02/27/2011 MM: "Nuts & Bolts: Higher Rarities"

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This thread is for discussion of this week's Making Magic, which goes live Monday morning on magicthegathering.com.

Any takers for a game of "Guess the unspoken subtexts that will underpin the article"?
Any takers for a game of "Guess the unspoken subtexts that will underpin the article"?


Umm...


  • "We intentionally create exactly one chase mythic per set, and mostly garbage for the rest"

  • "Rarer = Better is good for you.  Disregard those several years we crapped all over Ricky for doing that in Alpha." 

  • "[Roseanne reference here]"

I remain severely peeved that I've opened 42 packs in INS block and gotten exactly 0 mythic rares.  Of course, we all know you don't need those to be competetive, right?  Money Mouth
"We care about Limited players more than you rabble"
I remain severely peeved that I've opened 42 packs in INS block and gotten exactly 0 mythic rares.  Of course, we all know you don't need those to be competetive, right?  Money Mouth

Were they all Snapcaster Mages?  If they were, I'll trade you my many Essence of the Wilds for them.  I've got a few Reaper from the Abyss that I could let go, too.

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...
Didn't zendikar only really care about attacking with two drops? Why do we keep pretending it was a land block?
Didn't zendikar only really care about attacking with two drops? Why do we keep pretending it was a land block?


To be fair, the biggest part of the aggression came from the +2/+2 landfall cycle starring Plated Geopede. Aside from those six, the only common landfall cards were the common Quest cycle, Glazing Gladeheart, Shoal Serpent and Surrakar Marauder, and the latter was also really good.

So, it did revolve a lot around lands. 
That's not fair. Zendikar wasn't all about attacking with two drops.

A certain one drop was very important too.

Mythics aren't absutively necessary for tournament play. The WhiteBlue Humans deck that carried Jon Finkel, Jelger Wiegersma, and Denniz Rachid to the top 8 of Pro Tour: Dark Ascension had no mythics. Sure, none of those three took home the final prize, but that's still 3 out of 8 in the top eight at a Pro Tour running no mythics.

Decks running mythics tend to be better, but that stems as much from the fact that adding mythics adds more options. If you're looking for the best cards, they will inevitably be spread across all rarities. The current most important one-drop in standard is a common. One of the most powerful combo engines is also rare. Tiago is also format-defining, and rare.

Sure, a larger ratio of mythics are playable in constructed than any other rarity, but there's a lot fewer of them. Of all the mythics in Innistrad (Not using DKA as an example since it's generally assumed to be a weakish set overall) I count three that see serious play. (NOTE: Your area may see others, this is just from my experience) That's 3/17, or about 18%, which is not even close to Mythic = Awesome. Is it better or worse for more mythics to be awesome cards? Unimportant. The fact is that the need to possess mythics is nowhere near as great as people claim.
Immature College Student (Also a Rules Advisor)
Meh. Ideally a lack of a rarity system would be cool, with, um, y'know, a balance between the cards. That's probably why I like cubing so much. Most of the stuff is on the same level, or at the very least, nearly on the same level power-wise, so a lot of it depends on the context it is used in. But I guess it's good enough as-is.
Meh. Ideally a lack of a rarity system would be cool, with, um, y'know, a balance between the cards. That's probably why I like cubing so much. Most of the stuff is on the same level, or at the very least, nearly on the same level power-wise, so a lot of it depends on the context it is used in. But I guess it's good enough as-is.


Uh?

Assuming you're not using a super nerfed Cube, that is actually a format where you can play Ancestral Vision a card that can't be easily compared to much. You may think it's balanced because "they are all very good cards" but there's an enormous difference between Ancestral Visoin and, say, Ohran Viper.
As usual MaRo likes to pretend Rarity is entirely and exclusively a design issue.  "We have to make commons ultra-simplistic and too weak to win games because players need to get their game-winning complexity at rare!"  No, what they need is to keep their money.  By making it so that only rares and mythics and occasional uncommons can deliver victories or turn around a defeat, you are essentially saying nobody has the right to play the game on a budget.  I buy nothing but commons and the very occasional uncommon, because I like eating and keeping the heat turned on in my house.  Therefore, MaRo doesn't want me to ever win a game, at least not unless I'm playing against someone even more pathetic than me who can't even afford the uncommons.

And please stop using atrocious terms like "as-fan" and "New World Order".

As a Vorthos I'm very annoyed with the idea that a card isn't welcome in the set, especially at lower rarities, unless it connects to the set's mechanical theme.  What I want to see isn't "a graveyard set" or "a land block", it's a world.  I want a setting that makes sense and feels complete.  Innistrad mostly delivers on this, but its world feels a little small and simplistic.  Zendikar did a horrible job; it was full of cool stuff but with no real sense of centering, like a city with nothing but shopping malls where no people actually live and no power plants to keep the lights in the malls turned on.  Now imagine if you created a world that was like a cross between Innistrad and Zendikar, one in which scared peasants huddle together for protection against malign forces which lair in ancient ruins and guard objects of dread power.  That would be a great setting for Magic to explore, and could substitute for either Innistrad or Zendikar in flavor terms.  But you would have to not be afraid to have that set contain both land-matters cards and graveyard-matters cards, because both of those things would help it feel alive.

The lesson here is that your set should have some focus but you need to limit yourself to that focus. In other words, don't have five cards care about Thing A, five care about Thing B, and five care about Thing C. Instead, have fifteen care about Thing A. Note that you can have variance within that focus. Zendikar, once again, made caring about lands matter in multiple ways but it stuck to land drops as being the focus.



And that made it suck.  Landfall gets boring fast; the memorable cards in the set were oddball effects that cared about land in different ways, and there should have been more of them.  A good set should have five things that care about each of A, B, and C.  It makes that set more interesting, more holistic-feeling, and less like some narrow cliche.
My New Phyrexia Writing Credits My M12 Writing Credits
As far as the benefit of the rest of Magic is concerned, gold cards in Legends were executed perfectly. They got all the excitement a designer could hope out of a splashy new mechanic without using up any of the valuable design space. Truly amazing. --Aaron Forsythe's Random Card Comment on Kei Takahashi
I remember back when mythics were first introduced wizards said "don't worry you only dont like them because they are new and people don't like new things once you play with them everyone will think they are great"  Well it has been several years now and mythics are still and probably will always be in the top 3 things I hate about magic (actually sitting in #1 ahead of hexproof as evergreen and flip cards)  On a side note the case of sleeves I bought for my cube a while back are just seethrough enough that people can tell if a card is a flipcard or not.
So the real reason Yavimaya Wurm was dropped was not because it was hopelessy outclassed by Primeval Titan, but because it was a common limited bomb.
Looks like Magic has officially adopted the HeroClix rarity model, guys.
So next week MaRo's talking about Manos?

Come join me at No Goblins Allowed


Because frankly, being here depresses me these days.

So next week MaRo's talking about Manos?

Muhahahaha!


In a way, this whole block is starting to look like Manos: The Gathering - complete with those awkward bits with the couple in the car (aka DFCs) that really didn't need to be there at all, and just make the terrible narrative seem even worse.
But, picking a random Ed Wood movie would probably be a more accurate analogue (even Glen or Glenda).
And please stop using atrocious terms like "as-fan" and "New World Order".



If that's the actual terminology R&D uses, why shouldn't he use it?

Way to try and offer as little fuel as possible by hardly discussing mythics. "They do awesome stuff." The moment a single non-PW mythic sees play in the top 8, it skyrockets in value. Lord help us if it's a PW that sees play and you want to get one.
Didn't zendikar only really care about attacking with two drops? Why do we keep pretending it was a land block?


To be fair, the biggest part of the aggression came from the +2/+2 landfall cycle starring Plated Geopede. Aside from those six, the only common landfall cards were the common Quest cycle, Glazing Gladeheart, Shoal Serpent and Surrakar Marauder, and the latter was also really good.

So, it did revolve a lot around lands. 


But none of them really made the game feel like you were playing even a variant of the game where lands drops "finally" mattered. The games that went well just felt like normal magic games (with some extra triggers to yield to online). Of course the games where you missed land drops felt even worse, but it wasn't like in non-zendikar magic, you weren't like "Yes! Good thing I missed my 4th land drop!" The format had a different feel, but it wasn't that people were drafting gimmicky land decks, it was that people were second picking goblin shortcutters. Lands mattered in zendikar the same way that:

Plated handpede 1R
1/1
First Strike
At the beginning of your upkeep ~ gets +2/+2 unless you discarded a card during the last cleanup step

would make hand size matter, or

Plated Drawstepede 1R
1/1
First Strike
Whenever you draw a card during your draw step, flip a coin, if you win ~ gets +6/+6

would make draw step matter.
Didn't zendikar only really care about attacking with two drops? Why do we keep pretending it was a land block?


To be fair, the biggest part of the aggression came from the +2/+2 landfall cycle starring Plated Geopede. Aside from those six, the only common landfall cards were the common Quest cycle, Glazing Gladeheart, Shoal Serpent and Surrakar Marauder, and the latter was also really good.

So, it did revolve a lot around lands. 


But none of them really made the game feel like you were playing even a variant of the game where lands drops "finally" mattered. The games that went well just felt like normal magic games (with some extra triggers to yield to online). Of course the games where you missed land drops felt even worse, but it wasn't like in non-zendikar magic, you weren't like "Yes! Good thing I missed my 4th land drop!" The format had a different feel, but it wasn't that people were drafting gimmicky land decks, it was that people were second picking goblin shortcutters. Lands mattered in zendikar the same way that:

Plated handpede 1R
1/1
First Strike
At the beginning of your upkeep ~ gets +2/+2 unless you discarded a card during the last cleanup step

would make hand size matter, or

Plated Drawstepede 1R
1/1
First Strike
Whenever you draw a card during your draw step, flip a coin, if you win ~ gets +6/+6

would make draw step matter.




Just a quick reply: you are basically straw-manning the effect of "lands matter." No, hitting your third or fourth land drop wasn't that much more important than before (although it was arguably more exciting), but it definitely mattered way more when hitting your 7th or 8th land drop - in Zendikar, you were way less likely to groan after ripping two or three lands in a row around turn 15. Also, people generally had more land in their deck, so missing early land drops was less common, which was overall nice.

That's just part of the picture, but an important part that you overlook. 
Make the Card Efficient—Big cards might make the splash, but efficient cards win games. The trick to making these cards rare is to pinpoint their effect. They don't do just anything, but they do the thing they're made to do very well.



So boring but effective cards are bumped up to rare? This might be the best justification yet for keeping the dual lands at rare, but I have to wonder, is Seachrome Coast really that efficient that it makes rare while Delver of Secrets doesn't meet the standard? 
Possible typo--in your rare section, when talking about extremely complex effects on rares, you link Deadly Allure, an uncommon with an effect that...isn't super simple, but is not what I'd call complex.  Did you maybe mean to link a different card?

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.




Just a quick reply: you are basically straw-manning the effect of "lands matter." No, hitting your third or fourth land drop wasn't that much more important than before (although it was arguably more exciting), but it definitely mattered way more when hitting your 7th or 8th land drop - in Zendikar, you were way less likely to groan after ripping two or three lands in a row around turn 15. Also, people generally had more land in their deck, so missing early land drops was less common, which was overall nice.

That's just part of the picture, but an important part that you overlook. 


Zendikar games never went to turn 15. Sure it made people run 18-19 lands in limited deck, but it didn't dramatically alter how games felt. It made mana screw feel slightly worse, and mana flood feel slightly better (but when you are hitting your 8th land, you aren't drawing spells, drawing an extra 2/2 is probably better in most games then pumping a steppe lynx at that point). Its hard to believe anyone could have drafted zendikar and believe the theme was lands matter (if you ignored the mechanic's name). The set was "Curving out"-matters themed. When Frontier Guide isn't very good, its hard to believe that the major theme has something to do with lands.
By making it so that only rares and mythics and occasional uncommons can deliver victories or turn around a defeat, you are essentially saying nobody has the right to play the game on a budget.



So boring but effective cards are bumped up to rare? This might be the best justification yet for keeping the dual lands at rare, but I have to wonder, is Seachrome Coast really that efficient that it makes rare while Delver of Secrets doesn't meet the standard? 



You're misunderstanding something very important. Mark Rosewater is talking about design, not development. He helps make ideas for the game; he doesn't make the final decisions for the game.

With that in mind, when he says "There should be rare cards that allow you to make a comeback.", he's talking about Day of Judgment and Grave Titan as much as he's talking about Flameblast Dragon and Alpha Brawl. The same way, that commons should be, for example, simple "just attacks and blocks" creatures, that's Maritime Guard and Night Revelers, sure, but it's also Vampire Lacerator, Plated Geopede and Delver of Secrets.

A lot of what makes a card playable is not in its text box but in its mana cost as well. Design doesn't have the final say on this, for one. But the most important point is that design's job is to hand a prototype set, where you still don't know if the best red burn is going to be rare like Char or common like Lightning Bolt, where the rare Wrath can actually be used or will suck like Mass Calcify. That is certainly not an area design cares about.

Of course, there are some implications. When you need a Wrath variant, no matter how bad, it's going to be rare, and, so, more expensive. When you need Constructed duals, it's going to be rare. I'm just saying that Magic's very far away from having, as a rule, Fugitive Wizard at common, Zephyr Sprite at uncommon, Cursecatcher at rare and Delver of Secrets at mythic.

...And please stop using atrocious terms like "as-fan" and "New World Order".

As a Vorthos I'm very annoyed with the idea that a card isn't welcome in the set, especially at lower rarities, unless it connects to the set's mechanical theme...



I don't understand these comments. If those are the terms they use in the department, then why not share them?

Why does it annoy you that the mechanics and flavor both have to connect at common? Before they started making that connection, they built monstrosities like the literal and figurative Frankenstein's Monster. Also, remember that block about artificers where the mechanical theme was "enchantments matter?" Those were not good times.

What I dislike very strongly about this article is the assumption that rares don't matter at all for Limited. Individually, maybe not. But by ignoring the effects rares have on Limited, it makes the format (especially Sealed) into a bomb-fest. I'll be the first to admit I had loads of fun at the last few prereleases...but it was also very much bomb-dependent fun. I certainly didn't enjoy the Worldwake prerelease, where almost all my rares were Allies (in different colours and with no support) or crap (I didn't win a game until 4pm), or Jace, the Memory Sculptor battles at the M12 prerelease.
76125763 wrote:
Zindaras' meta is like a fossil, ancient and its secrets yet to be uncovered. Only men of yore, long dead, knew of it.
What I dislike very strongly about this article is the assumption that rares don't matter at all for Limited. Individually, maybe not. But by ignoring the effects rares have on Limited, it makes the format (especially Sealed) into a bomb-fest. I'll be the first to admit I had loads of fun at the last few prereleases...but it was also very much bomb-dependent fun. I certainly didn't enjoy the Worldwake prerelease, where almost all my rares were Allies (in different colours and with no support) or crap (I didn't win a game until 4pm), or Jace, the Memory Sculptor battles at the M12 prerelease.



I think you might be misrepresenting what he is saying. He's not saying that rares "don't matter at all", in fact rares are used to "Win Games" in limited. They are meant to be big splashy effects that make you excited to have in your opening hand, as well as acting as something for decks to draw to in case the game stalemates. They have a big impact on the "spice" of a limited format, but they do not effect the core of the draft experience. You can't build a limited archetype around a planeswalker or someother mythic. 

All he really meant is that you can't use Mythic to shape the "Texture" of a limited variety. E.g. lets say you made an artifact set and you wanted to make artifacts matter in draft,  if you put them all at rare and mythic then the set wouldn't play like an artifact set because it lacks the critical mass of "at-fan" artifacts to make drafting artifact strategies worthwhile.

(P.S. Also I rather like the term "at-fan" so much easier than "number of X that appear on average in a given booster pack")
I'm just saying that Magic's very far away from having, as a rule, Fugitive Wizard at common, Zephyr Sprite at uncommon, Cursecatcher at rare and Delver of Secrets at mythic.

While I agree with you that Magic isn't to that level of bad yet, I'd not say it's "very far" from it.
Look at Runeclaw Bear and Fauna Shaman, both in M11. Or at Coral Merfolk and Azure Mage in M12. They've not taken it to the extreme yet, but they're inching that way.
IMAGE(http://images.community.wizards.com/community.wizards.com/user/blitzschnell/c6f9e416e5e0e1f0a1e5c42b0c7b3e88.jpg?v=90000)
A rather silly example is Glory Seeker and Knight of Cliffhaven both in the same set (Rise) at the same rarity (common).
What the hell happened there?
What I dislike very strongly about this article is the assumption that rares don't matter at all for Limited. Individually, maybe not. But by ignoring the effects rares have on Limited, it makes the format (especially Sealed) into a bomb-fest. I'll be the first to admit I had loads of fun at the last few prereleases...but it was also very much bomb-dependent fun. I certainly didn't enjoy the Worldwake prerelease, where almost all my rares were Allies (in different colours and with no support) or crap (I didn't win a game until 4pm), or Jace, the Memory Sculptor battles at the M12 prerelease.



I think you might be misrepresenting what he is saying. He's not saying that rares "don't matter at all", in fact rares are used to "Win Games" in limited. They are meant to be big splashy effects that make you excited to have in your opening hand, as well as acting as something for decks to draw to in case the game stalemates. They have a big impact on the "spice" of a limited format, but they do not effect the core of the draft experience. You can't build a limited archetype around a planeswalker or someother mythic. 

All he really meant is that you can't use Mythic to shape the "Texture" of a limited variety. E.g. lets say you made an artifact set and you wanted to make artifacts matter in draft,  if you put them all at rare and mythic then the set wouldn't play like an artifact set because it lacks the critical mass of "at-fan" artifacts to make drafting artifact strategies worthwhile.

(P.S. Also I rather like the term "at-fan" so much easier than "number of X that appear on average in a given booster pack")



Look, I don't disagree with him that this may be the main goal of rares and that rares and mythic rares aren't there to texture the set. The problem is that they do affect the core of the Limited experience (I'm mostly talking Sealed here) because they warp the game too much. A single card is not a problem, but when half the rares are game-altering, the uncommons and commons feel like they're just there to act as a delaying tactic until the rares come into play. This is an issue that I feel is ignored in the article.
76125763 wrote:
Zindaras' meta is like a fossil, ancient and its secrets yet to be uncovered. Only men of yore, long dead, knew of it.
I'm just saying that Magic's very far away from having, as a rule, Fugitive Wizard at common, Zephyr Sprite at uncommon, Cursecatcher at rare and Delver of Secrets at mythic.

While I agree with you that Magic isn't to that level of bad yet, I'd not say it's "very far" from it.
Look at Runeclaw Bear and Fauna Shaman, both in M11. Or at Coral Merfolk and Azure Mage in M12. They've not taken it to the extreme yet, but they're inching that way.



Bears are the posterchild for common, and Fauna Shaman is a Survival of the Fittest on legs. It's rare (and "just" rare) because it's a brittle version of one of the most powerful engines of all time. Azure mage is a mediocre engine for being pricey, but it's also repeatable card draw, and only at uncommon.  They're both in very good places for their power level. I dare say you could not have picked two worse example in arguing that the rarity system is poorly skewed.
While I agree with you that Magic isn't to that level of bad yet, I'd not say it's "very far" from it.
Look at Runeclaw Bear and Fauna Shaman, both in M11. Or at Coral Merfolk and Azure Mage in M12. They've not taken it to the extreme yet, but they're inching that way.


Runeclaw Bear and Coral Merfolk are clearly meant for Limited (where they're both quite playable, incidentally).

A rather silly example is Glory Seeker and Knight of Cliffhaven both in the same set (Rise) at the same rarity (common).
What the hell happened there?


IIRC the idea is that when you see them next to each other in a pack, it really drives home the fact that bears are **** in that format.
blah blah metal lyrics

Look, I don't disagree with him that this may be the main goal of rares and that rares and mythic rares aren't there to texture the set. The problem is that they do affect the core of the Limited experience (I'm mostly talking Sealed here) because they warp the game too much. A single card is not a problem, but when half the rares are game-altering, the uncommons and commons feel like they're just there to act as a delaying tactic until the rares come into play. This is an issue that I feel is ignored in the article.



(Before I start, let me give everyone the tl;dr version: You have a legitimate grievence but good mythics are important for constructed and can't be removed entirely and MaRo is not the person concerned with limited "balance" but rather limited "texture".)

I see where you are coming from but there are two things to keep in mind.

1) Is the problem that, they have to get those great cards out their for constructed formats. Admittedly, in a perfect world for limited they wouldn't have to make consessions for constructed but they do. Planeswalkers are powerful but overall balanced cards in constructed... unfortunately that normally isn't the case in limited. This is why they are mythic, to try to negate that as much as possible. It happens a bit, true but its part of making a card game that caters to a variety of audiences, its not perfect for anyone. (Reminds me of the saying, "A good compromise leaves everyone mad.") And some of the actual rares are very powerful but generally have some restrictions that negate their usefulness. Alpha Brawl is amazing when cast, but generally you will die before you cast it unless you work hard to last that long.

Personally I don't think any of the Dark Ascension rares (choosing the latest set) are broken in limited. Many are among the best cards but most aren't so insane that they simply win every game you draw them. (Since many of the expensive ones will win if cast but that is of course one of their drawbacks.)

2) You have to keep in mind that this is a design article. His concerns for limited are primarily focused on making sure it has a certain "feel" not that all the rares are properly balanced to maximize limited enjoyment. Thats development. He is focused on the "texture", if i may reuse the term. I can allow that you have a legitamate grievance and your opinion should be heard, but I think MaRo isn't the person who is going to address it since its not really what he's interested in here.
 
In any case, I see your point but I don't feel its significant enough to remove it given the benefits that awesome rares and mythics provide the game at large.
Bears are the posterchild for common, and Fauna Shaman is a Survival of the Fittest on legs. It's rare (and "just" rare) because it's a brittle version of one of the most powerful engines of all time. Azure mage is a mediocre engine for being pricey, but it's also repeatable card draw, and only at uncommon.  They're both in very good places for their power level. I dare say you could not have picked two worse example in arguing that the rarity system is poorly skewed.

The fact remains that they print cards that are strictly better than other cards in the same set, the only difference being that the better cards are higher rarity. My point was that we already are at the beginning stages of "going up in rarity yields strictly better cards", merely not as dramatic yet as the extent referenced in the post to which I originally replied.

Runeclaw Bear and Coral Merfolk are clearly meant for Limited (where they're both quite playable, incidentally).

I never said they weren't. My point was merely that rarity does mean higher power level in many instances already. The focus on Limited is the main reason for this, but not the only one.
IMAGE(http://images.community.wizards.com/community.wizards.com/user/blitzschnell/c6f9e416e5e0e1f0a1e5c42b0c7b3e88.jpg?v=90000)
And please stop using atrocious terms like "as-fan" and "New World Order".


If that's the actual terminology R&D uses, why shouldn't he use it?


I don't understand these comments. If those are the terms they use in the department, then why not share them?

The first reads poorly, isn't grammatical and doesn't make sense to people not "in the know". These things aren't the end of the world, but they're reasons to avoid it all else being equal.

The other is a political reference that virtually anyone outside the US (not that most Americans seem to think we count), and a good number of people inside it as well, has good reason to find in poor taste if not outright offensive. That one is clear-cut - it simply has no place anywhere on WotC's site, and MaRo should not only quit using it but publicly apologize for having done so in the first place.
Jeff Heikkinen DCI Rules Advisor since Dec 25, 2011
The fact remains that they print cards that are strictly better than other cards in the same set, the only difference being that the better cards are higher rarity. My point was that we already are at the beginning stages of "going up in rarity yields strictly better cards", merely not as dramatic yet as the extent referenced in the post to which I originally replied.


I chose Fugitive Wizard/Zephyr Sprite/Cursecatcher/Delver of Secrets not because it was a strictly-better-progression (and it isn't). I did because it was easy to recognize "downright terrible/meh/good/excellent". I never meant to reference the "strictly better" thing, because we all know that discussion doesn't concern Constructed (and, so, prices) that much (i.e. You didn't stop playing Grizzly Bears because cards like Fauna Shaman saw print.).
The other is a political reference that virtually anyone outside the US (not that most Americans seem to think we count), and a good number of people inside it as well, has good reason to find in poor taste if not outright offensive. That one is clear-cut - it simply has no place anywhere on WotC's site, and MaRo should not only quit using it but publicly apologize for having done so in the first place.


That phrase has many meanings, but it is most commonly used to refer to kooky conspiracy theories.  What do you find so offensive about it?

 

Goblin Artisans
a Magic: the Gathering design blog
So we've basically got a three-dimensional continuum:

Complexity of a card correlates with rarity.

Size of a card's effect correlates with rarity.

Overall strength of a card correlates with rarity.


Which explains why we've got complex, splashy, but unplayable rares (due to mana cost usually - see lots of red enchantments), and very simple but strong commons (such as Lightning Bolt). We've, uh, gone over this before, really. It makes sense. Especially in Limited.

What doesn't make sense is why Mythic Rare was needed. Obviously, some kind of marketing research was done to check out what the impact might be - and that means it had to make sense...monetarily.

Which means that the reason for stretching the continuum unnecessarily *wasn't* design or developmentally motivated. Which is too damn bad.
The other is a political reference that virtually anyone outside the US (not that most Americans seem to think we count), and a good number of people inside it as well, has good reason to find in poor taste if not outright offensive. That one is clear-cut - it simply has no place anywhere on WotC's site, and MaRo should not only quit using it but publicly apologize for having done so in the first place.


That phrase has many meanings, but it is most commonly used to refer to kooky conspiracy theories.  What do you find so offensive about it?


I lean more toward the "in poor taste" end, but the most famous use of that phrase I am aware of is as a jingoistic Bush Sr-era statement of American exceptionalism.

But we're WAAAAAY off topic for this forum now.
Jeff Heikkinen DCI Rules Advisor since Dec 25, 2011
The other is a political reference that virtually anyone outside the US (not that most Americans seem to think we count), and a good number of people inside it as well, has good reason to find in poor taste if not outright offensive. That one is clear-cut - it simply has no place anywhere on WotC's site, and MaRo should not only quit using it but publicly apologize for having done so in the first place.


That phrase has many meanings, but it is most commonly used to refer to kooky conspiracy theories.  What do you find so offensive about it?

Hollywood Hogan, obviously.
I wouldn't go so far as to call for MaRo to apologize, but the term New World Order definitely has poor connotations. Whether you're talking about conspiracies or exceptionalism, I don't see any place for such a term on this website, especially since we aren't allowed to discuss politics in the first place. I guess if you're specifically talking about wrasslin' it's OK, but that would be kind of out of place, too.
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