07/13/2012 LD: "The Cards of Magic 2013, Part 2"

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This thread is for discussion of this week's Latest Developments, which goes live Friday morning on magicthegathering.com.
One of the most contentious cards in the file, the inclusion of 
Jayemdae at uncommon was derided initially by both by Tom LaPille and Max McCall. It was important to me, though, that every color have access to a method of mitigating mana flood and gaining card advantage at lower rarities. I also thought there was some powerful resonance and nostalgia behind the Tome, as well as a completely amazing piece of art. The counter-argument was that it heavily enabled raw card advantage as a strategy.


"Heavily enabled?"  I dunno.  I haven't played M13 limited yet, but Jayemdae is (was?) bad.  Bad bad bad bad.  I will be very surprised if it is more than a role-player in Limited for slow decks that can afford the 12-mana-for-a-Divination, and it'll be irrelevant in even casual Constructed short of some kind of mono-black control deck with a zillion mana from something Cabal Coffersy (Liliana?!).  

I can see that complaint about something like Archivist, maybe, which is potentially great in Limited even if irrelevant in Constructed.   Same with Honden of Seeing Winds - I played a good deal of Kamigawa limited and it was an excellent card, but not an unstoppable bomb.  So R&D thinks this strategy is unfun, fine, but that strategy simply won't get played as often if it's at a lower power level.  The Tome's gigantic 4 mana a turn cost means that you're not getting that card engine going for some time, and by turn 7 or so, there's big bombs and surprises to worry about anyway which can overwhelm straight card advantage strategies. 

Also insert obligatory whine here about how some players like grinding out incremental advantages, etc., but that's been over before.
So we'll like how the M10 lands play with RtR? Will they EVER stop trolling with shocklands? I mean, the on;y possible way they can play more interestingly is non-basics with basic land types, so it's either shocklands, or angry gamers.
Rules Nut Advisor
Ravnican lands... new Ravnica block coming out... block is known for multicolor craziness.

Frankly, I'm surprised anybody expected shock lands to be in the Core.
So we'll like how the M10 lands play with RtR? Will they EVER stop trolling with shocklands? I mean, the on;y possible way they can play more interestingly is non-basics with basic land types, so it's either shocklands, or angry gamers.


Maybe it's new Duals?

JMD tome isn't all that great.  It was good back in the day, and it isn't completely terrible now.  It's main value was letting you leave mana up for tricks without feeling that mana was wasted.  And it is a potentially powerful card, and it definitely will take over super long games, since any "I drew a land" turn becomes an "I activated my tome" turn.  I really want to like the card, but games need to go pretty long (or at least stabilize) in order for the card to be good.  I think the card was much better back when 2/1 for W justified a card being rare with no relevant abilities or creature types.  I'm more curious to see if anybody will manage to put together an old-school draw-go type of deck that manages to use this old thing.


And Spiked Baloth is reasonbly good.  4/2 does "trade down", but if you block with something small you're still taking significant damage from it.  I happened to have one, a Cathedral of War, and a whole lot of red burn spells, and he's pretty good if there's nothing you can profitably block him with.  4/2 trades down easily, but it also trades up just as easily, and nobody wants to block this guy with their Serra Angel if they can help it.

So we'll like how the M10 lands play with RtR? Will they EVER stop trolling with shocklands? I mean, the on;y possible way they can play more interestingly is non-basics with basic land types, so it's either shocklands, or angry gamers.


Maybe it's new Duals?



Why, for the love of god, would they obsolete everything they ever could or would do? New Duals would be both stupid and bad for sales in the long run (since all other dual lands become irrelevant for Modern). No, the Ravnica shocklands are coming back and Wizards is actually being pretty silly by hinting this hard so that nobody is going to be surprised/elated anymore when they finally do come out.

Some comments:
-I really liked the Multiverse comments. I want to see them come back.
-Thundermaw Hellkite: I am seriously missing the Thundermare angle. I refuse to believe that nobody thought of that card yet it still wound up this way.
-The Rings are insane in Sealed. Seriously. Especially Ring of Evos Isle. It doesn't even die to Turn to Slag. I think it's bad that there's such a disparate power level in a cycle like that.
-The M10 lands are fine. For God's sake, keep them in. They're the only budget-friendly thing you guys even do these days.
76125763 wrote:
Zindaras' meta is like a fossil, ancient and its secrets yet to be uncovered. Only men of yore, long dead, knew of it.
One of the most contentious cards in the file, the inclusion of 
Jayemdae at uncommon was derided initially by both by Tom LaPille and Max McCall. It was important to me, though, that every color have access to a method of mitigating mana flood and gaining card advantage at lower rarities. I also thought there was some powerful resonance and nostalgia behind the Tome, as well as a completely amazing piece of art. The counter-argument was that it heavily enabled raw card advantage as a strategy.



"Heavily enabled?"  I dunno.  I haven't played M13 limited yet, but Jayemdae is (was?) bad.  Bad bad bad bad.  I will be very surprised if it is more than a role-player in Limited for slow decks that can afford the 12-mana-for-a-Divination, and it'll be irrelevant in even casual Constructed short of some kind of mono-black control deck with a zillion mana from something Cabal Coffersy (Liliana?!).  

I can see that complaint about something like Archivist, maybe, which is potentially great in Limited even if irrelevant in Constructed.   Same with Honden of Seeing Winds - I played a good deal of Kamigawa limited and it was an excellent card, but not an unstoppable bomb.  So R&D thinks this strategy is unfun, fine, but that strategy simply won't get played as often if it's at a lower power level.  The Tome's gigantic 4 mana a turn cost means that you're not getting that card engine going for some time, and by turn 7 or so, there's big bombs and surprises to worry about anyway which can overwhelm straight card advantage strategies. 

Also insert obligatory whine here about how some players like grinding out incremental advantages, etc., but that's been over before.



nope. I've won every Pro Tour in the last 17 years with 4 Tome and 56 land decks. It should be banned in all formats.

Magmaquake, Volcanic Geyser, CC isnt really that restrictive. I prefer both of these though, Magma may actually be playable where Earth isnt and I dont wanna see Fireball ever again.
Smelt...dont give us a lame excuse why this card's ok. It should've been around 10 years ago, if its for Swords, a year ago, but dont tell me we are getting it just one time. This is what it should be.
OMG!!!!!!! Rancor + Infect?!??!?!? You're right, that would've been way too good!
Thanks for the Rings. Keep them or make good Lucky charms.
Keep the M10 lands. I dont like them, but I want that one constant in the core set.
Sorry, Hellion Crucible is awful.
It's a big flavor FAIL in my opinion

Failure. Failure.
Im really disappointed by the fact that Fireball is downgraded so much to Volcanic Geyser. Fireball has always been good, but never extremly good.
And m10 lands are ok in the way that constant in core sets is fine, but just dont print them at rare. It makes them expensive and still annoying to open one in a pack. Anyway maybe maybe they drop some more in price, since this is probably the last core set for them, and RTR will come with more duals.


(im talking btw from a casual point of view, so for fireball: it might not see a lot of tournament play and still be to good in limited. In casual anyway its always been fine.)
But couldn't Rummaging Goblin be a 2/1 or at least a 1/2? Something that doesn't make it look strictly worse than Looter.
It's true that one might not always want the additional effect, but it seems to me that Predatory Rampage is actually better than Overrun; not only does it cost less, but it has the additional effect of forcing your opponents to block even if they don't want to. After all, without that effect, one's opponent could still, if it was advantageous, block with every creature that is able to block.

So I was surprised to see the claim that the card was modified to make it less powerful. Although the higher rarity is a limitation.

Coming up with weird ideas to make everyone happy since 2008!

 

I have now started a blog as an appropriate place to put my crazy ideas.

So we'll like how the M10 lands play with RtR? Will they EVER stop trolling with shocklands? I mean, the on;y possible way they can play more interestingly is non-basics with basic land types, so it's either shocklands, or angry gamers.


Once again: It doesn't have to be shocklands. There are many kinds of multi-lands with basic land types, and that's all that Zac & co have been hinting about. Even a straight Coastal Tower cycle with basic land types at uncommon would be heralded with utter joy by legions of casual players who want good duals they don't have to pay through the nose for. And they'd work just as well with Liliana, Farseek, the M10 duals, etc.

I don't actually think it will be an uncommon always-tapped cycle. I think it'll be a rare cycle, very good cards, that will be very expensive. I think there's about a 60%-70% chance it will in fact be the shocklands back. But I do think there's some significant chance it'll be some other version of rare duals with basic land types but with some other effect instead of the "pay 2 life to get me untapped" mechanic.

Oh, and:
-The M10 lands are fine. For God's sake, keep them in. They're the only budget-friendly thing you guys even do these days.

 I agree with this too. Unless we get some awesome uncommon fixers like the Shards trilands or some basic-land-typed Coastal Towers, keep the M10 lands around.

Of course, there's always an outside chance we might get some fantastic common lands. I'm still immensely fond of the original Ravnica karoos, of which I've bought literally hundreds for my armada of casual decks. (Probably about 600 total across the cycle of 10, over the years.) I love Boros Garrison and friends so much; and it would be truly magnificent if Return to Ravnica brought something similarly awesome for casual manabases. But ISTR Zac and other developers saying they think the karoos are too good, they don't like how strong they are for Limited or some other nonsense like that. So I'm not getting my hopes up too high for that possibility.
I think that the allied-color dual lands should always be the same, even if they rotate.
I mean, it would be frustrating to gather them all and for M14 they say "Hey, now we have a new cycle of duals, they are the same color, but with different names! So you'll have to get them all again"
They could switch them for enemy-color duals like in Innistrad, those are awesome and allowed some more decks to smooth out their mana bases.
Also, I think that  Jayemdae it's a bit over costed. In limited, card advantage goes a long way, but draining almost all of our mana just to get it it's tough.
-The Rings are insane in Sealed. Seriously. Especially Ring of Evos Isle. It doesn't even die to Turn to Slag. I think it's bad that there's such a disparate power level in a cycle like that.


Truth.


I've always been a fan of Earthquake and its ilk as a kind of very-red-feeling scalable mass removal that doesn't just kill everything on the board


The one thing that Chandra from D13 has taught me about these cards that makes me hate them is that they damage you as well. Chandra has a control angle, and control is awful when it does half of aggro's job for it. So in that sense, I love Magmaquake... I even wish it was in D13!

He's costed at  because Merfolk Looter was hands-down the most dominant common in Magic 2010, even though it seemed comparatively innocuous. Given Rummaging Goblin's far more relevant creature type—thanks, Arms Dealer—we decided he ought to both require a discard first (as is red's tradition) and cost a little bit more.


It's... relevant. But for one card, that fits on the curve in the same spot and is a higher rarity? Creature type isn't a good argument here. What is a good argument is 1) MLooter isn't that big of a deal, and 2) the ability of RGoblin is strictly worse.


Thundermaw Hellkite


He's not strictly better than most dragons, but you came way too close. We all get pissed when you take a rare and shave its mana cost, so stop toeing the line and get to work on different design space.
RE: Wordlfire


I was hoping for more, but it doesn't surprise me that you said very little was done with this card. What is the point of printing a card that has no limited application and is clearly for constructed purposes that basically says 'everything you've done before I resolved is irrelevent and was a complete waste of your time set aside for playing Magic'?  

He's costed at  because Merfolk Looter was hands-down the most dominant common in Magic 2010, even though it seemed comparatively innocuous. Given Rummaging Goblin's far more relevant creature type—thanks, Arms Dealer—we decided he ought to both require a discard first (as is red's tradition) and cost a little bit more.


It's... relevant. But for one card, that fits on the curve in the same spot and is a higher rarity? Creature type isn't a good argument here. What is a good argument is 1) MLooter isn't that big of a deal, and 2) the ability of RGoblin is strictly worse.

Meh. I got completely crushed by someone doing the Arms Dealer thing at the Prerelease. I think thay synergy's good enough to warrant slowing things down by a turn.

Also, I do think card selection should continue to be best in Blue. I think the problem with Blue is that they keep printing amazing cards like Delver of Secrets and Snapcaster Mage in Blue rather than making the color generally better and more even. I think they need to make more of the bad Blue cards better and the amazing Blue cards less ridiculous.
But couldn't Rummaging Goblin be a 2/1 or at least a 1/2? Something that doesn't make it look strictly worse than Looter.



It's in Red, with an effect (repeated draw) that is Blue's domain. This suggests it gets the "ability" to sculpt the hand at a higher cost.

"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)
But their entire argument for doing it is to give red a weak version of it. So not only did they delude the ability, but they're going to put it on strictly worse cards as well? Waste of a mechanic if you ask me.
Am I the only one who feels like I've seen MaRo say a lot of this before in almost exactly the same words? Might just be my imagination but I swear I've heard a lot of this before.

Also: I'm with the people who would like to see multiverse comments back. Those were cool. Is there some legal reason you can no longer show us multiverse comments or have you just decided to stop for whatever reason?
Immature College Student (Also a Rules Advisor)
RE: thundermaw hellkite


Blue uses tapping creatures to represent freezing them. I thought this was supposed to be an ice-breathing dragon. The distinction between fire and lightning is hard to make on cards. A better version would have been for it to do damage in chunks of 3 to fit the references of your own cards.  
It's true that one might not always want the additional effect, but it seems to me that Predatory Rampage is actually better than Overrun; not only does it cost less, but it has the additional effect of forcing your opponents to block even if they don't want to. After all, without that effect, one's opponent could still, if it was advantageous, block with every creature that is able to block.

So I was surprised to see the claim that the card was modified to make it less powerful. Although the higher rarity is a limitation.



They are both 5CMC, so unless you mean less by one less green to activate, they technically cost the same.  

Most of the time I cast Overrun, my opp wanted to block with everything, simply to preserve their life total.  The only time that didn't work was if I didn't have enough creatures on board, a rarity for green.  The loss of Trample means that you kill every non-tapped creature on your opp's side, but it it's just 1/1 tokens, you can't go to the face with the rest. 

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."
OH PLEASE GOD!!!

NEVER EVER EVER EVER EVER CHANGE THE CORE SET DUALS!!! THEY ARE NECESSARY FOR THE HEALTH OF THE GAME AND MANY PLAYERS BUDGETS. DON'T CHANGE THEM.

sorry, I needed to say that. And i don't know where to say this, but here seems a relatively good place.
Stop bleeding the color pie. I get new phyrexia's theme of doing that with phyrexian mana, but innistrad took it to a new-level. Lets compare two one drops: Delver of secrets is a blue one drop that can immeadiately become a 3/2 flier permanently, and whose trigger is based on you, in a non-aggro color.
Reckless Waif is a red one-drop that can immeadiately become a 3/2 creature, albeit possibly temporary, and whose trigger is also in the hands of the other players, in the most aggressive color.

Whats wrong with this picture?
It's a big flavor FAIL in my opinion

Failure. Failure.


+1.  So much +1.
It's a big flavor FAIL in my opinion

Failure. Failure.


+1.  So much +1.



+50. 

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."
Am I the only one who feels like I've seen MaRo say a lot of this before in almost exactly the same words? Might just be my imagination but I swear I've heard a lot of this before.

Also: I'm with the people who would like to see multiverse comments back. Those were cool. Is there some legal reason you can no longer show us multiverse comments or have you just decided to stop for whatever reason?


different author...
Re: Magmaquake. I love that they're finally referencing planeswalkers directly instead of through cryptic things like Bramblecrush and Vampire Hexmage. Perhaps now we can finally have cards that directly add or remove loyalty counters. Still, I am somewhat amused and baffled by the fact that, although players are supposed to be planeswalkers, Magmaquake cannot in fact damage players. On the other hand, an Earthquake that could affect planeswalkers would lead to the bizarre situation where "The burst of blistering hot lava burns you, me, and Ajani for 3 damage each, except I'm redirecting your damage to Ajani so actually you're completely unharmed and Ajani gets twice as injured somehow."

Re: The "comes into play tapped on rare occasions" lands. I don't mind reprints. While there are cards like the Titans that I hate, wish never saw print, and would like to just go away,  I wouldn't mind if perfectly okay cards like these guys were reprinted forever. With these cards in particular, they can go in a lot of decks so acquiring lots of them isn't a problem and they're rare, so it's unlikely I'll have any anyway. In fact, I currently have none of these lands and am relying on ravinca bouncelands and assorted stuff like Shivan Oasis and Coldsteel Heart I have lying around to fix mana. At $3 they're out of my price range. Opening a new one from a pack is the exact same as if it was printed for the first time for me.
About red looting: I get that the reverse take is objectively weaker. That still doesn't stop me from prefering the red take. It just seems to me to play better. With blue it's "gimme a card - oh man, now I gotta ditch something", with red it's "I won't be needing this, what else can I get?". I know I'm gonna enjoy Rummaging Goblin in Limited more than Merfolk Looter.

L1 Judge

Except you discard your sixth land and draw a titan.
Except you discard your sixth land and draw a titan.



Would you discard your Titan if you drew it first? =p

But couldn't Rummaging Goblin be a 2/1 or at least a 1/2? Something that doesn't make it look strictly worse than Looter.

 

It's in Red, with an effect (repeated draw) that is Blue's domain. This suggests it gets the "ability" to sculpt the hand at a higher cost.


 

That's an interesting question, how much is it Red's domain now? With things like artifact destruction, it's more expensive in white than it is in red or green. Is looting primary or secondary in red (in the first case both primary in red and blue).
But their entire argument for doing it is to give red a weak version of it. So not only did they delude the ability, but they're going to put it on strictly worse cards as well? Waste of a mechanic if you ask me.


If an effect is primary in one color, but secondary in another, one does not make strictly identical or better versions in the secondary color. One barely even brings that effect higher in the rarity pile in secondary colors. This is why "hexproof" in such a high quantity in Blue as it has been getting rankles as it does.

As it is, we are going to be seeing Blue get Archivist effects, or Windfall variants; Red gets Rummaging Goblin. I am personally all for Blue getting raw draw, but Red getting the looter effect period. No bleed between the two. That said, Red getting "random" tacked on more often than it has, not getting Faithless Looting but a reverse version (discard, THEN draw, like Burning Inquiry) would be more in keeping with the colors' personalities:

Blue: "I wish to know more!" - learns
Red: "I don't need this..." - toss - "Ooo, shiny!"

Edit:
That's an interesting question, how much is it Red's domain now? With things like artifact destruction, it's more expensive in white than it is in red or green. Is looting primary or secondary in red (in the first case both primary in red and blue).


Personally? I think looting should be exclusive to Red without flavor bleed into Blue (say, something Izzetish for Ravnica, which is all about flash inspiration and forgetful, loopy inventors, drop the toy you're working on to get a new project you just thought up going).

But ... I do not know how long R&D is going to keep flavor ideas from Innistrad going.
"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)
Re: Magmaquake. I love that they're finally referencing planeswalkers directly instead of through cryptic things like Bramblecrush and Vampire Hexmage. Perhaps now we can finally have cards that directly add or remove loyalty counters. Still, I am somewhat amused and baffled by the fact that, although players are supposed to be planeswalkers, Magmaquake cannot in fact damage players. On the other hand, an Earthquake that could affect planeswalkers would lead to the bizarre situation where "The burst of blistering hot lava burns you, me, and Ajani for 3 damage each, except I'm redirecting your damage to Ajani so actually you're completely unharmed and Ajani gets twice as injured somehow."



This perked me up as well. I suspect that, because it is instant, they do not want it hitting players, and instead are pretending for this that planeswalkers are creatures, thus it's mechanical in nature and ignores flavor for that purpose.

"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)
Except you discard your sixth land and draw a titan.



Would you discard your Titan if you drew it first? =p


No, you'd discard your ORing.
Heh, I played my first limited matches this week with two Turn to Slag in my deck and mentioned casually, "Hey, I wonder if these got put in because of all the rings running around..." Guess I was right. :P

But couldn't Rummaging Goblin be a 2/1 or at least a 1/2? Something that doesn't make it look strictly worse than Looter.


While it looks strictly worse, I'm not sure that it actually is. If you're playing an aggressive deck with lots of early drops (likely in red), you're not going to be suckered into playing it too early, which may lead to it sticking around (instead of dying right away) and/or lands being saved up to pitch to it, that might have just been played out unthinkingly. In other words, it might make you play better.

Also, it's a relevant creature type. Going Krenko's Command, this guy, Krenko...will get out of hand really quickly. Especially if you can get a steady stream of gas to deal with any resistance your opponent might try to put in front of all those goblins.

Once again: It doesn't have to be shocklands.


QFT. Despite the fact that I sold off all my shocklands before Modern became a format, I don't know that I'd be thrilled about them being reprinted. There are plenty of ways to make non-basic lands with basic land types in them. Heck, you could make something like Darigaaz's Caldera as a Mountain, as a Forest Mountain Swamp, make it return a land, a basic land, a Mountain, have it come into play tapped UNLESS you return something...etc. etc.
While it looks strictly worse, I'm not sure that it actually is. If you're playing an aggressive deck with lots of early drops (likely in red), you're not going to be suckered into playing it too early, which may lead to it sticking around (instead of dying right away) and/or lands being saved up to pitch to it, that might have just been played out unthinkingly. In other words, it might make you play better.

Also, it's a relevant creature type. Going Krenko's Command, this guy, Krenko...will get out of hand really quickly. Especially if you can get a steady stream of gas to deal with any resistance your opponent might try to put in front of all those goblins.

Neither of these have anything to do with whether a card is strictly worse than another card.

The fact of the matter is that they give Red the strictly worse version of looting (can't be used with an empty hand, and you don't have the option to discard whatever you draw), and they put it on a card that costs more. That's insulting.
IMAGE(http://images.community.wizards.com/community.wizards.com/user/blitzschnell/c6f9e416e5e0e1f0a1e5c42b0c7b3e88.jpg?v=90000)
they give Red the strictly worse version of looting (can't be used with an empty hand


Is this really a drawback outside of some fringe strategies (which don't even use red, so...)?

L1 Judge

they give Red the strictly worse version of looting (can't be used with an empty hand


Is this really a drawback outside of some fringe strategies (which don't even use red, so...)?

It's not important whether you'd want to do so. What matters is that you could. It's an additional option, even if it's one most people will never use.

And even if you argue that it doesn't matter, that doesn't answer the second point I mentioned. With Blue looting, you can discard what you draw if it's not better than anything in your hand. With Red looting, you cannot.
IMAGE(http://images.community.wizards.com/community.wizards.com/user/blitzschnell/c6f9e416e5e0e1f0a1e5c42b0c7b3e88.jpg?v=90000)
That doesn't make it a strictly better version. Just different. ;)
That doesn't make it a strictly better version. Just different. ;)

No, it really does. Blue looting gives you more options than Red looting. Red looting doesn't give you anything to make up for this loss of options.
IMAGE(http://images.community.wizards.com/community.wizards.com/user/blitzschnell/c6f9e416e5e0e1f0a1e5c42b0c7b3e88.jpg?v=90000)
It's a different decision process, so it's not simply a matter of "more options". That makes it far from "strictly better". If we take madness into consideration, discarding a card first can be potentially relevant...along with other graveyard based situations. Even the fact that it's red, and you might want to play red cards (instead of blue ones - yeah, I know, weird, but still) means that it's not strictly better because of what that entails.

Besides, if you have a truly useless card (nine lands in play, mountain #6 in hand) to get rid of, then both options are effectively equal, because you're discarding the same card no matter what.
"strictly better" does not mean 'better in every conceivable scenario of any game of magic'. There are scenarios where Rummaging Goblin is better than Merfolk Looter, and discarding first would be better than drawing first (Faithless Looting with discard first would be SICK in dredge decks).

But in the end, it is a strictly worse card.
It's a different decision process, so it's not simply a matter of "more options". That makes it far from "strictly better". If we take madness into consideration, discarding a card first can be potentially relevant...along with other graveyard based situations. Even the fact that it's red, and you might want to play red cards (instead of blue ones - yeah, I know, weird, but still) means that it's not strictly better because of what that entails.

Besides, if you have a truly useless card (nine lands in play, mountain #6 in hand) to get rid of, then both options are effectively equal, because you're discarding the same card no matter what.



Blue looting also has one other benefit, that becomes a lot more clear from your example.  Let's say you used red looting, got rid of the land in your hand, and drew the one retrace spell in your deck.  Casting that retrace spell twice would win the game, it's a good thing you have a land in hand, right?  What's that, you just discarded it?  Oh...  Well, maybe if you were playing blue looting, you would have seen that you were getting the retrace spell before you ditched the land.

Blue looting allows you to have more information before you choose what card to discard.  This allows you to make a more informed decision, and therefore, blue looting is generally better.
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