1/27/2014 MM: "Born to be Compiled, Part 1"

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This thread is for discussion of this week's Making Magic, which goes live Monday morning on magicthegathering.com.

This article is garbage. I am sick and tired of the excuses pandered by MaR---what do you mean, I haven't read the article?! i'm fairly certain the article that is clear and clean in my mind is the exact same one that will be posted in a few hours from now, and all of my criticisms will be true, honest, and not tempered by the fact that I'm a born cynic and critic!

 

(On a lighter note, his explanation for the perfectly legitimate costing of Brimaz is on the mark! Who'd have thought?!)

"Possibilities abound, too numerous to count." "Innocent, unbiased observation is a myth." --- P.B. Medawar (1969) "Ever since man first left his cave and met a stranger with a different language and a new way of looking at things, the human race has had a dream: to kill him, so we don't have to learn his language or his new way of looking at things." --- Zapp Brannigan (Beast With a Billion Backs)

So MaRo writes:

 

"One of the themes of today's article is how many things got designed in Theros design but then didn't end up in the file. Another such card was King Midas. He is the man who was granted the ability by the gods to turn anything he touched into gold, only to realize the horrible deal he had struck."

 

One of my themes this whole block, and the only reason I've been so critical, is that WotC shows how little they know, or think they know and push for the sake of showing it off, about Greek folklore and mythology. Here's another example. This slapdash idea of how the stories work and even their contents is fine when you have minotaurs sprouting everywhere despite there only ever being ONE in the stories, in the midst of a giant labyrinth (rather, THE labyrinth), isn't really one: the Minotaur tribe needed more fun, and it's not a concession being made that WotC is somehow implying minotaurs were everywhere. But again, this one is different.

 

Midas didn't get his gift from the gods. Not even really ONE god, though the myths are sometimes a little convoluted. He either got it from a satyr, Silenus, whom he saved from starvation by feeding, clothing, sheltering; or from dionysos, who wasn't always actually a "god." (The dude is often only a PART of the pantheon, and often times never mentioned; or confused with the Satyr Pan as a god of the wild lands.) He was practicing good Greek hospitality, a feature of the circum-Mediterranean cultures that treated strangers as good (or better) than your own family, a fault of good manners which would bring the wrath of gods (or spirits) down. Midas, in return, got a little greedy and the consequences are well known. This card is the consequence of that action, but the story MaRo peddles is a consequence of his ignorance.

 

On his blog, MaRo had this pointed out to him, when a reader cleverly punned his way into the question about noting that "Nobody slew the cyclops," a reference to Eye Gouge. And Nobody did; that was the name Ulyxes gave to the Cyclops when he was blinded so that Ulyxes could save his crew. Ah, the Odyssey; so many possibilities. It's okay to take with good graces the faults one makes when, after two years, the design stories are being related post the actual design. If I want to sit there and debate the contents of the Silmarillion, I'd better have the actual book out to point out my sources, else I deserve condemnation if I say, for example, there was a globe of light or the Two Trees were some kind of forest, blah blah blah. We think of Ungoliant as a spider because of Shelob and the spawn of Mirkwood, but does it actually say that in the Silmarillion? Can you say Tolkein described her that way in the book in which she is described? Is she actually described? How about checking.

 

 

"Possibilities abound, too numerous to count." "Innocent, unbiased observation is a myth." --- P.B. Medawar (1969) "Ever since man first left his cave and met a stranger with a different language and a new way of looking at things, the human race has had a dream: to kill him, so we don't have to learn his language or his new way of looking at things." --- Zapp Brannigan (Beast With a Billion Backs)

The only Trampling 2/2 for 2 mana ever made is Kavu Predator.  And yet at 1/1 we've had Defiant Elf, Llanowar Elite, and now Charging Badger.  I think the "joke" aspect is more significant than MaRo lets on, because a bear is more playable on it's own while still sending the "build me up" message.

 

 

If you're on MTGO check out the Free Events via PDCMagic and Gatherling.

Other games you should try:
DC Universe Online - action-based MMO.  Free to play.  Surprisingly well-designed combat and classes.

Planetside 2 - Free to play MMO-meets-FPS and the first shooter I've liked in ages.
Simunomics - Free-to-play economy simulation game.

Anybody notice this:

 

Felhide Brawler is one of the results of this conversation. The compromise was that there could be a few Minotaurs that were compromised in some way to flavorfully justify them being slightly smaller (and thus cheaper). And thus, Born of the Gods has the first Theros block two-drop Minotaur. 

 

So... what happened to Deathbellow Raider?  Because it was released in Theros, is a 2-drop, and is a Minotaur.  Being as how MaRo was the lead on Theros, I'm surprised he missed it.  It's a pretty strong common, after all, and a pretty unique 2-drop at that.  A quick fact check on Gatherer should have been able to point it out.

And thus, Born of the Gods has the first Theros block two-drop Minotaur.

 

Deathbellow Raider says hello.

 

Beat me to the punch.

it should be added to the set as a comprehensive review of previous sets on some level

 

Anaba Ancestor

Eye Gouge is the perfect example of a card that shines in Theros block and is mostly unusable anywhere else.
This seems weird to me. For instance, Innistrad could have had "Silver Bullet: B: Target creature gets -1/-1 until end of turn. If it's a Werewolf, destroy it" which would have been the same card with the same strong thematic feel (although I grant you that it would probably have been too strong for that block - Wooden Stake is the equivalent really - and a Bullet wouldn't have worked thematically anyway.  But apart from that... <g>)

Indeed I think you could argue that this card ought to be in every block, rather than just focussing on the - admittedly very strong - thematic flavour which would, indeed, be meaningless outside of this particular block.

Overall the stories this time felt some what bland, not even really sure why.

Qilong wrote:

Midas didn't get his gift from the gods. Not even really ONE god, though the myths are sometimes a little convoluted. He either got it from a satyr, Silenus, whom he saved from starvation by feeding, clothing, sheltering; or from dionysos, who wasn't always actually a "god." (The dude is often only a PART of the pantheon, and often times never mentioned; or confused with the Satyr Pan as a god of the wild lands.) He was practicing good Greek hospitality, a feature of the circum-Mediterranean cultures that treated strangers as good (or better) than your own family, a fault of good manners which would bring the wrath of gods (or spirits) down. Midas, in return, got a little greedy and the consequences are well known. This card is the consequence of that action, but the story MaRo peddles is a consequence of his ignorance.

I think a big assumption you are making here is that MaRo particularly places being accurate as the top consideration. Considering that his article is routinely the most read on the site and by a very wide audience, simply stating it the way he did most likely alienates the smallest slice of readers (the Greek myth/folklore types that know it is inaccurate). The vast majority of readers will be fine reading a god gave it to him, while going into the specific story of a more obscure mythical creature will cause a number of people to glaze over.

Scurra wrote:

 

Eye Gouge is the perfect example of a card that shines in Theros block and is mostly unusable anywhere else.

This seems weird to me. For instance, Innistrad could have had "Silver Bullet: B: Target creature gets -1/-1 until end of turn. If it's a Werewolf, destroy it" which would have been the same card with the same strong thematic feel (although I grant you that it would probably have been too strong for that block - Wooden Stake is the equivalent really - and a Bullet wouldn't have worked thematically anyway.  But apart from that... <g>)

Indeed I think you could argue that this card ought to be in every block, rather than just focussing on the - admittedly very strong - thematic flavour which would, indeed, be meaningless outside of this particular block.

I think the implication here is the card name Eye Gouge not necessarily the ability.

I-rock wrote:

Anybody notice this:

 

 

Felhide Brawler is one of the results of this conversation. The compromise was that there could be a few Minotaurs that were compromised in some way to flavorfully justify them being slightly smaller (and thus cheaper). And thus, Born of the Gods has the first Theros block two-drop Minotaur. 

 

 

So... what happened to Deathbellow Raider?  Because it was released in Theros, is a 2-drop, and is a Minotaur.  Being as how MaRo was the lead on Theros, I'm surprised he missed it.  It's a pretty strong common, after all, and a pretty unique 2-drop at that.  A quick fact check on Gatherer should have been able to point it out.

This should have been caught at some point, but keep in mind MaRo often doesn't know the print version of a card because he has moved on. When he handed off Theros it is likely there wasn't a 2-drop Minotaur.

Myths of Theros: Part 1, Part 2, Born of the Gods Myths

Beta Client, "Shiny", V4.0 tutorial

Momir Basic Primer

By flavor logic, two Eye Gouges should kill any non-Cyclops humanoids, right?

If you're on MTGO check out the Free Events via PDCMagic and Gatherling.

Other games you should try:
DC Universe Online - action-based MMO.  Free to play.  Surprisingly well-designed combat and classes.

Planetside 2 - Free to play MMO-meets-FPS and the first shooter I've liked in ages.
Simunomics - Free-to-play economy simulation game.

Qilong wrote:

One of my themes this whole block, and the only reason I've been so critical, is that WotC shows how little they know, or think they know and push for the sake of showing it off, about Greek folklore and mythology. Here's another example. This slapdash idea of how the stories work and even their contents is fine when you have minotaurs sprouting everywhere despite there only ever being ONE in the stories, in the midst of a giant labyrinth (rather, THE labyrinth), isn't really one: the Minotaur tribe needed more fun, and it's not a concession being made that WotC is somehow implying minotaurs were everywhere. But again, this one is different.

 

What you need to remember about that minotaur story was it was the Greeks' way of painting the people of Crete in a bad light.  Bulls feature frequently in ancient Minoan ruins and seem to have had a significant place in religious practices and entertainment.  If you were in Knossos you would find bull images everywhere.

Minotaur as a race is something that stems from Dungeons and Dragons having to allow all sorts of characters to fight a Minotaur (which sounds quite fun).   When a person thinks about Greek mythology, the minotaur is a very iconic image.  Sure you could make the minotaur a single legendary creature but that means few people will have the chance to play one.  Creating a race of raging minotaurs serving a minotaur-themed god (who has touches of Ares and even Typhon about him) is a very flavorful way to inlcude them in Theros.  In the article he gives you evidence that players were hankering for minotaurs in the set by purchasing didjeriedoo cards.

 

Qilong wrote:

 

Midas didn't get his gift from the gods. Not even really ONE god, though the myths are sometimes a little convoluted. He either got it from a satyr, Silenus, whom he saved from starvation by feeding, clothing, sheltering; or from dionysos, who wasn't always actually a "god." (The dude is often only a PART of the pantheon, and often times never mentioned; or confused with the Satyr Pan as a god of the wild lands.)


The problem here is that there are multiple versions of myths and folklore (i.e. two versions of who Aphrodite's parents are).  The Silmarillion you point to has one existing version but even then you have Tolkien's letters describing his later thoughts on characters.   In some later versions of the Midas story, Dionysus gives the golden touch to Midas.  This is most likely because more people know of him than Silenus and the person who gives him the gift is less important to the story than the lesson: there is more joy in living things than in gold.

Amarsir wrote:

By flavor logic, two Eye Gouges should kill any non-Cyclops humanoids, right?

 

is there room on the card for that ?

 

Target creature losses

half it's power and toughness

rounded up to end of turn.

Destroy it IF it's a cyclops.

 

"see this?" ~Urlock

 

I've converted MatLab into C

Apart form the flavor issues with the King Midas story, doesn't Gild strike you as a "plant" for the upcoming fall set? I can't believe they would limit Gold tokens to one card, and I think there is enough design space there for a whole block. I can't wait to see what I can buy with my magic gold come fall 2014!

Akym wrote:

Apart form the flavor issues with the King Midas story, doesn't Gild strike you as a "plant" for the upcoming fall set? I can't believe they would limit Gold tokens to one card, and I think there is enough design space there for a whole block. I can't wait to see what I can buy with my magic gold come fall 2014!

 

"Do something: Put a Lotus Petal onto the battlefield." Might be a bit much as something that feeds into a block, especially in large quantities with diverse aspects. It would have to be restricted to mostly Black and perhaps secondary in White and Blue (for reasons of artifact-y-ness). As it is, merely getting another card, in JNX, would be enough to make the card not seem so lonely. One can, perhaps, refer to the remainder of the Midas myth, where he washed himself off in a specific river in absolution of the gift and thus turned its sands into gold. A land that sacs itself for a few of these tokens might not seem unreasonable.

"Possibilities abound, too numerous to count." "Innocent, unbiased observation is a myth." --- P.B. Medawar (1969) "Ever since man first left his cave and met a stranger with a different language and a new way of looking at things, the human race has had a dream: to kill him, so we don't have to learn his language or his new way of looking at things." --- Zapp Brannigan (Beast With a Billion Backs)

give gold to opponents for favors

 

"you may give gold to opponents" multiplayer

 

you may sacrifice your gold at anytime -mana burn does not exist

Red dipping its toe in copying - Done a few times with Kiki-Jiki, Heat Shimmer, Splinter Twin... 

 

Gild is indeed very interesting, and a mechanic with far more potential than just one removal spell, like Eldrazi Spawn. I like the idea of it being a plant for next year.

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