4/26/2010 MM: "You Had Me at Eldrazi"

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This thread is for discussion of this week's Making Magic, which goes live Monday morning on magicthegathering.com.
What happens when a design team creates a mechanic that can live in the bio-dome but not so easily outside it? What place is there in Magic for mechanics that thrive within their own environment?



As Coldsnap and Ripple proved, terrible things and no place.
What happens when a design team creates a mechanic that can live in the bio-dome but not so easily outside it? What place is there in Magic for mechanics that thrive within their own environment?


As Coldsnap and Ripple proved, terrible things and no place.

Be fair.  Ripple (not counting Relentless Rats) wouldn't work even for Coldsnap-only Constructed using 60 card decks.  It was a Limited mechanic, not a "bio-dome" mechanic.

Incidentally, this leads us to the next question: should the speed of new sets in general be cut back, so that cards like those in RoE could become the norm in Standard?  Maybe the game would be more fun that way?

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...
In the beginning, Magic was a Constructed game. Sealed Deck (and later Draft) was introduced as kind of a novelty. But something interesting has happened over the last seventeen years. What started as an alternative way to play has become the default way for a huge number of players. To many players, Limited is what Magic is about. As such, R&D spends a lot of time on it.

So is this an official admission that sets are designed to be 97% utter crap intentionally?
Many Constructed formats can get monotonous as you play the same decks against each other round after round. Limited, by its very structure, guarantees that every deck (yours and your opponents') will be different,.

Gee?  Who would have guessed that making virtually every card suck leads to that tiny handful of cards that do not suck dominating constructed?

When Constructed is dominated by intentionally undercosted chase-rares and unintentional mistakes, it's no wonder Constructed gets dismissed in favor of Limited - which just leads R&D to skew design heavily towards limited, which just causes Constructed to become even more stale, which drives more players towards limited, which just leads R&D to skew design heavily towards limited, which just causes Constructed to become even more stale, which drives more players towards limited, which just leads R&D to skew design heavily towards limited, which just causes Constructed to become even more stale, which drives more players towards limited, which just leads R&D to skew design heavily towards limited, which just causes Constructed to become even more stale, which drives more players towards limited, etc., etc...
[Incidentally, this leads us to the next question: should the speed of new sets in general be cut back, so that cards like those in RoE could become the norm in Standard?  Maybe the game would be more fun that way?



Noooooooooo! *dives in front of MaRo's desk*

Any turn that you're just stalling you might as well not be playing. I don't see anything fun about games taking longer because you're getting less done per turn.
Gee?  Who would have guessed that making virtually every card suck leads to that tiny handful of cards that do not suck dominating constructed?

When Constructed is dominated by intentionally undercosted chase-rares and unintentional mistakes, it's no wonder Constructed gets dismissed in favor of Limited - which just leads R&D to skew design heavily towards limited, which just causes Constructed to become even more stale, which drives more players towards limited, which just leads R&D to skew design heavily towards limited, which just causes Constructed to become even more stale, which drives more players towards limited, which just leads R&D to skew design heavily towards limited, which just causes Constructed to become even more stale, which drives more players towards limited, which just leads R&D to skew design heavily towards limited, which just causes Constructed to become even more stale, which drives more players towards limited, etc., etc...


I agree with your concern over the shortage of viable cards and archetypes in Constructed, but not the implication that skewing design towards Limited is the cause of this result.  Limited in no way needs or wants undercosted chase rares like Baneslayer Angel.

My preference would be to get rid of undercosted Mythic utility cards, and try to make every card good in its own way.  That would allow for the greatest and most interesting variety of decks.  Or does that fail to adequately distinguish between mediocre players and bad players?  As a reasonably good player used to playing against other reasonably good players, the relevant deckbuilding skills to determine winners and losers are usually curve and synergy.  For weaker players playing against each other, however, perhaps the relevant skill is the ability to recognize bad cards?  Maybe that is Wizards' rationale for including seeming no-brainers in a set (at least, that's a generous interpretation).  Regardless, it is frustrating to me not to be in the target audience for a large swath of cards.  (I do appreciate Johnny, Timmy, and Spike cards, so this is my main exposure to the phenomenon of not being wanted.)

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 your concern over the shortage of viable cards and archetypes in Constructed, but not the implication that skewing design towards Limited is the cause of this result.  Limited in no way needs or wants undercosted chase rares like Baneslayer Angel.

Oh, but I think it does - or rather, uh, um, just keep reading.

Wizards is designing for Limited, but still has to (at least half-assedly) support Constructed.  The easiest way to do that is to rarity-skew Contructed-level cards, which both lessens impact in Limited, and nudges aftermarket dealers to crack cases in search of Golden Tickets.

I agree with your concern over the shortage of viable cards and archetypes in Constructed, but not the implication that skewing design towards Limited is the cause of this result.  Limited in no way needs or wants undercosted chase rares like Baneslayer Angel.

Oh, but I think it does - or rather, uh, um, just keep reading.

Wizards is designing for Limited, but still has to (at least half-assedly) support Constructed.  The easiest way to do that is to rarity-skew Contructed-level cards, which both lessens impact in Limited, and nudges aftermarket dealers to crack cases in search of Golden Tickets.

That's assuming that there are cards that Constructed needs but that would mess up Limited.  Thoughtseize isn't really one of those - it's best for messing up combos ASAP, which Limited rarely has to worry about.  A common Thoughtseize wouldn't hurt Limited.  A common Baneslayer Angel would certainly be bad in Limited, with its dearth of removal... but I contend that Constructed has no need of (and in fact is hurt by) having Baneslayer Angel at any rarity.  Why have one fat creature that's better than all the rest?  It just hurts deck design and locks people out of Constructed when they can't afford a playset.
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...
It just hurts deck design and locks people out of Constructed when they can't afford a playset.

Were I one to indulge in insane conspiracy theory, I'd assume BSA's purpose is to subtly nudge players into Limited, where R&D has no obligations to inter-block cohesion or relative power.
It takes only one guy (and usually it's only that one guy) at an FNM with a set of Baneslayers or any other overvalued chase-rare of the moment to get everyone else in the group to kindly ask the TO for Draft next week (or the next several weeks).

This whole article reads depressingly like Mr Rosewater getting his excuses in first for why ROE will have virtually no effect on playable constructed archetypes. Oh good, a few more months of the monstrosity that cascade created.

Here in the UK we've got an election campaign on the go which means I've had to listen to plenty of over long, over complex justifications that that seek to hide the truth. This is just another one.

Here's what I fear Mr Rosewater declined to say...

"WOTC makes money from limited, not constructed. So all you constructed players out there? Up yours."
"Join me next week when I talk German industrial design. (No, really)."

hooray for the bauhaus!

(with intentionally lower-case letters.)
So is this an official admission that sets are designed to be 97% utter crap intentionally?
[...] Gee?  Who would have guessed that making virtually every card suck leads to that tiny handful of cards that do not suck dominating constructed?


No that admission---packaged with its rebuttal---came from MaRo over eight years ago in probably his best article ever: When Cards Go Bad.

That in a mutant-sized nutshell is why we make “bad cards." To recap (or to fill in for those unwilling to read the long version):


  1. By definition, some bad cards have to exist. (The most important reason.)

  2. Some cards are “bad” because they aren’t meant for you.

  3. Some cards are “bad” because they’re designed for a less advanced player.

  4. Some cards are “bad” because the right deck for them doesn’t exist yet.

  5. “Bad” cards reward the more skilled player.

  6. Some players enjoy discovering good “bad” cards.

  7. Some “bad” cards are simply R&D goofing up.


I have been quite scathing of Mr Rosewater in past posts, but I did find this article rather good.

I have misgivings about RotE for constructed, but as a drafting set I think it is capable of producing some interesting games and skillful plays and I can see how very carefully this must have been thought out in terms of how to make the environment fat-friendly.

On the downside, I found that these environmental factors led to a bigger "luck factor" for sealed. Running a modest number of eldrazi with mana accelerators, if you have them, seemed to be a disappointingly brainless-yet-successful strategy, safe in an environment short on answers and given that it only takes one swing of an 8/8 annihilator 2 creature to set back your opponent almost irrecovably. I stress that this is my judgment of sealed, rather than draft.

It was refreshing to hear Mark confess the occasional "monotony" of constructed formats and I appreciated the candour that Limited has reached a predominance in terms of how MTG is consumed, and therefore designed. It was disappointing though to see the article step around the obvious follow up question: is the reason why constructed formats have become so monotonous that the playable card pool is becoming more and more restrictive. In other words, which came first? The interest in limited, or a different direction in design?

I suspect that the answer is a little of both, and in particular that design seems to have an increasingly financial mandate. This, as ever, is my biggest crticism of the article. There is never reference to such factors influencing design.

Please, mark, can you please address the thorny issues of cash mythics and rarity-to-power-creep which is become more and more pronounced in card design.
What exactly would any of you "wizards making good cards rare is a big conspiracy to force us all to draft" people point to as an example of a set that was designed the way you want? Good cards are and have always been rare, this isn't exactly some kind of new development, or a result of limited becoming more popular.
What exactly would any of you "wizards making good cards rare is a big conspiracy to force us all to draft" people point to as an example of a set that was designed the way you want? Good cards are and have always been rare, this isn't exactly some kind of new development, or a result of limited becoming more popular.



It hasn't ever reached the level that it is now. We haven't had cards breaking the 60 dollar mark in standard before. ROE is a set where almost none of the commons and an unusually small portion of the uncommons will ever see play in standard. Even Mark admits that it is due to a concentration on the limited format in design. So the question is a good one. Do they design cards like baneslayer angel to drive players towards limited since they either can't or don't want to shell out the 400 USD for a playset of Jace and walletslayer to play what is soon to be considered the "best deck".

Don't be too smart to have fun
It hasn't ever reached the level that it is now. We haven't had cards breaking the 60 dollar mark in standard before. ROE is a set where almost none of the commons and an unusually small portion of the uncommons will ever see play in standard. Even Mark admits that it is due to a concentration on the limited format in design. So the question is a good one. Do they design cards like baneslayer angel to drive players towards limited since they either can't or don't want to shell out the 400 USD for a playset of Jace and walletslayer to play what is soon to be considered the "best deck".

I understand your concern about card prices, but realize that Wizards is going to crank the minimum total price of a Tier One deck as high as they can without causing a drop in their total revenue (as any seller of a product would do).  So all you can do for now is not play Standard and let them know through boards like these why you aren't.  They'll get the message eventually.
What exactly would any of you "wizards making good cards rare is a big conspiracy to force us all to draft" people point to as an example of a set that was designed the way you want?

Tempest.
What exactly would any of you "wizards making good cards rare is a big conspiracy to force us all to draft" people point to as an example of a set that was designed the way you want? Good cards are and have always been rare, this isn't exactly some kind of new development, or a result of limited becoming more popular.



Time Spiral as both a block and a set. It's rife with good commons and uncommons for casual and tournament-level play. Most of all, they're interesting. Prime examples include the offcolor flashback cycle, Prismatic Lens, Terramorphic Expanse, Rift Bolt, Search for Tomorrow, Mwonvuli Acid-Moss, Spiketail Drakeling, Tendrils of Corruption, and so on. The commons were good, the rares nice (Teferi, Mystic Snake, Ancestral Vision, Lotus Bloom, Dragonstorm, Call of the Herd...), manafixing cheap and efficient enough, and blue was exciting. White could've used a bit better stuff, granted. Then again, Time Spiral was the prelude to the ridiculousness of white today.

Trying to help "I'm original" people build better decks is self-sabotage: Good advice will inevitably be ignored because someone did it before. The gist of Magic is going to MWS/MTGO, playing Island, Ponder and watching the opponent ragequit.
What exactly would any of you "wizards making good cards rare is a big conspiracy to force us all to draft" people point to as an example of a set that was designed the way you want?

Tempest.


Pretty much all the commons in tempest are terrible. Its full of reprints, and slivers who are only really good because of the mistake that was crystalline sliver in the next set. It pretty much has capsize, mistakes like lotus petal, and some bears with shadow.


Time Spiral as both a block and a set. It's rife with good commons and uncommons for casual and tournament-level play. Most of all, they're interesting. Prime examples include the offcolor flashback cycle, Prismatic Lens, Terramorphic Expanse, Rift Bolt, Search for Tomorrow, Mwonvuli Acid-Moss, Spiketail Drakeling, Tendrils of Corruption, and so on. The commons were good, the rares nice (Teferi, Mystic Snake, Ancestral Vision, Lotus Bloom, Dragonstorm, Call of the Herd...), manafixing cheap and efficient enough, and blue was exciting. White could've used a bit better stuff, granted. Then again, Time Spiral was the prelude to the ridiculousness of white today.


I have trouble believing that a set as recent as time spiral wasn't designed with limited in mind. Besides in time spiral the vast majority of the commons are still crap, just like every set.

You get a certain number of good utility cards and aggressive creatures from each set at common/uncommon, and then the other good cards are rare. How else would you sell packs? The overinflated prices of mythics emphasize this disparity. Unless you really believe that the only reason wizards even bothers printing good cards is to force people to play limited, the only real shift in rarities that limited has caused is making fireballs uncommons (its also probably to blame for some of the power creep in creatures, but old creatures were really terrible).

The Time Spiral block was certainly designed with an eye on limited, as are they all.  It is ironic that a block that diverse has led us to where we are now with this "sit around and build to a big monster." If only people had bought more Planar Chaos...if only...

Pretty much all the commons in tempest are terrible. Its full of reprints, and slivers who are only really good because of the mistake that was crystalline sliver in the next set. It pretty much has capsize, mistakes like lotus petal, and some bears with shadow.

Seriously?  Are all good cards "mistakes" somehow?

A pile of common and uncommon shadow guys could be cobbled together to make a passable deck for pocket change.  Add in some contemporary removal, and "Shadow guys, woot!" was quite winnable.
Similarly, Odyssey Block was pretty lenient with its rarity.
So is this an official admission that sets are designed to be 97% utter crap intentionally?
[...] Gee?  Who would have guessed that making virtually every card suck leads to that tiny handful of cards that do not suck dominating constructed?


No that admission---packaged with its rebuttal---came from MaRo over eight years ago in probably his best article ever: When Cards Go Bad.

That in a mutant-sized nutshell is why we make “bad cards." To recap (or to fill in for those unwilling to read the long version):


  1. By definition, some bad cards have to exist. (The most important reason.)

  2. Some cards are “bad” because they aren’t meant for you.

  3. Some cards are “bad” because they’re designed for a less advanced player.

  4. Some cards are “bad” because the right deck for them doesn’t exist yet.

  5. “Bad” cards reward the more skilled player.

  6. Some players enjoy discovering good “bad” cards.

  7. Some “bad” cards are simply R&D goofing up.





You missed the point of what he was saying. I, for one, know that bad cards have to exist, and I have read and referenced this article on several occasions.
What Qmark was saying, though, is that there has been a drastic increase in the amount of bad cards, since the cards are just fine in Limited. So they can design more and more cards with Limited in mind, while neglecting the fact that almost an entire set consists of cards that are unusable in Constructed.
Since most cards are unusable, you lead to a constructed format where you have 2 or 3 decks that win, and everything else loses, leading to everyone having the same deck.

Bad cards have to exist. They always have and always will. But producing cards moreso for Limited, by it's nature where any card can be played (almost), it is taking away from Constructed, where very very few cards can be played in the first place, and now there will be significantly less cards that are playable, leading to even less decks that win, a lot more decks that lose, and shoeboxes full of cards that will never be used again that came from last week's sealed pool, or draft.

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.
It hasn't ever reached the level that it is now. We haven't had cards breaking the 60 dollar mark in standard before. ROE is a set where almost none of the commons and an unusually small portion of the uncommons will ever see play in standard. Even Mark admits that it is due to a concentration on the limited format in design. So the question is a good one. Do they design cards like baneslayer angel to drive players towards limited since they either can't or don't want to shell out the 400 USD for a playset of Jace and walletslayer to play what is soon to be considered the "best deck".

I understand your concern about card prices, but realize that Wizards is going to crank the minimum total price of a Tier One deck as high as they can without causing a drop in their total revenue (as any seller of a product would do).  So all you can do for now is not play Standard and let them know through boards like these why you aren't.  They'll get the message eventually.



They won't know when they've crossed the line until thousands of players have quit. Anyway I pretty much stopped playing standard awhile back. I've been one of those players who has been pushed into limited only since I could never build the decks I wanted in constructed. I kept losing to jitte, heartbeat combo, and other decks full of rares with 100+ dollar mana bases and just stopped attending constructed tournaments. When I do play constructed it is like limited plus for me since I don't buy cards (other than the cards I get playing limited). I play a lot of casual constructed but I really want to start attending tournaments again I just haven't found a good enough deck among my cards to bother.

shoeboxes full of cards that will never be used again that came from last week's sealed pool, or draft.




That is my biggest problem with this set. I still play constructed casually and if I do go to a tournament I'd like to have some cards that are worth bringing but there are very few cards in this set that I think will make the cut in my constructed decks. Sure some will play nicely in my casual group but when it's one v. one like when my wife and I play I want to be at least somewhat competitive. I'd love to play more limited in this set because the limited format is great but I am worried that I'm not getting value if I do that. After all a limited tournament is one night but a constructed deck can last me years. One deck I like to play is my izzet deck which is like 3 years old. I just keep upgrading and moving on with the same core.
Don't be too smart to have fun
Try to ask around if people were interested in Pauper tournaments. Cheap as hell, very healthy metagame (at least with the Magic Online card pool before Urza and Eldrazi get introduced), good decks. All in all, good stuff if you can just get people playing it.
Trying to help "I'm original" people build better decks is self-sabotage: Good advice will inevitably be ignored because someone did it before. The gist of Magic is going to MWS/MTGO, playing Island, Ponder and watching the opponent ragequit.
Try to ask around if people were interested in Pauper tournaments. Cheap as hell, very healthy metagame (at least with the Magic Online card pool before Urza and Eldrazi get introduced), good decks. All in all, good stuff if you can just get people playing it.



I play a lot of pauper on MtGO. It is a pretty awesome format. I wish they had it for FNM one night. I would totally go.
Don't be too smart to have fun

Pauper is a neat diversion for a handful of games, but then people just want to get back to playing real Magic. It is good that it sticks from random place to random place (and it has a following online), but in the end it is just Workaround Magic. And there are plenty of commons that aren't even good enough for Pauper. A lot of the ones in this set would apply, but there are a couple of big monsters that I am sure would be useful to such a format.


Since most cards are unusable, you lead to a constructed format where you have 2 or 3 decks that win, and everything else loses, leading to everyone having the same deck.



I think the fact that R&D hates combo, has also affected the number of viable decks in the environment.  Other than in Extended (where it would be difficult to avoid), R&D does their best to not have a Tier 1 combo deck (the last good one was when Time Spiral was legal).  If combo was more of a presence in Standard and even Block, then the number of viable decks would increase, as both combo and counter-combo (control and aggro-control) cards would get used.

Right now, and particularly moreso with Rise, R&D has setup a world where it's just aggro vs. (poor) control.  Against that backdrop, it's no wonder that a synergistic midrange deck is the only game in town.
To think that I was actually squarely behind WOTC on the smaller card pool. If I had known then that they were using the smaller set size to make it easier to mail in a set, I would not have been quite so supportive. They did make a point to tell us that with ROE they would be slightly increasing the size of the Standard pool, but with a set like this, I doubt that really is going to make a difference. Competitive players ignore cards that don't have any real use in competitive play, so having a tiny sliver of a 248- card set be useful is basically the same as having a tiny sliver of a 145-card set be useful.
So far I'm loving the whole Eldrazi set.  I've played some limited games using just Rise packs and the set seems to hold together pretty well by itself.  I'm able to get an eldrazi out in most games and they usually have a  huge impact, but don't automatically spell doom for my opponent.  Its like there are plenty of "bomb" rares in the common slot now.
This article and thread has helped me realize so many things. 

A) I get why I haven't been excited by Alara block and Zendikar block. This focus on Limited is creating junk like Siege Mastodon that (yes) is good in Limited, but has no use in any deck (at least until I get my Elephant Graveyards.

B) I'd been meaning to get back into regular M:TG, but been dreading buying a deck. Maybe Limited is the way to go.

C) This does seem to be an apology letter for RoE to Constructed players. 
  

"Ah, the age-old conundrum. Defenders of a game are too blind to see it's broken, and critics are too idiotic to see that it isn't." - Brian McCormick

What happens when a design team creates a mechanic that can live in the bio-dome but not so easily outside it?



Kamigawa... or was that a rhetorical question?

Good cards are and have always been rare, this isn't exactly some kind of new development, or a result of limited becoming more popular.



Wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong...

"are" and "always have been" ---> There are GREAT cards at all rarity levels. I guarantee you that this USED to be the case then more than it is now. Some of the cards that are considered to be the best or most powerful cards ever made aren't even rare. Saying something like that makes you look incredibly ignorant and/or naive.


FAIL.


I'd say this is a fairly healthy enviornment for non-rare decks.

Take Jund.  It runs rare mana fixing . . . and the Broodmate and Siege-Gang, neither of which are a 4 of.

Sure there's BSA, but you don't have to have a BSA to be competitive.  Only some types of U/W, Bant, and Junk run it in the main deck.


Vamps, RDW, Jund, Boros, and others are all good decks made up of unexpensive cards. 
What happens when a design team creates a mechanic that can live in the bio-dome but not so easily outside it?



Kamigawa... or was that a rhetorical question?

Good cards are and have always been rare, this isn't exactly some kind of new development, or a result of limited becoming more popular.



Wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong...

"are" and "always have been" ---> There are GREAT cards at all rarity levels. I guarantee you that this USED to be the case then more than it is now. Some of the cards that are considered to be the best or most powerful cards ever made aren't even rare. Saying something like that makes you look incredibly ignorant and/or naive.


FAIL.



Beta has like 18 playable commons and uncommons. Tempest has maybe 15 playable commons, and half of them are reprints of cards that were in mirage or 4th. Zendikar has 10ish playable commons, and none of them, besides cancel if you really want to count that as playable, are reprints. In fact, half of the good commons you listed are commons in recent sets, and one of the three that isn't was a joke for like 5 years after it was printed.

Beta has a ton of good rares. Birds, Wrath, Duals, Power... Tempest has stuff like Cursed Scroll, Alluren, Earthcraft, Vineyard, Medallions, Humility, intuition, living death, reflecting pool, scroll rack...

Its not that there aren't good commons and good rares, its just that for the most part strong, interesting (i.e. non-utility) cards have been rare because that's what sells packs. Its not some weird new trend or a product of some evil conspiracy to force us all to play limited.

Of course it could be that I'm just too stupid too see that these sets had all the good cards at common, but now all the good cards are rares.
Of course it could be that I'm just too stupid too see that these sets had all the good cards at common, but now all the good cards are rares.

Rares are just more, uh, remembered.
Finally obtaining that fourth Birds is a milestone.  Pulling that thirty-seventh Rancor is less so.

However, decks needing about twenty rares to function is a problem that should have been recognized and solved back in Ravnica.
Of course it could be that I'm just too stupid too see that these sets had all the good cards at common, but now all the good cards are rares.

Rares are just more, uh, remembered.
Finally obtaining that fourth Birds is a milestone.  Pulling that thirty-seventh Rancor is less so.

However, decks needing about twenty rares to function is a problem that should have been recognized and solved back in Ravnica.



Didn't happen, and won't ever happen. For some unfortunate coincidence, the block that brought us the major shift in both deck prices and playstyle happened to accidentally brought one of the few times that Standard was ever balanced. Spikes praised it for the latter, without ever noticing they were also supporting the former this way. And as long as their absurd clamoring of "best block ever" gets to WotC ears, they will have all the excuse to continue the trend for years.
If Limited gets in the way of printing good Constructed cards... Screw limited
I dunno, I think I am gonna be stubborn about this issue... even looking at the current meta-game, what is generally considered as "thee" deck to beat (Jund, dur) is built around tons of cards that aren't rare. Leech Man and BBElf have won me more games than any other card... plus there are a bunch of other cards that aren't rare and still great (Like this, this, or this, and even some of its most important mana base). Perhaps these cards are somewhat narrow and wouldn't be good in every deck but you certainly can't say that they are "bad."

On the flip side you could always say "Well, Jund is a good example but what about decks like Mythic... Hmmmm?" To which I would say... well okay fine... you got me, but it still isn't the case that all decks are rare heavy (Boros Bushwhacker would be another similar example.. some rares but not a crap-ton).

Also, it is very often the case that a card is first printed which is pretty bad but then gets ridiculously good.

Which cards are good or not is often due to personal perspective as well. I often play Goblin decks cause I think they are amazing so I'm going to naturally think that new goblin cards are awesome when compared to someone who only plays a crappier ( ) different tribe, such as elves. Of course there are still some cards that can be appreciated by all as being amazing.


BTW, it still chokes me that alot of emphasis hasn't been placed on Goblin Arsonist by both those who frequent the boards and R&D members. It is awesome! (even if it is basically just a functional reprint mixed with a card that WotC broke ).

Everyone always ignores the little guys...
have you compared goblin arsonist to mogg fanatic. Granted under the M10 rule changes fanatic isn't strictly better anymore but he's still better enough that arsonist won't get any love.
Don't be too smart to have fun
have you compared goblin arsonist to mogg fanatic. Granted under the M10 rule changes fanatic isn't strictly better anymore but he's still better enough that arsonist won't get any love.



If it wasn't for M10 rules change, Mogg fanatic would still be strictly better, no argument. However, as it stands now it is difficult to say that Goblin Arsonist isn't more versatile... i.e. Swing for 1, sac with Siege-Gang Commander for 2, gy trigger for another 1 = Max of 4 damage to a possible 3 targets = Granted... Goblin Arsonist is being overshadowed by his big brother and will have to fight some stiff competition to win a spot.

Never-the-less I am excited and will need to do some testing. I really don't think he is "better enough" anymore and I'd wager that many goblin lists are looking really hard to ditch him for something better clearly "stronger".


Of course it could be that I'm just too stupid too see that these sets had all the good cards at common, but now all the good cards are rares.



Most rares are wholly unusable. I've been following this thread, and someone named some commons and uncommons that were good, but I'll take another angle and name some of the Standard legal rares that are really just laughably bad. 


 
...of course, this list could go on for a very long time. The point is, there are just as many terrible unusable rares as they are commons and uncommons.

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.

Of course it could be that I'm just too stupid too see that these sets had all the good cards at common, but now all the good cards are rares.



Most rares are wholly unusable. I've been following this thread, and someone named some commons and uncommons that were good, but I'll take another angle and name some of the Standard legal rares that are really just laughably bad. 


 
...of course, this list could go on for a very long time. The point is, there are just as many terrible unusable rares as they are commons and uncommons.



And this is because of limited how? My point is that the game has always put a large number of the good, splashy playable cards at rare, because that's how you sell packs, not because of some weird conspiracy to force us to play limited. Its not some kind of new side-effect of limited that many good cards are rare, or that a lot of commons are pretty mediocre. I don't think anybody has ever argued that there aren't bad rares.

Also manabarbs is awesome.
And this is because of limited how?

It's not.
The commons and uncommons are bad because of Limited, putting that much more demand on the tiny handful of rares that are good.


In truth, "all of the good cards are rare" really isn't a problem by itself, so long as "all the rare cards are good". 
The real problem is "there's only [a small number] good cards, and they're all rare - [that small number, minus a smaller number (possibly zero)] of which are ultra-rare".

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