11/27/2012 Feature: "Power, Cubed"

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This thread is for discussion of the feature article "Power, Cubed", which goes live Monday morning on magicthegathering.com.

If the Power Nine never show up online in people's collections, that would be quite acceptable, thank you.  (That ship has already sailed unfortunately with people playing their Strip Mine / Skullclamp combo decks in the Casual room, but no need to go even crazier with it.)

Also, here's hoping that the powered Cube, while fine once in awhile, is not the default Cube in the future.  Swingy overpowered stuff is okay every once in awhile, but the normal Cube has that plenty anyway.
Omg, i havent seen some of the newer art for some of these cards before, and let me just say that they all of them are amazing and look like they belong on the most powerful cards ever printed, especialy time walk and mana drain
also, id take either black lotus or time walk
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Love that Black Lotus art so, so much. Really hope we get a high quality wallpaper of it.
Unfortunately until wotc decides to stop paying out in cube tickets, I and many many others will not be playing cube. Wotc might make a bigger short term profit with cube tix but they are also doing long term harm to the brand and company.  I stopped getting new people to join mtgo a while ago, and everytime wotc decides to rip people off more people do the same.

And for those who have never actually played with powered cubes....it is not very much fun. Games tend to be extremely swingy, combo is too easy, and blue is way too good. Powered cubes create a bunch of control and combo decks, with an occasional midrange deck. There will almost never be a viable aggro deck. Midrange loses to combo and control.

As neat as it is to finally be seeing power9 on mtgo, its unfortunate that the only way will be to play cube drafts that basically pay out nothing.

I, for one, certainly wouldn't loose any sleep if the power nine NEVER made it to people's collections on Magic: Online. I think the Cube is the best way to bring them in and maybe give every account one free draft set to play. Then everyone gets a chance to play with at least a few of them, but they don't break the secondary card market. You want to see what the power nine might do in Magic: Online? Just look at Force of Will, you pretty much can't play Legacy without that card and you won't find them in the secondary market for less than 120 tickets. That's 120 dollar equivalent for a single digital object. Bring in the power nine and you might bring the Legacy format to the fore, but you'll be hard pressed to find a deck that wins that is less than 500 tickets at the bare minimum. Then what is the answer? Restict the cards? Ban them? Yeah, the people will love that, finally getting the chance to play with them and then having them taken away after they've collected them. 
This is disappointing, and I hope a one-time-only thing. Adding Power to a cube is like taking the experience of playing against a Grave Titan in core set draft, and making sure the maximum number of games feel that silly. Possibly the only way to have less fun in a draft is to use Masques-block packs.

Power to enable online Vintage is fine, of course. That's where all that nonsense belongs (spoken affectionately as a former Vintage player).

Fortunately, RTR draft actually gets better the more times I do it, so I know what I'll be doing while this unfortunate cube is posted.
I, for one, certainly wouldn't loose any sleep if the power nine NEVER made it to people's collections on Magic: Online. I think the Cube is the best way to bring them in and maybe give every account one free draft set to play. Then everyone gets a chance to play with at least a few of them, but they don't break the secondary card market. You want to see what the power nine might do in Magic: Online? Just look at Force of Will, you pretty much can't play Legacy without that card and you won't find them in the secondary market for less than 120 tickets. That's 120 dollar equivalent for a single digital object. Bring in the power nine and you might bring the Legacy format to the fore, but you'll be hard pressed to find a deck that wins that is less than 500 tickets at the bare minimum. Then what is the answer? Restict the cards? Ban them? Yeah, the people will love that, finally getting the chance to play with them and then having them taken away after they've collected them. 

@Cybergan, apparently you're not aware that the power 9 are banned in legacy.  The only format they'd affect is vintage (and the MTGO-only classic, which would probably just get scrapped and become vintage).
The Power Nine was a mistake and doesn't belong online.

Also still waiting for the Block Party format to be implemented.
Please fix the payout for cube drafting. Second place in elim draft doesn't even get enough cube tix for another? Ridiculous.
Also, Power Cube is less interesting than non-Power Cube.
The end is always nigh.
would be nice to have actual power 9 in our collections. Vintage is a format.
I have always wanted to play vintage but the prices of the decks are high enough that nobody can afford the decks. There is this critical point where is cost to play is so high that people cant justify buying in because they wont get to play which means other people dont buy in etc. The result is an adverse selction to entry into tournaments. That is the problem with vinatge and it is starting to be an issue with legacy. That is why I have always looked at mtgo as a solution. Anyone can buy in and you can almost always find events to play. But so far WOTC has been letting me down with no power. Please fix this. And do something about Force of Will, legacy will never ever be a format with $120 4 ofs for every real deck.
So... Pack 1, pick 1. Ancestral Recall or Umezawa's Jitte? ;)

- Doug

 

"Collectability is just a code-word for ripping you off." - David Sirlin

If the Power Nine never show up online in people's collections, that would be quite acceptable, thank you.  (That ship has already sailed unfortunately with people playing their Strip Mine / Skullclamp combo decks in the Casual room, but no need to go even crazier with it.)


That brings something to mind; why is Classic the de facto "play anything" format on MTGO instead of Legacy? Don't people understand that if you play Classic, you'll eventually run into "that guy" playing all the over-powered cards legal in the format? The only thing I can think of is that people hear Legacy and they think of tournament play, not realizing that its actually a more protective format for casual play. My guess is that if the Power 9 are released online, after quite a bit of rage people will wisen up and start playing more Legacy in the casual room instead of Classic (which would basically be Vintage at that point). 

As far as releasing Power 9 goes, my vote would be a Masters Edition 5 with the typical limited release time where the 9 + a few other powerful cards not yet released online are made into Mythic rares (plus maybe rerelease Force of Will as one, please?)
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As far as I'm concerned, this is the only proper way to release the Power Nine in MTGO. Like this, people get to play with them without any of the huge problems people actually having the Power Nine would cause.

The new art for them rocks, by the way, though Time Walk is sorely missing in unexplained half meat-clad skeletons and cones. Its new art is really cool, but I wish they had made a new art closer to the original, like with the others.
The art for the moxes, Time Walk, Timetwister and Ancestral Recall are from the oversized cards. Mana Crypt's is from the judge promo. Sol Ring is the one from FTV/Commander. And Black Lotus is new.

Does anybody know if the art from Mana Vault, Mana Drain, Library of Alexandria and Mind Twist is new, too?
Abolish the reserved list. Make tons of money on paper magic. Profit.

I don't play MTGO. I have played off and on for 1993 and only play eternal. This is frustrating. How can you do this but not reprint in paper form?

So annoying... 
So... Pack 1, pick 1. Ancestral Recall or Umezawa's Jitte? ;)



That's a tough one, depends on what you think will be in, I would go for LoA, Lotus or Recall, Drain a high fourth choice.

@Umbreon, yeah they're new.
Eh, I don't hear good things about powered Cube, but maybe this one will be properly designed for it, where a lot of typical powered Cubes arent. Will they also do the Christmas run-up "classic draft per day" again beforehand?

What I really hope is that Cube isn't going to effectively replace classic drafts. It already looks that way as where once they were regular and highly varied, now they're almost unheard of, just the odd gimmick ("Masters block" or "old Ravnica for new Ravnica"). Cube is something I can play lots outside MTGO, and with a huge variety of Cubes beyond the MTGO "generic", whereas playing a little Time Spiral or Invasion is almost impossible to experience in paper. The grinders may obsess about whether they're being "paid" to play or not, but for others the experience itself is the pay-off. And that experience seems to be getting killed off. Cube and classic drafts shouldn't be mutually exclusive.
I believe new Signet artwork has also been spoiled.
Abolish the reserved list. Make tons of money on paper magic. Profit.

I don't play MTGO. I have played off and on for 1993 and only play eternal. This is frustrating. How can you do this but not reprint in paper form?

So annoying... 



WOTC won't reprint them because people like you cried about their card values going down.
Phantom draft....I'll pass.  Call me when they're cards I get to keep. 
I'm super interested to see this play out.

P.S. The pick from that pack is sol ring...
That brings something to mind; why is Classic the de facto "play anything" format on MTGO instead of Legacy? Don't people understand that if you play Classic, you'll eventually run into "that guy" playing all the over-powered cards legal in the format? The only thing I can think of is that people hear Legacy and they think of tournament play, not realizing that its actually a more protective format for casual play. My guess is that if the Power 9 are released online, after quite a bit of rage people will wisen up and start playing more Legacy in the casual room instead of Classic (which would basically be Vintage at that point).



I think it's because people like their Sol Rings, and that they default to the format that the most decks are legal in when they don't really care what they play against. Also, if you want to play a "kill the table" combo deck, the Legacy banned list won't stop you; as far as I can tell, "that guy" is rare enough that people are okay with losing to him once in a while when he feels like bringing solitaire.dec to the table.

- Doug

 

"Collectability is just a code-word for ripping you off." - David Sirlin

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Your wish is their command, apparently.  
This thread is for discussion of the feature article "Power, Cubed", which goes live Monday morning on magicthegathering.com.


I would've thought one of the most common questions Chris got was 

1. Why do you rip people off so much with ticket entry prices and prize structure?

followed by 

2. Given how much you rip people off, why is the quality of your software so low?

MTGO has to be one of the most amateurish pieces of commerical software around and its business management is continually disappointing. 
If the Power Nine never show up online in people's collections, that would be quite acceptable, thank you.  (That ship has already sailed unfortunately with people playing their Strip Mine / Skullclamp combo decks in the Casual room, but no need to go even crazier with it.)


That brings something to mind; why is Classic the de facto "play anything" format on MTGO instead of Legacy? Don't people understand that if you play Classic, you'll eventually run into "that guy" playing all the over-powered cards legal in the format? The only thing I can think of is that people hear Legacy and they think of tournament play, not realizing that its actually a more protective format for casual play. My guess is that if the Power 9 are released online, after quite a bit of rage people will wisen up and start playing more Legacy in the casual room instead of Classic (which would basically be Vintage at that point). 



I doubt it.  There's no particular sense behind it: everyone plays Classic, so that's the default.  If you're an old hand, you might recall a time when the default format was "Open" which had no banned list, and yes this caused tension when people ran into cards they thought banned anyway.  WotC did a vaguely clever thing to deal with the fact that Open had become the defacto (bad) default - they renamed the format "Freeform" and made it as impossibly broken as you like (stick 5x Vanguard cards if you like) which killed it.

Anyway, I've tried advertising Modern-legal decks as Modern rather than Classic in the casual room before.  I usually end up fighting Modern decks that are a bit too tuned for my more casual concoction - maybe not always tourney-winning decks, but still not a good match.  (I *have* decks that would be a good match, but that's not what I'm in the Casual room to play!)  It'd still be nice if one could get a sense of the level of deck each player wants to use first, and then match up, but that'd be endlessly abused by trolls who claims their deck is terrible just to stomp people.
Reading this article was frustating on multiple levels.

First of all, I'm glad Wizards listened about the horrible prize payout that kept many people from playing Cube last time.  Oh, wait, it's still the same, horrid payout?

Then the rationalizations about color-fixing and three-color midrange decks that produce "boring" game states.  Really?  When will people in the company who work on Cube realize that people play Cube FOR variance, not to essentially play Constructed Singleton, which is what this Cube degenerated into.  They worried about fixing producing the same decks, but what they got was a guarantee that specific archetypes that they pushed big-time (monored, reanimation, tooth/big ramp, combo, etc) were present in EVERY draft.  The 18th time I saw some guy playing reanimation or Tooth I just had to stop.  If you enable fixing and it turns into three or four color decks, it would still be more interesting than archetype vs. archetype AND produce varaince because there is only one of each card.  Those are the types of games people want to play.  They want to see powerful cards and have it be a unique experience.  I have no interest in watching monored match up with Dream Halls combo AGAIN.

It just seems no one at the company really gets it. 
2. Given how much you rip people off, why is the quality of your software so low?

MTGO has to be one of the most amateurish pieces of commerical software around and its business management is continually disappointing. 



v2 was awful, but v3 has one of the worst interfaces I've ever used in a game.  MTGO would rival the top e-sports in population if it wasn't for the sheer and disgusting incompetence of WOTC.
Reading this article was frustating on multiple levels.

First of all, I'm glad Wizards listened about the horrible prize payout that kept many people from playing Cube last time.  Oh, wait, it's still the same, horrid payout?

Then the rationalizations about color-fixing and three-color midrange decks that produce "boring" game states.  Really?  When will people in the company who work on Cube realize that people play Cube FOR variance, not to essentially play Constructed Singleton, which is what this Cube degenerated into.  They worried about fixing producing the same decks, but what they got was a guarantee that specific archetypes that they pushed big-time (monored, reanimation, tooth/big ramp, combo, etc) were present in EVERY draft.  The 18th time I saw some guy playing reanimation or Tooth I just had to stop.  If you enable fixing and it turns into three or four color decks, it would still be more interesting than archetype vs. archetype AND produce varaince because there is only one of each card.  Those are the types of games people want to play.  They want to see powerful cards and have it be a unique experience.  I have no interest in watching monored match up with Dream Halls combo AGAIN.

It just seems no one at the company really gets it. 


At the very least the decks are different. With 3 or 4-color midrange decks, you just get good cards vs. good cards every single time because nobody can play anything else.
They pushed specific archetypes, but I didn't see them that often (maybe because I didn't play that many Cube drafts). They could try to make them more difficult to build, but they definitely shouldn't replace it with a boring powered cube.
I really wonder where all that "feedback" you get is coming from. The last cube format was VERY fun and deep, it just needed a better pool of aggro cards and a nerf to the reanimator ones to be perfect. There were some really though decissions to be made in those drafts, and that was the fun of it. It was also beatiful to see the combo decks workout, they were really powerful but at the same time very hard to put together/make it work. Also, there were lot of good cards, but you had to be really careful to not get too greedy drafting, you may or not get enough mana fixing in the last pack to play all those power-houses.

Now that you put those broken cards in the cube with even more mana fixing in each pack, you are basically killing the draft portion of the event. You just need to get the best card in every pack, no matter what. With tons of manafixing, you wont have to worry about anything else. Also, you dont need to care anymore about reading signals properly an adapt to your pod. Everyone is just getting the best card from every color. Curve? No thank you, got all this colorless accelerators to let me play any  mana cost. Including cards like time walk and ancestrall recall seems specially crazy to me, again, they are only one mana blue, can't imagine any reason to not splash blue in every deck you make.

You should really think twice where are you getting your feedback from. "Giev moer mana fixers and ultrapowerrolfcopter cards so I can beat everythingx0rz" doesnt seem like the best advice to follow.
So for the holiday season, we have a phantom draft with a bunch of cards never before released online, plus two other drafts for blocks that aren't usable for any format except Classic, Legacy, and Freeform. One of which is even using Block packs. Yeah, I won't be partaking in any of those. Thanks, Wizards. Merry Christmas to you too.
You are in the vast majority if you thought the previoud Cube was close to perfect.

I completely disagree with the notion that a person will just play the best cards (after all, last time I checked only one guy could get each Mox and only one gal can grab the Lotus; further, if 6 players try to force base-green to mana fix it won't happen; the lands are the only possible point of contention) and I vehemently disagree that facing another three or four-color deck is just like facing the same deck.  That just isn't the case with the variance as high as it CAN be in a Cube.  When archetypes are forced, however, you WILL see the same decks over and over again.  And that's exactly what happened. 
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