08/22/2011 MM: "State of Design 2011"

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This thread is for discussion of this week's Making Magic, which goes live Monday morning on magicthegathering.com.
Five loyalty abilities? Have they forgotten Jace already?
Five loyalty abilities? Have they forgotten Jace already?


Seeing as how the card was likely most of the way though development before Jace started becoming a BIG problem I'm going to say no. But yea, I'm hoping they were careful about what they gave the new walker. Also, since fitting all that text could be a problem my guess is they abilities are very straight forward and that might help keep it from being a super beating.

Anyway, in terms of design, I really enjoyed it. While it was only my first full year of playing I enjoyed watching the pieces come together as the block, and story, advanced. As such I'm looking forward to seeing how Innistrad's story will play out. Also, I love top-down design so I can already say that that is really getting me excited for the set.

One last thing; aren't large set previews only 3 weeks? By my math they wouldn't normally start until the week after next. I mean, last year previews started on the 6th, so what gives?
Guessing Time: I predict that the 5 ability planeswalker will actually be weak, since design will have overcompensated for the versatility it gives you.

To be honest, if the goal of Scars block was to make a war between factions, and to make me feel bad for the Mirrans. It failed.

The Phyrexians not only had better mechanics, but also had cooler stuff. They had tainted Mirran cards like Blightsteel collosus. The only thing the Mirrans had was the cycle of swords.

Next time you do a war between factions, maybe have two people, one per side, work on the set. That way both factions get cool stuff. Because Scars block was heavily tilted towards the Phyrexian side.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I'll be interested to see how Innistrad shapes up. The idea of a top-down block is pretty cool, and one based around horror is even cooler. My favorite block is Ravnica which is also heavily flavored and setting based.

… and then, the squirrels came.
Still, either way it probably won't be good, which makes me sad. I do like the look of Innistrad though, so long as they have not been too inspired by twilight. Also, straightforward abilities are not necessarily underpowered - see Jace's bounce/brainsorm abilities. 
As a player who hates Planeswalkers anyway (I prefer decks like pyromancer ascension), I'm really worried about this new 'walker and what it will do to the game. Though...

Garruk, the Defiled       3GB
-1: Destroy target enchantment
-2: Destroy target artifact
-3: Destroy target creature
-4: Destroy target land
-5: Destroy target planeswalker

                                         5

I don't think this would be too overpowered, necessarily. It's even possible that this is what it does. After all, there are five permanent types. Also, given the huge problems planeswalkers have already posed Wizards, I would be surprised if no card saying "destroy target planeswalker" shows up in Innistrad.
5 loyalty abilities?!


Mark, "discussion" is an understatement with a firestarter like that.



I guess the card art will only be enough for their head to pop up over the text box a la greater morphling.

Also, I nominate AWOL as the Un-card being printed. 
You'll forget you ever read this the minute you look away.
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88318561 wrote:
76783093 wrote:
there is nothing "epic" about a turn one victory. ever. or really any magic game, for that matter.
So this one time, I wanted to play a game of Magic with my friend, but he was in another country and neither of us had Magic Online. I hitchhiked my way to the coast, barely fending off hungry wildlife when I couldn't get a ride, nearly dying of thirst crossing deserts, and posoning myself half to death foraging for food. At one point, I was taken hostage by a group of kidnappers, only managing to escape after a week of careful planning thanks to careful application of a rusty spoon. Once I reached the coast, I had no money to buy a ticket across the ocean, so I built a boat using my own two hands, and spent months sailing across the waves, nearly losing my deck as I swam to the shore of a desert island in a storm after being capsized by an enormous wave. Nearly delusional after so long with no human contact (the notches I cut in the single tree to tell time had long since felled the thing) I was eventually rescued by a passing ship, where I was taken aboard as a crew member. We sailed around the world, seeing many exotic places and having great adventures, before we finally arrived at my friend's country. Once more I stumbled across a desolate landscape, riding on train or car when I could, and going on foot when I could not. Eventually, weary to the bone, seven years after I started my journey, I arrived at my friend's house, clutching my well-worn and weathered deck to my chest. We shuffled up our decks, I won the roll. Gleefully, I laid down my cards. Black Lotus. My friend looked quizzically at me, wondering what I was about to do. After so long, he no longer knew what deck I had brought with me to this game. Flash. A knowing smile appears on my friend's face as the knowledge slowly returns to him. Protean Hulk. My friend extends his hand, knowing the game is over before it even started. And finally, after so many trials, the sweet taste of victory is mine.
56866178 wrote:
108166749 wrote:
So no one else is upset with the stunt Wizards just pulled to drive sales?
Drive sales of what? Non-Jace, non-Mystic cards? I'm pretty sure people already own more than eight Magic cards. If you don't, I feel for you. Maybe you can trade those Stoneforge Mystics, which are still quite valuable, for some.
Ugh, not excited for the Five Ability Walker, I feel like only 1 of 2 things can happen:

1: Blatently overpowered much like Jace.

2: Simply disappointing considering it has 5 abilities...much like Sorin @ 6

Then again, I've loved Lily 1.0, Chandra 1.0 and Sorin and think walkers would be much better balanced at those sorts of levels....so maybe I'll be okay with the underwhelming option...
I have to say, this is by far the best of your State of Design articles. The highlights and 'failures' were far more specific and focused and even though I disagree minorly on a few points, you did an incredible job with this. Thanks.

And now I'm mainly wondering how the heck five abilities will fit on a card.
A five-ability planeswalker would have to be built inside very significant simplicity constraints. A regular, three-ability planeswalker already needs to have simple abilities (because it has three of them). Look at most planeswalkers, and you'll likely see that two or three of the card's abilities are among the simplest possible abilities.

With a five-ability planeswalker, the complexity of the card would have to be massively reduced, likely by making the abilities follow a pattern (or a few patterns). Without this, the card would probably be too complicated, even if it had five really basic abilities, like "Gain 3 life" and "draw a card". Also, such a simple-ability card would end up just being a list of unrelated abilities, rather than a cohesive card. I think Frommerman's card with five different "destroy target [type]" abilities is the kind of thing that would make sense here. It's very easily understandable and cohesive.

Also, I'm predicting that this planeswalker will be some species of pancake, as that's the only art that would fit into the narrow space left on the card.
The card being "reprinted" from an un-set is probably either AWOL (as someone else already said), Look at Me, I'm R&D, or Staying Power. They are the only cards I can see as being reprintable in standard. Personally, I'm rooting for R&D, though some way to really, permanently get rid of a creature for the rest of the game would be cool too. I just wonder how they would implement it, as it would require making another exile zone.
Okay...after all that melarky with Jace the Bank Sculptor, Innistrad's gonna have a planeswalker with five loyalty abilities??? I dunno about y'all, but that's REALLY overdoing things. Seriously. Keep the loyalty abilities at a cap of three from now on. Giving a 'walker so many abilities is not healthy for the game.
My guess is Look at Me, I'm R&D. Very few un-cards actually could migrate to black-bordered land, and that's one of three or four that can. And is certainly the most interesting, in my opinion.

As for Five Loyalty Man... I'm more curious to see how they fit that on the card than I am worried about any power concerns.

Now the next question I need to consider is with what will life totals be exhangeable... Planeswalker's Loyalty?
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Ah, the State of Design article is always an exciting thing to behold. I had a feeling Maro'd be giving the 2010/11 year 2.5/3, or one half short of perfect, from the start just because of Infect and its divisiveness (I'm one of the huge fans by the way).

If Innistrad previews weren't starting next week, I'd be feeling just super teased rather than giddily excited. Honestly, I can't imagine what the big controversial Mechanic X is going to be, or even be like, so great work on Wizards' part for creating a product progressively high in innovation and anticipation. I might be in the minority, but I, a longtime player, genuinely feel that Magic gets better and better every year in different ways and on so many different levels. Stage 5 is going to be a continued success for sure.
I am happy to see that Mark hit home on what was my greatest problem with the Scars of Mirrodin Block, the Mirrans. I did not feel like they got the treatment Phyrexia did, and I found that sad as a lover of artifacts. I did not think it really felt like Mirrodin. Hopefully the Innistrad tribes will be more balanced against each other than the Mirrans versus Phyrexians.

What I am curious about is the new block setup. Does this mean we can say goodbye to blocks with one central theme (like land or multicolor)? I can see the reasoning for doing this. Take Zendikar for example. If someone absolutely HATES the Land card type, they will probably feel a little isolated. This new method also allows them to reuse mechanics more frequently, as a block from now on is supposed to have multiple themes to create one big picture. So if they were to say... bring back Infect in Innistrad (I know they wont I am just using it as an example) then, since Infect was not the main focus of the Scars Block, it would allow your old decks to be expanded upon more without using up an entire year of Magic as a resource.

My only problem with this is if, with so many themes creating one big picture, there will be enough development of the themes a certain player likes throughout the block. For example, since Innistrad is graveyard based with a tribal theme as well, by the end of the block will the graveyard lovers be just as satisfied with the cards Wizards gave them to build with as the tribal lovers? I am hoping the answer is yes, and if it is I will be happy with this new block setup.

As far as those Innistrad tips go I wonder how many tokens that card will make? As far as I know, them most tokens that a card has ever made is twelve (Conqueror's Pledge) but I haven't taken the time to look. A card that wins you the game by losing the game? Funny thing. I was just looking at the final rounds of the Great Designer Search today and remember seeing a card that said "You win the game if your life total is less than 0." I wonder if we will actually get it?

Hopefully this new Five Ability Planeswalker wont turn out like the last time we got an extra ability planeswalker (gives Jace, the Mind Sculptor the evil eye). I kind of hope that it is either just average power level or cost like [10] mana. This game has to many overpowered mythics already.

Anyways, can't wait to see how Innistrad comes out! I haven't been this excited for a fall set since... Scars of Mirrodin
Five-ability planeswalker will be Liliana, almost certainly.

I don't think the uncard will be AWOL. Unless Pull from Eternity is being reprinted, it wouldn't really mean anything. I'd say Staying Power or Look At Me, I'm R&D are the most likely candidates that haven't already been black-borderified.

I believe Conqueror's Pledge is the current token-making champion at twelve tokens; what with the set's themes, I'm guessing that the new one will make exactly thirteen.

I'm guessing the life-total exchanger will exchange with a planeswaler's loyalty.

Edit: Thread is full of ninjas. Ninjas that have the same opinions on what uncards could be printed, apparently.
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And the new life total exchange?

Life Total Exchanger   3BB
Enchantment

Sacrifice a creature: Your life total becomes the sacrificed creature's toughness.


Eventually, you would run out of creatures to sac, so I don't think this would be terribly broken. Also, this way, sacing a titan would not save you from a 7-point fireball.
Okay regardless of how good or bad this five ability walker is going in this direction just seems bad for the standard environment.  Thats too much versatitlity on a card type that is notoriously difficult to deal with.
sigh, Zendikar was not really a land block, it was a "landfall block". The lands themselves, once in play, did relatively little. Prophecy was more land focused if you take out landfall, and maybe even then.
Emeria, the Sky Ruin? Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle? The manlands? Eye of Ugin? These do "relatively little" while in play?
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I love preview time. I really do. I have been salivating for Innistrad previews since M12 previews wrapped up. (I'm going to say it here incase I forget to say it where necessary, these are all based on gut instinct more than anything else.)

I hate teasers like the 3rd goal. I'm going to go crazy before Saturday...what could the mechanic be? My guess? Suspend. 

As for predictions based on those final teases...
-A card based on a silver-bordered white card
Well there was already 1 time... My guess would be: Either Look At Me I'm the DCI or Once More with Feeling. They seem the least problematic.

-A token-making sorcery which makes more creature tokens than any previous token-making spell (not counting X spells or spells that make a variable number)
As far as I can tell the highest number of tokens put into play by a spell is 6, there are others with far greater potential, but the highest integer (ok, it's written out, but it counts) is that one. So, I wonder how many it's going to be? 7+ clearly, but...how many exactly? I'm calling 10 because I like 10.

-An enchantment that could let you play all your creatures for free
I expect it will be green. In fact, I'd be rather disappointed if it was anything but.

-A spell that can deal 13 damage to multiple creatures for one mana (and yes, I mean 13 damage multiple times)
The 1 mana 13 damage card I anticipate being a red spell (fairly obvious) based on the number of somethings that you control, probably creatures. Obvious? Yeah, but I could see it working. Could it be? Maybe they're making a new version of it?

Many—and I'm talking more than a few—cards inspired by famous horror stories
Anyone have a Bros Grim anthology I can borrow? I'm guessing a few of those.

A card that turns a loss into a win
Like making it so that you're life total of 0 doesn't matter?

A two-mana creature that lets you make a 2/2 creature each turn for two mana
Wolves. I'm hoping like crazy for wolves.

A card that lets you exchange your life total with something you've never been able to exchange it with before
They've done cards and mana (I think). What haven't they done?

A planeswalker with five loyalty abilities
 5 loyalty abilities? FIVE? My guess? A new Nicol Bolas. Why? Instinct. Gut Reaction. It makes sense in my head. I think he's savage enough to do it, unless of course it's a completely new one. If it is, I'd be rather disappointed since I like Nicol Bolas now...
And there's the Creepy Doll That always follows you It's got a ruined eye That's always open And there's a Creepy Doll That always follows you It's got a pretty mouth To swallow you whole
Emeria, the Sky Ruin? Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle? The manlands? Eye of Ugin? These do "relatively little" while in play?



I'll definitely give you the good manland cycle, but most sets have a few good non-basics. Maybe I was a bit hyperbolic, but I stand by the stance that the vast majority of Zen's 'landiness' came from one mechanic and full art basics.

Back on topic, I agree that the Mirrans just felt really bland, but to be fair I was never a huge fan of the setting the first time around either, and there certainly was a sense of progression even if the end result was extremely telegraphed. My larger disagreement is with the second goal. I did not get a good nostalgia vibe from this set. Part of it may be that, as siad, I never loved Mirrodin 1.0, but mostly a lot of the nostalgic designs seemed quite inelegant. Half of them just tacked infect on an iconic card (sometimes not even changing the mana cost) while others like Obliterator just were taking a good card and making it all upside, whihc in many cases went against what made the original so interesting.

Still, super-pumped for Innistrad.
A few wild guesses:

A card based on a silver-bordered white card


My guess is Staying Power.  MaRo said that he tried several times to get it into a real set before putting it in Unhinged, and I'm sure he would try again if they figured out how to make it work within the rules.

A spell that can deal 13 damage to multiple creatures for one mana (and yes, I mean 13 damage multiple times)


Probably some kind of variant on Firestorm.

A card that lets you exchange your life total with something you've never been able to exchange it with before


My guess is the number of cards in your library.

A planeswalker with five loyalty abilities


Five abilities most likely indicate that either (a) JTMS wasn't broken/expensive (in dollars) enough, or (b) the abilities somehow correspond to the five colors.  My first thought was a five-color planeswalker with an ability corresponding to each of the Alpha "boons", but I don't know of any five-color planeswalkers in the story (then again, I haven't been paying that much attention).  Perhaps it could be some kind of "mad scientist" planeswalker with an ability that gives a different bonus to a creature of each color (e. g., "Target white creature gets +1/+3 and gains vigilance until end of turn").
This was definitely the best State of Design yet. Honesty about shortcomings is key to making the (well-deserved) praise feel more genuine. The triple-Scars draft environment and the unfortunate printing of Dismember were some of the exact right things to nitpick, in my view.

I don't like planeswalkers, but will withhold judgment of the five-ability concept until I see what the abilities are. They are certainly swimming upstream to get players to like it right now, given recent events.

Also, everyone listing exact Un-cards missed the "based on" language. Staying Power is still the best guess for the card he's referring to, though.

The life exchange is almost certainly letting you swap with the loyalty on a planeswalker. Odds are it will be a blue card if it's powerful, with a chance of black or white if it's weak. It could conceivably be very good if it brings about easy ultimate abilities.
I'm not sure how much I like the new direction MTG is going in. I loved the 3rd state on principle, but I enjoyed playing the 4th state much more. The 5th state seems to be moving further away from "Here's a new vein of design to explore!" to "Stories and flavour and maybe something interesting mechanical!" I'm still waiting for an Enchantment block, and I'm kind of disappointed that Innistrad doesn't seem to be pushing graveyard mechanics in new directions.

I think the new state of design certainly favours people who like to play MTG a lot and are looking for variety, and that does describe me. I'll have to play it first, but I worry that sets like Innistrad will be fast food and not leave much of a legacy for the future.   

 
  In truth, they were destined to fail, but rather than be honest about it, Wizards purposefully put forward the "which side will win?" ads and story placements. If that was a goal, it failed.




It's as manipulative as any book, T.V. show, or movie. If the Scars saga managed to turn your TvTropes spider sense off, then I'd say that's a success. Of course, I'm hyper-sensitive to these things, and being in the dark over it was a pleasant surprise.    

"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

Five-ability planeswalker will be Liliana, almost certainly.

I don't think the uncard will be AWOL. Unless Pull from Eternity is being reprinted, it wouldn't really mean anything. I'd say Staying Power or Look At Me, I'm R&D are the most likely candidates that haven't already been black-borderified.

I believe Conqueror's Pledge is the current token-making champion at twelve tokens; what with the set's themes, I'm guessing that the new one will make exactly thirteen.

I'm guessing the life-total exchanger will exchange with a planeswaler's loyalty.

Edit: Thread is full of ninjas. Ninjas that have the same opinions on what uncards could be printed, apparently.


Re: Ninjas  Sealed I was thinking the same thing. I started my post when the most recent was #7... and wound up at #15.

I think you're most certainly right on the token producer being thirteen. That, plus the one-mana-13-damage thing would seem to imply they're probably going to have a 13-matters cycle or subtheme. Which would be awesome.
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So how does this new, 5th stage, differ from the 2nd stage, with sets like Weatherlight or Tempest block that were more story based than ability based. Sounds to me like R&D just decided that players prefer a story over raw mechanics. As any Hack 'n slash/ARPG'er could have told them, the story IS the game.
-A card based on a silver-bordered white card
Well there was already 1 time... My guess would be: Either Look At Me I'm the DCI or Once More with Feeling. They seem the least problematic.


Actually, Once More With Feeling was already printed, they just made it a blue card.
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The spoiler-spoilers were pretty nifty. Here are my thoughts:

1. Silver bordered card - I just get the feeling it's Staying Power. It won't be a carbon copy due to how much that'd screw with the rules, but looking through the white cards it seems like one that would fit the set ('eternal'), and is a mechanic that'd be new and interesting.

2. Yep, it'll make more tokens. The spell will either be really expensive, or the tokens will have a massive drawback like being 0/1s or 3/0s or something. =P

3. It'll be interesting, and yeah, it should be green. Probably some sort of Hunting Grounds type thing.

4. I expect some major drawback or casting restriction, like "you may only cast this spell if you have 10 or more cards in your graveyard" or something. Nothing that sounds so good can come cheap and easy!

5. Could've expected that. Zombies will probably be big - yay!

6. This loss-into-win I have high hopes for, as I'm a Spike splash Johnny, so I love these quirky combo-esque style things. I feel it'll be an enchantment or artifact to prevent it from being too powerful (if it were an instant your opponent could get pranked something fierce). Probably an permanent that says "if you would lose the game, each of your opponents loses the game instead". Though that too would be very abusable with phyrexian mana. I'm really excited about what it could be though!

7. Zombies are typically 2/2, and will almost certainly be around, so it's probably something to do with them.

8. How can you exchange your life total with anything other than a life total? If they mean pay your life into something, then... planeswalker loyalty? Milling? *Shrug*

9. Five abilities sounds like it'll either be extremely overpowered and every deck will run it (like with Jace, the Mind Sculptor), or at least 2 of the abilities will be pathetic 'tack ons' that don't do anything. It'd be interesting to see a walker with 2 ultimates though, so you can pick your poison. Pretty sure Liliana's gonna be back, but I don't like her enough to see her with 5 abilities. A green and black walker though... that'd be pretty sweet. 
I'm all about super-control in MTG. If you're able to stop my shenanigans, then there aren't enough shenanigans. Lv 1 Judge Current Decklists Sweeping Beauty (Casual) A Vision of Clones (Casual) Coming soon... more decks! :-O
Let's play the guessing game!

Show





A card based on a silver-bordered white card

I'm going to guess Little Girl. After all, horror movies need their victims too...

A token-making sorcery which makes more creature tokens than any previous token-making spell (not counting X spells or spells that make a variable number)

Hmm... largest non-variable non-creature spell seems to be Skittering Invasion with 5, and if you include creatures it goes up to 7 with Symbiotic Wurm. I'll guess a massive demon who gives the tokens to your opponent.
 
An enchantment that could let you play all your creatures for free

...if by free you mean paying life instead of mana, or sacrificing cards from your library to pay the CMC.

A spell that can deal 13 damage to multiple creatures for one mana (and yes, I mean 13 damage multiple times)

Equivalent exchange - you do the damage to one of yours, and you get to do it to someone elses too.

Many—and I'm talking more than a few—cards inspired by famous horror stories

"And that's how much it'll cost to send Maggie to college."
Seriously, though, I'll be shocked if we don't see a variant or renamed reprint of Frankenstein's Monster, some more witches, and at least one shapeshifter.

A card that turns a loss into a win

You win if there are no cards in your library and you have to draw? No clue.

A two-mana creature that lets you make a 2/2 creature each turn for two mana

Obvious choice would be a werewolf, I think.

A card that lets you exchange your life total with something you've never been able to exchange it with before

We've done another player's life total, the number of creatures you control, the number of cards in your library, the number of non-token permanents you have. I'll guess this one is the number of cards in your graveyard.

And the new 'walker? I'll guess Garruk, where the +loyalty abilities actually hurt you in some way, and the -loyalty ones are pretty powerful.

So how does this new, 5th stage, differ from the 2nd stage, with sets like Weatherlight or Tempest block that were more story based than ability based.

All this means is that we're getting more "Bushido" abilities which do very simple things, but can't really be reused because of unnecessarily forced flavor.
As any Hack 'n slash/ARPG'er could have told them, the story IS the game.

Story and fluff are superfluous in MTG.  The cards themselves ARE the game, while the story is tossed aside and replaced every year.
So how does this new, 5th stage, differ from the 2nd stage, with sets like Weatherlight or Tempest block that were more story based than ability based. Sounds to me like R&D just decided that players prefer a story over raw mechanics. As any Hack 'n slash/ARPG'er could have told them, the story IS the game.




In D&D terms, the 2nd stage rolled up an OP broken spellcaster, and then justified his twink-dom with background afterwards. The 5th stage set up the background and personality first, then found mechanics to express them.    

"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

I went to the MBS prerelease with "Mirran Faction" and "We will endure" written on my arms. I didn't think that the players would ultimately decide who won the war, but I didn't know who was going to win. It was fun to pick a side while there was still a chance that my side would win it.

One way to do a five ability walker without making him too complex in play is give him two ultimates. Since ultimates rarely go off, you can ignore them most of the time.

If they do reprint Look at Me, I'm the DCI I hope they keep the same art and flavor text.
I wonder if the new card could be based off Cheap Ass though - every second spell you cast costs 1 less to cast or something.    
I may be in the minority amongst hard-core MTG players (mostly because I haven't been around all that long) but I loved the Scars Block, including the Pick a Side theme.  For me, Mirrodin has a very special place in my heart because it's the first set I experienced as a player from the beginning. (I started playing just before Scourge was released.)  So for me, the second the set was announced they had me.  When the pick a side part of the set began, I was completely behind the Mirran. It was a battle of Good vs. Evil... the underdog vs. favourite, District 5 vs. the Hawks.  And when the final block shenanigans began, I was still sure that my plucky Mirran were going to come out on top. And then, I find out that we lost.  it was very sad, because with Mirrodin being wiped out, an important part of my history playing Magic was (to a certain extent) erased. (And I still want to know what the heck the plane where Llorwyn/Shadowmoor block took place is called after the storyline was resolved. So, I'm that guy.)

But I never thought that I failed because Mirrodin was taken over by the Phyrexians. Obviously the block had already been designed, developed and heck, probably even printed well before I planted my flag in Camp Mirran.  I was invested in the war, but I didn't feel responsible for the outcome.

And as for Innistrad, I'm sure that the people who are making Magic are not the kind of person who would have a horror themed block inpired by elements of the Twilight series.  There were vampires and werewolves long before Bella's heart was stuck between a fang and a furry place.  So bring on all the things that go bump in the night and thier newfangled 5-ability planeswalker.  I'm ready!  (All though I am a touch nervous about that last part.)
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I can't wait to see what Mechanic X is.  If I had to guess, perhaps they will be adding some sort of a day / night cycle to the game?

Innistrad is a set based entirely off of the Horror Genre right?  Well when I think of the Horror Genre, I think of creatures like Werewolves which transform from Human into Beast with the onset of Night.  Lycanthropes aren't the only ones either, there's a lot of these sorts of creatures which are either more active or more powerful during the day or the night.

It definitely would possibly be controvercial, but it definitely would be interesting.  Maybe a Red Vampire with Haste that you have to sacrifice when day arrives?  Ghosts which are cheaper to cast when it's night?  Monster-Hunting villagers who lose their confidence in their slaying abillities when their targets are awake and active?  I dunno, it makes sense to me, and it seems like the sort of mechanic that would go into a flavor heavy set like this.


•A card based on a silver-bordered white card
•A token-making sorcery which makes more creature tokens than any previous token-making spell (not counting X spells or spells that make a variable number)
•An enchantment that could let you play all your creatures for free
•A spell that can deal 13 damage to multiple creatures for one mana (and yes, I mean 13 damage multiple times)
•Many—and I'm talking more than a few—cards inspired by famous horror stories
•A card that turns a loss into a win
•A two-mana creature that lets you make a 2/2 creature each turn for two mana
•A card that lets you exchange your life total with something you've never been able to exchange it with before


My thoughts...

A card based on a silver-bordered white card

pretty limited regarding what it can be:


The ones I think it can't/won't be... and why

probably not these

Ass Whuppin' - already exists (vindicate)
Atinlay Igpay - ability based on how you talk... so I am guessing no.
AWOL - Many variants of this card already exist (white instant destroying/exiling an attacker)
Bosom Buddy - based on word counting
Cardpecker - Gotcha! card
Charm School - Physical challenge card
Cheap Ass - uses 1/2 mana; CC reducer variants already exist.
Circle of Protection: Art  - circles already exist.
Collector Protector - Involves changing ownership of cards.
Drawn Together - art-based; "team-boosting" effects such as Honor of the Pure already exist.
Erase (Not the Urza's Legacy One) - white instants destroying enchantments already exist.
Fascist Art Director - Art-based
Frankie Peanuts - can't see how you would turn this into a card which isnt' completely bah-roken!
Head to Head - I suppose we could see a variant of vexing arcanix/cursed scroll type effects, but using top card of library seems a little weak mechanically. I think this is pretty unlikely...
Knight of the Hokey Pokey - Physical challenge card
Ladies' Knight - CC reducer variants already exist.
Lexivore Daniel - word count based card but could be easily modified to CMC/Power/toughness etc.
Little Girl - I'm thinking no.
Look at Me, I'm R&D  - I think we are very, very unlikely to see a number replacement effect...
Look at Me, I'm the DCI - variants on this spell already exist (Memoricide, Meddling mage etc)
Man of Measure - Physical challenge card
Meddling Kids - Grown-up version Already exists as Gaddock Teeg
Mesa Chicken - Physical challenge card
Miss Demeanor - Physical challenge card
Prismatic Wardrobe - Physical challenge card
Save Life - Gotcha! card
Sex Appeal - we already have healing salve.
Standing Army - Physical challenge card
Staying Power - Can't see how this isn't completely broken given the existence of Angel's Grace. I don't think it can be printed, but who knows?
The Cheese Stands Alone - Variants of this already exist... Barren Glory for example
Wordmail - Word-count based card.

Which leaves these possiblities:
Double Dip - we could see a lifegain card with an additional effect at the start of the next game... Would need a rules modification, but is possible.
Emcee - Essentially a physical challenge card. However, we could see a return of a cycle such as Bramblewood paragon which give certain creatures +1/+1 tokens when they enter the battlefield.
First Come, First Served - based on collector numbers, but could be easily modified to some other game value such as CMC, power, or toughness.
Get a Life - life swapping effects aren't really new, but I guess this is possible. Also Maro spoiled that there would be a life swapper in the set.
I'm Rubber, You're Glue - I suppose We could see a "redirect" effect on an enchantment for spells targeting the player controlling the enchantment.
Once More with Feeling - we might see this effect... especially given that we've seen the ultimate on the Karn planeswalker, which suggests these sort of "game reset" effects are still on the radar for R&D... Not sure about the casting cost though.


 


White un-set cards

Name:  Ass Whuppin' 
Cost:  1WB 
Type:  Sorcery 
Pow/Tgh:  
Rules Text:  Destroy target silver-bordered permanent in any game you can see from your seat. 
Set/Rarity:  Unhinged Rare 


 
Name:  Atinlay Igpay 
Cost:  5W 
Type:  Eaturecray — Igpay 
Pow/Tgh:  (3/3) 
Rules Text:  Oubleday ikestray
Eneverwhay Atinlay Igpay's ontrollercay eaksspay ay onnay-Igpay-Atinlay ordway, acrificesay Atinlay Igpay. 
Set/Rarity:  Unhinged Uncommon 


 
Name:  AWOL 
Cost:  2W 
Type:  Instant 
Pow/Tgh:  
Rules Text:  Remove target attacking creature from the game. Then remove it from the removed-from-game zone and put it into the absolutely-removed-from-the-freaking-game-forever zone. 
Set/Rarity:  Unhinged Common 


 
Name:  Bosom Buddy 
Cost:  3W 
Type:  Creature — Elephant Townsfolk 
Pow/Tgh:  (1/4) 
Rules Text:  Whenever you play a spell, you may gain {1/2} life for each word in that spell's name. 
Set/Rarity:  Unhinged Uncommon 


 
Name:  Cardpecker 
Cost:  1W 
Type:  Creature — Bird 
Pow/Tgh:  (1{1/2}/1) 
Rules Text:  Flying
Gotcha Whenever an opponent touches the table with his or her hand, you may say "Gotcha" If you do, return Cardpecker from your graveyard to your hand. 
Set/Rarity:  Unhinged Common 


 
Name:  Charm School 
Cost:  2W 
Type:  Enchant Player 
Pow/Tgh:  
Rules Text:  When Charm School comes into play, choose a color and balance Charm School on your head.
Prevent all damage to you of the chosen color.
If Charm School falls off your head, sacrifice Charm School. 
Set/Rarity:  Unglued Uncommon 


 
Name:  Cheap Ass 
Cost:  1W 
Type:  Creature — Donkey Townsfolk 
Pow/Tgh:  (1/3{1/2}) 
Rules Text:  Spells you play cost {o{1/2}} less to play. 
Set/Rarity:  Unhinged Common 


 
Name:  Circle of Protection: Art 
Cost:  1W 
Type:  Enchantment 
Pow/Tgh:  
Rules Text:  As Circle of Protection: Art comes into play, choose an artist.
{1W}: The next time a source of your choice by the chosen artist would deal damage to you this turn, prevent that damage.
{1W}: Return Circle of Protection: Art to its owner's hand. 
Set/Rarity:  Unhinged Common 


 
Name:  Collector Protector 
Cost:  3WW 
Type:  Creature — Human Gamer 
Pow/Tgh:  (2/5) 
Rules Text:  {W}, Give an opponent a nonland card you own from outside the game: Prevent the next 1 damage that would be dealt to you or Collector Protector this turn. 
Set/Rarity:  Unhinged Rare 


 
Name:  Double Dip 
Cost:  4W 
Type:  Instant 
Pow/Tgh:  
Rules Text:  Choose another player. Gain 5 life now and an additional 5 life at the beginning of the next game with that player. 
Set/Rarity:  Unglued Common 


 
Name:  Drawn Together 
Cost:  2WW 
Type:  Enchantment 
Pow/Tgh:  
Rules Text:  As Drawn Together comes into play, choose an artist.
Creatures by the chosen artist get +2/+2. 
Set/Rarity:  Unhinged Rare 


 
Name:  Emcee 
Cost:  2W 
Type:  Creature — Human Rogue 
Pow/Tgh:  (0/1) 
Rules Text:  Whenever another creature comes into play, you may stand up and say in a deep, booming voice "Presenting . . . " and that creature's name. If you do, put a +1/+1 counter on that creature. 
Set/Rarity:  Unhinged Uncommon 


 
Name:  Erase (Not the Urza's Legacy One) 
Cost:  2W 
Type:  Instant 
Pow/Tgh:  
Rules Text:  If you control two or more white permanents that share an artist, you may play Erase (Not the Urza's Legacy One) without paying its mana cost.
Remove target enchantment from the game. 
Set/Rarity:  Unhinged Common 


 
Name:  Fascist Art Director 
Cost:  1WW 
Type:  Creature — Human Horror 
Pow/Tgh:  (2/2) 
Rules Text:  {WW}: Fascist Art Director gains protection from the artist of your choice until end of turn.. 
Set/Rarity:  Unhinged Common 


 
Name:  First Come, First Served 
Cost:  1W 
Type:  Enchantment 
Pow/Tgh:  
Rules Text:  The attacking or blocking creature with the lowest collector number has first strike. If two or more creatures are tied, they all have first strike. 
Set/Rarity:  Unhinged Uncommon 


 
Name:  Frankie Peanuts 
Cost:  2WW 
Type:  Legendary Creature — Elephant Rogue 
Pow/Tgh:  (2/3) 
Rules Text:  At the beginning of your upkeep, you may ask target player a yes-or-no question. If you do, that player answers the question truthfully and abides by that answer if able until end of turn. 
Set/Rarity:  Unhinged Rare 


 
Name:  Get a Life 
Cost:  W 
Type:  Instant 
Pow/Tgh:  
Rules Text:  Target player and each of his or her teammates exchange life totals. 
Set/Rarity:  Unglued Uncommon 


 
Name:  Head to Head 
Cost:  W 
Type:  Instant 
Pow/Tgh:  
Rules Text:  You and target opponent play Seven Questions about the top card of that player's library. (That player looks at the card, then you ask up to six yes-or-no questions about the card that he or she answers truthfully. You guess the card's name—that's question seven—and the player reveals the card.) If you win, prevent all damage that would be dealt this turn by a source of your choice. 
Set/Rarity:  Unhinged Uncommon 


 
Name:  I'm Rubber, You're Glue 
Cost:  WW 
Type:  Enchantment 
Pow/Tgh:  
Rules Text:  Speak only in rhyming sentences. If you do not, sacrifice I'm Rubber, You're Glue.
Say "I'm rubber, you're glue. Everything bounces off me and sticks to you": Target spell or ability, which targets only you, targets another player of your choice instead. (The new target must be legal.) 
Set/Rarity:  Unglued Rare 


 
Name:  Knight of the Hokey Pokey 
Cost:  WW 
Type:  Summon — Knight 
Pow/Tgh:  (2/2) 
Rules Text:  First strike
o1oW, Do the Hokey Pokey (Stand up, wiggle your butt, raise your hands above your head, and shake them wildly as you rotate 360 degrees): Prevent all damage to Knight of the Hokey Pokey from any one source. 
Set/Rarity:  Unglued Common 


 
Name:  Ladies' Knight 
Cost:  3W 
Type:  Creature — Human Knight 
Pow/Tgh:  (2/2) 
Rules Text:  Flying
Spells that players wearing at least one item of women's clothing play cost {1} less to play. (Women's clothing is designed to be worn exclusively by women.) 
Set/Rarity:  Unhinged Uncommon 


 
Name:  Lexivore 
Cost:  3W 
Type:  Summon — Beast 
Pow/Tgh:  (2/3) 
Rules Text:  If Lexivore damages any player, destroy target card in play, other than Lexivore, with the most lines of text in its text box. (If more than one card has the most lines of text, you choose which of those cards to destroy.) 
Set/Rarity:  Unglued Uncommon 


 
Name:  Little Girl 
Cost:  500 
Type:  Creature — Human Child 
Pow/Tgh:  ({1/2}/{1/2}) 
Rules Text:  
Set/Rarity:  Unhinged Common 


 
Name:  Look at Me, I'm R&D 
Cost:  2W 
Type:  Enchantment 
Pow/Tgh:  
Rules Text:  As Look at Me, I'm R&D comes into play, choose a number and a second number one higher or one lower than that number.
All instances of the first chosen number on permanents, spells, and cards in any zone are the second chosen number. 
Set/Rarity:  Unhinged Rare 


 
Name:  Look at Me, I'm the DCI 
Cost:  5WW 
Type:  Sorcery 
Pow/Tgh:  
Rules Text:  Ban one card, other than a basic land, for the remainder of the match. (For the remainder of the match, each player removes from the game all copies of that card in play or in any graveyard, hand, library, or sideboard.) 
Set/Rarity:  Unglued Rare 


 
Name:  Man of Measure 
Cost:  1WW 
Type:  Creature — Human Knight 
Pow/Tgh:  (2/2) 
Rules Text:  As long as you're shorter than an opponent, Man of Measure has first strike and gets +0/+1.
As long as you're taller than an opponent, Man of Measure gets +1/+0. 
Set/Rarity:  Unhinged Common 


 
Name:  Meddling Kids 
Cost:  2WU 
Type:  Creature — Human Child 
Pow/Tgh:  (2/3) 
Rules Text:  As Meddling Kids comes into play, choose a word with four or more letters.
Nonland cards with the chosen word in their text box can't be played. 
Set/Rarity:  Unhinged Rare 


 
Name:  Mesa Chicken 
Cost:  WW 
Type:  Summon — Chicken 
Pow/Tgh:  (2/2) 
Rules Text:  Stand up, Flap your arms, Cluck like a chicken: Mesa Chicken gains flying until end of turn. 
Set/Rarity:  Unglued Common 


 
Name:  Miss Demeanor 
Cost:  3W 
Type:  Summon — Lady of Proper Etiquette 
Pow/Tgh:  (3/1) 
Rules Text:  Flying, first strike
During each other player's turn, compliment that player on his or her game play or sacrifice Miss Demeanor. 
Set/Rarity:  Unglued Uncommon 


 
Name:  Once More with Feeling 
Cost:  WWWW 
Type:  Sorcery 
Pow/Tgh:  
Rules Text:  Remove Once More with Feeling from the game as well as all cards in play and in all graveyards. Each player shuffles his or her hand into her or his library, then draws seven cards. Each player's life total is set to 10.
DCI ruling: This card is restricted. (You cannot play with more than one in a deck.) 
Set/Rarity:  Unglued Rare 


 
Name:  Prismatic Wardrobe 
Cost:  W 
Type:  Sorcery 
Pow/Tgh:  
Rules Text:  Destroy target card that does not share a color with clothing worn by its controller. You cannot choose an artifact or land card. 
Set/Rarity:  Unglued Common 


 
Name:  Save Life 
Cost:  W 
Type:  Instant 
Pow/Tgh:  
Rules Text:  Choose one Target player gains 2{1/2} life; or prevent the next 2{1/2} damage that would be dealt to target creature this turn.
Gotcha Whenever an opponent says "Save" or "Life," you may say "Gotcha" If you do, return Save Life from your graveyard to your hand. 
Set/Rarity:  Unhinged Uncommon 


 
Name:  Sex Appeal 
Cost:  W 
Type:  Instant 
Pow/Tgh:  
Rules Text:  Prevent up to 3 damage total to any number of creatures and/or players. If there are more players in the room of the opposite sex, prevent up to 3 additional damage total to any number of creatures and/or players. 
Set/Rarity:  Unglued Common 


 
Name:  Standing Army 
Cost:  2WW 
Type:  Creature — Human Soldier 
Pow/Tgh:  (2/4) 
Rules Text:  As long as you're standing, Standing Army has vigilance. (Attacking doesn't cause it to tap.) 
Set/Rarity:  Unhinged Common 


 
Name:  Staying Power 
Cost:  2W 
Type:  Enchantment 
Pow/Tgh:  
Rules Text:  As long as Staying Power is in play, "until end of turn" and "this turn" effects don't end. 
Set/Rarity:  Unhinged Rare 


 
Name:  The Cheese Stands Alone 
Cost:  4WW 
Type:  Enchantment 
Pow/Tgh:  
Rules Text:  If you control no cards in play other than The Cheese Stands Alone and have no cards in your hand, you win the game. 
Set/Rarity:  Unglued Rare 


 
Name:  Wordmail 
Cost:  W 
Type:  Enchant Creature 
Pow/Tgh:  
Rules Text:  Enchanted creature gets +1/+1 for each word in its name. 
Set/Rarity:  Unhinged Common 





An enchantment that could let you play all your creatures for free

*could*. Of course it will depend on the condition.
Plus, Aluren already exists...

A spell that can deal 13 damage to multiple creatures for one mana (and yes, I mean 13 damage multiple times)

Unlucky-13 (Sorcery)
As an additional cost to cast (cardname), sacrifice 13 creatures (or 13 power worth of creatures, or some variant thereof). Deal 13 damage to any number of target creatures (or some variant thereof).

Not that hard to see that this spell will involve some pretty hefty sacrifice and/or discard cost. Am betting that it is black.


Many—and I'm talking more than a few—cards inspired by famous horror stories

We already have Frankenstein's monster, and Dracula is a little too obvious.
Werewolves and lycanthropes more generally are the biggest untapped part of the horror genre for Magic (notwithstanding the mini were-rat theme in Kamigawa block)

A card that turns a loss into a win

Interesting. I wonder how this will be worded. Perhaps Something like "if a spell or effect an opponent controls would would cause you to lose the game this turn, your opponent loses instead"?


A card that lets you exchange your life total with something you've never been able to exchange it with before

Number of lands/creatures/enchantments/artifacts/ on the battlefield... I'm guessing lands, but who knows.
M:tG Rules Adviser
hmm..
I can't wait to see what Mechanic X is.  If I had to guess, perhaps they will be adding some sort of a day / night cycle to the game?

It would be entirely trivial to add a "it's daytime" / "hey! it's night now!" mechanic, but it would do nothing but add baggage when it's not doing anything, and/or end up creating another "graveyard order" mess.

I'd guess a day/night mechanic will look something like Homarid, but hopefully less convoluted.
Re: drafting infect.

This is not a prisoner's dilemma (www.youtube.com/watch?v=IotsMu1J8fA). In a prisoner's dilemma, you want to play a particular strategy regardless of what the other players are doing. It appears the dynamic is more like a game of chicken (www.youtube.com/watch?v=sww-Zsl0IRY). There is a better strategy (drafting infect) but if a lot of people do it, then everyone who does is screwed.
call me dumb for reading what i wanted there. I skimmed over the fact that all of this will be inn the first block. If it wasn't for that fact, I'd stand by my prediction of bolas having 5 abilities. I think he could make sense in this set though, in the 3rd block.

Also: "Three things about my teasers today - 1) I didn't tell you everything, 2) Trust us and 3) Innistrad is going to rock!" (From MaRo's twitter feed)
And there's the Creepy Doll That always follows you It's got a ruined eye That's always open And there's a Creepy Doll That always follows you It's got a pretty mouth To swallow you whole
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