11/22/2010 MM: "That's Going To Leave Scars, Part 1"

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This thread is for discussion of this week's Making Magic, which goes live Monday morning on magicthegathering.com.
Must be nice being Ken Nagle.  "Oh, the card I want for my EDH deck doesn't exist, I'll just make Wizards print it"  Rrrrrg....

Green Fear makes just as much sense as Intimidate.  Instead of an aura of mystical terror, it's an aura of mystical prey instinct - and when humans are running away because they don't want to get eaten or trampled, they tend to think of the sensation they're experiencing as "fear".  If anything "intimidate" is the wrong word for green because it suggests a degree of subtlety those colors tend to lack.  I still maintain that adding a color qualifier to fear (so all printed fear cards change to "black fear", and Amrou Seekers gets "white fear") is the correct path.  Intimidate works with color-change effects and that suggests that slapping a coat of paint on something can make it stop being scary to the people who were scared of it, while becoming scary to those who weren't, all without changing its actual physical form.  I don't buy it.  If the Bellowing Wurm bellows and charges forward, clearly intent on eating you, casting a spell that changes it to your own color should not negate the aura of predatory menace which is meant to frighten you into not blocking it.

I hope the power-matters theme in red and the extra sacrifice effects in both red and black were simply pushed off until Besieged.  The set needs them badly.

Darksteel Myr at 1 would have been pretty strong, but 2 would probably have been enough.  The fact that it dies to infect mean it's largely inferior to Steel Wall in practice, so it shouldn't be this expensive.  Yes it can pick up Equipment and attack unlike the Wall, but I think that only really justifies costing 1 more.

Darksteel Sentinel is extremely nice, but a little too expensive to really fulfill the design intent.  How often is a metalcraft deck going to have six mana and only two artifacts?  It needed to be cheaper if it was to act as a surprise metalcraft activator.

LOL at A Little Mercy.
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
Good article today. I always enjoy the post-set discussions.
… and then, the squirrels came.
Bonesplitter is "broken"?

Seriously?
Green Fear makes just as much sense as Intimidate.

Except it's ugly as sin and makes no intuitive sense. It has both the original Fear's problem of sounding like it means the creature itself is fearful as well as the additional problem of sounding like green things are the ones affected by it, when in fact it's exactly the other way around. Intimidate has neither of those problems.

It might also be worth noting that color-changing effects are ill-defined enough that they don't necessarily just slap on a new coat of paint--it's possible that they change the nature of things in some subtle way, and certainly the physical form. You can see the art of Quickchange for an example--if you look closely, you'll note that each 'costume' it depicts is significantly different from the others, so the color-change is certainly more than a coat of paint. Prismatic Lace, if you look closely enough, appears to show that the drake's scales have become a dove's feathers.

Come join me at No Goblins Allowed


Because frankly, being here depresses me these days.

Bonesplitter is "broken"?

Seriously?

No, that is definitely hyperbole on MaRo's part (although it is a pretty serious piece of work in Limited). He got it closer to the mark, no pun intended, the first time, when he just said it was "a little too good to reprint".
Jeff Heikkinen DCI Rules Advisor since Dec 25, 2011
Right.
Bonesplitter is broken and too good to reprint, but Lightning Bolt isn't.
In case no one realizes this, Adventuring Gear is about 10 times stronger than Bonesplitter. What a joke.

Oh and Mark had this brilliant quote "One of the things design was conscious of when designing infect was that we wanted to make sure there were some infect cards you could play even if your deck wasn't dedicated to an infect strategy."

Yea that worked out great. Only Necropede ever makes the cut in any good player's non-infect draft or sealed deck.

Who is this guy kidding?
Except it's ugly as sin and makes no intuitive sense. It has both the original Fear's problem of sounding like it means the creature itself is fearful as well as the additional problem of sounding like green things are the ones affected by it, when in fact it's exactly the other way around. Intimidate has neither of those problems.

It might also be worth noting that color-changing effects are ill-defined enough that they don't necessarily just slap on a new coat of paint--it's possible that they change the nature of things in some subtle way, and certainly the physical form. You can see the art of Quickchange for an example--if you look closely, you'll note that each 'costume' it depicts is significantly different from the others, so the color-change is certainly more than a coat of paint. Prismatic Lace, if you look closely enough, appears to show that the drake's scales have become a dove's feathers.



Yeah fear has insane problems. Gone forever.

But what does green or red intimidate actually mean? Black always mattered as a color, because it was the color that had no fear. So it couldn't be afraid, it couldn't be terrorized.

A green creature that intimidates others into not daring to block it makes sense, but why would green creatures not be intimidated?

Right.
Bonesplitter is broken and too good to reprint, but Lightning Bolt isn't.
In case no one realizes this, Adventuring Gear is about 10 times stronger than Bonesplitter. What a joke.



I just love blocking with creatures equipped with Adventuring Gear, especially in Zendikar limited, where blocking was key to everything. If only that set had more land fetches than usual....

Yea that worked out great. Only Necropede ever makes the cut in any good player's non-infect draft or sealed deck.



Perhaps that's another thing development cut?
The 1/1 green tokens in the set were snakes all through design. I really liked the idea of a creature associated with poison having infect but snakes were just not meant to be.



Why why why not? There's enough history for green and artifacts to make snake tokens =(


The problem was that the Scars needed a nice simple blue bounce spell and the only one that Mirrodin block had to offer just got taken. So they ended up taking a card from Morningtide. Mike apologized to me and said that while they tried to keep my wishes, logistics just got in the way.



Aww, it was such a cute cuase. Why not a metalcraft bounce card instead of Stoic Rebuttal?

Or maybe this:

1UU
Return target creature or artifact to owner's hand
Draw a card

I love reading this kind of detailed discussion of the cards in a new set. There's getting to be quite some overlap with other recent articles - us regular readers have now been told for the third or fourth time that there were lots of oneoff proliferate cards that got cut in development, and that red had a "sac artifacts" theme that was scaled back in development, and so on - but I guess that's the price of making the articles accessible to people who don't read every week.
When I saw the scrollbar position and saw we were only at letter B I thought "There's going to be a Part 2 of this, isn't there?" I'll be looking forward to it

On specific cards: You said Culling Dais ended up as a very interesting card, but I'm sorry, I don't find it interesting at all. It's pure card disadvantage if you don't use it with tokens or proliferate; if you're using tokens then Carnage Altar is far better; if you're using proliferate then Arcane Spyglass is rather better. I'm perfectly happy with the idea that some cards aren't for me, and that's fine. I just wanted to say that as a Johnny, I disagree with your assessment of this one as "very interesting".

I was also a bit surprised to see Darksteel Myr at 3 mana. Like willpell, I'd be interested to hear from development why it couldn't be 2.

I'm surprised one of the Scars developers didn't tell the Rise developers to take Disperse instead of Regress. It's not like Rise needed to bounce lands very often.
On specific cards: You said Culling Dais ended up as a very interesting card, but I'm sorry, I don't find it interesting at all. It's pure card disadvantage if you don't use it with tokens or proliferate; if you're using tokens then Carnage Altar is far better; if you're using proliferate then Arcane Spyglass is rather better. I'm perfectly happy with the idea that some cards aren't for me, and that's fine. I just wanted to say that as a Johnny, I disagree with your assessment of this one as "very interesting".

I think resource management cards like that are pretty much just Spike.  Johnny or Timmy is only likely to be interested in sacrificing their cards if something spectacular happens at the end, to make all of the little fiddly decisions worth it.  Culling Dias doesn't quite do that.  If it were good for more than one use (like City of Shadows), then maybe Johnny could do something with it.  At least, that's how my own Johnny senses feel about it.
I'm surprised one of the Scars developers didn't tell the Rise developers to take Disperse instead of Regress. It's not like Rise needed to bounce lands very often.

Perhaps Disperse was too strong for Rise?  They were trying to avoid cheap spells that easily defeated auras, levelers, and spawn-tokened Eldrazi.
Thanks to everyone who helped with the design of the plane of Golamo in the Great Designer Search 2!
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On specific cards: You said Culling Dais ended up as a very interesting card, but I'm sorry, I don't find it interesting at all. It's pure card disadvantage if you don't use it with tokens or proliferate; if you're using tokens then Carnage Altar is far better; if you're using proliferate then Arcane Spyglass is rather better. I'm perfectly happy with the idea that some cards aren't for me, and that's fine. I just wanted to say that as a Johnny, I disagree with your assessment of this one as "very interesting".

I think resource management cards like that are pretty much just Spike.  Johnny or Timmy is only likely to be interested in sacrificing their cards if something spectacular happens at the end, to make all of the little fiddly decisions worth it.  Culling Dias doesn't quite do that.  If it were good for more than one use (like City of Shadows), then maybe Johnny could do something with it.  At least, that's how my own Johnny senses feel about it.



My Johnny/Spike (or Spike/Johnny) part loves efficient cards like Spawning Pit and Culling Dais. Card disadvantage? Not really when in reaction to creature removal or chump-blocks (that's why the manaless activation is so important, compare to Carnage Altar's abysmal 3), or when used with cards like Epochrasite, Mogg War Marshal, Masked Admirers.

(That deck went straight into the bin after dots' removal)

Spawning Pit was the card I thought about when I saw Culling Dais btw, not those older non-mirrodin cards =p
I was a bit sad to find out that Scars seemed to have more themes going on in design; because the lack of valid archetypes in limited is by far the biggest problem I have with Scars.

And I'm really glad development changed Darksteel Myr the way they did. Super chump blockers can be incredibly frustrating - especially for new players - and it would have been awful if all colors had access to a powerful indestructible blocker. Excellent call by development.
Bonesplitter is "broken"?

Seriously?



I'm going to assume MaRo wasn't kidnapped and replaced with a moron, and that by "broken" he doesn't mean "Artifact Lands in an Affinity Deck" broken but rather "we screwed up on the equip cost" broken.


On specific cards: You said Culling Dais ended up as a very interesting card, but I'm sorry, I don't find it interesting at all. It's pure card disadvantage if you don't use it with tokens or proliferate; if you're using tokens then Carnage Altar is far better; if you're using proliferate then Arcane Spyglass is rather better. I'm perfectly happy with the idea that some cards aren't for me, and that's fine. I just wanted to say that as a Johnny, I disagree with your assessment of this one as "very interesting".



It's not so bad in a deck with Reassembling Skeleton or Bloodghast... block, sac, get it back... later in the game when both players are in topdeck mode, refill your hand. It's ok... but it's nowhere near Necropotence level.

Remember, MaRo is a Johnny, not a Spike. I'm a Spike and it doesn't excite me at all. Aside from token swarm or steal-your-creature-and-sac-it decks, it's too slow to actually be of any real use.
 Because this is exactly the kind of card that black really wanted haste for. (Green could have similar surprise with flash if we felt we wanted another of this kind of card in green.)



Yeah, that'll happen. 

 Because this is exactly the kind of card that black really wanted haste for. (Green could have similar surprise with flash if we felt we wanted another of this kind of card in green.)



Yeah, that'll happen. 



A green 2/1 or 2/2 with flash and infect? Yeah, pretty sure it will happen. Would be really interesting if it had a high power, like 4/1 or 5/2... attack with Titan into an empty field? Flash! Ooops...

 

I seem to recall Bonesplitter being an easy first pick.  Maybe not broken, but possibly too strong for what WoTC wanted the second time around.
The 1/1 green tokens in the set were snakes all through design. I really liked the idea of a creature associated with poison having infect but snakes were just not meant to be.



Why why why not? There's enough history for green and artifacts to make snake tokens =(

There's even a history of artifacts making snake tokens that give players poison counters....

Right. 
Bonesplitter is broken and too good to reprint, but Lightning Bolt isn't.
In case no one realizes this, Adventuring Gear is about 10 times stronger than Bonesplitter. What a joke.

 I just love blocking with creatures equipped with Adventuring Gear, especially in Zendikar limited, where blocking was key to everything. If only that set had more land fetches than usual....

Yeah, the most important change from Bonesplitter to Darksteel Axe was upping the rarity because Bonesplitter was too strong in Limited (your one drop trades with almost everything in your opponent's deck).  The increased activation cost is also important for Limited.  The cheap activation cost was much more important on Bonesplitter than on Adventuring Gear.  It's quite easy to use Bonesplitter on both offense and defense while still playing other spells.  With Darksteel Axe, if you want to get double usage, you pretty much have to give up the opportunity to play other spells until late in the game.

Also, Lightning Bolt is not a good example.  R&D knows Lightning Bolt is over the curve, but they bent the rules to give M10/M11 some splash and to shake up Standard for a little.  You only get to bend the rules a few times each set.  Darksteel Axe wasn't one of those times.

Yea that worked out great. Only Necropede ever makes the cut in any good player's non-infect draft or sealed deck.

I thought Tangle Angler was pretty popular as well?  Blight Mamba is also quite playable, but it is another case of a disconnect between R&D and the player base.  Even though it is sometimes correct to play Blight Mamba as a solid blocker in a non-infect deck, many players will not consider it because including a single infect card in a non-infect deck is not something they consider fun.  My impression of infect so far is that most players view it strictly in this all or nothing sense and do not find that fun.  It will be interesting to see what MaRo says of infect a year from now in his state of design column where he judges design based on how it was received rather than how much he likes it.

There's even a history of artifacts making snake tokens that give players poison counters....



Oh yeah, awesome!
So was this really part of the "mirrodin had insect tokens so scars has to have them too" nostalgia?
That would suck

Also, did Adventuring Gear ever become a higher pick than Trusty Machete?
I find it hard to believe that red's "sacrifice an artifact" theme was toned down. It's impossible not to notice.
Yea that worked out great. Only Necropede ever makes the cut in any good player's non-infect draft or sealed deck.

I thought Tangle Angler was pretty popular as well?  Blight Mamba is also quite playable, but it is another case of a disconnect between R&D and the player base.  Even though it is sometimes correct to play Blight Mamba as a solid blocker in a non-infect deck, many players will not consider it because including a single infect card in a non-infect deck is not something they consider fun.  My impression of infect so far is that most players view it strictly in this all or nothing sense and do not find that fun.  It will be interesting to see what MaRo says of infect a year from now in his state of design column where he judges design based on how it was received rather than how much he likes it.




Anyone who ignores Cystbearer in a limited deck going green is making a huge mistake, even if you're not going for infect.  He's an amazing blocker, and ends the game in 5 swings all by his lonesome.  I've been picking him pretty high-priority in my drafts, both to keep the Infect players from getting him and to use him as an all-purpose creature, and I've yet to play a game where he didn't make a huge impact on the field.  At WORST he can make attacking a losing proposition for an opponent, because he can just sit back and eat critters all day long.  And get him equipped with Bladed Pinions or Accorder's Shield, and you've got yourself a monster.

And yeah, Tangle Angler is also a fairly good pick in non-infect because it blocks all day long and lets your dudes get through unhindered.  I've lost and won games based on his ability to become a pseudo-Taunting Elf

Necropede is good, but he's hardly the only multi-purpose infect dude.
I find it hard to believe that red's "sacrifice an artifact" theme was toned down. It's impossible not to notice.


I assume what they meant is that the sacrifice theme is no longer strong enough that you would draft around it on a regular basis (the article even says this). If I had to guess, I'd say that at some point during this sets design there were a more Furnace Celebration type cards, and the sacrifice theme was stronger at common then it currently is (with the like three mediocre red commons and a mediocre black one).
Right.
Bonesplitter is broken and too good to reprint, but Lightning Bolt isn't.
In case no one realizes this, Adventuring Gear is about 10 times stronger than Bonesplitter. What a joke.


Not in limited.  Bonesplitter is much stronger in limited than advanturer's gear.

Remember that limited plays a huge factor in card design.  Bolt is a removal and strong removal are very important in limited.  A spot removal that is very strong is gonna be picked highly, but it's never really gonna break limited (unless it does a bunch of things besides killing a creature).  An equipment that is too strong on the other hand is really annoying in limited.  Especially when it has a low equip cost and can be used both on attack and defense.

Personally, I think simply bumping bonesplitter to uncommon may have been enough, but I'm sure it's something they tested and it didn't work out so well.


On a different subject, I find the corpse cur story both funny and sad.
"So... we tried making it into an artifact, but there was no space left in phyrexian so we changed the goes to graveyard trigger to EtB trigger.... but that was too strong, so we made it return infect only,  thereby making it a phyrexian card."
Wait... what?  Don't get me wrong, corpse cur is a fine card, but the whole reason it was change was because there was no space left in phyrexian.  How did it end up being a phyrexian card?  If you suddenly found space in phyrexia, then why didn't you just go back to the original (artifact) version?  The whole story doesn't make sense.
Wait... what?  Don't get me wrong, corpse cur is a fine card, but the whole reason it was change was because there was no space left in phyrexian.  How did it end up being a phyrexian card?  If you suddenly found space in phyrexia, then why didn't you just go back to the original (artifact) version?  The whole story doesn't make sense.

Yeah, that was an oversight on Rosewater's part.  The point of the story was to show how much cards shift around during development, but he ended up leaving at least one shift (a spot opening up for a Phyrexian card) out of it.

I forgot to say in my last post -- this was a nice article.  I always enjoy the articles with a lot of little design nuggets.
Dissipation: The playtest name for this card was A Little Mercy.

Funny, that's the exact same playtest name you gave Aurification for the exact same reason.
Aurification
A lot of people think this card was designed top-down; that it was created to match the idea of a spell that turns attackers to gold. No, this was just excellent work from the creative team. The card started as a variant of the black enchantment No Mercy. In fact, its playtest name was A Little Mercy.

Maybe "Some Mercy" would have been more appropriate. Wink

Darksteel Myr at 1 would have been pretty strong, but 2 would probably have been enough.  The fact that it dies to infect mean it's largely inferior to Steel Wall in practice, so it shouldn't be this expensive.  Yes it can pick up Equipment and attack unlike the Wall, but I think that only really justifies costing 1 more.


I agree. Keeping at uncommon and making it cost :2mana: would have been enough. :3mana: is just a bit too much for a creature that doesn't do anything but block on it's own and dies to a single hit of an infect creature.
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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!
*shrugs* Maybe the impetus for it costing rather than was Constructed, not Limited. Infect is rarer in Constructed than in Limited, and other viable methods of dealing with such a super-wall are rather thin on the ground in Standard. It may simply have been too much of an aggro-hoser at the lower cost. Or maybe R&D wanted to be conservative with their first attempt at a low-cost indestructible creature. Or maybe they tested it and it really did play better at the higher cost.

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Because frankly, being here depresses me these days.

Funny, that's the exact same playtest name you gave Aurification for the exact same reason.

Hahah, if Devon Rule's GDS2 set ever saw print, Aurification would take on a whole new meaning (i.e. it would be really, really bad assuming you could cash in gold counters on creatures for mana just as you could for gold counters on players).
Bonesplitter is "broken"?

Seriously?



Uh, yes?  +2 power for 1 mana, with no loss of card advantage, that can apply to every aggro weenie you play one at a time?  Maybe not "broken", but extremely strong, far too strong.  Turn 1 Savannah Lions and then a swing for 4.  Turn 3 hasty 2/2 and a swing for 4.  Maybe some trample and regeneration later.  Power is far more valuable than toughness; Leonin Scimitar is balanced, but nobody ever plays it if they can use Bonesplitter instead.

Green Fear makes just as much sense as Intimidate.

Except it's ugly as sin and makes no intuitive sense. It has both the original Fear's problem of sounding like it means the creature itself is fearful as well as the additional problem of sounding like green things are the ones affected by it, when in fact it's exactly the other way around. Intimidate has neither of those problems.



I never felt that way.  To me "green fear" sounds like the fear itself is green, so non-green things will shun it, which covers the gameplay function precisely.  If I wanted a keyword that said the creature itself was fearing something, I wouldn't use "fear", I would use "afraid".  "Fear" suggests that it's a special quality you possess, and thus is presumably some kind of advantage.  Maybe it means you're afraid, but certainly not that you're cowering in fear; I could see an argument that it means you're charging into battle under the strength of racing adrenaline, fighting because you're afraid of not fighting.  And I definitely don't see "ugly as sin".  I think it's very elegant.

It might also be worth noting that color-changing effects are ill-defined enough that they don't necessarily just slap on a new coat of paint--it's possible that they change the nature of things in some subtle way, and certainly the physical form. You can see the art of Quickchange for an example--if you look closely, you'll note that each 'costume' it depicts is significantly different from the others, so the color-change is certainly more than a coat of paint. Prismatic Lace, if you look closely enough, appears to show that the drake's scales have become a dove's feathers.



There is that, and I was aware of Quickchange when I wrote.  I still don't think though that a simple disguise, even one that affects the target's soul, ought to be able to change why the attacker is scary.  If I cast Deathlace on my creature so it can block a Gluttonous Zombie, I'm filling my creature with the essence of raw death, so it knows it's just as scary as the Zombie and can deal with it.  But look at Geth with his Phyrexian body - if I cast Thoughtlace on him to make him feel all scholarly and reflective inside, he's still covered with horrid mechanical spikes and blades and such, and it should still be black creatures which are fearless enough to block him.  Whereas a blue creature that was printed with blue fear would be flavored as an omniscient ultra-mind who cowes (or, I'll admit, "intimidates" is also a fitting word in this case) everyone who isn't comparable to his intellect and profundity with the realization that he's been planning to defeat them since before they were born and they have no hope to oppose him.  The "vibe" of each color of fear is very different, and I think only changing the blocker, not the blockee, should interact with it.
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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 never felt that way.  To me "green fear" sounds like the fear itself is green, so non-green things will shun it, which covers the gameplay function precisely.  If I wanted a keyword that said the creature itself was fearing something, I wouldn't use "fear", I would use "afraid".  "Fear" suggests that it's a special quality you possess, and thus is presumably some kind of advantage.  Maybe it means you're afraid, but certainly not that you're cowering in fear; I could see an argument that it means you're charging into battle under the strength of racing adrenaline, fighting because you're afraid of not fighting.  And I definitely don't see "ugly as sin".  I think it's very elegant.



All other abilities don't have this ambiguity. Flying means it flies, indestructible means it's indestructible. Fear means it...?

"Fear means it instills fear" works, but that's adding words.
"Fear means it is feared" works, but that's not about the creature itself, but about others.

Intimidate means it intimidates. That works like all the others.

If you really want to keep fear, you could reword it to "instill fear" or make it like unblockable, "Cardname is feared".
All other abilities don't have this ambiguity. Flying means it flies, indestructible means it's indestructible. Fear means it...?

"Fear means it instills fear" works, but that's adding words.
"Fear means it is feared" works, but that's not about the creature itself, but about others.

Intimidate means it intimidates. That works like all the others.

If you really want to keep fear, you could reword it to "instill fear" or make it like unblockable, "Cardname is feared".



Haste means it's fast and can take you by surprise, so does first strike, so does flash.  Ambiguity.  Lifelink could mean you drain the life out of your victim or that you have a soul-bond with your attacker so that you grow strong as they fight.  Even all the way back to Alpha and trample, you had Craw Wurm that didn't trample and Lord of the Pit that flew and trampled, despite the fact that "trample" intuitively means "crush beneath your weight" and thus sounds like it would never apply to flyers.

Fear should be exactly like protection - meaningless in itself, but very meaningful when combined with a color word.  But while "black protection" would be confusing and so they say "protection from black", "white fear" is the only construction that makes sense for Amrou Seekers's ability.  They're kind of a bad example, I'll admit; the fear ability was not used much in white, but IMO it should be.  It should be the sort of thing a Witch Hunter or Northern Paladin or Stern Judge uses to put the fear of a higher power in those wicked ones who try to stay his righteous hand.  Fear of the color white, and the aspects and attributes it contains, instilled in other beings by an exemplar of those values.  If our hypothetical Fear-of-God Judge is Deathlaced to black, he might be even nastier in disposition now, might reek of the stench of death, but he is still not "intimidating" because he's some pus-oozing horror that stalks the night in search of innocent judge - he's still a representation of a higher power, striking the fear of harsh justice into those who know they cannot meet that being's standards and thus have simply clung to the certainty it did not exist - until now.

"Instill fear of white" is unwieldy and unattractive, but "white fear" gets the point across nicely.  "Red fear" is fear of fire and chaos and savagery; "blue fear" is fear of a towering intellect to which you are nothing but an insect to dissect; "green fear" is fear of a primal savagery which rules with the power of the entire world's unwritten laws and cares nothing for lesser creatures.  And "black fear" is the same old fear of death and darkness, and is the most common since lots of things fear that stuff, assuming they are not one with its essence.  The relatively high-concept blue and green fears are the least common, which fits mechanically since green doesn't want to go unblocked and blue doesn't need to settle for evasion abilities with out-clauses (other than flying).

Also note that Arcbound Fiend cannot be printed with intimidate, but it can be printed with "black fear" despite not being black itself.  Add to that the fact that "intimidate" is a much longer and harder-to-say word than most keywords, and that Dream Coat makes any intimidate creature completely impossible to block.  I still say "color fear" is the way to go. 
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