07/02/2012 MM: "Old Timers"

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

I had always loved Oubliette because it both had great flavor and great game play.

I always loved Oubliette because it used the word "hence".

I remember back when  Clone was technically illegal, there was fair confusion about what exactly it did.  Did it copy counters?  Enchantments?  What about temporary effects like Giant Growth?  If you interpret the card as "copy what's on the table" and not "summon another of what's on the table", those are perfectly rational leaps to make.


Of course, rule clarification was much harder back then too.  At the Tempest prerelease I attended, Verdant Force was ruled to give its upkeep counters to whoever's upkeep triggered it.  Within 2 weeks the ruling was "no, it's a typo of the Impulse magnitude.  They meant just on your upkeep."  It was another few weeks before the "Owner's token, every turn" ruling finally propagated and took effect.



edit: (Just realized my autocard shows the box set Impulse and not the Visions one.  The original printing said "Look at the top four cards of your library. Put one of them into your hand and the rest on the bottom of your library in any order.  Shuffle your library."[/c].

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

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

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

The positive/negative aspect of the Saga/Legacy Rancor cycle is actually BS.  The common green entry in Saga was actually Fortitude, not Spreading Algae.  Fortitude was positive ("Sac a forest: Regenerate enchanted creature").  Spreading Algae was uncommon and part of a ten-card uncommon hoser cycle (the others being Carpet of Flowers, Douse, Hibernation, Absolute Law, Absolute Grace, Yawgmoth's Edict, Bereavement, Scald, Disorder).
When mana can't solve power issues, your mechanic has a huge problem.


I have 1 word for you: Cascade.

Do you guys ever actually *learn* your lessons, or just pretend to so that we think you're actually being productive?
Would love to hear the reason as to why Birds of Paradise and Llanowar Elves got the chop in the same set rather than the history lesson behind Rancor.

Have to say that I'm also a little disapointed that Timely Reinforcements wasn't given another year in the core as well...
Would love to hear the reason as to why Birds of Paradise and Llanowar Elves got the chop in the same set rather than the history lesson behind Rancor.

Rampantly cynical speculation:
"You may have noticed that creatures have gotten better over the past few years.  We've come to realize that cheap mana-dorks like Llany and birds makes those better creatures happen too early." - or something strongly similar. 

Don't be surprised if a green Sisters of the Flame pops up sometime soon.

@Ertai,

Or phyrexian mana offcourse. Free spells are broken, lets try them out over and over again =P

About birds:
Birds of Paradise has a Ravnica on it, so I am pretty sure they are just re-using the old trick again (it will be in Return to Ravnica).

Llanowar Elves got switched for Arbor Elf, probably because of the shock duals (again, in return to ravnica)
When mana can't solve power issues, your mechanic has a huge problem.


I have 1 word for you: Cascade.

Do you guys ever actually *learn* your lessons, or just pretend to so that we think you're actually being productive?


No, it seems like every few years they go,
"Not paying mana for spells with the Moxes was really broken."
"Know what's a great idea, FREE SPELLS!"
"Hmm, ok, maybe that was broken too."
"I know, we'll make tons of copies of the spell."
"Well, Storm turned out to be about the most broken mechanic ever."
"Hey, know what might work?  Giving people a free spell that costs less mana."
"Hmm, this still seems broken."
"I know, we'll make them pay life instead."
"Hmm, broken and now everyone gets to play removal!"
"[Next iteration of free spells goes here]"
"Wait, still broken."
The end is always nigh.
Of course they're always going to try and give us things without paying mana because we like them! We would probably complain if this turned into wow tcg with hardly any mana ramp, reanimation etc. Not all ways of getting things for free are broken (see Dramatic Entrance, Rise from the Grave etc). Bloodbraid was a powerful card because it was deliberately pushed, not because there was anything inherently wrong with cascade (apart from the Hypergenesis interaction which is because of the rules of the game). If bloodbraid was a 2/2 instead of 3/2 it wouldn't be nearly so popular. (While Captured Sunlight was played in an interesting deck for a little while, it didn't exactly rip the meta apart). And even dismember has fallen out of popularity recently proving that the problem with it is not so much raw power level as that it ruins the color pie.
Murder - Destroy target creature.
Craterize - Destroy target land.
Smelt - Destroy target artifact.
Demystify -Destroy target echantment.
Erase - Exile target enchantment. 

Why not go for that most elegant of cycles? 
Probably because to truly make it a cycle, you would end up needing a blue card that said "Destroy target planeswalker", and no way in hell R&D would print that on anything with a Magic card-back.
The thing is, free spells have gotten less and less free. Cascade was broken when it was on cheaper creatures like bloodbraid elf, but then we got phyrexian mana, which, IMO, is the worst way to get a free spell. Think about it. Is one damage really worth two life? Remember pro tour dka when kibler  let was playing in the quarterfinal, heown one game becaus his opponent killed himself with two many gitaxian probes (four on one turn). Also, they were meant to break the color pie. That was the flavor purpose, to show phyrexians as the hive culture they were. And on rancor: I'm gonna call that the knewmost feared opening in standard will be t1 accelerant, t2 strangleroot Geist and a Rancor, swing.Gruul aggro, smash!!!!
 
Would love to hear the reason as to why Birds of Paradise and Llanowar Elves got the chop in the same set rather than the history lesson behind Rancor



Llanowar wasn't rotated out, it was upgraded.  Even if the rumors of the return of shocklands are false, the fact that M13 contains Farseek rather than Rampant Growth strongly implies that Arbor Elf will have some nonbasic Forests to untap in Standard.  And as someone else said, when the original Ravnica came out they didn't put BoP in the base set but did reprint it in Ravnica, so something similar may be going on here.  Or maybe they're about to print the next Noble Hierarch and didn't want us to have both.

I don't see much hope for Rewind seeing constructed play unless WOTC manages sufficiently to slow down the game. Traditional controlling blue/x decks aren't exactly rocking and with the removal of Mana Leak, DoJ they'll have even more trouble living beyond turn 4. And the lack of instant card draw always makes more expensive counters weak. Hopefully Ravnica brings back Remand or adds a decent instant draw spell.
Probably because to truly make it a cycle, you would end up needing a blue card that said "Destroy target planeswalker", and no way in hell R&D would print that on anything with a Magic card-back.



Because of the text or because it's blue? 2 cards in that 'cycle' are red, and green doesn't have a card either. I'm sure one day we'll get "destroy target planeswalker", as either a green card (which can destroy noncreature permanents) or a black card (which can destroy creatures (flavor) and can remove counters (function). I agree M13 would be a bit too early for this. But the cycle would still be cool, even if incomplete. I see no reason why we had to get the random Erase instead.

EDIT: oh wait I do. Rancor of course, duh. I understand now, just a little sad =)

I don't see much hope for Rewind seeing constructed play unless WOTC manages sufficiently to slow down the game. Traditional controlling blue/x decks aren't exactly rocking and with the removal of Mana Leak, DoJ they'll have even more trouble living beyond turn 4. And the lack of instant card draw always makes more expensive counters weak. Hopefully Ravnica brings back Remand or adds a decent instant draw spell.



Remand is seen today as way above the curve by Wizards.
When mana can't solve power issues, your mechanic has a huge problem.


I have 1 word for you: Cascade.

Do you guys ever actually *learn* your lessons, or just pretend to so that we think you're actually being productive?


No, it seems like every few years they go,
"Not paying mana for spells with the Moxes was really broken."
"Know what's a great idea, FREE SPELLS!"
"Hmm, ok, maybe that was broken too."
"I know, we'll make tons of copies of the spell."
"Well, Storm turned out to be about the most broken mechanic ever."
"Hey, know what might work?  Giving people a free spell that costs less mana."
"Hmm, this still seems broken."
"I know, we'll make them pay life instead."
"Hmm, broken and now everyone gets to play removal!"
"[Next iteration of free spells goes here]"
"Wait, still broken."



The thing is, all of those "free" mechanics play out very differently.

Moxes were broken because they were effectively non-land lands, and let you jump ahead in mana on every spell thereafter. Barring Shatterstorm, they were always better than basic lands at the time. Time/stage of game is the axis along which these broke everything else.

Cantrips (whcih you didn't mention) weren't broken at all. They actually upgraded them (from drawing you a card on your upkeep to just drawing you a card right away). They could have been broken, but the effects are generally so small that they aren't. Most are things that you would be flat ashamed to spend a whole card on (Jump) or that could be the (rather useless) activated ability of a permanent. Clearly, not all forms of "free" break something.

The "free" mechanic managed to keep you on curve through the time it was cast, but had an unstable interaction with non-basic lands to produce a High Tide effect. They learned to avoided breaking the game in terms of time up until the spell was cast, but broke in a new, different way. This underscores how important it is not to take tap/untap mechanics for granted.

Storm is broken mainly because it uses copies created by a casting trigger. There is no way to counter the "combo" centerpiece, and everything else that affects storm happens on the stack. There's no need for on-board objects that can be targeted. The lesson here is, if you're going to make something free by trading one resource for another -- in this case setup time/cards/mana for size of effect -- don't also make it more difficult for traditional answers to answer.

Cascade is not so much a rider as the main effect. The "effect" is the icing on the cake. "Next spell free" is the real effect. The way to build a cascade card is to start with a CMC, maybe even a full casting cost (colors and all) since you want gold cards for Alara block), and then ask "what can I give them for free to offset the fact that they have no idea what they're getting? There's only a narrow range of starting CMCs that work, but that's no different than having a narrow range on creature power that's acceptable with deathtouch. Cards with cascade are similar to cards with cantrip in that they replace themselves, but give you a small effect for the mana. The main issue was that "3/2 haste elf" is the part that's "too good to be free". The effect is not small enough. A 2/2 would have still been good, and 2/1 would still have been played. Heck, 3/1 would have probably been fair and color-appropriate as well.

The complaint against phyrexian mana are mainly on how it bled the color pie... which was its goal. There are some issues in how and where they bleed the color pie. For example, R&D seems to have forgotten that giving every color "Force of Will" means that blue also gets another one. but that's not so much a flaw with the Phyrexian mana system as it is with the fact they ultimately decided it would be good to have another cheap blue counter.

There are also a number of other "free" effects that appear in the game all the time. Some like Sol Ring are obvious, but others like Mogg Fanatic and Sakura-Tribe Elder (under damage uses-the-stack rules) that are less obvious because they're just so fair that we don't think of them that way.


Remand is seen today as way above the curve by Wizards.



I'm aware of that, but after several years of boosting creatures and nerfing spells I think Wizards should rethink that view soon. Maybe not right *now* because blue has Delver, Snag, Ponder and Snappy, all which are also great aggro cards, but once those are starting to rotate out blue needs something. Heck, creatuers have become insanely better since the good old Counterspell was standard legal, even reprinting that shouldn't be unthinkable, along with some decent card draw like Compulsive/Thirst.


Remand is seen today as way above the curve by Wizards.



I'm aware of that, but after several years of boosting creatures and nerfing spells I think Wizards should rethink that view soon. Maybe not right *now* because blue has Delver, Snag, Ponder and Snappy, all which are also great aggro cards, but once those are starting to rotate out blue needs something. Heck, creatuers have become insanely better since the good old Counterspell was standard legal, even reprinting that shouldn't be unthinkable, along with some decent card draw like Compulsive/Thirst.



The way Wizards sees it, spells and creatures used to be in an unhealthy balance, with spells being far more powerful. By nerfing spells and boosting creatures they have now arrived at a fair balance where they feel both are equally powerful and represented. Why would they want to go back into unbalanced territory? This is bad news for spell-lovers, but the current status quo is simply beloved by way more players. 
I'm sure one day we'll get "destroy target planeswalker", as either a green card (which can destroy noncreature permanents) or a black card (which can destroy creatures (flavor) and can remove counters (function).



Personally I wouldn't want to see a card that simply reads, "Destroy target planeswalker" purely for aesthetic reasons.  I'm willing to put up with stuff like "destroy target noncreature permanent," but if a card's only purpose is to remove a planeswalker I hope they remember the "loyalty" flavor and have it exile the card or remove all counters instead, which mechanically amounts to basically the same thing.
Murder - Destroy target creature.
Craterize - Destroy target land.
Smelt - Destroy target artifact.
Demystify -Destroy target echantment.
Erase - Exile target enchantment. 

Why not go for that most elegant of cycles? 

Because R&D has forgotten how to do cycles properly, lately.

First, there was no legendary werewolf. Now, Nefarox costs six while the other four cost four. They're really dropping the ball on cycles here.
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Cascade as a mechanic can be "fixed" by increasing the mana cost of the spell with the mechanic, because it makes the value of the "free" spell considerably more variable.  Cascade-into-Hypergenesis/LivingEnd/RestoreBalance is brutal because it's deterministic *and* you can build a reasonable deck around 3-cost cascade spells.  If the minimal cost for a cascade spell were 4, it would be a lot harder to make that deck work; you could be dead before you got to play it, since you can't do anything but play lands until then.

Bloodbraid Elf is broken because it's a 3/2 with haste and a rider (which could be a discard-two-cards-take-3-damage optimally), not because the rider mechanic is broken itself.
was the free mechanic ever tried as 'Add mana equal to this cards casting cost to your mana pool' or some variation of?  i feel like if it was done that way, and kept mostly to reactive cards it might still be fun, but not too good.
Deconstruct coexisted with Mind's Desire and Chrome Mox in Standard and completely failed to break anything, so yes.
was the free mechanic ever tried as 'Add mana equal to this cards casting cost to your mana pool' or some variation of?  i feel like if it was done that way, and kept mostly to reactive cards it might still be fun, but not too good.


Blue had the free spells as you know them in Urza block, but Black also got a one-off in that block, Priest of Gix (later shifted to Red as Priest of Urabrask) which saw minor play as a combo piece. They tried giving Green some of that treatment in Mirrodin (Deconstruct and Turn to Dust), which never went anywhere.
Stupid core set, id imagen t2 is going to have even less turnouts now.

Nothing fun to play with other than "Pick me and build around this guy" type crap.
I miss the old days.
Probably because to truly make it a cycle, you would end up needing a blue card that said "Destroy target planeswalker", and no way in hell R&D would print that on anything with a Magic card-back.



Because of the text or because it's blue? 2 cards in that 'cycle' are red, and green doesn't have a card either. I'm sure one day we'll get "destroy target planeswalker", as either a green card (which can destroy noncreature permanents) or a black card (which can destroy creatures (flavor) and can remove counters (function).



I'm thinking that there isa  very simple way to do this:

White - destroy target enchantment. White gets Demystify for this at baseline.
Blue - counter target spell. Blue gets that catch-all Cancel, a preemptive "destroy" effect.
Black - destroy target creature. "Murder, Marge: A group of crows is a murder."
Red - destroy target land. Craterize seems a neat way to avoid the issue of Stone Rain being too good at 3 mana (if you're on the play, you can cripple your opponent in limited with a shot at two or three of SRs, but at 4, Craterizes gives the opponent the ability to Cancel it).
Green - destroy target artifact. Green has Verdigris, but it is strictly worse than Oxidize on two levels.

If each of the colors got MERELY "destroy target [permanent type]," without overlap, to set new baselines this is what they'd be (excepting Blue, which would have to settle for something like Essence Scatter). However, if each color got at baseline a method to deal with a given permanent type but not just destroy it, Erase comes closer to being more useful than Demystify, if more unwieldy.

I do not think any ONE color should get "destroy target planeswalker" as a basic spell; if anything, that as a basic spell should be three mana, and be two-colored (say, [manacost]1rg[/manacost]). That this card would be limited even in Limited should mean the spell should be uncommon, if not rare, given the narrowness of its application (i.e., a sideboard card).
"Possibilities abound, too numerous to count." "Innocent, unbiased observation is a myth." --- P.B. Medawar (1969) "Ever since man first left his cave and met a stranger with a different language and a new way of looking at things, the human race has had a dream: to kill him, so we don't have to learn his language or his new way of looking at things." --- Zapp Brannigan (Beast With a Billion Backs)
Would love to hear the reason as to why Birds of Paradise and Llanowar Elves got the chop in the same set rather than the history lesson behind Rancor.


Elves got swapped out for Arbor Elf. This was, of course, just for a change of pace and not at all because Forests that do things other than tap for are going to be in Standard soon.

Birds, as mentioned, is possibly in Return to Ravnica, just like it was in the original Ravnica. Perhaps they thought it was necessary for Block Constructed purposes.
blah blah metal lyrics
What would be possible is a card like Befoul but for planeswalkers. "Destroy target creature or planeswalker" makes sense as a black kill spell. 

I agree green should have a colorshifted Smelt as well. 
I do not think any ONE color should get "destroy target planeswalker" as a basic spell; if anything, that as a basic spell should be three mana, and be two-colored (say, [manacost]1rg[/manacost]).

Yeah... they actually made that card quite a while ago.

I do not think any ONE color should get "destroy target planeswalker" as a basic spell; if anything, that as a basic spell should be three mana, and be two-colored (say, [manacost]1rg[/manacost]).

Yeah... they actually made that card quite a while ago.

I am talking about a narrow, not overpowered card, to establish baseline, in the core set. The existence of Counterspell does not preclude that of Cancel, and the same reasoning should apply to "baseline" costs, types, and cards.

"Possibilities abound, too numerous to count." "Innocent, unbiased observation is a myth." --- P.B. Medawar (1969) "Ever since man first left his cave and met a stranger with a different language and a new way of looking at things, the human race has had a dream: to kill him, so we don't have to learn his language or his new way of looking at things." --- Zapp Brannigan (Beast With a Billion Backs)
I am talking about a narrow, not overpowered card, to establish baseline, in the core set.

What, like Oblivion Ring, which any 3-mana planeswalker-killer is automatically going to be compared to?
Stupid core set, id imagen t2 is going to have even less turnouts now.

Nothing fun to play with other than "Pick me and build around this guy" type crap.

You are aware that current attendance at Standard events is relatively high?
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...
I am talking about a narrow, not overpowered card, to establish baseline, in the core set.

What, like Oblivion Ring, which any 3-mana planeswalker-killer is automatically going to be compared to?



I will reiterate what I wrote, as I think you and I are on different tracts here.

So, I wrote: "However, if each color got at baseline a method to deal with a given permanent[,]" followed by "I do not think any ONE color should get "destroy target planeswalker" as a basic spell" (emphasis added), and finally "I am talking about a narrow [...] card[] to establish baseline[] in the core set."

It is not my argument (and I am not sure how it could be read into what I wrote that it was) that color A or color B has no method to deal with permanent type X, merely that each color gets a method to hit on that there permanent type as a specific "anti-[permanent type]" color.

In a design perspective, this sets a baseline. From there, one can elaborate the cost or effect, and adjust the card's scope accordingly. Color can be added, speed can be altered, riders can be added, etc. As an example, Terror + Oxidize = Putrefy, while Demystify + Terror = Mortify. Flexibility at a cost, not baseline.

Oblivion Ring is certainly a critical card in the Core Set, as it answers many things in a very interactive and felxible manner, and I would suggest it be firmly ensured to be in all Core Sets inperpetuity. And in direct response to your question, I point you right back to Cancel vs. Counterspell (which was a landmark case, as I recall).
"Possibilities abound, too numerous to count." "Innocent, unbiased observation is a myth." --- P.B. Medawar (1969) "Ever since man first left his cave and met a stranger with a different language and a new way of looking at things, the human race has had a dream: to kill him, so we don't have to learn his language or his new way of looking at things." --- Zapp Brannigan (Beast With a Billion Backs)
I'm against Planeswalker specific removal for a very simple reason: Let's say you make "Destroy target Planeswalker" an uncommon. (Targeted single permanent type destruction tends to be common, but for 'Walkers we'll do a rarity bump)

One out of every 8 boosters contains a Mythic. One out of every 3 mythics in M12 was a Planeswalker. Net total that means that one out of every 24 boosters (On average) has a Planeswalker. There were 63 uncommons in M12. 3 out of them were in any given booster. Let's say one of them is our destroy target 'walker card. The odds of pulling it is 1 minus the chance of not pulling it or 62/63*61/62*60/61 or .0476 which means 1 out of every 21 boosters on average contains our destruction card.

In other words, there would be more copies of the destruction card than there would be things for it to destroy. If this were one of the uncommons in M12 and you had every single M12 card ever printed, you would run out of Planeswalkers to destroy long before you ran out of Destroy Target Planeswalker cards.
Immature College Student (Also a Rules Advisor)
Logic, reason, and mathematics?

When planeswalkers come back down from "all mythic all the time", a direct-kill may appear.  Even then, though, planeswalkers are already hosed by essentially everything, from burn to bounce to counterspells to just plain sending creatures at it.
I'm thinking that there is a very simple way to do this:

White - destroy target enchantment. White gets Demystify for this at baseline.
Blue - counter target spell. Blue gets that catch-all Cancel, a preemptive "destroy" effect.
Black - destroy target creature. "Murder, Marge: A group of crows is a murder."
Red - destroy target land. Craterize seems a neat way to avoid the issue of Stone Rain being too good at 3 mana (if you're on the play, you can cripple your opponent in limited with a shot at two or three of SRs, but at 4, Craterizes gives the opponent the ability to Cancel it).

Green - destroy target artifact. Green has Verdigris, but it is strictly worse than Oxidize on two levels.



Not that I have problems with Cancel, but I think a the best blue fit for that cycle would be a Negate-meets-Muddle the Mixture.  For 1U you get "counter target instant or sorcery."


But more importantly the problem is that you're trying to force into a tighter cycle something that shouldn't necessarily be there.  There's no reason every color needs to have an opposing card type and therefore a baseline spell to deal with them, because the permanents themselves aren't even nor is how they are dealt with.  


The implication of a cycle like that is black:creatures :: white:enchantments.  But that's not true.  Creatures are much more important than enchantments and black has nowhere near the same exclusivity over them.  The design goal isn't to balance removal around the colors, it's to balance the whole game around the colors.  Ratcheting down a parallel removal cycle might make the game easier to grok, but on the whole I think it detracts from the colors' identities rather than adding to them.

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

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

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

I'm thinking that there is a very simple way to do this:

White - destroy target enchantment. White gets Demystify for this at baseline.
Blue - counter target spell. Blue gets that catch-all Cancel, a preemptive "destroy" effect.
Black - destroy target creature. "Murder, Marge: A group of crows is a murder."
Red - destroy target land. Craterize seems a neat way to avoid the issue of Stone Rain being too good at 3 mana (if you're on the play, you can cripple your opponent in limited with a shot at two or three of SRs, but at 4, Craterizes gives the opponent the ability to Cancel it).

Green - destroy target artifact. Green has Verdigris, but it is strictly worse than Oxidize on two levels.



Not that I have problems with Cancel, but I think a the best blue fit for that cycle would be a Negate-meets-Muddle the Mixture.  For 1U you get "counter target instant or sorcery."


But more importantly the problem is that you're trying to force into a tighter cycle something that shouldn't necessarily be there.  There's no reason every color needs to have an opposing card type and therefore a baseline spell to deal with them, because the permanents themselves aren't even nor is how they are dealt with.  


The implication of a cycle like that is black:creatures :: white:enchantments.  But that's not true.  Creatures are much more important than enchantments and black has nowhere near the same exclusivity over them.  The design goal isn't to balance removal around the colors, it's to balance the whole game around the colors.  Ratcheting down a parallel removal cycle might make the game easier to grok, but on the whole I think it detracts from the colors' identities rather than adding to them.




I agree with you, for the most part. I am not, and did not, advocate for the purpose of forcing each of the colors to deal with just a few specific things. I argued merely that if there was a cycle, as in my first response, it would be best to distribute the "hate" across the colors. To make a "destroy target [permanent]" card. Blue's the only one left out because it specializes in spells, not permanents, and thus it would have to get counters. This leads to the concept of whether you would (or should) attempt a card that is a baseline for each effect, in the minimal manacost, color intensity, and effect allowed at common.

I would respond to Qmark -- again -- but at this point I do not think he's taking my posts into account in his/her responses.

I think having the cards exist help establish "baseline," although the developers could also use the concept of the cards AS the baseline, and never print them. But the pattern of cards that have been printed suggests that several things will be true (and was the point of my posts).

As for whether there should be a "destroy target planeswalker" card, I think at one point there will be as R&D attempts to continue to make them more intuitive to players as a permanent type and not "I win" buttons. At the moment, the power levels of some of these can be so high that they largely prevent themselves from even being targettable by the decks they are in (Gideon easily soaks aggro damage, Elspeth makes blockers, etc.) to the point that you could tag-team a variety of PWs and there'd be virtually no solution. You have to generally focus on them to beat them, or they win the game for you. Thus, removal should be more relevant FOR them. This is the necessary purpose of Oring and such in the Core Set ... if it can get through counters or other removal.
"Possibilities abound, too numerous to count." "Innocent, unbiased observation is a myth." --- P.B. Medawar (1969) "Ever since man first left his cave and met a stranger with a different language and a new way of looking at things, the human race has had a dream: to kill him, so we don't have to learn his language or his new way of looking at things." --- Zapp Brannigan (Beast With a Billion Backs)
I would respond to Qmark -- again -- but at this point I do not think he's taking my posts into account in his/her responses.

Your inteneded purpose is covered by several things already and thus isn't needed, and the logic, reason, and mathematics Dragon_Nut laid out above illustrates why a "destroy target planeswalker" probably shouldn't be printed.

First a disclaimer: I hear what you're saying. I don't really think it's necessary, but yes, printing a card as simple as "Destroy target planeswalker" would set the baseline and give a price against which to compare all other such removal spells. However, I'm answering a more general point here: Whether it should even happen.

There is very little chance that R&D will print such a card any time soon. The reasons against it are much more numerous than the reasons for it. Just a few off the top of my head:

1) The flavor is atrocious. We, as players, are ourselves planeswalkers. Any card that could kill a planeswalker directly should, theoretically, be able to kill a player ("Target player loses the game").
2) The effect is extremely narrow, and absolutely irrelevant in Limited. It would have to be printed at Rare or higher, and the card just isn't exciting enough to be a rare.
3) They already have the functionality of Planeswalker removal answered. They have "remove all counters from target permanent". They have "destroy target [qualifier] permanent" (such as Bramblecrush). They have direct damage spells that target players. They have creatures which can attack the planeswalkers. There are a lot of ways to answer Planeswalkers without opening the can of worms that "Destroy target planeswalker" would open.
4) Planeswalkers are the face of the game. It is extremely unlikely that Wizards would print a card that paints them in such a negative light as "this planeswalker is dying".

The only reasons I can see for them to do so, on the other hand, are both fairly weak:

1) To establish a base cost for the effect. (But why should they have to establish a base cost for an effect they'll never use?)
2) Because they haven't done it before.

So no. I do not support the printing of such a card, and I also severely doubt that Wizards will print such a card any time soon.
IMAGE(http://images.community.wizards.com/community.wizards.com/user/blitzschnell/c6f9e416e5e0e1f0a1e5c42b0c7b3e88.jpg?v=90000)
I figure it's worth noting that flavoring a card as "Destroy target Planeswalker" is challenging because of the flavor difference between a Planeswalker and a Legendary Creature. If I summon, say, Memnarch, I'm not actually summoning the real Memnarch. I'm summoning the idea of Memnarch.  The essential essence of Memnarch. It may look like Memnarch, but from a flavor standpoint it's actually just a mana construct that is separate from the real deal. (This idea is discussed in some depth near the beginning of the Ice Age novel, incidentally)

On the other hand, when you summon a Planeswalker, the idea is that they're actually stopping whatever they were doing to come help you out for a bit. You are actually bringing Chandra Nalaar to come party with you for a little while. They'll leave if you make them put up with too much abuse, or if you don't adequately protect them, but ultimately you're bringing in the actual Walker.

Indirect flavor breaks are standard in Magic. You can equip eighty swords on a River Boa or give Flight to a Steel Wall. That said, direct flavor breaks are rare. Actually printing a card that destroyed 'Walkers would be a direct flavor break. It's one thing that Bramblecrush happens to work on 'Walkers, because that can be passed off as an indirect result of the complex system of the game. If you are destroying a 'Walker, you are creating a card with the sole intent and purpose of murdering a being of the same power as the player supposedly have. That would have to be something on the level of Door to Nothingness.

You can change it from 'Destroy target Planeswalker' to 'Remove all loyalty counters from target Planeswalker' but at that point you may as well print 'Remove all counters from target permanent' because it's more elegant and has more flexibility.
Immature College Student (Also a Rules Advisor)
I would respond to Qmark -- again -- but at this point I do not think he's taking my posts into account in his/her responses.

Your inteneded purpose is covered by several things already and thus isn't needed, and the logic, reason, and mathematics Dragon_Nut laid out above illustrates why a "destroy target planeswalker" probably shouldn't be printed.



At this point, I am sure you have chosen to ignore what I wrote (up to and including not having read it). My argument is not that there should, but that there could, and that it helps solve a fundamental problem. As I mentioned -- in agreement with you -- Oring helps solve this little predicament. Similarly, that fact that WotC continually prints cards that specific PWs on them shows that they recognize a need to point out the fact that cards need to clarify to players, especially new ones (to with the Core Set commons are initially pointed at) that Planeswalkers are permanents, and that they are vulnerable to a variety of cards. It isn't intuitive that they are vulnerable to these things, despite the fact that we are 4 years down the road from their initial printing.

"Possibilities abound, too numerous to count." "Innocent, unbiased observation is a myth." --- P.B. Medawar (1969) "Ever since man first left his cave and met a stranger with a different language and a new way of looking at things, the human race has had a dream: to kill him, so we don't have to learn his language or his new way of looking at things." --- Zapp Brannigan (Beast With a Billion Backs)