9/7/2012 LD: "A Changing Landscape"

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This thread is for discussion of this week's Latest Developments, which goes live Friday morning on magicthegathering.com.
It's hilarious to me how many of the previewed cards so far, especially this uncounterable cycle, have the subtext '@&%$ you Snapcaster'

Other than that, the creature looks really strong. I'll admit I'm a bit worried about board stalls but given all of the other amazing tools we've seen so far RtR is looking to be amazing. Here's to getting our first truly good Standard environment in years!
In the other direction, people want immediate, visceral reactions to their cards. When cards aren't making you feel, we've failed. When you never feel invincible behind your freshly-played Baneslayer Angel, when you're never desperately terrified of that Bonfire of the Damned lurking on top of your opponent's deck, when deck building is all math, when games are all chess, when Magic is all head and no heart, we've failed. So we take risks. Calculated risks where the dream is bigger than the math, where the passion outweighs the play.



Read: "We only consider ourselves successful if you, our customer base, allow us to willfully manipulate you."

Can there be a more compelling case that the red philosophy is not worth ascribing to?
i can understand where the uncounter part is coming from, but even if it was vanilla isnt 4/4 for 3 really powerful?

Almost every other 4/4 for 3 requires you to sacrifice it at the end of turn.... or has other draw backs....

This is a 4/4 for 3 with not only without drawbacks, but protection of sorts....

Not really meta warping, but it seems like creatures are racing back to Urza power level....
The power level in this set seems almost bipolar so far - the Hellsteed 5/4 seems very reasonable; I wouldn't be surprised to see a legendary version for 1 less mana in a Kamigawa redux.

...and then there's this guy. Along with the dryad soldier that ALSO flips the bird at Snapcaster. Heck, even the ORLY Owl is pretty crazy for its mana cost, even if its impact isn't very powerful. Lolwut? 
This is an extreme Spike card. It is a bit disturbing that you all are so focused on these very narrow applications of cards aimed strickly at people that play Magic against opponents, and not with friends. This card is pointless enough to the 'fun crowd' to not matter, but man, you guys make those of us that want to play a game with people for fun work really, really hard to rewrite the rules to make that happen. I literally couldn't relate to anything you wrote here, and yet you'll rubber stamp things that make my life a living hell with no idea why that would be.
I'd be almost amused by the 'we make power cards for the feeling' part, if it wasn't so depressing. Having a card you can feel good about is important, but that should not be reason to print these kind of powerlevels. Power cards like this might be fun to play for some, but they are not fun to face from the other side of the table. Printing them does not make the game exciting, it makes the entire game irrelevant. Whatever you do, you know card X will smash up your game if it is drawn. The only thing that matters is wether your opponent draws it, and if (when) he does you lose. 

Having a good card to feel confident behind is okay, but not when you are forced to play that card only to stand a chance of survival. At that point deckbuilding does revert to being all math: All you need to do is play card X and counter card Y, and the rest of the format is irrelevant to you. It almost 'reduces' games to chess, but with a small twist: Instead of a pure skill-based game with a balanced board, now there is a random guy standing to side with a hammer that randomly hits players, knocking them out instantly. Is there any satisfaction in losing on the board, but then winning just because hammerman knocked your opponent out for you? 

Printing trump cards to stop certain strategies could be useful, if only you'd stop using raw power as the main method to counter something. Having tools to fight the Great Evil is important, but not when those tools are simply more powerful than the Great Evil, as they just become the Great Evil themselves. How is this card supposed to help against aggro, when aggro decks will be more than happy to run 4 themselves? 
This is an extreme Spike card. It is a bit disturbing that you all are so focused on these very narrow applications of cards aimed strickly at people that play Magic against opponents, and not with friends. This card is pointless enough to the 'fun crowd' to not matter, but man, you guys make those of us that want to play a game with people for fun work really, really hard to rewrite the rules to make that happen. I literally couldn't relate to anything you wrote here, and yet you'll rubber stamp things that make my life a living hell with no idea why that would be.



I'm not sure what you are trying to say. This is a spike card, yes. But every set has cards for timmy/johnny/spike so it shouldn't be a big deal. This card isn't going to ruin your casual games, because like you said, it's pointless enough. What exactly about this article makes you think that playing MtG for fun is somehow harder to do now than before? Are you saying that Magic nowadays is only aimed at tournament players, based on WotC strategy and cards being published, when in fact the opposite is true (unfun things like discard, ld, and non-interactive combos are being hosed, there are casual product like Duel Decks being released regularly, and the focus in magic has been shifted from non-creature cards to creature cards).

About the card itself: Its converted mana cost is more than two so it's not for the hyper-aggro decks, and it's impact is not big enough to fit in control decks. Like Mr. Moreno said, the card is effective against both of these strategies, so it's a perfect fit for midrange decks. Midrange has usually been the weakest deck archetype, and this cards gives a necessary power level boost for such decks. And a 3 mana 4/4 isn't overpowered by far. If you can have a four mana 3/4 flash flier with a good ability, a three mana ground dude can't be only a 3/3.
As cool as this set seems, I'm really not a fan of the "cannot be countered"-suite. I think it's rather pointless to remove one of the more fun and challenging interactions in the game. Being able to play correctly around a counterspell is one of the big things that keeps this game interesting.
In the other direction, people want immediate, visceral reactions to their cards. When cards aren't making you feel, we've failed. When you never feel invincible behind your freshly-played Baneslayer Angel, when you're never desperately terrified of that Bonfire of the Damned lurking on top of your opponent's deck, when deck building is all math, when games are all chess, when Magic is all head and no heart, we've failed. So we take risks. Calculated risks where the dream is bigger than the math, where the passion outweighs the play.



Read: "We only consider ourselves successful if you, our customer base, allow us to willfully manipulate you."

Can there be a more compelling case that the red philosophy is not worth ascribing to?



You never watch a movie or read a book out of principle too?

Entertainment is all about willful manipulation. 

i can understand where the uncounter part is coming from, but even if it was vanilla isnt 4/4 for 3 really powerful?

Almost every other 4/4 for 3 requires you to sacrifice it at the end of turn.... or has other draw backs....

This is a 4/4 for 3 with not only without drawbacks, but protection of sorts....

Not really meta warping, but it seems like creatures are racing back to Urza power level....

 

Woolly Thoctar 

This is an extreme Spike card. It is a bit disturbing that you all are so focused on these very narrow applications of cards aimed strickly at people that play Magic against opponents, and not with friends. This card is pointless enough to the 'fun crowd' to not matter, but man, you guys make those of us that want to play a game with people for fun work really, really hard to rewrite the rules to make that happen. I literally couldn't relate to anything you wrote here, and yet you'll rubber stamp things that make my life a living hell with no idea why that would be.



They do have an idea, but it's impossible to please all. Or rather, to offend no one. As MaRo always says, it's better to make something that is beloved by some and hated by others, than something that is hated by no one and loved by no one.

As cool as this set seems, I'm really not a fan of the "cannot be countered"-suite. I think it's rather pointless to remove one of the more fun and challenging interactions in the game. Being able to play correctly around a counterspell is one of the big things that keeps this game interesting.



Problem is, for the vast majority of players, it's one of the least fun interactions in the game. So it has to be downplayed.

Also, isn't the game better if everything has answers? Now there are some answers for counterspells.
I'd be almost amused by the 'we make power cards for the feeling' part, if it wasn't so depressing. Having a card you can feel good about is important, but that should not be reason to print these kind of powerlevels. Power cards like this might be fun to play for some, but they are not fun to face from the other side of the table. Printing them does not make the game exciting, it makes the entire game irrelevant. Whatever you do, you know card X will smash up your game if it is drawn. The only thing that matters is wether your opponent draws it, and if (when) he does you lose. 

Having a good card to feel confident behind is okay, but not when you are forced to play that card only to stand a chance of survival. At that point deckbuilding does revert to being all math: All you need to do is play card X and counter card Y, and the rest of the format is irrelevant to you. It almost 'reduces' games to chess, but with a small twist: Instead of a pure skill-based game with a balanced board, now there is a random guy standing to side with a hammer that randomly hits players, knocking them out instantly. Is there any satisfaction in losing on the board, but then winning just because hammerman knocked your opponent out for you?



Yes. Because you were playing to your outs. Magic is not a pure skill-based game like chess, but more like poker, where the ability to understand and correctly play with or around the chance inherent to the game determines your skill. No wonder so many magic pros pick up poker.
I'd be almost amused by the 'we make power cards for the feeling' part, if it wasn't so depressing. Having a card you can feel good about is important, but that should not be reason to print these kind of powerlevels. Power cards like this might be fun to play for some, but they are not fun to face from the other side of the table. Printing them does not make the game exciting, it makes the entire game irrelevant. Whatever you do, you know card X will smash up your game if it is drawn. The only thing that matters is wether your opponent draws it, and if (when) he does you lose. 

Having a good card to feel confident behind is okay, but not when you are forced to play that card only to stand a chance of survival. At that point deckbuilding does revert to being all math: All you need to do is play card X and counter card Y, and the rest of the format is irrelevant to you. It almost 'reduces' games to chess, but with a small twist: Instead of a pure skill-based game with a balanced board, now there is a random guy standing to side with a hammer that randomly hits players, knocking them out instantly. Is there any satisfaction in losing on the board, but then winning just because hammerman knocked your opponent out for you? 

Printing trump cards to stop certain strategies could be useful, if only you'd stop using raw power as the main method to counter something. Having tools to fight the Great Evil is important, but not when those tools are simply more powerful than the Great Evil, as they just become the Great Evil themselves. How is this card supposed to help against aggro, when aggro decks will be more than happy to run 4 themselves? 




How is this previewed card the powerhouse you describe? The card can be answered in many ways, including by the cards people are playing in their main decks anyway. And its presence on the table is not the same like Baneslayer, which usually won the game unless the opponent had an answer in their hand or on top of the deck.
Wow, the power creep. A three-mana 4/4 whose only drawback is that it takes two colors. And then they pile on not one but two pretty powerful upsides.

...And I still doubt it'll be good enough to see that much play.
IMAGE(http://images.community.wizards.com/community.wizards.com/user/blitzschnell/c6f9e416e5e0e1f0a1e5c42b0c7b3e88.jpg?v=90000)
i can understand where the uncounter part is coming from, but even if it was vanilla isnt 4/4 for 3 really powerful?

Almost every other 4/4 for 3 requires you to sacrifice it at the end of turn.... or has other draw backs....

This is a 4/4 for 3 with not only without drawbacks, but protection of sorts....

Not really meta warping, but it seems like creatures are racing back to Urza power level....

 

Woolly Thoctar 



The draw back (hindrance) for that was the 3 different mana symbols....

I didnt play when that card was out so i dont know how much mana fixing was in standard at the time, but having access to all three colors is not the easiest thing to do by turn three....

Things that have more than two colors have almost always had better stats/effects than their 1 or 2 color counter parts because it was harder to pay the three colors....

And now with all the mana fixing that is available it makes it easier to get this out....

Forest then Avacyn's pilgrim then another land gets this out on turn 2.... if that other land is a Cathedral of War then you have a possible 5/5 on turn 3.... add a Bond Beetle for a 6/6...

Thats not to say you couldn't bounce the thing, but then it only cost 3 mana so dropping it again isnt too back breaking....
Thing that most intrigues me is this Azorious bounce spell, is Delver going to be seeing an effective Vapor Snag replacement?
"I think me going Bang bang bang I win is pretty intuitive" Mafia Record: Wouldn't you like to know? 2011 Mafia Awards - Mastermind of the Year
mymoment
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57817638 wrote:
58060728 wrote:
88318561 wrote:
58060728 wrote:
Moriok Rigger does absolutely nothing to boost other riggers. You are incorrect.
Moriok Rigger is not a Rigger in print. Only in Errata WHAT NOW! (yes, I did put that phrase in for that exact reason)
Congratulations, they have activated your trap card!
The draw back (hindrance) for that was the 3 different mana symbols....

I didnt play when that card was out so i dont know how much mana fixing was in standard at the time, but having access to all three colors is not the easiest thing to do by turn three....

Things that have more than two colors have almost always had better stats/effects than their 1 or 2 color counter parts because it was harder to pay the three colors....



Yes just like 2 color cards have better stats/effects than their monocolor counterparts because it's harder to pay the two colors, or rather, it restricts the range of decks it can go in.

If you count 3 colors as a drawback, which it is, do the same for 2.

Also:

Forest then Avacyn's pilgrim then another land gets this out on turn 2.... if that other land is a Cathedral of War then you have a possible 5/5 on turn 3....

Hey guys, you know how discard has been totally ruining everything, everywhere and is super relevant right now? Well this guy is a thing! *LAME*.

In all seriousness, I hate cards like this that just uncreatively hose stuff. Discard is horrible right now and this guy is the nail in the coffin as far as I can see. Oh well. Also, Liliana of the Dark Realms stock is about to go through the roof.
I want to be Cultured.


If you count 3 colors as a drawback, which it is, do the same for 2.



Two colours is a relevant drawback?

Feel free to compound this point with the considerable Mana-fixing RtR will be bringing to the table, designed precisely to make two(and arguably even three) colours a completely trivial affair to play with.
I want to be Cultured.
Read: "We only consider ourselves successful if you, our customer base, allow us to willfully manipulate you."

Can there be a more compelling case that the red philosophy is not worth ascribing to?

You never watch a movie or read a book out of principle too?

Entertainment is all about willful manipulation.

I have to agree. I don't mind the people who make the best game ever deliberately adjusting parameters within that game to make it more fun.

I may happen to disagree that there's anything remotely fun about Bonfire of the Damned existing, but that's a different point.

i can understand where the uncounter part is coming from, but even if it was vanilla isnt 4/4 for 3 really powerful?

Almost every other 4/4 for 3 requires you to sacrifice it at the end of turn.... or has other draw backs....

This is a 4/4 for 3 with not only without drawbacks, but protection of sorts....

Not really meta warping, but it seems like creatures are racing back to Urza power level....

Woolly Thoctar

That's... a remarkably good point. I did think "lolwut? 3-mana 4/4? powercreep!" in the same way chronego did. But I guess I didn't factor in the gold discount.  Woolly Thoctar is an excellent response.
Two colours is a relevant drawback?

Feel free to compound this point with the considerable Mana-fixing RtR will be bringing to the table, designed precisely to make two(and arguably even three) colours a completely trivial affair to play with.



It is only trivial if you play Magic on a surface level. 

This cards puts you in 2 colors already. That means it will be harder to play other colors.
What Wizards strives for, is not a flat powerlevel, but rather a balanced playing field. Meaning a bunch of color combinations will get powerful pushed cards. If you play this one, you can't play the others. Meaning all the decks will have a few pushed cards, balancing each other out.

There are 2 ways in which this can go wrong.
1. All the pushed cards appear in a few colors (see Jund)
2. 3+ colors is indeed trivial (see Vivids + Reflecting Pool)

As long as they make sure those things do not happen, this card has a drawback. Yes it will be trivial to cast it in a G/W deck. What will not be trivial is what you can't cast in that deck. As long as there are powerful aggro decks in the format, shocklands will not be trivial.


As an aside, there is also Leatherback Baloth.
Good card, lousy name though.  Loxodon Smiter just seems a bit, well, unimaginative.

I love the Zac Hill story, here's hoping for more from Billy in that vein.
can I have my FTK back please ?
This is an extreme Spike card. It is a bit disturbing that you all are so focused on these very narrow applications of cards aimed strickly at people that play Magic against opponents, and not with friends. This card is pointless enough to the 'fun crowd' to not matter, but man, you guys make those of us that want to play a game with people for fun work really, really hard to rewrite the rules to make that happen. I literally couldn't relate to anything you wrote here, and yet you'll rubber stamp things that make my life a living hell with no idea why that would be.



I'm not sure what you are trying to say. This is a spike card, yes. But every set has cards for timmy/johnny/spike so it shouldn't be a big deal. This card isn't going to ruin your casual games, because like you said, it's pointless enough. What exactly about this article makes you think that playing MtG for fun is somehow harder to do now than before? Are you saying that Magic nowadays is only aimed at tournament players, based on WotC strategy and cards being published, when in fact the opposite is true (unfun things like discard, ld, and non-interactive combos are being hosed, there are casual product like Duel Decks being released regularly, and the focus in magic has been shifted from non-creature cards to creature cards).

About the card itself: Its converted mana cost is more than two so it's not for the hyper-aggro decks, and it's impact is not big enough to fit in control decks. Like Mr. Moreno said, the card is effective against both of these strategies, so it's a perfect fit for midrange decks. Midrange has usually been the weakest deck archetype, and this cards gives a necessary power level boost for such decks. And a 3 mana 4/4 isn't overpowered by far. If you can have a four mana 3/4 flash flier with a good ability, a three mana ground dude can't be only a 3/3.




What I am trying to say is that they seem to spend all their time testing cards so that 3 games can be played in 50 minutes. For people that play 1 game in 50 minutes, the cards aimed at us can sometimes be wildly overpowered, and just one playtest would prove it. Dead-eye navigator is a really good example. The card is super cool, but way overpowered. After playing it just once, it feels unfair to have that guy out. Its bounce activation should probably be 1UU. I'd like if they put in some, not a bunch, but some time-as in one game in a case of this card, to balancing it.

He worked really hard on this card. That's great, but this is a card that I don't care about. He was thinking about stuff I don't have to think about. That's perfectly alright. The bulk of his job is preventing the loss of interest in tournament Magic. But time and again, development seems to put in no thought  or effort when it comes to the cards that I do think about and play. I could have told them scrambleverse does not do what they want it to do without even having to playtest it. And yet that thing saw the light of day.     

I can't exactly say the card is THAT unprecedented. Interpreted in terms of old cards, it's "just" an uncounterable Dodecapod, with the possible PT levels averaged out between the hardcast and discardcast. And the lower CMC is counterweighted by being pickier about color. Not sure what (if anything) counterweights the uncounterability on the Dodecapod side, though.
I'd be almost amused by the 'we make power cards for the feeling' part, if it wasn't so depressing. Having a card you can feel good about is important, but that should not be reason to print these kind of powerlevels. Power cards like this might be fun to play for some, but they are not fun to face from the other side of the table. Printing them does not make the game exciting, it makes the entire game irrelevant. Whatever you do, you know card X will smash up your game if it is drawn. The only thing that matters is wether your opponent draws it, and if (when) he does you lose. 

Having a good card to feel confident behind is okay, but not when you are forced to play that card only to stand a chance of survival. At that point deckbuilding does revert to being all math: All you need to do is play card X and counter card Y, and the rest of the format is irrelevant to you. It almost 'reduces' games to chess, but with a small twist: Instead of a pure skill-based game with a balanced board, now there is a random guy standing to side with a hammer that randomly hits players, knocking them out instantly. Is there any satisfaction in losing on the board, but then winning just because hammerman knocked your opponent out for you? 

Printing trump cards to stop certain strategies could be useful, if only you'd stop using raw power as the main method to counter something. Having tools to fight the Great Evil is important, but not when those tools are simply more powerful than the Great Evil, as they just become the Great Evil themselves. How is this card supposed to help against aggro, when aggro decks will be more than happy to run 4 themselves? 



Congratulations, you've successfully argued the point that no good cards should be printed, ever.
You'll forget you ever read this the minute you look away.
Veslfen's House of Bone-Dry Sarcasm
88318561 wrote:
76783093 wrote:
there is nothing "epic" about a turn one victory. ever. or really any magic game, for that matter.
So this one time, I wanted to play a game of Magic with my friend, but he was in another country and neither of us had Magic Online. I hitchhiked my way to the coast, barely fending off hungry wildlife when I couldn't get a ride, nearly dying of thirst crossing deserts, and posoning myself half to death foraging for food. At one point, I was taken hostage by a group of kidnappers, only managing to escape after a week of careful planning thanks to careful application of a rusty spoon. Once I reached the coast, I had no money to buy a ticket across the ocean, so I built a boat using my own two hands, and spent months sailing across the waves, nearly losing my deck as I swam to the shore of a desert island in a storm after being capsized by an enormous wave. Nearly delusional after so long with no human contact (the notches I cut in the single tree to tell time had long since felled the thing) I was eventually rescued by a passing ship, where I was taken aboard as a crew member. We sailed around the world, seeing many exotic places and having great adventures, before we finally arrived at my friend's country. Once more I stumbled across a desolate landscape, riding on train or car when I could, and going on foot when I could not. Eventually, weary to the bone, seven years after I started my journey, I arrived at my friend's house, clutching my well-worn and weathered deck to my chest. We shuffled up our decks, I won the roll. Gleefully, I laid down my cards. Black Lotus. My friend looked quizzically at me, wondering what I was about to do. After so long, he no longer knew what deck I had brought with me to this game. Flash. A knowing smile appears on my friend's face as the knowledge slowly returns to him. Protean Hulk. My friend extends his hand, knowing the game is over before it even started. And finally, after so many trials, the sweet taste of victory is mine.
56866178 wrote:
108166749 wrote:
So no one else is upset with the stunt Wizards just pulled to drive sales?
Drive sales of what? Non-Jace, non-Mystic cards? I'm pretty sure people already own more than eight Magic cards. If you don't, I feel for you. Maybe you can trade those Stoneforge Mystics, which are still quite valuable, for some.
As others have noted, they justify a card like this because forcing you to be G/W to cast it is a drawback in itself. The problem is that, with Avacyn's Pilgrim and shocklands in the environment now, that drawback is almost completely irrelevant. How much trouble is it to splash white into a green deck for a creature that can sometimes be cast for free anyway?

A casting cost of 1GW is just too cheap, plain and simple. It would still have been playable at 2GW: the main drawback of a CMC of 4 is that it leaves you vulnerable to countermagic and hand destruction, both of which are specifically hosed by Smiter's abilities. Heck, even changing the colorless mana to colored mana (GGW instead of 1GW) or dropping a toughness (to 4/3) would have been enough to keep the card more fair. As it is, people are just going to jam 4 of this into their aggro decks regardless of the metagame because a 3-mana 4/4 is just ridiculous.

Powercreep much?


Over powered rares are not fun.  I am disappointed that the makers of this game have forgotten what makes the game fun.  If this was really intended to be a counter for the very common problems encountered in tournaments, it ought to be uncommon.  Unless we argue that power and rarity should go hand in hand, this card doesn't do anything to deserve being rare.

That's why Wolfir Silverheart doesn't have and share trample.


WHAT

Just the fact that they even considered something as ridiculous as that terrifies me.

Also if I see "can't be countered" on another card I am gonna barf. They want to downplay Snapcaster and Delver and they keep nerfing mana leak/counters... they are killing control to nerf an aggro/tempo deck in the wrong colours, delver doesnt even use counters that much these days. fffff

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

192884403 wrote:
surely one can't say complex conditional passive language is bad grammar ?
That's why Wolfir Silverheart doesn't have and share trample.


WHAT

Just the fact that they even considered something as ridiculous as that terrifies me.

Also if I see "can't be countered" on another card I am gonna barf. They want to downplay Snapcaster and Delver and they keep nerfing mana leak/counters... they are killing control to nerf an aggro/tempo deck in the wrong colours, delver doesnt even use counters that much these days. fffff



a few things people seem to not understand:
1) "Control" is not synonymous with "draw-go". Control decks are not exclusively blue, nor do they require counterspells. Mono-black control has been a thing in magic's history. So has mono-white. Each time, without counterspells. Counterspells for a true control deck are just another form of removal. If you're worried about control, don't be. You'll be getting a new Day of Judgement with blue in the casting cost for uncounterability soon. That ought to help you against tempo decks so they can't just, I don't know, Syncopate it when you cast it on turn four to stop the bleeding from, I don't know, a flipped delver + geist of saint traft.
2) if what you really want is a return to Draw-go, you should just go ahead and quit playing magic right now, because that ain't ever going to happen. 
You'll forget you ever read this the minute you look away.
Veslfen's House of Bone-Dry Sarcasm
88318561 wrote:
76783093 wrote:
there is nothing "epic" about a turn one victory. ever. or really any magic game, for that matter.
So this one time, I wanted to play a game of Magic with my friend, but he was in another country and neither of us had Magic Online. I hitchhiked my way to the coast, barely fending off hungry wildlife when I couldn't get a ride, nearly dying of thirst crossing deserts, and posoning myself half to death foraging for food. At one point, I was taken hostage by a group of kidnappers, only managing to escape after a week of careful planning thanks to careful application of a rusty spoon. Once I reached the coast, I had no money to buy a ticket across the ocean, so I built a boat using my own two hands, and spent months sailing across the waves, nearly losing my deck as I swam to the shore of a desert island in a storm after being capsized by an enormous wave. Nearly delusional after so long with no human contact (the notches I cut in the single tree to tell time had long since felled the thing) I was eventually rescued by a passing ship, where I was taken aboard as a crew member. We sailed around the world, seeing many exotic places and having great adventures, before we finally arrived at my friend's country. Once more I stumbled across a desolate landscape, riding on train or car when I could, and going on foot when I could not. Eventually, weary to the bone, seven years after I started my journey, I arrived at my friend's house, clutching my well-worn and weathered deck to my chest. We shuffled up our decks, I won the roll. Gleefully, I laid down my cards. Black Lotus. My friend looked quizzically at me, wondering what I was about to do. After so long, he no longer knew what deck I had brought with me to this game. Flash. A knowing smile appears on my friend's face as the knowledge slowly returns to him. Protean Hulk. My friend extends his hand, knowing the game is over before it even started. And finally, after so many trials, the sweet taste of victory is mine.
56866178 wrote:
108166749 wrote:
So no one else is upset with the stunt Wizards just pulled to drive sales?
Drive sales of what? Non-Jace, non-Mystic cards? I'm pretty sure people already own more than eight Magic cards. If you don't, I feel for you. Maybe you can trade those Stoneforge Mystics, which are still quite valuable, for some.
I could have told them scrambleverse does not do what they want it to do without even having to playtest it. And yet that thing saw the light of day.



As a Scrambleverse lover, I'd like you to tell me why you think that way exactly?

Or could it be, that just as you accuse Wizards of not thinking about you, you are not thinking about people not you? 
That was quite a long-winded way of saying 'we made a card that was good, then slyly undercosted it'. It seems like the art of development is to pick the cards one wants in the environment, then shave mana off them. Terra Stomper for GG. So uh, do I have to move to Renton, or can I just work from home?

Your story was funny, but I think you may have done something a bit wrong, if I'm not mistaken.

Azorius Charm can only bounce attacking or blocking creatures. It's not an unconditional bounce. Since Planeswalker abilities can only be activated as Sorceries (again, only if I'm not mistaken), you couldn't have bounced his TMH to make him discard it, since it wasn't attacking or blocking.

If you had simply unsummoned it for giggles, that would still be hilarious. As it is, I don't think that game should have worked out the way it did.

I write a webcomic. That is all.

Your story was funny, but I think you may have done something a bit wrong, if I'm not mistaken.

Azorius Charm can only bounce attacking or blocking creatures. It's not an unconditional bounce. Since Planeswalker abilities can only be activated as Sorceries (again, only if I'm not mistaken), you couldn't have bounced his TMH to make him discard it, since it wasn't attacking or blocking.

If you had simply unsummoned it for giggles, that would still be hilarious. As it is, I don't think that game should have worked out the way it did.



He never said he used Azorius Charm. He just said he used "an Azorius instant that isn't obviously worth playing" to bounce the Hellkite. It probably wasn't Azorius Charm.

IMAGE(http://steamsignature.com/status/default/76561197995631463.png) No longer a commander as of 7/29/13.

I could have told them scrambleverse does not do what they want it to do without even having to playtest it. And yet that thing saw the light of day.



As a Scrambleverse lover, I'd like you to tell me why you think that way exactly?

Or could it be, that just as you accuse Wizards of not thinking about you, you are not thinking about people not you? 



Sure. For a lead in, here's a link to Tom LaPille's article titled 'When Cards Bo Bad' and talks about scrambleverse. www.wizards.com/magic/magazine/article.a...

The first problem is it takes way too long to resolve-basically as Tom noted. The person who casts it is at the mercy of the other players to actually put up with all the time it takes to resolve and having everything they've done up to that point invalidated. If opponents become bored or annoyed trying to resolve this card, they can just scoop. As the article states, these cards aren't cast in tournaments. They are cast when nothing but the enjoyment of the participants is on the line. These cards have to be engaging enough for the other players, who may strongly dislike these effects, to still be willing to go along with it and let the caster have his fun. Scrambleverse is too likely to induce scooping. It is more like casting Obliterate for no reason than it is Warp World. People just say 'screw it-call me when the next one starts.' I guess the caster of scrambleverse then technically wins, but the spell never actually resolved nor did any of the desired craziness take place. That's not really a win in my book.

Second, you can't game it. With warp world, you can play a bunch of tokens so you'll get tons of stuff compared to the other players once warp world resolves. By not being able to trick the card, scambleverse misses a decent chunk of the audience that likes wild red cards. Guild Fued is a far superior card on both fronts. So, while you may like it and perhaps you have very accomodating friends, it misses on keeping other players engaged enough to put up with your shenanigans, and it doesn't serve the population of playes that want to try and game the card. The first one being the biggest strike because if you can't find anyone to let you have your fun, what is the point of the card? Inducing wins by scooping to 'stupid' cards isn't a rewarding game night.  

So, back to my original point. If WOTC is taking the time to test silver bullets to use against a mythic rare that might be very powerful in tournaments, it seems like they could take a few minutes to create scenarios where a deck has casual rares in strong positions. Again, using deadeye navigator as an example, play deadeye navigator with access to say, eternal witness, mystic snake and shriekmaw. Then see if 1U isn't a little too good. Based on grumbles on casual message boards about how good the navigator is, I think they'd have found 1U to be too low. I don't get the sense that development does anything like that. They work very hard on the tournament side, but seem to just give an 'OK I guess' to stuff where people do a lot of screwing around instead of reducing life totals to 0 as quickly as possible.   

  
 
 
   

I left the game a couple years ago when they started to decrease the % of playable common/uncommon and to create an environment where most of the playable cards are rare/mythic. I returned to see what new ravnica is all about but maybe I shouldn't bother because they continue to push all of the tournament worthy cards to the rare slots. First it's terminate and now it's leatherback baloth. They've really pushed the power level on these uncounterable rares. Why was it so important that these uncounterable spells specifically were suped up and pushed to the max?
Don't be too smart to have fun
Sure. For a lead in, here's a link to Tom LaPille's article titled 'When Cards Bo Bad' and talks about scrambleverse. www.wizards.com/magic/magazine/article.a...

The first problem is it takes way too long to resolve-basically as Tom noted. The person who casts it is at the mercy of the other players to actually put up with all the time it takes to resolve and having everything they've done up to that point invalidated. If opponents become bored or annoyed trying to resolve this card, they can just scoop. As the article states, these cards aren't cast in tournaments. They are cast when nothing but the enjoyment of the participants is on the line. These cards have to be engaging enough for the other players, who may strongly dislike these effects, to still be willing to go along with it and let the caster have his fun. Scrambleverse is too likely to induce scooping. It is more like casting Obliterate for no reason than it is Warp World. People just say 'screw it-call me when the next one starts.' I guess the caster of scrambleverse then technically wins, but the spell never actually resolved nor did any of the desired craziness take place. That's not really a win in my book.

Second, you can't game it. With warp world, you can play a bunch of tokens so you'll get tons of stuff compared to the other players once warp world resolves. By not being able to trick the card, scambleverse misses a decent chunk of the audience that likes wild red cards. Guild Fued is a far superior card on both fronts. So, while you may like it and perhaps you have very accomodating friends, it misses on keeping other players engaged enough to put up with your shenanigans, and it doesn't serve the population of playes that want to try and game the card. The first one being the biggest strike because if you can't find anyone to let you have your fun, what is the point of the card? Inducing wins by scooping to 'stupid' cards isn't a rewarding game night.



I agree Scrambleverse is a very niche card. But as long as there are playgroups that like it, like mine, it fulfills its purpose. There are groups where I shouldn't cast it, because they don't find it fun, sure. But that's the same with you complaining about the preview card. Casual magic is all about moderation. All about NOT playing the most powerful/most random/most wacky cards, but all about playing the cards that give everyone in the group a good time. I have a very easy time finding people who all love resolving a Scrambleverse.
  
Warp World being abusable is making that card unfun. What happens with Warp World decks, is that they have Eternal Witness-like cards and Palinchron-like cards to chain multiple Warp Worlds in 1 turn. Now that is a pain to resolve. It's like how Mindslaver is almost never used in a fun way, only in a lockout way.

So, back to my original point. If WOTC is taking the time to test silver bullets to use against a mythic rare that might be very powerful in tournaments, it seems like they could take a few minutes to create scenarios where a deck has casual rares in strong positions. Again, using deadeye navigator as an example, play deadeye navigator with access to say, eternal witness, mystic snake and shriekmaw. Then see if 1U isn't a little too good. Based on grumbles on casual message boards about how good the navigator is, I think they'd have found 1U to be too low. I don't get the sense that development does anything like that. They work very hard on the tournament side, but seem to just give an 'OK I guess' to stuff where people do a lot of screwing around instead of reducing life totals to 0 as quickly as possible.



Casual power creep is very real, but there's nothing you can do about it. I remember a time when Akroma, Angel of Wrath was the scariest creature you could cheat into play, one that could kill you in 4 turns! Casual magic is simply way more degenerate these days than it used to be. Again, it all comes down to moderation. House rules. Gentlemen's agreements about what kind of cards not to play, and what kind of power level of decks to pursue. 

Deadeye Navigator has been fringe playable in Bant Pod in standard, that makes it awesome. It's costed exactly how it should've been costed.
For once, it is nice to see a developer discussing the intrincacies of competitive Standard play, even if I disagree with them. This is a good start and hope this is a regular feature instead of something that only happens only once. Unfortunatly, it's bad to see the "we intentionally stay away from balance because it is the opposite of fun" trope announced so early:
In the other direction, people want immediate, visceral reactions to their cards. When cards aren't making you feel, we've failed. When you never feel invincible behind your freshly-played Baneslayer Angel, when you're never desperately terrified of that Bonfire of the Damned lurking on top of your opponent's deck, when deck building is all math, when games are all chess, when Magic is all head and no heart, we've failed.


"When overpowered cards don't free the player from the terrible burden of having to be focused in the game (aka playing) in order to win, we've failed."

When the definition of success for Development is not even trying at all, failing isn't only hard, it is impossible.
Loxodon Smiter is a developer special. I don't mean that we made the card from scratch to fit our needs. (The card came to us as is from Ken Nagle's design team.)


As posted in the other thread. This shows some sad facts: first, that Ken Nagle and design company still believe GW is about swinging with Vanilla dudes and winning moar rather than winning at all; second, that they are still on their mindset that it is the natural order for Blue and Black to receive the versatile maindeckable spells while Green and White get the narrow SB cards that (sometimes) beat the former cards while losing the rest of the time to everything else. Some cards in the GW maverick deck like Aven Mindcensor, Scavenging Ooze and Knight of the Reliquary represent much better how can GW can be interactive and fun while still being good. A much better reference to design future cards than Terra Stomper.

But we did have needs—needs the Smiter fulfilled—and so we protected the card. Protected it from ourselves, in fact. And when it came down to it, Erik Lauer, who out of all the developers has the broadest grasp of what Standard needs at any given time, protected it from me.

If you missed the between-the-lines statement there, I just revealed that I think Loxodon Smiter is such an impactful card that I would have been more comfortable making it worse.



At this point it is clear that according to Erik Lauer what Standard needs is UW Tempo domination of the metagame all the time. With Delver and Snapcaster on the format did he even dared to tell you to nerf your card? Erik Lauer clearly have a problem with overpowered cards but only when the cards aren't blue.
The burly Loxodon's advantages against Snapcaster Mage decks are more oblique. I'm sure you've already noticed that this 4/4 can't be countered. Big deal, you might be thinking. Blue decks aren't traditionally concerned with midrange beaters, not when they have tempo tools like Unsummon at their disposal.The thing is, they only have so many tempo cards and they often rely on counterspells, like the rotating Mana Leak or its replacement Essence Scatter, to keep the board clean.


C'mon, not even you believe that part! Tempo isn't about attrition battles, is about keeping ahead on the table whether they keep more cards in their hand than the opponent or not. Worst come to worst, they simply use the counter on another non-Loxodon card you play and their card wasn't dead against you at all, especially because you probably have other 32 counterable cards in your deck. I would say there's Cavern of Souls, except that you have been boycotting it as much as you can by making each good green creature of a different creature type. Between spirit, human], [c=Predator Ooze]Ooze, Wolf, Beast and now Dryad and Elephant, Cavern is merely a one trick pony that will screw you as often as it helps.

But well, let's see how the meta shapes before drawing conclusions but I bet my evaluation of the card is far better than yours.
If Limited gets in the way of printing good Constructed cards... Screw limited

At this point it is clear that according to Erik Lauer what Standard needs is UW Tempo domination of the metagame all the time. With Delver and Snapcaster on the format did he even dared to tell you to nerf your card? Erik Lauer clearly have a problem with overpowered cards but only when the cards aren't blue.

Umm, dude, Erik Lauer was telling him not to nerf it. So Erik Lauer was in favor of this card being strong. But hey, let's base our analysis on inaccurate readings. 

Umm, dude, Erik Lauer was telling him not to nerf it. So Erik Lauer was in favor of this card being strong. But hey, let's base our analysis on inaccurate readings. 



Really? From what I get, if the card is worse, he is more confortable. I might be missing something in the full text (yep, English isn't my first language after all) but even then, my rant doesn't change that much: they didn't protect their card enough then because it's still bad.
If Limited gets in the way of printing good Constructed cards... Screw limited
Umm, dude, Erik Lauer was telling him not to nerf it. So Erik Lauer was in favor of this card being strong. But hey, let's base our analysis on inaccurate readings. 



Really? From what I get, if the card is worse, he is more confortable. I might be missing something in the full text (yep, English isn't my first language after all) but even then, my rant doesn't change that much: they didn't protect their card enough then because it's still bad.


The article was written by Billy Moreno, not Erik Lauer. Billy's the one who said he would be more comfortable if Loxodon Smiter was weaker.

IMAGE(http://steamsignature.com/status/default/76561197995631463.png) No longer a commander as of 7/29/13.

Magic is better when environments have answers, so an anti-discard, anti-counter card that's not otherwise terrible sits just fine with me.  I did, however, double-check that you guys didn't also throw in Hexproof as you've been wont to do.

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.

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