05/13/2010 LD: "A Legendary Disagreement"

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This thread is for discussion of this week's Latest Developments, which goes live Friday morning on magicthegathering.com.
At least someone in the office has some common sense.
Status Quo!
Well it was an interesting mental exercise. (Too bad everyone's ideas were absolutely terrible. )

It also illustrated just how many people around here take mark at face value and don't question him at all.

 
I think, from the thread about Mark Rosewater's article, that most people, like myself, do basically agree with your position. They had not thought that the rule for legendary permanents was broken, and are surprised that there is a perceived need to fix it.

That being said, many people, including myself, did toy around with possible alternative rules for legendary permanents.

I don't dismiss the concerns raised in Mark Rosewater's column. In a way, they are problems with the rule. But they seem to be minor ones, and so I feared that any cure might be worse than the disease. How could the rule be changed without causing major problems?

My idea was a very simple one. Since the old rule for legends was simply that once one was cast, no one else could cast the same one successfully, but that had problems too, maybe one should split the difference.

One player has a legend out - if another player plays the same legend, his legend is exiled, while the legend that was previously on the battlefield only gets bounced back to its owner's hand!

This puts a crimp in using a legendary permanent as if it were a sorcery - as a removal spell, as an answer. Because even though there can be a flavor rationale for the effect as a kind of blowback, it does give a permanent an unnatural function.

If one has two copies of the same legend, though, one can inflict the disadvantage of exile versus bounceback on one's opponent. So using it as an answer isn't eliminated... but now, if you have four copies in your deck, some of those extra copies have a direct function.

While that's simple, though, I suspect it isn't going to be enough. Others have favored bringing back the Grandeur keyword. I'm wondering if what is being sought is a "solution" that consists of:



  • Going back to the old rule that once a legend is played, one shouldn't even attempt to play another copy...

  • except as explicitly allowed by a mechanism like Grandeur

  • and with some other explicit Grandeur-like mechanism that can be used by the other player to unseat a legend.


But that's obviously 'way too complicated.

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 way I see it is if you attempt to summon the aid of a Planeswalker already in play with a spell you know, and the opposing player does the same, the two summons cancel out. It's like an overload of electricity, the result is malfunction, and you're left with no energy to show for it. So double-summoning shorts out the connection from a Planeswalker, and the ability to aid from both spells is denied and the Planswalker is returned to his business.
The way I see it is if you attempt to summon the aid of a Planeswalker already in play with a spell you know, and the opposing player does the same, the two summons cancel out. It's like an overload of electricity, the result is malfunction, and you're left with no energy to show for it. So double-summoning shorts out the connection from a Planeswalker, and the ability to aid from both spells is denied and the Planswalker is returned to his business.


And think about it as free will and mind control in media. If somebody else is controlling the mind of a Planswalker (or paying him to help out), and you are likewise a customer of the Planeswalker's aid, you can remove the brainwashing (or allyship with the opponent) by appealing to this usual aid you ask of him. Thus, nobody any longer influences him and his free will (neutrality) is restored. He helps neither.
Mark's article was far illuminating to the tug and pull of the Legendary issue, that there are some drawbacks to the benefits of what we have now. MaRo showed how Lin Sivvi pushed Legends into a better rulespace, and that it could happen again.

Tom's article felt like the average stuff I see on the internet. He strawmaned MaRo, not even talking about the issues he brought up, but defending the reasons why the new legends rules are better than the old one. And then we've got this gem of a quote:


"As I said before, there are many things I like about these rules, so I'm reluctant to change them. If you want me to support Mark's case, your new suggested rule should keep as many of the positive attributes I list here as possible."



Geez, are you the rules manager as well? The gatekeeper of all that is Magic? Are you the MTG Godfather? I can't believe that there could be someone more obnoxiously oblivious than Ken "Cylian-Elves-aren't-bad-you-are" Nagle, but I stand corrected. Hell, Ken has done alright by me with Worldwake and New Phyrexia, so it's just Tom now.

"Ah, the age-old conundrum. Defenders of a game are too blind to see it's broken, and critics are too idiotic to see that it isn't." - Brian McCormick

My only request for a change would be templating the legends. Bringing them into a more exalted image-based position makes them notable, recognizable, etc., beyond looking at the type line. A full-frame or phased-frame art box with an overlying rules text, much as is done with full-frame promos, could be useful. This box could be identical to the full-frame creature arts used for Future Sight.
"Possibilities abound, too numerous to count." "Innocent, unbiased observation is a myth." --- P.B. Medawar (1969) "Ever since man first left his cave and met a stranger with a different language and a new way of looking at things, the human race has had a dream: to kill him, so we don't have to learn his language or his new way of looking at things." --- Zapp Brannigan (Beast With a Billion Backs)
Geez, are you the rules manager as well?

Damn.
Now I really want to know Tabek's opinion on the matter.

My response is about the poll, because I dislike all the Praetors. Praetors, Titans, and planeswalkers ruin pretty much every game they resolve in. I've got a Timmy side like anybody else, but c'mon. Enough already. I get more tired of them every week.

Thank goodness for Limited, where at least most of the time mythics don't suck the fun out because they aren't in the pool. EDH, the last fun Constructed, is suffering a lot in my area as more of these cards obsolete every previous creature for every purpose.

(Yes, I know this plea is futile.)
I disagree that the Legend rule should not punish you for playin your permanent first.  This is absolutely what it should do.  The Legend rule is, first and foremost, a drawback.  The idea is that these cards are strong enough to risk something bad happening to them.

However, the current rule is so punishing to the player who draws their copy second that there is virtually no risk at all to play your copy first.  Even when it's the correct play to play your legend second, it feels bad to do so.  At best, you're just discarding one of the most important cards to your strategy.  At worst, you're doing that and also paying ten mana to cast Terror.

Besides, if the Legend rule were to change to the "destroy all permanents named ~" model, it would still be the correct play to cast your copy first unless you KNEW that the opponent was holding the same card.  Sure, they would get a pretty big tempo swing if they play their copy, but you get to wreak havoc until they can draw it.
"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
My response is about the poll, because I dislike all the Praetors. Praetors, Titans, and planeswalkers ruin pretty much every game they resolve in. I've got a Timmy side like anybody else, but c'mon. Enough already. I get more tired of them every week.

Thank goodness for Limited, where at least most of the time mythics don't suck the fun out because they aren't in the pool. EDH, the last fun Constructed, is suffering a lot in my area as more of these cards obsolete every previous creature for every purpose.

(Yes, I know this plea is futile.)

Hang on, are you saying that the praetors and other big stuff ruin Standard then?

Hell I've beaten a resolved Nicol Bolas, Planeswalker in Standard before. It was awesome (I had to Fiery Fall my own Enlisted Wurm that had just been stolen ftw). I've beaten Shelodred in Limited. One of the fun things about the big cards is that they are very powerful but they can still be beaten. I can understand disliking Elesh Norn if you like to play little creatures... though I've decided if you can't beat 'em, join 'em - she helps out your weenie deck just as well as hosing theirs.
My response is about the poll, because I dislike all the Praetors. Praetors, Titans, and planeswalkers ruin pretty much every game they resolve in. I've got a Timmy side like anybody else, but c'mon. Enough already. I get more tired of them every week.

Thank goodness for Limited, where at least most of the time mythics don't suck the fun out because they aren't in the pool. EDH, the last fun Constructed, is suffering a lot in my area as more of these cards obsolete every previous creature for every purpose.

(Yes, I know this plea is futile.)

Hang on, are you saying that the praetors and other big stuff ruin Standard then?

Hell I've beaten a resolved Nicol Bolas, Planeswalker in Standard before. It was awesome (I had to Fiery Fall my own Enlisted Wurm that had just been stolen ftw). I've beaten Shelodred in Limited. One of the fun things about the big cards is that they are very powerful but they can still be beaten. I can understand disliking Elesh Norn if you like to play little creatures... though I've decided if you can't beat 'em, join 'em - she helps out your weenie deck just as well as hosing theirs.



About the Titans I have to agree with Sylvan, they aren't fun. While I enjoy big cards, there are levels where they become too powerful to enjoy anymore. The Titans are simply too much; They start influencing the game by merely entering the battlefield, and just getting one to attack is often enough to decide a game, even with blockers present. Even if you have the removal, a second Titan usually results in gameloss merely by arriving. Dealing with big cards can be fun, but the big cards should at least allow you some opportunity to do so.

The second issue with Titans is their comparison with other cards. The Titans are just too efficient for their cost, with no drawbacks involved. As such they invalidate almost every other 6-drop (and even most 5-drops). If you want to play something big, you are either forced to go for the titan of your color, or get stomped by opposing Titans. Adding a big creature to your deck is fun, and Titans remove the playability of all big creatures but themselves.

About the Praetors I'm not that certain, as they seem a lot more reasonable: They are smaller/slower than the Titans, bringing them more on the same level as the rest of the field. They can be dealt with relatively easy, without leaving any permanent damage. Also their Legendary status should limit their numbers a little. The only one I'm concerned about is Jin-Gitaxias, as I can't imagine many (realistic) scenarios where getting him out doesn't result in an immediate victory.
Tom, between this article and your honesty about Jace, I think you should be promoted.

If you are ever in London I would buy you a beer.
I totally agree with what was said in the article, in fact it is exactly the reasons I voiced as a response to monday's article.

Truth is that personally i feel the legend rule is fine, what has to be better gauged is the power level legends and legendary permenents have. Planeswalkers get away with it because of their uniqueness in the game - only planeswalkers do what they do - but legendary permanents compete with every other permanent that that have the same type. As a result the conflicting scenario is that legends only look as a downside because the legend would be better if it was not legendary.... I think that in order to have enjoyable yet playable legendary permanents, designs have to give trully unique abilities or have obvious advantage over similar permanents; an example of this would be the 3 legendary Eldrazi Titans who clearly are stronger and have unique abilities over their non legendary counterparts. 

Isamaru, the Kamigawa Dragons, Umezawa's Jitte, Ezuri Renegade Leader, Doran the Seige Tower, Ghost Council of Orzhova, Rafik of the Many, Korlash Heir to Blackblade, Mirren the Moaning Well, Urborg Tomb of Yawgmoth; all of these and many more have all been very competitve cards that have been used in constructed because even with the legend rule holding them back, theyre still strong enough to warrant multiple copy inclusion and in some cases the ability for your oponent to respond by playing their own. Of course you sometimes get dead draws if you already have one in play but its worth it even then since the upside of such a strong card is larger than the downside of getting a dead draw. Even the legendary permanents not made as "Spike" cards are widely popular in casual and I have never heard anyone complain about their drawbacks severely. 

The thing I have seen complaints about are legendary cards that are legendary without any real reason to be... Things like Wrexrial the Risen Deep, many legends in Kamigawa Block, Unscythe Killer of Kings, Wydwen the Biting Gale among others all seem like cards that have no reason to be legendary and in many cases are rarely flavorful, usable or any important part storyline wise. Its things like these which make me feel like legends arent unique at times and are getting made because. Of course one comes down to the "not every legend can be unique or powerful" but then I ask what the purpose of making it legendary was anyways....

In conclusion really i feel that its not legendary supertype which has issues and instead it is how legendary supertype design is used. Legends should be two things in my mind: stronger (or unique) in comparison to other permanents of their type and flavorful as to show why they are legendary.

Geez, are you the rules manager as well? The gatekeeper of all that is Magic? Are you the MTG Godfather?


I think your read is way off.  Mark said they had a problem of luxury, something they wish was better but didn't have a better method for.  Then we got a week of really bad suggestions, and now Tom explained why those suggestions were really bad.  The two articles are sides of the same coin: Mark the designer wishing for something better and Tom the developer explaining the requirements of play.

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I'll give 'im the benefit of the doubt, that he actually talked to MaRo about this article before it came out; but, to be frank, it seems like he's completely missing the point of it.

MaRo's article stated, quite simply, that the current Legend Rule wasn't perfect; and, as a Designer, that he would like to see them working to perfect that rule in any way reasonable. He didn't say it was necessary (quite the opposite, in fact - he specifically said it wasn't a necessary change). He didn't say it was a high priority (his topic was limited by the week's theme, recall). Simply that it was imperfect, and that he would like to see it improved. And, you know what? That's his job.

That point seems to have completely evaded Tom, here - but perhaps he just didn't express it well. Regardless, this sounds like a lot of "it's been than the other thing" justification (which, admittedly, it is - but that's missing the point of the discussion) - he dodged the issues that MaRo discussed, and primarily stated benefits over the old system (which MaRo never proposed bringing back). I understand there being differences in opinion among R&D - hell, that's what makes R&D work - but when you can, presumably, simply walk over and make sure you understand the points the guy's making, I simply expect a higher quality of discussion. I was genuinely excited to see a rebuttal of MaRo's claims from Monday - but that's not what this was. What this came across as was a big, apathetic, "Why bother?"
I disagree that the Legend rule should not punish you for playin your permanent first.  This is absolutely what it should do.  The Legend rule is, first and foremost, a drawback.  The idea is that these cards are strong enough to risk something bad happening to them.

However, the current rule is so punishing to the player who draws their copy second that there is virtually no risk at all to play your copy first.  Even when it's the correct play to play your legend second, it feels bad to do so.  At best, you're just discarding one of the most important cards to your strategy.  At worst, you're doing that and also paying ten mana to cast Terror.

Besides, if the Legend rule were to change to the "destroy all permanents named ~" model, it would still be the correct play to cast your copy first unless you KNEW that the opponent was holding the same card.  Sure, they would get a pretty big tempo swing if they play their copy, but you get to wreak havoc until they can draw it.



While it is true that the legend rule results in a drawback, it is first and foremost a flavor rule, to enforce an effect that ties in with the concept of "only one, ever." From a functional, rules-y, "Melvin" side, this is "just a drawback, noob" but that does not mean it is "just a drawback" to the people who opt for or develop legendary permanents to play. It is also "just a drawback" for constructed play ... unless you're playing Kokusho, the Evening Star, and then it's just the point of the play. Arguments like the above show us that looking at a concept narrowly can only result in a narrow view of the results -- you see the tree for the forest.

Note that aside from "figure it out" cards like One with Nothing, cards with "drawbacks" in normal play are there to provide people ways to either work around them, or envelope them so that the "drawback" is no such thing. This should be no different for legends/planeswalkers, as it is no issue for quite a few other cards in the game people do not try to revise the rules for to "remove the drawback" on.

Imagine this card existed in Magic and was in your hand:

[Name]
[Permanent Type] - [Subtype]
Split Second
You may play [name] only any time you could cast a sorcery.
When [name] enters the battlefield, you can't play [permanent]s this turn.
{Tap}: Add {G} to your mana pool.

It does exist, of course, but most of its rules text is in the CR, not on the card, because it's a Forest, and such cards are inherent in their drawbacks.

It's cards like this that make me think that "Legendary" functions not as a supertype (Basic, Snow, World, etc.) in that it HAS rules, but rather like other card types. This is also true of World. I wonder if it should be made into a permanent type itself, like Planeswalker. "World" has its own problems, but rules baggage indicates to me it's operation is a variation of Legendary as well, and appearing only on Enchantments suggests it can simply be a subset of them, so a subtype thereof.
"Possibilities abound, too numerous to count." "Innocent, unbiased observation is a myth." --- P.B. Medawar (1969) "Ever since man first left his cave and met a stranger with a different language and a new way of looking at things, the human race has had a dream: to kill him, so we don't have to learn his language or his new way of looking at things." --- Zapp Brannigan (Beast With a Billion Backs)
I'll give 'im the benefit of the doubt, that he actually talked to MaRo about this article before it came out; but, to be frank, it seems like he's completely missing the point of it.

MaRo's article stated, quite simply, that the current Legend Rule wasn't perfect; and, as a Designer, that he would like to see them working to perfect that rule in any way reasonable. He didn't say it was necessary (quite the opposite, in fact - he specifically said it wasn't a necessary change). He didn't say it was a high priority (his topic was limited by the week's theme, recall). Simply that it was imperfect, and that he would like to see it improved. And, you know what? That's his job.

What's really interesting is that MaRo maintains a role he's always held, while his opposition has shifted:

MaRo represents a force trying to change and develop, while the rules guys (and development, to a degree) tries to find stasis and stability; to look inversely at this, MaRo is trying to upset stability and radicalize the game, and must be stopped.

His opponents are trying to force the game into an unmoving state where the status quo is always in effect and by their rule and alone, and must be stopped.

MaRo's prime opponent used to be MaGo, but now appears in R&D itself, where the rules guys now seem to try to develop the ideas of the changing force rather than resist it.
"Possibilities abound, too numerous to count." "Innocent, unbiased observation is a myth." --- P.B. Medawar (1969) "Ever since man first left his cave and met a stranger with a different language and a new way of looking at things, the human race has had a dream: to kill him, so we don't have to learn his language or his new way of looking at things." --- Zapp Brannigan (Beast With a Billion Backs)
He strawmaned MaRo, not even talking about the issues he brought up

This seems a bit unfair! Tom makes no misleading claims on MaRo's behalf. He doesn't address points like the "all downside" factor, but nor does he claim that there was no merit to MaRo's position in the first place. All he's saying is that the current Legend rule gets a lot of things right and that on balance he doesn't think it should change.

(And this matters quite a bit, because it may be the case that WotC can satisfy both positions to a degree by leaving the Legend rule unchanged but printing playable cards which get incremental advantages from Legendary permanents. There's a huge amount of design space there and the flavour is great!)

My response is about the poll, because I dislike all the Praetors. Praetors, Titans, and planeswalkers ruin pretty much every game they resolve in. I've got a Timmy side like anybody else, but c'mon. Enough already. I get more tired of them every week.

I sometimes feel this way too. I don't mind Planeswalkers so much, because the clever design means you can at least hope to defeat them in combat. Cards like Elesh Norn just make me sad, though. The philosophy seems to be that high casting cost combined with vulnerability to removal justifies anything, but not all of us are playing tournament Constructed.

I agree with Tom and I would underline almost every word he said. I would also recommend another idea - let´s keep the "legend rule" as it is now, and maybe restrict all Legends the way they used to be? I mean - if you have only one legend in your deck, its flavorful, it eliminates the problem with "I just drew a legendary card but I already have it in play" and your opponent is put into an interactive problem - "Do i now play my legend card when you already have yours to destroy both of them for good, or will I try to destroy your legend and then use mine to do what I want it to do?"
The only problem I see with this solution, is that if legends (or planeswalkers) become too powerful, the game might change to "whoever draws Jace, wins". Well, but is playing under the 4-of rule actually different? 
[...]Praetors, Titans, and planeswalkers ruin pretty much every game they resolve in.

Hang on, are you saying that the praetors and other big stuff ruin Standard then? [...] One of the fun things about the big cards is that they are very powerful but they can still be beaten.


"Possible to beat" is not synonymous with "fun". Big stuff with such huge swinginess basically demands an immediate answer or wins the game. Of course the game has to end sooner or later, but game wins off a bomb don't feel "earned" to me, so they're less enjoyable. I mind less in the 8+ CMC region, because that's a lot further into the game than six mana is. Still, "suspend 1; you win the game" is more often unfun than fun.

My disdain for Standard is boundless and eternal, so although I hear and see lame Titan/walker problems there, what I care about is the kind of Magic I play (Limited, casual constructed, EDH), and in those games, this category of cards often undermines the fun.

The advent of six-drop Magic looks like an overreaction by R&D to the longstanding weakness of high-cost guys because removal spells are so cheap. They had to make the big stuff this good so it would be playable. I think they've missed the mark.
Tom's job has turned into writing articles to defend Planeswalkers.
I'm not sure that it needs a fix, although I agree with some of MaRo's points. If I were to change anything, it would be:

1) If there is a legend (/planeswalker?) with the same name on the battlefield, your legend costs (2) more to cast.
2) Most recent legend survives.

It gives you a benefit to having your legend out first, it lets everyone use their legends, and it has good flavor ("bribing" the legend away from your opponent with a little extra)
The point Rosewater is making is that "Legends matter" in it's current state does not make a good set. Kamigawa was regarded as the low point of design in the last 10 years and was the second "legends matter" set since the craziness of Legends.

If "legends matter" then they need to be build around cards, not just one-off generals. They should feel like "party building" more like the allies from Zendikar block. If they are important enough to build around, then the NEED to be 4-of ... Like in a rpg where characters leave, come back, resurrect, etc.

For them to matter in a set, they have to run at common not just rare.. That is the trigger for MaRo's comments. The set needs "butchers, bakers, and candlestick makers" in addition to rare legend "thief, cleric, fighter, wizard" cards. The existing method of design doesn't fill that need... The last attempt was a bust.. So put some ideas on the table.
I agree with Tom. The old rule was awful. Losing to Viscara when I had one in my opening hand but went second was one of the worst games of Magic I've ever played.

The new rule works really well except on cards like Melira. The trick is to find a way to make cards that are legendary for story reasons but not game-play reasons play correctly. I don't have a solution to that, but the way it works now is much better than any situation where one survives and another doesn't.

As to Dr. Sylvan's point, I think the power of a lot of these newer creatures does make games that used to have a lot of diversity play out pretty bland as well. It didn't take all that long for the prerelease promo Emrakul to be banned from EDH. I am not sure what the lead times are in set development w/r/t that announcement, but I can only hope WOTC got the message that there is a line and it was crossed.
I like the swing-with-a-sword-equipped-dude-on-turn-five-and-get-10-mana-for-Jin-Gitaxias play but I think Urabrask is probably my favorite praetor.

And yeah, I'm fairly happy with the current legend rule. It's intuitive and destructive (which, as the article explains, is good for avoiding overcomplex scenarios).
The legendary permanent and planeswalker uniqueness rules work the same.

Simple rules offer tons of benefits to games. Players can only keep so many things in their heads at once, and there's no sense adding complexity to a game in rules governing rare corner cases that won't add a lot of fun value to the game overall.


Planeswalkers and legendary permanents aren't the same things, but they feel very similar from a standpoint of flavor and player expectations. Therefore, it's great that they both work the same, as that saves explanation time and gainless complexity.



 
I think this is wrong.
The two rules are different in a very nuanced way.  Legends destroy each other with the same NAME because the flavor is the same person can't double exist on the battlefield.  Planeswalkers destroy each other with the same PLANESWALKER TYPE because the same person can't double exist on the battle field.
Yes, the flavor reasons are exactly the same, but the way the rule works out, it's different.
Often on the Rules Q&A forum people show up wonder if Kamahl, Fist of Krosa legend rules Kamahl, Pit Fighter or if Chandra Ablaze can exist on the battlefield at the same time as Chandra Nalaar.  The answer to those questions is different, even though the flavor is the same.

I think the rule works fine, and I'm definitely a fan of current legend and planeswalker rules.  But these two rules are similar to a fault.  Saying that it's upside is wrong.
Kamahl, Fist of Krosa and Kamahl, Pit Fighter have different names and different creature types so how would you like to format the rule to make it work the same? The problem is that creature types and planeswalker types are very different, and to change a legends type into something like Legendary creature - Kamahl takes away their creature synergies. Changing it to a name reference won't solve problems like Crovax, functionally Crovax the Cursed would destroy Crovax, Ascendant Hero and have no effect on Ascendant Evincar. This would make even less since as now the original Crovax would be able to destroy a crovax from an alternate reality while still not destroying the later form of himself.
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Jon Finkel can win a Magic tournament with a ham sandwich. That doesn't mean ham sandwiches are now the metagame breaker.
97820278 wrote:
Koth: I'm the first viable red planeswalker. Who are you? Tibalt: I'm a two-mana red planeswalker. Koth: I'm the last viable red planeswalker.
This article does make good points in favor of the legendary rule.

However, MaRo's article highlighted some flaws with legendaries that cannot be denied. He didn't say he had a quick solution to all the problems, he only said there are problems.
While MaRo's article read like an honest game designer's objective perspective on the rule, this article feels more like an advertisement, an attempt at making people believe the game is completely flawless.
my new deck: Bears with Weapons
Kamahl, Fist of Krosa and Kamahl, Pit Fighter have different names and different creature types so how would you like to format the rule to make it work the same? The problem is that creature types and planeswalker types are very different, and to change a legends type into something like Legendary creature - Kamahl takes away their creature synergies. Changing it to a name reference won't solve problems like Crovax, functionally Crovax the Cursed would destroy Crovax, Ascendant Hero and have no effect on Ascendant Evincar. This would make even less since as now the original Crovax would be able to destroy a crovax from an alternate reality while still not destroying the later form of himself.



Just to be clear, I don't think there's anything wrong with the way it works.
I think it's wrong to call it a "positive."  Because they work mostly the same, it's hard for people to be aware of the difference.  And trying to apply what you know about Legends doesn't work when you apply it to Planeswalkers and vice versa, even though the idea behind the rule is the same.
Also I'm not saying everyone is an idiot who can't tell the difference, but I see new players confuse that a lot because of how they are almost-but-not-quite the same.  And again I say that's not a positive argument for the Legends Rule as-is.
"Developers like it when there are answers to powerful cards, and from my perspective, a card being its own solution is one of the more elegant ways to provide answers."

In the case of planeswalkers, another planeswalker is the currently only answer. Jace Wars is a fun game, but it's not Magic.

In the case of Legendary permanents, there's countless solutions. If the sets aren't going to provide more answers to planeswalkers, the rule should change to balance them out.

Only allowing one copy of a PW on the battlefield at any time sounds like a good start to me, since it encourages the game to create more answers, and puts more flavour into the game.  

Ugh. I realize this is entirely unrelated to this article, so I'll stop here. 

"Playing your cards as soon as you can is more fun than waiting"



I must have missed the memo where it was decided that it was so, objectivly and unrefutable it seems by the above statement.

I would guess that me personally more often then not find that more enjoyable, but it would be close. I dont like games where one person just plays everything s/he has, as fast as possible with no regard to and with no consideration of a back-up plan to lets say a sweeper and then get rewarded for it. And if I was sure I always found it more fun doing so, I would never talk about it in such absolutes.

And neither have R&D nor Design been. For example, you even have a word descibing the minority of players who appreciates the grievance most other dont. So it doesnt fit, except seen in the light of past year of catering to a group of players who dont like decisions. The talk about spellbombs being negative, because - brace yourself - you had to decide between one of two options and thus the new spellbombs, now tension free, were better. Or the flaws of modal card, because having to make decisions is bad. Because a group of players feels that they want it all and cannot handle the feeling of "missing out" on the other modes (or something along those lines?).

Or that all upsides is what most people want. The last part is probably true, I have no reason to doubt your consumer polling, but I do know that if you would to ask people at a pro tour which creature was their favorite I can bet you that there would be a 2/1 wizards in everyones top-5 that actually kill you (given time atleast).
And this I know is not news for you guys, I know that this is something you have better understanding then myself on. But I put it in a an example of what I feel is becoming the new hegemony of MtG.

You talk about different categories, different psychographic and tending to them all is a hard job. But when commenting things such as this "Playing your cards as soon as you can is more fun than waiting" is said as truths for everyone when it should be seen as a group of players, just like the group that actually like when rescourses are managed and their decisions matter and effect the outcome, not their draws for example.



ps. I do apologies for grammar, english not being my first language.


EDIT: The reasoning for Ulamogs Crushers caveat being further example of this new way. And that if templating would allowed it we actually would have had further text on Vampire Hexmage.
I remember a time when cards like Kavu Titan, even at its very basic level of "complexity" was talked about as something positive.
I had thought about the legend rule in the past as well. To me the legend rule is good as it is.

They should however add a new supertype "restricted" (or whatever), meaning that you can only put one copy of these "restricted" cards in your deck. This supertype can be sed not only for permanents but also for instants,... The legendary cards could be used for cards that are powerful but especially flavorful, the "restricted" cards can be used for cards that are just too powerful to have four of in a deck.
this is just perfect, this discussion...

I've been thinking a lot about some stuffs, legendarys included, and besides asking for justification for the rules of legends on the battlefield, isn't it a bit weird to have more than one copy of something that would be unique? are the mythic rares and rares that rare on the decks we see? 

all that is just because the better cards always wins, it don't matter if you are a realy good player, someone with a better card would do things before you and with less mana...

my proposal would be paralel mode of T2, T4 and the others... one that could be more "realistic" with all the fantasy, and would end up with new decks, new strategies and also, cheaper decks, meaning, all the players who can't afford 1k-3k bucks on a deck could play on equal, meaning: more players for competitions, it would be gain-gain for everyone!!! (it can also end up atracting more ppl for the game)

aside all that... the idea:
the base would be: 1 legend, 1 mythic rare, maybe 4 rares (including the mythic) and 12 uncommon...  and for lands, maybe something apart, like 2 rares and 6 uncommon lands...
this could be based on a 60 card deck, if you double the number of the cards, you double that number... for sideboard, maybe free, only considering that after the changes you must stay on the, 4 rares, 12 uncommon...
another idea like that would be with "points" per class: mythic X, rare Y, uncommon Z, common P, legendary U, the lands would be 1/2 or 1/3 that value and you have A points to assembly a deck. (ok, I didn't put much tough about this one, more on the first one...)

some competitive tourneys would be very fun, as this way you would stick with the most important things on the strategy you choose... eg.: the deck to be said be best on the format now: caw blade: it could have a sword or a batterskull, 3 stone forge mystic, 4 squadron hawk, many cancels like spells... what else it need? the rest are all support...
it can also make players take full use of all the common and uncommon cards, while the "normal" standart would still take the advantage of all the rares, mythics and legendaries that would be the main of those decks, and not main, middle and support...

hope you understand the whole idea and consider it, all to a more magical magic XD

thanks

ps: I begin to read the 1-2 pages of the discussion, then I went to college, now I'm back I still din't read through all the discussion up to now... 
Besides, if the Legend rule were to change to the "destroy all permanents named ~" model, it would still be the correct play to cast your copy first unless you KNEW that the opponent was holding the same card.  Sure, they would get a pretty big tempo swing if they play their copy, but you get to wreak havoc until they can draw it.


Only if you feel that playing your copy will give you more of an advantage than having removal for an opponent's copy. In some cases that may be true, but if you feel that the card is better against you than against your opponent, it's better to keep it.
blah blah metal lyrics
Tom's job has turned into writing articles to defend Planeswalkers.



I was just thinking that same thing.

I will say after reading Mark's article earlier this week and paying attention when playing games I've felt a lot more disappointed when I draw a second copy of a legend in my decks.  I never really noticed how they were dead draws before, I guess thinking they were back up in case anything happened to the first one.  But many of the legends, especially the really good ones, don't need backup and pretty much determine the outcome of the game right away.  Having extra copies does suddenly feel like a waste because if they don't have the answer the first time you don't need a second and if they do have an answer most likely they will answer the second one also and you are done for.  So if anything I say darn you Maro for pointing it out to me at all! 

Secondly the biggest, and simple change to the way the legend rule works now would be to change the legends from blowing up and going to the graveyard and just have them remove each other from the game.  There is nothing flavor wise that makes much sense of saying: "i summon my preator and you summon him away" and the reason they can't both exist is that there is only 1 of him in the multiverse but suddnely there are 2 copies of his body laying around waiting to get reanimated.

Really what should be change about the legend rule is a tiny change to make things more sensible and streamlined, but still follow the current rules 95% of the time.  I would propose making it so you could not 'play' a second copy of a legendary card but that you could, as an ability pay it's mana cost, exile it, and exile all copies currently on the battle field.  This would mean yes you would want to play your copy first, to receive any comes into play triggers etc.  Changes the flavor issues of having a tug of war over a guy that really isn't.(exiling means if you can't have him no one should)  If you are basically unsummoning my summon of that guy I really shouldn't be getting goes to the graveyard because he just died effects should I?

Also keeps VERY non-intuitive situations from happening like summoning the same legend and having them both die because apparently it's impossible for them both to exist at the same time in the same place but having both their static abilities in effect while they are both in play before they kill each other.  Seriouly, if there aren't 2 of them to exist how can you get double benefit from them existing twice at the same time even for a second? (i know you can make up some thing about how they are split in half by the aether summoning or some crap but it's stupid and you know it)
One other thing the new rules suggesters seem to forget is that they need to handle multiple Legends entering the battlefield simultaneously. (e.g. Genesis Wave or Warp World effects.)

The current rule handles it elegantly without additional thought needed.
Most of these "Last one wins" rules aren't nearly as intutive, requiring an additional explanation. "Well actually, in this situation what's really happening is a trigger, which (does something other than "last one wins")..."
I had thought about the legend rule in the past as well. To me the legend rule is good as it is.

They should however add a new supertype "restricted" (or whatever), meaning that you can only put one copy of these "restricted" cards in your deck. This supertype can be sed not only for permanents but also for instants,... The legendary cards could be used for cards that are powerful but especially flavorful, the "restricted" cards can be used for cards that are just too powerful to have four of in a deck.


You aren't the first person to suggest something like this idea, but there are several problems with it.

For one thing, it makes games more random and swingy. Right now they assume that no one will have more than four of a (non-basic land) card in their deck, which means that in a given game it's absolutely impossible to get more than four and chances are slim of getting more than even two or three (barring extra card drawing, tutoring, etc.) and try to balance power levels appropriately. If developers knew from the start that certain spells would be only-once-a-game things, though, they'd be free to make them more powerful so that when you finally get lucky and draw it, it would be memorable. In fact, it's not just that they'd be free to, they'd have to, or the cards wouldn't be worth playing. Such cards would be automatic, no-brainer inclusions in any deck that can even remotely use them, and games would come down to who draws theirs first. (Sure, now and then they make cards like that, Jace 2.0 being an obvious example, but they don't do it on purpose as far as we know.)

For another, it takes some skill out of deck-building. Right now there's a balance between putting four copies of nine different cards in a deck (assuming 24 lands, etc.) for maximum consistency, and putting in one or two or three copies of a lot more than just nine different cards so that you have more options. Good players think hard about every extra copy when they're building decks and during games do a lot of mental math about how likely they are to get another copy of some card they want. Making all (or even some) powerful cards restricted on printing takes the challenge out of figuring out how many of them to play.

Another problem is that it assumes that the power level of cards is constant and easily predictable. It's not. Jace 2.0 is obviously good, of course, but it didn't completely dominate Standard until Jund and several good hosers rotated out. Some "restricted" cards will be worse than some cards of other types, which raises the question of why they're "restricted" at all. That is, they will be worse unless "restricted" cards are all significantly undercosted or uniformly overpowered in some other way, in which case, see the first problem again.

Another problem is that it overlaps with the existing restricted mechanic used in tournaments. Different cards are restricted in different formats. Right now there are two different restricted lists (Vintage and the Magic Online Classic format) and even if you wanted to combine those or whatever, a "restricted" mechanic would create confusion and conflict. Can the DCI restrict a card without it being errataed to have the "restricted" supertype? Is a card with the "restricted" type restricted in all formats, even things like Vintage or Legacy where it will probably not be needed due to the higher overall power level of the format? WotC has an iron-clad policy against power-level errata so far; would this supertype be the only time they do that, or do you want to revise that policy in general?

Another problem is that there's always the chance that it might overlap with the legendary supertype, but there's no room on the type line for that. "Resticted legendary creature -" leaves room for one race or class, but not both, and not even a long one of either. "Elf", maybe "rogue" or "human", but probably not even something as long as "dragon" or "merfolk".
Hmm, lots of interesting things being said !





First, desolation_masticore pointed out the legendary and the planeswalkers rules didn't work the same (i.e, you can have 2 Kamahl if they don't have the exact same name, but you can't have 2 Chandras) . This can be troublesome for beginners, plus, it's not flavorful. 

Then he said : 

"to change a legends type into something like Legendary creature - Kamahl takes away their creature synergies" 

That's a reasonnable concern. I think the "uniqueness" type that both planeswalkers and legendary permanents should share should be a creature type, otherwise, rules would be a mess.

Maybe something like this would fit : Legendary creature - Kamahl - human druid 





Also, Tom had a fair point : 

"I read someone pitch the idea that a new legendary permanent could destroy every other instance of that card in play. That idea fails this test**. If we both have four copies of Umezawa's Jitte in our deck, under that rule the correct play may be for neither of us to play a copy of it first, as keeping one in play may be the only thing that matters. "

(** reffering to this : "The rules don't punish you for playing your planeswalker or legendary permanent first.")

I quite agree, but still, if we consider the example of Melira, this new rules would ask you : 

" Do you want to get benefit from Melira now, preventing your opponent from poisonning you, and take the risk your opponent can then cast his own copy, both destroying you and getting benefit from it later ? " 

Akwardly, I thought this was a question you wanted players to ask .

I mean, it's the same question for kick : do you want to use your card know, knowing it could turn to be useless in a couple turns, or do you want to wait to get maximum benefit ?
It's also the same for the new spellbombs, duplicate, entwine, etc. 

But, let's assume you are totally right. Some proposed some alternatives like exiling or bouncing the old legend. 
I don't like the exile way because it seems far to complicated, and I don't like the bounce way because the 2 legends bouncing each other back and fourth pull the focus from the game. 
Thus, I propose that the old legend should be shuffled in the library, so playing it first doesn't mean your opponent will be the one with the legend in play in the end. 

 
1. Apparently lightning bolt to their dome 1st turn is more fun than holding it and being sneaky while they play their birds of paradise. Thanks for telling me what's fun, Wizards. I couldn't figure it out without you. From now on I'll counter my own ornithopter 2nd turn instead of missing out on the fun. Oh, wait, I forgot. Counterspell is too doubleplus unfun to have ever existed. We have always been at war with Eurasia.

2. In the wake of the Winter Orb debacle, clearly the solution to your legendary disagreement is "The Grand Legend Type Update"- Give every legend a  "legend type" in addition to their pre-existing creature types. Then change the legend rule to operate on legend types. This would solve the problems with Kamahl and Crovax.

If you really want to go whole hog, give the legends a planeswalker type instead, and just make legends obey planeswalker rules. That way Nicol Bolas and Nicol Bolas, Planeswalker will annihilate each other.

This last suggestion will also allow you to print a ton of fanservice planeswalkers, like "Axelrod Gunnarson, Enraged"- as well as pre-spark walker legends like, "Jace, Disruptive Student". I don't need to point out that this would allow for easier printing of answers to planeswalkers, something you guys seem to have been reaching for.

I only suggest such a drastic solution because you've already shown complete disregard for what cards should do in favor of making the game's design more streamlined (R.I.P. Winter Orb). Also, as demonstrated, it opens design space and eliminates rules baggage.*

3. Everyone groaning about bomb finishers should be playing Pauper (aka "magic with just commons"). I have been doing so since mythic rare was announced. I missed the fall of Jund and the rise of Jace, but I now own about 75% of all commons and the depth of the cardpool means I can think of creative decks faster than I can build them. This comment generally provokes replies from people who can't beat pauper storm decks. Kindly do not post such replies.

Edited: Dem ole planeswalker/plainswalker proofreading blues.