Red, Red everywhere and not a spot left to burn.

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I was reading a few other posts around here (involving confusing red cards and card draw) and thought about "What really is red?"  What do we see in red vs. what is red supposed to be.

M13 says that red is one planeswalker, twenty creatures, one normal enchantment, one aura, seven instants and eight Sorceries.  39 cards, over half are creatures and almost a third are nonpermanents.
Among them we have ten Burn spells.
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 1o
Three Firebreathing creatures (The creatures of burn)
1, 2, 3 (13 cards listed so far)
Seven cards that change how much damage a creature will deal (combat burn).
1, 2, 3, 4, 56, 7 (20 cards listed so far)
Two cards that might as well be burn.
1 and 2 (22 cards listed so far).
This makes for over half of what we see in red being "burn" related.  I get it, that's red's thing, but red is more than burn.  (How did we not get a Tom in M13?!)  M13 has five bad creatures (Y'know, those things that are lucky to see limited play)
1, 2, 3, 4, 5. (27 out of 39 cards listed so far)
Now we finally get to what red is, other than burn and the limited fat thrown into every colour!  Twelve cards.  Three destroy noncreatures.
1, 2 and 3.
Now we have nine cards left to see what fun red gets to have with the rest of its non-burning, non-standard joe-schmoe removal colour pie.  These shiny gems of red include Fervor 1, Firewing Phoenix 2, Goblin Battle Jester 3, Krenko, Mob Boss 4, Krenko's Command 5, Mark of Mutiny 6, Mindclaw Shaman 7, Rummaging Goblin 8 and Wild Guess 9.

I love Fevor, the Phenoix, some repeatable Panic dude, the token generators, a Threaten that cares about counters, and the ever-beautiful Mindclaw Shaman.  I'm dissapointed in Goblin Looter and Wild Guess, but blue is vindictive, so when it gave red a piece of its oversized pie, it gave it to red upsidedown... Oh well, Blue is finally giving up some more of its pie (about bloody time).

I'm not saying that I don't love these cards... I'm asking, where is the rest of red?!  Where's Tom, or the giant pitcher?  Where is all of the punishment?! Sweeping effects? Burn Doubling?  Has red stopped caring about what others think in core sets?  It also looks like red can't ramp in coresets either, anymore.

I'm not going to say that R&D wasn't innovative in M13.  I love a ton of cards from M13, but what upsets me is the absence of so much of red's colour pie!  I'm sure that if I were to do with with the other colours, I'd come to similar problems.

Does anybody else thing that red isn't being propperly portrayed?  Do you think that red can be more than it currently is? I do.
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I think that it is because Core sets are still thought of as the "simple" Magic. When I picked up the game, I was taught this:

White is Life Gain, Black is Power, Blue is Control, Green is Creatures, and Red is Direct Damage.

Newer players want things to be simple. Newer players expect to see this kind of layout (even if the focus has changed over time). As a result, I think core sets are still designed to meet these expectations. Feel free to prove me wrong by showing me statistics from expert level expansions. I'm mostly doing thought process arguments, not researched arguments.
56965458 wrote:
As long as it's random, I really can't see where's the problem. Anyway, there's already a few standard ways for doing this. We listed them in this thread. If someone does the bogey-bogey, eats the cards, waits until they come out, look out the approximate order, place replacements in the same order, calls the president to ask him to give him a string of numbers, puts the card in the given order, then pick the cards in the order given by taking the date of birth of his opponent, reversed, and taking only every other number, then a judge can clearly declare that he's random enough.
56874518 wrote:
The beauty of sarcasm is that when the person using it is totally incorrect, you can just remove the sarcasm and end up with a post that is actually correct.
I can respect your point about it being easier for newer players to understand.  I honestly don't understand how one expansion each year helps new players that much (it's not like they are lined up saying "I can't wait for the next core set so that I can play!"), but you do have a good point.
I've looked through my core set card guides specifically for most of the examples I listed of what I feel M13 is missing.  Admitely, Electropotence and Lowland Oaf have not yet been in a core set, but their main points have been.  Then again, I haven't been a new player for fivish years, so what I think is complex and what new players may think is complex may not be the same thing.  I'm still trying to wrap my mind around the ravi signets, Mana Leak and Remand being overpowered.  I'll agree with Mana Leak being unfun, but not overpowered.
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Feel free to prove me wrong by showing me statistics from expert level expansions.

Of 42 mono-Red Innistrad cards, 20 say "damage" right on the tin.

Of those that don't:

Utility removal: Ancient Grudge 
Attack/Block control: Curse of the Nightly HuntFuror of the BittenCrossway VampireNightbird's Clutches
Looting: Desperate Ravings
Spell Recursion: Charmbreaker DevilsPast in Flames, flashback more generally
Ramp: Infernal Plunge 
Power pumping: Charmbreaker DevilsFeral Ridgewolf, Kessig WolfVampiric Fury, arguably werewolves 
Other creatures: Night RevelersRiot Devils
Unique: Scourge of Geier Reach

To be fair, "damage" might be a more diverse category here than it may seem, encompassing everything from vampire Sliths to mass removal to more traditional burn. If werewolves are power pumpers, they're doing it in a fun, original, creative way.

Let's look at Red's bete noir from Innistrad. I suppose I'd categorize these into something like:

Self-Mill: Armored SkaabCurse of the Bloody TomeDeranged AssistantDream TwistForbidden AlchemyLaboratory ManiacMakeshift MaulerMirror-Mad PhantasmMindshriekerSelhoff OccultistSkaab GoliathSkaab RuinatorStiched Drake
Reanimation (???): Back from the Brink 
Cloning: Cackling Counterpart 
Looting and filtering: Civilized ScholarForbidden Alchemy
Removal: ClaustrophobiaGrasp of Phantasms
Draw: CuriosityMurder of CrowsThink TwiceSturmgeist
Counter: DissipateFrightful DelusionLost in the Mist
Bounce: Lost in the MistSilent Departure
Power Deflation: Hysterical BlindnessSensory Deprivation
Ramp: Deranged AssistantRooftop Storm
Graveyard Hate: Memory's Journey,
Spell Recursion: Runic RepetitionSnapcaster Mage, flashback more generally
Other creatures: Battleground GeistDelver of SecretsFortress CrabLantern SpiritLudevic's Test SubjectMoon HeronSpectral Flight (not a creature, but performing the same role as other stuff here), 
Other: Invisible StalkerMindshriekerStitcher's ApprenticeUndead Alchemist

Is this more? Intuitively, yes, but grouping here is inherently arbitrary. Probably the most interesting thing here is that while Red has a very big modular mechanic that fills a large number of roles, Blue has a very large linear theme that's facilitated by a very diverse array of mechanics - although one that's very Innistrad-specific. Perhaps more fatally, I feel that other than mass removal and artifact descruction there's really not much that Red mechanics accomplish here that Blue ones don't, while the reverse isn't really so true.

But maybe looking at other M13 colors would have been the better comparison; I don't know. 
I feel pretty confident in pointing out that Development loves burn. It offers them a very usefully-large number of well-understood knobs to turn that are quite important in shaping how an environment plays in both Limited and Constructed. It's also a slice of mechanical pie whose simplicity definitely belies its size. Even the staple one-mana iteration has plenty of flexibility built into it to allow for emphasis to be placed on lots of different elements of the game.

As an example, start with Shock (which we've been told is the baseline). Take away its ability to hit players, be cast on someone else's turn and double its size, and you've turned a workhorse removal spell into a strong disincentive towards using small- and medium-sized creatures (because it dispatches them quite cheaply) and a strong incentive toward using large creatures (because it can't take them out without a lot of help). It was precisely these qualities that allowed Flame Slash to play an important part in encouraging the "battlecruiser Magic" style of play that so defined the Rise of the Eldrazi Limited environment. It certainly wasn't the only element, but it is hard to argue that it wasn't an important one.

Basically, the reason burn takes up such a large portion of the cards is because burn can handle it: it's flexible enough to support lots of qualitatively different card designs, but not likely to get too out of hand.

"Proc" stands for "Programmed Random OCcurance". It does not even vaguely apply to anything Magic cards do. Don't use it.

Level 1 Judge as of 09/26/2013

Zammm = Batman

"Ability words are flavor text for Melvins." -- Fallingman

Somewhat off track: I disagree with the assertion that Bladetusk Boar is a bad limited card. 3 unblockable a turn is the real deal
Somewhat off track: I disagree with the assertion that Bladetusk Boar is a bad limited card. 3 unblockable a turn is the real deal


Bladetusk is a pretty legit mid round pick.
"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
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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!
That first post is pretty off. Since when is Hamletback Goliath burn? Slumbering Dragon? Reverberate can be burn sometimes, but other times it's as versatile as any blue spell. These are some of red's coolest cards and you're throwing them in with "just burn."

Then you start saying some cards you wish M13 had, and most of them are burn anyway! I can answer some of your requests:
Pingers: Probably not included at low rarities because of gameplay complexity. At least we have Chandra, the Firebrand at mythic. At common and uncommon, we have Chandra's Fury and Flames of the Firebrand to deal with low-toughness creatures efficiently.
Flinging: We have Arms Dealer for some suicidal action. I would have liked Fling too, but hey, it was included in M11, M12 and Dark Ascension. We don't need it all the time.
Punishment: I think Mindclaw Shaman should count. He punishes your opponent for daring to hold on to nasty instants and sorceries.
Sweeping effects: Magmaquake and Worldfire not good enough?
Burn doubling: Reverberate. Also, Krenko doubles other things.
Caring about the opponent's hand: Again, Mindclaw Shaman.
That first post is pretty off. Since when is Hamletback Goliath burn? Slumbering Dragon? Reverberate can be burn sometimes, but other times it's as versatile as any blue spell. These are some of red's coolest cards and you're throwing them in with "just burn."

I'm not saying they aren't cool.  I'm saying that they are slow Firebreathing that sticks around... Firebreathing is still burn.
Then you start saying some cards you wish M13 had, and most of them are burn anyway! I can answer some of your requests:
Pingers: Probably not included at low rarities because of gameplay complexity. At least we have Chandra, the Firebrand at mythic. At common and uncommon, we have Chandra's Fury and Flames of the Firebrand to deal with low-toughness creatures efficiently.

I've since come to the belief that due to a guild leader from RTR, we aren't getting Tom... just because it can be dangerous... Also maybe because we got three in the last core set.
Flinging: We have Arms Dealer for some suicidal action. I would have liked Fling too, but hey, it was included in M11, M12 and Dark Ascension. We don't need it all the time.
Punishment: I think Mindclaw Shaman should count. He punishes your opponent for daring to hold on to nasty instants and sorceries.
//
Caring about the opponent's hand: Again, Mindclaw Shaman.


That's a large area of red's pie to put into one card.  It's like saying Lava Spike is the ideal representation of red... Or using it as the only burn card.  Red's power over burn is much more vast than a sorcery dealing 3 to a player.  Burn deserves to have more than one card to show the several ways that red can and should use it (just not half of the red cards that see print)
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That first post is pretty off. Since when is Hamletback Goliath burn? Slumbering Dragon? Reverberate can be burn sometimes, but other times it's as versatile as any blue spell. These are some of red's coolest cards and you're throwing them in with "just burn."

I'm not saying they aren't cool.  I'm saying that they are slow Firebreathing that sticks around... Firebreathing is still burn.

I really have to disagree here. Creatures that grow in size are a completely different idea from burn; if you're going to count them as burn, I hope you're objecting to Invisible Stalker (unblockable damage = burn), Sleep (tap down all your blockers = let my attackers get through = burn), Phage the Untouchable ("player X loses the game" = player X takes infinity damage = burn), ...

Growth mechanics are generally green's schtick, but all colours can get them based on some flavour. Slumbering Dragon and Hamletback Goliath are both interesting in that they discourage your opponent from certain actions, in a way that "just burn" doesn't. Slumbering Dragon in particular is a very innovative Timmy-Johnny design that's got nothing to do with burn. (Apart from anything else, +1/+1 counters are not the same thing as +1/+0 counters: the extra toughness does make a difference, e.g. against other "burn" effects.) 

I disagree with the "might as well be burn" group. Both of those cards deserve to be in the final slot. Yeah, Reverberate can be used as a burn spell, this doesn't make it one. It can also double as a second Mark of Mutiny or a second in addition to copying whatever your opponent uses. Even if you do use it on burn, then it's still the burn doubling you claim we didn't get. Worldfire is a board wipe that reduces life to a set value. It is not a burn spell in any way and shouldn't count as one.

 
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