5/07/2010 LD: "Blast from the Past"

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This thread is for discussion of this week's Latest Developments, which goes live Friday morning on magicthegathering.com.
"It is more difficult to remember them for cards like Pestilence and Sigil of Sleep, which have rarities that are just obviously wrong by modern standards and distort Limited play. Pestilence is a repeating mass creature kill effect, which is something we have decided shouldn't live at common. Sigil of Sleep is a bounce effect that happens to your opponent turn after turn. Both cards have the potential to ruin Limited games when they show up, and because they are commons, they do so quite regularly.Just as modern Magic developers would never print Tolarian Academy, we also would never print such ruinous Limited cards at common."

Yeah, right.
There's a mistake in the poll.  You listed Vengevine in the list of mythics.  Vengevine is  not mythic.  Sure, it has the mythic color in the set symbol, and presumably shows up less frequently than regular rares, but there is absolutely nothing mythic about that card other than "it's a very good card".
Double-agreed with JohnnyComeLately. When I read the Urza's section I got the impression that the author was trying to downplay it for personal reasons.

1a) Everyone agrees that this block is why R&D exists. We know it's broken. A few of these cards are just dumb, and sometimes also at dumb rarities. The impression I got was like "See! This is why you should love me! I prevent Mark from printing Memory Jar!"

1b) Or put another way, imagine if instead he were to devote to a few paragraphs to dressing down The Dark. "See? This is why we don't let the creative team drive the bus! Ever!" (Fantastic art, fantastic flavor, but the cards do nothing.) Sure, but is that really fair to the creative people? Meaning, The Dark is a triumph of flavor in Magic, but yet you're using it to criticize them?

2) I think WotC hates how much the players hype Urza's block. They know we only hype it because it has unprintable cards in it. And they can only top that by printing new stupid cards, which they know better than to do. So he's taking a moment to point out that the block as a whole has flaws, maybe so that some day we'll celebrate a modern block as much. Keep wishing. I've got a deck with the Endless Wurm + Weatherseed Treefolk + Rancor "combo" in it. And I don't even Crop Rotation into a Gaea's Cradle to ramp into all that! (I use Wild Growth instead, enchantments matter.) And mono-green was not the winner in that block. Not even second.

P.S. Ignore him and draft UZ/UZ/UZ online right now! And draft black. I've heard that black in Urza's is deeper than black in Torment.
I think he is some what right about Urza's (my fav. block) but I think R&D has gone too far to avoid making another Urza block that some of the cards printed today are just...boring.
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You said:
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Overall, the Draft Extravaganza was a ton of fun, and I learned a lot about both playing and making Magic. If you ever get the chance to do an event like this yourself, take it. You'll have a blast, and you might learn something too.
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I completely disagree with your statement about "learned a lot about both playing and making Magic."  You didn't, at all.  You brought your job to the table.  You mention in each draft set how the set or your deck played, except for the glaring omission of the Urza's block.  In that block, you gave us a wall of text that everyone, litterally everyone, already knows.  Ok, there's a kid in Kansas who hasn't heard yet, but, he's still trying to get the wrapper off his Portal Starter Deck.

So, how did Urza's play out?  How was your deck?  How did it match up?  You just didn't care.  The meat in this article wasn't how set X played, it was why Urza's is just wrong.  Commonality - wrong.  Power level - wrong.  Card X - oh, so wrong.  So, what exactly was it about that draft that made you 'learn' something?

For example, "Pestilence is a repeating mass creature kill effect, which is something we have decided shouldn't live at common." - Did you open the card and windmill slam it?

"Sigil of Sleep is a bounce effect that happens to your opponent turn after turn." - did you draft it?

"However, there are a bunch of cards whose costs or rarities look simply wrong to me." - you're drafting, not developing.

"If nothing else, it made me feel that my job was important!" - FINALLY!

So, you notice things from the perspective of your job, call that learning and when you hit a critical mass of "OMG, that's broken!" cards, you say it made you feel your job was important?

I find it really interesting that you didn't say a word about how the draft went or how it played.  You are well versed in the subject matter of Lor/Lor/Lor.  But, when you don't know squat about a set initially, what did you learn?  Why initial impressions of cards opened didn't hold water when played?  How did it play?  Was it fast?  Did it allow time for the cards to 'do what they said they wanted to do' as you earlier reported?  What dominated the format, in play?  In summary, how would you rate those factors in importance, as a developer, in retrospect.  What mana costs are off and what rarity would you place them today?

All of these could have been interesting avenues of discussion.  Instead you gave us roughly 2 paragraphs of "Urza's block is broken!!!!  OMG!!!!!!!one11!!!"

I'm saddened.
The dark side of Ravnica block is, as ever, how difficult it is to build functional mana bases for three-color Limited decks. Those who played Ravnica block starting with Ravnica and all the way through to Dissension had time to slowly learn how to build them, but many of the Draft Extravaganza players had never seen the format before, and many of them ended up with decks that essentially didn't work. That was sad to see, and I would not want another multicolor block we made to feel like that.



This reminds me of when I got back into Magic after taking a long break.  My first tournament was the Alara Reborn prerelease.  It was my fault for not reading up on the block and knowing what "Bant" or "Jund" were.  I tried my best but did poorly.  What an epic fail that was! 
Yeah, I'd have to agree with Angoth, but about all of the sets beyond Llorwyn. You knew all kinds of stuff about Llorwyn because you had tons of experience drafting it, but less so with the other three sets. Drafting Mirrodin (which was my least favorite block for limited since blocks started) is a very different thing than Llorwyn or Alara. The conclusions you came up with were neat! I can tell you are a really good drafter, and this section of the article was full of things a good drafter would notice after his first time drafting. Wierd things happen when you are deep in block season. Did anyone open their first pack and think, "how do I maximize the sunburst I'm planning two packs from now?" In Rav, were you drafting to the never since seen subtlety of the color cues passed to you from your neighbors? My favorite cards in limited in Urza's were arc lightning and rancor. Saying that the set wasn't good bodes ill for Wizards. Clearly in light of our new Godzilla set Magic is still dripping with innovation. But from the players perspective, especially in limited, whoever adapts the best has an advantage. I love limited in the last 5 or 6 years, but I wouldn't say that the sets were flawed just because you had a difficult beginner experience with them. Rather, it was more of a gunslinging age. Few copied decks from the Dojo, due to the stigma, and players could win handily with a couple of Acridians.
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56859838 wrote:
Well obviously goblins breed at a rate of millions of times per year, thus in a few years they had evolved into a new species... you know or....
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63344365 wrote:
Your asking for proof that the ocean is wet, while your standing on the beach.
56733088 wrote:
Are these rankings all anonymus? Can I go rank everybody I think is mafia with 1 star?
•Collecting a complete foil set of Zendikar block both on Magic Online and in paper Magic does not entitle you to one (1) free Richard Garfield. Because that would be slavery, and slavery is bad.
slayer of fluffy, and single handedly annoyed half of the flavor/storyline group in one fell swoop[/sblock]
O_o pestilence and sigil of sleep is broken in common how???  we have jank like planeswalkers breaking the meta then you make overpowered R&D constructed decks.

finally, there is over costed mythics that are justifyed by making absolute garbage at every other rarity

They're not broken in constructed, but in limited. Being able to sweep the board and burn down your opponent or preventing your opponent from ever untapping with a creature are really strong in limited, and probably should be uncommons or even rares so you do not have to face against them every time.
O_o pestilence and sigil of sleep is broken in common how???  we have jank like planeswalkers breaking the meta then you make overpowered R&D constructed decks.

finally, there is over costed mythics that are justifyed by making absolute garbage at every other rarity

They're not broken in constructed, but in limited. Being able to sweep the board and burn down your opponent or preventing your opponent from ever untapping with a creature are really strong in limited, and probably should be uncommons or even rares so you do not have to face against them every time.



sorry, i was just ranting at the hypocritical whatnot of R&D lately, because they say things like such and such shouldn't ever be reprinted then they turn around and make things liketarmogoyf and bloodbraid elf
w00t hit my 1000th post on 4/25/2010
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56859838 wrote:
Well obviously goblins breed at a rate of millions of times per year, thus in a few years they had evolved into a new species... you know or....
Show
63344365 wrote:
Your asking for proof that the ocean is wet, while your standing on the beach.
56733088 wrote:
Are these rankings all anonymus? Can I go rank everybody I think is mafia with 1 star?
•Collecting a complete foil set of Zendikar block both on Magic Online and in paper Magic does not entitle you to one (1) free Richard Garfield. Because that would be slavery, and slavery is bad.
slayer of fluffy, and single handedly annoyed half of the flavor/storyline group in one fell swoop[/sblock]
O_o pestilence and sigil of sleep is broken in common how???

Because useful creature removal isn't easy to get in Limited, and there's usually only one to three enchantment killers (almost always in the same color) in any given block.
I honestly think that overall power of cards has gone down recently, or at least the ones that are powerful are rare or mythic rare. Okay, nobody wants another combo winter to occur, but I think they should be printing some stronger stuff at common and uncommon like they used to back in the day.
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The stern words towards Urza's block aren't really fair; wasn't that set released before booster drafting existed as a widely supported format?  (IPA was the first block to really be drafted?)  That the rarities are not balanced for drafting is no surprise.
The stern words towards Urza's block aren't really fair; wasn't that set released before booster drafting existed as a widely supported format?  (IPA was the first block to really be drafted?)  That the rarities are not balanced for drafting is no surprise.


There were saga limited Pro Tours and GP's, so it was fairly widely supported. But sanctioned limited was still fairly new, and the people making cards were a lot worse at the actual game then most of them are now.

I don't think there has been a common that comes close to pestilence's power level in limited formats since Saga. Dawnglare invoker doesn't seem close to being as stupidly good as pestilence was.
Angoth nailed it. Tom didn't write a single stitch about what he drafted/how he drafted the US part of the draft. It's like the whole article was set up to point out how ridiculous US was (we already know the power level of that set far exceeds any set that has followed it). Because US was printed we will not see any good commons or great uncommon cards because the devs. are too worried about breaking limited. I'll tell you the real reason they don't print strong cards in the common and uncommon slots...they want people to buy more boosters. If you can get a 4 -of a great card in the common slot from buying one box, wizards doesn't make money, so lets print them at Rare (now mythic) and make people buy oodles of cards and boost the secondary market...boo. 
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