you have access to all the answers you could possibly imagine.

Umm...

It certainly is true that long-term Magic players, when playing casually, would indeed include cards from Magic's entire history in their decks. But where Blightsteel Colossus would be a problem is neither in that kind of casual game, nor in the serious Standard competition where it would meet with Jace, the Mind Sculptor. It's in casual games among new players, who would likely be building their decks from the Standard or new Extended card pools.



But except for Rebuking Ceremony (forgot the name before) and Faceless Butcher, all those cards are Extended legal (unless I'm horribly mistaken, but I doubt that). And even in Standard, a significant portion of those cards is left. None of them are rare, and most of them are also useful against other cards. And most of the cheats are gone too. No more Sneak Attack, no more Defense of the Heart.

About the most you can say is that Master Transmuter's semi-shroud makes the guy really good. But that's simply because Transmuter is really sick (in a casual environment). And when you're playing in that kind of environment, you can feel free to play stuff like Hallowed Burial, Black Sun's Zenith, Memoricide, Thought Hemorrhage and the like, which answer both the Colossus and the Transmuter. Also, the 10-poison counter rule in formats like EDH and 2HG make it a lot better there than in normal formats. But I think they may change that (see Tom LaPille's poll of today).
76125763 wrote:
Zindaras' meta is like a fossil, ancient and its secrets yet to be uncovered. Only men of yore, long dead, knew of it.
Maro, you always speak how design should be elegant, yet you let the new colossus be printed. I am sorry, but it is all but elegant.

Plus, where is Infected Chimney Imp?
gatherer.wizards.com/Pages/Card/Details....

I always want to give cards a chance and first play with them before I criticise, so I need to give this also some time (have not played yet), still, it all seems shouting quite loudly: "We lack elegance!".

Living weapon? For it to even make the slightest sense I had to read the creative background. How many players would do that? Couldn't it be called machinery? Battlegear? Or move the keywoard to the name.

Still, I will play first before giving my final verdict, but my hopes are quite low...
I hate Blightsteel Colosus just as I hate the whole of Infect. I don't think it was a mistake to print, I actually really enjoy the flavor of it a lot. And the whole 11/11 Infect Trample is disgustingly awful for me to have to deal with it, but so what? I'll just have to deal with it.

I've taken down a Tinker-Darksteel deck, and I've ended Summoning Trap Emarkul. This is just another kill waiting to happen as far as I'm concerned.


The only thing I do honestly dislike in this set is the Creeping Corrosion. As someone who loves playing tribal decks, and mono-colored decks, I feel cards that specifically restrict one thing are awful. I don't mind the "Destroy target Red or Black Creature" cards. I get those.
But destroy all artifacts?
Well. Its good to know any green player can totally destroy my Myr deck for four mana. Thats totally cool for me.

Heres a thought.
Quicksilver Seas
"Kill all non-artifact creatures."
The flavor text?
"You've been drinking metal for years, what did you expect to happen!?"

Seriously though, I hate scourglass as much as I hate Creeping Corrosion. To me, any card that can look a player in the face and tell them that their deck is now entirely useless is a bad card.
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