8/27/2012 MM: "State of Design 2012"

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This thread is for discussion of this week's Making Magic, which goes live Monday morning on magicthegathering.com.
Mark, thanks for the detailed comments, as always. However, I take issue with

we've created product after product that has sent a clear message that Magic is not just about winning in tournaments




You've promoted play settings outside the tournament events, but you can still do more to promote a casual attitude in general. The problem isn't just that people see Magic as being about winning in tournaments: they see it as being solely about winning, period. There are Commander and Planechase netdecks. There are people who go into forums marked "casual" and get told to switch their favorite cards for powerful things they've never even heard of and that don't fit their Ouphe theme deck, or what have you. The culture needs to change, and it can start with you.

You get lots of credit for the Innistrad block, because gothic horror is literally the last thing I ever would have expected you to do. However, I feel the mechanical constraints of the set made it feel rather small in some cases - there were some horror tropes you had to leave out, and the cards that were "pushed" for constructed play felt even more blatant than in non-top-down sets. Yeah, that's more a development problem than yours, but you asked for feedback, right? Can you tell the development people that Snapcaster Mage should never have been printed as a blue card while you're at it?

   
I most certainly began reading this article wholly expecting a self-serving back-patting "we had a good year, let's keep it going!" type of article.  I was pleasantly surprised.  You hit most of the nails right on the head, and you actually pointed out most of the things that you did wrong this past year.  Here are a few comments for you:

1) I simply have to respond to this passage from the article:

Avacyn Restored was a giant success. By what metric? People buying packs. A lot—a LOT—of Avacyn Restored has been sold. So much so that R&D had a meeting to discuss all the things we did right in the set.



The question I always love to ask R&D, and which I have yet to receive an answer to, is: Do you guys really believe that players buy packs because they enjoy the set?  I'm sure there's an element of players who simply must have that fourth Seraph of Dawn or second Avacyn, Angel of Hope, but do you really think that is what sells packs?  Is it more influential than, say, the fact that Bonfire of the Damned is currently approximately $50 AND RISING on most online retailers?  How about the fact that Cavern of Souls was $30 for quite some time (is now around $25)?  Avacyn herself was (is?) $15 for a very long time, and Griselbrand was...well let's say he generated an entire Twitter hashtag all on his own (#griselbanned, for the non-Legacy players in the audience). There are many other examples I could name.  Is it really the "love of the set", and not "the love of the value" that sold the set?

Furthermore, do you truly believe this was a "triumph" in terms of the future of Magic?  Do you believe it's healthy when all the marquee cards in a set cost $10 or more?  When the prices of cards go up, the barrier to entry goes up as well...

2) You failed to mention the #1 most important card for older formats printed in the last...well, probably since the Zendikar Fetchlands.  That being, of course, Delver of Secrets.  Do you feel Delver was a triumph or a failure on the part of R&D?  Is the tournament popularity of Delver a hint of future things to come, or a hint of things R&D will seek to avoid from now on?
I just wanted to say thanks for realizing the mistakes you made last year that were really a letdown after you got us all pumped up with Innistrad's greatness. Just a thought though, when you're creating a top down set filled with flavor and the potential for a wonderful story, don't let your creative team slack off as time wears on. Innistrad presented the plane's story wonderfully...but Dark Ascension didn't live up to the excitement I had received seeing Sorin's picture as the cover of the set. The real problem though, wasn't the lack of awesomeness in Dark Ascension (in comparison to it's predecessor) but instead the sheer failure of good writing and story for Avacyn Restored. Looking back, I was so excited for Innistrad when it came out, and it did not disappoint. But, when the following sets released, I became less and less compelled to love the story as it became incomparable to Innistrad's glory. By the time the article came out describing how Avacyn was freed and how Grislebrand was killed, I could only conclude that 1. Sorin's presence was pointless 2. Garruk didn't do anything important 3.Lili's battle with Grislebrand was anticlimactic 4.numerous other characters were underused. And when the set was released these things disappointed me further 1.No legendary one-sided werewolf as described when Innistrad originally came out as forever trapped in his werewolf form (though you've already apologized for this) 2.there was but one Gryff 3.only two Wolfir 4.this was just pretty much the realization that all that I had hoped might magically appear in the last set and make everything better after Dark Ascension  didn't rank with Innistrad, didn't

Ok, that was more than just a thought, but it all revolves around basically the same idea: Top down=better flavor, better story, better synergy between cards and story. Just remember that next time you plan on "returning to Innistrad."
Ertai's comment brought up a point I hadn't considered. How much does a Standard competitve deck cost now compared to 10 years ago? Or how about 5? I know Wizards likes Mythic rares, and yes, they have to sell packs, but it seems to me that costs are rising prohibitively.

For once, I would really like a clear and honest communication from a Wizards employee about their views on what the price structure of the secondary market should be. Sure, supply and demand is what drives it and they have no immediate control over singles prices, but it sure would be good to clear the air on the topic for all the frustrated Spikes who can't afford to play their favorite game competitively (myself among them).

Almost every single article posted on the mothership gets a complaint like mine or Ertai87's on the cost of playing the game we're addicted to, yet NEVER do we get even an acknowledgment of the issue from the powers that be. 

C'mon Wizards, at least throw us a bone.
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Avacyn Restored *was* a giant success; people are still buying packs not just because of the chase money cards, but because there are a lot of very cool flavorful cards, if that's what you're interested in - especially if you like angels. Soulbond was something that I think appealed to a lot of players, too, even if it was...confusing, at first. :P

However, I think your comment about Delver is spot on. I do not believe that Goal #3 of Prove that Double-Faced Cards Work was achieved - at ALL. People are playing checklist cards in their constructed decks, and as much "cool factor" as there was to the cards, it was *too* gimmicky to be practical, and it just got more and more annoying as the draft season went on. I kept winning with R/G decks throughout the format, so one time I *intentionally* drafted as few werewolves as possible just so that I wouldn't have to deal with the damn things.

Not to mention that Delver is still warping formats. He's technically not overpowered, but he's a strict upgrade in various archtypes and as a result blue-based aggro-control is everywhere. Had the guy been printed as a 2/2 or 3/1 flyer he probably would still be a tournament staple, but manageable.


Oh, and I didn't even see a mention of Snapcaster. Between Mr. Soh and Jace, I haven't played blue in constructed for the last few years. >_<
I think the last goal for 2013 is going to be a tricky one.  a SMALL set with 10 multicolored pairings, 10 mechanics all fighting for attention? It seems to me that either giving none of the guilds enough attention,  would be almost unavoidable without risking the set's overall balance.

Also, one of the biggest things that would improve on Ravnica is not to be as slavish to the structure of the guilds and the cycles with the cards.  Instead of giving each guild a this, a that, and so on, keep the essense of the guilds alive in the cards through creative design and flavorful mechanics without designing the set too rigidly that things become predictable.
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The question I always love to ask R&D, and which I have yet to receive an answer to


Almost every single article posted on the mothership gets a complaint like mine or Ertai87's on the cost of playing the game we're addicted to, yet NEVER do we get even an acknowledgment of the issue from the powers that be. 

C'mon Wizards, at least throw us a bone.


Why not post on Maro's Tumblr? He actually answers questions on there.

markrosewater.tumblr.com/
Hi!  I love magic.  Thanks for you article and all that you do.  I cannot wait for Return to Ravnica.  

For me Innistrad was a miss.  I became obsessed with Magic around Mirrodin block.  But every so often I take a block off.  This pattern started during Time Spiral.  For many of the reasons you have written about before, Time Spiral made me stay home.  I didn't buy packs and I stopped playing.  When Alara came around I jumped back in.  It's interesting that you are proudest of Innistrad and the last four years.  If I had to name my favorite blocks of the modern era I would probably say Ravnica, Lorwynn/Shadowmoor, Alara, and Mirrodin Besieged - largely because of the stellar New Phyrexia.

I was excited about a gothic horror set, but when previews came out for Innistrad I immediatelly knew I was out.  The reason:  Double face cards.  In my view they simply violate a basic principle of card game functionality.  The cards you draw are the cards you are able to play and your opponent can't tell what cards you are holding.  Double face cards don't work.  Having a sneaky checklist card that lets everyone know what other card you are really holding that actually wouldn't work in the game if you shuffled into your deck violates some basic threshold of design elegance that I can't get past.  A thing should do what it does.

I have enjoyed reading about the set on the website and checking out the cards on line.  But I haven't bought any.  Because I don't want any double faced cards.  I'm sure I'm in the minority.  This is not a rant.  If other people liked them, I get it, it's cool.  But please don't dismiss my two cents.  I am really really into magic.  I have a huge collection of cards, I read all your articles,  I love to build decks, I introduce new players to the game all the time.  I'm mostly happy about where the game is headed.  But I think it's worth letting you know that one of the things you consider one of your top successes of the year, I consider a failure. 

Thanks for your article.  Looking forward to a great year of magic in Ravnica!


 
First time poster, but I've always kept an eye on DailyMTG form Sunday night to Thursday night ever since I got back to playing the game from a long hiatus (started at Tempest block, quit and returned during Scars block)

I made an account, went through 3 failed captchas, and went through that mandatory profile setup. Just so i can post and raincheck.

Because I do NOT think avacyn restored is successfull only because of the reasons listed in the article. Heck I think its not even MAJORLY because of them.

Bonfire is 42
Caverns is 18
Restoration Angels are  10

These are the reasons a lot of people in my LGS buy tons and tons of packs. When they win FNM, they pick AVR, when Me and my friends buy each other packs for each others bday its AVR. The casuals, and I play both casually and tournament since the casuals do some fun EDHing when I need a competetive break, they look for EDH viables and AVR has very little outside Griselbrand.

Competetively I mostly play draft and AVR is ATROCIOUS in draft. It becomes a pull-fest where the game hinges way too much you either pull good packs or not because of the unusually vast amount of unusable cards in ratio to usable cards. This as opposed to innistrad where you can draft a theme via dredge, or whatever you want because the majority of the cards are usables.


So sorry but I would like to voice my opinion to maybe bring you guys back down to earth and realize that like the poster above said, the price to make a deck is a barrier of entry. Avacyn Restored is not helping here. I stopped FNMing as often as I used to because my choices are limited heavily because most viable decks require a bonfire in it.
The number one complaint I received after Innistrad previews: Why did we have to include double-faced cards?


The number one complaint I received after Avacyn Restored previews: Why didn't we include double-faced cards?



These aren't contradictory, Mark.  Once you've introduced the complexity of double-faced cards, using them in a third set doesn't bring nearly so much baggage.

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 glad to see that Innistrad was such a big hit! You mentioned a lot of issues I had over the year, most importantly AVR Limited. (Though I still maintain that Black isn't a bad support color at all in Draft) 

Agreed on DFC, more Werewolves and Flashback in AVR, too. Those were three things that MADE Innistrad for me, and it was disappointing to only have two sets' worth. I'm excited to see the lessons you took from this reflected in the next year and going forward.

Overall, an incredible year, and well-deserved success. May RtR continue the trend--I'm excited to  Overload some spells. 
I was actually saddened by the lack of mention about the FTV series.  These boxed sets, while incredible at offering players that want these expensive cards access they wouldn't otherwise have, these are printed in such a limited run, the average player has to shell out double or more of the MSRP to get them.

It would seem to me from a business standpoint, that if Wizards wants to make more money they would print more of these.  Don't get me wrong, the retailers are LOVING this, as they pay the same for the cost of the product then turn right around and sell them for twice what they should because THAT is what people are going to pay to get a copy of them.

Up the print run quantity and Wizards would be making the money instead of retailers greedily profiting off their short-sightedness.

I'm really hoping and praying that the Commander's Arsenal product and future Commander supported sets are not going to follow the FTV print format.  It would be a shame to limit these to the point that it's too expensive to acquire them!
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Well, as you ask for feedback, I'll give mine as well.  I guess I'll go with the same order as in the article.

Innistrad - I have to say, I really liked Innistrad.  While it wasn't my favorite set of all time, it was probably the best draft environment I've ever played in.  I enjoyed the horror themes, and was impressed by the way each tribe felt defined.  I will have to say that the one 'flaw' with Innistrad doesn't have to do with Innistrad per se but instead relates to a previous state of design goal: Inter-block planning. I didn't feel that SOM block and Innistrad had many interactions, and I feel this may be a potential pitfall of 'Fifth-stage' design. The only real direct interaction I can think of between the blocks is proliferate (which can pretty much interact with any set ever).  I think part of this is just the nature of Mirrodin/New Phyrexia as having poison or artifacts matter show up in Innistrad would be jarring. So I feel like if Fifth-stage design is something you plan on doing, the themes need to be chosen carefully so that you don't make another shift quite so disparate.

Double-Face Cards - Hmm.  I feel weird talking about this particular topic.  I only play online so I didn't have to deal with the change in drafting rules or checklist cards.  I also am someone who really really REALLY likes flip cards, and felt that DFC just acted to smack them in the face.  So... I guess if other people liked them that's fine. But PLEASE can you print more flip cards?  Just put them in Commander or Planechase products but PLEASE! I will say, if you guys do bring back DFCs, it be nice to be able to play either side like a creature split card (with or without transform).

Avacyn Restored - And here's when you lost me.  I think it's funny, last time you had a L/S/L block structure, I really didn't like the first 2 sets, but thought the third set was one of the most fun sets I've ever played or drafted.  Whereas the opposite is true this time around. In both cases it's just the case of drafting environments that are so hyper aggressive that by the time you're finished drafting you basically know whether your deck is going to win or not.  At the same time, when I spend my money to draft and play I like to... you know play... if I just wanted to draft I'd just stick with the draft simulator.  So please, if you guys make aggressive sets in the future don't make them as insanely fast as they have been in the past.

Dark Ascension - You didn't actually talk about this set, so I'll just put it here.  First - best set name to date IMO. I really liked the ideas this set was trying for, but I don't think it was executed quite right.  Final Hour was just silly and hardly ever mattered in my experience.  I feel like it would have been more interesting to look more at the corruption of Humans than throwing in a new keyword.  Maybe a modified Morbid, where the spell got even stronger if it was a Human that died? Undying was a more interesting mechanice, but I prefer Persist.  I get that the sense of dread was what you were going for, but I think you guys need to think about why players play Magic.  When I go to play, I'm usually not thinking "I hope I feel dread and am forced to make bad decision this game!" I also felt DKA really decreased the overall quality of Innistrad drafting.

Hoping Return to Ravnica turns out well, and am looking forward to it.



To me, Avacyn Restored was a big miss, here's why:

* It was very disconnected from ISD and DKA and failed to capitalize on what those two had built. I remember waiting with excitement to find out what happens when the Helvault opens, and then all you gave us was "Avacyn and Grislebrand come out, Avacyn kills Grislebrand, everyone goes home and is happy ever after". What happened to Sorin? Why did we have to wait so much to hear from Garruk again? Wasn't Avacyn injured? So many things made no sense...

* Black was awful in it and White got most of the good stuff. I don't mind angels, but I think there were too many of them. Black missed on the two best mechanics of the set, Miracle and Soulbound and didn't get anything cool to make up for it.

* The limited was awful. It was basically a 4 colour format, where black turned out to be good because it was so weak that you would get all the black cards up and to pick 14. Generally the number of playables was very very low and there were no cool archetypes like ISD's Spider Spawning ones.

* Mythic Rares strike again. As soon as Grislebrand and Temporal Mastery were spoiled, I checked the StarcityGames site for the price and I was met with absurd numbers.

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

192884403 wrote:
surely one can't say complex conditional passive language is bad grammar ?
This was a really great article. It hit on all the things players have been commenting on with Innistrad block, and I'm glad that it lived up to Mark's expectations. 

It's also great because he addressed things from both a monetary perspective (Alara Reborn was a huge success) and things from a complaint perspective (Alara Reborn received a ton of complaints). He's one of those people who really responds to feedback; I never expected the complaints about no Legendary Werewolf to be acknowledged. 

I really hope double-faced cards come back, and I hope Return to Ravnica turns out to be awesome.
I was actually saddened by the lack of mention about the FTV series.  These boxed sets, while incredible at offering players that want these expensive cards access they wouldn't otherwise have, these are printed in such a limited run, the average player has to shell out double or more of the MSRP to get them.

It would seem to me from a business standpoint, that if Wizards wants to make more money they would print more of these.  Don't get me wrong, the retailers are LOVING this, as they pay the same for the cost of the product then turn right around and sell them for twice what they should because THAT is what people are going to pay to get a copy of them.

Up the print run quantity and Wizards would be making the money instead of retailers greedily profiting off their short-sightedness.

I'm really hoping and praying that the Commander's Arsenal product and future Commander supported sets are not going to follow the FTV print format.  It would be a shame to limit these to the point that it's too expensive to acquire them!

FTV sets are intended to be more helpful to LGSs than to Wizards. They're essentially a gift to LGS joints for the role they have in keeping Magic the Gathering healthy. 

2) You failed to mention the #1 most important card for older formats printed in the last...well, probably since the Zendikar Fetchlands.  That being, of course, Delver of Secrets.  Do you feel Delver was a triumph or a failure on the part of R&D?  Is the tournament popularity of Delver a hint of future things to come, or a hint of things R&D will seek to avoid from now on?

Delver was a development mistake. Mark's article deals with design. ;)
The question I always love to ask R&D, and which I have yet to receive an answer to


Almost every single article posted on the mothership gets a complaint like mine or Ertai87's on the cost of playing the game we're addicted to, yet NEVER do we get even an acknowledgment of the issue from the powers that be. 

C'mon Wizards, at least throw us a bone.


Why not post on Maro's Tumblr? He actually answers questions on there.

markrosewater.tumblr.com/



Good luck on that, I've tried and he's proven to be wholly unwilling (probably legally so) to talk about how financial barrier to entry is an even bigger problem than the "complexity" one. This is the first time I've seen him even acknowledge finances at all. Sure, you can make the game easy enough to understand, but if they're then told "Oh, if you're wanting to actually win games, you're going to have to spend $300 for 75 cards," that's not going to keep them playing.

* Mythic Rares strike again. As soon as Grislebrand and Temporal Mastery were spoiled, I checked the StarcityGames site for the price and I was met with absurd numbers.

Well of course it's absurd, it's SCG, what do you expect?

SCG's tendency to overcharge people for cards aside, they would've been high even if they weren't mythics. Temporal Mastery's price was high for a simple reason: People were buying it in droves, to the point that SCG had to halt preorders of it. And due to the extremely high demand, they increased the price accordingly (supply and demand, you know).


And the reason people were buying it in such droves was because so many people thought it was some kind of incredible super card to the point I saw some people arguing it should be pre-emptively banned in Legacy or else it would wreck the format. Now obviously, it was really just an okay card that's decent in a few decks but nowhere near the powerhouse people thought it would be. 


The absurdly high price for Temporal Mastery early on (before it dropped when everyone realized how overrated it was) wasn't really the fault of it being a mythic rare, it's the fault of so many people incorrectly thinking it'd be another Time Walk.


A better complaint would be Bonfire, really...


2) You failed to mention the #1 most important card for older formats printed in the last...well, probably since the Zendikar Fetchlands.  That being, of course, Delver of Secrets.  Do you feel Delver was a triumph or a failure on the part of R&D?  Is the tournament popularity of Delver a hint of future things to come, or a hint of things R&D will seek to avoid from now on?

Delver was a development mistake. Mark's article deals with design. ;)

Still, a brief mention of cards like Delver of Secrets or Snapcaster Mage would have been nice.

On the article in general: Avacyn Restored Limited being subpar was absolutely true and it's nice to see that admitted. I do remember having some fun with it in Sealed, but in Draft it was ugh, which is a shame because Innistrad had such a great Draft. Honestly, Innistrad Draft being so great was a big reason I came back to Magic, I decided to (after years of being away) to check out a Friday Night Magic Draft and immediately fell in love with it. It was great from not just a being fun perspective, but also I thought there was a really great feeling of the plane in it that I noticed in the very first draft.

I don't have much of an opinion one way or the other on the two-sided cards. On one hand I liked the fact it let them put a lot more in it than the flip cards, but they were not without their problems. 
Great article. The "State of Design" articles are always among my favorites. The highlight of the year for me was definitely Innistrad (the set, not the block). Dark Ascension was good too, but it definitely made the limited environment worse and overall wasn't as good of a set as Innistrad (then again, Innistrad is a pretty tough act to follow). Avacyn Restored was pretty meh IMO, though the legends were all pretty cool. I appreciate the honest critiques you make in the "lessons" section, and I agree with all of them; they are spot on, especially the parts about having more/better block continuity and making sure the limited environment works well.

As for Avacyn Restored's financial success: As several other people have said, it's not simply enough to look at a set and see that a lot of packs have been sold. You have to ask yourself why so many packs have been sold, and in this case I do think it's more because of the chase rares and mythics in the set than stellar design. I'm sure Jace inflated the numbers for Worldwake in a similar fashion. In this case, it's because of Griselbrand, Cavern of Souls, Bonfire of the Damned, and (initially) Temporal Mastery.

All that being said, overall I agree that this was a great year for Magic.

Also, you should get Richard Garfield on more design teams. IIRC, the last one he was on before Innistrad was Ravnica, and I don't think it's a coincidence that Ravnica and Innistrad are two of the best and most beloved Magic sets ever. I'm really looking forward to RTR!
1) I simply have to respond to this passage from the article:

Avacyn Restored was a giant success. By what metric? People buying packs. A lot—a LOT—of Avacyn Restored has been sold. So much so that R&D had a meeting to discuss all the things we did right in the set.



The question I always love to ask R&D, and which I have yet to receive an answer to, is: Do you guys really believe that players buy packs because they enjoy the set?  I'm sure there's an element of players who simply must have that fourth Seraph of Dawn or second Avacyn, Angel of Hope, but do you really think that is what sells packs?  Is it more influential than, say, the fact that Bonfire of the Damned is currently approximately $50 AND RISING on most online retailers?  How about the fact that Cavern of Souls was $30 for quite some time (is now around $25)?  Avacyn herself was (is?) $15 for a very long time, and Griselbrand was...well let's say he generated an entire Twitter hashtag all on his own (#griselbanned, for the non-Legacy players in the audience). There are many other examples I could name.  Is it really the "love of the set", and not "the love of the value" that sold the set?

Furthermore, do you truly believe this was a "triumph" in terms of the future of Magic?  Do you believe it's healthy when all the marquee cards in a set cost $10 or more?  When the prices of cards go up, the barrier to entry goes up as well...



Because I do NOT think avacyn restored is successfull only because of the reasons listed in the article. Heck I think its not even MAJORLY because of them.

Bonfire is 42
Caverns is 18
Restoration Angels are  10

These are the reasons a lot of people in my LGS buy tons and tons of packs. When they win FNM, they pick AVR, when Me and my friends buy each other packs for each others bday its AVR. The casuals, and I play both casually and tournament since the casuals do some fun EDHing when I need a competetive break, they look for EDH viables and AVR has very little outside Griselbrand.

Competetively I mostly play draft and AVR is ATROCIOUS in draft. It becomes a pull-fest where the game hinges way too much you either pull good packs or not because of the unusually vast amount of unusable cards in ratio to usable cards. This as opposed to innistrad where you can draft a theme via dredge, or whatever you want because the majority of the cards are usables.

So sorry but I would like to voice my opinion to maybe bring you guys back down to earth and realize that like the poster above said, the price to make a deck is a barrier of entry. Avacyn Restored is not helping here. I stopped FNMing as often as I used to because my choices are limited heavily because most viable decks require a bonfire in it.



The go-to example of this has been the Legions set for a long time. Very little value, selling like hotcakes. There simply is this huge mass of casual players that are invisible to us more invested players, but they're outbuying us.
You missed one of the biggest successes of the year: Magic 2013. Cool


Because I do NOT think avacyn restored is successfull only because of the reasons listed in the article. Heck I think its not even MAJORLY because of them.

Bonfire is 42
Caverns is 18
Restoration Angels are  10

These are the reasons a lot of people in my LGS buy tons and tons of packs. When they win FNM, they pick AVR, when Me and my friends buy each other packs for each others bday its AVR. The casuals, and I play both casually and tournament since the casuals do some fun EDHing when I need a competetive break, they look for EDH viables and AVR has very little outside Griselbrand.
(...)
So sorry but I would like to voice my opinion to maybe bring you guys back down to earth and realize that like the poster above said, the price to make a deck is a barrier of entry. Avacyn Restored is not helping here. I stopped FNMing as often as I used to because my choices are limited heavily because most viable decks require a bonfire in it.



I agree whole heartedily with what you, as well as many others, have stated regarding this. From a business stand point, sales from any cause is great. But, since Magic is a more complicated business where the social and competitive aspect must also be seriously considered, having the cause of your sales due to an overpriced Secondary Market doesn't help keep the social or competitive side alive.

I have planned on jumping in Standard play after the previous Mirrodin blocked shifted out. I just got back in with Dark Ascension and didn't want to have to buy the sets about to shift out. Also, I knew some of the ridiculous equipment (particularly the Swords) existed which killed the game for me. I knew I'd have to deal with a few over-priced cards (seeing Snapcaster, Huntmaster, etc.), but I was hoping they would be minimal and strong, competitive decks could be built without having to buy barely any $20.00+ cards. And then AVR came out and two things happened that really broke my dreams here: Bonfire of the Damned and the Miracles in general. I was hoping to try to assemble a strong red deck without having to shellout a lot of money. I had already gotten lucky and pulled four Hellriders. Even then, they aren't too expensive to access. But now, to play red competively, you must have Bonfire of the Damned. I'm not a fan of Miracles in general because I don't think adding such a broken layer of luck to the game helps it. But then some of them are just broken cards at their miracle cost (particularly Bonfire or Entreat the Angels). And then another card was released that made playing red even more expensive, Thundermaw Hellkite. I don't believe this card is necessarily broken, but it is very powerful.

Honestly, I enjoyed AVR limited due to the minimal removal. I liked how more creatures stayed out and the game became more tactical. Trying to find ways to maneuver your creatures in and waiting for the perfect time to strike. But, like what I'm seeing in all curret limited environments now, bomb cards destroy the fun of the game. I've played in many games where I was winning with an obviously superior deck, easily dropping my opponent's life, using basic cards, and then my opponent top-decks and drops that one Mythic/Rare card that ends the game because by that point, the answers are out. With AVR, I lost two games in a row, getting my opponent to 3 life twice and then him top-decking Gisela, Blade of Goldnight. I had a few answers to that in my deck, but unfortunately I was not able to draw them and Gisela could only be directly answered with a few cards (i.e. Eaten By Spiders).  Due to the cards I've seen released in the past few sets, I do often wonder if the designers in Wizards have any clue on how to balance cards. I know they are trying to make creatures matter more, but I think they completely jumped over that line (starting with the Titans). In the past, a 6/6 for 6 was already a semi-balanced card. A little underpowered, but okay. Throw on a keyword and the power grew quite a bit. An ETB affect always makes creatures exceptionally stronger (pretty much making them two spells in one). But then a Whenever [cardname] Attacks ability? Abilities like that were always very rare and I think for good reason. Getting what is essentially a free spell every turn is extremely powerful. Cards like this used to at least have a drawback. Not anymore. Instead, I keep seeing cards that instead of a drawback where one should be, instead another advantageous ability is added.

Honestly, when I see myself rant on what I dislike about the current game of Magic, I wonder why I got back into it. I guess I keep thinking there is a fun, deep game underneath all this mess. I also really love the artwork and 'story' [which isn't like it used to be either due to the lack of novels]. I was honestly quite ecstatic to see the current Infect deck gain some power in Standard, due to its overall lack of expensive cards. But, doesn't have the win percentage that the other really expensive decks have. If Magic decks build were instead limited every time they're built beyond the 4 of limit, maybe bomb rares wouldn't nearly break the game. I've been wondering what it would be like to play decks built with more required limitations (such as rares can only be played one of, with only six total rares in a deck, or something like that).

I realized I've gone on a bit of a rant. But after someone mentioned why AVR really sold (and Coreset 2013 could have the same following), it shows another glaring flaw of the game. Rosewater talks a about the steep learning curve to get into the game as the biggest barrier. But why is it, as another poster has mentioned, that the true biggest barrier (that of a high entry cost to play) isn't rethought of and considered when making the game. Duels of the Planeswalkers is relatively cheap, but it pales in comparison to the true, deep game that Magic is and can be. As blasphemous as this may be to Wizards or Hasbro, maybe Magic should be turned into an LCG to allow more people to play it without being too constricted. I don't think Fantasy Flight made a bad decision when they made the change. In fact, it has been so successful, they have been able to continue to add onto such a large list of existing LCGs (Game of Thrones, Call of Cthulhu, Warhammer Invasion, Lord of the Rings, and now Netrunner [which is funny since it was originally designed by Magic's designer Richard Garfield]).

And I think I'm done for now. This has turned into already too long of a post. ;)
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The go-to example of this has been the Legions set for a long time. Very little value, selling like hotcakes. There simply is this huge mass of casual players that are invisible to us more invested players, but they're outbuying us.



I did not say its DEFINITELY because of bonfire and friends. What I said is they seem to be ignoring the LIKELY reason it sold like hotcakes


Besides, Legions set was during a time when Mythic Rarity didnt exist, and its not as easy to aquire singles as a casual player since online stores aren't the go to like it is now when your LGS doesnt have em.
Duals of the Planeswalkers = lower barrier cost to entry

Chase Cards (Bonfire, Swords, planeswalkers, etc) = higher barrier cost to entry

Developmental Mistakes (Jace, the Mindsculptor, Snapcaster Mage, Delver of Secrets, etc) = higher barrier cost to entry




 
Just gonna add to what others have said: AVR was popular because the power level of its chase cards is extreme compared to any of the three sets preceding it.  Yeah, of course there are some people who like the good guys winning or just like angels, but the defining characteristic of AVR is that it has money cards, and nothing else recent really does.

You should be more surprised by the success of ISD, which contains little in the way of constructed staples.  The amazing job you did on that set's quality is far more of a lesson than the amazing job you did on overclocking AVR.  It isn't like you can rely on profitably making enough sets with underpowered cards to plan for another Avacyn.  But as long as you recognize that AVR was a craptacular limited environment and never, ever try to replicate it, I guess I don't care too much about the rest of it.
I feel that Maro dodges or refuses to acknowledge the far more likely reasons for the successes and failures of recent history.
Innistrad block scored very highly flavor-wise, but from a constructed point of view it was an utter failure. Some cards should never have seen print, and Hexproof is a poorly thought-out mechanic yet far too prevalent.

And to echo what others have said: it's much more likely that DKA was a failure because the power level of the cards was low and AVR was a success because it has chase rares and mythics a plenty.

Or you could believe that it was because AVR featured a happy ending and the good guys won.
A huge round of applause for seeing that Duels of the Planeswalkers is the best method of acquisition.  You are introducing your game to your biggest potential audience (video game players) while addressing the problems with initial introduction.
     

Like a previous poster, I often take a "set off", and I did that for Innistrad.  In my casual group I'm seeing Angel decks and Vampire decks, neither of which I find interesting to play with (or against).  The play options were just too limited for me to take an interest.  The horror tropes WotC felt the need to represent ended up becaming a straight jacket for the block as a whole.


I honestly believe RTR will be a huge success for Wizards, and it will be for the right reasons.  With the newly acquired playerbase from DotP they can now present Magic as a game with play choices in a way that Innistrad could not.  I like the world of Ravnica in general because it sets design off on the right foot from the get go (many factions in a flavorfully grokkable world).  I'm looking forward to the set, as so far what I've seen looks fun to me.
You missed one of the biggest successes of the year: Magic 2013.

This.  I think it's no coincidence that the current run of success of Magic also coincides with the transformation of the Core Set.  (Yes, I know you mention that, but I think it's a little underplayed.)  The Expert sets are where the state of the art is found, but the Core Set is where the game lives.  
And in conjunction with that is the excellence of DotP.  Yes it is flawed, yes it has a ridiclously over the top graphic interface, but for what it is intended to do - teach someone magic in a safe environment - it couldn't be much better.  About the only thing it doesn't have is an "obnoxious" mode to simulate what playing in the real world is sometimes like...

But Innistrad?  I'm in a distinct minority here.  The theme turned me off (although to be fair it was brilliantly executed).  The disconnect between the blocks was jarring, although much less so than with Zendikar.  And I'm still not a fan of double-faced cards: the idea is fantastic, the cards themselves (well, except for Delver perhaps) were mostly balanced,  they implement well in on-line, but they still don't really work in cardboard.  The checklists were the main problem, although drafting was unpleasant sometimes as well.  I realise they will be back, but I will not be looking forward to them.

For me it's two thumbs up and one thumb down.  
With the newly acquired playerbase from DotP they can now present Magic as a game with play choices in a way that Innistrad could not.



What do you mean exactly?
My largest problem, which you addressed, was block continuity. Innistrad was am amazing Gothic horror plane, only to be seemingly mostly undone by AVR. It's like you're trying to fit The Lord of the Rings into one book, in that you aren't getting a god enough build up to make the conclusion feel as epic as it was suppose to be. I really like getting the plot lines and the fact there were no books and the whole set felt rushed, and the fact that I have a LOT of problems with the conclusion that in world just don't make sense, have led to me basically disowning AVR because it feels like an entirely different block. But I do think you nailed the first two sets, dead on.
next up 3-faced cards
I still believe it is the competitive play not casual that drives the sales up
I still believe it is the competitive play not casual that drives the sales up

So what happened with Time Spiral block?
Chiming in as one of the people who really didn't like AVR (and I don't even draft!) Flavorwise, I like the idea of making the third set different, but I think you guys are pushing that too far. Mark, you talk a lot about creating and preserving familiarity -- and then you munge with it in a huge way. I don't think that worked in AVR. I didn't feel like the victory was amazing or impressive flavorwise, and I wondered deckwise why so little seemed to work with established themes. It just felt like "where'd these angels all come from?"

Contrast this with Scars block, where there was a progression that made sense (and whose end was a little too obvious, but even though I knew just from the "faction percentage" shift who would win it was still exciting.) You got to see things change. With AVR it was a trend and a dramatic reversal -- with nothing to make the reversal feel epic. Even though the biggest chase card is a miracle, for example, it's not "Holy Judgment Flames," it's "Bonfire of the Damned" -- still associated with the bad guys. The bad guys are still EPIC COOL... and the good guys are... a bunch of angels (okay, okay, Restoration is pretty amazing. But without the flavor of a good story to tell us who she's restorating and why it matters, she doesn't resonate with me.

Even Rise of the Eldrazi, which I also found disorientingly dizzying after ZEN and WWK, worked better, because I didn't just get hints the hedrons would open, I also had a mystery to solve: what ARE those things? Clearly they matter for something. What they were turned out to be a major, paradigm-shifting deal. That was cool, even if I liked the previous flavor better.

Where with the Helvault, well, for one it had been done before (powerful being trapped in rock -- no, that's not ROE plot-borrowing, not at all) and for two, it wasn't mysterious. No, we didn't always know Ava and Gris were in there. But the revelation isn't quite the same earth-shaking one as HOLY COW, CTHULHU AND THERE ARE THREE OF THEM DANG. It's angels and demons. We've seen angels and demons.

Which means if you're choosing to do angels and demons, you have to really be resonant. And the Innistrad angels didn't manage that, and even the demons lost their coolness points because it was all so rushed. Sorin had this important mission that you cared about, this whole thing that set him apart from his kind... and then wait whoops they're both out, that's that. So many threads of story just... evaporating. All hail the angels. Sure.

Now part of this is that I'm a villain-fan most of the time, so I'd skew more to the flavor of something like NPH than to the flavor of something like AVR. But I don't hate good heroes. And this time around you didn't give us any good heroes. You gave us Sorin and made him really intriguing, and then made nothing of it all. You gave us Avacyn, but all she does is lead an angelic army. That's pretty cool... but only if you MAKE it cool. Make us care. Make us like them.

Somehow that didn't happen, and it's especially jarring when INN and DKA were so full of rich, intriguing flavor. Yeah, horror tropes -- but somehow you brought them to life in ways you didn't bring to life any "angel tropes" in AVR.

(One suggestion I have for this, paradoxically enough, is to have DFCs in. I would have gotten the "darkness loses its hold" feel from the angels and the soulbonding everywhere. Some noticeable unredeemed monsters would have made me feel "okay, the good guys are winning, but that doesn't mean there aren't interesting story-threads for the monsters who remain. Are they lonely? Are they bitter? Are they wishing they could become what they once were, or do they become wantons, enraged at the purification that passed them over?" THAT's story.)
I'm going to hit the points I can first:

Fenix. & Leo-tech's point about the story is huge. Innistrad and Dark Ascenstion set up these great conflicts and then...nothing mattered. At all. Sorin disappears, Liliana and Garruk have the most boring fight ever and woo, angels. For a top-down set to blow the 3rd act so badly is really, really unfortunate.

Multiple posters have suggested that AVR has sold well because of the power rarities in it and I'm inclined to agree with them. As with players playing the Jace lottery in Worldwake, so a similar thing can be done here. Plus with themes that appeal to casual players, you can work a 2 for 1: win the lottery, casual player! Who doesn't want that? Yet, I don't believe it's the hallmark of an excellent set.

JackOfAllParades on DFC is one I'm also in agreement with. I've said it before and I am still there: DFC are a screw up on multiple levels, emphasizing how something 'feels' over how it 'works'. So for the people who like how DFC feels, they will be very vocal and for those who are grinding through the workings, we know that it's gone soon.  On top of that, a mechanic that you cannot control (werewolf triggers) crippled two colors for a majority of the block, with r/g getting the shaft. That's awful. Still, when it's the hook for the block, it has to be everywhere, which leads me to my next point:

Amarsir's point about DFC introduction. Cycles matter!
 Of COURSE people grumbled when the flagship mechanic of the block wasn't put into the 3rd set. AlexaM had something on this too and this is where I will start talking for myself....

It's got to be hugely challenging to design sets for people--they are fickle and shout about what they want but they rarely know what they REALLY want until it's given to them. I sympathize with the challenges to doing this and I know you can't make all the people happy all the time. 
 
Yet repeatedly in your column you've told us how important cycles are. How players love them, expect them and how R&D has to be very careful about when and how they fulfill those desires, in addition to when they decide to break them.

But with nearly every 'miss' this year, the root cause of that has been a failure to design proper cycles! No werewolves, no human captain, no green curse: these are all blown because there weren't cycles and we expect those now. 


I don't believe that this block was awful: from a flavor perspective, it really did do quite a few things very, very well. Especially when it came to art and flavor text. Beyond that, I will say that it gave me less to be interested in and I think that it really didn't execute the kinds of tropes it was trying to in a Magic way. Prime example: why are blue zombies feeding on creatures? I know why black zombies would but shouldn't the blue ones have removed instants/sorceries from your graveyard? 

It also fed into what seems to be true about Magic: Blue decks rise to the top. Year after year of that is boring. That said, with M13, I am very, very interested this year to see if something like, say a R/B deck is the big cheese for a year. 

Return to Ravnica has a lot of weight put on it, unfortunately. I'm going to do my best to judge it for what it is, not for what Ravnica was.
 
Okay, this is probably going to be my longest post ever, because I have a lot to say on this subject. I'll be using spoiler blocks to make it more manageable.

The fact that Avacyn Restored is, apparently, a financial success absolutely depresses me. I loathe that set; I hate everything about that set. I wanted that set to fail so badly that you'd never consider doing anything like it again. And while you do admit in your article to some of the faults of the set, you still seem to have completely missed the point. So, without further ado, I present to you "Why Avacyn Restored is the worst Magic set in recent times":

Block Continuity
Yes, you touch on this in your article, but the fact that you consider it more successful than Rise of the Eldrazi is telling. Mark, it's not about "returning keywords" (your comment that "maybe we should have reused a second keyword, maybe flashback" shows that you don't understand this concept in the slightest). It's about theme. It's about how the set feels. And in this regard, Rise of the Eldrazi does it a lot better.

First, though, let me touch on the story. Rise of the Eldrazi was the culmination of the block story. Everything up to that point was building to what happened in Rise of the Eldrazi. Things were progressing with an undeniable inevitability to the events of the third set. We visited a world of danger, saw things get worse, and then saw the reason those things were acting that way. Rise of the Eldrazi was a true climax to the story of the Zendikar block.

Avacyn Restored, on the other hand, was a complete reversal. Everything in the first two sets was indicating a rise of evil. The events of Dark Ascension, where humanity was on the brink of extinction, indicated that, even if humanity somehow pulled through, they'd get, at best, a pyrrhic victory. And then Avacyn Restored brought the worst deus ex machina I've ever seen in fiction. It was a subversion of the story. It wasn't the fact that the good guys won; that could have been done well, and made for a great story. It was the fact that they won so absolutely, and so easily. Avacyn Restored was an anti-climax to the story of the Innistrad block.

Now, back to the thematic disconnect. Rise of the Eldrazi, even though it dropped the mechanics of the Zendikar block, did still play into its themes. The first two sets told us that land matters, and rewarded us for playing more land; the third set then came along and made use of all that extra mana we had laying around, with giant Eldrazi and leveling creatures. I won't say it wasn't a disconnect: it was. All I'm saying is, it still felt like it belonged in the same block as "land-matters".

Avacyn Restored, however, dropped all of the themes of the block. Monster tribal became "angels and demons"; graveyard matters disappeared entirely, and nothing in AVR plays into the same theme; sacrifice and death triggers, too, were gone, and in fact you removed most of the removal of the set so that Morbid was weaker for the inclusion of that set in the block. Yes, you included a few token representatives of all the monster tribes (except werewolves), but then again, Rise of the Eldrazi did have some kor and vampires to play into those tribal themes. Yes, you brought back Undying, but that was the most modular keyword of the lot; including it didn't actually tie the set to the block in any way.

What I'm saying is, Avacyn Restored absolutely, undeniably failed to be connected to the rest of its block. It's not even a partial success, as you attribute it as being; it was even more of a disconnect than Rise of the Eldrazi. When next you do a Large/Small/Large block, don't just include some token cards for "decks from the previous sets" and return "two keywords this time, guys!". Actually make it connected to the themes of the block!


The prerelease
All the negative feedback you got for the Helvault Event must have tipped you off that you messed up here, but I still want to include it for two reasons: One, you didn't touch on it at all in the article; and Two, for the sake of completion of this "everything wrong with AVR" post.

First, without even touching on the horrible idea of "premium Helvaults", let me say that the idea of the Helvault experience was flawed from the start. The achievements cards were a neat idea, but the reward for doing them was pointless. It was extra swag, equal for each person who participated. As in, you could have just included the oversized card, die and token as part of the door prize for showing up and it wouldn't have been any different. Besides, the "you have to work to open the Helvault and earn your prize" thing was folly; like any store was going to return the unopened Helvault to you if they didn't manage to break all the seals.

And, of course, I have to at least mention the "premium Helvaults" thing. The sheer disparity in value, coupled with the nonrandom distribution, is a humongous marketing failure on your part. It demonstrates a complete lack of understanding of human psychology. Bad job, Wizards.


Limited
I don't draft, so I don't have much to say. I just wanted to include it because, you know, completion.

Everything I've heard about this set (and the article confirms it) indicates that AVR is a terrible set to draft. Bad job.


Miracles
These ramp up the variance of the game far too much. Any time I hear about a deck winning a tournament because it top-decked a Miracle to close the game, I can't help but think that the victory wasn't truly earned, even if the deck and the player piloting it were both brilliant. I can't help but think that because of the nature of Miracles: if they hadn't top-decked that Miracle at that time, would they still have won?

You reward the incredibly swingy nature of top-decking with extremely undercosted cards. That's a step in the wrong direction. The game has already degenerated into "who spends the most money wins"; do you really want to give the signal to your audience that you also want it to turn into a "luck into your victories" thing?

Honestly, this has been done to death, so I'm moving on.


Soulbond
The only thing in the entire set that I actually like. The only thing you did right. Moving on.


Angels and Demons
Okay, angels and demons are both cool because of their rarity. They are cool because they're not a common thing; if you see an angel, it's supposed to feel epic and special. By making "angels vs demons" your theme, and thus printing a glut of them, you water down that coolness. You make the special and powerful into something mundane. It also means your other three colors don't get to play into your set's theme, at all. That's just a bad idea.

I love angels, but seeing that many of them in one set has actually made me hate them. That's not a good sign.


Loner
Seriously, after an entire block of "Black is Evil, White is Good", thus setting back any notion that Black can be heroic and White can be villainous, you worsen things by indicating that Black doesn't play well with others. That's just ridiculous.

You made the theme of one of the colors (consequently, my favorite color) into something that players don't want to do. "Hey, build decks that want to only play one creature", you say, to which we reply "That doesn't sound fun at all". It also, as you indicated, screws with Limited. And color balance. It was just a terrible idea. Moving on.


Mythic rares
Ahh, the crux of things. This has already been hit on in the forum here, quite a few times, but since I'm chronicling everything wrong with Avacyn Restored (which is to say, everything about it) in this post, I'm including a blurb about it.

Wow, what great design skills you have. You demonstrate that making a card more powerful than anything you can get at lower rarities sells packs. That's clever of you. It must take real skill to win people over with overpowered cards, as opposed to clever or interesting designs, or fun gameplay.

Seriously, though, it continues to degenerate year after year. You guys keep ramping up your mythic rares. I wish you'd stop, but at this point there's no indication that you even consider it a problem.

As others have suggested, these power mythics could even be a large part of whythe set sold so well. I honestly hope this is the case, because it would restore my faith in humanity that they bought such a horrible, crappy set for a logical reason: you gave them no choice if they wanted to stay competitive.

Every Griselbrand played in a Legacy deck is 120 booster packs. Every Restoration Angel is 60 packs. Maybe you shouldn't pat yourself on the back just yet, until you're sure that this wasn't the case.


Legendary Werewolf
You failed to complete a cycle. How dreadful.

You also screwed up a cycle in M13, by the way. Nefarox costs six but every other legend costs four. Seriously, bad job on cycles lately.


The Story
Last but not least, the absolute worst thing about the set of Avacyn Restored. I hit on this earlier, on how it was an anti-climax and a deus-ex-machina, two things that good storytelling should always strive to avoid. But the problems go beyond that. Avacyn Restored is riddled with plot holes, dropped plot threads, smaller anti-climaxes, and just general disappointment.

I know that it's hard to tell a story now that you've discontinued the novel line, but seriously? This was the best you guys could do? If Creative weren't still coasting on their laurels for having built such an amazing world in Innistrad, I'd suggest you fire them all. AVR was an absolute disaster creatively, and the entire Creative Team should feel ashamed for ever letting this thing out the door in its current form. The articles on this site were laughably bad, with such classics as "Even though we said most angels went into hiding when Avacyn disappeared, now we're saying that all three Flights "doubled their efforts" to protect humanity in her absence" and "let's make the fight between Liliana and Griselbrand amount to 'and then she killed him' and nothing else" and "I know we painted Sorin as important to the story, but let's not do a darned thing with him"... the list goes on.

As much as I hate the design and development (and marketing) of this set, I feel like the Creative Team are the ones who did the worst job. And that's saying a lot for a set as dreadful at this one.


So in conclusion, everything that could have gone wrong with this set did so. It succeeded in undoing all of the goodwill earned from Innistrad, which, considering it was possibly the best set you've ever done, is no small feat. After this disaster, you can't afford a single mistake for quite some time.

Unfortunately, M13 was a major let-down for me. It was far too random, with too many themes and subthemes running around; it didn't feel cohesive. It also failed to live up to my expectations of what makes a core set; that is to say, it didn't include the staple effects of each color (you seriously got rid of Shock? What the heck? And Giant Growth still isn't back?) This means you really need to hit it out of the ballpark with Return to Ravnica.

Unfortunately, from what I've seen so far, that doesn't seem likely to happen. Oh sure, using keywords with limited design space for the guild keywords makes sense; you have to include five in each set, and all ten in the final set. But that's not really a way to impress your players. If all ten keywords are going to be shallow, then I really don't think there will be much for someone like me, who loves the game for its depth and complexity (New World Order, by the way, has seriously decreased my enjoyment of the game as well).

I don't want to be so trite as to say "I'm quitting Magic", but, well, I don't have much choice. If Avacyn Restored is a financial success, and if that's the direction you're going to start taking this game, then there is nothing left for me to enjoy. This may well be where we part ways.

Take care, Mark.
IMAGE(http://images.community.wizards.com/community.wizards.com/user/blitzschnell/c6f9e416e5e0e1f0a1e5c42b0c7b3e88.jpg?v=90000)
I agree with chronego on a lot of points almost all.

I'm hoping that AVR was only sold alot in comparison to other third sets in a block. In comparison to ROE (the only other big set) I suppose better sales can be expected. In comparisson to any other small set it's also plausable that it sold better but if they compared let's say INN and it sold more boosters - I am very worried about the future magic sets.

I cannot understand why AVR would sell good except for the high(er) number of chase rares/mythics but even that worries me.

Will future sets be filled with story loop holes, play bad in limited and be disconected with other sets while have more expensive cards? I hope not. 

Chronego, you nailed exactly what I was trying to say about creative in this set. I just wished they hadn't screwed up such an amazing one, because Innistrad was looking to be my second favorite set of all time. I rally hope Maro reads this and sees how important the story is to players.
I can't edit, because I'm writing all this on my phone, by I would like to see an addressing the creative complaints.
Clearly, Avacyn Restored should have had a legendary, single-sided werewolf.  That would have solved multiple problems with a single card.  "The Last Werewolf", stuck in form, would have been quite flaverfull, as well.

Clearly, Avacyn Restored should have had a legendary, single-sided werewolf.  That would have solved multiple problems with a single card.  "The Last Werewolf", stuck in form, would have been quite flaverfull, as well.


That's an awesome idea. They should release a limited expansion booster pack (a la the Jedi Pack of Star Wars CCG) that catches up on a few mistakes, including the lack of a legendary werewolf and a human captain, among other things.

"Rock beats scissors, paper beats rock, scissors beat paper, rock beats scissors..." I'm not interested in what card beats what. That's a circular discussion.