3/01/2010 MM: "Fun-Off, Part 1"

60 posts / 0 new
Last post
This thread is for discussion of this week's Making Magic, which goes live Monday morning on magicthegathering.com.
My answers for the vote:

1.  Goblin Spelunkers isn't much of a fun card, but Shaharazad is the epitome of anti-fun; a gigantic time-waster for a negligible game effect, with a high probability of recursive suck which will force concessions far more often than they will actually be played out.

2.  Stuffy Doll auto-wins this one just because I am sick to death of the Gleemax gag.  (Plus, as MaRo pointed out, it helps that you can actually play...er, cast...Stuffy Doll.)  It doesn't even deserve to be called a joke, it's just a gag, as in I'm gagging on it.  Plus it forces concessions because there's really no point in your opponent continuing to play if you manage to get it out.  So yeah, Stuffy Doll doesn't have to do a blamed thing to win this round.

3.  Doubling Season can't help but win here; it's one of those legendarily few cards which I love *for* its over-the-top awesomeness, as I am usually opposed to such cheese factor.  This is a card that does ridiculous things, but they're *good* ridiculous things and I can't hate them.  Chain Lightning could have stood a chance for the fun prize if its "bounce me" payment was something anyone could do, like milling themselves or picking up a land, but making it only happen when both players are red mages means it doesn't get to fulfill its potential very often.

4.  Although I am sick to death of Elves, Elvish Promenade is one of the cards they got which I'm not entirely sick of yet; I do like token-making, and it's got awesome art.  More to the point, though, MaRo is right: Chaos Confetti auto-loses.  I despise the destructive wastefulness employed by the card, and am glad they're not planning on doing such things anytime soon.

5.  Cheatyface is a griefer card, albeit a mild one; I hate griefers with a passion.  I can't honestly claim Grizzly Bears is more fun, even being one of the card's defenders, but I'm still voting against Cheatyface just out of spite.

6.  Snakeform is awesome; Mindslaver is a horrid griefer card with the same "why should I bother to let you resolve this" concession-forcing effect as Gleemax; it comes so close to winning the game that they should have just had it say "you win the game" and not expected you to play out a miserable experience of letting your opponent trash you with your own stuff.  Fun for him, sure, but not fun for you.  Snakeform is just an awesome cantrip combat trick; good clean fun, and playable in more than half of all decks thanks to its hybrid status ("true" hybrid, not a card like the Guildmages or Lieges that only get full potential in dual-color decks).

7.  Fact or Fiction is a ridiculously good card and I hate to vote for it, but it does have the Power of Choice, and Shocker isn't a good kind of random, since your opponent is usually the one who might benefit from it, or else might suffer but with you having no control over that.  I'm with MaRo here; choice trumps random.  As a non-Spike I think FoF should cost more because of how strong it is, but I very much enjoy playing it, and I even have some small degree of fun playing against it, since it involves me in the decision process.  A definite winner of a card.

8.  Gifts Ungiven is a lot like fact or Fiction, and just like MaRo, I'd feel sort of unfair if I selected them both as winners.  But more to the point, Radiate is a ridiculously awesome card, especially in multiplayer (hence the creation of a Planechase plane which mimics it).  No trouble selecting Radiate as the winner here.

9.  This one was tough.  I like the "journey" flavor of the Ascensions, and even though Pyromancer is optimized toward burn, it has a lot of other applications; had I been quicker to remember them, I might have voted for it.  But it does often get used for burn, and I tend to feel that burn is one of those strategies that's only fun if you're the one doing it, and is unpleasant to go up against; memories of having been burned out many a time have prejudiced me against the Pyromancer Ascension specifically.  (As an aside, I have a strong fondness for the blue Ascension, as it is the only card I've found which makes me feel like there's a legitimate reason to play a deck larger than 60 cards.)  Ovinomancer has a fun concept going on, but unfortunately he's one of those cards they made a lot of in the old days, ones which actually sort of did something impressive, so the designers decided to pile a half-dozen disadvantages onto him to make sure he never got too powerful.  Having to bounce three lands to get him into play, and having him return to your hand every time he does his trick, so you have to bounce three more lands to put him back out, all while he can be killed by a plain old Tim...that much hassle unfortunately makes it difficult for me to champion him here.  I voted Ovinomancer because he's an old card that gives me the warm fuzzies while the Ascension is a recent source of salted wounds, but intellectually, I should have gone the other way on this.

10.  Counterspell is an auto-lose.  I can't imagine how anyone thinks this is fun; I absolutely hate playing a deck whose game plan is to ensure that nothing ever happens.  Doesn't matter if I win with it; I still hate it.  I want to play my cards, not sit around threatening to play them so my opponent doesn't try to play anything that I'd have to play my cards against!  I not only don't think this is fun, I try to avoid playing against people who do.

11.  If this was "which card do I like more", I'd easily pick Cytoshape.  But mostly, Cytoshape is just removal, either directly by copying a 0/0 or just by manufacturing a blocker that kills the attacker it's copying.  It makes for a decent play, but Overrun is far more "fun" to me, even if it does usually end the game.

12.  Why is this poll named "qqq"?  Anyway, I'm easily going with Fecundity here.  Nishoba is one of the goofy random-seeming Odyssey cards that just doesn't speak to me; the creative in that block was so terrible that cards which might be worth playing just fail to catch my interest simply because of how they're concepted.  Fecundity, on the other hand, I have a great deal of play experience with, and it's definitely enjoyable.

13.  This one is close; I picked Thieves' Auction because Warp World is a little too easy to just win with, thanks to things like Siege-Gang Commander and Ob Nixilis.  But Thieves' Auction puts everything out tapped, which is unfun-lame instead of unfun-bahroken, so maybe I should have voted the other way.  I guess I was a little insulted by the presumption of MaRo's "Oh we have polls to PROVE how awesome Warp World is, so lah-dee-dah!", since those were in fact his exact words and all.  (See, I'm ironically self-aware about my arrogance and pretention, that makes it okay.)

14.  I just love the Nephilim, and the Ink-Treader is far and away the coolest and most fun to play around with (though the Yore-Tiller provides considerable competition).  Day of the Dragons loses for me the same way Overrun loses for MaRo - it's just a late-game "I win" card, but IMO provides much less of a visceral thrill than Overrun, since you usually have to wait to attack with your Dragons and they might just be blocked by moths.  Also, it's *blue*.  WTF?  So yeah, Nephilim easily wins for me.

15.  Booster Tutor is the very definition of "It's Just Dumb" to me, not to mention it's a transparent sales gimmick.  Ball Lightning isn't high on my fun cards list, but I'll take it over the Unhinged card any day.

16.  Goblin Game is very silly and pointless to me, and I agree with MaRo's motive of wanting to "represent" Planechase.  Pools of Becoming can do some insane things, the only limiting factor being that Planechase is insane in the first place and thus Pools is like chocolate frosting on a chocolate cake.  But hey, sometimes you want chocolate frosting on a chocolate cake.  Mmmm, caaaake...  Anyway, yeah, any Planechase plane would beat Goblin Game for me (okay maybe not Equilor or Wildfire, I tend to be in favor of leaving those out), but Pools would beat many of the cards above, so it definitely has this round.
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

10.  Counterspell is an auto-lose.  I can't imagine how anyone thinks this is fun; I absolutely hate playing a deck whose game plan is to ensure that nothing ever happens.  Doesn't matter if I win with it; I still hate it.  I want to play my cards, not sit around threatening to play them so my opponent doesn't try to play anything that I'd have to play my cards against!  I not only don't think this is fun, I try to avoid playing against people who do.


I for one find the challenge of playing around counterspells fun (granted it gets kinda annoying when I'm playing my big dumb casual decks), and there's something amazingly fun about being able to say "Nope."

Zammm = Batman.

It's my sig in a box
58280208 wrote:
Everything is better when you read it in Bane's voice.
192334281 wrote:
Your human antics and desire to continue living have moved me. Just kidding. You cannot move me physically or emotionally. Wall humor.
57092228 wrote:
Copy effects work like a photocopy machine: you get a copy of the 'naked' card, NOT of what's on it.
56995928 wrote:
Funny story: InQuest Magazine (I think it was InQuest) had an oversized Chaos Orb which I totally rooked someone into allowing into a (non-sanctioned) game. I had a proxy card that was a Mountain with "Chaos Orb" written on it. When I played it, my opponent cried foul: Him: "WTF? a Proxy? no-one said anything about Proxies. Do you even own an actual Chaos Orb?" Me: "Yes, but I thought it would be better to use a Proxy." Him: "No way. If you're going to put a Chaos Orb in your deck you have to use your actual Chaos Orb." Me: "*Sigh*. Okay." I pulled out this huge Chaos Orb and placed it on the table. He tried to cry foul again but everyone else said he insisted I use my actual Chaos Orb and that was my actual Chaos Orb. I used it, flipped it and wiped most of his board. Unsurprisingly, that only worked once and only because everyone present thought it was hilarious.
My DM on Battleminds:
no, see i can kill defenders, but 8 consecutive crits on a battlemind, eh walk it off.
144543765 wrote:
195392035 wrote:
Hi guys! So, I'm a sort of returning player to Magic. I say sort of because as a child I had two main TCG's I liked. Yu-Gi-Oh, and Pokemon. Some of my friends branched off in to Magic, and I bought two pre-made decks just to kind of fit in. Like I said, Yu-Gi-Oh and Pokemon were what I really knew how to play. I have a extensive knowledge of deck building in those two TCG's. However, as far as Magic is concerned, I only ever used those two pre made decks. I know how the game is played, and I know general things, but now I want to get in the game for real. I want to begin playing it as a regular. My question is, are all cards ever released from the time of the inception of this game until present day fair game in a deck? Or are there special rules? Are some cards forbidden or restricted? Thanks guys, and I will gladly accept ANY help lol.
I have the same problem with women.
117639611 wrote:
198869283 wrote:
Oh I have a standing rule. If someone plays a Planeswalker I concede the game. I refuse to play with or against people who play Planeswalkers. They really did ruin the game.
A turn two Tibalt win?! Wicked... Betcha don't see that everyday.

The Pony Co. 

Is this my new ego sig? Yes it is, other Barry
57461258 wrote:
And that's why you should never, ever call RP Jesus on being a troll, because then everyone else playing along gets outed, too, and the thread goes back to being boring.
57461258 wrote:
See, this is why RPJesus should be in charge of the storyline. The novel line would never have been cancelled if he had been running the show. Specifically the Slobad and Geth's Head talkshow he just described.
57461258 wrote:
Not only was that an obligatory joke, it was an on-topic post that still managed to be off-topic due to thread derailment. RP Jesus does it again folks.
92481331 wrote:
I think I'm gonna' start praying to Jesus... That's right, RPJesus, I'm gonna' be praying to you, right now. O' Jesus Please continue to make my time here on the forums fun and cause me to chuckle. Amen.
92481331 wrote:
56957928 wrote:
It was wonderful. Us Johnnies had a field day. That Timmy with the Grizzly bears would actually have to think about swinging into your Mogg Fanatic, giving you time to set up your silly combo. Nowadays it's all DERPSWING! with thier blue jeans and their MP3 players and their EM EM OH AR PEE JEES and their "Dewmocracy" and their children's card games and their Jersey Shores and their Tattooed Tenaged Vampire Hunters from Beverly Hills
Seriously, that was amazing. I laughed my *ss off. Made my day, and I just woke up.
[quote=ArtVenn You're still one of my favorite people... just sayin'.[/quote]
56756068 wrote:
56786788 wrote:
.....would it be a bit blasphemous if I said, "PRAYSE RPJAYSUS!" like an Evangelical preacher?
Perhaps, but who doesn't like to blaspheme every now and again? Especially when Mr. RPJesus is completely right.
56756068 wrote:
I don't say this often, but ... LOL
57526128 wrote:
You... You... Evil something... I actualy made the damn char once I saw the poster... Now you made me see it again and I gained resolve to put it into my campaign. Shell be high standing oficial of Cyrix order. Uterly mad and only slightly evil. And it'll be bad. Evil even. And ill blame you and Lizard for it :P.
57042968 wrote:
111809331 wrote:
I'm trying to work out if you're being sarcastic here. ...
Am going to stop you right there... it's RPJesus... he's always sarcastic
58335208 wrote:
56957928 wrote:
112114441 wrote:
we can only hope it gets the jace treatment...it could have at least been legendary
So that even the decks that don't run it run it to deal with it? Isn't that like the definition of format warping?
I lol'd.
56287226 wrote:
98088088 wrote:
Uktabi Orangutan What the heck's going on with those monkeys?
The most common answer is that they are what RPJesus would call "[Debutantes avert your eyes]ing."
56965458 wrote:
Show
57461258 wrote:
116498949 wrote:
I’ve removed content from this thread because off-topic discussions are a violation of the Code of Conduct. You can review the Code here: www.wizards.com/Company/About.aspx?x=wz_... Please keep your posts polite, on-topic, and refrain from making personal attacks. You are welcome to disagree with one another but please do so respectfully and constructively. If you wish to report a post for Code of Conduct violation, click on the “Report Post” button above the post and this will submit your report to the moderators on duty.
...Am I the only one that thinks this is reaching the point of downright Kafkaesque insanity?
I condone the use of the word Kafkaesque. However, I'm presentely ambivalent. I mean, that can't be serious, right? We're April 1st, right? They didn't mod RPJesus for off-topic discussion when the WHOLE THREAD IS OFF-TOPIC, right? Right.
57545908 wrote:
56957928 wrote:
Save or die. If you disagree with this, you're wrong (Not because of any points or arguements that have been made, but I just rolled a d20 for you and got a 1, so you lose).
58397368 wrote:
58222628 wrote:
This just won the argument, AFAIC.
That's just awesome.
57471038 wrote:
57718868 wrote:
HOW DID I NOT KNOW ABOUT THE BEAR PRODUCING WORDS OF WILDING?! WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME?!
That's what RPJesus tends to do. That's why I don't think he's a real person, but some Magic Card Archive Server sort of machine, that is programmed to react to other posters' comments with obscure cards that do in fact exist, but somehow missed by even the most experienced Magic players. And then come up with strange combos with said cards. All of that is impossible for a normal human to do given the amount of time he does it and how often he does it. He/It got me with Light of Sanction, which prompted me to go to RQ&A to try and find if it was even possible to do combat damage to a creature I control (in light that Mark of Asylum exists).
71235715 wrote:
+10
100176878 wrote:
56957928 wrote:
57078538 wrote:
heaven or hell.
Round 1. Lets rock.
GG quotes! RPJesus just made this thread win!
56906968 wrote:
56957928 wrote:
143359585 wrote:
Blue players get all the overpowerered cards like JTMS. I think it's time that wizards gave something to people who remember what magic is really about: creatures.
Initially yes, Wizards was married to blue. However, about a decade ago they had a nasty divorce, and a few years after that they began courting the attention of Green. Then in Worldwake they had a nasty affair with their ex, but as of Innistrad, things seem to have gotten back on track, and Wizards has even proposed.
You are my favorite. Yes you. And moments like this make it so. Thank you RPJesus for just being you.
On what flavor text fits me:
57307308 wrote:
Surely RPJesus gets Niv-Mizzet, Dracogenius?
56874518 wrote:
First: I STILL can't take you seriously with that avatar. And I can take RPJesus seriously, so that's saying something.
121689989 wrote:
I'd offer you a cookie for making me laugh but it has an Upkeep Cost that has been known to cause people to quit eating.
56267956 wrote:
I <3 you loads
57400888 wrote:
56957928 wrote:
"AINT NO LAWS IN THE SKY MOTHER****." - Agrus Kos, Wojek Veteran
10/10. Amazing.
Mark, could you please explain at your earliest convenience why you took the responses of Goblin Spelunkers, Grizzly Bears, and Counterspell seriously?  Are you sure they weren't being offered in jest?  Many of the suggested cards seem at least understandable as someone's favorite "fun" card.  But those few seem as likely the result of someone trolling your twitter feed as anything else.

Although in defense of Grizzly Bears, it does have some of the best flavor text in all of Magic.
I agreed with MaRo on most of the matchups.  While I agree that Shaharazad is a horrible card that makes me cry, there is nothing fun about a 2/2 mountainwalking goblin.  This really should have been Into the Dungeon instead because that card is essentially a "fixed" Shaharazad with added flavor.  Gobling Spelunkers and Grizzly Bears are auto-byes for any card facing them because they are boring and should never have been in this tournament to begin with.  I would vote Stasis higher than Grizzy Bears for crying out loud! 

Anyway, I pretty much agree with all the choices except for: 

Overrun is arguably the most iconic and most played Timmy Rwar spell.  Attacking with a huge army of tramplers is fun. 

Goblin Guide is fun because it has clever tension that requires you to outwit your opponent.  The Bolas Plane is just an excuse for random insanity to happen.  Too much random insanity makes games completely luck-based and takes away the strategic element.  This is why everyone I know stopped playing Planechase.  It just wasn't fun. 

Finally, Chaos Confetti is hilarious, and it's common unlike Blacker Lotus.  Although it is a tough call because Elvish Promenade is one of the very few 1/1 token producing cards that I like. 

P.S. I voted for Booster Tutor, but I strongly considered voting for Ball Lightning simply because Booster Tutor is useless if you're out of money to spend on packs.  This mirrors Wizard's philosophy that a player is useless when they're out of money, so I almost voted Ball Lightning to make a statement. 
Doing creative, open-ended and interesting things is fun. I like cards that let me do that.

That's what made Imprint such a great (yet under-utilised) mechanic.
Overrun was my submission so I was very sad to see it lose. Frown I must say Mark, I do think you let your Johnny tendencies get the better of you on that one. Like willpell said, Cytoshape doesn't lead to really interesting outcomes that often, it's usually more of an innovative way to kill a creature. I guess your 100th Overrun is a bit less fun, but it still gives me a thrill as the coup de grace struck by my green army. I guess that just makes me a huge Timmy.
9.  This one was tough.  I like the "journey" flavor of the Ascensions, and even though Pyromancer is optimized toward burn, it has a lot of other applications; had I been quicker to remember them, I might have voted for it.  But it does often get used for burn, and I tend to feel that burn is one of those strategies that's only fun if you're the one doing it, and is unpleasant to go up against; memories of having been burned out many a time have prejudiced me against the Pyromancer Ascension specifically.  (As an aside, I have a strong fondness for the blue Ascension, as it is the only card I've found which makes me feel like there's a legitimate reason to play a deck larger than 60 cards.)  Ovinomancer has a fun concept going on, but unfortunately he's one of those cards they made a lot of in the old days, ones which actually sort of did something impressive, so the designers decided to pile a half-dozen disadvantages onto him to make sure he never got too powerful.  Having to bounce three lands to get him into play, and having him return to your hand every time he does his trick, so you have to bounce three more lands to put him back out, all while he can be killed by a plain old Tim...that much hassle unfortunately makes it difficult for me to champion him here.  I voted Ovinomancer because he's an old card that gives me the warm fuzzies while the Ascension is a recent source of salted wounds, but intellectually, I should have gone the other way on this.



To be fair, Ovinomancer has gotten tools that make him a much nicer card. Thousand-Year Elixir (or haste) makes him "Snakeform with buyback", since you don't have to bounce the lands to use him. And bouncing lands to your hand in Zendikar couldn't possibly be useful, could it? ;)

This match-up is hard because neither card really stands out for me. ...Phantom Nishoba's fun comes at that the card simply refuses to die.



Oh man, you're completely missing the point.  The reason Phantom Nishoba is so awesome is that it's a giant, trampling, lifelinked creature that refuses to die.  You guys do a lot more lifelink now than you did back then, but even Baneslayer Angel isn't as big or as trampling as Phantom Nishoba.  Plus back when it was legal you could throw an Armadillo Cloak on and gain 18 life in one swing, before the worst rule change of M10 made that impossible.  In my opinion lifelink is the timmiest of all mechanics and the removal of stacking lifelink was a big blow to fun.

I've never in my life played a standard deck as fun as the Odyssey/Onslaught reanimator deck that could routinely swing with a hasty Nishoba on turn 4.

Overrun was my submission so I was very sad to see it lose. I must say Mark, I do think you let your Johnny tendencies get the better of you on that one. Like willpell said, Cytoshape doesn't lead to really interesting outcomes that often, it's usually more of an innovative way to kill a creature. I guess your 100th Overrun is a bit less fun, but it still gives me a thrill as the coup de grace struck by my green army. I guess that just makes me a huge Timmy.



Yeah, major case of Johnny bias here.  My 100th Overrun was still way more fun than any Cytoshape... Timmy doesn't really get tired of smashing with a suddenly massive, trampling army.
I voted for:

Thieves Auction - why does this have to go against Warp World in round 1? Arrggh. Especially when Elvish friggin Promenade gets a bye. Why not ask someone else like Mago to make the brackets?

Ball Lightning - I love this card! Also, I do not like spending real money to play a card. People already joke about how Tarmogoyf is the "most expensive" creature ever printed. "Pay $40: put Tarmogoyf into play." Also, I'm more likely to play Booster Tutor online, which would make me hate it even more. Come to think of it, I voted against every single silver-bordered card this time. But _____ would win.

Goblin Game - "Each player hides a number of small objects...". Basically it's just a bet between two players. Thinking about which number to pick is an awesome moment, up there with Gifts, really. This is another ARRRGH matchup. I really really really wanted to vote for the best Planechase card.

Counterspell - I don't really care for the card that this was up against. Against a real opponent though then Counterspell will lose.

EDIT: That is awesome! The card which cannot named, when surrounded by [c] tags, becomes a null string.

So, what are the kinds of fun we can have?


1.  Timmy fun:  Massive or spectacular effects.
2.  Johnny fun:  Cards that promote complicated interactions with other cards.
3.  Spike fun:  Challenging gameplay decisions.
4.  Vorthos fun:  Interesting flavor.
5.  Interactive fun:  Cards that get two or more players in on the action.


So a problem with the cards in category 3 is that often they find their way into decks that attempt to make the decisions easier (if you have a hand full of counterspells, the decision of whether or not to counter is easy, and if three of the four Gifts cards are graveyard recursion, the choice is eliminated).


I seem to favor the Johnny cards over the Timmy cards when it comes to fun; category 1 can be impressive, but why not just watch a movie for that sort of thing?  The same with category 4.


My favorite cards are those in category 5.  Whether Chain Lightning, Fact or Fiction, or Goblin Game, cards that remind you that you're playing with other people are great.

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...


Oh man, you're completely missing the point.  The reason Phantom Nishoba is so awesome is that it's a giant, trampling, lifelinked creature that refuses to die.  You guys do a lot more lifelink now than you did back then, but even Baneslayer Angel isn't as big or as trampling as Phantom Nishoba.  Plus back when it was legal you could throw an Armadillo Cloak on and gain 18 life in one swing, before the worst rule change of M10 made that impossible.  In my opinion lifelink is the timmiest of all mechanics and the removal of stacking lifelink was a big blow to fun.

I've never in my life played a standard deck as fun as the Odyssey/Onslaught reanimator deck that could routinely swing with a hasty Nishoba on turn 4.



While I as well have fond memories of the days of Odyssey, Nishoba in this day and age is part of a glut of "LOL Ridiculous Fatties" types of creatures that are all too common. 
1.  Goblin Spelunkers isn't much of a fun card, but Shaharazad is the epitome of anti-fun; a gigantic time-waster for a negligible game effect, with a high probability of recursive suck which will force concessions far more often than they will actually be played out.

Seconded.

The only reason Sharazad recursion ever wins, and a large part of the reason it's just plain banned in Eternal formats, is that it's completely freaking boring to the guy who's doing it, excruciatingly boring to the guy who is not, and is little more than a waste of time.
The only people who could possibly find it fun are insane computer engineers who draw tree structures for amusement, or sadists who expect the opponent to just concede out of exasperation

A typical Sharazad tree (including Forks/Twincasts and Burning Wish/Maruf recursion) is going to look like this:

Main Game---pending Subgame (on the stack in this game).
|
Subgame---pending subgame
|
Sub-subgame---pending subgame---pending subgame
|
Sub-sub-subgame
|
Sub-sub-sub-subgame---pending subgame
|
You are here.


Even a single Sharazad will stretch a game out to about double the length it should be.

My responses help confirm that I'm a Johnny-Timmy, but not entirely...

1. Shahrazard is awesome, although I don't expect it will make it much farther, as in the long run, it can make games unfun just by making them take forever.

2. Gleemax is boring because you have to cheat it into play ("infinite mana" or Tinker), but there's several hundered other equally fun things you could do in that instance. 

3.  Chain Lightning seems like it should be a fun card, but it almost never gets copied.  I think Chain of Smog, where it is reasonable and possible for people to copy it, is far more fun.

4.  I guess I'm just one of those tiny minorities...I ripped up many a Chaos Confetti and Blacker Lotus during Unglued drafts, and loved it.  Elvish Promenade bores me.

5.  I hate Cheatyface (and I love almost all of Unglued/Unhinged).  I hate the unpleasant ambiguity of "right away,"  I hate the idea of rewarding cheating, even if it's "legal." 

6.  Obviously Mindslaver dominates this matchup.  The only time Mindslaver isn't fun is when it's running in a hard lock (usually with Academy Ruins)--even then, I usually find the games that lead up to the lock to be fun.

7.  I never have fun playing FoF.  I always feel like I have to work far far to hard to make good decisions, and I almost always feel like I got it wrong. 

8.  I'm pretty indifferent here.  Gifts is obviously powerful Spike fodder, so I can accept it as fun in that context.  Radiate seems like a good Johnny card, although I've found it tends to underperform. 

9.  Pyromancer Ascension is just too hard to make useful, so it can't be fun in my opinion.

10.  This is my main point of disagreement---I have always felt Counterspell is fun and necessary.  I have no problem with it being 2 mana, although I can live with Cancel as well.  I think it provides an absolutely fun balance to the game.  It takes away an opponent's option to be non-interactive.  It stops every non-land card made but 2 or 3. Yes, I agree that playing against Draw-Go can be unfun, but that's because the whole deck is so glacially slow and narrow-minded.  Hate the archetype, not the card.
 
11.  Overrun all the way.  I've been running it in decks ever since it first came out in Tempest.   I loved it in 10th and M2010 draft, when you had 1) that beautiful tension of having to fear an opponents Overrun, and 2) that wonderful feeling when Overrun suddenly lets you win a game you had no business winning any other way.

12.  I'm pretty much with Mark here; neither seems to exciting.  I feel like the Fecundity[/c[ doesn't do much, so I lean to the Nishoba as well.13.  No real question here--[c]Warp World is absolutely awesome.  Although I will say that I prefer it in decks that don't actually win the turn they play it (Valakuut or Ob Nixilis variants).  I especially love it in multiplayer games.

14.  A sky full of 5/5 flying dragons?  My squirrels suddenly become dragons?  A clear winner for me.

15. Eh, a pretty weird comparison.  I'm not sure, because having to open a pack just to get a card seems pretty unfun to me--I want to draft every single pack I have, not just open it.

16.  Goblin Game  seems fun and complex and interesting, but rarely is--both players can often predict within a very narrow margin what the other will bid.
All is forgotten in the stone halls of the dead. These are the rooms of ruin where the spiders spin and the great circuits fall quiet, one by one.
I agreed with half of Maro's picks (well five of them, but fecundity won my mental coin flip).  the one's i disagree with:

Shahrazad is a fun idea.  Subgames in general is something you think is a fun idea.  The card itself, and the mechanic in practice, however, is anything but.  I will read the original goblin spelunker's flavor text forever, and it will be more fun than even a single subgame.

I can see Maro's point of view on fact of fiction vs. shocker, but IMO, fact or fiction is never fun.  when I am the opponent, there's never a right choice, and it's always frustrating and annoying.  when I play it i'm usually satisfied that i'm going to be getting the best two or three cards off the top of my library, but I wouldn't say a knowledge that the card I just played will benefit me is any more fun than any other card.

inktreader vs. Day of the Dragons feels like a rerun of cytoshape vs. overrun.  unique interactions vs. big dumb smashy thing.  yeah dragons are cool and beating face is fun, but the card isn't any exceptional quantity.  Ink treader will always do something different and usually fun and big and interesting.  Day of the dragons gives you dragons.  the end.
This is the happy swamp. Love it. I am red/blue, I think logically and act impulsively.
MaRo: please understand that not all players despise Counterspells!

Everyone I play with respects that they should be a part of the game, and while playing against counters may not always feel great, it is one of the ways to become a better technical player and creates interesting decision trees. You said in your description of Endless Whispers that it "changes how players have to think," and that is precisely why Counterspell should come out on top; do I leave some lands untapped to counter what my opponent plays on his turn, or go for a bigger spell myself? Which of my opponent's spells is most important to counter? The thought processes Counterspell forces players to go through are much deeper than "I should kill my opponent's creatures so I gain control of them!"

Another issue: Counterspells are constantly equated to the oppressive Draw-Go decks of old, which is simply incorrect thinking. Those highly unfun decks were a result of printing so many high-powered counters all at once (Force Spike, Counterspell, Dismiss, Forbid, etc etc) that one could simply fill a deck with them and call it a day. Printing a few good counterspells will not have this unfun effect on the format; instead, a few decent counters would have a diversifying effect on the metagame, allowing players who enjoy playing blue control decks to have a chance against the power-creeping aggro creatures.

Look at Extended: Cryptic Command, Mana Leak, and Spell Snare are all legal, but Wild Nacatl is still one of the most powerful things a player can do. A responsible number of playable Counterspells do not ruin formats!

/rant

On topic: I wish Goblin Game hadn't lost simply because it happened to be paired against a Planechase card... when I saw the Game was a contender at the top of the page, I thought back to all those EDH games where things would be going along normally until someone dropped the Goblin Game. Such wacky fun!

Goblin Game is skill-intensive: when do I play it? How much life will my opponents choose, and how much should I bid? These decisions should have let Game beat Pools easily, since Pools is pretty much the most random "card" I can imagine; long-term planning is impossible when you're forced to Teferi's Puzzle Box away your hand every turn, and hoping to hit the jackpot by rolling Chaos on a die only to get three more random effects just seems ridiculously luck-based.
 
Also, I don't mean to split hairs but should planechase even be allowed when you're looking for the most fun card in Magic? Gatherer describes Planes as "special objects" :P

6. Mindslaver generates good memories. A lot of good strategy whether you're with or against it: Do you play it for 6 (and risk removal) or wait til you have 6+4? How do you play your spells when you see one coming?
The high cost of 10 mana gives other decks plenty of time to work around, and the effect is very powerful, but far from an autowin (such as against mono-red who has emptied its hand). If you recur it, it starts to get a bit unfun, but mostly it was a another great card that fell victim to Cranial Plating and friends.

7. Shocker is only good for combos like Shocker + Megrim, so it's a bit too narrow. But I've got lots of quelms about Fact of Fiction, the so-called "strategy" card. Truths are, even with an opponent that makes the perfect split, you win when you resolve FoFs, since you're drawing at least 2.5 cards for 3U at instant speed. It is unfun in the same way as Baneslayer Angel or Bloodbraid Elf: It's broken, and it dominates games.
But I admit that I like the concept: If the cost were 3UU, it would have been an amazing card, much much funner than Shocker can hope to be.

8. Gifts is a nerfed version of Facts, but still overpowered. I haven't had the priviledge of playing with Radiate, but cards like this are always fun whenever balanced in power. At 3RR + cost of some other spell, I think it got beaten up by Wild Mongrels and Circular Logic way too often for it to create much stories.

9. The Ascension is an awesome card that I've built a burn deck, an Izzet deck and a Runeflare deck around. Granted most of them failed to be semi-competitive and got dismantled, I found it a fun process. Ovinomancer, on the other hand, is almost as uncastable as Gleemax. Cast it anytime before turn five, and you autolose to a Mogg Fanatic. Not fun. I've put it in my Thousand-Year Elixir decks just because I loved the Elixir, but I found myself not to be one that enjoys abusing and explaining obscure rules, nor laughing at the opponents' pile of Sheeps.
I come to play a good game and hopefully win, not to humiliate.

10. Counterspell is a bit overpowered. But to be fair, I love most of the new counters we have, and I grief at how Cascade is both broken and specifically hates out counterspells. (A Bloodbraid hates your own Negate as much as the opponent's; no cool RGU deck spawning) I had a playset of Endless Whispers back then, but I don't really remember what it does. We talked about comboing with Leveler, but as for combos I prefered winning with a thrown Nantuko Husk. It's just more consistent and allows careful calculations, and less of an "all-or-nothing."

11. Cytoshape is a fair card, but one that's a bit hard to work with. I think I once made a Frogling into a Spectral Force and won, but the thrilling moments are not common enough.
Overrun... is always good.

12. Here comes two personal favorites of mine, which didn't seem to impress MaRo. Back when big creatures weren't as interesting as they are now, the Nishoba was a king. It's a fairly-costed version of today's BSA. But even against such an awe-inspring titan, the combo card Fecundity wins out. First off it is a defiant answer of a green mage to control decks back in the day, without resorting to color-hate like Compost. It justifies overextension (but not too much) against Wrath, and gives them some card advantage to try to fight the inevitable Cabel Coffers/Skeletal Scrying. But the card also has a combo side: Can you sacrifice lots of creatures to get some profit and reload? We have Nantuko Husk and Caller of the Claw, but try out Symbiotic Elf or even Dross Harvester; how about Natural Affinity and Phyrexian Plaguelord, Spawning Pits and Savra of Golgari? Or create huge goblin chains with Skirk Prospector, Siege-Gang Commander and Goblin Sharpshooter? And what do you do with the "opponent also draws" side? Do you avoid killing their creatures, and opt for bounce or something else?
Lots and lots of possibilities are opened up by this card. The only downside is that it can create inevitability, the "whatever I kill you'll just draw something back" frustration; but having this much combo potential without verging on brokenland, Fecundity remains one of my favorite cards of all time (along with Chord of Calling, the ultimate deck-diversifier)

16. Goblin Game.

1. Shaharazad > Goblin Spelunkers - Just barely, Shaharazad can lead to annoyingly long pointless games, but 2/2 mountainwalkers just really aren't that exciting.  I do like the Urza's Saga flavor text, though.

2. Stuffy Doll > Gleemax - You can do much better things for a million mana...also, the nostalgia factor for me with Stuffy Doll is high, I remember playing Black Vise and The Rack (not in the same deck of course) back during Revised.

3. Chain Lightning > Doubling Season - Lightning Bolt that sometimes leads to interesting reactions is better than a card that means my opponent is about to kill me with a huge number of tokens or +1/+1 counters, I think.

4. Chaos Confetti > Elvish Promenade - I do remember hearing the story of the ripped up Chaos Orb or was it a Falling Star? You know how those urban myths go.  Elvish Promenade isn't really that exciting.  A couple more dudes in an elf deck, yawn.

5. Cheatyface > Grizzly Bears - Cheatyface really hits the nail on the head for an un-card, Grizzly Bears is iconic I guess since any 2/2 for 2 is frequently referred to as a bear, sometimes even creatures that are French vanilla, too.  Vedalken Outlander?  "Pro-red artifact bear"

6. Mindslaver > Snakeform - Mindslaver leads to interesting things happening in games if it's not being used for evil, Snakeform is just another removal spell.  That's only a general impression having never played with either card, though.

7. Fact or Fiction > Shocker - Shocker is the bad sort of random.  Fact or Fiction leads to interesting game-play for both players with a single spell, so it wins easily.

8. Gifts Ungiven > Radiate - Radiate just doesn't do anything often enough to be good.  Gifts has lots of potential for unfun abuse, but can also lead to really interesting choices for both players in many situations.

9. Pyromancer's Ascension > Ovinomancer - If Ovinomancer was a little easier to use, this could easily go the other way, but it's just too cost intensive to ever make it.

10. Endless Whispers > Counterspell - I love countering stuff, and do actually enjoy trying to figure out what my opponent is holding in the countermagic department, but Endless Whispers just leads to crazy board states and strange moves.

11. Overrun > Cytoshape - You can still have impressive moments with Overrun the 100th time you cast it.  "I won a match where I attacked my opponent for exactly lethal (25) with Overrun which I ripped the turn before his unblockable creature would have killed me next turn."  Cytoshape is nothing but removal most of the time.

12. Phantom Nishoba > Fecundity - Now that its ability is back to the triggered ability instead of Lifelink, even more of a win.  Huge creatures that are difficult to remove and give their controllers life are fun when you control them.

13. Thieves' Auction > Warp World - This is my feeling about the actual decks in practice.  Warp World means the player casting it is about to win, Thieves' Auction means chaos is about to ensue.  And chaos ensuing is more fun than the game ending (unless you're the one casting the Warp World, of course).

14. Day of the Dragons > Ink-Treader Nephilim - Really?  This is what was come up with for the 4-color creatures?  I'll make dragons every day of the week and twice on Fridays before touching those ugly things.  Also, it's name is freaking DAY OF THE DRAGONS!!!

15. Booster Tutor > Ball Lightning - Then again, Booster Tutor could be busted with packs taken out of mapped boxes.

16. Pools of Becoming > Goblin Game - I'm not sure who finds Goblin Game fun, but losing one or more life from it seems annoying.  So maybe that's a flavor win for a Goblin card, but triggering bunches of chaos abilities off the Pool seems like it's more interesting than a card that only makes players lose life.
The end is always nigh.
I agree with MaRo on most of his picks, but I definitely have to disagree with placing Ovinomancer over Pyromancer's Ascension. The Ovinomancer can be fun, but its hideous drawback ensures that the vast majority of the time you're going to take a major hit if you want to use it, let alone multiple times.

...That said, I recently created a Patron of the Moon EDH deck that I now absolutely must find an Ovinomancer for.

I also went the other way on the Nishoba/Fecundity pick; Nishoba being a big beater is fun and all, but there are a whole bunch of cards that do essentially the same thing--it's not really unique at all, which really lowers the rating for me. There are half a dozen other cards that you could substitute for the Nishoba without changing the vote. Fecundity, on the other hand, is one-of-a-kind.

Finally, I went for Snakeform over Mindslaver, because frankly, I'm pretty sure I've never seen Mindslaver used in any deck that didn't use it for the lock; whenever I see it, I groan and think "Oh, great; here comes the lock." Even if they don't happen to be able to lock right then, not much fun ensues. Either you have the capacity to ruin yourself and they force you to do so--especially not-fun when they drop and activate right away and thus you had no ability to prepare, or you don't, they tap you out, and nothing much happens. I'll take "Ha, gotcha!" over "Greeeaaaat " any day.

Come join me at No Goblins Allowed


Because frankly, being here depresses me these days.

Finally, I went for Snakeform over Mindslaver, because frankly, I'm pretty sure I've never seen Mindslaver used in any deck that didn't use it for the lock; whenever I see it, I groan and think "Oh, great; here comes the lock." Even if they don't happen to be able to lock right then, not much fun ensues. Either you have the capacity to ruin yourself and they force you to do so--especially not-fun when they drop and activate right away and thus you had no ability to prepare, or you don't, they tap you out, and nothing much happens. I'll take "Ha, gotcha!" over "Greeeaaaat " any day.

This.  The people who are saying, "Oh, Mindslaver is fun when it's not used for a lock!" seem to be ignoring the fact that it's just about always used for a lock.  Maybe if the card exiled itself after use.
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 agree with most of these picks, except for Overrun. 

If you're just talking about "What card is more fun to play?" then yes Cytoshape is more fun to play with.  But Overrun and cards of it's ilk are what makes Magic fun to begin with.  Knowing that there is a card that powerful in an environment changes the way you play.  I think Overrun is actually a Spike card - particularly when playing against.  I always get a kick out of sniffing out an Overrun before it happens and playing around it.  You can make a similar case for Counterspell.

If you're asking the question "What card in Magic makes Magic the most fun to play?" I think the answer is Giant Growth.  It epitomises the essence of card interaction, hidden information and bluffing, changing the game state at "instant speed", and making creatures huge, all of which are core elements of why Magic is fun to begin with. 

(And I think Unsummon died a little bit and Magic got a little less fun with the new M10 combat rules.)
I think you perhaps underestimate Snakeform. It's definitely up there with those that "generate stories and have variety in play". In limited it was awesome for its colourchanging effect, neutralising God auras at instant speed; and it's still one of the best green or blue combat tricks, as effectively a cantrip Ovinize. It can be combined with all sorts of things, and is a good candidate for Best Common for Casual from its set (perhaps beaten by Unmake). I think it might still be fair to let Mindslaver beat it, but don't go dissin' the Snakeform.

I agree with you on Radiate vs Gifts Ungiven, though I definitely recognise the difficulty of that choice!

My vote on Endless Whispers vs Counterspell was much more of a vote "for" EW rather than "against" CS, though. I have no problem with strong countermagic existing in small quantities; the problem comes when a deck can play 16-20 good counters. But EW is insane - not always in a good way, but pretty much always in a crazy way

And just to answer a couple of repeating points on this forum: (1) Goblin Game really isn't that wacky. All it does is make someone lose some life. (2) Without any help, Ovinomancer is just an okay card. With help in all sorts of ways, though, he becomes superb. Just this weekend I was casting Volrath's Shapeshifter, discarding an Ovinomancer (to dodge the CIP effect), firing off the Sheep Ray, and then getting the 'mancer out of my graveyard with a Woebearer. But Thousand-Year Elixir or Mass Hysteria or Battle Rampart or Concordant Crossroads can let you use him the turn you play him, or you can do weird stuff with Quicksilver Elemental or Experiment Kraj. Yay, sheep!

 

You know, this is a fun exercise and all, but the conclusions are obvious:

Building is more fun than destroying.  Given two cards, the more fun one will be the one that builds a situation rather than one that destroys one.

Look particularly at:
- Doubling Season vs. Chain Lightening
- Elvish Promenade vs. Chaos Confetti
- Endless Wispers vs. Counterspell
- even Mindslaver vs. Snakeform (winners in bold)

While I agree with the general sentiment, I disagree with the action item (make less control cards) drawn from it.  Cards that destroy and other "control" cards serve a very important purpose, and while they might not be as fun, I don't think Magic would be as good a game without them.

Let's have a look at Zendikar.  Design probably thought that this set would be fun to play with, as it allows players to create all sorts of zany situations and allows other players to respond with traps and whatnot.  However, there was a problem that development recognized - there is no coming back from a losing position.  Due to the "fun" times in ZEN we as players didn't really notice it at first, but over time we began to become weary with it.  In the mini-battle between design and development, where design (seeking to maximize fun) will create a bunch of creative builder cards, and development (trying to make the game more accessible) will advocate for more control cards, design gained too much territory.

I think the soluitons in M10 were correct: present different, flavorful, "fun" ways to "control" your opponent.  The only problem with M10 is that it was just too small to present a wide array of options, so the gameplay became really predictable (predictable is not fun).   (This leads to another discussion about the correlation between set size and set longevity in limited; hopefully sets moving forward will be a little larger)

I understand this is an article about "fun", but my personal opinion is that maximizing fun while sacrificing other aspects (like flavor and balance) isn't going to draw more customers.  I especially don't like it when "fun" is used as an excuse to print obvious money grabs, either.  It's not about individual cards, it's about environments, and the control cards, while not being individually fun, still play a vital role.
It would've really helped if MaRo had defined 'fun' a little better when asking us to vote which was more fun.

Then again, the results will show what people themselves interpreted as fun.

For example, I vote Chaos Confetti, not because of its play value, but purely its existence itself has given me way more fun than the avarage magic card in play value.
(for the same reasons I love Mindless Null. Definitely one of the most memorable commons of Zendikar)

I also voted against Mindslaver, because here's another good lesson: a card can have all the good fun intentions, but if it works out different in practice that matters none. Mindslaver is used in a very unfun way in 99% of its plays as many others have pointed out
Seriously, Shahrazad?  Really?  Shahrazad is right up there with Stasis, Smokestack, Sensei's Divining Top, etc. as one of the most horribly unfun cards in Magic history.
It would've really helped if MaRo had defined 'fun' a little better when asking us to vote which was more fun.

Then again, the results will show what people themselves interpreted as fun.



I think that's the entire point. There's no way MaRo can define "fun" because that's different for different people--he admits himself that he has a Johnny bias, which is presumably how Overrun lost its matchup. So, it's pretty much down to user interpretation as to what should or shouldn't have won here.

It would've really helped if MaRo had defined 'fun' a little better when asking us to vote which was more fun.

Then again, the results will show what people themselves interpreted as fun.



I think that's the entire point. There's no way MaRo can define "fun" because that's different for different people--he admits himself that he has a Johnny bias, which is presumably how Overrun lost its matchup. So, it's pretty much down to user interpretation as to what should or shouldn't have won here.




Yeah you're right what I meant was that it would serve as a disclaimer that there is no right or wrong and stuff
I don't even think the Grizzly Bears original flavor text was that good, so it has effectively zero fun points with me.  I just have a hard time seeing a card that I would never play, as fun.  By that standard, Counterspell is more fun than Grizzly Bears, purely because I might use it someday.

Seriously, Shahrazad?  Really?  Shahrazad is right up there with Stasis, Smokestack, Sensei's Divining Top, etc. as one of the most horribly unfun cards in Magic history.



I don't know what you're talking about - SDT is an incredibly fun card.  Seeing the top three?  Soo enjoyable!
Seriously, Shahrazad?  Really?  Shahrazad is right up there with Stasis, Smokestack, Sensei's Divining Top, etc. as one of the most horribly unfun cards in Magic history.



There are much more unfun cards than those; personally, I'd rather play in a format with Stasis, Top, or Smokestack than one dominated by over-the-top threats like Tarmogoyf, Wild Nacatl, Bloodbraid Elf, Lightning Bolt, or Blighting.
I love MaRo, and I'm aware that this is almost hopelessly pedantic, but I could really feel the lack of copy editing in this article. Usually there's something a bit off, but I spotted a huge number this time (reviewed in order, and note that fragments like the sixth word of the column are allowed as a stylistic flourish).

(1) Paragraph 1: "I spent some time thinking [...] and realized [...]" This is kinda okay due to "I" being the subject of both "spent" and "realized", but why not avoid confusion by putting a comma before "and realized"?

(2) Para. 1: "As I've explained before (in An Elegant Response no less) I tend to [...]" There should be a comma after the parenthetical to separate the beginning from the main clause.

(3) Para 1: "[...] things I wanted to show off but I didn't know the topic." This is a run-on sentence without a comma before the conjunction.

(4) Para. 2: "[...] talk about fun but I'm going to do [...]" Another run-on.

(5) Para. 2: "The idea of a face-off is this. Things are hard to judge in isolation." The end of the first sentence should be a colon. It would be more clear to say "The virtue of a face-off", but "idea" is workable.

(6) Para. 3: "[...] judging things in context of other things [...]" The elided "the" before "context" should be left in, because "context" is not standing alone as the object of the preposition.

(7) Para. 3: "[...] in the category you are examining and you pit them against one another." Another run-on.

(8) Para. 5: Twitter should be capitalized as a proper noun.

(9) Goblin Spelunkers vs. Shahrazad: "As far as I'm concerned this match-up isn't close [...]" Insert a comma after "concerned" to separate it from the main clause.

(10) Goblin Spelunkers vs. Shahrazad: "These interactions will always be different so Shahrazad should do much better maintaining its level of fun." Add a comma between "different" and "so".

(11) Elvish Promenade vs. Chaos Confetti: "[...] players like token making and Elf tribal decks but it's not enough unto itself [...]" Another run-on.

(12) Elvish Promenade vs. Chaos Confetti: "When I made Unglued I hoped it did." Again, add a comma after Unglued to separate the main clause.

(13) Cheatyface vs. Grizzly Bears: "[...] that's not much to go on in the fun department so this fight is fairly uneven." Add a comma between "department" and "so".

(14) Snakeform vs. Mindslaver: "[...] while fun in the shor trun [...]" A spell-check-detectable error.

(15) Fact or Fiction vs. Shocker: "[...] plus its ability to let player's make choices." Remove the apostrophe from "player's"; it's plural rather than possessive.

(16) Gifts Ungiven vs. Radiate: "[...] gives the player a lot of choices and the need to pick four different cards can [...]" Another run-on! This is killing me.

(17) Gift Ungiven vs. Radiate: "[...] splashy memorable moments [...]" Add a comma between "splashy" and "memorable" to break up adjectives modifying the same noun.

(18) Gifts Ungiven vs. Radiate: "This one is close though and I could easily see it going to other way on a different day." A double-whammy: another run-on, and a weird particle in the verb phrase "going to" when "going the" is idiomatically better.

(19) Phantom Nishoba vs. Fecundity: "[...] Phantom Nishoba's fun comes at [...]. Fecundity's fun comes at [...]" "Comes at" must be dialectal; "comes from" is better.

(20) Phantom Nishoba vs. Fecundity: "[...] side with Timmy ,as I sided [...]" Another spell-check-detectable error.

(21) Warp World vs. Thieves' Auction: "[...] all our permanent are going away and then the wacky hijinx ensue [...]" Pluralize "permanents" and spell "hijinx" as "hijinks".

(22) Booster Tutor vs. Ball Lightning: "By allowing yourself to think in areas you don't normally you arrive at places [...]" This is a demonstration of why split infinitives are okay (per sources like "Garner's Modern American Usage"): putting "normally" before the "don't [think]" is more clear, preventing a potential miscue for the reader. There should also be a comma before "you arrive" for the same purpose.

(23) Conclusion: "[...] forcing you to create match-ups you would have consciously chosen." I assume there is a "not" missing in front of "have".

Thanks for the article. I like the content; I just don't like distractions while reading it!
Wait... Fact or Fiction and Mindslaver are fun, and Gifts Ungiven only got rated un-fun because FOF was already rated as fun...

...yet Counterspell is the epitome of un-fun?

Maro, I love you and I usually agree with you even on terribly unpopular stuff. And I know you're probably reporting sadly popular comments you've gotten on Counterspell rather than your own feelings.

Still, have you lost your mind? Having someone say "no" once is un-fun, but having someone pilot your entire turn, and quite possibly do so over and over again is fun?

*sigh* I understand that enough players reflexively HATE COUNTERS OH MY GOD that we'll probably never see the card again, but really... I think people honestly have no clue what it was that made Draw-Go so infuriatingly boring to play against (or to play yourself. I played permission back in the day, but that deck was soul-suckingly boring.)

Like people were saying, it wasn't that one card that made those decks so disgusting. It was the fact that they did one thing, and that one thing was glacially slow. And back then, there weren't the many ways (good man lands, straight-up uncounterable spells and creatures) of getting around heavy permission that there are now.

Permission decks like that are already dead. Stop trying to kill them. You've finished that task already.

(Honestly, I think Counterspell could come back and was actually hoping it would when I saw Lightning Bolt in M10. Because those old-school permission decks are already dead. The Worldwake manlands were the last nail in their coffin, if they even needed it.)
There are a few cards in the contest that I consider to be negatively fun - taking basic lands as the standard 0-level for fun, I would have voted a basic land as more fun than the cards in question.

Shahrazad is one - as others have said, it's a pretty cool idea, but, like MaRo's elegance column, the practical side kills the fun.

The other standout loser for my money is Booster Tutor - if you have a number of sealed boosters, and no plans to do anything more fun with them (like host/participate in some kind of sealed deck or draft event) then, yes, it offers a fun way to open those boosters. If you're playing in a card shop, and are willing to spend money to play your cards, then, for the price of a couple of pints of beer per time, you can turn money into potential game advantage. If you're playing at a kitchen table or somewhere else with no sealed packs around, then it is less fun than One With Nothing...

I no longer buy boosters by the boxload, and even when I did, I'd use them to arrange kitchen table sealed leagues and the like (days or weeks of fun) rather than on attempting to improve my position in a single game (particularly since a typical booster isn't going to have a better card than the average card in my deck - yes, there's a chance of a dramatic game-swinging moment, but with a competently built deck, you're more likely to topdeck an answer than you are to find one in a booster...)
M:tG Rules Advisor

10.  Counterspell is an auto-lose.  I can't imagine how anyone thinks this is fun; I absolutely hate playing a deck whose game plan is to ensure that nothing ever happens.  Doesn't matter if I win with it; I still hate it.  I want to play my cards, not sit around threatening to play them so my opponent doesn't try to play anything that I'd have to play my cards against!  I not only don't think this is fun, I try to avoid playing against people who do.


I for one find the challenge of playing around counterspells fun (granted it gets kinda annoying when I'm playing my big dumb casual decks), and there's something amazingly fun about being able to say "Nope."



Mark's just taking the opportunity to fortify Tom's article on blue. It's another case of design and development backing each other. They do this regularly. It's not his fault someone gave him this opportunity on a silver platter.
Seriously, Shahrazad?  Really?  Shahrazad is right up there with Stasis, Smokestack, Sensei's Divining Top, etc. as one of the most horribly unfun cards in Magic history.



I don't know what you're talking about - SDT is an incredibly fun card.  Seeing the top three?  Soo enjoyable!


Like someone else said about Shahrazad, the idea is fine, but the real world logistics of Sensei's Divining Top lends itself to the rage-inducing horrors of *that guy* who is constantly like, "Awww, man, I can't decide how to optimally order these... OK like that - no wait... hmmm..."

This is further compounded by the fact that there is no good way to auto-yield to Top.  Every time it leaves play and comes back, it's considered a new Top, so AGAIN you have to click click click click click OK.  Multiply that by every turn, every game, every match, every tournament, etc. and you can see why it got banned in Extended not for power level or degeneracy, but for simply being an absurdly stupid time suck. (Note that Shahrazad was banned in Vintage and Legacy for almost the exact same reason).

Seriously, Shahrazad?  Really?  Shahrazad is right up there with Stasis, Smokestack, Sensei's Divining Top, etc. as one of the most horribly unfun cards in Magic history.



There are much more unfun cards than those; personally, I'd rather play in a format with Stasis, Top, or Smokestack than one dominated by over-the-top threats like Tarmogoyf, Wild Nacatl, Bloodbraid Elf, Lightning Bolt, or Blighting.


Vanilla Beaters are more unfun than Stasis? You're Joking right? I don't fund Top Unfun personally. But the others on that first list are kind of annoying, none of the cards on your list are remotely unfun.

I don't like the cards that were chosen for this article, Grizzly Bears shouldn't have been in this. I'm also a bit sore that Un cards were allowed in because they were designed to be wacky and have an inherent advantage (even though 2 lost).



10.  Counterspell is an auto-lose.  I can't imagine how anyone thinks this is fun; I absolutely hate playing a deck whose game plan is to ensure that nothing ever happens.  Doesn't matter if I win with it; I still hate it.  I want to play my cards, not sit around threatening to play them so my opponent doesn't try to play anything that I'd have to play my cards against!  I not only don't think this is fun, I try to avoid playing against people who do.


I for one find the challenge of playing around counterspells fun (granted it gets kinda annoying when I'm playing my big dumb casual decks), and there's something amazingly fun about being able to say "Nope."



This.

I understand that not all players are Spikes (nota bene: I promise I'm not actually a good one), but... quite honestly the constant creature power creep R&D is obsessed with these days encourages the kind of mind-numbing Big Stupid Aggro that sucks half the fun out of Magic. You guys want to talk about un-fun... At least we have Lightning Bolt back. *sigh*

Don't get me wrong, I'm not hating on the Red Zone here. But the game just gets so dull without challenges that make you think. Playing around permission was one of those challenges. (And take it from someone who both played it and played against it: Except for a few ridonkulous tournament decks in the heyday of Blue, dedicated permission is very possible to play around. People often lost to it because they didn't realize that, but it's still true.)

Seriously, have none of you had the experience of beating the living tar out of some cocky person who thinks he'll win just because he plays with Islands and actually has no idea what he needs to counter and what he doesn't? Fun times.
Sign me up for Booster Tutor in black-bordered Magic. That would be insanely fun!

Downsides: cost of boosters; rules problems; opening non-format-legal boosters wouldn't work, since any Mirage boosters you opened during your Standard tournament, for example, would all be illegal/banned in that format.

Upsides: too much fun; randomness; crazy combos where you chain tutor to open a booster box worth of packs trying to find that one rare card or a way to keep the combo going.

Personally, I would drop some $$$ on a booster box before a PTQ just to play this card.

I'd like to get behind the Booster Tutor love, but I really can't. I can see it being fun once or twice, or fun in something like casual multiplayer. But I'd be too annoyed to see that card in packs once I'd built Crazy Multiplayer Deck with them in it. Particularly if it were rare.

And Magic already has enough ways of encouraging us to shell out more money for more cards. The goofy randomness is cute. The fact that the card basically has "GIVE US MORE MONEY" in its rules text, not so much...

Very good article. Lots of chances for discussion, and I appreciate the use of the face-off tool to learn more about what is fun in Magic.

I haven't played for a while, but I agree with all of MaRo's choices, except for Fecundity. The Nishoba is just an effective, annoying, threat.
I'm a little disappointed that I'm not seeing Choice of Damnations on the list. That's my vote for most fun card ever. 
Play EDH? Interested in trying EDH? Want ideas for new and exciting generals? Have certain colors in mind for your next deck, but haven't picked a general yet? Boy have I got the thread for you! http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75842/22946049/Comprehensive_Index_of_Generals
I can't believe nobody mentions that Goblin Spelunkers are on the list because they are a vorthos fun card. They have a hilarious flavour text and picture. Thats why its there. Nothing to do with being a 2/2 mountainwalker and then try to think why that may be fun.

Sign In to post comments