9/03/2010 LD: "Let's Do It Again"

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This thread is for discussion of this week's Latest Developments, which goes live Friday morning on magicthegathering.com.
The poll seems a little misleading.  Yes, I have an Extended-legal deck built.  Yes, it is also Standard-legal.  No, I would never consider playing it in Extended.

I mean, technically, anyone who has at least sixty contiguous Standard-legal cards has an Extended-legal deck built, even if those sixty cards don't include any land (basic or otherwise) or include only land.  Anyone with a box of basic lands has an Extended-legal deck.  Anyone with a pile of Standard cards in their room has an Extended-legal deck built.  That doesn't mean they'd ever consider playing the deck, though it is Extended-legal.

I think I understand what the poll is trying to say (Option 1: I play Standard, not Extended.  Option 2: I play Extended.  Option 3: I play neither Standard nor Extended. Option 4: What is Extended?), but honestly option 1 in particular is somewhat ambiguous, and I'm not entirely sure I've interpreted it correctly (it could also be interpreted as: Option 1: I have built a deck to play in Extended, and it uses only Standard-legal cards).  This week's poll could have used a little refining.
A massive revelation this week!  I've always hated the idea of rare "bombs" in limited, and figured that making the game this way was just a cheap cash-grab (to be fair, it still probably is that).  It had never occurred to me to think of what Tom points out in this column:  powerful rares create variance in a format that would otherwise be extremely consistent.  I still think that a way exists to make all cards equally powerful regardless of rarity, but the result might be an overly homogenous Limited environment.  At some point I'll want to research this question in depth and find out if the alternative could be done, but for now I'll accept that Wizards has a best-of-both-worlds answer on their hands rather than just a marketing ploy.
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 have my Standard decks from Time Spiral/Lorwyn and Lorwyn/Shards put together, does that count?    I don't have any Extended-legal decks that weren't Standard legal according to some Standard.  (Although my Soul Sisters-like deck is close; I think it would be Extended legal if you added Coldsnap and Ravnica - Proclamation of Rebirth is awesome.)

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...
No I don't have a current ext deck. My ext decks suddenly became worthless overnight a few on the back so I havnt put any effort into building something that prolly is just going to be done away with altogether.
Coldsnap and Ravnica aren't legal in extended anymore, fractal. It's Time Spiral block and onward, and even that one rotates in a month. Hmm, maybe Kitchen Finks for the soul sisters?

I got Pyromancer Ascension built, but haven't actually played extended yet. Just read Mike Flores's article from yesterday and looking at the goodies.
I don't recall that I've ever had an Extended deck.
Coldsnap and Ravnica aren't legal in extended anymore, fractal. It's Time Spiral block and onward, and even that one rotates in a month. Hmm, maybe Kitchen Finks for the soul sisters?

I know they're not legal in Extended, but if they were, then my casual multiplayer Soul Sisters deck would be Extended-legal.
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...
This is the first Masters Edition I've really wanted in paper, just because I've always wanted to drop Horsemanship on my little brother but getting P3K stuff is hard.
That's the second time you guys have used that Inception "statistic", which I cannot find anywhere else on the web.  Is it too difficult for you to actually source such a claim or what?

When you walk up to someone and blurt out, "Hey, did you know I'm ranked as the second best Magic player on the planet?", do you not expect him to ask you, "Who's number one?"  Do you then shrug cryptically and start talking about something else?
A fuller answer to the poll:  No, my Extended deck died when the rotation was changed and I haven't put a new one together because few people play that format, it's much easier to find games of Standard, EDH, Legacy, "don't Fireball me for infinite casual", and such.  I put together a deck to play as the Archenemy because it seems more likely people will have decks to play that.
The end is always nigh.
I find it interesting that the P3K cards that are praised as having "fairly modern sensibilities for creature power" are all just reprints of cards that pre-existed P3K. The "powerful uncommons" are just Air Elemental and Serra Angel!

Nonetheless, this was an interesting insider article on set design/development. I guess now that core sets contain new cards, Masters Edition sets are the only ones to have the "only reprints" constraint.

As for having an extended deck...  I have 80+ decks built at any given time. I don't pay much attention to specific card origins; most of my white decks will contain about three Oblivion Ring or Faith's Fetters, because they're such awesomely useful catchall removal; and pretty much every multicolour deck contains 2-4 Ravnica bouncelands of the appropriate colour pairs. 

I think I've probably got a Zendikar landfall deck that's Extended-legal except for a couple of Simic Growth Chamber.  

A number of years ago I used to try to build casual decks according to Standard or Extended restrictions, but these days since nobody I play with is bothered about such things, I don't bother either. Half the decks I've built recently have been 100-card singleton anyway

Good article, and ME3 was well done.  This does bring to mind though that options will be strongly limited for ME4, as it pretty much just as to take "whatever's left over" does it not?


I answered the survey in the spirit of being Extended for Extended sake, not assuming Standard decks are defacto legal.  Which means that no I don't have one built.  But that's less about hating the format and more about being busy with other ones.

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.

No I don't have a current ext deck. My ext decks suddenly became worthless overnight a few on the back so I havnt put any effort into building something that prolly is just going to be done away with altogether.



I had two. Then suddenly I had none. Extended doesn't seem to have a coherent identity anymore, being essentially "Last Year's Standard" now. I'm not convinced I'll ever build another one: I think I'm a Limited, EDH, and Legacy player exclusively now.
That's the second time you guys have used that Inception "statistic", which I cannot find anywhere else on the web.  Is it too difficult for you to actually source such a claim or what?

Not that they shouldn't have sourced the claim in the first place, but...

www.boxofficemojo.com/alltime/openingwee...

It appears that the other three non-animated, original concept movies which broke $100 million their opening week are Avatar, The Day After Tomorrow, and Bruce Almighty.
I wish I played ME3 more. I mostly watched LSV's videos on them and only played once, but I remember the crazy vanilla craw-wurm-like common legends and horsemanship guys. In it all, there was still other aspects like card draw for card advantage-minded people as well as some alternate fast RG strategy available.
Goblin Artisans - A Magic Design Blog by GDS2 Contestants and Collaborators


It appears that the other three non-animated, original concept movies which broke $100 million their opening week are Avatar, The Day After Tomorrow, and Bruce Almighty.



The Day After Tomorrow and Bruce Almighty?  O.o

A massive revelation this week!  I've always hated the idea of rare "bombs" in limited, and figured that making the game this way was just a cheap cash-grab (to be fair, it still probably is that).  It had never occurred to me to think of what Tom points out in this column:  powerful rares create variance in a format that would otherwise be extremely consistent.  I still think that a way exists to make all cards equally powerful regardless of rarity, but the result might be an overly homogenous Limited environment.  At some point I'll want to research this question in depth and find out if the alternative could be done, but for now I'll accept that Wizards has a best-of-both-worlds answer on their hands rather than just a marketing ploy.



Wait, after reading articles about it, this had seriously never occured to you? Also, in terms of "cheap cash-grab," what you fail to recognize is that Magic exists to sell itself. It does that largely by being fun and enjoyable, but also by having rare cards that are really good.

If all cards were somehow, magically, equally powerful, then you'd literally only need 35 or so decently synergistic cards before you had a good deck. Then, the only time you would need to buy new cards was when you wanted to try out another deck - assuming the land quality wasn't high enough that there were actually different decks, and not just collections of the top 35 cards that work best together. Sure, some people would buy just as many cards, but most would not. There are a variety of other factors that I'm not getting into, but the basic idea holds true.

"So what?" you may ask. So, if Wizards did not make as much money off of Magic, then the entire Pro Tour infrastructure would not exist as we know it. Additionally, aside from the game play potentially growing stale, the potential collapse of Magic would be all the more likely, simply from an economic standpoint. By making "cheap cash-grabs," Wizards is retaining their ability to deliver a quality product.
The poll seems a little misleading.  Yes, I have an Extended-legal deck built.  Yes, it is also Standard-legal.  No, I would never consider playing it in Extended.


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Pretty sure they've explained it before, they should really put something for every poll: but basically they know the limited number of options doesn't cover everything but they just want the best answer you can give for it.


This is the first Masters Edition I've really wanted in paper, just because I've always wanted to drop Horsemanship on my little brother but getting P3K stuff is hard.



I've wanted every Masters edition in paper form, but this one in particular seems particularly nice. I was able to luck into a handful of P3K several years back, but I'd love to have more. 

I've said for years: I have money, you have a product. Let me give you my damn money for your damn product. 

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
Kudos on ME3... I drafted it quite a bit when it came out.  These days with the ME123 drafts, even with one pack you can tell the difference when the ME3 pack comes.  Suddenly all the cards are relevant, not just one or two.

However, this article fails to answer the question: "Why did Sorrow's Path make it in?"

Can't wait to see what you did with ME4!!!  There are only about 1,000 cards left, and most of those are not very playable.  Nine of them, however, are pretty powerful...  nudge, nudge, wink wink.
I do have an extended-legal, non-standard legal deck that I played in my first extended tournament since the massive rotation yesterday (and no, I'm not in Amsterdam Tongue out, it was a local thing). It's Merfolk with plenty of Lorwyn and a bit of Time Spiral (Lord of Atlantis). Funnily or sadly, I lost to two rogue decks that were Standard-legal or very close to, lol.
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

Wait, after reading articles about it, this had seriously never occured to you?



It had never clicked that there was a more valid reason for the Limited-bomb factor than "players like powerful cards".

Also, in terms of "cheap cash-grab," what you fail to recognize is that Magic exists to sell itself. It does that largely by being fun and enjoyable, but also by having rare cards that are really good.



If the player with the most money always wins, nobody who can't afford to invest massively has any reason to play, and players who invest and then lose their job or get a family or something, and can't stay invested, are SOL.  I know that there are business realities but I for one would rather pay $5 per card and have all the cards be at a single consistent power level, so that only player skill determines who wins.  I play a miniatures game called Monsterpocalypse which is extremely close to it; it has a few unbalancingly powerful figures, but the game is so complex and multi-angled that the strong pieces can be made weak by playing around them, without hampering your play options to the extent that playing things like color-hate will do to you in Magic.

If all cards were somehow, magically, equally powerful, then you'd literally only need 35 or so
decently synergistic cards before you had a good deck. Then, the only time you would need to buy new cards was when you wanted to try out another deck - assuming the land quality wasn't high enough that there were actually different decks, and not just collections of the top 35 cards that work best together. Sure, some people would buy just as many cards, but most would not. There are a variety of other factors that I'm not getting into, but the basic idea holds true.



I buy cards to try out new decks for a different experience, and to enjoy the art and flavor text.  As long as each block is set on a new world (or a new version of an old world, or a previously unexplored section of the same world, or a continuation of the previous story, etc. etc.), as long as there are new mechanics and new deck archetypes, I'll keep poking my nose in and buying whatever I can afford.  And it'd be nice if I didn't always get horribly steamrolled in the process by people who have more money than I do.

"So what?" you may ask. So, if Wizards did not make as much money off of Magic, then the entire Pro Tour infrastructure would not exist as we know it. Additionally, aside from the game play potentially growing stale, the potential collapse of Magic would be all the more likely, simply from an economic standpoint. By making "cheap cash-grabs," Wizards is retaining their ability to deliver a quality product.



I'm aware that that's the theory, and perhaps it's true.  But I think that Magic could probably be financially successful, if not quite as flagrantly so, if it just abandoned the entire tournament structure and catered solely to the casual crowd.  Look at D&D - people play that without needing to be bribed with prize money, and happily buy sourcebook after sourcebook to expand their fun-having capabilities.  I see Magic the same way, with the puzzle of deckbuilding substituting for the hammy fun of roleplaying.
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