04/09/2012 MM: "Avacyn City, Part 1"

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

How in the crap is "Blast Away" anywhere near "bah-roken"?
"Spellsling"?  They called it "Gunslinging" back then.  I wonder whether it was a lawyer or a marketing doof that informed them they were required to pretend this was never the case and not mention it.
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My first response to this was a swear. But not in a good way. It seems every set brings with it a new excuse to ban Brainstorm...

In general I actually like the miracle mechanic (if not ridiculous effects like time walk being attached) but I've always seen draw trigger-type things as being perfect for red: The color naturally tends to top-deck anyway and it feels like red's philosphy of acting quickly and without much pause for thought should let it reap rewards for cating cards as soon as they are acquired.

Edit: And this doesn't bode well for Top either, but I never particuarly cared for that card.
It's not necessarily bah-roken, but in an aggressive red deck it's above the curve of burn spell efficiency, with no drawback. Compare to Shrapnel Blast, except no artifacts required. It would win games out of nowhere all the time.
Great article and great mechanic! Sadly, the existence of Brainstorm and Sensei's Divining Top makes me not like the preview card, Temporal Mastery, very much - it is just too easy for blue to set up the top of the library, and we already know that Time Walk is too good. It's the same old story - Blue is too powerful, and ever since broken Saga, r&d claims they have been trying to tone it down, but they continued to constantly print the strongest cards as blue cards! Fact or Fiction Circular Logic Meloku the Clouded Mirror Remand Cryptic Command Jace, the Mind Sculptor Consecrated Sphinx Snapcaster Mage etc etc.

They already said that they underestimated the power of Delver of Secrets and now delver decks get a hugely powerful effect that multiplies their already significant tempo advantage.

Maybe I'm totally wrong and the Miracle effects won't end up being playable in any constructed format, but to me it seems that giving Blue access to cheap extra turns is playing with fire - Blue decks already wants to run a ton of library manipulation, so I think this may end up working as a "real" Time Walk a bit too often.
Huzzah, an automatic 3/4-of in Delver decks, and our first candidate in the new set for banning! Seriously, how many times does Wizards need to reprint Time Walk before they realize that taking extra turns will always be broken. Even just top-decking this naturally is going to be a huge blowout in so many games, and that's not counting deck manipulation.
My thoughts exactly, Zoomba, about Brainstorm. This card singlehandedly breaks Legacy, as ANY Temporal Mastery you draw might as well read 1UU, discard a card named Brainstorm: take an extra turn after this one. DURING YOUR FRIGGIN' DRAW STEP. And let's not get into the fact that this DOES trigger on other people's turns, so you can Brainstorm a Mastery to the top during your turn, then pass the turn and Brainstorm again on upkeep to essentially Time Stretch them (you will take two turns where all of your resources are untapped). AND any additional instant speed draw effects (Whispers of the Muse, Electrolyze, etc) will work as well. I'm usually a combo player, and as a result I have an unhealthy love for extra turn effects, but this is just OBSCENE. Heck, imagine this in Modern in some kind of Pyro-Flames deck. They have some card manipulation already (Serum Visions), but they could start playing things like Telling Time, Halimar Depths, Index, Magma Jet, Mystic Speculation, or other otherwise horrid cards to get a chance at their Time Walk, and those strategies might actually be GOOD.
Okay, Mark, I know that you like experimenting with the format of your articles, and I usually like it because it keeps things fresh. But please, I'm begging you: Never. Do. This. Again.

I could not keep track of what was going on. It could have worked, if we hadn't been expected to keep continuity of all the stories within straight, but unfortunately, you kept returning to the same stories, as if you hadn't just spent twenty paragraphs writing about something not at all related, as if there was no way we'd have forgotten what you'd said before. The human mind doesn't work that way.


Now, down to business. Miracle is a bad idea. It doesn't excite me at all, because the answer is obvious: Ponder or similar to set up the top of your deck. That's about all you can do with it. It also discourages running any additional card drawing spells, because then you risk drawing the miracle in some non-miraculous way, and are stuck with an extraordinarily overcosted card. However, when you do get miraculous, the effect to cost ratio is absolutely ridiculous. From six mana to one. From seven mana to two. What the heck?

As for the preview card itself, wow. Just wow. How is that safe to print, at all? I mean, Time Walk is completely broken, but this isn't? If you get this card miraculously early, then I can't see opponents coming back from it. I think this card will probably be a staple in most Blue decks, though at least not likely as much so as Jace, the Mind Sculptor was.

This, combined with the fact that Undying is the only returning keyword from Innistrad block, combined with the fact that Soulbind is just boring and the absolute disappointment in the story (Seriously, Avacyn was mortally wounded, and you not only don't explain how she's now suddenly fully-healthy, you don't even mention the wound at all? And you claimed humanity was on the brink of extinction, but suddenly they're able to beat back all the monsters overnight, despite the fact that all of the demons are free and the human's numbers are severely dwindled from before, when they were only just holding their own against the monsters WITH AVACYN'S HELP? This story is an absolute mess...) Sorry, lost my train of thought there... But wow. Innistrad block was awesome, and this set could not be a worse let-down follow-up.

But hey, that's not important at all. Because Return to Ravnica, guys! They could have printed NOTHING in Avacyn Restored's place and the news that we're going back to the best setting in the game next year would STILL have me the most excited I've been for this game in years.
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I never complain about cards or mechanics.  My first reaction is always to see the good side...

REALLY?  A mechanic that dramatically increases swingy top decks?  Not good.  A mechanic that rewards game-slowing deck manipulation?  Really not good.  A card that takes that mechanic applies the most broken effect?.  Sounds like a very bad idea.

I agree with those that say this seems broken. Blue likes deck manipulation enough I don't see the cost being a significant enough drawback.

I guess hypothetically it's a dead draw your first turn/starting hand, so maybe you don't run 4. Maybe the correct number is 3 or 2 if you don't have access to brainstorm. But if anything, that makes it worse for the game, to have a card that will show up infrequently but be a wrecking ball when it does.

Also, I'm not quite sure why Wizards decided they wanted to kick logistics in the teeth so much during these sets. Transform, now this? I know people are going to screw up the timing on this. People aren't trained to draw cards carefully enough not to mix them into their hands. I know I'll personally screw this up, a lot. I hope this mechanic isn't at common, otherwise I'll F it up in draft all the time.

Is library manipulation even that important? If your deck does not have too many extra draw spells, or they;re alll instants, it's unlikely to accidentally land in your hand at all. Library manipulation just brings it closer to you - same as with any card.
Any idea how Miracle interacts with instant speed card draws drawing multiple cards? In essence, does draw 3 cards mean you draw your first card, then your second, then your third, or are all 3 drawn simultaneously and all 3 being "firsts".
One day, one of the playtesters came up to Richard and said, "I think one of the cards is broken."
"What do you mean?" asked Richard.
"Well," the playtester said, "I play this card and my opponent always loses on his or her next turn. That seems very powerful."
Richard asked to see the card. In its text box it read: "Your opponent loses next turn."
Richard laughed at the confusion and changed the card to read: "Take an extra turn after this one."
The card would, of course, be called Time Walk.


I like how this suggests Time Walk isn't broken...
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Any idea how Miracle interacts with instant speed card draws drawing multiple cards? In essence, does draw 3 cards mean you draw your first card, then your second, then your third, or are all 3 drawn simultaneously and all 3 being "firsts".

Each card is counted separately. Draw 3 functions as:
Draw a card
Draw a card
Draw a card.

So if you ancestral recall on your opponent's turn, if this comes up first, you can cast it for 2.
Any idea how Miracle interacts with instant speed card draws drawing multiple cards? In essence, does draw 3 cards mean you draw your first card, then your second, then your third, or are all 3 drawn simultaneously and all 3 being "firsts".

Each card is counted separately. Draw 3 functions as:
Draw a card
Draw a card
Draw a card.

So if you ancestral recall on your opponent's turn, if this comes up first, you can cast it for 2.



Thx.  That's what I thought it would be.
Another thought, at least you can't easily snapcaster this. That would be insane. But you can reclaim it. And reclaim is in standard. Are the other aspects of a turn worth -1 card?

Also, any way to move a card from your hand to top of library in standard? Trying to figure out if there's a way to run this as a 4 of.

EDIT: Forget reclaim. Run noxious revival. No need to splash green. Take an existing delver list, subtract some cards, and add noxious revival and this. I think an aggro deck is willing to suck up the card disadvantage. And noxious revival ensures you hit your delver trigger. This on top, trigger delver, cast this, extra turn, swing twice with Delver.

I'd be really surprised if that's not insane.

EDIT 2: Chronego pointed out that it's exile not place in graveyard. So won't work. Burning wish won't work either because puts into hand.
The inner U/W player in me just had a nerdgasm when I saw this preview. Seriously, just wow. I love seeing new versions of the P9 come out.
Another thought, at least you can't easily snapcaster this. That would be insane. But you can reclaim it. And reclaim is in standard. Are the other aspects of a turn worth -1 card?

Also, any way to move a card from your hand to top of library in standard? Trying to figure out if there's a way to run this as a 4 of.

EDIT: Forget reclaim. Run noxious revival. No need to splash green. Take an existing delver list, subtract some cards, and add noxious revival and this. I think an aggro deck is willing to suck up the card disadvantage. And noxious revival ensures you hit your delver trigger. This on top, trigger delver, cast this, extra turn, swing twice with Delver.

I'd be really surprised if that's not insane.

At least they got that much right, on this card. "Exile Temporal Mastery". So no Reclaim shenanigans.
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Temporal Extortion in a format with Ponder scares me a little. Will my Mystical Tutor get any other card again, ever? Well, maybe that's going a bit far, but this card does seem pretty good.
Also, I think they got the cost wrong on this.

Should be 5UU+100$.

Miracle- 1U+40$ (You may play Temporal mastery for its miracle cost + price tag, if it is the first card drawn this turn, and if it is after December 2012, and has therefore been banned in every major format).
Two other things just popped out at me while re-reading the article. First, mentionning the moxie of Tinsman to just make the mechanic as is a deal with rules consequences to be handled later and by other people seems less inspired than short-sighted to me. Second, you talk about how early designs of miracle were split between cost reduction and adding a rider effect to the "miracle casting". But then you just drop this thread by saying "development picked cost reduction" without explaining why.

These thing, combined with making a marginally more complicated Time Walk, make me unconvinced and uneasy about Miracle. You wrote about how draw triggers have been a design wish for years, but you still haven't sold us on why they suddenly work, much less that they're a good idea in this form.
I hate this card so much. Time walk, thats it? how about noxious revival and snapcaster mage, you realize those are in the same format right? Now you have to ban something in legacy, jace will likely be restricted in vintage. With ponder this card is just insanity at the point of no return. What are you doing? I can't play legacy now until that abomination is banned.
When cards like Noxious Revival and Ponder exist and the Scry mechanic exists, this mechanic is utterly broken.

This card is going to be banned right the hell away. 
I hate this card so much. Time walk, thats it? how about noxious revival and snapcaster mage, you realize those are in the same format right? Now you have to ban something in legacy, jace will likely be restricted in vintage. With ponder this card is just insanity at the point of no return. What are you doing? I can't play legacy now until that abomination is banned.

They're well aware of Noxious Revival. You might want to read Temporal Mastery again, closer this time. Revival doesn't let you reuse it.

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Because frankly, being here depresses me these days.

I hate this card so much. Time walk, thats it? how about noxious revival and snapcaster mage, you realize those are in the same format right? Now you have to ban something in legacy, jace will likely be restricted in vintage. With ponder this card is just insanity at the point of no return. What are you doing? I can't play legacy now until that abomination is banned.

They're well aware of Noxious Revival. You might want to read Temporal Mastery again, closer this time. Revival doesn't let you reuse it.



T3 alchemy pitching it, noxious revival on upkeep.


And I can do that all day since it's not restricted, I can play 4. 
T3 alchemy pitching it, noxious revival on upkeep.


And I can do that all day since it's not restricted, I can play 4. 

Yes, it's potentially extremely powerful. It's altogether possible it will see play, even in the eternal formats. My point was that mlanier seemed to be under the misapprehension that you could use and reuse Noxious Revival with Snapcaster Mage to get large numbers of extra turns out of a single Mastery. Which you can't.

Come join me at No Goblins Allowed


Because frankly, being here depresses me these days.

They're well aware of Noxious Revival. You might want to read Temporal Mastery again, closer this time. Revival doesn't let you reuse it.

There's no re-using to it.  It's getting it out of the hand and to the top of the library, where it belongs.
Temporal Mastery is an all-but-dead card once it's in hand (via the initial 7, or an extra draw somewhere, or drawing it without 1U available).  Find some way to pitch it, Noxious it back to the library, then Timewalk.
My problem is that I think this is just a mechanically bad idea. I compare it to Fateful Hour, and I feel the same way there as well.

Fateful Hour: great mechanic on a decent card.

Miracle: broken mechanic on an awful card.

In both cases, you have mechanics that "don't matter very often." You rarely can use Fateful Hour, so most of the time that line of text is wasted space. Miracles are even worse, most of the time it comes into your hands in the wrong way and is completely dead for several more turns of the game, in which you will get out a very overcosted perk.

At least with Fateful Hour, you got to use the card, with Miracle you may not even ever get to use the card-- more importantly, it's just a much worse option than anything you could do.

Both are fine in limited, both have some part to play in constructed (although one much more offensively), but both are cards where the mechanic (or the casting cost) is likely not to be relevant most of the time. Both are very weak mechanics indeed-- I want to actually be able to use the cool cards I deck.

At least we still have Souldbond to look forward to: a good mechanic on fine cards. 
Card sleeves were very much a thing in 1996.  Most of the people I played with in 1995 sleeved their decks.  But at the time most sleeves were transparent on both sides, unlike today's sleeves.

I liked the structure of the article a lot.
One day, one of the playtesters came up to Richard and said, "I think one of the cards is broken."
"What do you mean?" asked Richard.
"Well," the playtester said, "I play this card and my opponent always loses on his or her next turn. That seems very powerful."
Richard asked to see the card. In its text box it read: "Your opponent loses next turn."
Richard laughed at the confusion and changed the card to read: "Take an extra turn after this one."
The card would, of course, be called Time Walk.


I like how this suggests Time Walk isn't broken...



Truth.

This card gives me hives.  I'm fine with Miracles, but did blue mages really have to get one? Never mind that the one they get is a bloody Time Walk? It's just not fair.
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There's no re-using to it.  It's getting it out of the hand and to the top of the library, where it belongs.
Temporal Mastery is an all-but-dead card once it's in hand (via the initial 7, or an extra draw somewhere, or drawing it without 1U available).  Find some way to pitch it, Noxious it back to the library, then Timewalk.

If it becomes overly powerful, I can easily see people working to counteract that kind of sequence. Thought Scour has already seen competitive play and answers that sequence fairly well. Heck, people might even start sideboarding Ghoulcaller's Bell or Shriekhorn if it gets really bad. Ooh, possibly Horrifying Revelation if the setup's done via Ponder--now that would be a kick in the pants. I'd like to see that.

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Because frankly, being here depresses me these days.

Another thought, at least you can't easily snapcaster this. That would be insane. But you can reclaim it. And reclaim is in standard. Are the other aspects of a turn worth -1 card?

Also, any way to move a card from your hand to top of library in standard? Trying to figure out if there's a way to run this as a 4 of.

EDIT: Forget reclaim. Run noxious revival. No need to splash green. Take an existing delver list, subtract some cards, and add noxious revival and this. I think an aggro deck is willing to suck up the card disadvantage. And noxious revival ensures you hit your delver trigger. This on top, trigger delver, cast this, extra turn, swing twice with Delver.

I'd be really surprised if that's not insane.

At least they got that much right, on this card. "Exile Temporal Mastery". So no Reclaim shenanigans.

Unless the card was discarded to something, like Faithless Looting, or Liliana, etc. This card is actually broken. I expect bannings.
I feel this is happening because the head of the teams are too emotionally invested into the cards they suggest. Listening to the way Mark has been talking about a lot of cards recently makes me feel like a lot of his team disagreed with his suggestions yet he keeps pushing them through even if it's probably not for the best.

Maybe Wizards should start looking at another layer of producing cards? One with more power to keep the ego of some of the designer in check so we don't get such ridiculously stupid mechanics like this.
I think it's great. Amazingly undercosted abilities that require some amount of setup are exactly what Johnny loves, and this card delivers very nicely. Can certainly see trying it out in u/r delver, with faithless looting + noxious revival to set up delver flips & miracle draws.
Don't listen to the haters. I don't think it will dominate any of the formats, but it will see a little play in all of them. Especially in Modern Pyromancer Ascension, which already uses noxious revival and thought scour, might end up with faithless looting for this guy.
There seem to be plenty of answers to most of the scenarios presented in this thread already (heck, some of them are in IN/DA!), although it's true that when this does work it will be insane.  Then again, isn't that what Mythic Rares are all about?

(Oh, and I'd just like to say that I like non-linear narratives, so this article worked out just fine for me. If anything it was a bit too over-structured, but that's OK for something that may be the first time a person has seen it.)
Apart from the inherent broken-ness of this card and of the mechanic itself (basically it works ALWAYS unless the card was in your opening hand or you somehow draw it second or third in the turn... not very likely: you could as well say: 90% of the times you can play the cards with their miracle cost. You could not always want to do it, but if all effects are like this, you would be quite silly to "not want" to cast Time Walk, while having the chance to do it), apart from this, I was saying, what I really hate most about this mechanic (and consider I am not usually a hater for any new things Wizards give to us) is how it dramatically changes the way we materially play Magic for so little reason.
I mean: now EVERYONE should ALWAYS slowly peel the card at the top of his deck and CAREFULLY watch it, JUST IN CASE it is a spell with miracle? And also spend time pondering (sorry for the pun) if he should really cast it with miracle (maybe not always obvious), in the case it happens to really be a spell with miracle? And that in all the formats where miracle is legal (so basically every format right now)? You could answer: "no, just in the case you have cards with miracle in your deck", and I would say: "Ok, so, if you just uncarefully draw your cards as always, you're basically giving away to your opponent the info that you are not playing spells with miracle" (and that could be relevant).
But let's assume that you'll do this only if you actually have cards with miracle in your deck: how do you avoid cheats or, at the very least, confusion, if you don't draw ANY first card of your turn the way I described above? And how dumb it is radically changing like this the way we all are used to draw our spell? I can see already some casual circles, with players continually flickering the cards in their hands, where one player draws, flickers a little, and then says "oh, wait, it had miracle!" and another one says "Stop it, you had it in your hand since the beginning" and chaos ensues. And probably the guy didn't want to cheat at all. It's only that we are used to pay way less attention to our draw phase and if you want to force us to ALWAYS pay so much attention instead, you're simply going against human nature (a big no-no, Mark Rosewater, isn't it?).

And all of this mess, for all of the draw phases, all of the time in all of the games, for what kind of reward? Maybe 5% of the time (I am exaggerating) you'll actually peel a spell with miracle (I don't think the ratio would be much higher, unless full "miracle" decks appear in some format). I mean, you annoys 95% of players' draw phases, to get a reward 5% of the time...

Sorry guys, i could go on for hours about this, but I swear I never saw a worse-designed mechanic ever in my life: and I play Magic since a dozen years, and I very rarely was an hater for whatever new mechanic... But this is really so bad, and not for mechanical issues or power level, but because it affects in a poor, annoying way the very way we use to play this game. Sigh.
This will contribute to a unique drafting environment, to be sure.

But players are going to have to be VERY careful how they draw cards, especially in formats with Brainstorm. You just can't grab a pile of cards off the top of your library anymore, nor can you immediately flip your draw into your hand like so many players do.
Of all the miracle cards that are or will be, this is the one I'm least looking forward to playing against.

I loled at the insertion of the Gordian Knot tale in the middle of the article.
Nicely done, Mark.
Any idea how Miracle interacts with instant speed card draws drawing multiple cards? In essence, does draw 3 cards mean you draw your first card, then your second, then your third, or are all 3 drawn simultaneously and all 3 being "firsts".

Each card is counted separately. Draw 3 functions as:
Draw a card
Draw a card
Draw a card.

So if you ancestral recall on your opponent's turn, if this comes up first, you can cast it for 2.


I assume this will be handled somewhat like madness. In this scenario, you can't cast the first card when you draw it because you are in the middle of resolving a spell that requires that you draw 2 more cards. You'd reveal the first card, but you couldn't actually cast it until the others were drawn. I haven't seen them address how to handle this mechanic on other players' turns.  

As someone that has cast Time Walk many times, I found this article to be insulting. I rarely rip time walk and cast it right then. That isn't what actually casting time walk for 1U is all about. To claim that this card will make that happen is taking advantage of your customers. It crosses the line to abusing players that want to 'live a dream' by tricking them into paying 1U for something when it is correct for them hold it and pay 5UU for it.

It will be a nightmare when players draw it and forget to reveal it because they put it in their hand by habit and now have to pay 5UU for it.   
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