12/05/2011 Feature Article: "Taming the Beast"

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This thread is for this week's feature article, which will go live Monday morning on magicthegathering.com.

Rose agreed: "A lot of times what will happen is that the set will come out, and a month later a really good concept will appear that we didn't think of. But then there'll be a concept that we thought of and playtested that the players won't find for another month or two. We do this by discovering a card, pricing it at four mana, realizing it's broken at four mana, and then weakening it a little so it's not so obvious. But we still know it's out there."

Rosewater noted that there's one of these subtly broken cards in Tempest—but he wouldn't say which card. Players will just have to find out on their own.




So what was it? =)


The next large expansion, codenamed "Armadillo," is already in design (with, of course, new mechanics), and the environment that will tie the set and the cycle together is being planned by the creative team. Beyond that, there has already been discussion of the setting of the large expansion scheduled for release in the fall of 1999. It's safe to assume these expansions will once again take the Magic world in an entirely new direction. Get your whips ready, because these 300-plus card beasts will be tough to tame.





It's kinda funny in retrospect, considering that he was talking about Urza Block. That Beast wasn't as much for the players to tame as it was for Wizards.

Rose agreed: "A lot of times what will happen is that the set will come out, and a month later a really good concept will appear that we didn't think of. But then there'll be a concept that we thought of and playtested that the players won't find for another month or two. We do this by discovering a card, pricing it at four mana, realizing it's broken at four mana, and then weakening it a little so it's not so obvious. But we still know it's out there."

Rosewater noted that there's one of these subtly broken cards in Tempest—but he wouldn't say which card. Players will just have to find out on their own.




So what was it? =)



Let the guessing games begin:
In terms of breakability I'd say it was Aluren
In terms of pricing I'd go for Recycle

Rosewater noted that there's one of these subtly broken cards in Tempest—but he wouldn't say which card. Players will just have to find out on their own.



So what was it? =)



My first thought was, "Wow, they only thought there was one?!"


"There was a follow-up set intended," said Elias, "but that never happened for various reasons. And so Homelands came next, and by the time Alliances came around, it had been a long time since the initial standalone. Alliances was hurt because it had to do a lot of things differently than it would have otherwise."



Yah, Alliances was hurt. /sarcasm Gotta love these looks backwards in time!

Rose agreed: "A lot of times what will happen is that the set will come out, and a month later a really good concept will appear that we didn't think of. But then there'll be a concept that we thought of and playtested that the players won't find for another month or two. We do this by discovering a card, pricing it at four mana, realizing it's broken at four mana, and then weakening it a little so it's not so obvious. But we still know it's out there."

Rosewater noted that there's one of these subtly broken cards in Tempest—but he wouldn't say which card. Players will just have to find out on their own.




So what was it? =)



Let the guessing games begin:
In terms of breakability I'd say it was Aluren
In terms of pricing I'd go for Recycle



Having played with the card, my guess is Fireblast.

--
Pauper
Fireblast is obviously good, plus it's from Visions, not Tempest.

Maybe Intuition? Though that seems too obviously good as well. I'd say you're probably right and he meant Recycle or Aluren.


Maybe Intuition? Though that seems too obviously good as well. I'd say you're probably right and he meant Recycle or Aluren.



Aluren, Ancient Tomb, Cursed Scroll, Earthcraft, Intuition, Recycle, Scroll Rack, and Tradewind Rider seem like likely candidates.
It's kind of hilarious and kind of sad to see the amount of optimism and hotbloodedness they had going into the biggest train wreck Magic ever experienced. Honestly... for as much of a train wreck as Affinity was, once you play with Urza's Block cards it's easy to see that it pales into comparison. It's especially weird in the retrospect, since up until then most of the power was toned down to make sure that no other set stood taller than Beta... In some sense, I do like that Urza's Block was the end of the power creep back to a comfortable level- but by comparison it feels like much more of a sprint that went a few hundred feet too far.
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As for my question, MaRo has answered it on Twitter etc with "Cursed Scroll" 

It's kind of hilarious and kind of sad to see the amount of optimism and hotbloodedness they had going into the biggest train wreck Magic ever experienced. Honestly... for as much of a train wreck as Affinity was, once you play with Urza's Block cards it's easy to see that it pales into comparison. It's especially weird in the retrospect, since up until then most of the power was toned down to make sure that no other set stood taller than Beta... In some sense, I do like that Urza's Block was the end of the power creep back to a comfortable level- but by comparison it feels like much more of a sprint that went a few hundred feet too far.



Acytually that power down was ended with Tempest already, and only started after Legends. The Dark through Weatherlight were the sets that were consciously made worse.