03/26/2012 MM: "Point/Counterpoint: Targeted Card Draw?—Yes"

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

Calling it: "Targeted" wins today because nobody actually cares about new players enough to silence their knee-jerk votes for function.

...because that's what I did!
I vote for non-targeted.  It's cleaner, requires less clicks for MTGO and DotP, dodges redirect effects, and I feel there are better ways for people to help others in multiplayer.  However, if mill effects are intentionally being pushed in a set, I'd use targeted card draw.
Props to whomever did the awesome Lenticular Cat, which was the high point of the article
I voted "no" because the question is asking about the *default* - being able to target is potentially more useful/powerful, so should go on cards that are intentionally designed to be more flexible, more complex, or rarer. In my opinion, the default should be whatever we would expect to be the starting point for an effect.
I voted non-targeted.  As Netbrian said, non-targeted dodges most redirection.  It also dodges some narrow counterspells that counter spells with targets which tend to come up in Limited.  Getting blown out by Redirect is pretty awful.
I INTIMIDATE YOU WITH MY WORDS THEY ARE EXCESSIVE IN NUMBER AND YOU ARE FRIGHTENED BY THEM!  LET YOUR TINY BRAIN QUAIL AT THE NEED TO COMPREHEND MORE THAN THE BARE MINIMUM OF NECESSARY LANGUAGE!  MWAHAHAHAHAH!!!

But on a coincidentally similar but unrelated note, "You draw two cards" is unnecessary redundancy.  The imperative "Draw two cards" looks professional and lacks nothing in terms of clarity.

Oh, and teachers who repeat a lesson five times are pointlessly insulting the students who were smart enough to comprehend it the first time, and those are more important than the ones who require repetitions.  If there must be repetition, let it happen in remedial classes after the academic winners have been allowed to move on to a more challenging and useful class.  We need to stop trying to make our society stupider; it prevents us from growing and improving in ways that will be beneficial to those who get left behind in the short term.  They might feel bad about being exceeded, but those feelings will pass, and coddling them will stifle their betters and cause the whole of society to stagnate.

And Mark fails logic by using the number of "target"s in M12 as both proof of a problem and evidence of the solution.
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The Lava Axe comparison makes sense in theory, but not in practice. Take Rest for the Weary. I've had newer players ask out loud, "Why would I want you to gain life...?" It's like it just doesn't occur to new players that they themselves are "players". Or maybe they assume up front that anything "targeted" must be "aimed", and you would only ever aim things at other people.
I voted for no, because it makes more sense for the default to be the simpler version. If anything will convince me (we'll have to see after Zac's article) it would be the multiplayer argument. Having reason to let your opponent draw cards in a duel is just too unlikely for me to consider it worth changing the default.

Oh, and teachers who repeat a lesson five times are pointlessly insulting the students who were smart enough to comprehend it the first time, and those are more important than the ones who require repetitions.  If there must be repetition, let it happen in remedial classes after the academic winners have been allowed to move on to a more challenging and useful class.  We need to stop trying to make our society stupider; it prevents us from growing and improving in ways that will be beneficial to those who get left behind in the short term.  They might feel bad about being exceeded, but those feelings will pass, and coddling them will stifle their betters and cause the whole of society to stagnate.

You want us to stop making society stupider, but the way you propose to do this is to ignore those who need more help? Besides, Mark's point wasn't even that instructors should repeat something five times for the class to understand it; his point was the repetition makes it more likely that the students will remember it.
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I totally agree on Mark's point #3. Personally, I can still remember the awesome feeling I got when I first realized what cards like Enfeeblement were supposed to do. "Auras are supposed to go on my creatures, right? So why would I give it -2/-2? Wait... You mean I can put it on my opponent's creatures? Far out!" That's a really cool thing about Magic. It's just got so much potential to make oneself feel clever. And I fully support Mark's effort to add more of those moments to the game.
I love love love this concept for an article series. Design philosophy is one of my favorite things to read about, so an entire series dedicated to bringing up interesting design arguments and expounding on both sides of the issue? Fantastic.

I also like the idea of polling the audience (in both articles, I hope) to see what they think, because trying to figure out how your average player thinks is another thing I enjoy.

The Lava Axe comparison makes sense in theory, but not in practice. Take Rest for the Weary. I've had newer players ask out loud, "Why would I want you to gain life...?" It's like it just doesn't occur to new players that they themselves are "players". Or maybe they assume up front that anything "targeted" must be "aimed", and you would only ever aim things at other people.

That actually seems to be a nice counterpoint against what I thought was the strongest point of the article. It'd be interesting to see the numbers on that.

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Because frankly, being here depresses me these days.

I voted for non-targetted, but you made an excellent argument.  One of the best articles I've seen from you in a while.
Non-targeted, if only because Misdirection effects exist.
Additionally, please stop printing these as Sorcery.
Great article. It seems that you really went above and beyond the usual for today (no doubt these are arguments you've made several times at WotC), and I can't wait to hear what Zac has to say.

MinusPrimes' point and the MTGO clicking point are things I hadn't considered, but I do like the target version. They enable multiplayer moves and combo well with stuff like Underworld Dreams and Black Vise. Unlike Ertai87 and Qmark, I think it's a good thing that Redirect spells have as much utility as possible.

"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

Non-targeted, if only because Misdirection effects exist.
Additionally, please stop printing these as Sorcery.

They used to print a similar spell at 4cc but instant, but ended up deciding that it gave draw-go decks too much power.

Nowadays, they print it at 5cc, but with some benefit.  For example Think Twice can be split into two payments, Mysteries of the Deep allows you to use it during your turn, if you played a land, for 3 cards.  So...  more versatility.
I voted for no as well, under the assumption that the less complex version should be the default unless a substancial reason exists for introducing complexity. Multiplayer is a reason targeted draw cards should exist in large enough numbers (larger numbers than what we currently have, I would say), but not enough on its own to make it the default IMO.

I have to admit, I hadn't considered targeted draw as a pedagogical tool for new players. Certainly, that adds to the argument that targeted draw should exist, even at low rarity and/or core sets. I'm still not convinced, however, that it means we should make this the default.
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I voted for no as well, under the assumption that the less complex version should be the default unless a substancial reason exists for introducing complexity.



Ironically, this "less complexity" argument fails because it doesn't acknowledge the necessary complexity of the principle from which it purports to argue.

That is, "less complexity" is merely a principle with lots of room for nuance and, well, complexity. If it were not, we'd be playing War. Or Slapjack.

I vote for non-targeted.  It's cleaner, requires less clicks for MTGO and DotP, dodges redirect effects, and I feel there are better ways for people to help others in multiplayer.



I voted for targeted draw because it interacts with redirect effects.

I like that the article makes the case that complexity isn't bad. However, it falls short of really explaining what kinds of complexity are good and what are bad. Emergent complexity, the type that occurs when two cards interact in a way that is more (or less) that the sum of their parts, is good. It's really good. It is, in fact, the very fundamental principle on which a customizeable game like Magic works. Ensuring that the primary parts of the game work together is necessary to create the sort of game where interesting and meaningful interactions take place between cards printed a few months ago and those printed in the '90s.

The other kind of complexity, what I think of as "artificial complexity" is the realm of parasitic mechanics, and dead-end design. It's a fence around play, improvisation, and resourcefulness. Artificial complexity should be used carefully, at the limits of the game, to "scaffold" things. This is the realm of specific rules interactions. An example from a recent rules update:

800.4c


Okay, here's a fun one. This new rule is in the section that handles a player leaving a multiplayer game. Say Mark Rosewater, Aaron Forsythe, and I are in a three-player game. I cast Bribery targeting Mark and put his Maro (what else?) onto the battlefield under my control. Aaron then casts Act of Aggression, taking control of it until end of turn. While Aaron controls it, I leave the game. Nothing happens to Maro at this point as I neither own nor control it. When Act of Aggression's effect wears off, what happens to Maro? Its original controller has left the game. It feels weird to just leave it under Aaron's control because the effect giving him control of it just wore off. It feels weird giving it to Mark because he never controlled it. I decided exiling it was the choice most consistent with other rules handling what happens to objects when a player leaves the game.


Is that intuitive? Maybe. How about easily deduced if you know other, more basic, rules? Not at all. That's the kind of "bad complexity" that Magic should avoid.

Sure, that's somewhat tangential to the wording in question. "You draw two cards" is hardly parasitic. It's actually rather atomic in its design. The problem, though (and what it shares with the above example) is that it is also inert in its design. There are no compounds, or synergies, or anything. That design inertia is perfectly fine when it comes to creatures (say, Grizzly Bear), because creatures are in essence already interactive cards because of the rules of combat. However, when it comes to the very non-interactive business of drawing extra cards, it's much more important that the game support (but not require) some additional complexity there.

In sum, it's about creating something that works within a system, and not as an encapsulated extension of that system.
"Target player..." accomplishes one vital thing that "You..." does not:
It promotes the principle of emergent complexity.
I voted no and after reading the article am still firmly in the "No, this is adding complexity for little gain" camp.
I could see making occasional targetted draws with multiplayer in mind, but not behind making it the default.
The end is always nigh.
I'd like to point out not a problem with the debate, but with the point/counterpoint system in general. While I think it's a fantastic idea, I don't like having the point and counterpoint separated by nearly a week. I understand it's where Latest Developments falls, but I think it would be better suited having both sides of the issue presented on the same day.
Rules Nut Advisor
I said No, because it only seems to make sense based on flavour. I don't like the idea of card drawing becoming the 'alternate' burn you out via cards (instead of life) simply because it's messy. I remember judging at GP Canberra, and it wasn't until top 8 that anyone spotted a player who was using Compulsive Research while they ran True Believer as a regular threat. They targeted themselves constantly. After X many rounds of play, no one, player or opponent, had pointed out that C Research has the word "target" on it.

While I am definately fine with the occasional card drawing card to be targeted, especially where it makes sense. In triple Ravnica, it was certainly possible to build the Mill your opponent deck, and targeting them for three was totally a viable win condition. It'd be acceptable in Innistrad too, but certainly not every card.

Targeted draw is OK within the game, and feels very special when it shows up. But having it normally target makes it less special and more run-of-the-mill. The best parallel I can think of is when Combat damage no longer stacked. While I was in favour of that move (now you had to choose, trade your Sakura Tribe Elder or fetch a Basic?) I don't think it'll be the same with card draw.

No more "Wow, some card draw cards can target?" moments. Simply "Yep, another card draw card." A few people remembering the days when card draw wasn't auto-targeted, before being Redirected and having people Donate True Believers for their draw-go deck.

Also "YOU draw two cards" is very stupid. "Draw two cards" is as simple as you need it. I'd change my answer to "neither" if that's the alternative.

Remember "Destroy target land" Mark?
I voted "no" for targeting by default.
I definitely like to see the occasional "target player draws cards" every now and then.
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Amazing idea for an article, and some great arguments there as well. Please make more of this sort.

Myself, I gravitate towards the simpler version of "Draw two cards" because it is just beautiful. It makes the game just a bit more grasp-able (eh) to people with no familiarity to it and as such easier to get into (as everyone knows what "draw a card" means -- while it is important to introduce people to vocabulary words like target, there is plenty of room for doing that in other cards: bounce, removal, burn, pump etc) and there is something that is just elegant in encapsulating one of the game's most powerful effects into such a small number of words.

I INTIMIDATE YOU WITH MY WORDS THEY ARE EXCESSIVE IN NUMBER AND YOU ARE FRIGHTENED BY THEM!  LET YOUR TINY BRAIN QUAIL AT THE NEED TO COMPREHEND MORE THAN THE BARE MINIMUM OF NECESSARY LANGUAGE!  MWAHAHAHAHAH!!!

But on a coincidentally similar but unrelated note, "You draw two cards" is unnecessary redundancy.  The imperative "Draw two cards" looks professional and lacks nothing in terms of clarity.

Oh, and teachers who repeat a lesson five times are pointlessly insulting the students who were smart enough to comprehend it the first time, and those are more important than the ones who require repetitions.  If there must be repetition, let it happen in remedial classes after the academic winners have been allowed to move on to a more challenging and useful class.  We need to stop trying to make our society stupider; it prevents us from growing and improving in ways that will be beneficial to those who get left behind in the short term.  They might feel bad about being exceeded, but those feelings will pass, and coddling them will stifle their betters and cause the whole of society to stagnate.

And Mark fails logic by using the number of "target"s in M12 as both proof of a problem and evidence of the solution.

What's with nerds and übermensch fantasies. I mean. Seriously.

"Oh, you won't bother to dedicate mindspace to the intricacies of a card game about elves and goblins? God, you're so stupid; R&D please stop dumbing down the game for these dumb people. It is a game for their betters."
Oooooh interesting!!

I'm convinced that targeting should appear on more draw spells than it does currently, even if it isn't made the default.

As branewalker mentioned, the possibility of redirecting draw spells actually helps Mark's case. Imagine how it would feel for you to steal an opponent's draw spell for yourself? That's the kind of shenanigans Magic needs more of, and its not something a new player will have to worry about.

Minus_Prime makes a valid counterarguement to the "Lava Axe defense". Targeted card draw is not the same thing as targeted burn. Is there any metric data specifically on targeted beneficial effects like card draw and life gain? Maybe new players only 'get' Lava Axe because "target player" = "my opponent" to them?
I remember winning a match at GP when playing for day two when I win casting a Compulsive Research to my opponent.. For that reason, and because I want people to taste this sensation, I vote for "TARGET".
I voted yes, new players aren't all thick as two short planks, can't remember me or any of my friends having trouble puzzling over what targetting meant when we first started the game.

It's a small change which gives more gameplay options and can lead to some awesome timmy moments, Blue Sun's Zenithing someone in response to them using Jace's Archivist's ability to deck them feels awesome and anything that can create more moments like that is fine by me.
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I voted no. Draw spells should only target if there's a good chance it'd actually help deck your opponent.

I hope it wins just so I can laugh at MaRo. It's one of my favourite things to do.
I voted yes, for "targeted" as a default, but after thinking about it I wish I could take that back.

The first problem I thought of was effects like scry. It would be bizarre and pointless to use Foresee to make your opponent draw cards. So if they ever bring back scry again they shouldn't make it targeted. Same for several similar mechanics, I'll bet. Then Blue Sun's Zenith came to mind as a targeted drawing card I'm familiar with, so I searched for other Mirrodin Besieged drawing effects for comparison.

My conclusion? Looking at them, I'd say that the vast majority of them just wouldn't make sense as targeted effects. There are several cantrips - cards with minor, insignificant effects, or at least insignificant for their mana costs, that would be completely unplayable if they didn't have "draw a card" tacked on, like Frantic Salvage. The complexity of targeting choice really would be needless there. Favor-trading one card at a time in a multiplayer game isn't worth it like that, and no one in the history of Magic has ever milled someone to death with Oculus-like effects. (Well, I shouldn't say it that absolutely, but you get the idea.)

As for the rest, targeted drawing doesn't make sense as a concept. Call it flavorful design, or "grokability", or just generally making coherent cards, but what they're doing doesn't make sense if the drawing part happens to someone other than the controller. Neurok Commando, for example. Almost anyone can figure out what's happening in the current version - the creature is a spy, and when the spy makes contact with my enemy, I get a greater insight into what I should do. It would just make less sense if I could have the victim draw the card, or a third player who wasn't involved with the combat at all. Same for Vivisection.

So I guess I'd support the status quo after all, where targeted drawing is used on things that can go big and/or get reused, and most other drawing effects just say "you".
I vote for targeted. Just because it's terribly fun to randomly kill people with something like Sign in Blood. (I'd hope they'd leave future iterations of that one targeted just for the possibility of randomly killing people with it both by decking and by lifeloss anyway.)

I agree about the ubermensch fantasies. Willpell, you make me think and therefore I like you even when you drive me up the wall, but all that about "betters" and "remedial" and such is just... gah.
My conclusion? Looking at them, I'd say that the vast majority of them just wouldn't make sense as targeted effects. There are several cantrips - cards with minor, insignificant effects, or at least insignificant for their mana costs, that would be completely unplayable if they didn't have "draw a card" tacked on, like Frantic Salvage. The complexity of targeting choice really would be needless there. Favor-trading one card at a time in a multiplayer game isn't worth it like that, and no one in the history of Magic has ever milled someone to death with Oculus-like effects. (Well, I shouldn't say it that absolutely, but you get the idea.)



The article explicitly said that:

For purposes of this argument, cantrips—spells that draw a single card as a rider to the spell—are not going to be classified as draw spells.



It was clarified further later in the article that cards that have a good reason to (not) be targeted still would (not) be targeted - it's not a question of a global search-and-replace turning "[you] draw N cards" into "target player draws N cards" but rather a shifting of emphasis from "draw effects only target when they have a reason to" to "draw effects target unless they have a reason not to".

***

I have two "templating" issues with the article. The first is that the poll was too early in the article - yes, the paragraph before the poll did give enough information for a member of R&D to understand the question but the fact MaRo then spent the next paragraph or two restating and reexplaining the question shows that he didn't think he'd explained it well enough for his intended audience to understand it. I would have put the poll after the two Learns and followed it up with a picture (or even hidden the rest of the article) to minimise accidental read-ahead's influence on the vote.

The other issue, which others have already mentioned, is that the non-targeted version would be templated "Draw two cards" rather than "You draw two cards" (as seen on cards as recently as Divination's reprinting in Dark Ascension). Particularly since the article's version favours MaRo's side of the argument, it's tempting to accuse him of straw-manning - the difference between the targeted and untargeted versions with correct card templating is that the targeted version has two additional words and one additional letter - the difference between 5 words and 3 is rather more than the difference between 5 words and 4.


Oh, and I'm another person not thrilled by the 4-day wait for the counterpoint - ideally the two articles would both become available at the same time so that one's fresh in the mind before reading the other...

***

For the record, I voted for targeting to be the default on the grounds that it's more interactive, and that I'm a fan of cards that can be twisted to uses beyond the most obvious.
M:tG Rules Advisor
Most of what cybishop talked about is irrelevant to the article.  To quote it,

Draw spells are spells that result in a player drawing cards. For purposes of this argument, cantrips—spells that draw a single card as a rider to the spell—are not going to be classified as draw spells.



So even Foresee is irrelevant, because it has more of an effect than just drawing cards.

I take the side of targeted, for most of the reasons already stated.  I distinctly remember thinking Faithless Looting would have been nice as a targeted effect (though admittedly it isn't exactly a draw spell).

EDIT: ninja'd rather badly.
I have played heaps of Chaos Multiplayer. I have almost never seen anyone use a beneficial spell on an opponent for purely political reasons (I have seen someone use targetted card draw on someone else to mill them, or because they had a Psychic Possession though). Maybe if you're deliberately ganging up on someone, but that doesn't apply to card draw spells that may or may not help the situation, it's more like you show your "temporary friend" the Blaze in your hand and they agree to tap their Spectral Searchlight for you so you can kill another opponent. If you want to gain life or draw cards, you gotta run those effects in your own decks. Maybe my group is not that friendly? But also, if the point of the deck is to help opponents on purpose (Project Group Hug), it's usually easier to help someone else than yourself (see Phelddagrif) so you would be running cards that specifically are designed to help opponents rather than just a 'modular' card like a targetted Divination just in case you want to use it on yourself. If anything, targetted Divinations are worse for multiplayer politics since if you do use it on yourself, your opponents can accuse you of being selfish (whereas a regular Divination doesn't give them anything to complain about).

The thing is, tournament players are cutthroat. They will cause you feel bad situations by siding in Imp's Mischief against your Ancestral Vision. They will try to trip you up by asking you "who do you target" when you cast Esper Charm (it is a bit weird that one mode is targetted and one isn't - I actually thought I could use it to mill my opponent once). Forcing tournament players to play fair once in a while is a good thing. It makes it easier for new players to enter tournaments and not get surprised by what they thought was a mundane effect.

And yes, I have had someone ask me what 'target player' means and said things like 'wouldn't I just want to use it on myself / my opponent?' Especially if it's a duel and it's a negative effect, they wonder why they would want to cast their Lava Axe on themselves. This is where the difference comes through. Mark says that players have to learn 'target', but really, at first they only have to learn 'target creature',  'target artifact' etc. Which is easy to visualise as you can see the thing on the battlefield that is going to be affected. Because they kind of learn it in two stages. First they learn that it means picking what they want to pump or blow up. Later, when they learn priority and the stack, they learn that it means they have to choose what they are going to blow up when they cast the spell rather than when it resolves, and how this makes a difference. At this point, if they have played any multiplayer, they might realize why Lava Axe says target player - because you want to know whether it's pointed at you or another opponent before you decide to counter it. But if they haven't played multiplayer they might think, well its not like there's any confusion between what's meant to be aimed at me and what's meant to be aimed at my opponent.

I'm with Zac on this one.
The first problem I thought of was effects like scry. It would be bizarre and pointless to use Foresee to make your opponent draw cards. So if they ever bring back scry again they shouldn't make it targeted. Same for several similar mechanics, I'll bet. Then Blue Sun's Zenith came to mind as a targeted drawing card I'm familiar with, so I searched for other Mirrodin Besieged drawing effects for comparison. 

My conclusion? Looking at them, I'd say that the vast majority of them just wouldn't make sense as targeted effects. There are several cantrips - cards with minor, insignificant effects, or at least insignificant for their mana costs, that would be completely unplayable if they didn't have "draw a card" tacked on, like Frantic Salvage. The complexity of targeting choice really would be needless there.



I can confidently say that cantrips and combined effects were never under debate, and you're vastly inflating the concept of "draw spell".  It's about Divination, Jace's Ingenuity, and Opportunity.


---


I really liked Mark's point about repetition.  The more "target" gets used, the faster players grok it and stop having to read it at all.  I linked 3 cards in my preceding paragraph.  Without looking again, who can say which is targeted and which isn't?  Because they vary, answering it requires reading more closely.  If they were all the same, I could simply think "draw 2", "draw 3", "draw 4".  Even if I never use targeting, I can easily ignore something that's always there.  Not so if it varies.


So it seems clear to me that people saying "just on some" are doing a major disservice.  Targeted should be default for "draw 2" and above, as well as on simple repeatable effects, with judgment calls on combination effects.  But failing that they should just abolish targeted draw because "some" is more complex than "all", no matter how well-meaning its proponents are.

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

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Simunomics - Free-to-play economy simulation game.

Let's face it wanting the opponent to draw cards would happen even less than Mana Burn...
Let's face it wanting the opponent to draw cards would happen even less than Mana Burn...

When I started playing, that was the most common way to win a game of magic...

I agree with Alter_Boy (and not Qmark): more relevance for Redirect effects is good. I also like branewalker's argument that targeted card draw enables emergent complexity.


I do see the argument against it of more clicks on MTGO. But I still vote targeted as the general default.


To the people claiming targeted never matters, I give the example of my former housemate who had a UB control deck specifically built for 2HG: all its card draw spells were things like Deep Analysis specifically so that they could target the teammate where that'd be useful.


I also agree with TranscientMaster and rmsgrey that it's a problem that the arguments are separated by 4 days. It'd be much nicer if the weeks when there's a point/counterpoint argument could bring LD forward to Tuesday.

I voted "no" because the question is asking about the *default* - being able to target is potentially more useful/powerful, so should go on cards that are intentionally designed to be more flexible, more complex, or rarer. In my opinion, the default should be whatever we would expect to be the starting point for an effect.


This.

I don't mind seeing both wordings depending on the needs of the cards, but I think non-targeted being "default" is the better way to go.  Build up from there rather than break down.

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I'll have to second the complaint about MaRo's use of "you".  I know he's bad at templating, but when the issue of wording is central to the debate, precision is important.  All we had to do was look at one of those card drawing cards to see that there's no "you".  And whoever made the mockup of "Learn" should have noticed that the Divination it's based on doesn't have the "you".

It's sad, too, because I'm actually in favor of them targeting.  So when there's such a glaring error, that makes my side look bad.
I'll go the third option:  There's no good reason to set a default.  We can, believe it or not, have both in the game without it self-destructing.
I'm going to be a bit weird here and say that whether or not a draw spell should target should be impacted somewhat by the flavor of the card. Granted that is something that can be easy to fix, but I do think there should be a clear separation of the two.

They will try to trip you up by asking you "who do you target" when you cast Esper Charm (it is a bit weird that one mode is targetted and one isn't - I actually thought I could use it to mill my opponent once).



This actually has occured at least once in high level play.
A newer player said that he was casting Esper Charm "targetting myself". His opponent, Cedric Phillips, caught this, and asked him, several times, if he was sure about that.

He then called over a judge to verify what was going on and had his opponent discard two cards because that was the only mode of the spell he could use to target himself.

Aaron Forsythe has said in hindsight not allowing both modes of a spell that could theoretically target players to do so was dumb and unintuitive, and that if they had the chance they would have changed it so both draw and discard modes could target players.

I'm pretty firmly in the no camp as well. My first thought was "What about Ivory Mask and similar effects?". I'm also pretty sure that having an opponent give you a "you're a dumb noob" moment when they steal your card draw with an effect etc. is not a great idea. It would also guarantee that any time they print something like Imp's mischief there will be feel-bad moments all the time in tournament play, and it would hurt control disproportionately more than usual. Rosewater even said that they don't want to do that.

I like that Divination doesn't target, but Sign in Blood does. This gives players a chance to notice that they can kill using Sign in Blood, and concentrate on just drawing cards with Divination. Basically, I'd rather that targeted card draw be more obviously a kill tactic or something that's a tradeoff.
Voted for yes pretty much entirely on the multiplayer aspect. I think that wizards still underestimates what a huge percentage of beginning players begin with predominately multiplayer. They want to play a game with their friends, and they enjoy as many upsides at once as they can. It's only once they've played long enough that they've enjoyed a lot of the rewards of some of the nuanced plays that they grow to appreciate the subtler apsects that they can get equal enjoyment on a 1-on-1 game as they do in a multiplayer game.
It's been said, but it certainly bears repeating that this is a great concept for a new feature. I know there are complaints about the wait between the articles, but I don't consider it a major issue, personally - however, I already visit the site daily, so it's little-to-no inconvenience, for me.

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Personally, I think the best argument in favour of nontargeted draw (as a standard) would be the elegance of it, which is unfortunate considering that word count was the weakest part of MaRo's argument. The fact that these spells already have so few words in their text boxes means that the addition of a couple does detract from the visceral elegance of "Draw two cards" (I particularly love the three-words, three-mana symmetry on Divination); and it's the loss of elegance that I think needs to be balanced by the increase in function.

Fortunately, I think that in most cases, the increased interactivity and function is worth the loss. Having read enough of his articles, I'm pretty confident that MaRo respects elegance as much as I do - as such, I'm willing to bet that design would consider elegance a reason to remove targeting on the spells that really want that elegance. When it's not being done for aesthetic reasons, though, I think targeting better serves the game, and thus makes a better default option.

Interestingly, I've seen a lot of opinions that say the game should have some of each; and to be fair, I think we all agree that that's the case. Unfortunately, those statements seem to miss the point of the discussion entirely, as it's been stated that when one option serves the spell or the environment better, that option wins automatically - thus, there will be spells of both kinds. The question is when neither option carries that weight, what then? If we don't choose to default to one or the other, then should we be flipping a coin each time a card-draw card is designed, to determine whether it's targeted or not? I'm not confident that anyone really thinks that's the best option.

EDIT: I should say, though, that I'll have to reserve judgment until Friday's article. I'm favouring targeted draw, currently, but I'll certainly give Zac a chance to change my mind...
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