01/17/2011 MM: "Under Besiege, 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.
The Beatles reference was a little forced and will probably irritate the younger crowd, but it works for me.

Mike Turian was part of the SOA design team.

www.wizards.com/magic/magazine/article.a...
Very light article.  Mostly just come back and see kinda thing.  Very disappointing.  Ill still be tuning in next week, same bat time same bat channel.
Not enough material to interest me. 

Still, the preview card was nice. 
Not going to lie... don't "get" living weapon. It doesn't seem very Phyrexian to me, you could just as easily have it be on the Mirran side. Just change the token. (Also don't like the black germ token since that's going to limit when it can be brought back in the future).

It was interesting to see the origin of each faction's mechanics.

I'm looking forward to the next article, i want to see how they've changed this for this set.

… and then, the squirrels came.
Am I the only person who thinks this is all pretty cool? Especially since I'm pretty sure the Phyrexians are going to win.
I'm sure at least one other person is excited for Mirrodin Besieged previews.
This set is basically dead air between the awesome Scars and the rebirth of Phyrexia. There's a lot I like about it, but I would prefer most of it to have been in Scars proper in place of the filler (dulling green's artifact hate a bit to squeeze in a second color of Proliferate, taking out red's counterproductive artifact sacrificing to make room for the admittedly cool Battle Cry, which would have been a great way to make red's "power matters" theme a lot more prevalent).
Im really hoping Karn comes back and beats up the Phyrexians.  He saw something in Future Sight....(One of those books)
So, will it be Mirrodin Pure or New Phyrexia?  Personally, I expect (and hope) that it'll be New Phyrexia because:
a) Phyrexia is the best recurring villian that Magic has.  It would be a shame (and pretty dumb of Creative, IMHO) to wipe it out completely.  The next closest, in my opinion, are the Eldrazi, and they're less villians than unstoppable forces of nature.  Besides, you know what I'd really like to see at some point in the future?  Phyrexian-corrupted Eldrazi, and that just can't happen if Phyrexia isn't arround to do the corrupting.
b) Scars was mostly Mirran and some Phyrexian cards.  Beseiged is fifty-fifty.  I'm guessing the third set will be slanted like Scars, but in the other direction.  Of course this could happen even if the set was named Mirrodin Pure, I suppose, but it just wouldn't make much sense to a player opening packs.  He'd be wondering why, if Mirroden is so Pure, there are so many Phyrexian cards running around.  Wizards has been pretty good about avoiding this kind of cognitive dissonance, and I'm guessing they didn't drop the ball here.
c) Mirrodin Pure is kind of a dumb name, while New Phyrexia sounds awesome.  I'd hope that if they were really going to make the Mirrans win in the last set they would have come up with a better name.

Anyone have any other thoughts in support of this idea or, even better, care to argue the other side?
Im really hoping Karn comes back and beats up the Phyrexians.  He saw something in Future Sight....(One of those books)



Actually, I feel like we are going to see a return of Karn, but he will be corrupted by the Phyrexians. Check it out: www.wizards.com/magic/Magazine/Article.a... there is a picture in here that really looks like Karn and he looks all Phyrexianized. Plus he had the oil originally so its easy to assume that hes been corrupted fully by now.

So, will it be Mirrodin Pure or New Phyrexia?  Personally, I expect (and hope) that it'll be New Phyrexia because:
b) Scars was mostly Mirran and some Phyrexian cards.  Beseiged is fifty-fifty.  I'm guessing the third set will be slanted like Scars, but in the other direction.  Of course this could happen even if the set was named Mirrodin Pure, I suppose, but it just wouldn't make much sense to a player opening packs.  He'd be wondering why, if Mirroden is so Pure, there are so many Phyrexian cards running around.  Wizards has been pretty good about avoiding this kind of cognitive dissonance, and I'm guessing they didn't drop the ball here.
c) Mirrodin Pure is kind of a dumb name, while New Phyrexia sounds awesome.  I'd hope that if they were really going to make the Mirrans win in the last set they would have come up with a better name.

Anyone have any other thoughts in support of this idea or, even better, care to argue the other side?

Mirrodin "Pure" would be a pretty cool name for a set in which the Phyrexians won!  They should have just given it that name to begin with, and then let a Phyrexian victory be the surprise twist.
Thanks to everyone who helped with the design of the plane of Golamo in the Great Designer Search 2!
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How do you stop a Lhurgoyf that just keeps coming at you no matter how many Terrors you throw at it?



Well not by Terroring or Doom Bladeing a Germ token, that's for sure.
Preview card was utterly unispiring. Yeah its a big creature (conditionally) that you can move around if it gets killed... but its not very interesting or exciting.

It reminds me of Strata Scythe: a bomb in Limited that helps you win games, then a dead card in your trade binder afterwards.

Maybe it will see play in Infect decks, or some sort of self-mill combo... but I for one hope I dont pull any.

I was more excited about seeing Hero again, even though I have memorised the card already.

~ 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 barely read the article.  However, the preview card is nice.  Instead of making a chump blocker germ, you can have a germ that could win you the game if enough creatures get killed.
IMAGE(http://pwp.wizards.com/1205820039/Scorecards/Landscape.png)
Umm, English is not my native language, so correct me if I'm wrong, but wouldn't the correct phrase be "Under Siege" instead of "Under Besiege"? Or is it a pun I'm not getting? Or is it "underbesiege" as in "to not besiege enough"?
Im really hoping Karn comes back and beats up the Phyrexians.  He saw something in Future Sight....(One of those books)



Actually, I feel like we are going to see a return of Karn, but he will be corrupted by the Phyrexians. Check it out: www.wizards.com/magic/Magazine/Article.a... there is a picture in here that really looks like Karn and he looks all Phyrexianized. Plus he had the oil originally so its easy to assume that hes been corrupted fully by now.




Thanks for the link!  Nice pictures there.  I saw what you were talking about, but it doesnt look like it would be a PW card.  The last picture does though.  Damn Wizards enticing me with this gorgeous art!
Wow.  He literally told us nothing new about the set (besides that it has Bonehoard).

I knew there was going to be a problem when he spent roughly half the article introducing the design team.  Maybe the set just doesn't have much interesting going for it in terms of broad themes?  Hopefully the fact that MaGo is the lead designer means that there will be lots of interesting card interactions.

Oh well.  That's 2 Living Weapon cards previewed with 3 to go (assuming there's no "gain control of target equipment with Living Weapon" shenanigans).
"We will all be purified in Wurm. What is good will be used to heal Wurm, or grow Wurm, or to fuel Wurm's path. What is vile will be extruded, and we will be free of it forever." --Prophet of the Cult of Wurm
Umm, English is not my native language, so correct me if I'm wrong, but wouldn't the correct phrase be "Under Siege" instead of "Under Besiege"? Or is it a pun I'm not getting? Or is it "underbesiege" as in "to not besiege enough"?

You are correct.  I believe MaRo is just making a "pun" by combining "Under Siege" and "Mirrodin Besieged".
(Also don't like the black germ token since that's going to limit when it can be brought back in the future).



That's why saprolings didn't work out, right?
"We will all be purified in Wurm. What is good will be used to heal Wurm, or grow Wurm, or to fuel Wurm's path. What is vile will be extruded, and we will be free of it forever." --Prophet of the Cult of Wurm
 Mirrodin "Pure" would be a pretty cool name for a set in which the Phyrexians won!  They should have just given it that name to begin with, and then let a Phyrexian victory be the surprise twist.


QFT



Actually, I feel like we are going to see a return of Karn, but he will be corrupted by the Phyrexians. Check it out: www.wizards.com/magic/Magazine/Article.a... there is a picture in here that really looks like Karn and he looks all Phyrexianized. Plus he had the oil originally so its easy to assume that hes been corrupted fully by now.



Thanks for the link!  Nice pictures there.  I saw what you were talking about, but it doesnt look like it would be a PW card.  The last picture does though.  Damn Wizards enticing me with this gorgeous art!



Agreed. Tez would be an awesome plainswalker and I hope he's on the Phyrexian side. And yeah I dont think that Karn will be a plainswalker either, although it would be pretty cool. I figure he will just be a legendary creature again but I do think that from that art he will be Phyrexian. Hell, maybe he will be the new Yawgmoth/ host for Yawgmoth. That would be pretty nuts.
(Also don't like the black germ token since that's going to limit when it can be brought back in the future).



That's why saprolings didn't work out, right?



What keyword mechanic has saporlings in it?

Oh we want to do a set where white is intuned to artifacts, Living weapon would be great for the set... oh... can't use living weapon because it creates black creatures?

Colorless germ tokens would have worked just as well.
… and then, the squirrels came.
(Also don't like the black germ token since that's going to limit when it can be brought back in the future).

That's why saprolings didn't work out, right?

Well, to be honest Living weapon is an expert keyword so its not something they will have to bring back all that often. Most likely it would be brought back the next time Phyrexia is the bad guy in a storyline, so germ would continue to make sense (also for all doubters on creative, germ works because its an easy creature interpretation of an infection, works better then virus or something else like that, and makes sense as a 0/0 creature because it is tiny).

And yes I am assuming the storyline will be that Mirrodin becomes New Phyrexia, but Venser uses his planeswalking ship to transport the surviving Mirrans away, thus letting them live to get revenge. This storyline keeps Phyrexia viable as a bad guy but also keeps all the people on the Mirran side happy.

Also, black germ tokens fits Phyrexia better then colorless, plus it protects it from Terror/Doom Blade
I'm still surprised they associated the mechanic with a color.  Didn't Maro note that he disliked the limitation that fear was set to black?
(Also don't like the black germ token since that's going to limit when it can be brought back in the future).

That's why saprolings didn't work out, right?

Well, to be honest Living weapon is an expert keyword so its not something they will have to bring back all that often. Most likely it would be brought back the next time Phyrexia is the bad guy in a storyline, so germ would continue to make sense (also for all doubters on creative, germ works because its an easy creature interpretation of an infection, works better then virus or something else like that, and makes sense as a 0/0 creature because it is tiny).



Unlikely, the next time Phyrexia shows up it will have a new mechanical identity. They aren't going t odo a poison theme every time Phyrexia shows up on a plane. Plus Living weapon was designed to riff off of Mirrodin's equpment.

* While Living weapon won't likely show up again this decade, but it will fit into a set somewhere down the line, and they are going to run into a problem.

Also, black germ tokens fits Phyrexia better then colorless, plus it protects it from Terror/Doom Blade



The Phyrexians are all colors, when things are in all colors, colorless is the appropriate choice to make. (And forwards compatibility means they should be colorless as well).
… and then, the squirrels came.
I'm still surprised they associated the mechanic with a color.  Didn't Maro note that he disliked the limitation that fear was set to black?



I'm fairly sure there are mechanics they design for certain sets that they simply don't plan on bringing back at any point, especially in small sets.
Colorless germ tokens would have worked just as well.



As long as you're okay with being able to cast Terror on a living weapon.

As for saprolings, if you have black cards that can generate green sapolings (Deathspore Thallid) there's no reason why you couldn't have white cards that care about black germs.

I think the real limiting factor for the mechanic is that it is a keyword ability that can only exist on cards that also have another keyword ability, meaning that the rules text has to be that much shorter. 
"We will all be purified in Wurm. What is good will be used to heal Wurm, or grow Wurm, or to fuel Wurm's path. What is vile will be extruded, and we will be free of it forever." --Prophet of the Cult of Wurm
there's no reason why you couldn't have white cards that care about black germs.




MARK ROSEWATER DOESNT CARE ABOUT BLACK G ...ahem.
More to the point: R&D clearly considers colorless a non-negligible mechanic, i.e. it has to be a decent part of the set to be included. Just like they wouldn't do a single random hybrid card in a set. If it's there, it's a theme.
If I am understanding the Orb of Insight right, then there will only be on Legendary character, and as we know that will be Glissa.  There will be no Planeswalkers that are Phyrexian.

Either they aren't giving the Planeswalkers a side, which is what they did in the first set.  But would not make sense in this Besieged since the set's main focus is on choosing a side.
There are no Planeswalkers, which is possible, but unlikely. 
We pretty much know from the dimensions of the Tezzeret art that he's a planeswalker, which seems to imply that he has no watermark...but he's clearly Phyrexian.

Granted, the existing Planeswalkers (especially Koth) are obviously Mirran-aligned, and they weren't marked. I guess Tezzeret just won't be watermarked, which makes sense, because it would look like crap anyway. 
Mirrodin "Pure" would be a pretty cool name for a set in which the Phyrexians won!  They should have just given it that name to begin with, and then let a Phyrexian victory be the surprise twist.



I have to admit, that would have been a pretty cool idea.  And you're right: Mirroden Pure isn't all that bad a name for a set in which the Phyrexians won, either.  New Phyrexia sounds pretty cool as well, though.
So who's going to win? At very first glance I'd say the Mirrans, just because they're the good guys. Mirrodin the first plane other than Dominaria to be revisited in a sequel block; if it can sustain this block, it could sustain another one at a later date, so Wizards wouldn't throw that away. But the deck looks really, really stacked against the Mirrans. The Phyrexians are great villains in general, tenacious and fanatic like Zerg terminators, and one of Magic's few recurring villains, and see other preview articles this week: they have apparently already taken over the entire core of the world. So if the Phyrexians are already that strong, how can the Mirrans possibly win? So maybe a New Phyrexia, staging ground for yet another invasion of Dominaria or some other plane, is the outcome? But if the Phrexians are that strong, then the outcome is obvious, so having the Mirrans win would be a surprise... but...


Oh we want to do a set where white is intuned to artifacts, Living weapon would be great for the set... oh... can't use living weapon because it creates black creatures?

Colorless germ tokens would have worked just as well.


White is attuned to (or "in tune with", either works, I guess) artifacts in many sets, including Scars of Mirrodin, but living weapon still doesn't seem like a white mechanic. White's aggressive strategy is cooperative, and living weapon seems aggressive overall. It pumps other creatures up and gets pumped up by other creatures (or by other artifacts or whatever) and stuff. And white doesn't think of creatures as disposable. When a creature dies, white either tries to prevent that, bring it back, or gain life from it ("serving a higher purpose", so to speak). Equipment with living weapon, on the other hand, is inherently independent. It doesn't need anything else to serve its purpose; in fact it doesn't even want anything else around, because the germ dies if the equipment is put on something else. And if the germ dies, it can't be regenerated or brought back from the graveyard, so it serves no purpose other than put-into-a-graveyard triggers. Which are mostly black, although admittedly not entirely.

Well, I'm sure you can tell that I like the flavor of it. But the point is, I don't think they'd ever make a card with living weapon that's white. Probably not green or red, either, what with the artifact hate in those colors, but if they did, a germ fits pretty well in green, at least. That only leaves blue, a color that likes artifacts but doesn't like germs. So it is a bit of a problem, but at least black and blue are allied.

b) Scars was mostly Mirran and some Phyrexian cards.  Beseiged is fifty-fifty.  I'm guessing the third set will be slanted like Scars, but in the other direction.  Of course this could happen even if the set was named Mirrodin Pure, I suppose, but it just wouldn't make much sense to a player opening packs.  He'd be wondering why, if Mirroden is so Pure, there are so many Phyrexian cards running around.  Wizards has been pretty good about avoiding this kind of cognitive dissonance, and I'm guessing they didn't drop the ball here.

If (and I realize this is a nontrivial if) they want the overall block to be 50/50 between Mirran and Phyrexian cards, that actually points to the third set being all Phyrexian. Don't forget Scars is bigger than the other two sets. The number of cards in the third set that would have to be Phyrexiahn to give the two factions equal total numbers of cards is almost exactly the size of a small set (it's a little less, but that's to be expected because things like lands and Planeswalkers don't count toward either faction).

Jeff Heikkinen DCI Rules Advisor since Dec 25, 2011
I don't think the worry about Living Weapon is a legitimate concern because it was designed specifically for this set, specifically for the Phrexians, in order to give them a distinctly Phyrexian feel. Much like Splice and Arcane, it is too strongly linked to the themes of the block to be reused.
I still have no idea what the hell "arcane" was supposed to mean as distinct from the rest of Magic, where you can't swing a dead cat without hitting every kind of spellcaster imaginable.

b) Scars was mostly Mirran and some Phyrexian cards.  Beseiged is fifty-fifty.  I'm guessing the third set will be slanted like Scars, but in the other direction.  Of course this could happen even if the set was named Mirrodin Pure, I suppose, but it just wouldn't make much sense to a player opening packs.  He'd be wondering why, if Mirroden is so Pure, there are so many Phyrexian cards running around.  Wizards has been pretty good about avoiding this kind of cognitive dissonance, and I'm guessing they didn't drop the ball here.

If (and I realize this is a nontrivial if) they want the overall block to be 50/50 between Mirran and Phyrexian cards, that actually points to the third set being all Phyrexian. Don't forget Scars is bigger than the other two sets. The number of cards in the third set that would have to be Phyrexiahn to give the two factions equal total numbers of cards is almost exactly the size of a small set (it's a little less, but that's to be expected because things like lands and Planeswalkers don't count toward either faction).




Eh, I don't really see them making the third set all Phyrexian.  That'd play pretty terrible in Draft and disappoint everyone who was looking forward to some sweet metalcraft (Mirran) cards.  That said, I do see them pushing infect hard enough to be competitive in Standard, and the natural place to give it the biggest bump is in the third set.

My prediction: more Phyrexian cards than Mirran ones in the third set of the block, which will be called New Phyrexia.
"Nova Phyrexia" would have sounded cooler. It would also parallel the third set of the last Mirrodin block nicely. And who doesn't love gratuitous Latin?
I don't think the worry about Living Weapon is a legitimate concern because it was designed specifically for this set, specifically for the Phrexians, in order to give them a distinctly Phyrexian feel.


It is a very legitimate concern.  These aren't the olden days when WotC viewed mechanics as disposable.  The only things inherently Phyrexian about the mechanic are the color and creature type of the token.

Much like Splice and Arcane, it is too strongly linked to the themes of the block to be reused.


No.  Arcane is too strongly linked to the themes of the block to be reused (at least as long as it means the same thing as it does in Kamigawa block).  This is one of the reasons it is widely regarded as a mistake.  As far as flavor is concerned, splice could easily be reused in another block.
I do think a colorless spirit token would be a better choice.