9/18/2009 LD: "This Land Is Your Land"

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This thread is for discussion of this week's Latest Developments, which goes live Friday morning on magicthegathering.com.

Emeria, the Sky Ruin (given as a choice in "what's your favorite land?") isn't in the visual spoiler Frown


Emeria, the Sky Ruin (given as a choice in "what's your favorite land?") isn't in the visual spoiler



CTRL-F "reveal" scroll up

55% either like or love the current Standard?  Well shut me up.


When the return of last year's Merfolk deck is seen as "rogue", when Faeries and 5cc (now with Baneslayer!) still consistently T8, and Vivid-fueled Jund Mannequin is the only thing that qualifies as new, that to me is a stangnant environment.  But I can't argue with a majority who like it.

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.

I don't really like Emeria much, mostly because I already have visions of obnoxious endgames revolving around a land (something which is a pain to get rid of). I much prefer the red one; it makes your mountains into lightning bolts, which is powerful, but once it is done, it is done; sure, there are ways to exploit it, but they're interesting. Emeria is boring in its straightforwardness, and you don't have to do anything to exploit it; you just plya a mono-white deck, then on turn 8 (well, probably a bit later than that) once you hit the requisite number of plains it turns into Debtor's Knell. That's why I don't like it as much; there's really not as much interesting stuff to do with it, and a lot of the time it is not going to be played as part of a combo but just a "I win if I hit 7 plains" card. Its not even legendary, so there's no question of running them.


The only real question is "Will my deck be monowhite?" And I DO like that it supports monocolor play. However, I like the red one better for the aforementioned reasons.


Not that the Sky Ruins are a bad card, but more it just seems like an annoying card in some games. I'm also a bit disappointed the green rare land doesn't seem to encourage you to play mono-green.

I agree.  I think Crypt of Agadeem is the most interesting of the cards.  It has build-around potential, not just "go a little slower in exchange for big payoffs later".


The Sky Ruin that brings creatures back probably isn't broken in constructed for its mono-whiteness, but I can see it being pretty annoying in casual.  LD isn't something you usually want to have in casual multiplayer (because most likely all it will do is shut someone who is already losing out of the game, not solve an actual threatening problem).  However, this card really punishes you for not having it.


At least these lands come into play tapped and aren't strictly better than basics!  Would be more flavorful if they were Legendary, though.

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...

Whatever the Blue one is going to be, it is my favourite simply for being a rare blue land.

I take it Tom is focusing on the "good" and fished for the "bad" in some nod to the critics who've voiced their disaproval of the way things were going. I am guessing that the rules changes, not the design of M10, is responsible for the fact that over 1/5th of poll respondents said they aren't playing after it. this is nearly a quarter of respondents, while only a bit over half said that they at least liked M10 in Standard. I find it most amazing that Tom, in need to focus on that good that I mentioned, did not mention the negative showing in his poll. Is he surprised? Is WotC surprised that almost a quarter of the polled players stopped playing? Note that it doesn't just cover people who didn't play at all, but stopped (which is why precise wording is king, Tom, not your slipshod "whatever seems closest" philosophy).

"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)

Bah, "Hide Signatures" is no longer working .


I take it Tom is focusing on the "good" and fished for the "bad" in some nod to the critics who've voiced their disaproval of the way things were going. I am guessing that the rules changes, not the design of M10, is responsible for the fact that over 1/5th of poll respondents said they aren't playing after it. this is nearly a quarter of respondents, while only a bit over half said that they at least liked M10 in Standard. I find it most amazing that Tom, in need to focus on that good that I mentioned, did not mention the negative showing in his poll. Is he surprised? Is WotC surprised that almost a quarter of the polled players stopped playing? Note that it doesn't just cover people who didn't play at all, but stopped (which is why precise wording is king, Tom, not your slipshod "whatever seems closest" philosophy).





I think you're projecting a bit here. Only 2ish% say they hate it and 4ish% say they don't like it. Don't play is not the same as don't like/unhappy. I'm not playing Standard, and it's not for any special anti-rules reason. I just don't play Standard. Is it any surprise that 1/5 of people who play Magic in some fashion have been playing draft or vintage or casual instead? 

It may have been better to include an "I stopped playing" vs "I don't play Standard" option, but I think that may have been hard to phrase without translating into a "I hate the new rules and I'm mad about it" option, and people may have selected that instead of "It's not great" when they've actually been playing and like it okay, because they're still upset about the rules.


I think the recent push of utility and decidedly non-epic mythic rares is worth criticizing them over, but the rules changes have barely come up in any of the games I play. Removing one area of decisionmaking in an area that comes up 1% of the time does not ruin the game.


I don't really like Emeria much, mostly because I already have visions of obnoxious endgames revolving around a land (something which is a pain to get rid of).



This assumes that lands are hard to get rid of. I think this format is clearly going to reward land destruction, not as a mana-deprivation strategy (indeed, with people playing extra lands and land acceration that may work even more poorly than usual) but as the same kind of targeted sideboard removal we normally see for artifacts and enchantments.

I was hoping to hear why we didn't get a enemy-colored cycle of the Invasion dual lands in Zendikar, rather than the +1 reprints. I'd have thought people would have been asking for those for years now, too. If they haven't:


Dear Wizards, why haven't you printed a cycle of lands that enter the battlefield tapped and produce two enemy colors of mana? Placed at uncommon, these could be very dersirable to EDH players and people on a budget alike.


I was hoping to hear why we didn't get a enemy-colored cycle of the Invasion dual lands in Zendikar, rather than the +1 reprints. I'd have thought people would have been asking for those for years now, too. If they haven't:


Dear Wizards, why haven't you printed a cycle of lands that enter the battlefield tapped and produce two enemy colors of mana? Placed at uncommon, these could be very dersirable to EDH players and people on a budget alike.



I'd venture it's because they didn't want two cycles of ennemy-colored dual lands in the same set, especially a set that has nothing to do with ennemy color pairs. The fetches already are an oddity; it seems they're ennemy-colored only because that's what we were missing in Vintage and Legacy, and because that's what people wanted to be printed, not because the set encourages people to play these color pairs. Besides, a whole two cycles of dual lands in a set that has no gold cards and doesn't reward multicolor play in any special way is already kinda weird IMO; have they made them both ennemy-colored, there would have been something to seriously scratch our heads here. Keep in mind that allied colors are supposed to work somewhat better together and decks for them are supposed to be slightly easier to build. At least, the cycle of allied-colored duals balances things and makes it so that ennemy color pairs are not too advantaged on the mana fixing aspect within Zendikar for no reason linked to the set's themes. 

Besides, we already have our first cycle of ennemy-colored duals that come into play tapped, the trilands from Shards of Alara. I know it's not very aesthetic to play Crumbling Necropolis in your blue-red deck without black, but it works. It's a shame those lands can't be played in a 2-color EDH deck, but well, if the lands you wanted have been printed, it would have been one card out of 100 for such a deck. As for new ennemy-colored mana fixing, the fetches are much better anyway, as long as you have the corresponding Ravnica and/or original dual lands. Of course, that's a lot less budget, but keep in mind that if EDH is what you play, you only have to get one copy of each of those expensive lands, which is a lot easier than a whole playset.

Magic The Gathering DCI Lvl 1 Judge Don't hesitate to post rules question in the Rules Q&A forum for me and other competent advisors to answer : http://community.wizards.com/go/forum/view/75842/134778/Rules_Q38A



I was hoping to hear why we didn't get a enemy-colored cycle of the Invasion dual lands in Zendikar, rather than the +1 reprints. I'd have thought people would have been asking for those for years now, too. If they haven't:


Dear Wizards, why haven't you printed a cycle of lands that enter the battlefield tapped and produce two enemy colors of mana? Placed at uncommon, these could be very dersirable to EDH players and people on a budget alike.



I'd venture it's because they didn't want two cycles of ennemy-colored dual lands in the same set, especially a set that has nothing to do with ennemy color pairs. The fetches already are an oddity; it seems they're ennemy-colored only because that's what we were missing in Vintage and Legacy, and because that's what people wanted to be printed, not because the set encourages people to play these color pairs. Besides, a whole two cycles of dual lands in a set that has no gold cards and doesn't reward multicolor play in any special way is already kinda weird IMO; have they made them both ennemy-colored, there would have been something to seriously scratch our heads here. Keep in mind that allied colors are supposed to work somewhat better together and decks for them are supposed to be slightly easier to build. At least, the cycle of allied-colored duals balances things and makes it so that ennemy color pairs are not too advantaged on the mana fixing aspect within Zendikar for no reason linked to the set's themes. 

Besides, we already have our first cycle of ennemy-colored duals that come into play tapped, the trilands from Shards of Alara. I know it's not very aesthetic to play Crumbling Necropolis in your blue-red deck without black, but it works. It's a shame those lands can't be played in a 2-color EDH deck, but well, if the lands you wanted have been printed, it would have been one card out of 100 for such a deck. As for new ennemy-colored mana fixing, the fetches are much better anyway, as long as you have the corresponding Ravnica and/or original dual lands. Of course, that's a lot less budget, but keep in mind that if EDH is what you play, you only have to get one copy of each of those expensive lands, which is a lot easier than a whole playset.




As Tom said, the fetches are something that has been waiting in the sidelines to be printed for several years and happened to fit this particular block. It's like how Maro talks about card ideas that get rejected, but he keeps them in his back pocket for a better fit in a set. If you want to get cynical about it, you could say they've kept enemy fetches in their back pocket for a rainy day, ie, a time of economic downturn where luxury items need to really standout to sell.


I also agree on the need for more enemy colored duals, but I'd rather see enemy versions of these new lifetap duals.


But what I really want to hear is the design evolution of the lifetaps (and the M10 duals). I imagine they don't want to reveal too much of the conversation because they might want to use some of the rejected ideas down the road, but anything would be great.

Proud member of C.A.R.D. - Campaign Against Rare Duals "...but the time has come when lands just need to be better. Creatures have gotten stronger, spells have always been insane, and lands just sat in this awkward place of necessity." Jacob Van Lunen on the refuge duals, 16 Sep 2009. "While it made thematic sense to separate enemy and allied color fixing in the past, we have come around to the definite conclusion that it is just plain incorrect from a game-play perspective. This is one of these situations where game play should just trump flavor." - Sam Stoddard on ending the separation of allied/enemy dual lands. 05 July 2013

"For example, Teetering Peaks, above, is very good at getting extra damage through if your opponent doesn't have any blockers, but it won't help you get a creature past an opposing defense."


I guess Tom blocks your Runeclaw Bears with his Centaur Courser when you play a Teetering Peaks, otherwise it seems to be "helping" quite a bit.


-Cudgel Troll

Protip: If you're giving a poll about which unreleased card you like best, all of them should be shown in the same article.


 

About the changes to the Legacy B/R list...


Dream Halls : The lower power of the available mana acceleration in Legacy compared to Vintage makes it so that this shoudn't spawn an overtly broken deck. I think that deck will exist, most probably with green for acceleration since all good artifact mana is banned (my guess is it will use Lotus Cobra + fetchlands to play Dream Halls turn 3), but it should be manageable. New interesting archetypes are a good thing; Dream Halls with Conflux (the card) is a combo that brought some new life into Vintage without ruining anything, and I'm confident thats its introduction into Legacy will be positive too.


The testing in MTGO Classic is a valid argument here. The only bad thing is that it was done without Lotus Cobra in the mix, so the deck could get better than expected, but it should be alright. 


Entomb : This is the most risky move of the bunch, me thinks. One problem with basing such a decision on MTGO Classic is that Exhume doesn't exist in that format (yet). There's already Reanimate, sure, but it's the combination of these two most undercosted reanimation spells that makes the Reanimator deck possible.  Now, is the return of that deck in Legacy a bad thing ? I'd say possibly, because new juicy reanimation targets have been added to the game since the deck stopped being played in tournaments. Empyrial Archangel, Hellkite Overlord, Blazing Archon... But the one that has me worrying the most hasn't been released yet : Iona, Shield of Emeria. If you manage to reanimate this gal, your opponent won't be able to do anything about her unless he or she has two different colors of removal. And of course, she throws an enormous monkey wrench in any game plan that relies on one main color (like, you know, the vast majority of game plans in the game...).


I'm not sure what other deck would get a boost or get revived by that unbanning... It's good for loam decks I guess, but otherwise ? I'm sure it's possible to come up with something more creative than Reanimator, I just don't know what.


Metalworker : A reasonable decision, and one that thrills me ! I've always loved Metalworker since when I was playing a mono-artifact deck in Vintage with it, which included the combo with Staff of Domination. Now I really feel like building that deck again for Legacy (with less broken artifact mana and a tad of blue). I wonder what decks involving Metalworker the legagy community will come up with.

Magic The Gathering DCI Lvl 1 Judge Don't hesitate to post rules question in the Rules Q&A forum for me and other competent advisors to answer : http://community.wizards.com/go/forum/view/75842/134778/Rules_Q38A

As someone who personally knew Brian Baker and was saddened when he passed on, I'm glad to see that he got a mention in a dailymtg.com article.

I like the Vastwood land the most I guess. I like that it does encourage mono colored play. They're all interesting, but none of these lands really stuck the flavor of the set though. The theme is supposed to be some Magic themed Indiana Jones styled adventure, right? I was expecting the rare cycle of lands to feel more like I was getting something inside. These feel like I get there, install a Jacuzzi and chill out after raiding the fridge. I guess I was hoping for a development of or something closer to the Hideaway mechanic. Making the land card interact with a completely separate card makes the difference for me I guess.


But whatever, the flavor of this set got me excited, but a little let down isn't going to keep me awake at night crying.

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55% either like or love the current Standard?  Well shut me up.


When the return of last year's Merfolk deck is seen as "rogue", when Faeries and 5cc (now with Baneslayer!) still consistently T8, and Vivid-fueled Jund Mannequin is the only thing that qualifies as new, that to me is a stangnant environment.  But I can't argue with a majority who like it.




This. Either people that vote just play casual or we all have lowered our expectations.


Back in the affinity days, the format was terrible but Forsythe was bold enough to admit it and talk openly about it when they didn't ban anything and then when they did the massive banning. Today, Faeries and the vivids have been so poorly managed so they have kept being the main force of standard for more than a year and yet in the face of the facts (decks winning the top8s) each time Tom talks about Standard it's just to say how wonderful it is. Stuff like this breaks the confidence on developers; now Standard is going to be fully composed of these smaller sets and blocks, which can be potentially more simple than before, but no matter how bad it may result, it seems that WotC is going to be defending it despite how competitive players see it.


Zendikar looks fun on the surface now that they have finally take out multicolored from their heads. My only complaint is that if lands are going to be more relevant than before, the removal should be on par, but it seems that they still keep the Yawning Fissure mindset about LD being so unfun that all forms of it should be blatantly unplayable. Wasteland, Stone rain and Armageddon are some cards that, if they happen to fit in a set, this is it.


 

If Limited gets in the way of printing good Constructed cards... Screw limited



I take it Tom is focusing on the "good" and fished for the "bad" in some nod to the critics who've voiced their disaproval of the way things were going. I am guessing that the rules changes, not the design of M10, is responsible for the fact that over 1/5th of poll respondents said they aren't playing after it. this is nearly a quarter of respondents, while only a bit over half said that they at least liked M10 in Standard. I find it most amazing that Tom, in need to focus on that good that I mentioned, did not mention the negative showing in his poll. Is he surprised? Is WotC surprised that almost a quarter of the polled players stopped playing? Note that it doesn't just cover people who didn't play at all, but stopped (which is why precise wording is king, Tom, not your slipshod "whatever seems closest" philosophy).





I think you're projecting a bit here. Only 2ish% say they hate it and 4ish% say they don't like it. Don't play is not the same as don't like/unhappy.



I agree, I think you're spinning a bit Qilong.  I'm one of the unhappy 4% but those numbers are pretty clearly positive.

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.


Stuff like this breaks the confidence on developers




Speaking of looking bad for developers, I kinda want to know why the developers felt that setting Lotus Cobra, Mindbeak Trap, and Warren Instigator at Mythic was a healthy move for competitive gameplay.


Were too many of the "wrong kind of players" showing up? Gotta keep the proles in their place, I guess.

"We will all be purified in Wurm. What is good will be used to heal Wurm, or grow Wurm, or to fuel Wurm's path. What is vile will be extruded, and we will be free of it forever." --Prophet of the Cult of Wurm

I take it Tom is focusing on the "good" and fished for the "bad" in some nod to the critics who've voiced their disaproval of the way things were going. I am guessing that the rules changes, not the design of M10, is responsible for the fact that over 1/5th of poll respondents said they aren't playing after it. this is nearly a quarter of respondents, while only a bit over half said that they at least liked M10 in Standard. I find it most amazing that Tom, in need to focus on that good that I mentioned, did not mention the negative showing in his poll. Is he surprised? Is WotC surprised that almost a quarter of the polled players stopped playing? Note that it doesn't just cover people who didn't play at all, but stopped (which is why precise wording is king, Tom, not your slipshod "whatever seems closest" philosophy).

I think you're projecting a bit here. Only 2ish% say they hate it and 4ish% say they don't like it. Don't play is not the same as don't like/unhappy. I'm not playing Standard, and it's not for any special anti-rules reason. I just don't play Standard. Is it any surprise that 1/5 of people who play Magic in some fashion have been playing draft or vintage or casual instead?

Where again did I say just "don't play"? The poll option has a time frame concept, predicated with "since." The Poll was also about how Standard is being played. Should we get into how the poll doesn't ask the right question for the statement asked when it seems clear from the other potential answers that "Do you like Standard with M10?" asks for? You say I'm projecting, but I am asking for the potential the answer gives us, not that it is so clearly indicative of what I suggested. Or did I miss the tone of speculation in my post?
It may have been better to include an "I stopped playing" vs "I don't play Standard" option, but I think that may have been hard to phrase without translating into a "I hate the new rules and I'm mad about it" option, and people may have selected that instead of "It's not great" when they've actually been playing and like it okay, because they're still upset about the rules.

Pardon me, but with "Do you like Standard with M10?" followed by "I haven't played Standard since M10 released," implies they were playing Standard PRIOR to M10. How does it get implied that they weren't playing before M10 either?
I think the recent push of utility and decidedly non-epic mythic rares is worth criticizing them over, but the rules changes have barely come up in any of the games I play. Removing one area of decisionmaking in an area that comes up 1% of the time does not ruin the game.

Do you play control or combo games? Players who play aggro do deal with this situation, although the rules issues extend further than the combat rules changes (of which there are four, and two of which are done to interact with the other two, being deathtouch and lifelink working differently than they were originally designed for). But that's not the point. It's not really about the rules themselves, but the reasons predicated on them (simplicity for new players, sm,art players take advantage of others, or "it's unintuitive") I understand you don't weant to sound like a sockpuppet, even if you do, but there is a large issue with the rules changes that means none of the cards matter when the game changes. To some of us. That between 1/5th and 1/4th of players POLLED (not counting those who stopped responding to polls when they stopped playing, mind) indicated that they were not playing Standard after M10 released (certainly not because it had cards they already had since it was designed to sell because of new cards added in). Note that even 60% versus 40% in favor of M10 in Standard is still amazingly low for the popularity of a set designed to be the most appealing to new and old players, and how M10 has been charged with the crime of dumping "candy" like Bolt into itself to appeal to older players (not just charged, but Development has stated this as in Tom's own article on the subject).
"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)

First of all, man am I annoyed at these new forums for not letting me automatically view the previous thread so I don't have to quote people or jump between windows.


I haven't played Standard in over a year (I almost exclusively draft, and a bit of casual). I voted "I haven't played since M10" because it was true. What are all the people who don't play standard supposed to write in the poll? The only solutions is to include an "I don't play Standard, period" option, or something similar. In any given poll there's a lot of options that don't get included because there's only so many you can include. That's unfortunate but unavoidable.


My opinion of the rules changes is they don't make the game a whole lot better (I don't think that the combat rules were the biggest issue for newbies) but that the justification was pretty solid. There are bigger problems for newbies but those problems are inherent to the game, whereas the combat rules could easily be changed with minimal effect on the long term health of the game. Yes, the few times I stared at an unsummon in my hand and the inability to use it a clever way I used made me slightly sad, but it was not that big a deal, I got over it, and the future, players will not be thinking "man I wish I could use unsummon this way" or "man I wish Mogg Fanatic dealt 2 damage," they will be thinking about all the other strategies they can be using that have nothing to do with that.


And in the meantime, there will be fewer moments when they are moving from the newbie to the slightly-more-serious circles where they suddenly find out they've been playing the game wrong all along. And I think there is a value to to that. There were several moments I had (combat being one of them) where a more experienced player was using basic rules I didn't even know existed (pumping power, stacking damage, then pumping toughness) and my first thought was not "oh wow, the rules of combat are complex and strategic." My thought at the time was "that's stupid, a creature can't simultaneously make itself stronger and weaker. Meh." (I did know about the stack, so it wasn't that the whole thing was suddenly new to me)


I know that some players felt the opposite, but I suspect (and I'm sure Wizard's marketing research confirms this) that those players are in the minority. I may sound like a sock puppet here, but that's because the original reasons Wizards gave made sense and don't need to be expounded on.

wow, no one wants to go ahead and point out Novijen


 


120.6. Some effects replace card draws.

 

why are you here when NGA exists and is just better