This thread is for discussion of this week's Latest Developments, which goes live Friday morning on magicthegathering.com.
As a Spike it is hard to always be aware of when I'm falling into the "Spike trap." Luckily there are plenty of non-Spike R&D members who are there to help me out. When I disagree with them, they can just say I'm being a Spike and discredit my position. Problem solved!
Only print the cards with tough choices that are also fun. Problem solved!
What a joke. Print bad cards like Earth Elemental over Arc Slogger because most people are bad at Magic? This article has seriously made me want to quit this game.
. The card was created by Ken during the vampire design. Ken turned over his card designs to Henry (Stern) to put into the set. Henry typed the card in incorrectly as instead of . When the mistake was noticed, most of R&D found it funny and the card was kept as is."
@AngryGazeb: Sorry to say it, but the joke is on you. Your reason for why you liked it is why everyone else hated it. Everyone else realized WotC was preying on nostalgia to make a lame joke instead of actually catering to that nostalgia.Essentially, it is the people who make the game hold the people who play the game in contempt; patronizing them.
The idea that the majority of players would choose earth elemental over arc flogger is ridiculous to me, I know very few players like that. And I play in an extremely casual environmentEarth elemental is not timmy friendly, because having no abilities isn't cool, it's boring, even for my timmy friends. They would rather have arc flogger just because he has rules text even if they don't really like the rules text they would still like to have the option open if they're really desperate.On the other hand, the Johnnies in my group will see cards like that and make a 200 card deck to fuel it. Or something else crazy.The spikes will love it because of the reasons mentioned in the article.And then the implication that control and combo decks are somehow less fun is painful to me, as a player that PREFERS to play either as control or combo or against it. Aggro mirrors are extremely tiresome for me and don't seem fun at all. I don't understand WHY R&D has decided that some types of fun are more "right" than other types of fun. I asked my friends that play aggro if they still have fun playing aggro if everyone else is doing it too, and they said no. I like combo a lot, but to play it I have to pull out very old cards. And when most of my friends are playing with Zen/Alara cards, I tire of the constant aggro decks. And I think they tire of the aggro mirror matches all day. I have a friend that loves land destruction, and he quit buying cards because of what happened to his favorite archetype in recent sets. I feel like they're doing the same to my loves of control and combo. I only started playing less than a year ago but I have more fun playing magic when I use cards released much longer ago that let me play the type of decks that I want to play (and by consequence I don't buy many NEW cards because I know I will be forcefed aggro or midrange).Again, why is one guy's fun more fun than my fun? I can't believe that market research would show this viewpoint... maybe the group I play with is not typical despite being casual, but we don't want combo to go away and we don't want aggro to run over everything for free.We want to play magic. The whole game of magic, not just Vampires vs. Boros or Jund vs. Vampires. We want to play Dragonstorm vs. Pickles sometimes. We want to play Counter-Rebel vs. Kithkin. Vampires vs. Counter-Phoenix. We want to have our token combo deck that explodes into an arbitrarily large number of saprolings to have an ability to compete with the other player's Boros deck and not just get overrun on a clock.HOW IS IT FUN IF THE AGGRO DECKS ALL RUN OVER MY FUN BEFORE I CAN HAVE IT?it's just as "unfun" as playing against land destruction. the game must always feel a little bit "unfun" at times to be truly fun. you have to be able to lose to make the game fun, always winning is boring to everybody. I have fun when I lose as long as I actually got to play a match with a deck that I like. Sure, being land-do locked out of the game from turn 1 is gay. But having to play a deck that I don't like (either, a good aggro deck that will only lose to other aggro decks, or a bad control/combo deck that will lose to everything), I don't have fun.I'm a johnny, and I'm a spike. Both of these parts of me feel neglected by current designs. Timmies aren't the only players and even they usually have a component of the other player profiles. And not all timmies play aggro. One of my friends that is quite clearly a timmy constantly plays control decks. And he's not a "griefer" timmy, he just really likes playing big splashy cards and the easiest way to be able to do that is to control firstas you may be able to tell I feel very strongly about this... this article really hit a nerve.The best we can do is speak with our wallets, and I suppose I have... as I haven't bought any zendikar at all. Nothing in the set is fun for me except for a handful of cards. The idea of landfall was so awesome, and the quests were a cool idea, and there were plenty of other cool ideas in the set... just when I look at all the cards there are very few cards that I can look at and say "awesome this goes in my favorite kinds of decks". I look at pyromancer ascension and I think it's awesome, but then nothing in the set works with it really. I look at vampire lacerator and at first I thought "cool" but then I realized that it'll just be used against me (btw I've read at various sites (channelfireball) that lacerator is not played at the top levels, as I understand that it's awful vs. other aggro decks and the type 2 format is so saturated with aggro that it's usually a sideboard card). And then there are all these cards in the format that just look like they're designed to hate me like bloodchief ascension to kill control spell pierce would've been really cool if anybody EVER played anything other than creatures that early... it'd be awesome to win counter wars, except those don't exist anymore i just want to play control or combo when my friends want to play type 2 and not have it be the worst deck possible. i don't want to get run over for free by everything. i realize in retrospect that the 5 color control of last standard was not 5 color because the mana base was so "broken" that they had to splash for everything, but rather that control was just IMPOSSIBLE without doing so, that all the control spells were spread over too many colors to make a control deck with less colors viable at all.
FungusAmongus86, I was with you up until you talked about 'mindless aggro decks, there goes my hope in skill intensive Magic'. That reminds me of the people I played against twelve years ago who thought that because they stuffed their deck with Counterspells and I played Sligh, they must be more skilled than me. They completely failed to notice the irony in that one - a lot of control decks can afford to make mistakes in games where beatdown decks can't. Anyone can sit behind a wall of permission or run out the same cards in the same sequence every game, but it takes skill to know which of your creatures you can afford to trade for damage this turn and which you'll need to hold back, whether to go for two damage with a Cursed Scroll or bluff into something you don't actually hold, and to work out whether it's worth the risk of sacrificing your mountains to Fireblast this turn or holding off to hardcast it next turn. I'm not accusing you of playing unskilled decks yourself, I have no idea what decks you play, but seriously man, aggro absolutely does NOT equal unskilled; hell, with aggro you're putting yourself on a fast clock, and it's important to maximise every turn.)
I agree maybe I was a bit too harsh on that, but this guy Matt Place really set me off with his article. I myself have played aggro decks at grand prix events and ptqs, but mostly because I felt it was the best deck. Aggro decks are quite skillful, although I will never believe aggro decks are as skillful as control decks in general, I do see your point. I am mostly miffed that we have no viable control decks in constructed magic right now or even the current limited format for that matter and apparently people like Mat Place and whoever else is developing this joke of a format are convinced that everyone is ok with this and magic is fun with only aggro decks that win in 3 minutes floating around. All I want is the option of the counterspell deck, or the Day of Judgment control deck. You can't do that without losing right now. And the reasoning is because most people find this unfun? well I find it absolutely disrespectful to the common intelligence by saying Earth Elemental is more fun than Arc-Slogger.
@AngryGazeb: Sorry to say it, but the joke is on you. Your reason for why you liked it is why everyone else hated it.
Again, why is one guy's fun more fun than my fun? I can't believe that market research would show this viewpoint...
as you may be able to tell I feel very strongly about this... this article really hit a nerve. The best we can do is speak with our wallets, and I suppose I have...
Also, stop using the word "unfun". It's Orwellian, creepy corporate-speak.
As funny as it is to some R&D members, "jokes" like Steamflogger Boss don't add value to actual games of Magic.
Should we in R&D ignore the hate for Arc-Slogger since the haters are wrong and the card is actually very powerful? Absolutely not! Our goal, above all else, is to make the game fun. Just because something is powerful doesn't give it an excuse to be miserable.
A challenge is making the correct number of Spike-only cards, which is generally a few per set.
It's interesting to note that Arc-Slogger is praised in the Gatherer comments for being an already solid body by red standards, which happens to have a gravy ability, while Earth Elemental is lambasted as being overpriced and weak.I think the real problem with Steamflogger Boss is not so much the card itself as the fact it's a rare. Without the rules text, the card is a 3/3 goblin for four mana. That's hardly a star, but it's printable. With the first line, it powers itself up in multiples. That seems fine and pretty balanced. The final line is neither adding nor removing anything from what is already a decent card, but not enough players could look past it.What Steamflogger Boss absolutely is not is worthy of being the only card in the booster with a gold symbol. Opening a 'normal' bad rare is disappointing, sure, but it's part of the game. However, opening a rare which was included in the set primarily as a joke would, I can imagine, make it feel for a lot of players like the makers of the game are just having a laugh at their expense. "Oh look... another kid pulled that contraption guy instead of Tarmogoyf or Pact of Negation! Hah!" For the record, I think that might have been the problem with One With Nothing as well. At uncommon players wouldn't have felt like they were giving up half as much with these cards (which were never going to seriously affect limited play, so that argument is irrelevant).
I think it's soooo cute that people are stuffing their multiplayer decks with life gain and burn spells. Just the other day, someone said to me, "First you play this enchantment that removes their graveyard from the game, then when you cast this discard spell, it will instead REMOVE IT FROM THE GAME!!!" I was like, "but by the time you can cast that discard spell, they'll have one card in hand maybe, and why on earth does it matter if you remove their graveyard from the game if they don't have any cards that interact with the graveyard?" "You just don't understand."
The other two cards are just bad cards, at least Steamflogger Boss has its flavor going for it
This article has seriously made me want to quit this game. If this is how R and D thinks, then the only people who should play this game are narrow minded simple people.
The idea that the majority of players would choose earth elemental over arc flogger is ridiculous to me, I know very few players like that. And I play in an extremely casual environment
I'm a Spike, but is it still only Spike if you cackle maniacally as you cast Arc-Slogger while playing a 300 card Prismatic Stairwell Highlander deck? I think Arc-Slogger has broader appeal than you give it credit for.
What's the difference between flavor and metagame-humor? Say Steamflogger would not have it's first ability, only the second, wouldn't it be the same as Mindless Null?
What a joke. Print bad cards like Earth Elemental over Arc Slogger because most people are bad at Magic? This article has seriously made me want to quit this game. If this is how R and D thinks, then the only people who should play this game are narrow minded simple people. Well, this helps clear up why the Standard format is currently just a bunch of mindless aggro decks. There goes my hope in skill intensive Magic. Better print more mill cards because they are fun!!!!!!! not.
Map to the Scary Graveyard 1 Artifact [THE ART WOULD SHOW A MAP WITH THREE THINGS PICTURED ON IT – A SHOVEL, A ZOMBIE, AND A NECROMANCER]T, Sacrifice CARDNAME: Put a 4/4 Zombie token into play. You may only activate CARDNAME if you have an equipment, a zombie, and a cleric in play.There are several reasons why this shouldn't pass Development. The biggest is that you are catering to noone. Who would want to play this or think it is clever.Make it overtly about creating a Frankenstein's monster: You need Dr. Frankenstein, a minion, and a laboratory. If you have those in play and can dig up a dead creature get to create Frankenstein's monster.But the payoff of the card is garbage. Frankenstein's monster scared the **** out of entire villages, killed multiple people, and was extremely hard to kill. A vanilla creature, even if it's 4/4 doesn't get that feeling across at all. It needs Intimidate at least, if not regeneration too.But even then, why go through all the trouble to create a Frankenstein's Monster, when you can just cast a Bog Wraith or similar for 3B? Or Zombify for 3B? Or Rise from the Grave for 4B?To sum this all up: No, never print Map to the Scary Graveyard as you have described it in this article.
with ability on the stack, Path to exile the arc-flogger.there goes 10-11 cards from your deck and a horrible 5cmc creature.for the price of 1 R and 10 random cards this card can take out a Wall of reverence which hit the table the turn before and already gave you life.honestly. Arc-Flogger is no where near as spike as... oh i dont know. Gifts ungiven? or Fact or Fiction? or Tarmogoyf.honestly... you could have used Tarmogoyf as your Spike example. That thing practically invented spike on its own ;)lol... I have to say, i do not agree with your statement, research, or methodology used to come up with that conclusion.
And that is exactly the problem. If we believe it is OK to sacrifice game play for cards that upon first read are funny or interesting, we will make worse sets.
erdana, sans-serif">There are many other "Spike traps" that need to be avoided. Another is the idea that balance equals fun. This is far from true. As an example, imagine a world where the Prison deck (a deck based on keeping your opponent's lands from untapping with Icy Manipulators and Winter Orbs) goes about 50/50 against a beatdown version of Zoo. When the Zoo deck wins it takes 3-10 minutes, but when the Prison deck wins it takes 20-30. Not only is it unfun to play against Prison for any amount of time, but even when you are at even odds, you still spend most of your time losing to the awful thing!
I'm confident that M:tG will one day have contraptions and assemble abilities.
What a joke. Print bad cards like Earth Elemental over Arc Slogger because most people are bad at Magic?
And then the implication that control and combo decks are somehow less fun is painful to me, as a player that PREFERS to play either as control or combo or against it.
Am I to understand the solution then is for the Zoo deck to win ~3 times as often so both players are winning the same amount of time?
The lawmage's argument was clever and well-reasoned,
But Blunk's response proved irrefutable. - Skullcrack
The article seems to confirm R & D are turning their back at the current competitive crowd once and for all. Now any further criticism to the health of a given format will be naysayed using this distorted definition of "fun metagame" and any demand for interesting card will be ignored because only Mensa members could understand it and they aren't a significant part of the sales.