08/05/2011 LD: "The Right Mechanic"

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

Blood Seeker doesn't help Bloodthirst. (a) Bloodthirst looks for damage, not life loss, and (b) Blood Seeker will normally trigger on your opponent's turn, not yours. Did you have some other card in mind?
Jeff Heikkinen DCI Rules Advisor since Dec 25, 2011
If he attacked with both, when you only have one blocker, one will get through for damage activating bloodthirst. It is a little odd why he didn't do the Ogre though, I guess a 2/2 with First Strike you can block isn't going to deal as much as the 1/1 that pings you each time you cast a creature.
I was thinking the same thing when I saw that Jeff.

I loved Scab-Clan Mauler!  I loved the bloodthirst, but I also loved that it had trample. 

When can we get some allies with bloodthirst?
Blood Seeker helps bloodthirst by attacking and dealing combat damage to the opponent.
Haha, you just know Bloodthirst is afraid of Trample. Trample can beat him up!
I assume the Griffin Sentinel guy was on the draw.

T2 the other guy has the blood seeker. Then the sentinel guy has no two drop, so he leaves his mana open.

T3 the other guy attacks with the blood seeker. Fearing a bloodthirst drop, sentinel guy incinerates the seeker. The other guy decides to play his ogre on to an empty board anyway so he can get damage in for his minotaurs next turn. However, the sentinel guy untaps and plays his griffin sentinel. 

Dear god, Tom has caught Rosewater Abstract Anthropomorphization Syndrome.  We're doomed.

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I wonder what Bloodthirst would say if you could follow it on Twitter?
I assume the Griffin Sentinel guy was on the draw.

T2 the other guy has the blood seeker. Then the sentinel guy has no two drop, so he leaves his mana open.

T3 the other guy attacks with the blood seeker. Fearing a bloodthirst drop, sentinel guy incinerates the seeker. The other guy decides to play his ogre on to an empty board anyway so he can get damage in for his minotaurs next turn. However, the sentinel guy untaps and plays his griffin sentinel. 


This still seems a bit odd considering that all of the three-drops with bloodthirst die to Incinerate.  The only real reason to use Incinerate on the Blood Seeker in anticipation of a bloodthirsty three-drop, rather than on the three-drop itself during the opponent's end of turn step, is if you expect to lose enough life to the Blood Seeker to make it worth removing - in which case killing the Blood Seeker is the correct play, bloodthirst or no bloodthirst.
I liked the article. I just would've liked to come to know this week how Bloodthirst was chosen.

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Zindaras' meta is like a fossil, ancient and its secrets yet to be uncovered. Only men of yore, long dead, knew of it.
Globus keeps talking about making a shark or a piranha in blue, but he's the only one who seems to like that idea so far."



Awww real shame it didn't make it =(

"The point of that card is that you have a giant cool dragon. When it has trample, you just kill your opponent with it in two hits. That doesn't give you any time to feel great about how awesome your dragon is. I want you to shave a mana and cut trample."




Not sure I agree, it's a mythic. If it was a rare, sure, but it feels lacking as a mythic.
I liked the article. I just would've liked to come to know this week how Bloodthirst was chosen.




Yeah, I was hoping for info than the "We think it's simple and flavourful so it's appropriate for the core set" that I think they've mentioned a couple of times now.
Globus keeps talking about making a shark or a piranha in blue, but he's the only one who seems to like that idea so far."

Awww real shame it didn't make it =(

Because they don't make any sea creatures anymore that can't at least partially rise above the surface? Just an idea...

Dear god, Tom has caught Rosewater Abstract Anthropomorphization Syndrome.  We're doomed.


That was pretty much my thought...
Wow, so you're saying that expense budget for the core set projects sometimes influences the choice of cards? This is, of course, obvious, when you think about it, but I never thought about it in this way.

Dear god, Tom has caught Rosewater Abstract Anthropomorphization Syndrome.  We're doomed.


That was pretty much my thought...


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


I love how even the Magic 2012 banner at the bottom of the page (not to mention Tom's headshot at the top) was black and white noir-style.  Unnamed editor, I love your work.
"The point of that card is that you have a giant cool dragon. When it has trample, you just kill your opponent with it in two hits. That doesn't give you any time to feel great about how awesome your dragon is. I want you to shave a mana and cut trample."



Bloodthirst is an idiot.  He could be marginal with trample, now he's just worthless.

There's a reason they didn't keep him on staff the first time, he makes some awkward decisions.
Sure, bloodthirst is a cool mechanic and I'm glad to see it back, but more importantly I'm glad to see the core set speeding up a little. M10 and M11 limited were slog-fests that really depended on landing your bombs to win the game.
Also, this is one of my favorite articles just based on the writing style as well as the behind the scenes look at R&D and the process.
Anthropomorphizing or not, this was cool, thanks!
With respect to the poll about attending gaming conventions, I'm sad that WotC doesn't come to Dragon*Con any more. That's where I was introduced to MtG many years ago. I got my (first) Nalathni Dragon there, and even met Mark Rosewater.
1) Great idea for an article. If mechanics really could talk, I'd love to hear what Phasing and Banding think about their reputations. Maybe not Rampage, because he's probably crazier than Bloodthirst.

2) A room called Wayne Manor? Really? Sweet!

3) Should have listened to Globus on the Shark thing. I never thought of Pirannas, but when I heard Bloodthirst would be in new colors, Shark was the first thing I thought of.
Although I thought this article was quite good, I think it really missed out from not having a section where a member of R&D gets a cut on his hand and bloodthirst goes beserk.
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I agree, mentioning Bloodseeker was an odd choice likely to lead to damage / life loss confusion.  (Or stemming from it?  Let's hope not.)


I liked the article. I just would've liked to come to know this week how Bloodthirst was chosen.


Yeah, I was hoping for info than the "We think it's simple and flavourful so it's appropriate for the core set" that I think they've mentioned a couple of times now.



I suspect the story just isn't that interesting.  They want to go "the other direction" from the control-favoiring Scry.  The list of aggressive or combat-centric mechanics isn't that long.  Landfall is too new.  Bushido and Ninjutsu both got better runs than Bloodthirst (and have creature type baggage, though IMHO that shouldn't stop them).  Flanking is inferior to Bushido.  Wither is fairly recent and too similar to Infect.


Maybe someone could have made a case for Hellbent, but Bloodthirst is more creatively useful and arguably more popular.

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2) A room called Wayne Manor? Really? Sweet!



www.wizards.com/magic/magazine/Article.a...



If you're on MTGO check out the Free Events via PDCMagic and Gatherling.

Other games you should try:
DC Universe Online - action-based MMO.  Free to play.  Surprisingly well-designed combat and classes.

Planetside 2 - Free to play MMO-meets-FPS and the first shooter I've liked in ages.
Simunomics - Free-to-play economy simulation game.


I agree, mentioning Bloodseeker was an odd choice likely to lead to damage / life loss confusion.  (Or stemming from it?  Let's hope not.)


I liked the article. I just would've liked to come to know this week how Bloodthirst was chosen.


Yeah, I was hoping for info than the "We think it's simple and flavourful so it's appropriate for the core set" that I think they've mentioned a couple of times now.



I suspect the story just isn't that interesting.  They want to go "the other direction" from the control-favoiring Scry.  The list of aggressive or combat-centric mechanics isn't that long.  Landfall is too new.  Bushido and Ninjutsu both got better runs than Bloodthirst (and have creature type baggage, though IMHO that shouldn't stop them).  Flanking is inferior to Bushido.  Wither is fairly recent and too similar to Infect.


Maybe someone could have made a case for Hellbent, but Bloodthirst is more creatively useful and arguably more popular.




Well, the thing I'm wondering is if Bloodthirst rewarding new players for playing creatures in the post-combat main phase, which in my experience of teaching the game they are usually reluctant to do anything during, prefering to use the pre-combat main phase for everything that isn't Instant speed, was a factor in the decision to use it in a core set or just a happy coincidence. Or, the general version 'How much does helping new players learn how to play Magic (or play better Magic) factor into the choice of non-evergreen core set mechanic, such as the way Bloodthirst helps encourage newer players to actually use the post-combat main phase?'

I agree that's an interesting subject, and I'd love to read a whole article on "designing mechanics to teach".  (Portal has always been a master class in this, where there is no tutorial because all the teaching is built in.)


Nevertheless in this case it wouldn't surprise me if, although that's part of why they like Bloodthirst, they weren't actively looking for a teaching mechanic.  Actually though, now that I think about it, I bet you there's a revolving list in R&D of mechanics.  Some are marked "bring this back as soon as you can" and others "OK to reuse if the set calls for it."  (And others, like Echo or Storm, as "probably don't reuse".) The teaching benefit of Bloodthirst likely helped it onto the "back soon" list.

If you're on MTGO check out the Free Events via PDCMagic and Gatherling.

Other games you should try:
DC Universe Online - action-based MMO.  Free to play.  Surprisingly well-designed combat and classes.

Planetside 2 - Free to play MMO-meets-FPS and the first shooter I've liked in ages.
Simunomics - Free-to-play economy simulation game.

Would've been cool if white and blue got something like scry again or morph idk
Really liked this article. I never thought of the influence of art commissions on set construction before, so the Warpath Ghoul story was eye-opening. Did a good job of showing how mechanics can cause sets to be tweaked around them too.

That mythic dragon though, oh well. That change made it go from maybe playable (though I'd still doubt it over Inferno Titan or the current crazy Timmy dragon du jour) to completely done, and unmyhtic to boot.
Loving the noir-style article today. Bloodthirst's character development shows that he's really just trying to help. He feels out of place in the office, getting past his impulses and contributing to the project. Sure, his call on Furyborn Hellkite might have been offline, but it's the thought that counts, right?
What the hell is wrong with you guys? I thought Tom died because of the B&W treatment. I understand wanting to get the Noir through, but authors' pics are ususally desaturated when they actually die in real life. Don't ever do that again.
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That mythic dragon though, oh well. That change made it go from maybe playable (though I'd still doubt it over Inferno Titan or the current crazy Timmy dragon du jour) to completely done, and unmyhtic to boot.



For people making this point: The purpose of taking trample off was to reduce the mana cost.  It was more playable post-bloodthirst interference, not less.
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That mythic dragon though, oh well. That change made it go from maybe playable (though I'd still doubt it over Inferno Titan or the current crazy Timmy dragon du jour) to completely done, and unmyhtic to boot.



For people making this point: The purpose of taking trample off was to reduce the mana cost.  It was more playable post-bloodthirst interference, not less.


Isn't it a moot point? At either seven or eight mana it just isn't going to be playable. Not compared to Inferno Titan. It has no ETB, so if it gets killed before it hits the opponent, you're down a card for nothing. Besides, it fills the role of finisher, and you don't really need bigger than a 6/6 for a finisher anyway, especially since the one we already have can throw in an extra three damage to the opponent in a pinch, making it 9 damage. With the first ETB that's twelve damage potential after the first attack, six of which can't be blocked, compared to a possible twelve which can be fully blocked and half the time will only be six anyway. In this instance the trample would help make it less bad, because the twelve wouldn't be fully blockable, but it's still not going to suddenly become constructed playable. Oh, this is all before you even realize that Bloodthirst wants a very agressive deck and thus by turn seven your opponent should be very much dead, and if he's not you're not going to change anything with your dragon because you've lost control of the game by then.

Of course, to be fair, it still wouldn't be playable even if Inferno Titan weren't around. Creatures whose only trait is "big" don't tend to be that valuable in constructed. They need to protect themselves or give some utility besides attacking.

That all said, this guy is solid Casual. He'll inspire stories. He's probably great in EDH. So he's not junk. He just didn't have a chance in Standard no matter what they did.
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Globus keeps talking about making a shark or a piranha in blue, but he's the only one who seems to like that idea so far."

Awww real shame it didn't make it =(

Because they don't make any sea creatures anymore that can't at least partially rise above the surface? Just an idea...



Which I think is a shame =(

I understand for major story parts like merfolk as an entire race, but I see no hurt in oddball singleton creatures once in a while.
Fantastic article Loved the "Rosewater syndrome"-narrating. I like the Dragon change, if nothing else because it'll get easier to fetch with a Birthing Pod which I find is a great thing to be able to with Bloodthirsty bombs. It might not be tournament-worthy but it's great fun.
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I liked the article. I just would've liked to come to know this week how Bloodthirst was chosen.

Yeah, I was hoping for info than the "We think it's simple and flavourful so it's appropriate for the core set" that I think they've mentioned a couple of times now.

I suspect the story just isn't that interesting.  They want to go "the other direction" from the control-favoiring Scry.  The list of aggressive or combat-centric mechanics isn't that long.  Landfall is too new.  Bushido and Ninjutsu both got better runs than Bloodthirst (and have creature type baggage, though IMHO that shouldn't stop them). Flanking is inferior to Bushido. Wither is fairly recent and too similar to Infect.

Maybe someone could have made a case for Hellbent, but Bloodthirst is more creatively useful and arguably more popular.



Bloodthirst is an easy choice, since R&D likes +1/+1 counters. This also works well with proliferate. It also supports the new creature tribe of choice - vampires and I think this is the main reason why it was chosen.

I wouldn't have chosen to skip scry however, since I don't think that an additional keyword is such a big issue. Ravnica was an all-time favorite and it had more new keywords than most other blocks at that time. It is the flavor that counts.


If I would have been on the design team,seeing the black/red bloodthirst would have made me feel guilty for the other colors and the one-off example in green doesn't make it better.


Scry is a wonderful keyword as it smoothens your gameplay, makes you less vulnerable to bad draws and it has an seemingly endless learning curve when it comes to "do I shuffle?". However how scry was introduced in M11 wasn't the best option, but rather "let's try and read the feedback before we decide to do this in the next core set". It was a testing mechanic.


Many other keywords are crap in terms of flavor or realization.


Flanking - you wouldn't expect a -1/-1 effect in white.
Bushido - a name that can't be reused.
Echo - the mana echoes, but that would be better on spells than on creatures, since the creature doesn't echo.
Kicker - flavorless but in most cases better than casting cost with X.
Landfall - a land that falls? No! "To make landfall" Yes, but how does this fit to additional effects?
Hellbent - more a naming template, not a mechanic. I bet this is better for another side-edition.
Intimidate - combat avoiding equals fun-avoiding


As you can see, there aren't many choices.


@ R&D:


I know bloodthirst is just the second step of a mechanic in a core set, but I want you to keep in mind that it isn't important of WHICH keywords you use, but rather how a color is being played. If they match too much, it doesn't really matter which keyword is used.


So before you search for the third keyword for M13 (or do you skip the 13?), rather start with a clear and VERY distinct color design. Does black focus on creatures? Does it work well with reanimation? All these questions should be answered first. Then start printing iconic commons, not necessarily creatures, but with an increadibly intense flavor. And then start to build around these cards. I promise you that this will lead to better results than choosing bloodthirst and then creating a Tormented Soul to fix/trigger it.


Dear god, Tom has caught Rosewater Abstract Anthropomorphization Syndrome.  We're doomed.




I think it worked just fine for this article.  I felt a little awkward about it, but I think it worked out just fine.  Personification helps a great deal in understanding esoteric concepts.


Oh, and for the poll, I wanted to say that I've been to a convention before, and I enjoy it, but I go to things more locally... and also I forgot I actually went to Trinoc Con in NC once (although that's not quite like GenCon because it's so much smaller, and I think it petered out too).

Intimidate - combat avoiding equals fun-avoiding

Er, say what? If anything, Intimidate is combat enabling.

Dear god, Tom has caught Rosewater Abstract Anthropomorphization Syndrome.  We're doomed.




I think it worked just fine for this article.  I felt a little awkward about it, but I think it worked out just fine.  Personification helps a great deal in understanding esoteric concepts.


Oh, and for the poll, I wanted to say that I've been to a convention before, and I enjoy it, but I go to things more locally... and also I forgot I actually went to Trinoc Con in NC once (although that's not quite like GenCon because it's so much smaller, and I think it petered out too).




I've never been to a gaming con before...

...Unless we really want to count Expo's...
Intimidate - combat avoiding equals fun-avoiding

Er, say what? If anything, Intimidate is combat enabling.



The combat he is referring to is creature vs creature combat.  If you have an effect that gets around your opponent's creatures then the ability is apparently not very fun.  What it is actually is fun for you and not fun for your opponent.

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The combat he is referring to is creature vs creature combat.  If you have an effect that gets around your opponent's creatures then the ability is apparently not very fun.  What it is actually is fun for you and not fun for your opponent.

So you're telling me any kind of evasion like Flying or Landwalk is actually bad and you'd rather have Limited games won by decking due to giant stalemates?
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