07/09/2012 MM: "Core Design, 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.

Have you ever seen a cheerleading movie (and if you haven't, props to you) where it's time for try-outs and the head cheerleader explains that it doesn't matter who's been on the team before? Everyone is on equal footing and has to prove themselves in the try-out. I feel the core set is like that.


So it's not a cheerocracy.  MaRo's the cheertator.  He makes the cheercisions around there and he deals with the cheeronsequences.  

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.

One day, R&D said "Let's make regeneration not suck"... Never mind Incinerate, those five words killed Wrath of God. That's really, really, sad to me.
~ Current Decks I'm Playing or Building ~ (Click a deck's name to see list) [] CorpseJunk Menace/Township Counters (Standard) [] Reanimation/Clerics Theme Deck - Commander: Ghost Dad [] Devouring Tokens (Planechase, Multiplayer) [] Krark-Clan Ironworks: 2012 Edition (Modern) [] Azorious Turbo Fog (Modern)
"Why do we keep hosing regeneration? It wasn't powerful. In fact, it meant very little because it was useless against so many kill spells."

Perhaps it is different in modern school lunchtable play, but regeneration was powerful in ground stally early "casual" play.  (In my case, "a bunch of 4th edition & Ice Age cards from the commons box.")  How do you get past that damn Uthden Troll or Will-o'-the-Wisp
?!  The bury clause came up because when you finally draw your kill spell, you want to have it actually WORK to get out of the stall, since regen was basically seen as a combat mechanic.  

I still play MTGO, and when playing newish players (which are probably a much more skilled subset than real life newish players!), they often still play giant creature stall decks where regeneration is at its best.  If there's no way to get past the regen, it does feel frustrating, so I think a reasonable amount of common regen-hosing is still in order even if better, more serious decks can cope with regen easily without need for a specific hoser.
"Why do we keep hosing regeneration? It wasn't powerful. In fact, it meant very little because it was useless against so many kill spells."

Perhaps it is different in modern school lunchtable play, but regeneration was powerful in ground stally early "casual" play. (In my case, "a bunch of 4th edition & Ice Age cards from the commons box.") How do you get past that damn Uthden Troll or Will-o'-the-Wisp?! The bury clause came up because when you finally draw your kill spell, you want to have it actually WORK to get out of the stall, since regen was basically seen as a combat mechanic.

I still play MTGO, and when playing newish players (which are probably a much more skilled subset than real life newish players!), they often still play giant creature stall decks where regeneration is at its best. If there's no way to get past the regen, it does feel frustrating, so I think a reasonable amount of common regen-hosing is still in order even if better, more serious decks can cope with regen easily without need for a specific hoser.

Tons of cards just naturally get around regeneration. You do not need to print cards that specifically hose it.

Geth's Verdict, Grasp of Darkness, Oblivion Ring, Pacifism, Unsummon

Have you ever seen a cheerleading movie (and if you haven't, props to you) where it's time for try-outs and the head cheerleader explains that it doesn't matter who's been on the team before? Everyone is on equal footing and has to prove themselves in the try-out. I feel the core set is like that.


So it's not a cheerocracy.  MaRo's the cheertator.  He makes the cheercisions around there and he deals with the cheeronsequences.  




I would like to point out that Mark's opinions on cheerleader movies do not reflect those of everybody at Wizards of the Coast. Because Bring It On is great.
I'm still kind of amazed that nobody who says regeneration used to suck had ever heard of the combat phase. Dialing down the hate a bit I'm fine with, but regeneration comes fairly close to "Indestructible if you have mana" now, which seems far more obnoxious, particularly in limited. 

Have you ever seen a cheerleading movie (and if you haven't, props to you) where it's time for try-outs and the head cheerleader explains that it doesn't matter who's been on the team before? Everyone is on equal footing and has to prove themselves in the try-out. I feel the core set is like that.


So it's not a cheerocracy.  MaRo's the cheertator.  He makes the cheercisions around there and he deals with the cheeronsequences.  




I would like to point out that Mark's opinions on cheerleader movies do not reflect those of everybody at Wizards of the Coast. Because Bring It On is great.


Bring It On is camp. Intentionally so. It is not authoritative.
"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)
Tons of cards just naturally get around regeneration. You do not need to print cards that specifically hose it.

Dismember, Pacifism, Oblivion Ring, Unsummon

Probably the best argument for "Can't be regenerated" clauses would be the fact that it universalises how removal spells interact with regenerators - trying to explain to a new player that your Dismember or Cruel Edict circumvents regeneration while their Doom Blades and Searing Spears don't feels an awful lot like the experienced player is 'making things up'. Generally speaking, it's nice to have only a few specific answers to regenerators, but for the sake of inexperienced players it would be more convenient if all removal worked in a more-or-less uniform fashion.

Of course, the real issue there is that the mechanics for Regeneration are more convoluted than they would be if it were created today, and thus the interaction of anything with Regeneration is bound to be suboptimal. I suppose there's only so much they can do, without reconfiguring the mechanic altogether...

These were pretty interesting insights. But it does feel to me that a mailbag column ought not to be an assortment of questions gathered over an hour on Twitter, but an assortment of the best questions received by email (or post if you still get any of them) over the past few months.


(I've never seen a cheerleading movie, and in fact, I wasn't even aware there was such a thing as a cheerleading movie. In fact, I'm still not quite sure I believe there's such a thing.)

I hate the rings, they're just so clunky.
I hate the rings, they're just so clunky.


The defense notes that Mata Hari's opinions on the five rings do not reflect those of every other player. Also, please record that in no way does the statement specifically support for the return of the lucky charms. That is one bud that needs to be nipped.


Could the core set ever have multicolored cards? Sure, but we didn't feel that this was the core set to introduce it en masse. One high-profile card, we felt, would do a lot to introduce the concept without bogging down new players.


I've never had trouble with someone learning mana cost or multi-colored or hybrid. I play with Knights vs. Dragons all the time, and GW Knights just seem to be a non-issue. I wish we stuck more of them in MtG, there needs to be research to prove whether or not people actually get it or not.


The current plan is for the returning core set mechanic to stay in for one set and then be replaced by a new one the following year. This means you should enjoy exalted in Magic 2013 becauseMagic 2014 has a new toy for you to play with.


I'm obligated to chime in as always. In the next block, have more "when this creature attacks alone...", "when a creature you contor attacks alone...", "equipped creature has hexproof," "target creature gets...", etc.
I can see why you would want get rid of the regeneration hosing (but really, I think you shouldn't be worried about it) but that doesn't mean you can't have some upside attached to searing spear. In the article on tibalt, it was noted that 1R:deal three damage with marginal upside was bread and butter. Searing spear could have had something like "Divided as you choose" or "tap that creature, it doesn't untap next step" or any number of other upsides. But "you can't regenerate it" seems like a very red line and something that is necessary for regeneration to not get out of hand.
It didn't have anything extra because the core set frequently tries to have the absolute simplest versions. See also: Cancel (In M10, M11, and M12), Day of Judgment (In M11 and M12), Murder, Naturalize, Smelt, and Erase.
Immature College Student (Also a Rules Advisor)
One day, R&D said "Let's make regeneration not suck"... Never mind Incinerate, those five words killed Wrath of God. That's really, really, sad to me.



Day of Judgment's 3 words textbox is way more awesome.

Tons of cards just naturally get around regeneration. You do not need to print cards that specifically hose it.

Dismember, Pacifism, Oblivion Ring, Unsummon

Probably the best argument for "Can't be regenerated" clauses would be the fact that it universalises how removal spells interact with regenerators - trying to explain to a new player that your Dismember or Cruel Edict circumvents regeneration while their Doom Blades and Searing Spears don't feels an awful lot like the experienced player is 'making things up'. Generally speaking, it's nice to have only a few specific answers to regenerators, but for the sake of inexperienced players it would be more convenient if all removal worked in a more-or-less uniform fashion.

Of course, the real issue there is that the mechanics for Regeneration are more convoluted than they would be if it were created today, and thus the interaction of anything with Regeneration is bound to be suboptimal. I suppose there's only so much they can do, without reconfiguring the mechanic altogether...



I'm not so sure about that. Regeneration and Indestructible work the same way. While I agree with you that the mechanics of Regeneration itself would be different today, isn't the interaction of regeneration with other mechanics just the same as the interaction with indestructible? 
Tons of cards just naturally get around regeneration. You do not need to print cards that specifically hose it.

Dismember, Pacifism, Oblivion Ring, Unsummon



I do note that not a single one of those cards is red.  That was one of the things I liked about Incinerate.  It was a red avenue to stopping a regenerator.  Plus the flavor of Incinerate matched what it did.

Those who fear the darkness have never seen what the light can do.

I've seen angels fall from blinding heights. But you yourself are nothing so divine. Just next in line.

191752181 wrote:
All I'm saying is, I don't really see how she goes around petrifying swords and boots and especially mirrors. How the heck does she beat a Panoptic Mirror? It makes no sense for artifacts either. Or enchantments, for that matter. "Well, you see, Jimmy cast this spell to flood the mountain, but then the gorgon just looked at the water really hard and it went away."
The regeneration hosers made thematic sense -- you need fire to put down a troll, and when God Himself takes an interest in wiping out all that is wicked, it shouldn't be allowed to come back.

But at the same time, it always seemed like half of a promise which was never fulfilled. "You will eventually have to fight regenerators, and when you do you will need this." Red got the cheapest and most hosers, black had someb and white had one flashy, pricey form. Three colors to answer regeneration, an evergreen mechanic mostly in black and green. Except that regeneration never really became evergreen. Not the way flying, trample, and first strike did. There was no tension. There was no huge regenerator threat, and no practical need for the riders to answer them. The cards are good for other reasons, but the anti-regeneration hosers always outnumbered the regnerators.  I'm not sad to see those riders go.

Also, most regenerators ended up being undead that can reform, or green that can heal quickly. (There was also a time where red got a little, in the form of brutes like Eron the Relentless, but that was before trolls moved from red to green.) In terms of the color pie, that meant that red was really good at killing its red, black, and green allies, while black was only good at killing green regenerators. While I get this works from a "red burns everything, black kills everything non-black" perspective, it doesn't create a real stong enemy/ally distinction.

Tons of cards just naturally get around regeneration. You do not need to print cards that specifically hose it.

Dismember, Pacifism, Oblivion Ring, Unsummon

Probably the best argument for "Can't be regenerated" clauses would be the fact that it universalises how removal spells interact with regenerators - trying to explain to a new player that your Dismember or Cruel Edict circumvents regeneration while their Doom Blades and Searing Spears don't feels an awful lot like the experienced player is 'making things up'. Generally speaking, it's nice to have only a few specific answers to regenerators, but for the sake of inexperienced players it would be more convenient if all removal worked in a more-or-less uniform fashion.

Of course, the real issue there is that the mechanics for Regeneration are more convoluted than they would be if it were created today, and thus the interaction of anything with Regeneration is bound to be suboptimal. I suppose there's only so much they can do, without reconfiguring the mechanic altogether...



That's true, damage prevention used to have more of a "damage healing" flavor to it, and that was backed up mechanically by the way the damage prevention step of combat worked under 6th Ed. rules (basically removing marked damage before it killed the creature), and the way batches worked before that. Regeneration occupies that same space. The need to preserve the way that worked by knocking the creature out of combat and removing damage, as well as making it work with the stack using a "shield" metaphor*, and the now mostly unconnected tapping effect does make it rather clunky.

*side note: Ialways hated that metaphor. The idea is that the creature really is "killed" by the damage, it just gets to come back to life after its body heals itself Wolverine-style. The shield metaphor is kind of the opposite of that, implying the creature managed to avoid the mortal wounds altogether.

If it were done today, you would want to fold the damage removal and combat effects into the general rules by actually letting it hit the graveyard, like the undying and persist mechanics do: "When this creature dies, you may pay {cost}. If you do, return it to the battlefield tapped". The trouble with that is the edge case of sacrificed creatures, which turns every regenerator into a mana/sacrifice engine. To get around that, you need something stateful (which is why persist and undying need those counters). Not a fun mechanical problem to have
One day, R&D said "Let's make regeneration not suck"... Never mind Incinerate, those five words killed Wrath of God. That's really, really, sad to me.



Day of Judgment's 3 words textbox is way more awesome.

Which is why they should have reprinted Final Judgment instead of Planar Cleansing. This was the perfect time to reprint the Judgment with the extremely elegant "Exile all creatures" wording.
IMAGE(http://images.community.wizards.com/community.wizards.com/user/blitzschnell/c6f9e416e5e0e1f0a1e5c42b0c7b3e88.jpg?v=90000)
If it were done today, regeneration would be "X: ~ is indestructible until end of turn".

Personally, I think Regeneration really does need the love. Thrun and Skittles are pretty much the only regenerator in recent memory to actually see play, and neither or them dies to a single Incinerate anyways. Besides, on Skittles the regeneration was really just extra. The real attraction was the big hastey flying infector.

Plus it's kinda irrelevant now that black has started focusing more heavily on toughness reduction.
Immature College Student (Also a Rules Advisor)
One day, R&D said "Let's make regeneration not suck"... Never mind Incinerate, those five words killed Wrath of God. That's really, really, sad to me.



Day of Judgment's 3 words textbox is way more awesome.

Which is why they should have reprinted Final Judgment instead of Planar Cleansing. This was the perfect time to reprint the Judgment with the extremely elegant "Exile all creatures" wording.





I'd have backed that addition over Planar Cleansing all day every day. Stupid Undying mechanic.

Those who fear the darkness have never seen what the light can do.

I've seen angels fall from blinding heights. But you yourself are nothing so divine. Just next in line.

191752181 wrote:
All I'm saying is, I don't really see how she goes around petrifying swords and boots and especially mirrors. How the heck does she beat a Panoptic Mirror? It makes no sense for artifacts either. Or enchantments, for that matter. "Well, you see, Jimmy cast this spell to flood the mountain, but then the gorgon just looked at the water really hard and it went away."
One day, R&D said "Let's make regeneration not suck"... Never mind Incinerate, those five words killed Wrath of God. That's really, really, sad to me.



Day of Judgment's 3 words textbox is way more awesome.



Wrath of God's original 3 word text box was even better: "Bury all creatures."

"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 agree that "Bury all creatures" is awesome, but it's not a statement that's quite as intuitive. After all, 'bury' isn't obviously different from 'destroy' to a new player, so they'd have to add reminder text for the "... can't be regenerated" bit, which would make it less awesome.

That said, if we're going with any printed wording, I'm going with Destroy any card in play. I know 'Destroy Target Permanent' is more elegant, but to me it just doesn't have the same visceral feeling of power. 
Immature College Student (Also a Rules Advisor)
MaRo writes:
To answer the question, the biggest design space we explored was putting the mechanic into a color that it had never been before, black.



Now, MaRo states in this article that returning keywords don't need to expand design space, or even really do anything different than they already did. Bloodthirst coming into black in the last Core Set didn't add anything to bloodthirst it didn't already have, or even change the fundamental effect of the creatures and how you cast them: swing or shoot someone, then drop a creature, then pass.

In putting exalted in black and on a colorless card, the Core Set does not expand the design space, just the variety of colors that can use the mechanic without over splashing. Expansion of design space in this sense is doing something that the mechanic didn't do before. Sublime Archangel expands the space a bit, because it grants (for the first time) the mechanic to a range of creatures: Drop a Captain of the Watch, then swing for loads with the Angel, instead of loading up creature by creature. This expands space because it alters the function of builds and allows parts without the mechanic to function with parts that do, as support rather than beneficiaries (like Invisible Stalker or whatever).

So, to contradict MaRo, exalted in Black is not expanding design space at all. It's big placeholder in Black, Nefarox, Overlord of Grixis, ends up being a more expensive and worse Grimgrin, Corpse-Born (can choose the doomed creature, can pump outside of combat, pump is permanent), a weaker Thraximundar (pump is permanent IF they sac the crature, feeds off other sacs), for all that you get it in only one color and it has natural evasion. If this was facing down another exalted deck, one in which White were the color perhaps, or the mirror, it would be horribly ineffective.
"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 agree that "Bury all creatures" is awesome, but it's not a statement that's quite as intuitive. After all, 'bury' isn't obviously different from 'destroy' to a new player, so they'd have to add reminder text for the "... can't be regenerated" bit, which would make it less awesome.

That said, if we're going with any printed wording, I'm going with Destroy any card in play. I know 'Destroy Target Permanent' is more elegant, but to me it just doesn't have the same visceral feeling of power. 



At this point, I've had to describe to four people on Magic Online what "dies" means. If I have to do this in paper, then I know the campaign for word reduction failed over the campaign to clarify meaning that resulted in "bury" being errated off of cards. I personally like efficiency, but also clarity, and neither at the cost of the other.

"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 agree that "Bury all creatures" is awesome, but it's not a statement that's quite as intuitive.

It's also not the original wording. "Bury" was first used in Revised edition, which as the name implies, was not the first basic set; but Wrath was there right from the beginning.

Jeff Heikkinen DCI Rules Advisor since Dec 25, 2011
I agree that "Bury all creatures" is awesome, but it's not a statement that's quite as intuitive.

It's also not the original wording. "Bury" was first used in Revised edition, which as the name implies, was not the first basic set; but Wrath was there right from the beginning.



Yes, I realize this.

"Bury" was meant to replace the tedious "Destroy, can't regenerate" wording that clogged the rules texts of the time on lots of cards, like Terror and Fissure.

This was later reversed.

Then "dies" was added to replace the tedious "transfer this to the grave" wording that clogged the rules textx of a lot of cards. "Bury," however, has not returned. The list of cards effected by use of "bury" (or its lack) is not insignificant, although obviously not as large as the list affected by "goes to graveyard" triggers.

"Dies" also has the unfortunate context of messing with a potential flavor flub: The difference between a sacrificed and a destroyed creature. One can be offensive, the other defensive. If, say, triggers on creatures being killed by the opposing side(s) mattered in a way differently than those that you sacrificed for self-gain, the interactions might stifle, but the cards that care might after care in the wrong way (for flavor nuts).

"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 agree that "Bury all creatures" is awesome, but it's not a statement that's quite as intuitive.

It's also not the original wording. "Bury" was first used in Revised edition, which as the name implies, was not the first basic set; but Wrath was there right from the beginning.



Yes, I realize this.

"Bury" was meant to replace the tedious "Destroy, can't regenerate" wording that clogged the rules texts of the time on lots of cards, like Terror and Fissure.

This was later reversed.

Then "dies" was added to replace the tedious "transfer this to the grave" wording that clogged the rules textx of a lot of cards. "Bury," however, has not returned. The list of cards effected by use of "bury" (or its lack) is not insignificant, although obviously not as large as the list affected by "goes to graveyard" triggers.



A whopping grand total of 3 new cards currently in Extended: Child of Alara, Consume the Meek, Wooden Stake.
8 cards total if you count reprints like Incinerate.
But using it on less than 1 new card a year is what I call insignificant.
Like "can't be prevented", it's a niche hoser. It's good some cards have it, but why would you ever want to keyword it. Things like "can't be the target" and "can't be countered" are simply more useful to print.

Dies was introduced because it's what people would say anyway. It's natural to say it. Bury wasn't natural, it was just a game term. (I do agree btw that 'dies' might be too confusing for what it's worth.)
One day, R&D said "Let's make regeneration not suck"... Never mind Incinerate, those five words killed Wrath of God. That's really, really, sad to me.



Day of Judgment's 3 words textbox is way more awesome.

Which is why they should have reprinted Final Judgment instead of Planar Cleansing. This was the perfect time to reprint the Judgment with the extremely elegant "Exile all creatures" wording.



I'd have backed that addition over Planar Cleansing all day every day. Stupid Undying mechanic.



With Terminus existing, I really see no reason for Final Judgment at the moment. At least Planar Cleansing gives you some versatility in options.
I agree that "Bury all creatures" is awesome, but it's not a statement that's quite as intuitive.

It's also not the original wording. "Bury" was first used in Revised edition, which as the name implies, was not the first basic set; but Wrath was there right from the beginning.



Yes, I realize this.

"Bury" was meant to replace the tedious "Destroy, can't regenerate" wording that clogged the rules texts of the time on lots of cards, like Terror and Fissure.

This was later reversed.

Then "dies" was added to replace the tedious "transfer this to the grave" wording that clogged the rules textx of a lot of cards. "Bury," however, has not returned. The list of cards effected by use of "bury" (or its lack) is not insignificant, although obviously not as large as the list affected by "goes to graveyard" triggers.



A whopping grand total of 3 new cards currently in Extended: Child of Alara, Consume the Meek, Wooden Stake.
8 cards total if you count reprints like Incinerate.
But using it on less than 1 new card a year is what I call insignificant.
Like "can't be prevented", it's a niche hoser. It's good some cards have it, but why would you ever want to keyword it. Things like "can't be the target" and "can't be countered" are simply more useful to print.

Dies was introduced because it's what people would say anyway. It's natural to say it. Bury wasn't natural, it was just a game term. (I do agree btw that 'dies' might be too confusing for what it's worth.)



Keeping the sustained terminology isn't about how to print new cards, it's about keeping the old cards consistent with the whole of Magic. That way, the newer cards, when printed, actually mesh up with the older, instead as with lifelink get sundered down the middle. The word, in this case, is "continuity." There is nothing wrong with "bury," and there is nothing wrong with "dies": they were adopted for the same reasons, but they were not treated in the same manner.

If, instead, we were to pretend that "going forward" and the keywords or ability words we have available aren't getting printed again, should we discard them? There are fewer cards that can use "cascade" than there are "bury," but the effective time-saver both provide are useful. And that usefulness, effective in communication and space, can provide the ability to put MORE words on cards (much like the justification for "fights" -- not that some cards that can use it get to).
"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)
The defense notes that Mata Hari's opinions on the five rings do not reflect those of every other player. Also, please record that in no way does the statement specifically support for the return of the lucky charms. That is one bud that needs to be nipped.


The way Rosewater worded this:
Magic is all about ebb and flow, so the design team decided it was time to give them [lucky charms] a break and let some other cards shine.


...makes it fairly obvious that they're coming back in M14. Like the rings or not, the lucky charms will probably never be away from core sets for more than one year.

IMAGE(http://i1.minus.com/jbcBXM4z66fMtK.jpg)

192884403 wrote:
surely one can't say complex conditional passive language is bad grammar ?
An interesting annecdote on "bury"... I was first introduced to magic by a camper years ago while I was a camp counsellor.  He taught me (erroniously, as it turned out) that bury meant "put on the bottom of your library"... as if you were 'burying' the card in your library.  When years later Premature Burial was printed, I remember being very confused.


I guess its part of when I came into the game.  I never had a lot of money to spend on Magic, so one of the things I wanted most was a foil set of those textless Wraths they printed. When Day of Judgement was introduced, I just assumed it was yet another in the long list of wrath variants that would have their time in the sun and then Wrath would be back. But as it became clear that Day had replaced Wrath, I wondered why. Regeneration isn't that common a mechanic, so the practical difference between the two cards isn't really that significant.  Which meant that it probably wasn't a matter of 'fixing' an undercosted card, like what happened to the original Counterspell.

I also don't think Wrath is any less awesome than Day of Judgement with its extra words... in fact, I think the ABSENCE of those three words hangs a lampshade on Day of Judgement's inability to bring down a rampaging army of angry Drudge Skeletons.

At least to me, Wrath is one of the most iconic cards in all of Magic.  To find out it was replaced with Day of Judgement so that regeneration wouldn't suck is disappointing.
~ Current Decks I'm Playing or Building ~ (Click a deck's name to see list) [] CorpseJunk Menace/Township Counters (Standard) [] Reanimation/Clerics Theme Deck - Commander: Ghost Dad [] Devouring Tokens (Planechase, Multiplayer) [] Krark-Clan Ironworks: 2012 Edition (Modern) [] Azorious Turbo Fog (Modern)
Keeping the sustained terminology isn't about how to print new cards, it's about keeping the old cards consistent with the whole of Magic. That way, the newer cards, when printed, actually mesh up with the older, instead as with lifelink get sundered down the middle. The word, in this case, is "continuity." There is nothing wrong with "bury," and there is nothing wrong with "dies": they were adopted for the same reasons, but they were not treated in the same manner.

If, instead, we were to pretend that "going forward" and the keywords or ability words we have available aren't getting printed again, should we discard them? There are fewer cards that can use "cascade" than there are "bury," but the effective time-saver both provide are useful. And that usefulness, effective in communication and space, can provide the ability to put MORE words on cards (much like the justification for "fights" -- not that some cards that can use it get to).



Hexproof replaced Shroud. Intimidate replaced Fear. Wizards lives very much in the now, and is not afraid to abandon its past if they believe it leads to a better future. Graveyard order is another example. In eternal formats we have to abide by it, but in 'current' magic its gone. The focus is on limited and standard. Continuity is simply not as important to Wizards as is making the best game today.

(Although it seems some things are too big to change even for Wizards, with Instant still being a card type rather than a sub/super type of Sorcery)

Cascade, not being an evergreen mechanic, is never meant to appear without reminder text, except on wordy rares. Things like 'dies' and 'fight' are supposed to be basic magic lingo. Are they worth remembering? Yes. Is 'bury'? No. Bury will not save the same time as Cascade, because it'll appear without reminder text and it will confuse people. It will cost more time.

Yes 'bury' and 'dies' were adopted for the same reasons, and they were not treated in the same manner. That's because there is something wrong with bury. It's not needed.
When Day of Judgement was introduced, I just assumed it was yet another in the long list of wrath variants that would have their time in the sun and then Wrath would be back. But as it became clear that Day had replaced Wrath, I wondered why. Regeneration isn't that common a mechanic, so the practical difference between the two cards isn't really that significant.



Which answers your question. Wizards prefers cards to not have needlessly long boxes of text. If text is not pulling its weight, it will be cut.
Hexproof replaced Shroud. Intimidate replaced Fear. Wizards lives very much in the now, and is not afraid to abandon its past if they believe it leads to a better future.



I'm gonna call "bull" on this for a moment. First, yes WotC is in the "now." It causes some anguish in the fanbase in that the older, sustained model was not actually bad for the game. The problem is that it was bad for business, in that the Core Set was a low-selling product that didn't entice players and whose sole function pre-M10 was to make sure older cards were in Standard/Extended. This was abandoned (along with Extended) by the formation of a secondary Eternal-like format (Modern) and "new" and "exciting" cards in the Core Set.

We all get that companies are about the bottom line (Aaron Forsythe, Mark Rosewater, and other employees have all admitted this: their paychecks depend on how much money their parent companies make, and this means that their business model must conform to the one that sustains this goal). What happens is that the GAME must then conform to the business model. The game does not necessarily come first. This is how useful and even fun mechanics get lost.

Fear worked, and the reasoning for removing it was that it wasn't flavored to allow it into other colors. This is why it was removed and replaced with what is effectively an inferior little brother. Hexproof is even worse. It is by far the better mechanic, but shroud had a balancing factor in that it allowed you to place a form of protection on a card that allowed you to skirt costs or add abilities because you, too, couldn't do anything with it. Now, we get hexproof [on quite a few Blue cards than Green] as though it WERE shroud, and the thing is inherently more broken as a result.

These things sell new cards, and sets, but they do not necessarily sustain the game. The game functioned fine with the mechanics that came before it.

(Although it seems some things are too big to change even for Wizards, with Instant still being a card type rather than a sub/super type of Sorcery)



I won't count this change out. There is a lot of sense of not messing with the stable card types that came before, by removing one. I mean, Cognivore would either become utterly useless, or even more fantastic, and that's not a change you can rush (unlike, say, removing recent cards like Glittering Wish from their intended functionality because you didn't want to errata them to work as they were intended)!

Cascade, not being an evergreen mechanic, is never meant to appear without reminder text, except on wordy rares. Things like 'dies' and 'fight' are supposed to be basic magic lingo. Are they worth remembering? Yes. Is 'bury'? No. Bury will not save the same time as Cascade, because it'll appear without reminder text and it will confuse people. It will cost more time.



You seem to have misunderstood my point entirely. I was remarking on the frequency going forward for new cards printed with keywords that are still less numerous than what is "basic lingo." Recall that they printed NEW cards ]with cascade just recently, reminder text or no.

But...

Yes 'bury' and 'dies' were adopted for the same reasons, and they were not treated in the same manner. That's because there is something wrong with bury. It's not needed.



This is what I think you may not be getting, but please correct me if I am wrong. "Bury" was adopted for almost the same reason "dies" was, and was lost for exactly the same reason that I think "dies" deserved no accolade: It's a rules term that is hard to define without opening a glossary for players. This is even harder when you play a game without ready access to an internet-device (not everyone has a smartphone and net access EVERYWHERE). While the game allows dies to work for cards that would use bury as well, cards that reference "bury" ("Whenever a permanent is buried...") are just as viable, and in fact useful to the game (it does, if anything, open design space).

Now, in case it was lost, the term "dies" was invented to make "morbid" easier to write on a card (as every "morbid" card had to have "when ... goes to a graveyard" as part of its terminology, and this couldn't be cut into reminder text because "morbid" isn't a real keyword). "Bury" was invented to save space on what were prevalent, common cards that had been sustained through the technical Core of the game, and as an easy method to make sure cards that were replaced by another thing (e.g., Death Mutation, Molder, Afterlife) would not give you that thing unless the thing "died".

"Dies" can only go on creatures. "Bury" is not so limited. "Dies" thus has less functionality and utility than "bury" does. More importantly, "bury" allows you to make it so you can print cards that regenerate permanents more readily than exit now. In other words, it utilizes more design space (especially when you consider that having type-specific permanent regeneration can be useful for cards that protect lands, artifacts, enchantments, etc.). This actually makes exile effects even MORE viable than they currently are, because it gets around regeneration just as exiling creatures, or -x/-x'ing them does.

The game should have MORE variety, and MORE utility built into it. That way it is now, the developers are sculpting particular Limited experiences with tiny tidbits to other formats whenever they make a set, which is a ridiculous waste of cardboard for those players who play outside of Limited or even Standard. That number is not low, although I'm sure it doesn't compare to Limited/Standard -- possibly due to the massive push towards "balancing" these formats (which can fail in rather spectacular ways).
"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 gonna call "bull" on this for a moment. First, yes WotC is in the "now." It causes some anguish in the fanbase in that the older, sustained model was not actually bad for the game. [...] This is how useful and even fun mechanics get lost. [...] These things sell new cards, and sets, but they do not necessarily sustain the game. The game functioned fine with the mechanics that came before it.



This is all subjective. While I agree some decision made from a business perspective are bad for the game, many are up for discussion. What makes for a good game is up to personal preference. Many of these changes are made because Wizards honestly believes they make the game better. Actually, just keeping things because they 'function fine' is a recipe for mediocrity.

I won't count this change out. There is a lot of sense of not messing with the stable card types that came before, by removing one. I mean, Cognivore would either become utterly useless, or even more fantastic, and that's not a change you can rush (unlike, say, removing recent cards like Glittering Wish from their intended functionality because you didn't want to errata them to work as they were intended)!



Personally I don't see the problem. Tallowisp is somewhat different from what it used to do, but for the most part it works. In the same way, I don't see the problem with a hypothetical Cognivore counting the number of sorceries with flash.

You seem to have misunderstood my point entirely. I was remarking on the frequency going forward for new cards printed with keywords that are still less numerous than what is "basic lingo." Recall that they printed NEW cards ]with cascade just recently, reminder text or no.



And it's exactly that frequency that speaks in Cascade's favor. If you're a new player, introduced to standard and limited, you don't need to know what it means. That's the beauty of blocks mechanics. Sometimes they're the focus, sometimes you can forget about them. They don't take up permanent mindspace.

Comparing Cascade and Bury, block mechanics and evergreen mechanics, is comparing apples and oranges.
I'm possibly still missing your point because I don't see how the two can be compared.

This is what I think you may not be getting, but please correct me if I am wrong. "Bury" was adopted for almost the same reason "dies" was, and was lost for exactly the same reason that I think "dies" deserved no accolade: It's a rules term that is hard to define without opening a glossary for players. This is even harder when you play a game without ready access to an internet-device (not everyone has a smartphone and net access EVERYWHERE).



While I have mixed feelings about 'dies' myself, I don't see it as equally hard to define. Because before 'dies' existed, people were using it already to describe their cards. "You don't know what my Yavimaya Elder does? When it dies I get 2 lands in my hand".

While the game allows dies to work for cards that would use bury as well, cards that reference "bury" ("Whenever a permanent is buried...") are just as viable, and in fact useful to the game (it does, if anything, open design space).



A lot of things are useful and open up design space. The question is, is it worth it? For things like graveyard order, mana burn and the 'bury' word, the answer is no.

"Dies" can only go on creatures. "Bury" is not so limited. "Dies" thus has less functionality and utility than "bury" does.



Flying can only go on creatures. Wither is not so limited. The second is thus more important to the game.

I really don't understand what you're saying here. It's theoretically correct but everything in practice points the other way.
As in, say Wizards is never allowed to print either "when this creatures dies" or "can't be regenerated" functionality ever again on cards. The first will hurt more.

More importantly, "bury" allows you to make it so you can print cards that regenerate permanents more readily than exit now. In other words, it utilizes more design space (especially when you consider that having type-specific permanent regeneration can be useful for cards that protect lands, artifacts, enchantments, etc.). This actually makes exile effects even MORE viable than they currently are, because it gets around regeneration just as exiling creatures, or -x/-x'ing them does.



Yes I would like to see more permanent regeneration, Reknit is awesome.
But wait, are you saying here you want to use bury for noncreatures? Like "Bury target enchantment"? Why wouldn't 'dies' be able to be expanded this way? "When this dies" on an enchantment is equally silly.

The game should have MORE variety, and MORE utility built into it. That way it is now, the developers are sculpting particular Limited experiences with tiny tidbits to other formats whenever they make a set, which is a ridiculous waste of cardboard for those players who play outside of Limited or even Standard. That number is not low, although I'm sure it doesn't compare to Limited/Standard -- possibly due to the massive push towards "balancing" these formats (which can fail in rather spectacular ways).



This reminds me of the point/counterpoint about targeted draw:

www.wizards.com/magic/magazine/article.a...

Basically, it's about options versus simplicity. When is it correct to give players MORE, and when to give LESS?
To me, the design space opened by 'bury' is so marginal it isn't worth making the game more complex for.
At this point, I've had to describe to four people on Magic Online what "dies" means. If I have to do this in paper, then I know the campaign for word reduction failed over the campaign to clarify meaning that resulted in "bury" being errated off of cards. I personally like efficiency, but also clarity, and neither at the cost of the other.


Well, I've had to explain what "dies" means at the local store a great many times. Funny thing is, the word was frequently used without confusion before its formal introduction. How that works is way beyond my comprehension.

L1 Judge

Well, not everybody is willing to RTFC. I somewhat regularly end up handling rules disputes that would be solved if both players involved would read their cards.

Also, if I remember correctly, bury is used to mean "sacrifice" in at least one instance rather than "destroy, can't be regenerated." That's a functional difference, which is a bit of a problem. While I'll agree with the need for backwards compatability, nobody is running around with whiteout and sharpies changing all of the cards with 'bury' printed on them. Fissure is still playable even though it says 'bury' and it still does the same thing. It just has a different oracle wording. 
Immature College Student (Also a Rules Advisor)
I'm surprisingly angry about Searing Spear even though Incinerate's anti-regen clause comes up for me approximately never.

Why?

Because we had Lightning Bolt back in Standard for a while.

Yes, I knew Bolt would go away again, and yes, I was okay with that (though not thrilled.) I expected it, and Incinerate, while it pretty much did the same thing, at least had something tacked on to it to "justify" that "extra" 1 mana. Yeah, it's not much of a justification, and yeah, I get that the mana cost only looks "extra" if you've got Bolt in mind. But it satisfied that little bit of me that wanted some reason beyond "this is a game balance thing." Incin isn't strictly worse than Bolt, even if most of the time it plays like it is.

I have the same problem with Cancel. I don't mind "Counter target spell and do [thing]" for 1UU, even if [thing] is generally irrelevant. (Though as someone who enjoys playing control, I whooped with joy to see Dissipate actually do something relevant rather than some little thing tacked on. I do mind "Counter target spell" for 1UU because my brain tells me that's too expensive, even if I understand the logic. (I've been playing since 4e and still play Pauper, so it's not like I never saw Counterspell around and thus don't have a reason to see UU as more "natural.")

So Searing Spear annoys me. I wish it at least did something else, even if it were something that isn't often relevant.
One day, R&D said "Let's make regeneration not suck"... Never mind Incinerate, those five words killed Wrath of God. That's really, really, sad to me.



Day of Judgment's 3 words textbox is way more awesome.

Which is why they should have reprinted Final Judgment instead of Planar Cleansing. This was the perfect time to reprint the Judgment with the extremely elegant "Exile all creatures" wording.



I'd have backed that addition over Planar Cleansing all day every day. Stupid Undying mechanic.



With Terminus existing, I really see no reason for Final Judgment at the moment. At least Planar Cleansing gives you some versatility in options.



I'll disagree.  Planar Cleansing is worse due to Oblivion Ring, as you can't cast it if you have one on the table unless you want to give your opponent back a permanent.  There is a reason that most white sweepers like Day work well with O-ring.  Plananr Cleansing goes against the best spot removal white has. 

Those who fear the darkness have never seen what the light can do.

I've seen angels fall from blinding heights. But you yourself are nothing so divine. Just next in line.

191752181 wrote:
All I'm saying is, I don't really see how she goes around petrifying swords and boots and especially mirrors. How the heck does she beat a Panoptic Mirror? It makes no sense for artifacts either. Or enchantments, for that matter. "Well, you see, Jimmy cast this spell to flood the mountain, but then the gorgon just looked at the water really hard and it went away."
Fear worked, and the reasoning for removing it was that it wasn't flavored to allow it into other colors. This is why it was removed and replaced with what is effectively an inferior little brother.

Fear's flavor wasn't the reason it couldn't go into other colors; it was because it was keyed to Black specifically. A Red creature that can only be blocked by Black creatures is weird; a Red creature that can only be blocked by Red creatures makes sense. Though there was a flavor issue with Fear: The creature which had Fear wasn't actually afraid, it just instilled fear in others.

I'll agree with you on Hexproof though. I was excited at first when I heard they were keywording it, but then when they said it was replacing Shroud, and even more so when I saw them flooding Blue with it, I changed my mind really quickly. I wish we could go back to having Hexproof on just a few cool Green creatures, and letting Shroud cover the rest (and never, ever put Hexproof in Blue again).

"Bury" was adopted for almost the same reason "dies" was, and was lost for exactly the same reason that I think "dies" deserved no accolade: It's a rules term that is hard to define without opening a glossary for players.

Claiming that dies is hard to define without a glossary is just incorrect. Dies is a lot more intuitive than Bury. "When this creature gets killed by damage or a kill spell, it dies." That makes sense. "Burying something means you kill it, and if it has Regeneration, that ability won't work." How does that intuitively follow from "Bury"? Even if someone doesn't know what "dies" means, they'll remember after being told just once; I'm not convinced you could say the same about Bury.

So yes, they both serve the same purpose: to lessen text on a card. However, the fact that "dies" is a lot more intuitive means that it should be treated differently. It's easier to remember, so it takes up less headspace.
IMAGE(http://images.community.wizards.com/community.wizards.com/user/blitzschnell/c6f9e416e5e0e1f0a1e5c42b0c7b3e88.jpg?v=90000)
I'll disagree.  Planar Cleansing is worse due to Oblivion Ring, as you can't cast it if you have one on the table unless you want to give your opponent back a permanent.  There is a reason that most white sweepers like Day work well with O-ring.  Plananr Cleansing goes against the best spot removal white has. 



I was talking about Terminus though. That empty spot in your deck you want to fill with Final Judgment is adequately filled by Terminus, so it isn't needed.
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