01/21/2010 LD: "Development Under Seige"

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This thread is for discussion of this week's Latest Developments, which goes live Friday morning on magicthegathering.com.
Okay, NOW I'm disappointed.

I like the various percentages for last week's poll.  I didn't even know that Rise-Rise-Rise was a valid answer to the question of whether or not I've played Limited with a Master's Edition set.

Speaking of answers to polls, this one is missing a response of "Both. I intend to play in more than one Prerelease."  Without that, I can't answer this poll.

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...
Okay, I can understand you guys wanting to recreate Shatterstorm to get rid of the Regen clause, but, I feel like it should have gone back into Red instead of Green. My reasons are: 1) When you took the Regen clause away from Wrath and made Day you left it in it's original color; 2) To me a Massive Artifact Destruction Spell should be in Red because that is what Red is about, Mass Destruction; 3) And I feel you can't use the "Red Mirrans going after themselves" argument because it has been stated and shown that Phyrexia is bleeding into the other colors, so..... why couldn't it be a Red Phyrexian Spell?.

Anyway, I still like the card in general, I was always a fan of Shatterstorm back in the day. You know another good card that could be Reprinted/Remade for this set would be Hurkyl's Recall Heh Heh.
Well, I'm glad that y'all made *this* card. RUG, ramp, and elf decks clearly need an answer for all those bullying artifact rush decks that are hanging around. Now maybe our little green friends will stand a chance.

Why put so much emphasis into metalcraft and then give green -- which is run in maybe half the top competitive decks -- a way to totally obviate it? bleh.
Well, I'm glad triple Rise ended up on top of the poll, since that was easily the best draft format (the best since at least Ravnica block, IMHO).  However, what do you want to bet that at some point in the future, someone at Wizards will reason as follows:

1. Rise was a "battleship Magic" set.
2. Players liked drafting Rise.
3. Therefore, players like drafting "battleship Magic".

Please, Wizards, I'm begging you now: take the time to understand why Rise was such a great set for drafting before you endeavor to mindlessly replicate it.  Battleship Magic was a part of it, especially after the blinding speed of Zendikar, but it wasn't the most important part.  Here are a few things that stand out in my mind:

1. Almost every card was playable in some draft deck, even "dreck" like Sphinx-Bone Wand, which would be unplayable in almost any other draft environment, but was actually pretty good in a "mostly instants and sorceries" deck here.
2. Subtle variations among cards with similar purposes.  See Flame Slash, Forked Bolt, Heat Ray, Staggershock, which are all first-pickable red removal that nonetheless can behave very differently and answer very different threats.  Also note that all except the Bolt are common, so which one is best to take from a given pack comes up with some frequency.
3. A wide variety of playable "fringe" decks that don't rely on getting their marquee card to function.  The Sphinx-Bone Wand deck mentioned above was one such deck, but so was the Aura Gnarlid deck, which didn't need to draw the Gnarlid, and the Distortion Strike deck, which could run just fine without Distortion Strike.

Well, that's enough for now.  Playing big creatures and bashing face was fun, especially as a change from Zendikar, but it isn't the whole picture.  Please don't think it is.
I would have liked a Kataki, War's Wage type card over green shatter storm. Artifacts are my personal favorite cards, and it makes me not want to play when there is a card that completly kills my favorite deck archtype, like the eldrazi did with many people's mill decks. It means someone at wizards decided that artifacts were limited material and infect is contructed material. I wonder if there will be a "remove all poision counters" card,  to give each side a hoser, oh wait Rosewater said they wouldnt. Buy all your infect cards while you can.
I'd just like to thank Tom for giving an up-front comment about the rarity of this card. And the reason is even a good one.
This is the first time I've heard that the packs will DETERMINE THEIR CONTENTS!

Up until now, I thought it was just a cosmetic difference (different wrappers and that's it).

If you go Mirran, you'll get a higher percentage of their cards and probably more usable ones since the Mirrans are mostly red now.

Phyrexian sounds more exciting to me though.

Of course, this is all moot since the PR is the same weekend as the Global Game Jam. :-( From what I understand this is PR only and the release will just use normal packs... is that right?
I was all "who's that weird looking guy in that photo" before I realized it was a different shot of Tom Lapille.  Frowny Lapille is clearly the developer in the trenches, while Smiley Lapille is the Public Face of Development.

I actually don't think this card will change much - there are plenty of non-artifact decks that could be played, and not every opponent will be able to pay GG anyway.
This card shows they've learned from Mirrodin block experience.
At the very least, putting it in green cleverly evades the Jaded Old Farts instantly calling it a bad Shatterstorm.
Well played, R&D.  Well played indeed.
I like the idea of New Phyrexia and want them to "win", but I'm going to choose Mirran at the prerelease because forcing yourself to play the black-green infect deck before you even open your cards isn't fun.  I'd rather have decisions as to what deck I'm going to play.  :P
I agree w/ Parlistalon.  I don't want to be forced into Infect.  Actually, I'm tempted to not go at all, as I believe infect will be the right deck to play and since I don't care to play it I don't really want to play against it all day either :-S
I was all "who's that weird looking guy in that photo" before I realized it was a different shot of Tom Lapille.  Frowny Lapille is clearly the developer in the trenches, while Smiley Lapille is the Public Face of Development.

Smiley also looks like twenty years older. That's a terrible picture.
I am fine with this card being in green as there has been plenty of green artifact destruction cards.  I just really wished they made this in the third set in order to give artifact decks more time to to actually come together.  They gave artifact decks one set to try and establish themselves (pretty much unsuccessfully) and then pull the rug out from under them.
Are there even any artifact based decks in standard right now?  It seems like the nuke came out a little too early. 

I certainly understand why this card needs to be rare, but that doesn't mean I'll enjoy opening it... 

As for the Pre-release mirran vs phyrexian thing, it's been discussed to death already, but I'm going mirran simply because mirran promo >>>>>>>>>>>>>>> phyrexian promo.  That and the fact that, although beseiged is 50/50 phyrexian mirran, the three scars pack (which will be completely normal packs) are 70/30 mirran phyrexian.  So going phyrexian means you're getting a little under 4 packs instead of a little more than 5 packs if you go with mirran.  Unless phyrexian is much stronger than mirran (which wouldn't bode well for regular sealed and drafts), going phyrexian starts you with a major disadvantage.

And this kids, is why this gimmick will fail.

Art-wise I'd take the promo Glissa over Hero, but otherwise it's true. Going Phyrexian is a disadvantage in the first set of packs, but for me the bigger issue would taking the Phyrexian side and trying to avoid Infect.

I like the idea of New Phyrexia and want them to "win", but I'm going to choose Mirran at the prerelease because forcing yourself to play the black-green infect deck before you even open your cards isn't fun.  I'd rather have decisions as to what deck I'm going to play.  :P

You could say the same thing about mirrians. You being forced to go into RW artifact deck. 

I'm not happy to see Creeping Corrosion.  Artifact-heavy strategies are already completely overshadowed in Standard.  I understand that the return to the plane of Mirrodin isn't supposed to be a return to the broken format of Mirrodin.  Still, development seems like it has gone overly conservative on the power level of the artifacts this time around.  My expectations for this sequel block have definitely not been met so far.  Creeping Corrosion only adds to the frustration.

What makes the situation worse in my opinion is the seemingly stubborn refusal to apply such caution to other areas of the game.  The power level of some mythics, and planeswalkers in particular, sorely needs some sort of reduction or multiple cheap answers.  I truly hope we're getting more than just Phyrexian Revoker.  It is a good start, but hardly enough to balance things out.

Mr. LaPille, I'm not trying to criticize you personally.  I think you guys do a good job overall, but I strongly feel that in this case, you've done too well in de-powering one strong group of cards and not well enough in de-powering another strong group of cards.  And unfortunately, you've ended up doing mostly the opposite of what I hoped for and expected from this block.

Thanks for your time, and I'm sorry for being so critical.
I don't want to be cynical and negative enough to say that putting controls on planeswalkers would mean less people chasing them down frantically and thus less product sold, and therefore will never happen, but I can't see any other reason Wizards has let them run roughshod over the game the way they have. 
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