2/17/2014 MM: "Being Inspired, Part 2"

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

Darnit Mark, your great job at making Theros is making me want this Egyptian-themed block really badly!

"Ah, the age-old conundrum. Defenders of a game are too blind to see it's broken, and critics are too idiotic to see that it isn't." - Brian McCormick

As both a casual writer and an aspiring game designer these kinds of articles really speak to me. The most important thing behind creating anything is realizing what your goal is in creating it. This article really gives some good leads as to what kinds of goals are more or less constructive in making a cohesive product.

 

Thank you.

It's interesting that Mercadian Masques was built around Rebels/Mercenaries and Spellshapers. Rebels and Mercenaries are only in one colour each, apart from one rare cycle. Spellshapers are certainly present in all colours and rarities. But in both cases I'd have expected a *lot* more supporting cards. For spellshapers, we could have had cards that care if you discard them. Cards that trigger when someone discards a card. Cards that count things in your graveyard, especially lands. For rebels and mercenaries, there's less obvious design space for interacting with them, but there could have been a subtheme of triggers when any creature enters the battlefield (which will normally be sorcery speed but Rebels/Mercs let happen at instant speed); a theme of changing creature types (at least we had Conspiracy there); several cards letting you see the top card of your library, so you could know when to shuffle; and so on. 

They had a little synergy there, like Conspiracy would let every card be a Mercenary or Cornered Market could be circumvented by sneaking Rebels in.  Less so on Spellshapers, though they were an underestimated effect.  At least that synergized with the next block's graveyard theme.

 

But yes, it just wasn't the days of build-by-set.  It was more "Are there enough cards for a set?  Let's go, then."  Bear in mind the block before this was an enchantment theme so unsupported that most people didn't realize it existed.

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.

Lol, so literally the two things that made Onslaught block interesting (imho as a newer player) were both added by Mark Rosewater late in the game. Magic will die when Maro leaves.

I enjoyed Maro's article, but had a nitpick with Trick's (or whoever) choice of art. I would have expected to see art from each of the block's Maro was discussing instead of just Theros block.