02/20/2011 Feature: "The Problems That Wouldn't Die"

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This thread is for discussion of this weeks's Feature Article, which goes live Monday morning on magicthegathering.com.
Hm. This article sounded like an apology. 

Good lessons for game design. I think that Undying appeals to Spikes whereas Timmy likes Persist, and that seems counterintuitive when you first think of it. Undying only makes the creature better, while Persist makes it worse. Yet, before they die, the Persist creatures are generally better than the Undying ones.

Hence, Timmy feels okay playing a Persist dude because it's good the first time, and whatever sloppy seconds you get from it is gravy; Spike is willing to play an initially unappealing creature because CARD ADVANTAGE!

Re: Limited. Hopefully, more people will realize that Hunger of the Howlpack is anti-undying tech as well as a boost for you.   

Good call on making DKA about cool monsters over sucky humans. I haven't been disappointed by a set since Alara block, and DKA is very pleasing to me! 

"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

Thanks Tom, not a perfect article, I really enjoyed this.
For example, New Phyrexia is about being assimilated into a creepy, horrifying hive mind, and therefore does its best to make you feel a little violated. There are small color pie bleeds all over the place,



Small color pie bleeds?

More like blatant disregard for the color pie.




...yes I'm still upset about that crap. And yes it does make me feel violated. But there are surely other ways of doing that without pissing on the Bible and ruining multiple formats for months.
Very interesting article. Farbog Boneflinger did seem somewhat weedy by comparison with Keening Banshee (and Morkrut Banshee for that matter), and I was wondering what was up with it. Discovering that it was toned down from a format-defining uncommon makes a lot of sense.
Four cards that were at the high end of their tribes that are now not worth playing.  Too bad they couldn't change them to commons/adjust mana as well to match their value.
Boneflinger for 4 would have been a maybe but for 5?
Warlord for 6 is tough for a creature that hits hard on casting but then is vanilla.
Alpha and Tower Geist for 4 are atleast close.
Tom

Both yourself and Mark Rosewater (in his discussion about Archangel's Light) have implied in articles here that you did not have enough time to best optimise DKA. What gives? 
Based on reading this article, DKA spent a lot of time as a "Boo humans" set instead of a "Yay monsters" set. It really reads like the "Yay Monsters" theme showed up late enough that they didn't get to do as much testing as they normally do.
Immature College Student (Also a Rules Advisor)
Four cards that were at the high end of their tribes that are now not worth playing.  Too bad they couldn't change them to commons/adjust mana as well to match their value.
Boneflinger for 4 would have been a maybe but for 5?
Warlord for 6 is tough for a creature that hits hard on casting but then is vanilla.
Alpha and Tower Geist for 4 are atleast close.

Uh, they're all still quite good. Boneflinger is still a first pick without a bomb or other removal spell. Warlord is expensive, but still ends games upon arrival. Tower Geist is great (especially in combination with Angel of Flight Alabaster) and would be just bonkers if you could dig deeper. Briar Alpha is pretty much a green removal spell, even though there's already a better version of it.
Problems with innistrad and dark ascension:


1.  Geist of St. Traft (hexproof 3 drop that does 6 dmg put in a color that has multiple legit anthems... genious!)
2.  Underwhelming instants/sorceries.
3.  Pointless flashback cards (unless they are white).  Wow, geistflame... 4 mana for 1 dmg... sweet!  meanwhile White gets to diarrhea spirit tokens all day for 2.  RADICAL!
4.  Overwhelming creatures.  Why play spells when all the creatures do more control for less mana?  FUN!
5.  Limited playstyles.  Control is a joke, burn... doesn exist, and tempo is only legit when Geist of St. Retard is in the mix.
6.  Thanks for making more delver killers, but not improving on our options for killing hexproof.  Guess player-player interaction is stupid.  Might as well just put our heads down and burp cards onto the board and hope we win this lovely game of luck.
7.  White White White.  Why?
8.  Undying is stupid and white didnt need fateful hour.   
Four cards that were at the high end of their tribes that are now not worth playing.  Too bad they couldn't change them to commons/adjust mana as well to match their value.
Boneflinger for 4 would have been a maybe but for 5?
Warlord for 6 is tough for a creature that hits hard on casting but then is vanilla.
Alpha and Tower Geist for 4 are atleast close.

Uh, they're all still quite good. Boneflinger is still a first pick without a bomb or other removal spell. Warlord is expensive, but still ends games upon arrival. Tower Geist is great (especially in combination with Angel of Flight Alabaster) and would be just bonkers if you could dig deeper. Briar Alpha is pretty much a green removal spell, even though there's already a better version of it.

That.
Keep in mind that people play Limited and those cards were "too good" in Limited, not Constructed.
OMG click HERE! OMG! How to autocard and use decklist format
--->
For autocarding, write [c][/c] with the name of the card inside it. [c]Island[/c] = Island For linking a card to Gatherer without writting the name of said card for readers, use the autocard brackets together with and equal sign and right the name of the real card. Then put the message you want inside the tags, like you would do with autocarding. Like this: [c=Curse of the Cabal]Captain Never-resolves[/c] = Captain Never-resolves For using the decklist format, follow this: [deck] 4* Terramorphic Expanse 4* Evolving Wilds ... [/deck] It equals:
Real signature, Sblocked for space:
57817638 wrote:
I like storm crow because I really like crows in real life, as an animal, and the card isn't terribly stupid, but packs a good deal of nostalgia and also a chunck of the game's history. So it's perhaps one of the cards I have most affection to, but not because "lol storm crow is bad hurr hurr durr".
Listen to my SoundCloud while you read my signature. The Island, Come And See, The Landlord's Daughter, You'll Not Feel The Drowning - The Decemberists by vimschy IMAGE(http://dragcave.net/image/rkvR.gif)IMAGE(http://dragcave.net/image/L3es.gif) IMAGE(http://dragcave.net/image/m71H.gif)
Quotes
56747598 wrote:
57295478 wrote:
Although I do assume you deliberately refer to them (DCI) as The Grand Imperial Convocation of Evil just for the purposes of making them sound like an ancient and terrible conspiracy.
Now, now. 1994 doesn't quite qualify as "ancient".
56734518 wrote:
Oh, it's a brilliant plan. You see, Bolas was travelling through shadowmoor, causing trouble, when he saw a Wickerbough Elder with its stylin' dead scarecrow hat. Now, Bolas being Bolas took the awesome hat and he put it on his head, but even with all his titanic powers of magic he couldn't make it fit. He grabbed some more scarecrows, but then a little kithkin girl asked if he was trying to build a toupee. "BY ALL THE POWERS IN THE MULTIVERSE!" he roared, "I WILL HAVE A HAT WORTHY OF MY GLORY." and so he went through his Dark Lore of Doom (tm) looking for something he could make into a hat that would look as stylish on him as a scarecrow does on a treefolk. He thought about the Phyrexians, but they were covered in goopy oil that would make his nonexistant hair greasy. He Tried out angels for a while but they didn't sit quite right. Then, he looked under "e" (because in the Elder Draconic alphabet, "e" for Eldrazi is right next to "h" for Hat) in his Dark Lore of Doom and saw depictions of the Eldrazi, and all their forms. "THIS SHALL BE MY HAT!" he declared, poking a picture of Emrakul, "AND WITH IT I WILL USHER IN A NEW AGE OF DARKNESS -- ER, I MEAN A NEW AGE OF FASHION!" And so Nicol Bolas masterminded the release of the Eldrazi.
57864098 wrote:
Rhox War Monk just flips pancakes, and if games have told us anything, it's that food = life.
56747598 wrote:
76973988 wrote:
This thread has gotten creepy. XP
Really? Really? The last couple days have been roughly every perverse fetish imaginable, but it only got "creepy" when speculation on Mother of Runes's mob affiliation came up?
76672808 wrote:
57864098 wrote:
57531048 wrote:
Nice mana base. Not really.
Yeah, really. If my deck was going to cost $1000+, I'd at least make it good.
99812049 wrote:
I like to think up what I consider clever names for my decks, only later to be laughed at by my wife. It kills me a little on the inside, but thats what marriage is about.
56816728 wrote:
56854588 wrote:
Of course, the best use [of tolaria west] is transmuting for the real Tolaria. ;)
Absolutely. I used to loose to my buddy's Banding deck for ages, it was then that I found out about Tolaria, and I was finally able win my first game.
70246459 wrote:
WOAH wait wait wait
56957928 wrote:
You know, being shallow and jusdgmental aside, "I later found out that Jon infiltrated his way into OKCupid dates with at least two other people"
56957928 wrote:
"I later found out that Jon infiltrated his way into OKCupid dates with at least two other people"
56957928 wrote:
Jon infiltrated his way into OKCupid dates
56957928 wrote:
OH MY GOD
109874309 wrote:
The only way I'd cast this card is into a bonfire.
82032421 wrote:
The short answer is that there's no rule barring annoying people from posting, but there a rule barring us from harassing them about it.
56747598 wrote:
Browbeat is a card that is an appropriate deck choice when there's no better idea available. "No better idea available" was pretty much the running theme of Odyssey era.
56874518 wrote:
Or perhaps it was a more straightforward comment indicating a wish for you to be bitten (Perhaps repeatedly) by a small yet highly venomous arachnid.
70246459 wrote:
58280208 wrote:
You're an idiot, and I'm in no mood for silliness.
57817638 wrote:
57145078 wrote:
You just... Vektor it.
That's the answer to everything.
70246459 wrote:
58347268 wrote:
I think the problem is that you don't exist.
This would sound great out of context!
56965458 wrote:
Modern is like playing a new tournament every time : you build a deck, you win with it, don't bother keeping it. Just build another, its key pieces will get banned.
57864098 wrote:
57309598 wrote:
I specifically remember posting a thread when I was just a witty bitty noob.
You make it sound like that's still not the case.
58325628 wrote:
Rap is what happens when the c from crap is taken away.
Doug Beyer:
But sometimes it's also challenging. Because sometimes OH MY GOD, WHAT THE HELL IS THIS THING?
141434757 wrote:
Flashforward five thousand years (Click for atmosphere) :
57927608 wrote:
to paraphrase Jeff Goldblum, Vektor finds a way.
58347268 wrote:
when in rome **** AND PILLAGE
143229641 wrote:
I always find it helpful when im angry to dress up in an owl costume and rub pennies all over my body in front of a full body mirror next to the window.
Dymecoar:
Playing Magic without Blue is like sleeping without any sheets or blankets. You can do it...but why?
Omega137:
Me: "I love the moment when a control deck stabilizes. It feels so... right." Omega137: "I like the life drop part until you get there, it's the MtG variant of bungee jumping"
Zigeif777:
Just do it like Yu-Gi-Oh or monkeys: throw all the crap you got at them and hope it works or else the by-standers (or opponents) just get dirty and pissed.
57471038 wrote:
58258708 wrote:
It's true that Alpha and Beta didn't contain any cards like Tarmogoyf, Darksteel Colossus, or Platinum Angel. It just contained weak, insignificant cards like Black Lotus, Mox Sapphire, and Time Walk.
Normally it's difficult to pick up on your jokes/sarcasm. But this one's pretty much out there. Good progress. You have moved up to Humanoid. You'll be Human in no time.
91893448 wrote:
94618431 wrote:
I didn't know Samurai were known to be able to cut down whole armies...
They can when they're using lightsabers!
57129358 wrote:
97980259 wrote:
My wife brought home a baby black squirrel they found on a horse track and cared for it for a few days. We named it Grixis, but it died.
Unearth it!
70246459 wrote:
[/spoiler] And I'm on Magic Arcana. How about you? Oh, by the way, I'm also on From the Lab now. Twice, actually. And now with my own submited decklist!
Boneflinger still sucks. Thats doesnt mean I wont play cuz sometimes its the only option. But it should've cost 4. I havent seen many complaints about the others in the first place. Warlord and Briarpack are still ridiculous as they are.
Boneflinger still sucks. Thats doesnt mean I wont play cuz sometimes its the only option. But it should've cost 4. I havent seen many complaints about the others in the first place. Warlord and Briarpack are still ridiculous as they are.

I ran Sorin and a pair of Boneflingers as a splash in my Green/White deck at the prerelease.  The single they required made them better in my deck than even Keening Banshee or Skinrender would have been (and much better than the tribal version).  I had to wait patiently for a Swamp in one game, but when I finally found it, it was just in time to take out Diregraf Captain and then the follow-up Havengul Runebinder.  Five mana for them was perfectly acceptable.
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...
Remember, folks, when you are discussing how disappointed or over-underwhelming these cards can be: Development is primarily concerned with Limited, and much of what it does is done in the form of Limited in playtesting. The FFL does do Constructed stuff, and there are plenty of cards that get tweaked or even just made (like Grafdigger's Cage) whose sole function is to interfere with or enable Constructed. It is lamentable, I think, how much time gets taken up in the game to balance or influence Limited, as if that were its sole focus, but that that format also dominates most if not all the commons, most of the uncommons, and several rares and one or two mythics. Thus, Magic is kinda playing two games and packaging/releasing both at once. What is even more disastrous, though, is the influence of certain power cards that wreck any strat: good players build for removal, but most of that is influence by and influences good creatures in the game, so that when cards that tend to be largely immune to them (like Planeswalkers) come in, they become problems and bomb the game something bad. I hate loosing to luck (draw influences) but even more so because the card that is stopping me is being supported by my opponent not having to draw and play it every turn to withhold my play abilities. That's just PWs, though. I think this is a problem.
"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)
I have to agree with being annoyed with just how much focus is given to limited over constructed when making sets. I mean obviously people playing limited are dumping absurd quantities of money into the game, far more than I could ever hope to, but it still is kind of annoying to hear over and over again "We nerfed this because limited," "We upped this thing's rarity because of limited," "We couldn't do this because of limited."
Immature College Student (Also a Rules Advisor)
I'm adding my voice to the frustration with Limited being such a large focus of design these days. I miss the days when I could take all of the commons and uncommons I'd opened and build a decent deck with only the occasional rare.
So many of the commons back in Ravnica and Time Spiral blocks were exciting... I miss that.
IMAGE(http://images.community.wizards.com/community.wizards.com/user/blitzschnell/c6f9e416e5e0e1f0a1e5c42b0c7b3e88.jpg?v=90000)
Remember, folks, when you are discussing how disappointed or over-underwhelming these cards can be: Development is primarily concerned with Limited, and much of what it does is done in the form of Limited in playtesting.

With the end result being a set containing mostly nothing worth owning.  These cards are explicitly engineered to be thrown away after about three hours.

That twelve bucks for a draft is better spent on a bottle of cheap whiskey.  It will likely last longer, and you'll probably actually feel less terrible the next morning.

Or go to your local redbox and rent twelve movies.  That'll come up to about eighteen or so hours of entertainment, there's no need to be around a bunch of sweaty guys eating burritos, and it's essentially just as much a 'rental' as forty-two Magic cards that will mostly all suddenly become useless cardboard the exact moment the draft ends.
For the record, I am absolutely okay with the resources being put into this game with regard to Limited play.  Draft on.
For the record, I am absolutely okay with the resources being put into this game with regard to Limited play.  Draft on.

Limited is awesome, and also the most fun way to acquire cards to build Constructed decks with, later.  However, it is very frustrating that Mythic rares now make it so difficult to actually acquire a sufficient assortment of cards through opening packs, including by playing Limited.  That said, by making it so difficult to acquire cards, they have successfully priced me out of competitive Constructed, so I hope Wizards continues supporting Limited and putting a lot of effort into making it the most enjoyable format they can.
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...
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