02/03/2012 LD: "A (Planes?)Walk Through the Multiverse"

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This thread is for discussion of this week's Latest Developments, which goes live Friday morning on magicthegathering.com.
From this article: "One of the things that was most amazing to me when I arrived in R&D is exactly how much thought goes into what might seem to be basic, run-of-the-mill Limited commons and uncommons. This thread exemplifies that. The cost changed numerous times, the rider flipped back and forth, and VP Bill Rose of all people chimed in on what functioned the entire time as a relatively innocuous, relatively ponderous removal spell. It consistently amazes me what kinds of minutiae my co-workers have managed to pay attention to, and the game is better for it."


This set is getting killed in set reviews as providing nothing anyone actually wants to own. Perhaps you focused too much  on the minutiae of treating Magic like a movie where I never get my money back and less on Magic as a box of cards I open because I want to own them. If this isn't blunt enough, this set is terrible. TERRIBLE.  
Random note: there's a typo in the graphic for Gavony Ironwright. It reads "Gacony Ironwright" instead.

Other than having my inner editor get annoyed briefly, I enjoyed it. Smile
*Looks at Curse of Exhaustion, Clinging Mists, and Drogskol Reaver's notes.*

Wow you guys really hate pure control decks, huh?
Meow!
Looking at the comments for Drogskol Reaver, I'm kind of disappointed that a mythic rare in a set that's supposed to be heavily top-down had nothing but cost-adjustment comments.

Of course, I'm guessing there might be other comments Zac didn't include in the article because they weren't relevant to the point he wanted to make for that particular card, but it still kind of weirds me out.

Come join me at No Goblins Allowed


Because frankly, being here depresses me these days.

That one doesn't seem quite as top-down as many other things in the set/block. Seems a little "let's make a bad@ss U/W flyer and call it Spirit"
@zammm: I'm not sure. I wouldn't be surprised if that was actually all the comments there were on the giant Reaver.

@The-D: I think that's precisely what happened. It's a mythic rare in the "let's throw together some powerful words" tradition; it's only a Spirit because it happened to be {U}{W}.

@Zac: Out of interest, how many cards in a small set like Dark Ascension have literally 0 Multiverse comments on them? 
*Looks at Curse of Exhaustion, Clinging Mists, and Drogskol Reaver's notes.*

Wow you guys really hate pure control decks, huh?



Because the majority of players really hate them too. 
@12three45

Really? Really?!?!

What set reviews are you reading that say that? There are plenty of sweet rares/mythics, and even at lower rarities, you have cards like the awesome Captain/Immerwolf cycle. It may not be the most exciting set ever, but I don't believe you for a second that the community at large is decrying it as terrible. Speak for yourself, but you have a very warped view of popular opinion of Dark Ascension. 
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every turn you're having to think about the thirty-plus cards in your opponent's graveyard, and you can't really interact with those cards without altering your deck significantly.


"Add Nihil Spellbomb" = "alter your deck significantly"?


That aside, good article.  I generally don't get much from these multiverse dump articles, but there was good commentary here.  And last week's article was really good, despite my failure to have commented on it.

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

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

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

The bit on Sanctuary Cat made me want to hug my cat.
@12three45

Really? Really?!?!

What set reviews are you reading that say that? There are plenty of sweet rares/mythics, and even at lower rarities, you have cards like the awesome Captain/Immerwolf cycle. It may not be the most exciting set ever, but I don't believe you for a second that the community at large is decrying it as terrible. Speak for yourself, but you have a very warped view of popular opinion of Dark Ascension. 




Everything in the 'financial value' sector is not optimistic about this set. If people aren't willing to pay anything for the cards after the draft is over, how good is this set? Sure, the captains are cool. They are a handful of uncommons. Where exactly do I get my value from opening the pack? Is it because draft is fun and Magic is like a movie? I spent my money for an evening of fun and shouldn't expect the cards to factor into it? Maybe my view is warped, but here's a quote from Todd Anderson on an SCG article about the value of this set:
'What I have gained from these comments: 1. This set sucks, and would be difficult for anyone to write about. 2. People don't like cats that much.'

I am not alone here.   
 
For playability thus far, LSV hasn't rated many cards highly. His best picks in red and blue have also been lower rarity cards. Again, that is cool for budget play that the best cards are lower rarities. However, I am having a hard time finding a reason to pay money for this product.   

Where exactly are people reviewing this set and saying how they can't wait to open a box of it just to get the cards?  

Agreed. The Pre-release was the worst pre-release I've been to. I cringed every time I opened a booster pack of Dark Ascension because I wanted it to be Innistrad instead.
I find it funny that I had almost the exact same conversation with my friends about the Zombie Appocalypse that the R&D team did, only in reverse.

My friends all wished that it worked to destroy the Humans first, and then returned the Zombies.  I believe they wished this to work more like the movie "28 Days Later" (where the rage-virus infected zombies nearly all emerge after the humans are pretty much all dead), and less like the later movies in George A. Romero's "Living Dead" series (such as "Land of the Dead", where the zombies are already there and slowly (but effectively) driving the humans towards extinction).

As for opening the cards, I am looking foward to it.  I have found quite a few new cards to add to my current decks.  And yes, some of them are lower rarity, but not all.

LSV isn't a God, guys.  And this is a game.  Have some fun with it, or stop playing.  It's as simple as that.

This pre-release was very entertaining for me.  My local was slower than they have been recently (certainly slower than M12 and NPH), but for the 40+ people that entered I haven't heard any complaints, other than the fact that there were a handful of drawn matches that could have been won given a few more turns.
@12three45

Really? Really?!?!

What set reviews are you reading that say that? There are plenty of sweet rares/mythics, and even at lower rarities, you have cards like the awesome Captain/Immerwolf cycle. It may not be the most exciting set ever, but I don't believe you for a second that the community at large is decrying it as terrible. Speak for yourself, but you have a very warped view of popular opinion of Dark Ascension. 




Everything in the 'financial value' sector is not optimistic about this set. If people aren't willing to pay anything for the cards after the draft is over, how good is this set? Sure, the captains are cool. They are a handful of uncommons. Where exactly do I get my value from opening the pack? Is it because draft is fun and Magic is like a movie? I spent my money for an evening of fun and shouldn't expect the cards to factor into it? Maybe my view is warped, but here's a quote from Todd Anderson on an SCG article about the value of this set:
'What I have gained from these comments: 1. This set sucks, and would be difficult for anyone to write about. 2. People don't like cats that much.'

I am not alone here.   
 
For playability thus far, LSV hasn't rated many cards highly. His best picks in red and blue have also been lower rarity cards. Again, that is cool for budget play that the best cards are lower rarities. However, I am having a hard time finding a reason to pay money for this product.   

Where exactly are people reviewing this set and saying how they can't wait to open a box of it just to get the cards?  





Wait, if there are a lot of good uncommons, doesn't that make you want to open a box more, not less?  I thought the time opening boxes didn't have much purpose was when the power cards were rare/mythic (might as well buy singles if you want a set).

Cats land on their feet. Toast lands peanut butter side down. A cat with toast strapped to its back will hover above the ground in a state of quantum indecision.

@metroidcomposite:

If uncommons were going for mental misstep and dismember prices, you'd be right. As of today when most of these cards are at their highest retail price they'll be, the most expensive uncommon on SCG is Droksul Captain at $2. There are a few at $1.50 after that, but you can't recover the cost of the pack with an uncommon in this set. The captains are cool, but they are narrow. This is reflected in how much people are willing to pay to play with them.

This is the time when singles prices are historically at their higest. Singles prices are low excpet for Sorin. There are plenty of ways to evaluate a set, but if the point is to get people to buy it, people aren't terribly interested in buying these cards for future use. I like cards in this set, but I feel like buying the packs is a waste of money.   


@isaacboyd:

I am aware that LSV isn't god, but the big names don't sound too excited about this set. Take his review of Moonveil Dragon.

'The whole six-mana firebreathing Dragon thing has been done to death, and there’s nothing here that’s remotely interesting.'

He didn't say that it is outclassed by other 6 drops. He flat out says it isn't interesting, and I agree. I even have a dragon tribal EDH deck and this thing won't make the cut. But, if I change my mind, I can pick it up for cheap.

This set appears to have too high a percentage of cards aimed for limited play only. I am actually disappointed that I don't want to spend money on Magic. That seems like the makings of a bad thing for a business.    


         
@12three45


Moonviel Dragon isn't interesting?

Really? IRC, it pumps up everyone.


Also, arguably, kitchen table and limited magic sells a lot more boosters then pure constructed only.  
LSV not thinking particularly highly of the quality/playability of certain cards doesn't equate to disliking a set, or finding it uninteresting. His reviews for limited seem to indicate a high number of playables-or-better, and some excitement about playing them.
His reviews for limited seem to indicate a high number of playables-or-better, and some excitement about playing them.

That's the whole freakin' point.
We're essentially renting the card for three hours, because there's not a hell of a lot worth owning.
Zac is hilarious. He is quickly become one of my favorite authors to read here, just because his tone, style, everything is just so perfect. Explaining who everyone is, then having a quick, self-deprecating "some idiot. poor guy" on his own explanation was tastefully done; sometimes, you have days where you feel like the stupidest person around. But hes quick to share what he thinks isn't a good thing ("i dont like durdly incremental value flashback"), even about the most recent set, which I feel a lot of people on the mothership aren't willing to do. Basically, his style just reads as very down-to-earth, and its always a pleasure to get to his articles.

A+, would read again.
It's funny; I wish every game of Magic were about the slow accumulation of incremental advantages, and he wishes none of them were. Oh well, obviously someone there is on my side or Mulches and Desperate Ravings wouldn't be printed. 
Meow.
Magic: The Gathering Rules Manager Wizards of the Coast Follow me @TabakRules
Meow.


I have to say, Sanctuary Cat tickles my fancy, as a cat-lover. The same has been true of a few other vanilla commons that have been printed of late. The problem runs toward when you compare them to other commons like Ezuri's Archers: a super-cheap common with THREE abilities. "You guys" (R&D) think that's good, but not some ability to make a "french vanilla" common.
"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)
To be honest, the only reason I ever open packs is to draft, because drafting is just that much fun for me. I consider it money lost unless I win or happen to open something expensive, but I don't expect either to happen. If I want to play the financial game, I buy and sell singles that I expect to go up and down in price. IMO, it's never been very smart to rely on opening specific cards in draft to get your money's worth. Of course, I only play online, I have a heavy bias in favor of drafting for drafting's sake, and the only constructed format I play competitively is Pauper, so...yeah. I guess I'm probably the one here with the most "skewed" view of the set. Still, it ain't no Worldwake, but from what I can gather from card prices so far, it doesn't seem like the set has that bad of an EV.
Profile picture by Mackenzie Schubert www.plaincomics.com
You guys realize you're all gushing over two weaksauce Portal cards, right?
You guys realize you're all gushing over two weaksauce Portal cards, right?


Yes. But it's a cat. That makes all the more difference. Note that I like Kami of Old Stone a lot, too.

"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)
This comment has nothing to do with this article. Idea: no DCFs in avr right? Think that means no werewolves? Really, REALLY want a legendary werewolf for a tribal werewolf EDH deck? Wishing that R&D would come to their senses and NOT deprive EDHers of a werewolf deck? Did you read one of the initial articles of original Innistrad containing the flavorful backstory of the plane and notice it mentioned what could've easily been a legendary werewolf in card form? Notice that it said that werewolf is almost always in it's WEREWOLF FORM? If you answered yes to any of those questions get this out of this planet idea! Wait for it...wait for it...SINGLE SIDED WEREWOLVES. What do you say, you think they'll give us that legendary in a one-sided form? Please post answers.
This comment has nothing to do with this article.



Single-sided werewolves you say?


On topic, this was a neat article, seeing some of the commentary the cards got in development.
You know what I mean. Those are old and they lack in werewolfishness.
Because the majority of players really hate them too. 


The majority of players hate everything except terrible "aggro" decks that play ten-drops. The game shouldn't be catering to scrubs. (Yes, I realize that it has to to stay profitable; doesn't mean I have to like it.)

It's funny; I wish every game of Magic were about the slow accumulation of incremental advantages, and he wishes none of them were. Oh well, obviously someone there is on my side or Mulches and Desperate Ravings wouldn't be printed. 


I had more or less the same reaction.
blah blah metal lyrics
This is the last I'll say. This set has things I want to own, but I don't want to open the packs that contain them. I am not some robot obsessed with EV. That 'interesting dragon' requires that you also open the best uncommon to break even on a retail scale. That is a problem. The mythics just aren't cutting it unless it's Sorin, and that guy is going to end up in the duel deck down the road. If you don't want to play b/w tokens now, there's nothing compelling here.

What does this set do? Sell packs 1 per draft at a time? How is that successful? People should want to buy box(es) and it isn't here due to a focus on 1 pack per player per draft for a short drafting season. If you think that dragon is cool, why does it take the best uncommon also in the pack to break even? The cards just aren't interesting on a large scale. Pros aren't gods but ask Olivia what a pro can do for a card. Bad attitudes thus far is not good, nor is the low prebuy pricing of most of the set. With this set, the pendulum swung way too far towards disposible Magic. I don't think this set will sell well, and they need to make sure they don't do this again. I am not just goint to quit over one poor set, but people buy boxes sight unseen. This set abused that trust. Sets need to contain some amount of cards people want to actually own.

INN had 10 rare lands that are reasonably good. This set 1. Those other 3 should not have been pushed back, and the green/black one shows how out of touch you all are. I don't want to harp on one card but come on. This thing clearly enables the new set mechanic. Enemy colored decks are harder to manage the mana than allied colors. In addition, black/green's new theme is GG for a 2 drop, BBB for a 3 drop, and you print a colorless enabler? If it was WWK style with this ability instead of manland, maybe it works. It doesn't make me want to open it as is, and my opinion is reflected in secondary pricing. In EDH, I'd rather have greater good for a draw engine or gain life for less mana off a colorless mana source. It has no standard appeal and no causal appeal. And 3 lands were pushed back. Why do I buy a box of this instead of more INN? The best reasoning is that no one is buying this crap and in the long run, its rarity becomes an advantage. That is a crappy sales pitch.

Because the majority of players really hate them too. 


The majority of players hate everything except terrible "aggro" decks that play ten-drops. The game shouldn't be catering to scrubs. (Yes, I realize that it has to to stay profitable; doesn't mean I have to like it.)

Against most strategies, you're still able to play the game. But things like pure control and land destruction, that is, the strategies Wizards has been avoiding making too strong lately, prevent you from playing the game. Games are meant to be fun; playing against pure control, land destruction, etc. is not fun for the vast majority of people. Wizards isn't catering to "scrubs", they're catering to people who want to actually play.
IMAGE(http://images.community.wizards.com/community.wizards.com/user/blitzschnell/c6f9e416e5e0e1f0a1e5c42b0c7b3e88.jpg?v=90000)
The problem runs toward when you compare them to other commons like Ezuri's Archers: a super-cheap common with THREE abilities.



What am I missing here?
The problem runs toward when you compare them to other commons like Ezuri's Archers: a super-cheap common with THREE abilities.



What am I missing here?


Everything, apparently. What's the difference between Norwood Ranger and Ezuri's Archers? There's no qualitative card to take the position of the latter in comparison to Kami of Old Stone, which makes it feel unique because it feels like it slides into a zone where its "vanillaness" enables a unique effect, while Devoted Hero has to jump rarites to gain abilities, such as Nova Cleric at uncommon or Devoted Caretaker at rare. This is why cards like Siege Mastodon and Kami of Old Stone should be favored as vanilla, because their cost and vanilla-ness enable a thing, while cards like Ezuri's Archers shouldn't be printed at common.

"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)
Reach is one ability.  "Whenever Ezuri's Archers blocks a creature with flying, Ezuri's Archers gets +3/+0 until end of turn." is a second ability.
I think it's funny how they can be squeamish about having the text "Sacrifice a human", when for years they've had a card text that says "Sacrifice Children"  Children of Korlis.  Also, we've been able to sacrifice a Little Girl for years now.
Reach is one ability.  "Whenever Ezuri's Archers blocks a creature with flying, Ezuri's Archers gets +3/+0 until end of turn." is a second ability.


Pardon, I either split one of the abilities, or conflated the card with another, probably three-ability common. This doesn't detract from my main point, however.
"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)
...while Devoted Hero has to jump rarites to gain abilities, such as Nova Cleric at uncommon or Devoted Caretaker at rare.

"Rarer = better" needs to die a very quick and very public death.

...while Devoted Hero has to jump rarites to gain abilities, such as Nova Cleric at uncommon or Devoted Caretaker at rare.

"Rarer = better" needs to die a very quick and very public death.

Is this a rhetorical statement? This question sure isn't.

"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)
huh?