11/01/2010 MM: "The Power of Passion"

32 posts / 0 new
Last post
This thread is for discussion of this week's Making Magic, which goes live Monday morning on magicthegathering.com.
Reading this article, I find myself coming to the conclusion that MaRo isn't actually Red-Blue as he's often said; he's Red-Green, perhaps with Blue tertiary.  He repeatedly harps on the idea that you can't change human nature, which is exactly what green would say.  (Red might say "I can't change who I am!" but might also say "Don't you tell me I can't change who I am!" - Red might say just about anything as long as there's an exclamation point involved.)    He might enjoy solving puzzles, but that might just mean it's in his nature to do so; it may or may not indicate the presence of blue, but clearly not the dominance of it over green, or he'd believe human beings are a blank slate and they can indeed have their nature changed.

Personally, I'm very firmly Red-Blue, and if I had a tertiary color it would probably be White.  I'm a perfectionist, and I reject reality; I believe human nature CAN be changed, and that the way you do that is to change the rules, create a new environment which will shape them away from their negative instinctual bias.  Every time MaRo trots out that "can't change human nature" line, I blow my top, because it smacks of tolerating the presence of "evil" as an inevitability because you're too damn lazy to bother changing it.  (Which is ironic since I am indeed extremely lazy, and my quaternary or quintawhateverly color of green mostly comes out of a desire to lay my burden down and relax; I haven't decided whether this exceeds the ambition and vitriol of my black aspect.) 

People do have an inherent nature that is not easy to change, but part of that nature IS to change; we evolve and adapt to our situation, it's our greatest strength and weakness alike.  What that means is that if you impose an order on people wherein their natural inclinations become a survival risk (such as by making theft a capital crime in order to put the kibosh on greed and kleptomania), eventually they will spend enough time suppressing their instinct that it will disappear, and their nature will be changed.  It may be an uphill battle, but it isn't unwinnable.  What you have to do is ask yourself if it's important enough to be worth the effort of fighting it; it seems as though MaRo's answer is "no", he's not willing to play dice with the company's future by trying to force a new paradigm on Magic's players.  In his place, I might.

In other news, I'd love to know what's with the choice between Poison, Cheese, and the Green Lantern!  I'm a big GL fan, and if MaRo is too I'd like to know.  Otherwise, if Monty or Kelly or one of the other Web guys put that in for their own sneaky reasons, I'd like to know that too.  What pertinence does GL have to Magic and SOM?
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 enjoy most of Mark Rosewater's articles immensely. I had some trouble getting into this one, though, for some reason. It may have had more to do with me just being too tired to devote proper attention to it than anything about the article.

But I did notice one profound truth - that people spend too much time on things they think might enable them to become happy, rather than on just being happy. That is true, but it's not the whole truth.

We all know that there are people who spend their time having fun, perhaps in harmful ways, and neglecting things like work or studies - and it soon catches up with them.

So what is important is balance - a person should "stop and smell the roses", but one also has to be able to pay the rent.

And, I think that for every person who wastes his life trying to make more money than he will ever need to be happy... there will be ten, or a hundred, people who spend a lot of time on making money, leaving very little time to enjoy life, because given their circumstances, with any less effort spent on making money, their lives would fall apart - because even after one earns enough for food and shelter, one has to earn considerably more to establish and support a family.

As individuals, no one of us has the power to fix the problems of the economy. Instead, we do have to make the best of the situation we're in, and lowering material expectations is a part of being able to be happy even with less money. But let's not blame the consequences of the stock market crash, which do have to be addressed at the political level, on the bad lifestyle choices of individuals.

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.

Whack is a great book, but it wasn't written by Abraham Maslow.

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.

6. Have Someone on Your Team (Or As a Sounding Board) Who Doesn't Share Your Passion

That certainly explains why GDS has blatantly biased towards "you agree with MaRo!"



Doesn't it?

MaRo has talked about the intuitive-perception part of the Myers-Briggs type indicator before, this one made me wonder how much feeling he is on the feeling-thinking scale and how much his message resonances with thinking people

People do have an inherent nature that is not easy to change, but part of that nature IS to change; we evolve and adapt to our situation, it's our greatest strength and weakness alike.  What that means is that if you impose an order on people wherein their natural inclinations become a survival risk (such as by making theft a capital crime in order to put the kibosh on greed and kleptomania), eventually they will spend enough time suppressing their instinct that it will disappear, and their nature will be changed.  It may be an uphill battle, but it isn't unwinnable.



No they will just spend their entire live suppressing their instinct, it won't disappear. You'll have won the battle because you get the effect you desire but you won't change nature.

This works for life but not for a game, because with the second you can simply say "I'll stop playing this one and look for one that doesn't fight being played"
Reading this article, I find myself coming to the conclusion that MaRo isn't actually Red-Blue as he's often said; he's Red-Green, perhaps with Blue tertiary.  He repeatedly harps on the idea that you can't change human nature, which is exactly what green would say.  (Red might say "I can't change who I am!" but might also say "Don't you tell me I can't change who I am!" - Red might say just about anything as long as there's an exclamation point involved.)    He might enjoy solving puzzles, but that might just mean it's in his nature to do so; it may or may not indicate the presence of blue, but clearly not the dominance of it over green, or he'd believe human beings are a blank slate and they can indeed have their nature changed.


Most expressions of nature are green, but not all. It is in a Vampire's nature to prey in the night, a black trait. It is in a Vedalken's nature to be intellectual, a blue trait. It is in an Angel's nature to protect, a white trait.

Mark Rosewater used to write Magic: The Puzzling, a puzzle column for The Duelist. That gives him significant blue cred.

The instinct seen in green magic is when instinct is better than intellect, as in an animal that has no intellect or a druid who has learned that the forest has greater wisdom than his own mind. The instinct seen in red magic is when intellect is cast aside for the freedom and intensity of passion. The fictional Calvin of Bill Watterson's comic strip Calvin and Hobbes once said, "I have common sense. I just chose not to use it." A berserker warrior has decided that thinking has no place in battle.

In Magic: The Gathering red is the color of passion. However, the only passions we see in most red cards are fear and anger. We got to see red's playful mischief in Lorwyn, which is one reason I really liked that block. So many passions are neglected. When will we see red cards named Stolen Kiss or Shout of Glee or Belly Laugh? Mark Rosewater wrote about a passion to accomplish a goal. I admit that such a passion does not fit red's other themes of chaos and damage, which dominate most red mechanics; but other red mechanics, such as mana accleration, could be expressed as the result of passion.

People do have an inherent nature that is not easy to change, but part of that nature IS to change; we evolve and adapt to our situation, it's our greatest strength and weakness alike.  What that means is that if you impose an order on people wherein their natural inclinations become a survival risk (such as by making theft a capital crime in order to put the kibosh on greed and kleptomania), eventually they will spend enough time suppressing their instinct that it will disappear, and their nature will be changed.  It may be an uphill battle, but it isn't unwinnable.  What you have to do is ask yourself if it's important enough to be worth the effort of fighting it; it seems as though MaRo's answer is "no", he's not willing to play dice with the company's future by trying to force a new paradigm on Magic's players.  In his place, I might.



People do refine their nature and grow more mature. We green mages are happy with that kind of change.

Remember one of Mark Rosewater's other creeds: "Restriction breeds creativity." Designing Magic: The Gathering to fit the existing nature of the players and potential players, rather than forcing them to mature in order to appreciate the game, is a worthwhile restriction that both inspires creativity and increases sales. If playing the game also matures the players so that they can appreciate other paradigms in the game, then that would be icing on the cake.

Am I the only one who thought of "copypasta" when I saw the Rite of Replication spaghetti pic? :P

~ Tim
I am Blue/White Reached DCI Rating 1800 on 28/10/11. :D
Sig
56287226 wrote:
190106923 wrote:
Not bad. But what happens flavor wise when one kamahl kills the other one?
Zis iz a sign uf deep psychological troma, buried in zer subconscious mind. By keelink himzelf, Kamahl iz physically expressink hiz feelinks uf self-disgust ova hiz desire for hiz muzzer. [/GermanPsychologistVoice]
56957928 wrote:
57799958 wrote:
That makes no sense to me. If they spelled the ability out on the card in full then it would not be allowed in a mono-black Commander deck, but because they used a keyword to save space it is allowed? ~ Tim
Yup, just like you can have Birds of paradise in a mono green deck but not Noble Hierarch. YAY COLOR IDENTITY
56287226 wrote:
56888618 wrote:
Is algebra really that difficult?
Survey says yes.
56883218 wrote:
57799958 wrote:
You want to make a milky drink. You squeeze a cow.
I love this description. Like the cows are sponges filled with milk. I can see it all Nick Parks claymation-style with the cow's eyes bugging out momentarily as a giant farmer squeezes it like a squeaky dog toy, and milk shoots out of it.
56287226 wrote:
56735468 wrote:
And no judge will ever give you a game loss for playing snow covered lands.
I now have a new goal in life. ;)
I must disagree with MaRo on one point.  He says in his article that "passion cannot be coerced".  I'm not sure that's exactly true.  Is that not for what demagogues are best known.  Coercing passion?  Entire nations can and have been known to rise up in support of an idea manifested by one very passionate, very eloquent individual.  Even when hindsight shows the idea to be absolutely ludicrous, dangerous, or detrimental to society.  Then, when the people who fight so hard for that particular cause are asked why they did so, they say it was the passion of that one person that seemed to "catch fire".  I belive passion can spread this way.  Passion is infectious.  (hee, hee.   get it?)   Passion absolutely can be coerced, foisted upon people en masse by a very charismatic leader.  We must be cautious of this even in Magic, as a passion for something Infectious may not be the best thing for the game.
In connection with the main Magic-related topic of the article, I'm one of those who is bemused at least that after all those articles telling us for some reason that milling, as an alternate win condition, is respectable and not in the least unfun, now it seems to be going the way of land destruction.

Maybe, though, that's just happening to make room for infect.

While I have to admit that going up against a control deck is unfun, I happen to be one of those with a soft spot for Counterspell. To my way of thinking, Magic would be the most fun if every deck was, at least partly, midrange - where even a Red Deck Wins would have a few counters just in case. Because there's always that card which is so deadly that it can spoil all your plans to win, starting with Sanctimony and heading upwards from there, and if anything is unfun, it's being helpless.

But forcing people to commit to a particular strategy is essential if scissors, paper, stone style non-transitivity is a major part of what makes the game work.

If I had been in charge of Wizards, there would not be sideboards. Instead, at Constructed events, you would get to bring up to five complete decks with you, and for any game, including the first, you could choose whichever one of those decks you wanted to use. And so part of the strategy of play would be reacting to the meta by assigning probabilities with which to choose from those decks at random - using game theory.

I must disagree with MaRo on one point.  He says in his article that "passion cannot be coerced".  I'm not sure that's exactly true.  Is that not for what demagogues are best known.  Coercing passion?  Entire nations can and have been known to rise up in support of an idea manifested by one very passionate, very eloquent individual.  Even when hindsight shows the idea to be absolutely ludicrous, dangerous, or detrimental to society.

When that happens, a lot of coercion usually does take place.

But the people who became passionate about the new idea weren't coerced. They were merely persuaded. They may also have been deceived, but this is fraud, not force.

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.

So, I definitely had a sort of zen-moment after reading this (actually, okay, being based on recursive rationalization probably makes it the opposite of a 'zen moment', but I digress).

To be honest, I did not like it, despite seeing that there was wisdom and inspiration to be found in it. Was irked by the pompousness of his professor. "Everyone's writing has a theme". Phah.

This thought crossed my mind as I was making my way to the kitchen: "I am not saying that this is not true. I am not saying that it is true. I am saying that thinking that this is true makes it more true, and not thinking it's true makes it less true. You dumb yourself down by buying into it."

And I realized that that was what I did not like about this point of view. That that was what I did not like about Mark Rosewater's self-avowed "themed" (that we "follow our passions" and only "trick ourselves into thinkng we're intellectual creatures"). That this was also what I did not like about Timmy, Johnny, and Spike. It dumbs things down, and makes it easy to overlook the true nuance of human behavoir.

In fact, this was what I did not like about a great many things. If something is not outright false, and yet I still don't like it, that's usually what it boils down to. "Well, yes, that's basically true... But it's more complicated than that."

"It's more complicated than that." God knows how many times I've said or typed those words.

And then, in that moment, I realized what MY theme was. My recent fixation has been with meta-stories; stories within stories, stories about stories, and stories which show that every story is the convergance of a thousand other stories. But that's just a recent trend, and without getting long-winded almost all the creative things that I have felt really passionate about have expressed that same mantra- that people are intricate and it's wrong to simplify them- in some way or another. "It's more complicated than that."

If all of my work could be summed up and distilled to a single, five-word message, that message would read like a direct retort to MaRo's message. Of course, one could argue that the very fact that it CAN be summed up makes it not a very good retort...

The 'zen' part, I think, was realizing that somehow the whole thing kind of makes sense anyway.
In connection with the main Magic-related topic of the article, I'm one of those who is bemused at least that after all those articles telling us for some reason that milling, as an alternate win condition, is respectable and not in the least unfun, now it seems to be going the way of land destruction.



Dunno why you say that - Grindclock + Proliferate is pretty decent for adding up to lethal mill fast and Screeching Silcaw with a Sword of Body and Mind in its beak mills for 14 if you have two other artifacts and can get past flying blockers (double strike being applicable as well - hm, Assault Strobe plus various blocker-denial spells, must experiment).

I do however tend to agree with Chainer's point.  MaRo loved poison, so poison was pushed hard in this block, being extremely overpowered and having no real countermeasure (nothing that isn't equally good at saving you from normal damage, at any rate).  I have a suspicion that by the end of the block year, lots of people won't ever want to hear the word "poison" again.

While I have to admit that going up against a control deck is unfun, I happen to be one of those with a soft spot for Counterspell. To my way of thinking, Magic would be the most fun if every deck was, at least partly, midrange - where even a Red Deck Wins would have a few counters just in case. Because there's always that card which is so deadly that it can spoil all your plans to win, starting with Sanctimony and heading upwards from there, and if anything is unfun, it's being helpless.



Counterspells are less effective for the most part than destruction - the must-answer spell is usually not an instant or sorcery, and only in rare cases is the ability to stop a CIP ability more important than the ability to draw the answer later rather than sitting with mana open in case the must-answer card shows.  Every color having some sort of Desert Twister would be a good way of making sure your deck can always answer something it absolutely must answer.  The green one could just be expensive as DT was; black can pay life, white can give life to its opponent, and red has the perfect exemplar in Capricious Efreet - letting Wild Swing target enchantments as long as you pick a target on your side to risk losing would have been good.  Counter-bounce provides the blue equivalent.  So they just need to make a few new cards - the white and black halves of Vindicate with life-related side effects (optional in the white one's case to prevent False Cure abuse), and a modified Wild Swing.

If I had been in charge of Wizards, there would not be sideboards. Instead, at Constructed events, you would get to bring up to five complete decks with you, and for any game, including the first, you could choose whichever one of those decks you wanted to use. And so part of the strategy of play would be reacting to the meta by assigning probabilities with which to choose from those decks at random - using game theory.



Not a bad idea, but I'd go further and just say "one deck, no sideboard".  Force players to play with cards they currently ignore, pack their deck full of answers to potential problems, and only have to play one game per round so the whole thing would go faster.
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, I definitely had a sort of zen-moment after reading this (actually, okay, being based on recursive rationalization probably makes it the opposite of a 'zen moment', but I digress).

To be honest, I did not like it, despite seeing that there was wisdom and inspiration to be found in it. Was irked by the pompousness of his professor. "Everyone's writing has a theme". Phah.

This thought crossed my mind as I was making my way to the kitchen: "I am not saying that this is not true. I am not saying that it is true. I am saying that thinking that this is true makes it more true, and not thinking it's true makes it less true. You dumb yourself down by buying into it."

And I realized that that was what I did not like about this point of view. That that was what I did not like about Mark Rosewater's self-avowed "themed" (that we "follow our passions" and only "trick ourselves into thinkng we're intellectual creatures"). That this was also what I did not like about Timmy, Johnny, and Spike. It dumbs things down, and makes it easy to overlook the true nuance of human behavoir.

In fact, this was what I did not like about a great many things. If something is not outright false, and yet I still don't like it, that's usually what it boils down to. "Well, yes, that's basically true... But it's more complicated than that."

"It's more complicated than that." God knows how many times I've said or typed those words.

And then, in that moment, I realized what MY theme was. My recent fixation has been with meta-stories; stories within stories, stories about stories, and stories which show that every story is the convergance of a thousand other stories. But that's just a recent trend, and without getting long-winded almost all the creative things that I have felt really passionate about have expressed that same mantra- that people are intricate and it's wrong to simplify them- in some way or another. "It's more complicated than that."

If all of my work could be summed up and distilled to a single, five-word message, that message would read like a direct retort to MaRo's message. Of course, one could argue that the very fact that it CAN be summed up makes it not a very good retort...

The 'zen' part, I think, was realizing that somehow the whole thing kind of makes sense anyway.



Hehehe. My favorite saying is:
"Everything that is simple is theoretically false, everything that is complicated is practically useless"

You're soooo the first one =p

As my 'theme' is "there is no right or wrong only a middle way, a balance" (which can be seen in that saying itself) I love how you pit yourself against Maro this way =)

In connection with the main Magic-related topic of the article, I'm one of those who is bemused at least that after all those articles telling us for some reason that milling, as an alternate win condition, is respectable and not in the least unfun, now it seems to be going the way of land destruction.

Maybe, though, that's just happening to make room for infect.



Sounds very likely =)

To my way of thinking, Magic would be the most fun if every deck was [...]



Magic already is the most fun for many different people because it offers many different decks and formats. Why would you remove the fun of others, what's the gain?
Hey Mark,

Millstone came out in Antiquities, not Alliances.  Also, you never decked anyone with Braingeyser before that?
Why would you remove the fun of others, what's the gain?

I didn't quite mean that the way you took it.

I wouldn't want Magic to become a game in which only one deck archetype worked. People do have to have a choice in how they play it.

It seems, though, that midrange decks have generally not been viable in Magic for quite some time. To me, that seemed odd, because I would have thought that for a great many people, midrange would be the most fun. One might favor the defence, or favor the offence, but if a deck gives you some chance to cope with the unexpected, instead of leaving you helpless a part of the time, it would seem that the game would be more fun.

But then I answered my own question - if people did win a greater percentage of the time by slanting their decks slightly toward the midrange, it could be that since having a few cards in one's deck for Plan B reduces the percentage for drawing the cards you need for Plan A, with the way Magic works, that would strongly imply that the best deck is somewhere in the dead center of the midrange.

So to make Magic work, to make multiple archetypes viable, the color pie and other design elements have to push players away from the midrange. There's probably no effective way to make a touch of midrange viable without locating the sweet spot in the midrange rather than in a ring around it.

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.


Hehehe. My favorite saying is:
"Everything that is simple is theoretically false, everything that is complicated is practically useless"

You're soooo the first one =p

As my 'theme' is "there is no right or wrong only a middle way, a balance" (which can be seen in that saying itself) I love how you pit yourself against Maro this way =)



Ha, probably, yea. I don't know if all complicated things are useless though. I mean, think about space travel, that's... okay, not useful yet.

The internet! The internet is incredibly complex, yet still usef-... I mean, it's, ahh... well, poop.

I actually have this article bookmarked now; I like it a lot more now that I've thought through it and realized what I was taking issue with. I think there's some real sage advice in there.

Am I the only one who thought of "copypasta" when I saw the Rite of Replication spaghetti pic? :P



>put_five_copies_of_pasta_onto_the_battlefield.jpg
So what is important is balance - a person should "stop and smell the roses", but one also has to be able to pay the rent.



Very true.
I went home from work yesterday not intending on returning today, and that I would just be happy and play Magic. Then I find out that when you copy Lavalanche with Cloven Casting, "X" has to be 0.

Needless to say, I returned to work this morning.

Orzhova Witness

Restarting Quotes Block
58086748 wrote:
58335208 wrote:
Disregard women acquire chase rares.
There are a lot of dudes for whom this is not optional.
97820278 wrote:
144532521 wrote:
How;s a 2 drop 1/2, Flying broken? What am I missing?
You're missing it because *turns Storm Crows sideways* all your base are belong to Chuck Norris and every other overused meme ever.
This is the type of article that keeps me reading every week.
So what is important is balance - a person should "stop and smell the roses", but one also has to be able to pay the rent.



Very true.
I went home from work yesterday not intending on returning today, and that I would just be happy and play Magic. Then I find out that when you copy Lavalanche with Cloven Casting, "X" has to be 0.

Needless to say, I returned to work this morning.



Umm...  double-check that.  If Cloven Casting is copying it from the stack, Lavalanche should get the appropriate X, iirc.  I'm not the rules guru that i would like to be though.
That's also my reading, yea (since I had the comprules open anyway):

706.2. When copying an object, the copy acquires the copiable values of the original object’s characteristics and, for an object on the stack, choices made when casting or activating it (mode, targets, the value of X, whether it was kicked, how it will affect multiple targets, and so on).
Very true.
I went home from work yesterday not intending on returning today, and that I would just be happy and play Magic. Then I find out that when you copy Lavalanche with Cloven Casting, "X" has to be 0.

Needless to say, I returned to work this morning.

Umm...  double-check that.  If Cloven Casting is copying it from the stack, Lavalanche should get the appropriate X, iirc.  I'm not the rules guru that i would like to be though.

That's right.  Cloven Casting will copy all aspects of the spell on the stack, including the value of X.  X would only be assumed to be zero if it were played/copied without paying its mana cost from some other zone, such as with Panoptic Mirror.

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...

"If you liked today's column (or if you didn't) and want to hear more "runner stories" in the future (or don't want to), please let me know."


I've NEVER BEEN a runner, but I have had bosses think I was.


I...enjoyed the article, but found the stories both funny and painful.


Like you said, some people just get off on that kind of stuff.


 

It seems, though, that midrange decks have generally not been viable in Magic for quite some time. To me, that seemed odd, because I would have thought that for a great many people, midrange would be the most fun. One might favor the defence, or favor the offence, but if a deck gives you some chance to cope with the unexpected, instead of leaving you helpless a part of the time, it would seem that the game would be more fun.

"Midrange" goes directly against the past decade-and-a-half of accumulated theory and axioms:
  • Planning a deck for midrange is largely against traditional concepts of manacurve.  Piling stuff in the "mid range" is all but a foreign concept.

  • It's an outlier in a game where the usual order of business was to win as quickly as possible, lock down the game as brutally as possible and win with a single finisher, or largely ignore the opponent and just combo out.

  • It brings elements of Limited play mentality into Constructed, which is just plain odd.

  • Changes in design philosophy that brought about the emergence of midrange as an archetype tend to greatly annoy old farts at a visceral level.



Hehehe. My favorite saying is:
"Everything that is simple is theoretically false, everything that is complicated is practically useless"

You're soooo the first one =p

As my 'theme' is "there is no right or wrong only a middle way, a balance" (which can be seen in that saying itself) I love how you pit yourself against Maro this way =)



Ha, probably, yea. I don't know if all complicated things are useless though. I mean, think about space travel, that's... okay, not useful yet.

The internet! The internet is incredibly complex, yet still usef-... I mean, it's, ahh... well, poop.



Well as a simple saying it's bound to be false if it's true Tongue out
Changes in design philosophy that brought about the emergence of midrange as an archetype tend to greatly annoy old farts at a visceral level.

Now, that was something I would not have guessed.

I had figured it couldn't happen, but mainly because making the decks look too much alike would have subverted the mechanism (scissors, paper, stone) that keeps burn, control, and aggro all viable.

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.

The more decks look the same the less interesting to me it is, that's for sure. I don't care quite as much about the delicate balance of a format as the variety. Standard last year was a snooze-fest in that regard. And an all-midrange format would probably be abandoned by players in droves.
I don't care quite as much about the delicate balance of a format as the variety. Standard last year was a snooze-fest in that regard. And an all-midrange format would probably be abandoned by players in droves.

I figured that delicate balance whas what you needed to have in order to get variety.

But on the other hand, I felt that new players would be psychologically uncomfortable with decks other than midrange.

Also, I think that deckbuilding is the main fun play element of Magic, but netdecking is unfortunately going to remain common until it's more convenient for people to learn how to build a Magic deck.

I don't feel that Wizards can afford to just reduce the cost of playing Magic (i.e., getting rid of Mythics) but one of the themes in my suggestions as to what Wizards should do is that some sort of less-expensive entry to Magic is needed. To my mind, Starter and Portal failed for the same reason that the Core Set languished - boosters of those sets offered poorer value for money than boosters of the current block expansion. This was especially true for Portal, which wasn't Standard-legal when it came out.

So this is why I think that a "base set" would help Magic. The "base set" would be like an old-fashioned Core Set, with 121 rare, 121 uncommon, and 121 common cards in the set. But it would be cheaper to collect because it wouldn't rotate.

That would be a slight exaggeration - actually, it would rotate each year, just like the Core Set (with which it would be released) - but the number of cards changed in the set each year would be very limited; the intent would be that no cards would change, but some tweaks might be needed.

Every effort would be made to put cards in the set that were as good as possible despite this goal. It would get Birds of Paradise, the Ravnica shocklands, and the Urzatron, (along with Ur-Golem's Eye and the Marble Diamond cycle) I envisage. But since that goal would put pressure on it to have a bland card pool, it would get certain "gimmicks" to increase its value. Replacing three commons by two core set commons, and one card that is a core set uncommon most of the time, but a core set rare 1/4 of the time... is like giving you 25% extra cards in a booster - 1 1/4 rares, and 3 3/4 uncommons.

I'd keep a basic land in every booster. The Core Set would get Unglued-like full-art basic lands, and the Base Set would be the place for my crazy gimmick (but with one land, not three, per pack).

If the base set remained stable, one could imagine textbooks on deck design for the base-set-only format being written.

By enlarging the Standard card pool, it should make Standard more diverse - the basic cards would be there to make more deck archetypes.

And if the base-set-only format gravitated around the midrange, since the strongest cards have to be in the sets that rotate, to keep defining a changing format, that wouldn't pull Standard in with it.

EDIT: As there are no white-bordered sets in either Standard or Extended at present, it is possible to redefine what the white border means.

In the Base Set, in addition to having basic lands whose art is pictures of cards that cannot be reprinted (see the spoiler block in my .sig), how about replacing one more common... with a white-bordered card. The new meaning of the white border: treat this card as though it came out of a Duel Decks box; its presence in this booster does not imply it is either Standard-legal or Extended-legal.

Rule 50 would mean that a white-bordered Lightning Bolt was still Standard-legal (so the Base Set would have Shock)... the 121-card white bordered sheet would include cards like Counterspell and Dark Ritual.

Entry Constructed would be added to the FNM list of formats. Entry Constructed: decks must contain cards only from the current Core Set and the current Base Set, but white-bordered cards from the current Base Set are allowed, even if not Standard-legal. Decks must have at least 40 cards, and are subject to a 3-of rule.

As a further assistance to players, in the Core Set and the Base Set, some of the most ordinary commons in those sets will have an upside-down mana symbol for an enemy color on the bottom. This is ignored when playing regular Magic, but in the Entry Constructed format, these cards can be played upside-down as the basic land corresponding to that mana symbol.

Presumably, if you have a blue-black deck, having Grizzly Bears and similar cards in the deck for basic land use, but no green uncommons or rares or even good commons, won't really make it possible to turn the deck into one that uses or even splashes green. So the idea is that the idea from Duel Masters is used to get people started fast... without turning Magic into Duel Masters!

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.

Also, I think that deckbuilding is the main fun play element of Magic, but netdecking is unfortunately going to remain common until it's more convenient for people to learn how to build a Magic deck.



Egad!

Yes, while building a deck, and knowing how to build a deck it an important aspect of the game, it's not going to be the most fun thing about the game for everyone.

Sure, I build decks of my own, and it's not oppressing, but at the same time it's rather tedious and as such I've streamlined the process as much as possible.
I either netdeck, or when I build my own, I write out a list of all the best cards that could go in certain slots as opposed to scouring Gatherer or my collection for other possible interactions. All of that jazz takes entirely too long, especially if the deck ends up failing, it was all for naught.

Normally, I can get a deck down in 30 minutes or so with a streamlined process, anything more than that is largely a waste of time outside of a few pointers about the deck. For me, all the fun is playing with the deck.

Lastly, of course I speak for netdeckers everywhere when I say that most people that netdeck don't do so because they don't know how to build a deck. They either are lazy (either that day, or everyday), or just want to increase their chance of doing well.
Heck, not only did I have to buy the cards, I also have to pay to play with the cards that I bought. Doing as well as possible become paramount. As is choosing the best deck, which may not be one that one puts together themselves.

Orzhova Witness

Restarting Quotes Block
58086748 wrote:
58335208 wrote:
Disregard women acquire chase rares.
There are a lot of dudes for whom this is not optional.
97820278 wrote:
144532521 wrote:
How;s a 2 drop 1/2, Flying broken? What am I missing?
You're missing it because *turns Storm Crows sideways* all your base are belong to Chuck Norris and every other overused meme ever.
The Johnnies are the ones who think deckbuilding is the most fun. I don't agree with a number of the pigeonholed characteristics of the three psychographics (such as "every time you try to win you are being Spike") but most definitely, the subset of players that most like deckbuilding are Johnnies. I speak from experience there - I have built more decks than I have played. (Although I certainly would not say that a Timmy or Spike player that enjoys building decks is having a "Johnny moment.")

I'm with JTI in that netdecking is not a product of willfully ignorant players. I would argue it was quite the opposite actually.
The Johnnies are the ones who think deckbuilding is the most fun. I don't agree with a number of the pigeonholed characteristics of the three psychographics (such as "every time you try to win you are being Spike") but most definitely, the subset of players that most like deckbuilding are Johnnies. I speak from experience there - I have built more decks than I have played. (Although I certainly would not say that a Timmy or Spike player that enjoys building decks is having a "Johnny moment.")



Everyone has all profiles in them, at certain times. When you want to overcome a challenge, when you want to outsmart your opponent, when you want to prove you're the best, when you want to win, you are having a Spike moment, you are being Spike.

Whether you call yourself a Spike or Johnny or whatever is more about which one is strongest, which one motivates you the most.
I don't agree with the "Spike moment" at all. This is a game, and the end goal is to determine a victor. Some enjoy the ride more than others, some enjoy the preparation. But all people that play know that they will either win or lose and that is not specific to a player type. Yes there are random players that play to hold cards in their hands and make careless plays along the way, but even those people know that and understand that the game will end in victory or defeat. Trying to win is not specific to one player type over another. That whole "Spike moment" bit was put in there to soften things up because MaRo screwed up in the first article and made Spike out to be a serious jerk. By saying "there's a little Spike in all of us" he could defuse that. Just like "Griefer Timmy" was made up during Timmy week because they didn't give him enough of an "edge" the first time. Never mind that being a so-called "griefer" has little to do with any of the three major types and is actually more often found in the other two anyway.

If we are to accept these psychographics as true for magic purposes, and there is no reason not to do so, then certain basic elements of playing a game must be accounted for in all types. If we accept that Timmy wants to win with a big monster, then we accept that he wants to win. That's the nature of gameplay. If Timmy's monster gets countered and the next game he decides to wait until his blue opponent is tapped out to cast it, that's not a "Spike moment."  That's Timmy ensuring he can enjoy his Timmy moment.

As I said in another thread, we're all still paying for a badly-written article from 2002.
I don't agree with the "Spike moment" at all. This is a game, and the end goal is to determine a victor. Some enjoy the ride more than others, some enjoy the preparation. But all people that play know that they will either win or lose and that is not specific to a player type. Yes there are random players that play to hold cards in their hands and make careless plays along the way, but even those people know that and understand that the game will end in victory or defeat. Trying to win is not specific to one player type over another. That whole "Spike moment" bit was put in there to soften things up because MaRo screwed up in the first article and made Spike out to be a serious jerk. By saying "there's a little Spike in all of us" he could defuse that. Just like "Griefer Timmy" was made up during Timmy week because they didn't give him enough of an "edge" the first time. Never mind that being a so-called "griefer" has little to do with any of the three major types and is actually more often found in the other two anyway.

If we are to accept these psychographics as true for magic purposes, and there is no reason not to do so, then certain basic elements of playing a game must be accounted for in all types. If we accept that Timmy wants to win with a big monster, then we accept that he wants to win. That's the nature of gameplay. If Timmy's monster gets countered and the next game he decides to wait until his blue opponent is tapped out to cast it, that's not a "Spike moment."  That's Timmy ensuring he can enjoy his Timmy moment.

As I said in another thread, we're all still paying for a badly-written article from 2002.



Yeah, winning or losing is too close to the game rules to be disregarded by anyone.

Heh maybe it's something that does come up in multiplayer (I never play casual singleplayer anymore, so I was thinking about that). With multiple opponents, 'not losing' is good enough, or even better, than winning (from 1 opponent). In multiplayer, I do see many Timmy's not really caring who wins or loses, just that everyone makes cool plays. Johnnies also not caring, just that they can show off awesome stuff.

Timmy, at his core, does not want to wait until his opponent is tapped out or try to make it so. Too little gameplay, too much lameplay.
Sign In to post comments