01/30/2011 MM: "Dark Shadows, Part 2"

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This thread is for discussion of this week's Making Magic, which goes live Monday morning on magicthegathering.com.
The one thing that bugs me about the dragons is that you could've made a real attempt to make them scary. I mean, when you get down to it, dragons are known for terrorizing villages, carrying off young maidens, and eventually being killed by knights in shining armour, but if you never get around to that last part they're pretty scary, and Innistrad seems like it would've been the perfect place to explore that. Balefire Dragon's art and flavour text kinda lean in that direction, but you could've gone further. There are stories about dragons demanding human sacrifice; the Dark Ascension dragon could've done something with that.
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Knowing the reason for Archangel's Light makes me more understanding (and I'm definitely glad that you made sure it was underpowered since you couldn't test it much), but it still makes me deeply, deeply sad that it's a Mythic (as I stated on a different thread, I'd be happier with a pure, unabashed cash grab than this in the mythic slot). In the future, I think that it would be better to promote a deserving Rare to Mythic (Requiem Angel, perhaps) and create a new underpowered rare. I understand that that might be tricky, as rarity is not chosen lightly, but I think it would create a better product that just making a bland, underpowered mythic (you could also try to build up some 'generic' mythics/rares/uncommons/commons that are bland enough to work in most any set for situtations like this).
Stop using "IMO" in sentences that aren't opinion. If you don't think a deck will ever be tier 1, that's great - but it's not an opinion. It's a prediction of the future. I identify as neither male nor female. You may refer to me with either gender pronoun or the singular they, whichever suits you best. ^_^ Re: Dismember
97543238 wrote:
Everybody knows that having your awesome creatures killed before they can do anything is frustrating, but the Red mage in me doesn't seem to understand why it's so bad when his creatures spontaneously combust into Flame Javelins and make his opponent discard something at the same time.
Currently Working On: Self-Mill (Standard)
Eh, none of the white rares really feel more "mythic" than does Archangel's Light. I kinda wish they'd just reprinted Ancestral Tribute instead of making a new version that has antisynergy with block though.
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A few complaints...

Archangel's Light: The card is terrible. It will never be anything but a disappointment when you open one. Why didn't you, instead, make Thalia mythic and make Archangel's Light a regular rare?

Huntmaster of the Fells: There are many good reasons this should have been a legendary, and only two reasons it shouldn't have. Of those two reasons against, one is completely invalidated by the fact that you printed another legendary DFC. The other is just laughable: "Some people don't like legendaries". Then why print Thalia as a legendary? Already had a human legend. Same for Mikaeus the Unhallowed. Why make the Equipment/Demon DFC a legendary?
Thing is, the werewolf needed to be legendary:
1.) You established a cycle of legendary creatures for each tribe, promised us the werewolf inclusion in that cycle was coming, and then didn't actually fulfill that promise (This werewolf doesn't fit the legendary cycle, it fits the mythic, two-colored monster cycle in DKA only; You violated your promise, whether you see it that way or not).
2.) You established a new (the previous werewolves hardly count) tribe, gave it a mechanic that ties it together, encouraging decks to be built around it... and then laughed in the face of every single person who wants to build a Werewolf Commander deck.
3.) There are many named werewolves in the Innistrad stories we've been reading on Savor the Flavor. None of them get to have a card, now, though.
You disappointed a lot of people for very little gain, Mark. If you wanted to rein in the number of legendaries for fear of those who don't like them getting upset, then you should have picked literally ANY OTHER LEGENDARY IN THE BLOCK to make non-legendary.

Lost in the Woods: No complaint here. I love that card. "You attack me... and crash into a tree!"

Finally, regarding dragons in Innistrad: Okay, fine, they're popular. I get that, believe me, I do. But considering how much care you took to make this world feel different, you really dropped the ball by having them here. Innistrad is the most low-fantasy setting I've ever seen in Magic; what little magic humanity has is waning, or takes huge cost (deal with a demon, quite literally) to cast. All the flashier effects are toned down, or tied to a source other than "it's magic"; for example, Geistflame isn't a regular fire spell, it's the harnessisng of a fire spirit as an offensive weapon.
Dragons severely violate the otherwise low-fantasy feel of the world, at least for me. Seeing those cards jarred me completely out of the setting (especially when you read the DKA dragon's flavor text and realize it's supposed to be an ally to humanity... seriously?) You pulled dragons out of Lorwyn for not fitting... why couldn't you do it again?
IMAGE(http://images.community.wizards.com/community.wizards.com/user/blitzschnell/c6f9e416e5e0e1f0a1e5c42b0c7b3e88.jpg?v=90000)

Huntmaster of the Fells: There are many good reasons this should have been a legendary, and only two reasons it shouldn't have. Of those two reasons against, one is completely invalidated by the fact that you printed another legendary DFC. The other is just laughable: "Some people don't like legendaries". Then why print Thalia as a legendary? Already had a human legend. Same for Mikaeus the Unhallowed. Why make the Equipment/Demon DFC a legendary?
Thing is, the werewolf needed to be legendary:
1.) You established a cycle of legendary creatures for each tribe, promised us the werewolf inclusion in that cycle was coming, and then didn't actually fulfill that promise (This werewolf doesn't fit the legendary cycle, it fits the mythic, two-colored monster cycle in DKA only; You violated your promise, whether you see it that way or not).
2.) You established a new (the previous werewolves hardly count) tribe, gave it a mechanic that ties it together, encouraging decks to be built around it... and then laughed in the face of every single person who wants to build a Werewolf Commander deck.
3.) There are many named werewolves in the Innistrad stories we've been reading on Savor the Flavor. None of them get to have a card, now, though.
You disappointed a lot of people for very little gain, Mark. If you wanted to rein in the number of legendaries for fear of those who don't like them getting upset, then you should have picked literally ANY OTHER LEGENDARY IN THE BLOCK to make non-legendary.



Hands up if you care if there is a legendary Werewolf and you DON'T play Commander.

"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

Okay, who did design this cycle? The answer is the Avacyn Restored design team. So Avacyn Restored has flashback? No. Well, it did at one time, when this cycle was designed.



First thought: Aww, no Flashback in Avacyn Restored? *sadface*
Second thought: It better not have "Multiflashback".
~ Current Decks I'm Playing or Building ~ (Click a deck's name to see list) [] CorpseJunk Menace/Township Counters (Standard) [] Reanimation/Clerics Theme Deck - Commander: Ghost Dad [] Devouring Tokens (Planechase, Multiplayer) [] Krark-Clan Ironworks: 2012 Edition (Modern) [] Azorious Turbo Fog (Modern)
I really don't think Predator Ooze would much appreciate being smelled. Actually, it might enjoy the easy snack.


Huntmaster of the Fells: There are many good reasons this should have been a legendary, and only two reasons it shouldn't have. Of those two reasons against, one is completely invalidated by the fact that you printed another legendary DFC. The other is just laughable: "Some people don't like legendaries". Then why print Thalia as a legendary? Already had a human legend. Same for Mikaeus the Unhallowed. Why make the Equipment/Demon DFC a legendary?
Thing is, the werewolf needed to be legendary:
1.) You established a cycle of legendary creatures for each tribe, promised us the werewolf inclusion in that cycle was coming, and then didn't actually fulfill that promise (This werewolf doesn't fit the legendary cycle, it fits the mythic, two-colored monster cycle in DKA only; You violated your promise, whether you see it that way or not).
2.) You established a new (the previous werewolves hardly count) tribe, gave it a mechanic that ties it together, encouraging decks to be built around it... and then laughed in the face of every single person who wants to build a Werewolf Commander deck.
3.) There are many named werewolves in the Innistrad stories we've been reading on Savor the Flavor. None of them get to have a card, now, though.
You disappointed a lot of people for very little gain, Mark. If you wanted to rein in the number of legendaries for fear of those who don't like them getting upset, then you should have picked literally ANY OTHER LEGENDARY IN THE BLOCK to make non-legendary.


Hands up if you care if there is a legendary Werewolf and you DON'T play Commander.


I play Commander. I wish it was legendary purely for flavor and cycle reasons, though. MaRo's arguments really are invalid in this situation.

Speaking of the other legendary DFC, I'm totally going to make a Withengar Unbound Commander deck, even though technically he's not valid as a commander.

I liked Rise of the Eldrazi, but only because I didn't play either Zendikar or Worldwake. If I had, I would have complained that it didn't fit in the block, as MaRo alluded to. He makes it seem like Avacyn Restored will also be quite disjoint, since both DFCs and flashback have been confirmed tocon't be coming back. I don't like harsh delineations like that.
*Raises his hand*


Fact is, I wanted to see a cool Werewolf alpha leader. I personally am afraid that you'll take one of the coolest creature types, shelve it for five years because of fear that DFC's aren't what they're cracked up to be or the fact you simply won't come back to them. You could of made an awesome version of a Werewolf Olivia or Mikeaus (yes, both of them), and you didn't--you deprived them of any unique identity the tribe has besides the fact the cards have two faces.    
Why is Mikaeus (the unhallowed) granting +1/+1 ? I mean, it shuts off lots of synergies with 0 toughness creatures that enters the battlefield with +1/+1 counters.

The only reason I see so far is to tell beginners that granting +1/+1 don't stop the undying creatures to come back, but then I'm a little upset that cool cards are weakened for beginners. I mean, ok, every one begins at some point, and they can't understand everything. It takes some time to grasp all of the game's tricks. But once more, it's just normal, don't you think ?
The Increasing trivia question isn't "tricky," it just doesn't have a correct answer. You present two options and ask us to select one of them by using "Is it A or B?" Sorry, just a pet peeve that people abuse the living hell out of the English language in an attempt to be "cute" (or sometimes just a sheer lack of understanding what the words/phrases they use mean). As a physics TA I have to be precise in my language when teaching, so it bothers me when others aren't (and let's face it, the main purpose of this article is to teach people about the design process).
The differences between Elbrus and Huntmaster are,
1) If you have a transformed Elbrus, you almost certainly don't need a second one to win the game.
2) Elbrus is an important story element.
3) It doesn't seem as weird to have a legendary knife and a legendary demon at the same time as having two guys who are the same creature at the same time.
4) Huntmaster is a Standard card and Standard players like running more than one copy of a card.  
5) Elbrus is a voluntary transformation (if you have one transformed and one untransformed, just don't attack with an equipped blade). Huntmaster is not. This means you could get "feel bad" moments where you take a risk by playing a second huntmaster, then the opponent causes one to transform and you lose both of them. This is the most important reason why Huntmaster is not legendary.
If we made it legendary, we upset the players who could care less about Commander or flavor and just want to be able to put four copies of this awesome Werewolf in their Werewolf decks.


If, on the other hand, you're first response is "What about a Cyclops? Or Spiders? Or One-Eyed Scarecrow?" then this card is for you.


Please stop butchering the English language.
Why is Mikaeus (the unhallowed) granting +1/+1 ? I mean, it shuts off lots of synergies with 0 toughness creatures that enters the battlefield with +1/+1 counters.

The only reason I see so far is to tell beginners that granting +1/+1 don't stop the undying creatures to come back, but then I'm a little upset that cool cards are weakened for beginners. I mean, ok, every one begins at some point, and they can't understand everything. It takes some time to grasp all of the game's tricks. But once more, it's just normal, don't you think ?

The +1/+1 is to prevent stupid unlimited combos with those said creatures with 0/0 stats. Like Spike Feeder, would be retarded if you could just gain infinite life, and +!/+1 counters for just a simple 2 card combo. But if you really want to do such overpowered moves then you need another piece to finish it. Any card that gives your creatures -1/-1 will do, oh and looked at that, they gave us one in this very block (Heartless Summoning)

I still think it's overpowered but at least I don't play eternal formats so I don't have to worry about this personally. Still erks the designer in me though. Infinite anything should not be legal. Or at least need more than 3 pieces to get it in motion.
Why is Mikaeus (the unhallowed) granting +1/+1 ? I mean, it shuts off lots of synergies with 0 toughness creatures that enters the battlefield with +1/+1 counters.

The only reason I see so far is to tell beginners that granting +1/+1 don't stop the undying creatures to come back, but then I'm a little upset that cool cards are weakened for beginners. I mean, ok, every one begins at some point, and they can't understand everything. It takes some time to grasp all of the game's tricks. But once more, it's just normal, don't you think ?

The +1/+1 is to prevent stupid unlimited combos with those said creatures with 0/0 stats. Like Spike Feeder, would be retarded if you could just gain infinite life, and +!/+1 counters for just a simple 2 card combo. But if you really want to do such overpowered moves then you need another piece to finish it. Any card that gives your creatures -1/-1 will do, oh and looked at that, they gave us one in this very block (Heartless Summoning)

I still think it's overpowered but at least I don't play eternal formats so I don't have to worry about this personally. Still erks the designer in me though. Infinite anything should not be legal. Or at least need more than 3 pieces to get it in motion.



Are you serious for even 1 second ? Triskelavus (or whatever her name is) is instant win with Mikaeus ... What combos do you wish to prevent ? Gaining 2 life for 2 mana ... So powerful ... yeah I'll do that instead of infinite damage to my opponent ...

Both Triskelion and Triskelavus are 2/2s with Mikaeus, the Unhallowed out. Still need a sac outlet or something reducing their toughness, so still need 3 cards.
Why is Mikaeus (the unhallowed) granting +1/+1 ? I mean, it shuts off lots of synergies with 0 toughness creatures that enters the battlefield with +1/+1 counters.

The only reason I see so far is to tell beginners that granting +1/+1 don't stop the undying creatures to come back, but then I'm a little upset that cool cards are weakened for beginners. I mean, ok, every one begins at some point, and they can't understand everything. It takes some time to grasp all of the game's tricks. But once more, it's just normal, don't you think ?

The +1/+1 is to prevent stupid unlimited combos with those said creatures with 0/0 stats. Like Spike Feeder, would be retarded if you could just gain infinite life, and +!/+1 counters for just a simple 2 card combo. But if you really want to do such overpowered moves then you need another piece to finish it. Any card that gives your creatures -1/-1 will do, oh and looked at that, they gave us one in this very block (Heartless Summoning)

I still think it's overpowered but at least I don't play eternal formats so I don't have to worry about this personally. Still erks the designer in me though. Infinite anything should not be legal. Or at least need more than 3 pieces to get it in motion.



Are you serious for even 1 second ? Triskelavus (or whatever her name is) is instant win with Mikaeus ... What combos do you wish to prevent ? Gaining 2 life for 2 mana ... So powerful ... yeah I'll do that instead of infinite damage to my opponent ...


Spike Feeder with the new Mikaeus would have been an inifinite life gain with just those two cards. You don't need to pay mana to gain 2 life, the only cost is removing a +1/+1 counter.

Along with a bunch of other cards that "synergies" with Mikaeus unfairly, the +1/+1 bonus Mikaeus gives was certainly not an oversight just for the sake of putting it there. It was ment to "Try" to stop it from being absurdly broken on purpose.
Triskelion is a combo.  Use one +1/+1 counter to deal 1 damage to the opponent, use the other two to deal 2 damage to itself.  Rinse and repeat.  Triskelavus needs mana, so it doesn't combo that way.

However, there are even more cards that would combo with it but don't, because of the +1/+1.  And if you're using it to make your army of the undead harder to kill, the +1/+1 is a good thing.
True. I meant that they don't just immediately die again like Spike Feeder
The differences between Elbrus and Huntmaster are,
1) If you have a transformed Elbrus, you almost certainly don't need a second one to win the game.
2) Elbrus is an important story element.
3) It doesn't seem as weird to have a legendary knife and a legendary demon at the same time as having two guys who are the same creature at the same time.
4) Huntmaster is a Standard card and Standard players like running more than one copy of a card.  
5) Elbrus is a voluntary transformation (if you have one transformed and one untransformed, just don't attack with an equipped blade). Huntmaster is not. This means you could get "feel bad" moments where you take a risk by playing a second huntmaster, then the opponent causes one to transform and you lose both of them. This is the most important reason why Huntmaster is not legendary.


None of this really influences the contradictions to the arguments made by MaRo, which clearly do not apply. Consider some refutations:
1) If you have one of a very powerful card, there should be no reason you should need a second, right? What good is two Primeval Titans? If you were given the option of being able to have two very powerful cards out at the same time, versus one, which would you pick?

2) Elbrus hasn't been brought up in any story element. Certainly not to the degree that several legendary werewolves have appeared on cards already:
Mondronen Shaman - "Tovolar, my master. Gather the howlpack, for the Hunter's Moon is high and Thraben's walls grow weak."
Or, appeared in the set up of story as presented by Dough Beyer:
- "Wittal. This is the most thickly forested area of Gavony. Although small in size, the forest is dense and dark, with ancient pines trees that dwarf the deciduous forests in the neighboring parishes. The forest has become particularly dangerous now that the infamous werewolf Skaharra and her Leeraug cohorts have moved to the area."
Krallenhorde - "[...] The alpha of Krallenhorde is currently the werewolf Ulrich, a cunning and perceptive wanton who remains in the wild and runs with the howlpack even when he reverts to human form."
Mondronen - "The Mondronen howlpack is composed of around sixty werewolves who are said to control a dark, bloody magic of nature. Their alpha Tovolar is a mute, silver-furred werewolf who leads his pack on revels of carnage and howling songs, and who never seems to revert to human form."
Leeraug - "The Leeraug alpha is Skaharra, a black-furred she-wolf noted for her tendency to kill along bloodlines, murdering entire families in a single night while sparing unrelated farmhands and servants."
Each of these represents an interesting mechanical element to creating a legendary werewolf, and one of them may never require a DFC. The first, Ulrich, could be shown flavorfully as an anti-human human, who runs with the pack regardless of his state; or Skaharra, who could potentially do serious damage in an Extinction-like aspect that could create a :R::G: werewolf with black aspects, enabling both a :R::G: and :B::R::G: 'wolf tribal build (thus incorporating ALL Werewolf cards). Tovolar allows you to make a card that doesn't transform, leaving aside the whole issue of legendary and transformation entirely.

3) MaRo's argument here implies having the a different card in play for each face, not the same face for two different cards. In this case, Elbrus, the Binding Blade is the direct aversion and refutation of his "biggest reason":
"The biggest reason being the weirdness of double-faced cards, especially ones that changed back and forth. They cause weird interaction with the legendary supertype. For example, if you play a Huntmaster of the Fells and then transform it, you are now allowed to play a second Huntmaster of the Fells and have both in play because the legendary supertype only looks for a matching name."

4) This doesn't stop cards getting printed when they are made for explicit formats: They will see play by someone in some other format. As Standard doesn't currently run a Werewolf format, and the 'Wolves were made almost certainly for Limited play first and foremost, their concern for casual Standard, Extended, etc. would have been a stronger case to make for allowing a Legend for Commander. Commander has now evidenced several new cards printed solely for its existence, and some cards (e.g., Wrexial, the Risen Deep) were designed for Commander regardless of where they are printed.

5) As I note, there are many ways to make a legendary creature. One is not restricted to just slapping the supertype on a card you already saw. You seem to be arguing that making THAT card legendary would be the result, rather than just making that card even better, more restrictive, etc. It could even be a card that allows voluntary transformation, or triggered off EACH werewolf transforming, etc.
"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)
Then why print Thalia as a legendary?



My guess is they didn't want aggro decks to go T2 Thalia, T3 Thalia. 

1.) You established a cycle of legendary creatures for each tribe, promised us the werewolf inclusion in that cycle was coming, and then didn't actually fulfill that promise (This werewolf doesn't fit the legendary cycle, it fits the mythic, two-colored monster cycle in DKA only; You violated your promise, whether you see it that way or not).



The funny thing is, the Zombie card from this cycle is Army of the Damned, which is what MaRo said when he teased and previewed it. But by making Grimgrin, nobody sees the cycle MaRo intended. 

You pulled dragons out of Lorwyn for not fitting... why couldn't you do it again?



Interesting question, I wonder whether not having dragons there came back too negative in their godbook studies. 


Are you serious for even 1 second ? Triskelavus (or whatever her name is) is instant win with Mikaeus ... What combos do you wish to prevent ? Gaining 2 life for 2 mana ... So powerful ... yeah I'll do that instead of infinite damage to my opponent ...


 
The thing with cards like Triskelion and Intruder Alarm is, it's very hard not to go infinite with them. So it's better to just disgerard those. It's a 2-card combo with Mikaeus. But it gives the +1/+1 to make the other 1000 combos possible with it harder and thus more interesting. 


The one thing that bugs me about the dragons is that you could've made a real attempt to make them scary. I mean, when you get down to it, dragons are known for terrorizing villages, carrying off young maidens, and eventually being killed by knights in shining armour, but if you never get around to that last part they're pretty scary, and Innistrad seems like it would've been the perfect place to explore that. Balefire Dragon's art and flavour text kinda lean in that direction, but you could've gone further. There are stories about dragons demanding human sacrifice; the Dark Ascension dragon could've done something with that.



Yeah that would've been awesome. Magic even has the terminology for maidens.
"Sacrifice a human that has never been tapped"
So, they could have simply gone

Legendary Human Werewolf ?
Legendary Creature - Human Werewolf
Blahblah
WW Transformation Trigger
?/? 

//

Transformed Legend Werewolf
(R/G) Legendary Creature - Werewolf
Awesome effect
Whenever a Human Werewolf enters the battlefield, transform it.
WW Transformation Trigger
His mere presence triggers the power of the full moon and the fury of the wild.
?/?      

There, problem solved, you can never have 2 copies on the battlefield, because the day side will immediate transform if the night-side is active. Sure, I made it affect across the board, but all that does is ADD MORE FLAVOR. Werewolf transformations are forced, not by choice, so even though my opponent doesn't want that (although that's nearly impossible), he'll have to take it.
Yeah that would've been awesome. Magic even has the terminology for maidens.

"Sacrifice a human that has never been tapped"

Win
"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)

could care less about Commander or flavor

Ggrrrargh. couldn't care less. If they "could care less", then that means they do care. Graarrgh.
I so much prefer talking about horror in print because every time I'm interviewed about it, it always sounds like I'm talking about a completely different topic—one not appropriate for a family-friendly column like this.

...? I don't follow this. Do MaRo's comments on horror sound like he's talking about porn or something? Anyone know what he means here?
I particularly like the boosting of Humans versus the boosting of non-Humans

Oops. Looks like that bit was cut in development. Mikaeus, the Lunarch doesn't care about Humans.

On the hot topics: I think DFCs are generally an abomination, but if you had to have them, then yes, the Huntmaster should have been legendary. That'd be a restriction within which some creativity could have been exercised - for example, Stigma Lasher's post above.

As for Dragons, I don't find dragons on Innistrad kills the flavour of the plane, but the cards do feel somewhat out of place; especially with how utterly boringly cookie-cutter they are. I think this guy's signature on MTGSalvation puts it best:


Obligatory Dragon (M) 
Creature - Dragon 
Flying 
Tokenism (This card exists to fulfill a quota.) 
Whenever Obligatory Dragon attacks, I dunno, maybe it deals damage to something or other. The automated Dragon Dispenser broke down and no one here knows how to design a Dragon card while sober. Hey, tell you what, try attacking with this thing and then shoot us an email to tell us what happens. We'll probably print it in a Core Set. 
5/5


Yeah that would've been awesome. Magic even has the terminology for maidens.
"Sacrifice a human that has never been tapped"



This has memory issues, sadly. "Entered the battlefield this turn" would work, although a card with that clause on it would probably be terrible.

Yeah that would've been awesome. Magic even has the terminology for maidens.
"Sacrifice a human that has never been tapped"


This has memory issues, sadly. "Entered the battlefield this turn" would work, although a card with that clause on it would probably be terrible.


Um... Not that meaning of "tapped," methinks.

Yeah that would've been awesome. Magic even has the terminology for maidens.
"Sacrifice a human that has never been tapped"



This has memory issues, sadly. "Entered the battlefield this turn" would work, although a card with that clause on it would probably be terrible.



You need a brief lesson in cultural euphemisms, methinks ;)
"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)
Eh, none of the white rares really feel more "mythic" than does Archangel's Light. I kinda wish they'd just reprinted Ancestral Tribute instead of making a new version that has antisynergy with block though.


I opened this as part of my Sealed pool this weekend and I cannot agree enough.  The card is so uninspiring and disinteresting.  I really wish there was a refund program where I could turn this in for a booster pack.  Actually, I'd rather have one of the uncommon captains instead of this.

56866188 wrote:
I knew the attempt to "make the game simpler and more [accessible] to new players" would get forgotten and it sure didn't take long. Gary Adkison
I don't think complaining about Archangel's Light will get anywhere. Bad mythics exist, holes in the set will exist. And I think that the fact that you gain life equal to twice the number of cards in your graveyard, plus shuffling it into your library makes the card "rarer". The same way a rare card could have been uncommon, some mythic cards could have been rare. Personally, I'm glad a mythic so obviously bad was printed. It was about time.

About Huntmaster of the Fells, what MaRo said is really true. Some people like it, some don't. I dislike that Commanders need to be legendary because it goes against what Magic design is usually about (that is, not making every single cool build-around-me creature legendary). And, yes, there are still people that play non-Commander Casual and do want 4 Huntmasters in their deck without having dead draws. Also, not having Huntmaster as a legendary means at least someone will try to make Werewolves work in Constructed.

Also be aware that even if one group (the one that wants it to be legendary) has more/better arguments than the other group (who wants to play four of these guilt-free) it doesn't mean the first group should have its way every single time. 
Well, allow me to speak from the PoV of a "dragon lover" who wholly supports the idea of Dragons for the sake of Dragons.  What is so frustrating to me about WotC's approach to red Dragons is that, even though they make them functionally different, they still FEEL like the same.  I think I've said once that they seem like they're sprayed out of an aerosol can.  (This is not true of the Dragons that AREN'T red or mono-red, because they are actually a very diverse bunch!)

Red is already the shallowest color in terms of ability pool, but red Dragons are much shallower still.  You look at blue Sphinxes and white Angels, and all the things they are allowed to do, then you look at red Dragons and realize they are pretty much limited to "burn one or more creatures" and "firebreathing" or even both at once as on Mordant Dragon.  At best you can maybe add "care about artifacts in play" as a third thanks to the Mirrodin sets, but bottom line, the variety isn't there.  (Hellkite Charger and Hoarding Dragon are possibly the most interesting mono-red Dragons to be printed in the last decade, because at least they offer things you don't often see.  Still doesn't mean they were good cards though.)

I think M12 was the most poignant example of how creatively stagnant red Dragons are.  Every color in M12 got a big Intro Pack beastie at rare.  All of them were brand-new cards, EXCEPT for Red's, which was just a reprint of Flameblast Dragon.  Really?  Are they rationing or something?  It's not like WotC would even have to break Red's pie to give us a red Dragon that's intriguing to more than just the trade-binder crowd. 

-Why isn't there a red Dragon that can destroy lands?  (Even if that means nonbasic ones?) 
-Why isn't there a red Dragon that is uncounterable with pro-white and pro-blue?  (That might actually have Constructed applications!) 
-And if Intimidate is really in Red's pie like MaRo claims, then isn't a Dragon the perfect platform for it?  Hell yes put flying and intimidate together.  If you're not going to give them any immediate board impact, and you're not going to make them hard to counter, exile, or kill, then you MAY AS WELL make them hard to block!
I'll agree with wanting more horrifying dragons. More than Vampires or Werewolves or Zombies, Dragons have the potential to represent a sudden, inevitable, and unpredictable danger. Rather than just having them be large and firey, capitalize on that idea of dragons as very difficult to kill terrors that swoop down, grab a few people, and then fly off again.

Innistrad is supposed to be a land in which the humans have no chance. An indestructible dragon, or one with Protection from Blue/White, would have helped showcase that idea of being unable to defend yourself from the danger. 
Immature College Student (Also a Rules Advisor)
Complaining about Archangel's Light won't make it less mythic, but it will show that the community is disappointed in a unmythic card which should have been something else.  It is the lamest mythic possibly ever.  I opened one and didn't even realize it was mythic until someone told me because it is such an underpowered card.  For my sealed, I immediately put it in my junk rare pile because it has no application in the game.  

It is disappointing because it takes up a slot for what should have been a better card.  A legendary card would have been better because those are suppose to be unique.  Now, white gets a mythic slot taken up by a card that will be worth less than time reversal (which I liked at mythic).

As for the reasoning, I understand that something had to go into the slot, but it would have been better to just elevate one of the rares like Vault of the Archangel.  Vault of the Archangel is wayyy more mythic and swings games.  I would be happy if it didn't come up that often.  And, I would rather pull a Vault than a Light.

 
What's the point with Archangel's Light anyway ? Would anyone prefer to have constructed staples as mythic rares ? So that it's expensive and/or hard to put together constructed decks ?



Why is Mikaeus (the unhallowed) granting +1/+1 ? I mean, it shuts off lots of synergies with 0 toughness creatures that enters the battlefield with +1/+1 counters.

The only reason I see so far is to tell beginners that granting +1/+1 don't stop the undying creatures to come back, but then I'm a little upset that cool cards are weakened for beginners. I mean, ok, every one begins at some point, and they can't understand everything. It takes some time to grasp all of the game's tricks. But once more, it's just normal, don't you think ?

The +1/+1 is to prevent stupid unlimited combos with those said creatures with 0/0 stats. Like Spike Feeder, would be retarded if you could just gain infinite life, and +!/+1 counters for just a simple 2 card combo. But if you really want to do such overpowered moves then you need another piece to finish it. Any card that gives your creatures -1/-1 will do, oh and looked at that, they gave us one in this very block (Heartless Summoning)

I still think it's overpowered but at least I don't play eternal formats so I don't have to worry about this personally. Still erks the designer in me though. Infinite anything should not be legal. Or at least need more than 3 pieces to get it in motion.



Are you serious for even 1 second ? Triskelavus (or whatever her name is) is instant win with Mikaeus ... What combos do you wish to prevent ? Gaining 2 life for 2 mana ... So powerful ... yeah I'll do that instead of infinite damage to my opponent ...


Spike Feeder with the new Mikaeus would have been an inifinite life gain with just those two cards. You don't need to pay mana to gain 2 life, the only cost is removing a +1/+1 counter.

Along with a bunch of other cards that "synergies" with Mikaeus unfairly, the +1/+1 bonus Mikaeus gives was certainly not an oversight just for the sake of putting it there. It was ment to "Try" to stop it from being absurdly broken on purpose.



Oh my god ! A two creatures combo that doesn't even win on the spot. Yeah, that would have wreak havoc upon Vintage or Legacy for sure. 

The real reason behind this is not one of balance.

...What is so frustrating to me about WotC's approach to red Dragons is that, even though they make them functionally different, they still FEEL like the same. 

...

Red is already the shallowest color in terms of ability pool, but red Dragons are much shallower still.  You look at blue Sphinxes and white Angels, and all the things they are allowed to do, then you look at red Dragons and realize they are pretty much limited to "burn one or more creatures" and "firebreathing" or even both at once as on Mordant Dragon.  At best you can maybe add "care about artifacts in play" as a third thanks to the Mirrodin sets, but bottom line, the variety isn't there.  (Hellkite Charger and Hoarding Dragon are possibly the most interesting mono-red Dragons to be printed in the last decade, because at least they offer things you don't often see.  Still doesn't mean they were good cards though.)

...

 It's not like WotC would even have to break Red's pie to give us a red Dragon that's intriguing to more than just the trade-binder crowd. 

-Why isn't there a red Dragon that can destroy lands?  (Even if that means nonbasic ones?) 
-Why isn't there a red Dragon that is uncounterable with pro-white and pro-blue?  (That might actually have Constructed applications!) 
-And if Intimidate is really in Red's pie like MaRo claims, then isn't a Dragon the perfect platform for it?  Hell yes put flying and intimidate together.  If you're not going to give them any immediate board impact, and you're not going to make them hard to counter, exile, or kill, then you MAY AS WELL make them hard to block!



This, this, THIS!  I don't mind dragons in a set like Innistrad, since the art helps them slide into scene for me, at least.  But it seems like there's been no distinct identities amongst dragons in some time, and that adds to the feeling of "Oh, a fat devil would have been better instead of a dragon".  It's not that the devil would necessary be better; it's more interesting!  There needs to be a line drawn, between a dragon's "signature" abilities (firebreathing and burning creatures when attacking/dealing damage) and what they CAN do.  Permutations of the same-old-same-old aren't interesting when they're done this much.
Then why print Thalia as a legendary?


My guess is they didn't want aggro decks to go T2 Thalia, T3 Thalia.

It was more rhetorical. The real question was "If they're so hesitant to avoid printing too many legendaries, why did they print three in this set that AREN'T part of a cycle of legendaries and choose the one that was supposed to fit the cycle to NOT be legendary?"

1.) You established a cycle of legendary creatures for each tribe, promised us the werewolf inclusion in that cycle was coming, and then didn't actually fulfill that promise (This werewolf doesn't fit the legendary cycle, it fits the mythic, two-colored monster cycle in DKA only; You violated your promise, whether you see it that way or not).


The funny thing is, the Zombie card from this cycle is Army of the Damned, which is what MaRo said when he teased and previewed it. But by making Grimgrin, nobody sees the cycle MaRo intended.

That may have been their intention, but if so, then I have to say they really screwed up. There are four legendary creatures in Innistrad, one for each tribe (excepting werewolves, which we were promised would come in DKA) and each in that tribe's colors (Humans are really mono-White, with a splash of green thrown in to make them match the two-color-pairs theme). Since there are five tribes, but only four had gotten a legendary creature in their colors, the implication was that werewolves would eventually be getting one too (and Mark even said it was to come; it doesn't matter if he was careful to only ever say "a werewolf mythic", the implication was undeniably that it would be a legendary, as that was exactly what the cycle required to be complete). So they violated their rule of five for almost no reason: the two reasons Mark gives are both so laughably weak that he may as well have said "We did it because Gleemax said to".

About Huntmaster of the Fells, what MaRo said is really true. Some people like it, some don't. I dislike that Commanders need to be legendary because it goes against what Magic design is usually about (that is, not making every single cool build-around-me creature legendary). And, yes, there are still people that play non-Commander Casual and do want 4 Huntmasters in their deck without having dead draws. Also, not having Huntmaster as a legendary means at least someone will try to make Werewolves work in Constructed.

Also be aware that even if one group (the one that wants it to be legendary) has more/better arguments than the other group (who wants to play four of these guilt-free) it doesn't mean the first group should have its way every single time. 

It's not just the Commander problem. There's also the fact that it violates the cycle, that it denies us ever seeing any of the cool werewolf characters from the story grace cardboard (kind of like how disappointing it is that we will likely not see Gisa or Geralf), and that they printed three other legendary creatures in the very same set, so "some people don't like legendaries" is an obscenely stupid reason to not make THIS one legendary. They could have made any of the other three not legendary if they had to keep the count down, rather than that one that had literally every reason to be a legend.
And when the decision on when to make something legendary versus not legendary is this arbitrary ("sometimes we have to swing the other way" in Mark's words) then yes, the pros and cons SHOULD be weighed when choosing which side of the argument to fall on. I'm not saying they should always opt to make their creatures legendary; I'm merely saying that this time they had literally every reason to make it legendary. They can swing the other way any other time they want. I don't care if they spend the next ten years not printing a single legendary creature. They still should have made this card legendary.

IMAGE(http://images.community.wizards.com/community.wizards.com/user/blitzschnell/c6f9e416e5e0e1f0a1e5c42b0c7b3e88.jpg?v=90000)
So, if I understand this correctly, the Werewolf themed Commander deck has been crippled by a lack of legendary Werewolf, and not by the fact that there are only 25 themed cards to add to a 99 card deck.

"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

The fact that werewolves are by nature terrible in multiplayer, of course, doesn't even factor into it.
blah blah metal lyrics

Mono-W angels are awesomely diverse (there must be 20-30 different types).

Although I agree about the issue with dragons (although I think (1) should be split into "pump" and "deal direct damage"), I must be missing the angel diversity.  I see these classes of mono-white angel abilities:

1) Gain life. (Exalted Angel)
2) Protect you from harm. (Serra Angel, Guardian Seraph)
3) Protect themselves. (Voice of All)
4) Help your other guys. (Silver Seraph)
5) Make little guys. (Emeria Angel)
6) Be big and scary. (Radiant, Archangel)
7) Destroy unworthy creatures. (Sunblast Angel)
8) Prevent your enemies from misbehaving. (Iona, Shield of Emeria)


That seems to pretty much cover everything I can think of, unless you want to make a separate category just for Akroma, Angel of Wrath having haste (otherwise, she's 2, 3, and 6).  I guess it's also possible that you could make a separate category for angels that bring other creatures back from the dead (Reya Dawnbringer) rather than counting them in with category 4.


Notably, these 8-10 categories also describe almost everything that non-White angels do, as well.

Thanks to everyone who helped with the design of the plane of Golamo in the Great Designer Search 2!
My Decks
These are the decks I have assembled at the moment:
Tournament Decks (4)
Kicker Aggro (Invasion Block) Sunforger/Izzet Guildmage Midrange (Ravnica/Time Spiral/Xth Standard) Dragonstorm Combo (Time Spiral/Lorwyn/Xth Standard) Bant Midrange (Lorwyn/Shards/M10 Standard)
Casual Multiplayer Decks (50)
Angel Resurrection Casual Soul Sisters Sindbad's Adventures with Djinn of Wishes Sphinx-Bone Wand Buyback Morph (No Instants or Sorceries) Cabal Coffers Control Zombie Aggro Hungry, Hungry Greater Gargadon/War Elemental Flashfires/Boil/Ruination - Boom! Call of the Wild Teysa, Orzhov Scion with Twilight Drover, Sun Titan, and Hivestone Slivers Rebels Cairn Wanderer Knights Only Gold and () Spells Captain Sisay Toolbox Spellweaver Helix Combo Merfolk Wizards Izzet Guildmage/The Unspeakable Arcane Combo Niv-Mizzet, the Firemind and his Wizards Creatureless Wild Research/Reins of Power Madness Creatureless Pyromancer Ascension Anarchist Living Death Anvil of Bogardan Madness Shamen with Goblin Game/Wound Reflection Combo Mass damage Quest for Pure Flame Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle/Clear the Land with 40+ Lands Doubling Season Thallids Juniper Order Ranger Graft/Tokens Elf Archer Druids Equilibrium/Aluren Combo Experiment Kraj Combo Reap Combo False Cure/Kavu Predator Combo Savra, Queen of the Golgari Sacrifice/Dredge Elf Warriors Eight-Post Sneak Attack Where Ancients Tread Zur the Enchanter with Opal creatures Tamanoa/Kavu Predator/Collapsing Borders Esper Aggro Mishra, Artificer Prodigy and his Darksteel Reactor Theft and Control Unearth Aggro Soul's Fire Vampires Devour Tokens Phytohydra with Powerstone Minefield Treefolk Friendly? Questing Phelddagrif Slivers Dragon Arch Fun I'm probably forgetting a few...
Of course there should've been a Werewolf legend, it really doesn't make any sense for there not to have been. One of the main points of a legendary creature is for it to have an effect that can't/shouldn't stack anyway, so that makes the "hurdurr people want to have 4 on the field" point moot. The interation between Legendary and DFCs is also moot, since Kamigawa did a similar concept and they could've been straight forward and fixed it by putting in two lines of text:

"Jeff, Huntmaster's name is also Spot, Fang Legend"
"Spot, Fang Legend's name is also Jeff, Huntmaster"

Edit: In the next article, I hope MaRo discusses why the team felt the compulsion to waste arguably the best/most identifiable art in DKA, which is being used as the posterchild for the set, on a worthless, boring common that has nothing to do with the picture.

Mono-W angels are awesomely diverse (there must be 20-30 different types).

Although I agree about the issue with dragons (although I think (1) should be split into "pump" and "deal direct damage"), I must be missing the angel diversity.  I see these classes of mono-white angel abilities:

1) Gain life. (Exalted Angel)
2) Protect you from harm. (Serra Angel, Guardian Seraph)
3) Protect themselves. (Voice of All)
4) Help your other guys. (Silver Seraph)
5) Make little guys. (Emeria Angel)
6) Be big and scary. (Radiant, Archangel)
7) Destroy unworthy creatures. (Sunblast Angel)
8) Prevent your enemies from misbehaving. (Iona, Shield of Emeria)


That seems to pretty much cover everything I can think of, unless you want to make a separate category just for Akroma, Angel of Wrath having haste (otherwise, she's 2, 3, and 6).  I guess it's also possible that you could make a separate category for angels that bring other creatures back from the dead (Reya Dawnbringer) rather than counting them in with category 4.


Notably, these 8-10 categories also describe almost everything that non-White angels do, as well.




Reya certainly deserves its own spot, "help your other guys" would be way to vague and broad a category. 

I think the big difference between Angels and Dragons lies in #8, which is also a pretty broad category. Basically, Angels, far more than Dragons, have abilities that interact with more things than just combat. Iona, Linvala, Keeper of Silence, Chancellor of the Annex, Angelic Arbiter, etc.

What also helps is that Angels 'start' at 4 whereas Dragons 'start' at 5 (they both have some at lower costs but those are the 'babies' mostly.
Huntmaster of the Fells: There are many good reasons this should have been a legendary, and only two reasons it shouldn't have. Of those two reasons against, one is completely invalidated by the fact that you printed another legendary DFC. The other is just laughable: "Some people don't like legendaries". Then why print Thalia as a legendary? Already had a human legend. Same for Mikaeus the Unhallowed. Why make the Equipment/Demon DFC a legendary?
Thing is, the werewolf needed to be legendary:
1.) You established a cycle of legendary creatures for each tribe, promised us the werewolf inclusion in that cycle was coming, and then didn't actually fulfill that promise (This werewolf doesn't fit the legendary cycle, it fits the mythic, two-colored monster cycle in DKA only; You violated your promise, whether you see it that way or not).
2.) You established a new (the previous werewolves hardly count) tribe, gave it a mechanic that ties it together, encouraging decks to be built around it... and then laughed in the face of every single person who wants to build a Werewolf Commander deck.
3.) There are many named werewolves in the Innistrad stories we've been reading on Savor the Flavor. None of them get to have a card, now, though.
You disappointed a lot of people for very little gain, Mark. If you wanted to rein in the number of legendaries for fear of those who don't like them getting upset, then you should have picked literally ANY OTHER LEGENDARY IN THE BLOCK to make non-legendary.

Lost in the Woods: No complaint here. I love that card. "You attack me... and crash into a tree!"

Finally, regarding dragons in Innistrad: Okay, fine, they're popular. I get that, believe me, I do. But considering how much care you took to make this world feel different, you really dropped the ball by having them here. Innistrad is the most low-fantasy setting I've ever seen in Magic; what little magic humanity has is waning, or takes huge cost (deal with a demon, quite literally) to cast. All the flashier effects are toned down, or tied to a source other than "it's magic"; for example, Geistflame isn't a regular fire spell, it's the harnessisng of a fire spirit as an offensive weapon.
Dragons severely violate the otherwise low-fantasy feel of the world, at least for me. Seeing those cards jarred me completely out of the setting (especially when you read the DKA dragon's flavor text and realize it's supposed to be an ally to humanity... seriously?) You pulled dragons out of Lorwyn for not fitting... why couldn't you do it again?


First of all, they didn't leave dragons out of Lorwyn; there were all the changelings, including at least one that actually had the firebreathing ability. Dragons. And as for reasons against legends, you're ignoring plenty of good reasons that a legendary werewolf would be different from a legendary equipment-that-transforms-into-a-demon. For starters, the controller can control when Elbrus transforms like they can't with werewolves.

More generally, this is just nuts. Treating cycles as a commitment? Accusing him of not "actually fulfilling that promise"? Grow up. It's a game. There have been plenty of loose and/or incomplete cycles in Magic before. While we're at it, why is the human legend the only mono-colored one? Why isn't there a blue or red planeswalker in Innistrad, or a planeswalker of each color yet? The idea that it's a moral fault to not print a complete cycle for some reason is really bizarre.