6/11/2010 LD: "Potpaurai"

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This thread is for discussion of this week's The Week That Was, which goes live Friday morning on magicthegathering.com.
I would have thought that Flowstone Embrace clearly benefits from requiring a tap. The enchanted creature gets +2/-2 when you want it to, but you have a choice of leaving its stats alone instead. So you might tap the enchantment before attacking with the creature - but leave it untapped when using the creature to block.

A more versatile enchantment is more powerful.

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

 

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

Regarding the poll question - I don't like any of the intro packs. Whose idea was it to put just 4 levelers in a deck named "Leveler's Glory" or "Leveler's Scorn"? They both feel just rather antithematic.
Um... I think we have the wrong link in the top post.

It would also be less confusing to players who don't know that an enchantment on a creature doesn't tap when the creature does!

No, a card like this explicitly teaches the fact that "an enchantment on a creature doesn't tap when the creature does".
Giving a creature +3/+3 is the kind of thing that you might want to do to your own creature, but keeping a creature from untapping is something you're supposed to do to an opponent's creature, so what are you supposed to do with this?

Versatility is a good thing, dammit!
... What? Really? Oh please, no, not this. Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhh!

Okay I get it now.  R&D still believes players are idiots, thus cards that nudge them into being not-idiots are 'bad' somehow. 
Really, we all get it now - auras are intentionally engineered by R&D to appeal to idiots.  Thanks for clearing that up.
I love Leaden Fists!
I love Spellweaver Volute, it's one of my favorite cards in FS, although they overcosted it so bad that you can't use it at all unless you break it with things like Searing Wind.  I hope such things do happen again someday, over Mr. LaPille's objections.

And no, +2/-2 all the time is not the same as +2/-2 whenever you tap the card.  You could avoid tapping by printing it as a 0-act ability which is restricted to being played only once between the starts of two of your turns, but there's no convenient way of summarizing that other than to tap.  The functional difference is huge if your creature gets into combat, and also relevant in how it interacts with other pumps - you can put this on a 2/2 and then tap it whenever you cast Morale to boost your guy, letting him hit for 5 that turn without dying at turn's end.
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 thought most people stopped caring about the decks wotc provides when they switched from precons to intro packs.  I actually had forgotten about their existence.
The very beginnnig of the article mentions Green Ward, but the Oracle Text confuses me.  Why would granting a creature protection from green remove Green Ward?  Green Ward is a white card.
Green Ward is a White card as printed.  Laces could make it Green.  That's why the text was there.



Strong Limited players used it mostly to lock down their opponent's creatures or make a defending creature bigger as a surprise, but I recall many of my opponents in Drafts at my local store being so confused by the purpose of this card that they did their best to not pick it. That, to me, is a sign that a card didn't work out right.



What?  That, to me, is a sign of a card that worked out pretty well.  There *should* be a disparity between how strong players use a card and how weaker players use it, that's what we call "skill".  Leaden Fists was marvelous!  You had to think about it, figure out the best way to use it, and then deploy it accordingly.

If the worst player in the room play every card the same way the best player in the room does, what's the difference between those two players?  Cards SHOULD have internal tension, and SHOULD work differently in the hands of skilled players.  Leaden Fists made new players scratch their heads?  GOOD.  The process of looking over a better player's shoulder, and seeing how the card should be used, is one of those things that makes Magic a good game.

MORE cards like Leaden Fists, not less.  Cards should have various modes of deployment and possible applications.  Drawbacks were FINE.  This new school of design is kinda dull.
Really, we all get it now - auras are intentionally engineered by R&D to appeal to idiots.  Thanks for clearing that up.



You don't have to be a complete idiot to find a card like Volute brain-melting; I had to read it quite a few times before I got the idea, and I wouldn't be surprised if there are many perfectly intelligent people who decide it's not worth the effort to bother when they can win just by smashing with Baneslayers.  I think cards like this are worth the payoff, and am glad they exist, and even wish they'd be common or uncommon once in a while so they were easy to acquire if you want them (and not cost you much showing up in your pack if you don't).  But there shouldn't be too many of them, and it's absolutely right to try and aim for more simplicity in the majority of designs.

Leaden Fists is overcosted for what it does; it's risky to use it as removal since you're in for a ton of extra pain if they manage to get him untapped, and on your guy it provides a pretty-good bonus with a drawback that takes extra work to get around.  I think 1U would have been a fair price for it.

Petrified Plating is bad for all the reasons Tom mentioned, but it could have been salvaged by making it more worth its risks.  Check this out (I'm keeping the name since it fits even better in red):

Petrified Plating
Enchantment - Aura, 4R
Suspend 3 - RR
Enchant creature
Enchanted creature gets +4/+4.

See?  All I did was double everything, except keeping the CMC (and the number of Suspend counters, as most suspend spells come out of the blue zone the same turn you could have hardcast them) a little lower than this would require since mana curving is more exponential than additive.  The result is a card that's powerful enough to be worth playing, either to suspend or to hardcast; its drawbacks still apply but it better deserves them by being more game-winning when it isn't stopped somehow.  And most importantly, moving it to red puts it in the same color as spells which can remove time counters at instant speed, so you have a defense against your opponent's defense of knowing when to have removal.  The result is a massive upgrade to one of the most forgettable cards in the setting.  (Perhaps too massive; red had Brute Strength and Fury Charm just one set earlier, so this might have passed a critical mass of red pump and been borken.  But I doubt it.)
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
Regarding the poll question - I don't like any of the intro packs.

Me too, so I voted "I don't have an opinion", even though I do...  :/
[CARD]Leaden Fists[/CARD] is a great card!

Not only that, it's the kind of card you really ought to be printing more of. It's extremely good for draft to have cards in a set which don't always play in obvious ways. MaRo is always talking about the joy of discovery in Magic. Well, Leaden Fists is a perfect example of a discover-me card. Sure, inexperienced players will look at the card and be baffled and not draft it... the first time. Then one day they'll be watching a match and see it lock down a tapped dragon and a moment of discovery will occur. And then when they have one in their own deck later, they'll suddenly spot an opportunity to stick it on their own flyer and win that turn. Discovery again!
Yep, I'd like to add my voice to the clamouring cacophony in support of Leaden Fists. It was a somewhat fiddly card, with drawbacks to either way of using it, but that's fine. It's also a versatile card, and I'd hate to see R&D completely stamp out all occurrences of that classic genre of Auras with an upside and a downside, that you sometimes put on your stuff and sometimes on opponents'. Maniacal Rage is similar, and very funny to put on a wall.
I think the "joy of discovery" argument is an important one.  While it's OK that we don't need to discover "Auras are bad" over and over again, it's not a good idea to make all the cards so simple that there's only one way to use them.  It's funny that you list Lego as an example in the article, since in recent years they have been guilty of removing that joy as well.
I could rant a bit about the dumbing down of the game since we've "assumed the aquisition", but plenty of other people have expressed most everything I had to say on the issue (often in prettier words). I'm convinced that Wizards is hearing us, but they don't care and/or won't change their methods (Hasbro is probably largely to blame). I realize that it's hypocritical to be posting about the futility of posting, but I need to do something appease the emotional side of my brain.

Ah, that feels a little better! Moving on...

All Aura Week, I had been hoping they'd address something. Tom touched upon the problem while discussing Petrified Plating (as other authors did through other examples), but didn't answer the question I've had. We're all well aware that it really hurts to have a creature killed in response to having an Aura thrown towards it, so why haven't we seen more auras with Split Second? The only one right now is Take Possession, and most likely you're not going to be targeting your own creatures with that.
 
You don't have to be a complete idiot to find a card like Volute brain-melting; I had to read it quite a few times before I got the idea, and I wouldn't be surprised if there are many perfectly intelligent people who decide it's not worth the effort to bother when they can win just by smashing with Baneslayers.

Which is where the "trading" part of "Trading Card Game" comes into play.
Brainmelters comfortably fall into the category of "not for you", which I'm told is actually a "good thing™".

Leaden Fists is overcosted for what it does;

That it is, yes.
However, calling a card "bad" because its use isn't stupid obvious to stupid Little Billy is a completely different matter than being labeled "bad" for costing a mana too much.
This whole week has dissapointed me.  Besides what other people said about cards that make you think, I feel like we've basically been told "Auras are horrible and nobody uses them, but we'll keep printing them".  It seems like wasted space to me. 

Keywords don't help.  Totem Armor isn't something amazing, because it's a keyword and probably won't be seen again for a couple of years.  That doesn't fix the problem.

The whole thing about Auras reminds me of Regenerate.  Regenerate was something that seemed really cool when I first started playing, except that people everywhere play Wrath of God, Damnation, Terror and things that have the "can't be regenerated" clause.  So then what good is regeneration?  Chump blocking?  It just doesn't do it for me.

Fear Of The Dark, Fear Of The Dark, I Have A Constant Fear That Something's Always Near; Fear Of The Dark, Fear Of The Dark, I Have A Phobia That Someone's Always There- Iron Maiden Fear of the Dark shall be feared no longer! Let him be praised instead! (Many, many thanks for all your hard work!) - darkwarlock I am Red/Green
I am Red/Green
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I'm both instinctive and emotional. I value my own instincts and desires, and either ignore or crush anything that stands in my way; planning and foresight are unnecessary. At best, I'm determined and fierce; at worst, I'm headstrong and infantile.
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I almost get Tom's point about Leaden Fists but then why do we have cards like Pacifism? They make new players scratch their heads too. The first auras most players are exposed to are the simple ones, holy and unholy strength style ones. Then Pacifism, which does something very different from previous auras.

Also Leaden Fists should get even more love from its flavor standpoint. Lead fists make you hurt more (+3/+3) but then your arms are too heavy for you to fight (no untaping). The card mechanics and flavor meet wonderfully. Instead we get holy and unholy strength flavor. Yeah, holy cares for defense, unholy wants to kill things.

The whole thing about Auras  reminds me of Regenerate.  Regenerate was something that seemed really  cool when I first started playing, except that people everywhere play  Wrath of God, Damnation, Terror  and things that have the "can't be regenerated" clause.  So then what  good is regeneration?  Chump blocking?  It just doesn't do it for  me.



 
They almost tried with regeneration. They made Doom Blade instead of Terror and cut Wrath of God for Day of Judgment. Now the regenerators are being cycled out. Less cards have them and now Drudge Skeletons got cut. Maybe auras will eventually get cut right after a reasonable solution is found.

Face it, you're pretty much here as a meat shield.

 

If you are at Georgian Court Univeristy or Monmouth Univeristy PM me. If you are out by York College of PA, I can help you reach the group there.

Since everything I wanted to say has already been said by you guys, I'll just quote everything I completely agree with. Thank you for showing me I'm not alone.

Regarding the poll question - I don't like any of the intro packs. Whose idea was it to put just 4 levelers in a deck named "Leveler's Glory" or "Leveler's Scorn"? They both feel just rather antithematic.



Leaden Fists is overcosted for what it does;


That it is, yes.
However, calling a card "bad" because its use isn't stupid obvious to stupid Little Billy is a completely different matter than being labeled "bad" for costing a mana too much.



I thought most people stopped caring about the decks wotc provides when they switched from precons to intro packs.  I actually had forgotten about their existence.



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57817638 wrote:
I like storm crow because I really like crows in real life, as an animal, and the card isn't terribly stupid, but packs a good deal of nostalgia and also a chunck of the game's history. So it's perhaps one of the cards I have most affection to, but not because "lol storm crow is bad hurr hurr durr".
Listen to my SoundCloud while you read my signature. The Island, Come And See, The Landlord's Daughter, You'll Not Feel The Drowning - The Decemberists by vimschy IMAGE(http://dragcave.net/image/rkvR.gif)IMAGE(http://dragcave.net/image/L3es.gif) IMAGE(http://dragcave.net/image/m71H.gif)
Quotes
56747598 wrote:
57295478 wrote:
Although I do assume you deliberately refer to them (DCI) as The Grand Imperial Convocation of Evil just for the purposes of making them sound like an ancient and terrible conspiracy.
Now, now. 1994 doesn't quite qualify as "ancient".
56734518 wrote:
Oh, it's a brilliant plan. You see, Bolas was travelling through shadowmoor, causing trouble, when he saw a Wickerbough Elder with its stylin' dead scarecrow hat. Now, Bolas being Bolas took the awesome hat and he put it on his head, but even with all his titanic powers of magic he couldn't make it fit. He grabbed some more scarecrows, but then a little kithkin girl asked if he was trying to build a toupee. "BY ALL THE POWERS IN THE MULTIVERSE!" he roared, "I WILL HAVE A HAT WORTHY OF MY GLORY." and so he went through his Dark Lore of Doom (tm) looking for something he could make into a hat that would look as stylish on him as a scarecrow does on a treefolk. He thought about the Phyrexians, but they were covered in goopy oil that would make his nonexistant hair greasy. He Tried out angels for a while but they didn't sit quite right. Then, he looked under "e" (because in the Elder Draconic alphabet, "e" for Eldrazi is right next to "h" for Hat) in his Dark Lore of Doom and saw depictions of the Eldrazi, and all their forms. "THIS SHALL BE MY HAT!" he declared, poking a picture of Emrakul, "AND WITH IT I WILL USHER IN A NEW AGE OF DARKNESS -- ER, I MEAN A NEW AGE OF FASHION!" And so Nicol Bolas masterminded the release of the Eldrazi.
57864098 wrote:
Rhox War Monk just flips pancakes, and if games have told us anything, it's that food = life.
56747598 wrote:
76973988 wrote:
This thread has gotten creepy. XP
Really? Really? The last couple days have been roughly every perverse fetish imaginable, but it only got "creepy" when speculation on Mother of Runes's mob affiliation came up?
76672808 wrote:
57864098 wrote:
57531048 wrote:
Nice mana base. Not really.
Yeah, really. If my deck was going to cost $1000+, I'd at least make it good.
99812049 wrote:
I like to think up what I consider clever names for my decks, only later to be laughed at by my wife. It kills me a little on the inside, but thats what marriage is about.
56816728 wrote:
56854588 wrote:
Of course, the best use [of tolaria west] is transmuting for the real Tolaria. ;)
Absolutely. I used to loose to my buddy's Banding deck for ages, it was then that I found out about Tolaria, and I was finally able win my first game.
70246459 wrote:
WOAH wait wait wait
56957928 wrote:
You know, being shallow and jusdgmental aside, "I later found out that Jon infiltrated his way into OKCupid dates with at least two other people"
56957928 wrote:
"I later found out that Jon infiltrated his way into OKCupid dates with at least two other people"
56957928 wrote:
Jon infiltrated his way into OKCupid dates
56957928 wrote:
OH MY GOD
109874309 wrote:
The only way I'd cast this card is into a bonfire.
82032421 wrote:
The short answer is that there's no rule barring annoying people from posting, but there a rule barring us from harassing them about it.
56747598 wrote:
Browbeat is a card that is an appropriate deck choice when there's no better idea available. "No better idea available" was pretty much the running theme of Odyssey era.
56874518 wrote:
Or perhaps it was a more straightforward comment indicating a wish for you to be bitten (Perhaps repeatedly) by a small yet highly venomous arachnid.
70246459 wrote:
58280208 wrote:
You're an idiot, and I'm in no mood for silliness.
57817638 wrote:
57145078 wrote:
You just... Vektor it.
That's the answer to everything.
70246459 wrote:
58347268 wrote:
I think the problem is that you don't exist.
This would sound great out of context!
56965458 wrote:
Modern is like playing a new tournament every time : you build a deck, you win with it, don't bother keeping it. Just build another, its key pieces will get banned.
57864098 wrote:
57309598 wrote:
I specifically remember posting a thread when I was just a witty bitty noob.
You make it sound like that's still not the case.
58325628 wrote:
Rap is what happens when the c from crap is taken away.
Doug Beyer:
But sometimes it's also challenging. Because sometimes OH MY GOD, WHAT THE HELL IS THIS THING?
141434757 wrote:
Flashforward five thousand years (Click for atmosphere) :
57927608 wrote:
to paraphrase Jeff Goldblum, Vektor finds a way.
58347268 wrote:
when in rome **** AND PILLAGE
143229641 wrote:
I always find it helpful when im angry to dress up in an owl costume and rub pennies all over my body in front of a full body mirror next to the window.
Dymecoar:
Playing Magic without Blue is like sleeping without any sheets or blankets. You can do it...but why?
Omega137:
Me: "I love the moment when a control deck stabilizes. It feels so... right." Omega137: "I like the life drop part until you get there, it's the MtG variant of bungee jumping"
Zigeif777:
Just do it like Yu-Gi-Oh or monkeys: throw all the crap you got at them and hope it works or else the by-standers (or opponents) just get dirty and pissed.
57471038 wrote:
58258708 wrote:
It's true that Alpha and Beta didn't contain any cards like Tarmogoyf, Darksteel Colossus, or Platinum Angel. It just contained weak, insignificant cards like Black Lotus, Mox Sapphire, and Time Walk.
Normally it's difficult to pick up on your jokes/sarcasm. But this one's pretty much out there. Good progress. You have moved up to Humanoid. You'll be Human in no time.
91893448 wrote:
94618431 wrote:
I didn't know Samurai were known to be able to cut down whole armies...
They can when they're using lightsabers!
57129358 wrote:
97980259 wrote:
My wife brought home a baby black squirrel they found on a horse track and cared for it for a few days. We named it Grixis, but it died.
Unearth it!
70246459 wrote:
[/spoiler] And I'm on Magic Arcana. How about you? Oh, by the way, I'm also on From the Lab now. Twice, actually. And now with my own submited decklist!


The whole thing about Auras  reminds me of Regenerate.  Regenerate was something that seemed really  cool when I first started playing, except that people everywhere play  Wrath of God, Damnation, Terror  and things that have the "can't be regenerated" clause.  So then what  good is regeneration?  Chump blocking?  It just doesn't do it for  me.




 
They almost tried with regeneration. They made Doom Blade instead of Terror and cut Wrath of God for Day of Judgment. Now the regenerators are being cycled out. Less cards have them and now Drudge Skeletons got cut. Maybe auras will eventually get cut right after a reasonable solution is found.



I do like Doom Blade and Day of Judgement for those very reasons.  I play casual MP most of the time (never standard), and although Doom Blade has taken over as the new creature destruction, Wrath is still #1 but most of the players in the group.
Fear Of The Dark, Fear Of The Dark, I Have A Constant Fear That Something's Always Near; Fear Of The Dark, Fear Of The Dark, I Have A Phobia That Someone's Always There- Iron Maiden Fear of the Dark shall be feared no longer! Let him be praised instead! (Many, many thanks for all your hard work!) - darkwarlock I am Red/Green
I am Red/Green
Take The Magic Dual Colour Test - Beta today!
Created with Rum and Monkey's Personality Test Generator.
I'm both instinctive and emotional. I value my own instincts and desires, and either ignore or crush anything that stands in my way; planning and foresight are unnecessary. At best, I'm determined and fierce; at worst, I'm headstrong and infantile.
Check out my DnD blog! www.artificersintuition.blogspot.com
First off:
It is potpourri not potpaurai.  There is no samurai version of potpourri.

Next: your points on what made enchant creature cards alright at the beginning of magic was spot on. As well as the point of killing people with creatures.  Early magic creatures were so bad the only thing they were good for was getting killed off.

For me, most enchant creature (aura's now) cards have rightfully turned into artifact - equipment cards.  But this brings up another big probem with Aura's beyond the two-for-one trade they offer.  There is very little in the way of searching that can bring out an aura.  Nothing like Blue's ability to search for an artifact exists in any color.  Not surprising then that the Aura card continues to be the ugly step sister of magic cards. 

I thought your point on tapping enchantments was wrong.  Newbies will learn from the card.  Card that tap to give +2/-2 might seem stupid until I put it on a 2/2 exalted creature that only gets the toughness boost conditionally.  The exalted bump allows the enchantment to be more flexible in deck design than it otherwise would.  Now my lone attacker is a 5/1 death machine (exalted, and pumped).

It seems that magic is scared of making a good enchantment -Aura (see Jace, Baneslayer, Blightning, Lightning Bolt as examples of good Planeswalker-Creature-Sorcery-Instant) that can even compare to the other card types. Ugly step-sister indeed.  About the only thing good in the game now is the aura that steals from your opponent or otherwise messes with his mana. 

It is not logical to me that enchantments don't come back to play or have a 'vengvine' recursion tool of some sort.  Is it really unreasonable to have a Blessing that has a "if you gain 3 life, return it from the graveyard to your hand".  Seriously that would be a blessing.  Or what of feast of the unicorn that allowed itself to come back to your hand if you've sacrificed a creature?  I'm not that smart in game design, but is seems that functionally good and pie appropriate recursion of the aura would go a long way in making they suitable for play.  You don't need a Unholy Strength that give more power/toughness, you need a BB version that not only give the power & toughness boost, but grants fear and can come back from the graveyard when you've hit some situation (say played a imp or specter).  Fearful 4/4 Abyssal might just get there.

Seriously, what makes an Aura any good at all?  Why not just keep equipments if all you're going to do is boost a creature.  You can search for them easier, they don't 2-for-1 when the creature dies, and they have better means to come from the graveyard back to play if they are destroyed.

Poor ugly step sister, ehr, I mean Enchantment - Aura.


First off:
It is potpourri not potpaurai.  There is no samurai version of potpourri.






You've been here since '06, and you don't know yet that they often mangle words in their article titles to make horrible puns and such? 


I also voted "no opinion", even though I do have one, that being I have not bought a single one of the 40 card Intro decks.

And the funny thing is, right as I was making the decision that I would buy a few less packs from each set, instead buying all the preconstructed decks so I would have them ready to play, the very next set they went to the 40 card decks.  So I'll be making an effort to pick up the Core set intro packs this summer, in addition to some packs. 



And I have to say, this has been one of the most boring weeks for articles I can ever remember. 99% of enchantments are boring, and that seemed to spill over into the articles.  Usually the authors can inject a little fun into any subject, but not this time.
Proud member of C.A.R.D. - Campaign Against Rare Duals "...but the time has come when lands just need to be better. Creatures have gotten stronger, spells have always been insane, and lands just sat in this awkward place of necessity." Jacob Van Lunen on the refuge duals, 16 Sep 2009. "While it made thematic sense to separate enemy and allied color fixing in the past, we have come around to the definite conclusion that it is just plain incorrect from a game-play perspective. This is one of these situations where game play should just trump flavor." - Sam Stoddard on ending the separation of allied/enemy dual lands. 05 July 2013
Leaden Fists on Serra Angel! A-HAH!

On Auras: I think that WotC realizes that a good section of players like Auras despite their inherent card disadvantage. Auras, like Legendary Permanents, will attract people even if they're bad. WotC can turn up the mojo every once in a while, but the majority of the time, they represent the filler they believe M:TG needs, filler that is at least coveted by somenone. 

On Future Sight: LOVED IT. I love every card he mentioned. It was my Alpha, for all the zany ideas thrown around. But I am getting to like the new noob-friendly, internally cohesive blocks. RotE did not push boundaries with its individual parts, but as a whole, it was an unique format to draft in. 

But it still ticks me off that the Future Sight cards (probably) won't come back and that the Reserved List still stands! To me, it felt like a promise that we'd see those cards again, as much as they promised not to reprint gravebind

"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


Strong Limited players used it mostly to lock down their opponent's  creatures or make a defending creature bigger as a surprise, but I  recall many of my opponents in Drafts at my local store being so  confused by the purpose of this card that they did their best to not  pick it. That, to me, is a sign that a card didn't work out right.




What?  That, to me, is a sign of a card that worked out pretty well.  There *should* be a disparity between how strong players use a card and how weaker players use it, that's what we call "skill".  Leaden Fists was marvelous!  You had to think about it, figure out the best way to use it, and then deploy it accordingly.

If the worst player in the room play every card the same way the best player in the room does, what's the difference between those two players?  Cards SHOULD have internal tension, and SHOULD work differently in the hands of skilled players.  Leaden Fists made new players scratch their heads?  GOOD.  The process of looking over a better player's shoulder, and seeing how the card should be used, is one of those things that makes Magic a good game.

MORE cards like Leaden Fists, not less.  Cards should have various modes of deployment and possible applications.  Drawbacks were FINE.  This new school of design is kinda dull.


Agreed. Also, Leaden Fists was awesome on Jodah's Avenger. (It's worth noting that without the drawback, that wouldn't have been anywhere near as fun to pull off.)
I also want to throw my support behind cards like leaden fists, spellweaver volute, and flowstone embrace.

Everyone has already talked about them and why they aren't "terrible design" as Tom has stated and I agree with most of what has already been said so to sumarize for me

leaden fists - awesome in draft because you could usually get them late and while they were mostly used as pseudo removal you could also put them on one of your creatures if the time was right. The versitility wasn't as useful in constructed however and it was pretty well over costed for constructed purposes. Still the design of the card was right and maybe if it had costed 1U it would have seen a lot more constructed play.

spellweaver volute - it is a fun johnny type of card that you can build a deck around. It doesn't have most of the drawbacks of other auras because most people can't faerie macabre you in response. They aren't as likely to have graveyard removal as they are to have creature removal. I don't feel that magic should stop printing these types of fun interesting cards just because they aren't obvious about what actually happens or because they add a little complexity. More on complexity in a minute

flowstone embrace - as others have mentioned the fact that it activates makes a huge difference and I actually used this card in multiple decks in block and standard. The fact that it serves as creature removal and creature pump is awesome and for me it was way better than a riot spikes type of card because of the versitility of it being an activated ability. The fact that it adds a complexity issue for some people should be negated by the fact that it teaches a very important lesson. It could help people who have been playing dichotomancy incorrectly. They may have assumed that the enchantments tapped when the creatures did but by printing a card like flowstone embrace now they know otherwise.

I understand the need to avoid complexity creep in the game. It helps to attract new players and is overall good for the game. I just don't know if cards like spellweaver volute and flowstone embrace are the types of cards that are so confusing to players they get fed up and leave. fireball is a card that I've had to explain over and over again since it was reprinted in M10. Everyone I know played it wrong initially but you continue to reprint it in the core set. It's totally worth it to me and you have recognized the fact that it is a worthwhile card in the core set. So basically what I'm saying is avoid complexity creep but something like flowstone embrace is probably not the biggest offender. In fact I think it helps to clear up one part of the rules more than adding additional complexity.
Don't be too smart to have fun
I also want to throw my support behind cards like leaden fists, spellweaver volute, and flowstone embrace.





Sadly, people like us don't matter to Wizards in proportion to the extent to which we care. We don't have millions of dollars to give the company; millions of idiots do. Therefore, they make cards that they can sell to people who have heard this Madjik: the Gatherizing game is almost as cool as Yu-gi-oh. Those people have the cognitive processing power of narcoleptic squirrels, but their money is good and they breed like non-narcoleptic squirrels, so the company has to acknowledge them.

We old grognards, even if we had as much money between us as they do, would be more hesitant to spend it on the game because we have already invested heavily, we're getting older, real life priorities mean more to us, and we'll eventually drop dead. Therefore, Wizards is doing the right thing from a financial perspective to consider our preferences a lower priority. They give us a nod now and again, but their default assumption has to be that it's easier to survive without 10 veteran players than without 100 new ones.  So if they're forced to choose between a clever and challenging design or one that can easily be spoon-fed to large numbers of sheep, well, they need the wool.

I'm still waiting for a universe in which God Almighty is the world's most avid blog-reader and pays everyone in the universe $1 per word to write about what they're passionate about. That would be a world in which players like you and I could have justice.
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
First off:
It is potpourri not potpaurai.  There is no samurai version of potpourri.


potpaurai.  See what he did there?  PotpAURAi!  Potp-AURA-i!  That's freaking genius!

Willpell: I'd have to agree with the catering to Yu-Gi-Oh! crowd. When I first started playing D&D Encounters on Wednesday nights at my FLGS, I was shocked to see how many people were still playing Yu-Gi-Oh. Damn near as many people on Wednesday as M:TG gets on Friday. There are people out there who like CCGs, but don't have the mental constitution to grasp stuff like Ice Cauldron .

And I'm fine with that, despite being a decade old Johnny/Spike player. In the '90s, Magic was on the mid-range of complexity for CCGs on the market (with Decipher's Star Wars on the high-end). Today, I'd say that even with the dumb-downing, M:TG has remained as complicated, but now is the most complicated CCG out there (maybe tied with Legends of the Five Rings).

Big sets like Tempest and Urza's Saga threw together dozens of different ideas whereas modern sets might introduce 2-4 keyword abilities. Are we better off or worse?

I think we've had plenty of complex ideas come out in the past 7 years (equipment, transmute, suspend, tribal, coloured artifacts) that have been slowly released with more variations on the same keyword than before. If the above keywords were released as rules for 1-3 cards in one set, I think the rules texts for them would be more confusing. Having examples of how one keyword works on different kinds of cards (Counterspells, sorceries, etc.) helps the brain process what it does through frequency of use and variety of examples.

And, if you'll forgive me for addressing the ranty part of your post, all the explosions of interest in a CCG (M:TG in '94, Pokemon in '00, Yu-Gi-Oh! in '03) came from the interests of casual players, Timmies, the average joe. M:TG seems to have experienced a re-explosion with MTG2010, a set devoted to cards of varying usefulness but undeniable flavour.

So I'm willing to take my crazy new ideas 4 times a year insteads of 800 times a year if it means M:TG keeps going strong. In the long run, it'll pay off.


"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

Well I guess in summation this article is explaining to us how much more interesting Magic used to be, barely three years ago. I am glad my "old" Time Spiral cards haven't disintigrated yet, as they continue to see more play than anything they have made in the last two years.

Although to be fair, the simplification bit is working out for them. I have to figure we'll just keep getting dev articles about how dumb they have to make cards these days to appeal to as wide an audience as possible. This is sound business going after the Lady Gaga crowd, but it might be harder to keep together if for whatever reason magic stops being the "in" thing to do.



You don't have to be a complete idiot to find a card like Volute brain-melting; I had to read it quite a few times before I got the idea, and I wouldn't be surprised if there are many perfectly intelligent people who decide it's not worth the effort to bother when they can win just by smashing with Baneslayers.



One might read this as an argument agains Baneslayers and for Spellweavers Volute

Ahhhh the lovely scent of pity party. I love watching you guys piss and moan about players being too stupid without a modicum of sympathy or anything for the any number of reasons for their preferences. Obviously they must be stupid. They can't just prefer things that you don't. That would be absurd. Cuz y'know you have been playing for a while. They must be stupid.

This is why they need to try to get new, young players in the game. Because people like you are so unbelievably jaded about a CHILDREN'S CARD GAME. Christ. Worst Part: All of us feel like the only sane man so this is all pointless. Awesome. Awesome. Frustrating.

This is sound business going after the Lady Gaga crowd . . .

. . . WTF are you talking about? Are you saying people who listen to Lady GaGa are stupid? Or worse that they are unpopular enough to play magic? I don't think anything anyone has ever said here has been as offputting to me as this. And Kedar, Willpell and Qmark are my fav posters. Like wow. I know you're old but ugh. Frustrating.
Sadly, people like us don't matter to Wizards in proportion to the extent to which we care.  We don't have millions of dollars to give the company; millions of idiots do. 


Obi-Wan has taught you well.
Now, embrace your cycnicism.

CHILDREN'S CARD GAME

Do what now?
Magic was created by D&D geeks for D&D geeks, to play between D&D sessions.

This is sound business going after the Lady Gaga crowd . . .






. . . WTF are you talking about? Are you saying people who listen to Lady GaGa are stupid? Or worse that they are unpopular enough to play magic? I don't think anything anyone has ever said here has been as offputting to me as this. And Kedar, Willpell and Qmark are my fav posters. Like wow. I know you're old but ugh. Frustrating.







Sorry. But she is lowest common denominator, and so is the crowd WOTC is actively courting. They've always desired it, but they are now showing us the specific ways they reach it - as opposed to evolving the game.

I don't have a particular beef with Lady Gaga, or her fans.  I could have said Black Eyed Peas or Miley Cyrus. My comments had nothing to do with my age.

Well I guess in summation this article is explaining to us how much more interesting Magic used to be, barely three years ago. I am glad my "old" Time Spiral cards haven't disintigrated yet, as they continue to see more play than anything they have made in the last two years.

Although to be fair, the simplification bit is working out for them. I have to figure we'll just keep getting dev articles about how dumb they have to make cards these days to appeal to as wide an audience as possible. This is sound business going after the Lady Gaga crowd, but it might be harder to keep together if for whatever reason magic stops being the "in" thing to do.



There are as many as 1 billion illiterate people in the world.  That's an appealing market which is no doubt being put off by those pesky "words" on the cards.

If you're on MTGO check out the Free Events via PDCMagic and Gatherling.

Other games you should try:
DC Universe Online - action-based MMO.  Free to play.  Surprisingly well-designed combat and classes.

Planetside 2 - Free to play MMO-meets-FPS and the first shooter I've liked in ages.
Simunomics - Free-to-play economy simulation game.

I get that they are going after the largest pile of people that they can get at any one time. I can separate the fact that they are a business first from the fact that I am a consumer first.

This is also why I said last year that I do not believe they have a long-term plan for how they will remain relevent and popular, but rather a series of short-term plans. But certain things will be constant, and those are the things that compel me to play with cards I already have versus cards they are making for some other demographic. And I would rather read dev articles that tackle more interesting subjects than, "here's what we are doing to make sure more people buy our product."


Do what now?
Magic was created by D&D geeks for D&D geeks, to play between D&D sessions.


Then those D&D geeks should either find some way to breed, unlikely I know, to be a larger customer base, or adjust their tastes to people with bank. Or alternatively quit bawing and give up.

@Hacimen: Lowest Common Denominator? As in popular? You say that like its a bad thing. From my recollection you listen to what Death Metal? Bad Pop music is listened to by far more desireable of people than death metal. And whether you feel like admitting it or not, music tastes are heavily influenced by the era you grew up in and the way you grew up in that era. Your age has everything to do with it.

There is not a crime in liking Gaga's music. But the fact of the matter is this: her popularity, and the popularity of others like her (ie Top 40 artists) has nothing to do with the fact that people with discriminating taste think her music is good (even though some do). It has everything to do with the fact that people who do not have discriminating taste in music thinks she is good. That's how you sell music. It has to appeal to people who listen to music very casually. People who take music more seriously and to whom it matters more are less likely to enjoy what she has to offer because it is not deep enough musically. It's very simple and absolutely true. And age has nothing whatsoever to do with that. Top 40 has been around for a very long time. But somehow, I doubt that saying "the Rick Dees crowd" would have quite had the same meaning to the people on this forum when I know almost all of them are younger than me. We all probably know who Lady Gaga is.

Age of course, does dictate my personal tastes. I am very proud of my music collection and my overall muscial aptitude, which I have been honing my entire life. You might remember a "death metal" conversation I had with someone here. I don't, actually, although I know I have talked metal with people before. Heavy music overall takes a decent-sized piece of the overall pie, but death metal itself really does not. I wouldn't know offhand what random band I was talking about. I do know I have brought up many other artists from many other genres, however. I listen to more different styles of music in a week than most people do in a year, or even a lifetime. And I am anything but closed to new music. New Top 40? Well, I regard it as I did old Top 40. Music whose primary appeal is for people who aren't really that into music. It has its place. Some of it is catchy and there are random songs that I like. Virtually none of it is high art.

And the things I look for in the game of Magic do not tie in to what more casual onlookers would like to see, or what would appeal to them. Complicated game states are not appealing to those people. Those are the people that WOTC is trying to snare. I think the Top 40 music scene/current state of Magic have a lot in common.

Define discriminating taste because as it stands all I can think of to seperate them from casual listeners is elitism.
There are people who more carefully listen to how a song is written and performed than others. There are honest and measurable values for both actions. Things are what they are. Individual taste operates on a completely different axis.

But there are known formulas for pop music which are used regularly with artists that find themselves looking at an occasional #1 single, and they don't involve anything particularly complex or deep. But that doesn't mean it is evil, just that it is the work of people more interested in reaching a large listening audience than in creating quality music. I like occasional hit songs as do other people. As David Byrne once said, sometimes the corporate soft drink is what you want.
There are people who more carefully listen to how a song is written and performed than others. There are honest and measurable values for both actions. Things are what they are. Individual taste operates on a completely different axis.

But there are known formulas for pop music which are used regularly with artists that find themselves looking at an occasional #1 single, and they don't involve anything particularly complex or deep. But that doesn't mean it is evil, just that it is the work of people more interested in reaching a large listening audience than in creating quality music. I like occasional hit songs as do other people. As David Byrne once said, sometimes the corporate soft drink is what you want.


Thats just such a pointless way of viewing things. If people don't like it as much then the complexity isn't a good thing. If you are going to try to create standards and use words like quality for something like music then its absurdly elitist to do it based on standards that don't fit with the population's general views.

I am not creating the standards here. Those preceed me and will be here when I am gone. The fact is that the general population doesn't know very much about music at all but implicitly understands the pentatonic scale. There is a video out there that has Bobby McFarrin demonstrating this by jumping around on a stage while the crowd sings the notes his landing points represent. The hooks in songs are based off of this. Songs that appeal to masses of people tend to focus on these hooks.

There is nothing elitist about being able to easily determine the skill level required to write or perform a given piece of music. Again, taste is a different matter.