10/2/2009 LD: "Places to Go and Things to Do"

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

The solution fo the 5/5, 4/4, 3/3, 2/2, 1/1 conundrum is simple: Put +1/+1 counters on the 5/5, 4/4, 3/3, and 2/2. Block the 5/5 with your new 6/6, the 4/4 with your new 5/5, the 3/3 with your new 4/4, the 2/2 with your new 3/3, and the 1/1 with your 1/1. Kills all their creatures and you only lose your smallest one.


The solution fo the 5/5, 4/4, 3/3, 2/2, 1/1 conundrum is simple: Put +1/+1 counters on the 5/5, 4/4, 3/3, and 2/2. Block the 5/5 with your new 6/6, the 4/4 with your new 5/5, the 3/3 with your new 4/4, the 2/2 with your new 3/3, and the 1/1 with your 1/1. Kills all their creatures and you only lose your smallest one.




One little problem: the attacker has access to the +1/+1 counters, not you.

Best I can think of is to block the 5/5 with the 1/1, then block their 4/4 with your 5/5, their 3/3 with your 4/4, etc...  If you do that, I think their best choice is to put a +1/+1 counter on each of the smaller creatures, and after damage is done, they have a 5/5 and you have nothing.  still not the best situation, but could be worse.


Best I can think of is to block the 5/5 with the 1/1, then block their 4/4 with your 5/5, their 3/3 with your 4/4, etc...  If you do that, I think their best choice is to put a +1/+1 counter on each of the smaller creatures, and after damage is done, they have a 5/5 and you have nothing.  still not the best situation, but could be worse.


If you did that, shouldn't they put 2 counters on their 4/4 and 3/3, leaving them with a 6/6 and two 5/5s, and you with a 3/3 and 2/2?  Seems like a better outcome for them.

It's horrible, but I'd probably go one notch further down, in the interests of not letting them save the creatures that they add the counters to.  Block the 3/3 with your 5/5, the 2/2 with your 4/4, and the 1/1 with your 3/3.  Chump block the 5/5 with your 1/1 if you must, and let the 4/4 through.  This way you maul their team a bunch more, at the expense of a bit more damage.  If they choose to kill both your 5/5 and 4/4, they're left with only a 5/5 and 4/4, not the 6/6, 5/5, 5/5 they had in your scenario (although you do take four damage).

Thanks to everyone who helped with the design of the plane of Golamo in the Great Designer Search 2!
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It's weird they would introduce colored artifacts in the previous block, and apparenly not consider them an option anymore.  For the record, I support colored artifacts under the condition that some day they come up with a design strategy that carves out some unique design space for (non-aura) enchantments.

The ruins in the first pic kinda look like the Imperial City in Oblivion.

Imagine that I control an enchantment that says "Sacrifice CARDNAME: Divide four +1/+1 counters among up to four target creatures." I attack you with a 5/5, a 4/4, a 3/3, a 2/2, and a 1/1. You also control a 5/5, 4/4, 3/3, 2/2, and 1/1. Even if neither of us have cards in hand and none of the creatures have relevant abilities, how are you supposed to block?


In case anyone wondered, the number of ways to choose blockers in this scenario (including choosing blockers that don't block) is 5^6=15,625.  The number of ways the attacker can choose to place counters is 5(multichoose)4=70.  That's a total of 1,093,750 possible combinations.


It's weird they would introduce colored artifacts in the previous block, and apparenly not consider them an option anymore.  For the record, I support colored artifacts under the condition that some day they come up with a design strategy that carves out some unique design space for (non-aura) enchantments.




Wondered the same thing ^^;

"Chessiness" here refers to on-board complexity. Imagine that I control an enchantment that says "Sacrifice CARDNAME: Divide four +1/+1 counters among up to four target creatures." I attack you with a 5/5, a 4/4, a 3/3, a 2/2, and a 1/1. You also control a 5/5, 4/4, 3/3, 2/2, and 1/1. Even if neither of us have cards in hand and none of the creatures have relevant abilities, how are you supposed to block? This is a very difficult question, and even if you do find a good answer, it probably takes you a long time to find it. We don't like inflicting difficulty of this magnitude on players because Magic has plenty of complexity in it without these kinds of situations, and the complexity that Magic already offers is more fun than situations like this.


Good idea on nerfing that card: that exact situation occurs all the time!


Seriously though, it worries me that I keep seeing cards/rules that encourage decison making get toned down. It looks to me that sometimes you're resting on your past work to retain the more knowledgable players, thinking that because Magic has been complex in the past that it shall always be so.


I hope that's just my cynicism talking! 

I find it odd that they had to test the blue quest at U to see if it was too powerful. Why would it be? It doesn't do anything. I think too that five is really too many for the white quest - Steelshaper's Gift is really a lot better (I know it doesn't put it into play, but still).


Good call on the Gemblades, I think it would have been obnoxious if you could divide the counters.


I have to say, even though they did get stronger, a lot of the expeditions and quests still seem quite bad. The black ones are all great, but the white expedition and quest are both terrible in my opinion, and the blue ones are similarly bad. The Ior Ruin Expedition could have cost U and still been pretty much worse than Ancestral Visions. Seems much better to just pay 1 more for Divination. I can't help but wish they had been powered up a little more, because I really like the idea of them.


I find it odd that they had to test the blue quest at U to see if it was too powerful.




I KNOW!!!! i read "It did not test too powerfully at one mana, so we left it there" and i was thinking, how exactly could this be too powerful? it's a niche card that is generally unplayable except in some kind of combo or something. it's extremely weak in every way.


the "chessiness" thing is irritating to me. so what if the optimal play is difficult to determine? the card would have been fun to play, in my opinion. the people who care about optimal play are likely to figure it out and be happy about it, and the people who don't are likely to spray their counters willy nilly and enjoy it. or NOT PLAY THE CARD. i really don't understand the downside.

I read the "chessiness" comment as "this will slow down games, particularly if it's a powerful Limited card".  It's not so much a problem that the card requires careful planning, it's that every time it comes up you have to rethink everything, potentially for several turns in a row, so it's a drag on gameplay. 


It's one of those on board tricks where the opponent has to think every turn about how bad he can get wrecked, and in a lot of Limited situations (where you can't necessarily choose to not play the card), it's very tough to play against.


I read the "chessiness" comment as "this will slow down games, particularly if it's a powerful Limited card".  It's not so much a problem that the card requires careful planning, it's that every time it comes up you have to rethink everything, potentially for several turns in a row, so it's a drag on gameplay. 


It's one of those on board tricks where the opponent has to think every turn about how bad he can get wrecked, and in a lot of Limited situations (where you can't necessarily choose to not play the card), it's very tough to play against.




This, limited play can drag on, and geting "5-turns" called feels worse then losing some option in the long run.


Combat tricks shouldn't sit around and act like rattlesnakes in limited, especally ones like that, they should have a lot more of an element of suprise, as is the flavor is fine, although it should have been Quest for the Gemblade, singular.

"The other part of the solution was to require one action to be taken repeatedly rather than use a long list of different single requirements. Each time the action was taken, we would put a counter on the quest, and the quest was complete when there were enough counters on it."


The old design "felt better" but I'm SURE this method is simpler and less annoying.  Thumbs up for having fun.

I'm sort of curious, did Quest for the Holy Relic originally require you to play three creatures, then the art got comissioned and it changed to five?  Not that it's a big deal, just curious.

I find it odd that they would R&D 4 of the 5 the quests down to 1 colored mana, but leave the green one at 1G.  If it was too powerful for G, surely the counters or effect could have been adjusted to put it in line with the others?  Seems like it's punishing greens 1st turn drops, even with its mana accelerators.


 


I find it odd that they would R&D 4 of the 5 the quests down to 1 colored mana, but leave the green one at 1G.  If it was too powerful for G, surely the counters or effect could have been adjusted to put it in line with the others?  Seems like it's punishing greens 1st turn drops, even with its mana accelerators.


 




i agree it would have been more satisfying if they all cost 1, but i don't understand how it's punishing green's 1 drops. if anything, it seems like it's the only one NOT punishing 1 drops. turn 1 you play your 1/1, turn two play the quest and attack.

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