2/22/2010 MM: "Spin-Off to See the Wizards"

24 posts / 0 new
Last post
This thread is for discussion of this week's Making Magic, which goes live Monday morning (after the holiday break) on magicthegathering.com.

I've really been feeling like my old Saproling Infestation deck from Invasion Block (almost took it to a PTQ, I think it was solid) is ready for an update.  It could have been "improved" a long time ago, of course, but that would just have involved taking most or all of the existing cards out of it, including the Saproling Infestations, and it wouldn't be the same deck anymore.  The kicker cards in Time Spiral block did nothing to change that.  Zendikar and Worldwake, however, have lots of good stuff for an aggressive GRwb kicker deck.  So much, in fact, that I'm not sure what to include!


Standouts from the original deck included Saproling Infestation, Kavu Titan, Skizzik, Thornscape Battlemage, Emblazoned Golem, and the often underrated Primal Growth!  How come Primal Growth wasn't reprinted in Zendikar?  It seems perfect for the set.

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...
I think when you say corollary you mean exception.   A corollary is a natural statment that is cotained  or easily follows from a previous one.  The statment you gave is the antithese of the previous one.  This is all.
An example of introducing a spin-off series within another TV show, which also did not result in the spin-off actually coming to fruition, that would have been more familiar to many than your Brady Bunch example, is, of course, the famous Star Trek episode which featured Teri Garr (as Roberta Lincoln): "Assignment: Earth". And for one that did happen, there is "Laverne and Shirley" as a spin-off of "Happy Days" as perhaps the most famous case.

Coming up with weird ideas to make everyone happy since 2008!

 

I have now started a blog as an appropriate place to put my crazy ideas.

Happy Days was itself a spinoff of Love, American Style.
For one that's still on the air, NCIS is a spin-off (in MaRo's third sense) of JAG; a lot of people don't realize that, probably simply because NCIS has become more popular than JAG ever was, but that doesn't make it any less true.
Jeff Heikkinen DCI Rules Advisor since Dec 25, 2011

Yeah... Kicker and Multikicker are still horrible names for fantasy game mechanics.

The play feeling of multikicker is certainly different to kicker. But I don't think my description of it would have been like this:

The big decision with kicker is always "now or later?" Do I cast the spell unkicked because I can and I want it now, or do I wait to get something better later? Multikicker is not about now or later. Most of the time when I play it, it's been about it being what I can get at the moment. Sure, I might prioritize playing other cards first, but multikicker isn't the "sit and wait" mechanic that kicker is. There is no end state. There is no moment to wait for. Multikicker shines because it's always usable when you need it.

While all this is true, multikicker does very much have the same temptation that kicker does. If my opponent's beating me down with a 3/3, and also has a 0/5 blocker, and I've got a Quag Vampires in hand and enough mana to cast it as a 4/4: do I do it now? Or do I hold on till I get one or two more land so I can make it a 5/5? My experience at the prerelease with the black and white multikicker commons was a very interesting tension between wanting the decent-size effect now and wanting the bigger effect in a couple of turns. Just like kicker, in fact, except that you can get it at many different points on the size scale.

One more comment:

what the majority of players look for most in expansions of a block is the furthering of the block's themes rather than blue-sky innovation.

Yes, this is definitely accurate. What's the point in having a block if you don't continue - and not just continue but develop - the themes from the first set? That's not a block, that's just some standalone sets*. Developing and continuing the block themes is definitely what we want. That's why we're glad to see Join the Ranks and wish there could have been a green or blue flash Ally.

(*: With perhaps the exception of Ravnica-block, which managed to be awesome in many ways despite mostly breaking this rule: Gui and Dis continued the themes of Rav but didn't really develop them, but it worked.) 


On a completely different and frivolous note, one of my friends points out that you don't put ice cream back in the fridge if you want to eat ice cream on future weekends. That way you'd have flavoured cream on future weekends. The freezer would work rather better ;)

So, spinoffs are like licking the bowl after eating your ice cream.
I think somebody in the web department confused the Wards and the COPs. Whoops.
DCI Level 2 Judge WPN Advanced TO RPGA Herald-Level GM
I think somebody in the web department confused the Wards and the COPs. Whoops.

Good catch.  Despite their names, the Circles of Protection don't have anything to do with the Protection ability!


Yeah... Kicker and Multikicker are still horrible names for fantasy game mechanics.




I'm glad I'm not the only one who thinks so.  Ironically, "Augment" would have been the perfect name for Kicker in the first place, except that now that we know kicker would eventually become multikicker, it can't be replaced by Augment because "multiaugment" doesn't really work.  So I'm back to square 1 in my search for a preferable name.  (Reinforce was a similar near-miss.)
My New Phyrexia Writing Credits My M12 Writing Credits
As far as the benefit of the rest of Magic is concerned, gold cards in Legends were executed perfectly. They got all the excitement a designer could hope out of a splashy new mechanic without using up any of the valuable design space. Truly amazing. --Aaron Forsythe's Random Card Comment on Kei Takahashi

Yeah... Kicker and Multikicker are still horrible names for fantasy game mechanics.


I'm glad I'm not the only one who thinks so.  Ironically, "Augment" would have been the perfect name for Kicker in the first place, except that now that we know kicker would eventually become multikicker, it can't be replaced by Augment because "multiaugment" doesn't really work.  So I'm back to square 1 in my search for a preferable name.  (Reinforce was a similar near-miss.)


Two minutes with a thesaurus provides "boost" as a substitute for "kicker". Both "boost" and "multiboost" roll off the tongue well.

As for names in general, Shakespeare said it best:
O, be some other name!
What's in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet.
So Romeo would, were he not Romeo call'd,
Retain that dear perfection which he owes
Without that title.


Names are not part of design. Remember when Mark Rosewater talks about the playtest names for cards and mechanics, such as "Convertible Turtle" for Calcite Snapper? The names are fixed afterwards by development and creative. But we can talk about them anyway. When is a functional design name like "multikicker" supposed to be replaced with a name that fits the fantasy setting?

Names are supposed to remind us what the keyword ability does. We had a few duds in early expansion sets. "Flanking" does not have anything to do with outmaneuvering a blocker, though it is painful to the blockers. It is especially important that keywords for targetted abilities sound like they target something. Both "provoke" and "equip" do a good job at this. "Equip" is a real gem, nicely complemented by the artifact type Equipment. Unfortunately, the meaning of "kicker", a surprise expense or twist, is obscure and usually does not mean enhancing something by paying the extra expense.

We also prefer for names to remind us of the fantasy world. Many keywords such as "cumulative upkeep" and "buyback" are purely functional with no fantasy flavor. "Kicker" dates from that era. The creative team has been better about adding flavor to keywords and ability words lately. "Landfall" is highly functional, but it also has the flavor of explorers reaching a new land, appropriate for Zendikar. Adding the prefix "multi" to any word would strip it of fantasy flavor; fortunately, "kicker" did not have any such flavor to lose.

I think when you say corollary you mean exception.   A corollary is a natural statment that is cotained  or easily follows from a previous one.  The statment you gave is the antithese of the previous one.  This is all.


"Caveat" fits even better. It is an extra condition on his basic rule.

Many keywords such as "cumulative upkeep" and "buyback" are purely functional with no fantasy flavor. "Kicker" dates from that era.

And on the other side of that, we get Bushido and Ninjutsu, which are simple-enough functions that can't be repeated, due to 'flavor baggage'.
landfall is a good example of a great mechanic name. it could be repeated anywhere at any time, but is flavorful. all mechanics should be like this.
I only just today noticed that the Frasier logo is full of hedrons.

I question whether it was "very apparent" that protection could apply to anything other than colors.  The first variant of protection was protection from artifacts, and artifacts are sort of an informal sixth color in most players' minds; the fact that they were technically a card type seems like it was probably a revelation to someone in the design process.

Why exactly was landcycling mutated from its original form into a cycling variant, but Transmute wasn't?  This is annoying.

Spike Drone was annoying IMO; better to have had all the Spikes in one set.  Also, what about Arcbound Wanderer, the only Modular creature not in Darksteel?  What kind of a "spin-off" is that, MaRo?  Honestly, I think he's reaching on this whole premise.

And I *really* question the claim that "protection from instants has a different feel from protection from red; Plainscycling is distinct enough from cycling".

Oh, and MaRo?  You might want to cast a few more 5/5 Gnarlid Packs for 8 mana and lose to people with 7/7 creatures they played for 1 less, before you claim that "multikicker shines because it's always usable when you need it".  "Usable" maybe, but "shines" definitely not.
My New Phyrexia Writing Credits My M12 Writing Credits
As far as the benefit of the rest of Magic is concerned, gold cards in Legends were executed perfectly. They got all the excitement a designer could hope out of a splashy new mechanic without using up any of the valuable design space. Truly amazing. --Aaron Forsythe's Random Card Comment on Kei Takahashi
Oh, and MaRo?  You might want to cast a few more 5/5 Gnarlid Packs for 8 mana and lose to people with 7/7 creatures they played for 1 less, before you claim that "multikicker shines because it's always usable when you need it".  "Usable" maybe, but "shines" definitely not.



if those 7/7s for 7 are in their hand turn 2 and they have no turn 2 play, maybe YOU'RE winning those games because of all your early game 2/2 for 2 damage. cards that are good early game and useful late game can often be better that cards that are useless at a certain point in the game. ESPECIALLY in limited, but maybe you think limited isn't "real magic" or something.

if those 7/7s for 7 are in their hand turn 2 and they have no turn 2 play, maybe YOU'RE winning those games because of all your early game 2/2 for 2 damage. cards that are good early game and useful late game can often be better that cards that are useless at a certain point in the game. ESPECIALLY in limited, but maybe you think limited isn't "real magic" or something.



I continue to maintain that cards should be Constructed playable, at least by casual standards, regardless of the effect on Limited.  If they need to alter the play value for Limited, then let them at least Oracle the cards to gain value as soon as you have time to look them up, or else print Limited-only cards on cheap cardstock which don't use the same cardpool as permanent Magic cards.  I've mentioned all these ideas before.

What I haven't mentioned before is my new idea:  I believe I finally have a good replacement word for Kicker and Multikicker.  Check it out:

Kavu Titan
Creature - Kavu, 1G, 2/2
Twofold 2G (You may pay an additional 2G as you cast this spell.)
Kavu Titan enters the field with three +1/+1 counters on it and has trample if it was folded.

Anavolver
Creature - Volver, 3G, 3/3
Twofold 1U, twofold B (You may pay an additional 1U and/or B as you cast this spell.)
Anavolver enters the field with two +1/+1 counters on it and has flying if it was folded for 1U.
Anavolver enters the field with a +1/+1 counter on it and has "Regeneration - Pay 3 life" if it was folded for B.

Gnarlid Pack
Creature - Beast, 1G, 2/2
Manifold 1G (You may pay an additional 1G any number of times as you cast this spell.)
Gnarlid Pack enters the field with a +1/+1 counter on it for each time it was folded.

My New Phyrexia Writing Credits My M12 Writing Credits
As far as the benefit of the rest of Magic is concerned, gold cards in Legends were executed perfectly. They got all the excitement a designer could hope out of a splashy new mechanic without using up any of the valuable design space. Truly amazing. --Aaron Forsythe's Random Card Comment on Kei Takahashi
if it was folded? did you lick that kavu and put a stamp on it? i don't see how this is an improvement.
Aside from the fact that the cards are actually made of paper, I also imagine that wizards cast spells by forming a "mental object" which represents the spell in their mind, and that if they made it a two-dimensional one, they might imagine it folding like a sheet of paper in order to gain a new dimension.  "Twofold" seems like the perfect word because it means something that has two aspects, two parts or in this case two forms; also, it easily turns into "manifold" for the multi version.  I'll agree that "folding" a spell is a bit of a stretch, but nowhere near as bad as "kicking" one IMO.

My only concern is that some players might be dumb enough to think they actually have to fold the card, but I agree with your point that it's probably better not to deign to give someone that stupid any consideration.
My New Phyrexia Writing Credits My M12 Writing Credits
As far as the benefit of the rest of Magic is concerned, gold cards in Legends were executed perfectly. They got all the excitement a designer could hope out of a splashy new mechanic without using up any of the valuable design space. Truly amazing. --Aaron Forsythe's Random Card Comment on Kei Takahashi

if those 7/7s for 7 are in their hand turn 2 and they have no turn 2 play, maybe YOU'RE winning those games because of all your early game 2/2 for 2 damage. cards that are good early game and useful late game can often be better that cards that are useless at a certain point in the game. ESPECIALLY in limited, but maybe you think limited isn't "real magic" or something.



I continue to maintain that cards should be Constructed playable, at least by casual standards, regardless of the effect on Limited.  If they need to alter the play value for Limited, then let them at least Oracle the cards to gain value as soon as you have time to look them up, or else print Limited-only cards on cheap cardstock which don't use the same cardpool as permanent Magic cards.  I've mentioned all these ideas before.


Everything is playable by casual standards, and you're just being selfish. Like more than usual. And plenty of limited players use their cards for limited and thennnn for constructed. And some of us also like there to be trade in value. And purposefully having current cards be greatly different from printed versions in oracle is a terrible terrible idea. Awful.



And on the other side of that, we get Bushido and Ninjutsu, which are simple-enough functions that can't be repeated, due to 'flavor baggage'.


I don't know how I feel about functions such as these. It leads people down a path to try and make a linear deck out of a keyword.
A "Persist deck"
A "Ninjitsu deck"
A "Soulshift deck"

I don't think that they should do away with block mechanics, but I don't like the way they are sometimes. It's like I wish for a way to do them and at the same time let people know that there can't be enough cards in a set or block to make a block mechanic function with any real synergy.
But I'm sure WotC isn't going to replace the Hints and Tips card inserts with something similar, but with the added line "A deck that contains only cards with [block mechanic] probably will fail."
Don't know if I would count Allies as a block mechanic, or something that they may hold on to. But it's really just a tame version of Slivers. Much more tame.

Orzhova Witness

Restarting Quotes Block
58086748 wrote:
58335208 wrote:
Disregard women acquire chase rares.
There are a lot of dudes for whom this is not optional.
97820278 wrote:
144532521 wrote:
How;s a 2 drop 1/2, Flying broken? What am I missing?
You're missing it because *turns Storm Crows sideways* all your base are belong to Chuck Norris and every other overused meme ever.
And on the other side of that, we get Bushido and Ninjutsu, which are simple-enough functions that can't be repeated, due to 'flavor baggage'.


I don't know how I feel about functions such as these. It leads people down a path to try and make a linear deck out of a keyword.
A "Persist deck"
A "Ninjitsu deck"
A "Soulshift deck"

I don't think that they should do away with block mechanics, but I don't like the way they are sometimes. It's like I wish for a way to do them and at the same time let people know that there can't be enough cards in a set or block to make a block mechanic function with any real synergy.
But I'm sure WotC isn't going to replace the Hints and Tips card inserts with something similar, but with the added line "A deck that contains only cards with [block mechanic] probably will fail."
Don't know if I would count Allies as a block mechanic, or something that they may hold on to. But it's really just a tame version of Slivers. Much more tame.



Well I see no reason to not try for those sort of decks... Not me personally but I see no problem.

Allies seem to be more a theme than a mechanic. And yes Slivers had a lot more nasty.



I am Blue/Black
I am Blue/Black
Take The Magic Dual Colour Test - Beta today!
Created with Rum and Monkey's Personality Test Generator.
I'm both selfish and rational. I'm scheming, secretive and manipulative; I use knowledge as a tool for personal gain, and in turn obtaining more knowledge. At best, I am mysterious and stealthy; at worst, I am distrustful and opportunistic.
I continue to maintain that cards should be Constructed playable, at least by casual standards, regardless of the effect on Limited.  If they need to alter the play value for Limited, then let them at least Oracle the cards to gain value as soon as you have time to look them up, or else print Limited-only cards on cheap cardstock which don't use the same cardpool as permanent Magic cards.

I agree that casual Constructed should be regarded as the primary play format for Magic: the Gathering, and so for a Magic set to include more than a very small number of cards not useful by that standard is not appropriate, as it is too disappointing to purchasers.

However, for Magic to appeal to people on a wide range of budgets, not only does it make sense to have Serra Angel in addition to Baneslayer Angel for people who can't afford all the rares and mythics, it also makes sense for the commons to "work" by themselves for the people on even tighter budgets who can't afford all the uncommons.

So ensuring that the common layer is itself balanced and playable, even if stereotyped, is a good thing, not a bad thing.

I view Limited as basically a way to have some extra fun with your cards at the time of first purchase. Special use-once cards just for limited play don't sound to me like an idea that too many people would be interested in - but I am glad that I'm not the only person coming up with original ideas, and it might be possible to do something like that for on-line Magic play in a workable fashion.

Coming up with weird ideas to make everyone happy since 2008!

 

I have now started a blog as an appropriate place to put my crazy ideas.

Sign In to post comments