5/28/2010 LD: "Controlling the Rebound"

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This thread is for discussion of this week's Latest Developments, which goes live Friday morning on magicthegathering.com.
Monsterous Growth is popular?
What was the point of this article?  When am I getting wither back?  And snow lands!!  I want snow lands!!
Mmmmmm, good article.


Not really sure what to comment on, other than archenemy looks sweet.
1.  How exactly is "Gain 2 life, Rebound" lame?  If you could price that at 1W, the effect would be very different than "Gain 4 life, no rebound" for 2W or so.  I'm glad we got Survival Cache and they probably wouldn't have printed both that and the two components of it, but still, there's no reason they couldn't have made a few cards like this.  It'd be similar in effect to echo, except you don't have to pay for the effect the second time.

2.  Recurring Insight was the first "mini-game" rebounder, eh?  Apparently they got so busy making riffs on the idea that they almost immediately stopped developing it.  4UU for a card that, on average, clears you between 2 and 4 cards, while sometimes getting much more and sometimes doing none at all, is definitely a little steep.  Making this spell cheaper would also make it more powerful - as well as more fun and interactive.  As it is, you seldom get to tell the opponent to play his stuff, because on turn 6 he already will have done a great deal of that; if you're very lucky, he could have three or four cards, and might not be able to get rid of more than a couple of them on his turn.  That would be 5 or 6 cards over two turns, and that's a best case scenario.  Hardly broken at six mana - hardly useful, rather.

3.  Not a word about why green got only one rebound card, nor about why they didn't put a "rebound matters" spell (similar to Kiln Fiend and Surrakar Spellblade) in Black, and officially cement Rebound as an UBR theme (as it stands, most of them are red and white, but Survival Cache could have worked as a black card since black occasionally gets both lifegain and card draw, usually with riders but one vanilla effect wouldn't have broken the pie forever).

4.  If "all your creatures gain exalted" was lame, explain the Dauntless Escort vanguard.  I would have liked a version of that in normal MTG as well.

5.  Anyone know what the Scarecrow comment is about?

6.  Dear Tom (or Kelly Digges, Monty Ashley, or whoever else handles the tech end of this):  From now on, please do not ever again have the poll of the week refer to an article from more than a day ago without linking to that article.  It wasn't too hard to find it with a Search for "archenemy rules", but something more obscure and hard to remember the exact article title of would have caused huge problems.  Links are your friends, guys, please use them.

7.  Voted for Undead Horde because it's the only Scheme which doesn't say "when you set this in motion".  I hate that terminology.
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
I still get a little irked when I see a high-profile cycle of non-creature spells where the green one...the only green one, in this case...is Yet Another Giant Growth Variant. But the other green instants in this set are good enough to make up for it. Hooray for green having interesting stuff it can profitably do on its opponent's end step.
5.  Anyone know what the Scarecrow comment is about?


luREBOUND scarecrow
Quote: "There are times, of course, when it's totally lame. We could have made a card in Shards of Alara that said "Creatures you control gain exalted." That would send a confusing deck building message: play tons of creatures in your deck, so you can attack with only one of them each turn. Generally speaking, keywords that push you toward building a linear deck don't lend themselves to this kind of card. If you were interested in all your cards having that kind of ability, you would probably have built your deck so that they already did, and in that case you wouldn't need a card to help you."


As a general rule this is what Exalted decks are all about. Considering that there were a whole lot of useful creatures that didn't bear the Exalted mechanic I would have quite frankly loved an enchantment that gave exactly what he is calling lame. Not to mention that it would give Exalted to all of the creatures with Exalted... Exalted Stacks...

Quote: On the other hand, sometimes this strikes us as totally awesome. One example of this is Maelstrom Nexus. Although players can and have built decks around the cascade mechanic, such as Hypergenesis this past Extended season and Swans of Bryn Argoll-Seismic Assault combo in last year's Standard, there is nothing intrinsic to the mechanic that makes doing so particularly advantageous. Far more decks play cascade cards like Bloodbraid Elf and Bituminous Blast with no particular self-interaction in mind. Rebound is more like cascade than exalted in this way, so the idea of all one's spells suddenly gaining rebound seemed cool rather than lame. Therefore, we made the card.


Wasn't there a 5 Color Cascade deck in the very beginning that was placing in Top 8 all over the place? So, cascading from one card into another... into another... into another is not particularly advantageous... Oh, and no one has any plans/hopes that Bit Blast will Cascade into BBE...


Sometimes these filler articles annoy me when someone's opinion is supposed to be taken as fact...


1.  How exactly is "Gain 2 life, Rebound" lame?  If you could price that at 1W, the effect would be very different than "Gain 4 life, no rebound" for 2W or so.  I'm glad we got Survival Cache and they probably wouldn't have printed both that and the two components of it, but still, there's no reason they couldn't have made a few cards like this.  It'd be similar in effect to echo, except you don't have to pay for the effect the second time.

2.  Recurring Insight was the first "mini-game" rebounder, eh?  Apparently they got so busy making riffs on the idea that they almost immediately stopped developing it.  4UU for a card that, on average, clears you between 2 and 4 cards, while sometimes getting much more and sometimes doing none at all, is definitely a little steep.  Making this spell cheaper would also make it more powerful - as well as more fun and interactive.  As it is, you seldom get to tell the opponent to play his stuff, because on turn 6 he already will have done a great deal of that; if you're very lucky, he could have three or four cards, and might not be able to get rid of more than a couple of them on his turn.  That would be 5 or 6 cards over two turns, and that's a best case scenario.  Hardly broken at six mana - hardly useful, rather.

3.  Not a word about why green got only one rebound card, nor about why they didn't put a "rebound matters" spell (similar to Kiln Fiend and Surrakar Spellblade) in Black, and officially cement Rebound as an UBR theme (as it stands, most of them are red and white, but Survival Cache could have worked as a black card since black occasionally gets both lifegain and card draw, usually with riders but one vanilla effect wouldn't have broken the pie forever).

4.  If "all your creatures gain exalted" was lame, explain the Dauntless Escort vanguard.  I would have liked a version of that in normal MTG as well.

5.  Anyone know what the Scarecrow comment is about?

6.  Dear Tom (or Kelly Digges, Monty Ashley, or whoever else handles the tech end of this):  From now on, please do not ever again have the poll of the week refer to an article from more than a day ago without linking to that article.  It wasn't too hard to find it with a Search for "archenemy rules", but something more obscure and hard to remember the exact article title of would have caused huge problems.  Links are your friends, guys, please use them.

7.  Voted for Undead Horde because it's the only Scheme which doesn't say "when you set this in motion".  I hate that terminology.



Wow, some of your points were awful:

1. "Gain 2 life, Rebound" IS lame because the effect is hardly any different from "gain 4 life". There are much more interesting things to do with rebound; that was the whole point of the article. Compare to Distortion Strike or Staggershock, where you would be doing something different with the spell on the rebound than on the original turn when you first cast it. (And by the way, "Gain 4 life, no rebound" for 2W is horrible. Mending Hands and Sacred Nectar are already mediocre to terrible, and your suggested card would be even worse.)

2. Do you draft? Recurring Insight can be quite good in Limited.

3. They didn't put a "rebound matters" card in black because it _doesn't_ particularly matter in black, which makes perfect sense because blue and red are the primary sorcery/instant colors from a color pie standpoint.

5. luREBOUND scarecrow -- get it now? This was obvious.

Monsterous Growth is popular?



Probably just like the X-confusion completely out of our demographic.

I still get a little irked when I see a high-profile cycle of non-creature spells where the green one...the only green one, in this case...is Yet Another Giant Growth Variant. But the other green instants in this set are good enough to make up for it. Hooray for green having interesting stuff it can profitably do on its opponent's end step.



Probably for the above reason (that its popular) Tongue out

5.  Anyone know what the Scarecrow comment is about?


luREBOUND scarecrow


ohhhhhhhhh hahaha I feel so dumb now... that one went right past me. Anyways, rebound is interesting... I would have like to see cast through time costing a bit less mana wise. It is mythic after all.
I would have like to see cast through time costing a bit less mana wise. It is mythic after all.



Rarity should never be a designation of power-level.
I would have like to see cast through time costing a bit less mana wise. It is mythic after all.



Rarity should never be a designation of power-level.


What's the point of having rarities then? Undecided

What's the point of having rarities then?

Limited.
We don't want cards like Pestilence at common, or we get what happened that time Pestilence was common.

1.  How exactly is "Gain 2 life, Rebound" lame?  If you could price that at 1W, the effect would be very different than "Gain 4 life, no rebound" for 2W or so.  I'm glad we got Survival Cache and they probably wouldn't have printed both that and the two components of it, but still, there's no reason they couldn't have made a few cards like this.  It'd be similar in effect to echo, except you don't have to pay for the effect the second time.

2.  Recurring Insight was the first "mini-game" rebounder, eh?  Apparently they got so busy making riffs on the idea that they almost immediately stopped developing it.  4UU for a card that, on average, clears you between 2 and 4 cards, while sometimes getting much more and sometimes doing none at all, is definitely a little steep.  Making this spell cheaper would also make it more powerful - as well as more fun and interactive.  As it is, you seldom get to tell the opponent to play his stuff, because on turn 6 he already will have done a great deal of that; if you're very lucky, he could have three or four cards, and might not be able to get rid of more than a couple of them on his turn.  That would be 5 or 6 cards over two turns, and that's a best case scenario.  Hardly broken at six mana - hardly useful, rather.

3.  Not a word about why green got only one rebound card, nor about why they didn't put a "rebound matters" spell (similar to Kiln Fiend and Surrakar Spellblade) in Black, and officially cement Rebound as an UBR theme (as it stands, most of them are red and white, but Survival Cache could have worked as a black card since black occasionally gets both lifegain and card draw, usually with riders but one vanilla effect wouldn't have broken the pie forever).

4.  If "all your creatures gain exalted" was lame, explain the Dauntless Escort vanguard.  I would have liked a version of that in normal MTG as well.



1. Well, it is true they could have used Rebound only the same way they did Suspend, i.e. using time as a ressource, dividing a single effect between two events, one which happens later, and in turn reduce mana costs. The point is, there are more insteresting things to do than just that with such a mechanic. Survival Cache is definitely a cooler card than a plain "Gain 4 life, Rebound" card would have been in my book. But I wouldn't have complained if they've also made some cards like what you suggest either.

2. Recurring Insight would have been way too good a Limited card at 5cc, and while probably not outright broken in Constructed, it would have been a fearsome draw spell for control decks. The thing with a card like this is that it has such a potential magnitude that it must be costed extremely carefully. I am certain that it has been extensively tested during development and that 6 was deemed the correct CMC for it. Even as is, it is an excellent card in control mirrors, most often netting many more cards than Mind Spring with X=4 would.

3. Survival Cache doesn't work as a black card, because black's flavor for lifegain is almost always a form of "draining", and its deidcated card draw almost always costs you life. A monoblack spell that has you draw cards while gaining you life without stealing it from anything would make little sense to me.

4. I agree it would have been very fun to have a "Creatures you control gain exalted" card, so I really don't think the issue R&D had with the concept is that it would have been "lame". Aside from the argument Tom gave, an other reason that also appears important to me for not doing it is that it could have been pretty confusing rules-wise for players who do not know much about how triggered abilities work. The Dauntless Escort avatar is a non-issue in that regard since the rules and calculations are automatic in MTGO.


Magic The Gathering DCI Lvl 1 Judge Don't hesitate to post rules question in the Rules Q&A forum for me and other competent advisors to answer : http://community.wizards.com/go/forum/view/75842/134778/Rules_Q38A
This article was interesting. It was rather nice to see that you guys actually pursued effects that would be more than just "doubling the effect", although I feel that there were many potential effects that you didn't print:

a) Library manipulations. Something like a Ponder with rebound would be an interesting challenge to think and a measure against discard.

b)Discard. This can differ from a single discard effect in that it gives the opponent the chance to draw another card and force him to play it in a moment he may not have wanted to and sometimes, he won't be able to play the card he just drew that turn and then he lost and additional card that would be safe against nonrebound discard.

c) Fat creature. White got the tokens, so green should have gotten the big creature. Something like XG put a X / X creature token with rebound would have been great.

d) Land destruction. A spell forcing each player to sacrifice two lands could give the opponent a last chance to cast his creatures before losing half of his manabase.

And about Giant growth effects, HOW CAN A TERRIBLE EFFECT THAT MOST OF THE TIME MAKES YOU LOSE BY PUTTING IT IN YOUR DECK BE FUN?

Ok, I just dislike when green gets shafted in the name of fun. Stop nerfing it for the sakde of "fun" or "awesome".
If Limited gets in the way of printing good Constructed cards... Screw limited

What's the point of having rarities then?

Limited.
We don't want cards like Pestilence at common, or we get what happened that time Pestilence was common.



The correct answer here is money. I think this is the first time I've ever had to out cynicize you. It feels dirty.


c) Fat creature. White got the tokens, so green should have gotten the big creature. Something like XG put a X / X creature token with rebound would have been great.


This specific card wouldn't work. X would just be 0 on the rebound. Something like a 5 mana 3/3 with rebound isn't exactly the most interesting card ever. Considering pump is pretty much as close as green gets to removal for limited, pretty much every set needs the one or two boring giant growth cards, you might as well put rebound on one, its almost a cool interaction.
Ooops, didn't notice the X issue.

It could create interesting situations: against control, having a creature and then casting a rebound spell making tokens can make opponents ponder whether to sweep the board immediately or wait until the next token cames in at the expense of receiving some hits.

Another point that would deserve some explanations is why Rebound got a wording that makes it a dog against permission instead of being strong against it like flashback or cascade. It isn't very difficult to imagine a template that triggers on leaving the stack rather than on resolution.
If Limited gets in the way of printing good Constructed cards... Screw limited

What's the point of having rarities then?

Limited.
We don't want cards like Pestilence at common, or we get what happened that time Pestilence was common.



The correct answer here is money. I think this is the first time I've ever had to out cynicize you. It feels dirty.




It gets easier with time
The correct answer here is money. I think this is the first time I've ever had to out cynicize you. It feels dirty.


Impressive. Most impressive. Obi-Wan has taught you well. You have controlled your fear. Now, release your anger. Only your hatred can destroy me.

Rarity==Power is a hell of a gambit.  There's a significant risk of the game imploding when all but the tippy-top of the pile of tourney rats simply stop playing Standard out of cost concerns.

I would have like to see cast through time costing a bit less mana wise. It is mythic after all.



Rarity should never be a designation of power-level.


What's the point of having rarities then?




Ideally, they should ensure that you get as many copies of a card as you're likely to need.  Cards that are useless in multiples (Legends, extremely expensive finishers that are dead in the early game, etc.) and cards that are so complex and board-altering that they can cause major headaches...these should be rare.  But any staple that you want four of in a deck needs to be uncommon, and any staple that you want four of in EACH deck you build should be common, so you can easily acquire as many of them as you will want.  (Nevermind that it's in the company's financial interest to NOT give us what we want without paying through the nose for it; I'm dealing in high-minded ideals, not bottom lines, as is my standard.)
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
I would have like to see cast through time costing a bit less mana wise. It is mythic after all.



Rarity should never be a designation of power-level.


What's the point of having rarities then?




Ideally, they should ensure that you get as many copies of a card as you're likely to need.  Cards that are useless in multiples (Legends, extremely expensive finishers that are dead in the early game, etc.) and cards that are so complex and board-altering that they can cause major headaches...these should be rare.  But any staple that you want four of in a deck needs to be uncommon, and any staple that you want four of in EACH deck you build should be common, so you can easily acquire as many of them as you will want.  (Nevermind that it's in the company's financial interest to NOT give us what we want without paying through the nose for it; I'm dealing in high-minded ideals, not bottom lines, as is my standard.)


So all you're saying is, essentially, rarity determines power level. Just like I've been saying.
I would have like to see cast through time costing a bit less mana wise. It is mythic after all.



Rarity should never be a designation of power-level.


What's the point of having rarities then?




Ideally, they should ensure that you get as many copies of a card as you're likely to need. Cards that are useless in multiples (Legends, extremely expensive finishers that are dead in the early game, etc.) and cards that are so complex and board-altering that they can cause major headaches...these should be rare. But any staple that you want four of in a deck needs to be uncommon, and any staple that you want four of in EACH deck you build should be common, so you can easily acquire as many of them as you will want. (Nevermind that it's in the company's financial interest to NOT give us what we want without paying through the nose for it; I'm dealing in high-minded ideals, not bottom lines, as is my standard.)


So all you're saying is, essentially, rarity determines power level. Just like I've been saying.



No, that is not what I said.  Power level should be exactly the same, not only for every rarity but for every card.  What should vary by rarity is, in a word, weirdness.  Straightforward, bread-and-butter cards should be common; minor twists should be uncommon; bizarre variants should be rare.
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
Well rarity is determining power level, whether we like it or not. The trend is worsening with each passing set.
Yes, let's stop living in a dream world here. Walletslayer Angel will always be better than Battle Hurda.
Yes, let's stop living in a dream world here.



I refuse.

Walletslayer Angel will always be better than Battle Hurda.




Yes, nothing the opponent can do will ever make him wish he'd played a weaker card.
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
So you're saying I should play weaker creatures just in case my opponents take control of it? BRILLIANT. Why did I never think of that before? Anyone wanna trade their battle hurdas for my baneslayer angels?

I think Baneslayer Angel is a little overrated. Just my opinion. I won’t say it’s a bad card, but a lot of people who have Baneslayer Angel just worship the card.

Yes, let's stop living in a dream world here. Walletslayer Angel will always be better than Battle Hurda.



I'm not saying that "Rarity IS never be a designation of power-level." Just that it SHOULD never be.

To encourage the practise seems contrary to customer interests.

Ideally, rarity should be limited-breaking cards, those that are more complex and those that Willpell calls 'wierder'.
So you're saying I should play weaker creatures just in case my opponents take control of it? BRILLIANT. Why did I never think of that before? Anyone wanna trade their battle hurdas for my baneslayer angels?



I wasn't going that far, I just meant there are ways of punishing players who run overpowered stuff.  Not enough such ways IMO, but they exist.
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

I'm not saying that "Rarity IS never be a designation of power-level." Just that it SHOULD never be.

To encourage the practise seems contrary to customer interests.

Ideally, rarity should be limited-breaking cards, those that are more complex and those that Willpell calls 'wierder'.



O contrair, while those cards fit very well in the higher rarities room must also be made for stronger cards. Customers don't want to see powerful cards floating around all over, in everyone's deck; that takes the fun from it.


I think Baneslayer Angel is a little overrated. Just my opinion. I won’t say it’s a bad card, but a lot of people who have Baneslayer Angel just worship the card.




I agree. If it had shroud I would build an altar and sacrifice animals to it, but as it is it certainly isn't worth what people are willing to pay for it (and it's definitely not worth worship).

(...and this thread is officially off topic.)

I'm not saying that "Rarity IS never be a designation of power-level." Just that it SHOULD never be.

To encourage the practise seems contrary to customer interests.

Ideally, rarity should be limited-breaking cards, those that are more complex and those that Willpell calls 'wierder'.



O contrair, while those cards fit very well in the higher rarities room must also be made for stronger cards. Customers don't want to see powerful cards floating around all over, in everyone's deck; that takes the fun from it.


I think Baneslayer Angel is a little overrated. Just my opinion. I won’t say it’s a bad card, but a lot of people who have Baneslayer Angel just worship the card.




I agree. If it had shroud I would build an altar and sacrifice animals to it, but as it is it certainly isn't worth what people are willing to pay for it (and it's definitely not worth worship).

(...and this thread is officially off topic.)

Well it's never to late to start.
O contrair, while those cards fit very well in the higher rarities room must also be made for stronger cards. Customers don't want to see powerful cards floating around all over, in everyone's deck; that takes the fun from it.



You're right, customers don't want to see those cards all over.  They most especially don't want to see those cards in the hands of people who can afford to spend more money on the game, when they themselves can't, so they always lose to those people.  The solution isn't for more powerful cards to be rare, it's for more powerful cards to not exist, or be banned if they already do.  Formats dominated by above-the-curve creatures and spells are degenerate; the key to making a good game is to have all the components be balanced, so that winning or losing is determined solely by player skill, not by access to OOG resources.

(Of course, this ignores the thoroughly non-insignificant presence of players whose idea of a good game doesn't involve winning at all; if we're just in Timmyland then the existence of uberpower cards is more justifiable.  But even there, "mo' money = mo' powah" isn't a pleasant rule.)
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
O contrair, while those cards fit very well in the higher rarities room must also be made for stronger cards. Customers don't want to see powerful cards floating around all over, in everyone's deck; that takes the fun from it.



You're right, customers don't want to see those cards all over.  They most especially don't want to see those cards in the hands of people who can afford to spend more money on the game, when they themselves can't, so they always lose to those people.  The solution isn't for more powerful cards to be rare, it's for more powerful cards to not exist, or be banned if they already do.  Formats dominated by above-the-curve creatures and spells are degenerate; the key to making a good game is to have all the components be balanced, so that winning or losing is determined solely by player skill, not by access to OOG resources.

(Of course, this ignores the thoroughly non-insignificant presence of players whose idea of a good game doesn't involve winning at all; if we're just in Timmyland then the existence of uberpower cards is more justifiable.  But even there, "mo' money = mo' powah" isn't a pleasant rule.)



Willpell has said my piece for me.

His thoughts recently seem to be coinciding with my own.
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