7/08/2011 LD: "Bloodthirst in the Water"

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

I'm thirsty for a nice tall glass of blood now :P

Regarding the poll... D12 is stopped from being awesome by a couple things. There's a few nasty crash bugs (did no one try going into the Leaderboard screen during testing?) and you still can't manage mana manually. Also I'm a little disappointed at the lack of an Old Save Bonus.

It's still pretty good though.

This makes me very curious how white and blue will play, given that neither has bloodthirst and (blue especially) they don't play aggro as well.  I also hope bloodthirst isn't the only way to go with red, green, or black, because Limited is a lot more fun when card power varies by archetype.  But they have been doing a good job with Limited design recently, so I have faith.

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Simunomics - Free-to-play economy simulation game.

I still don't understand why you chose bloodthirst as the mechanic to return in M12.  Bloodthirst is the most bland, vanilla keyword that you've done in awhile.  It just increases power and toughness, it does nothing else.  There are so so so many abilities you've introduced to the game over time that do varied useful and entertaining things that are simple enough to fit into a coreset: cycling, kicker, convoke, entwine, provke, and perhaps others could be good for the coreset.  To be honest however, I don't know why Scry couldn't have just been evergreened.  Its a basic and useful enough to be a core part of the game.
just skipped to the poll to say, duels is not bad- its ok, i kinda like keeping it more casual 
I still don't understand why you chose bloodthirst as the mechanic to return in M12.  Bloodthirst is the most bland, vanilla keyword that you've done in awhile.  It just increases power and toughness, it does nothing else.  There are so so so many abilities you've introduced to the game over time that do varied useful and entertaining things that are simple enough to fit into a coreset: cycling, kicker, convoke, entwine, provke, and perhaps others could be good for the coreset.  To be honest however, I don't know why Scry couldn't have just been evergreened.  Its a basic and useful enough to be a core part of the game.



Cycling, kicker, and entwine are completely flavorless mechanics; they're not appearing in a Core Set anytime soon.
"This is just beginning to scratch the surface of Magic 2012 Limited, though. If bloodthirst cards are strong, and blocking is good against them, how much better are combat tricks? When is it right to sideboard in defensive cards like Wall of Torches? I don't know the answers to all these questions, but I bet you don't either." from his article

This seems like a problem. So even the devs dont know limited? from reading your earlier articles it seems like it. And yes I bet i do know the answers to these questions. Maybe bloodthirst is better this time than it was in rav, for reasons you probably stated. Rav block was a very slow card advantagy format, where the only bloodthirst guy of note was the potential 5/6 and the guy who could fling himself. one of the problems with bloodthirst is it isnt good on cheap guys. one mana guys are almost always terrible, and getting a conditional 2/2 flyer isnt going to make up for having a 1/1 unblockable.

are combat tricks better? sure, but thats because of how strong +4/+4 is. which also begs the question why that instead of giant growth. just to be different? pump spells dont need to be that big.  It is also weaker with bloodthirst, since it costs 1 more, so its clearly just there to kill the opponent. thats going to happen more often than taking down a big guy. a better fit would have been something like +2+2 trample for G.

also why bring back the zombie lord instead of the vampire lord? most common black guys in the set are vampires. only card that makes good use of the zombie lord is zombie infestation. so why all the vampires then?

and really a 3/2 for 3 and a 3/1 bloodthrist 1 for 3? do we need two guys that are pretty much the same at common. thats just so uninteresting.
I think it's the fastest core set Limited environment we've ever made. Those of you who have been with us for a while may be looking at me sideways when I say that...



Yes, but not for the reason you sem to think.  More because of how unfun Zendikar turned out to be the last time this claim was made.  I see you acknowledged this later, but it still worries me.  Limited should aim to be more like Rise of the Eldrazi.  Best format ever, not close.
The end is always nigh.
This seems like a problem. So even the devs dont know limited?



Well, there's only a limited number of devs, and hundreds of thousands of players, with hundreds of thousands of more hours to spend playing the game after release.  I think that's the point he's trying to make; that the players will be able to find out what the limited environment will be like to a much more exact degree then the devs by simple force of numbers.

also why bring back the zombie lord instead of the vampire lord? most common black guys in the set are vampires. only card that makes good use of the zombie lord is zombie infestation. so why all the vampires then?



But you're forgetting that the Zombie lord makes his own zombies.  You don't need ANY additional cards to make the zombie lord good, so the two common zombies in the set are more then enough.
This seems like a problem. So even the devs dont know limited?



Well, there's only a limited number of devs, and hundreds of thousands of players, with hundreds of thousands of more hours to spend playing the game after release.  I think that's the point he's trying to make; that the players will be able to find out what the limited environment will be like to a much more exact degree then the devs by simple force of numbers.

also why bring back the zombie lord instead of the vampire lord? most common black guys in the set are vampires. only card that makes good use of the zombie lord is zombie infestation. so why all the vampires then?



But you're forgetting that the Zombie lord makes his own zombies.  You don't need ANY additional cards to make the zombie lord good, so the two common zombies in the set are more then enough.




I actually wasnt talking about specifics of this formats limited but i meant limited in general. his other articles havent shown a great deal of knowledge towards drafting either, and his comment about how he doesnt know when to bring in cheap walls or combat tricks?


and ya the zombie lord makes his own minions i was well aware, even gives more synergy with zombie infestation its just annoyign that they are changing it from a fine vamp lord to a zombie lord while making most the commons and uncommon black creatures vampires. could have made the warpath ghoul back into the 3/2 vampire and just left the vampire lord and it would have been much more consistent and probably more fun. change for sake of change isnt good.

same with cards like trollhide which is a functional reprint of savage silohette. why the name change? and kite shields an uncommon worse than the common accorders shield? even in limited its not like accorders shield was always amazing.



same with cards like trollhide which is a functional reprint of savage silohette. why the name change? and kite shields an uncommon worse than the common accorders shield? even in limited its not like accorders shield was always amazing.




Accorder shield was common because it was in Scars block; it would have been uncommon here anyways.  Although taking vigilance off it was pretty pointless.  Having Manalith at common is about as close to that as we'll get in a core set.
same with cards like trollhide which is a functional reprint of savage silohette. why the name change? and kite shields an uncommon worse than the common accorders shield? even in limited its not like accorders shield was always amazing.




Accorder shield was common because it was in Scars block; it would have been uncommon here anyways.  Although taking vigilance off it was pretty pointless.  Having Manalith at common is about as close to that as we'll get in a core set.



They took it off for flavor reasons. A shield from an elite group of defenders granting the user an increased watchfulness makes sense, a run-of-the-mill kite shield doing the same thing makes less sense. They want stuff to be simple and resonant in the core set, and Kite Shield achieves that goal. Plus, let's be honest, you weren't playing Accorder's Shield in a world without metalcraft anyways.
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same with cards like trollhide which is a functional reprint of savage silohette. why the name change? and kite shields an uncommon worse than the common accorders shield? even in limited its not like accorders shield was always amazing.




Accorder shield was common because it was in Scars block; it would have been uncommon here anyways.  Although taking vigilance off it was pretty pointless.  Having Manalith at common is about as close to that as we'll get in a core set.



They took it off for flavor reasons. A shield from an elite group of defenders granting the user an increased watchfulness makes sense, a run-of-the-mill kite shield doing the same thing makes less sense. They want stuff to be simple and resonant in the core set, and Kite Shield achieves that goal. Plus, let's be honest, you weren't playing Accorder's Shield in a world without metalcraft anyways.




run of the mill kite shield shouldnt be uncommon since its so run of the mill. shieldbearer was a common too. if your going to make it uncommon at least keep the reasonit was playable.

run of the mill kite shield shouldnt be uncommon since its so run of the mill. shieldbearer was a common too. if your going to make it uncommon at least keep the reasonit was playable.



It's equipment in the core set. It's uncommon.

And the reason it was playable was metalcraft, not vigilance, btw. That's why it saw way more play in triple scars than it does now.
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run of the mill kite shield shouldnt be uncommon since its so run of the mill. shieldbearer was a common too. if your going to make it uncommon at least keep the reasonit was playable.



It's equipment in the core set. It's uncommon.

And the reason it was playable was metalcraft, not vigilance, btw. That's why it saw way more play in triple scars than it does now.



you wouldnt run it if it was just +0+3, even in metalcraft. and equipment isnt that complicated, and could easily be common in the coreset. if anything its as grokable as flying. guy picks up shield. if all the artifacts are going to be uncommon than guys like the 2/2 shatter guy should be uncommon too.  also its run less not because metalcraft is bad its more because with 1 pack of som there might not be the shield. its still great

run of the mill kite shield shouldnt be uncommon since its so run of the mill. shieldbearer was a common too. if your going to make it uncommon at least keep the reasonit was playable.



It's equipment in the core set. It's uncommon.

And the reason it was playable was metalcraft, not vigilance, btw. That's why it saw way more play in triple scars than it does now.



you wouldnt run it if it was just +0+3, even in metalcraft. and equipment isnt that complicated, and could easily be common in the coreset. if anything its as grokable as flying. guy picks up shield. if all the artifacts are going to be uncommon than guys like the 2/2 shatter guy should be uncommon too.  also its run less not because metalcraft is bad its more because with 1 pack of som there might not be the shield. its still great



I've played golden urn in metalcraft, so yes I would run it if I needed another cheap artifact and didn't care too much what it did. (Which, by the way, is one reason that metalcraft sucks as a mechanic)

Also, I meant less play relative to how many their our. Our takes on the format are obviously different, and that may be legitimate (local metagames being what they are), so I'm not going to push the issue, but in my experience shield is wheeling much more often now than it did back in triple scars.

As for whether or not equipment could be common: I agree that equipment is pretty grokable by itself, but newbies get the rules for it confused with those for auras way too often for me to be comfortable with both at common. Having taught four-and-a-half new players over the last year during the equipment-heavy SOM block, I can say from experience that delaying one until after players understand the other is a very good thing.
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golden urn was pretty bad and if you had to run it to get to 14 artifacts or so it means metalcraft was probably overdrafted or wasnt open enough.

tha main point i care about though is how he openly admits he doesnt know if walls or combat tricks are any good in this format
golden urn was pretty bad and if you had to run it to get to 14 artifacts or so it means metalcraft was probably overdrafted or wasnt open enough.

tha main point i care about though is how he openly admits he doesnt know if walls or combat tricks are any good in this format



The way I read it, he knows whether or not they're good in the Future Future League version of Limited. Which is likely a very accurate, but by no means perfect, version of what real Limited will be. The reason he doesn't know for sure is because in the real world, there are a lot more people playing, and thus testing, the format. It's inevitable that there will be differences in real Limited versus FFL Limited. This is how overpowered cards get past them, sometimes, and how some cards they think will be awesome wind up unplayed. As good as their playtesters are, they're only humans, working with limited resources.

Plus, even if he did know 100% whether or not certain strategies are better than others, he'd still likely not tell us. Magic is a game of discovery. It wouldn't be as fun to be told everything.

Then again, I could be wrong. A lot of people net-deck, so maybe not everyone likes discovering things for themselves.
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