The highs and lows of DotP 2013

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DotP 2013 started out by raising the bar, in a big way. The starting 10 decks were all very versatile. We had a mill deck, a lifegain deck with an alternative win condition, an infinite combo, Garruk’s deck was on par with the rest of them, mono-black control, and Born of Flame is the red burn control deck that I wanted in 2012 but didn’t get with Unquenchable Fire. We had good aggro decks with tribal Goblins and Peacekeepers, and a quirky but fun comboish green deck with Yeva. Everything was great, and the bar of expectation was high for the expansion.


And for the most part, the expansion delivered. Grinning Malice and Sepulchral Strength were well designed and well received. People were worried about Aura Servants with Spiritdancers and Stalkers, but the deck was still in balance with the rest. Mindstorms has its share of positives and negatives, but I’ll talk about that more when I get into the 4 deck designs that were a big letdown. Overall, the expansion was still a success in my eyes. Yeah, there were some bugs and glitches, but not too many of them were game breaking. 


Then we get to the deck packs, and we hit a slew of poor design choices. I’m not going to argue here about the promo cards, or the power level of the deck packs, but giving 15 decks 40 unlocks while the deck packs get 30 is just a poor design choice, and this was very poorly received by the community (and I’m sure the finance guys will be seeing it too when they see less people buying the deck packs). Instead, I’m going to focus on the design of 4 of the decks, the 4 that I think were the most poorly designed decks of DotP 2013, and I think it’s worth noting that none of these 4 decks are in the original 10. I’m not going to say anything about the power level of the decks in relation to the other decks, partly because I still say the decks are balanced and can hold their own in the field with the rest of the decks, and partly because I’m only concerned about the design of the decks.


Aura Servants: Not too many people really liked playing as or against Auramancer from 2012. Auramancer didn’t break the format, as some decks did have answers to it, but some decks did not. There are more answers to Aura Servants, and it’s power level was kept in check, but there are still decks that just can’t do anything about a Stalker with 4 auras attached to it swinging for the fences. Again, it’s not unbalanced, because there are decks that can totally shut this down, but the issue is that it’s just not fun. Most of the community here, from what I’ve seen, doesn’t like the aura heavy decks of Auramancer and Aura Servants. Personally, I don’t like being forced into playing an aura heavy deck.


My main issue with the design of this deck is the colors. Blue/White just does not scream aura heavy. Collective Might would have been much better to have an aura theme, and it could go well with the token theme with cards like Bramble Elemental and Fists of Ironwood. Regardless, I don’t think auras should be a theme that is forced upon the deck, but rather as a subtheme, so if someone does want to build that deck as aura heavy, they can, but those who don’t want to are not forced to. On the positive side though, an aura heavy deck did keep the decks feeling varied and unique, and in that respect, I can appreciate the design. However, I still think it would be best to make the auras a subtheme and not something that’s forced upon the deck.


Mindstorms: This is perhaps my favorite deck to win with, because winning with a combo like Spellbound Dragon and Time Warp has a very U/R feel to it. Outside of the winning combos, this deck is pretty poorly designed for a U/R deck. The 4 mana spot is very lacking (and this will be a theme that repeats itself), and contrary to what U/R is commonly known for, this deck has no 1-2 mana instants outside of the Mana Leaks. The deck still performs ok, but its design is very underwhelming. The real issue at hand is the shear amount of 5+ mana cards that were put into the card pool. There’s just no need for that much, especially at the expense of cheap instants that U/R is supposed to be known for.


Sky and Scale: Another underwhelming design. Not only does this deck share in the issue of lacking good options at the 4 mana spot, but there’s just nothing special and unique about this deck, and that’s my main problem with the design. What does this deck do that’s unique from the other decks? It plays creatures, it has a couple combat tricks, and it attacks. There’s some creatures with flying, and the Simic Sky Swallower with shroud. The only card I’m really excited about is Fable of Wolf and Owl, because the token production can get insane and quickly. But isn’t token production supposed to be G/W’s specialty? This deck left me wishing it was Ancient Depths 2.0, and I really think it should have been designed that way. Ramping into lots of 7+ mana cards would be something that the Simic deck would do that sets itself apart from the rest of the decks (PI can ramp a little bit too, but they also have early game beaters, and not a whole lot past the 6 or 7 mana cost to ramp into).


Another thing to note is the really devastating bug about Mystic Snake and Draining Whelk. I’m not mentioning it because to report a bug, I’m mentioning it because it’s not something that the developers will bother fixing in this game, which is just sad, unfortunate, and makes it seem like they don’t care about the customer base.


Berserker Rage: I recently said this was the second worst designed deck in my opinion, but now I think I’m going to retract that and say it is the worst designed deck. The card pool is more narrow than Mindstorms. The deck will perform well, no doubt, but it’s just boring and uninteresting. What’s the theme? Play efficient creatures, give them trample/haste, and swing. Pack Instinct already has a trampling theme, so this is more or less, PI’s trample theme + red. This deck probably has the most throwaway cards and vanilla(ish) creatures. 4 Gruul Scrappers, Centaur Cousers, Bloodrock Cyclops, Silverback Ape, and I didn’t even list them all. Not only is this wasted design potential, but it makes it look like very little time was spent designing this deck. These card slots could have been used to give the deck more deckbuilding variety so not everyone will be playing the same generic, narrow, trample beatdown lists.


The worst offense in this deck for me comes from Shivan Wurm, and the lack of enters the battlefield effects. Sure, you can return the Hydra or the Hate Seed to refresh their counters, but those aren’t practical uses for a turn 5 Shivan Wurm considering both creatures need mana to actually convert those +1/+1 counters into something else. The whole point of cards like Shivan Wurm is to take advantage of the effect of returning your own creature back to your hand to re-use creatures with an enters the battlefield effect (Flametongue Kavu would be a good example). The designers really dropped the ball on this deck, and that’s very saddening.


Grim Procession: I don’t consider this deck poorly designed, but I wanted to comment on it here. I was hoping the Orzhov deck would be Dark Heavens 2.0, and that’s exactly what it is, so I’m not going to complain. In fact, I would encourage DotP 2014 to have a Dark Heavens 3.0. The deck is well designed and well received. We like playing the big bombs this color combination has to offer. Yeah, most of the good cards in this deck we’ve seen before in Dark Heavens, Exalted Darkness, Grave Whispers, and Obedient Dead, but this is a good formula for B/W decks, and that’s why I’m not disappointed by this deck. I would much rather have Dark Heavens 2.0 than something that I wished was Dark Heavens 2.0 (Exalted Darkness). For 2014, if you do make Dark Heavens 3.0, it would require only a little design and tweaking, adding in a few new cards from the tried and true formula, and this would give you more time to spend on design for those color combinations that really need it (U/R, R/G, U/W).


The bar was raised at the release of DotP 2013, and I’m not going to lower that bar of expectation for 2014, despite poor design choices and lack of community support that progressed with this game as time went on. I do fully intend to buy all deck packs this game will offer, since I am a bit of a completionist, but 2014 is going to have to be really special for me to buy it. Below isn’t a wishlist, or even a list of demand, but it’s a list of requirements, what it’s going to take for me to purchase 2014.


1. The return of archenemy. Playing as the archenemy was the most fun way for me to unlock cards against the AI. I didn’t even care if it took me 30 minutes just to unlock 1 card as opposed to being about to unlock 7 card in that time by grinding encounters. It was fun. Planechase is ok, but I really don’t care if it returns or not. It can be fun, but there are some planes/phenomenon that are just too volatile to the game, like the one that shuffles everyone’s permanents back into their deck and then the top X cards of your deck that happen to be permanents get put into play. If you only get 1-2 lands, you’re pretty much screwed unless you got your awesome creatures.


2. Better design of U/R, R/G, U/W, and other decks. The U/W deck will need to have Deft Duelist and Plumeveil, and the R/G will need to have Savage Twister.


3. Control over our land ratio. It’s a known problem that adding mono-black cards to a B/W deck will decrease the number of swamps you have and increase the number of plains. Just give us control of our land ratio.


4. At least 27-30 decks total, with 30-40 unlocks each. I know there’s been “more decks in each new version of DotP,” but it’s only been 2 decks more than the previous version. That isn’t impressive to me, or something to really brag about. If you want to boast about the number of decks, give us LOTS of decks.


5. All 10 2-color deck combination, and most, if not all, 3-color combinations. Each deck should also be unique, varied, and balanced.


I know the last 2 are asking for a lot, and I can be forgiving if we don’t get exactly that with 2014. But given the high standard that the initial 10 decks of 2013 set, followed by the progressive downslide as we’re going into the release of the 2nd deck pack, I don’t foresee myself buying 2014, at least not until all the dlc has been revealed. I can make exceptions for some of this stuff if 2014 really knocks my socks off. I find it unfortunate that it’s come to this, because I have enjoyed the DotP series, and I think it has a lot of potential, but that potential is just being wasted on poor design decisions.


 


 

Duels of the Planeswalkers deck builds and analysis: http://megamaster125.angelfire.com/dotp

 

Another one of my websites: http://megamaster125.angelfire.com/rationalchristianity/

 

I am Blue/White

I agree with some points, disagree with others. Since this is your own personal opinion (and this should be really clear), I won't start a debate here. But, there is something that stood out in your text that motivated me to write this.

When you say that W/U is not aura heavy. I don't know if you said this because you like W/U but dislike auras, or because you're biased by Rancor, but that statement is not consistent with the facts. I did a quick research in Gatherer and here is what I found:

Mono Blue Auras: 166 cards
Mono White Auras: 143 cards
Mono Black Auras: 136 cards
Mono Green Auras: 111 cards

Note that not only Blue and White are the top colors regarding auras, but Green is also behind Black at that, although I agree that Green feels better than Black in an aura deck. When we look at multicolor, we have similar results:

W/U Auras: 8 cards
W/G Auras: 7 cards

Here, the gap is closer, but W/U still emerge victorious.

So, in summary, my point is: W/U is aura heavy, even more than W/G.

WotC doesn't care about flavor. Their forum is the only place where an ORC can kill a troll...

Lost around 120 posts in the forum migration

Post #1000 on Feb 02, 2013

Post #2000 on Sep 04, 2013

I was referring to more of "auras as a theme" and not about the number of auras each color has. Cards like Kor Spiritdancer, Aura Gnarlid, and Bramble Elemental. I'm sure there are some, but I think there's more green creatures that say "As long as this creature is enchanted..." than what blue has.

And take away the last little bit about 2014, and this is mostly a review of 2013.

Duels of the Planeswalkers deck builds and analysis: http://megamaster125.angelfire.com/dotp

 

Another one of my websites: http://megamaster125.angelfire.com/rationalchristianity/

 

I am Blue/White

You said that W/U don't scream aura heavy, I pointed out that's not the case, because both colors have much more auras than Green. Of course Green has creatures that cares about Auras, because Green in general cares about them while being the creature color. But stil, for every Aura Gnarlid, there is an Academy Researchers. For every Bramble Elemental, there is a Rootwater Shaman. W/U IS aura heavy as much as W/U, maybe even more. If that is bad for the color, or if a deck based around auras is unfun, that's not my point.

WotC doesn't care about flavor. Their forum is the only place where an ORC can kill a troll...

Lost around 120 posts in the forum migration

Post #1000 on Feb 02, 2013

Post #2000 on Sep 04, 2013

I agree with some points, disagree with others. Since this is your own personal opinion (and this should be really clear), I won't start a debate here. But, there is something that stood out in your text that motivated me to write this.

When you say that W/U is not aura heavy. I don't know if you said this because you like W/U but dislike auras, or because you're biased by Rancor, but that statement is not consistent with the facts. I did a quick research in Gatherer and here is what I found:

Mono Blue Auras: 166 cards
Mono White Auras: 143 cards
Mono Black Auras: 136 cards
Mono Green Auras: 111 cards

Note that not only Blue and White are the top colors regarding auras, but Green is also behind Black at that, although I agree that Green feels better than Black in an aura deck. When we look at multicolor, we have similar results:

W/U Auras: 8 cards
W/G Auras: 7 cards

Here, the gap is closer, but W/U still emerge victorious.

So, in summary, my point is: W/U is aura heavy, even more than W/G.


Although, there are just as many cards in blue as there are Green that specifically support the use of Auras.

Still though, if that's all you disagree with out of all that, it's not worth arguing over. Grand scheme, without analyzing the value of Green vs. Blue's Auras, the difference between a and Aura decks is literally 1 card.

EDIT: if you do want to analyze Green auras vs. Blue, without researching at all, I'm pretty sure you'll find Green's auras win more games than Blue's, especially if you're circumventing their mana costs.

EDITED: did further research.
A well-written post has been derailed already. Let's get back on topic, shall we?

And I can't comment because DotP 2013 was my first foray into the world of MtG, so I am still quite in love with it. Time will tell if I sour or not. 
Wow, what an amazing original post. It is exactly what i think about the game.

To add on what was said already - aura decks are just bad, they are most boring to play with and against. They could be designed a bit differently to be fun, but unblockable, hexproof and lifelink creature is just stupid when you can get it easily enough (enough of same cards) and when half of the decks cant deal with it properly. 


Regarding U/W, yes they could be so much more fun.  Wall of denial , yes please. Staple card for such deck. Backed up with some interesting board control and creature combinations.

The first DotP game had the best ideas from my perspective, but not the best execution. Dotp 2013 began strong, but latest deckpack is just plain bland. I can see that designers put a lot of thought to it, but i think they playtest it badly. 


I really hope that Wizards put more effort into this franchize, because it is getting less interest in cause of some questionable decisions and bad marketing. Some people dont even know deck pack 1 is out. Not all come to specialized forums to know about promo unlocks.

 I could go on, but still thank you Wizards for a game that has a lot of content to it for such relatively low price. My point is - you could make it an amazing game with a bit of more effort.
I agree with some points, disagree with others. Since this is your own personal opinion (and this should be really clear), I won't start a debate here. But, there is something that stood out in your text that motivated me to write this.

When you say that W/U is not aura heavy. I don't know if you said this because you like W/U but dislike auras, or because you're biased by Rancor, but that statement is not consistent with the facts. I did a quick research in Gatherer and here is what I found:

Mono Blue Auras: 166 cards
Mono White Auras: 143 cards
Mono Black Auras: 136 cards
Mono Green Auras: 111 cards

Note that not only Blue and White are the top colors regarding auras, but Green is also behind Black at that, although I agree that Green feels better than Black in an aura deck. When we look at multicolor, we have similar results:

W/U Auras: 8 cards
W/G Auras: 7 cards

Here, the gap is closer, but W/U still emerge victorious.

So, in summary, my point is: W/U is aura heavy, even more than W/G.



WG is definitely the color of a aura theme. In history we have many successful WG enchantments builds with cards like Argothian Enchantress, Verduran Enchantress or Enchantress's Presence.  Just search 'enchantress deck' on google and you will see tons of results. Blue just does not synergize with this scene well. Cards like invisible stalker are irrelevant. I'd rather use Aspect of Mongoose for example.
Regarding U/W, yes they could be so much more fun.  Wall of denial , yes please. Staple card for such deck. Backed up with some interesting board control and creature combinations.



As much as I love control decks and I'm a heavy control player, I don't think I want to see Wall of Denial in DotP. I could see that going horibly wrong and pushing a U/W deck into the realms of Beknighted-level stupid.

I could go on, but still thank you Wizards for a game that has a lot of content to it for such relatively low price. My point is - you could make it an amazing game with a bit of more effort.



And heck, if they're willing to invest more time and effort into making the game that much better, I wouldn't mind paying more for it, like a $15 pricetag for the initial game instead of $10. Hey, if they keep up with fixing the bugs and give us loads of decks, I would have no problems not only paying for it, but I'd go back to defending the product when others say they are considering buying it. When the deck packs first came out for 2012, I defended the concept, because we got new decks coming out a month apart from each other, and for still a relatively small cost. But the deck packs here? I see people give reasons why they're not going to buy them, and I'm not inclined to lift one finger to persaude them otherwise.

Duels of the Planeswalkers deck builds and analysis: http://megamaster125.angelfire.com/dotp

 

Another one of my websites: http://megamaster125.angelfire.com/rationalchristianity/

 

I am Blue/White

I agree with some points, disagree with others. Since this is your own personal opinion (and this should be really clear), I won't start a debate here. But, there is something that stood out in your text that motivated me to write this.

When you say that W/U is not aura heavy. I don't know if you said this because you like W/U but dislike auras, or because you're biased by Rancor, but that statement is not consistent with the facts. I did a quick research in Gatherer and here is what I found:

Mono Blue Auras: 166 cards
Mono White Auras: 143 cards
Mono Black Auras: 136 cards
Mono Green Auras: 111 cards

Note that not only Blue and White are the top colors regarding auras, but Green is also behind Black at that, although I agree that Green feels better than Black in an aura deck. When we look at multicolor, we have similar results:

W/U Auras: 8 cards
W/G Auras: 7 cards

Here, the gap is closer, but W/U still emerge victorious.

So, in summary, my point is: W/U is aura heavy, even more than W/G.



WG is definitely the color of a aura theme. In history we have many successful WG enchantments builds with cards like Argothian Enchantress, Verduran Enchantress or Enchantress's Presence.  Just search 'enchantress deck' on google and you will see tons of results. Blue just does not synergize with this scene well. Cards like invisible stalker is just irrelevant. I'd rather use Aspect of Mongoose for example. 



What was successful in competitive Magic is irrelevant. Black is the color of creature removal, yet the best removal spells ever printed are both white. Blue is the color of card draw, yet the best card draw engine ever printed is Black. Green is the color of ramp and Red is the color of rituals, but Dark Ritual is Black. Do I need to go on? It's not about what is the best (a proper G/W aura deck would probably crush AS), it's about what makes sense regarding the color pie. As the numbers show, W/U makes sense.

But Hakeem is right, it was a good text that don't deserve all this off-topic. Let's move on with the thread.

WotC doesn't care about flavor. Their forum is the only place where an ORC can kill a troll...

Lost around 120 posts in the forum migration

Post #1000 on Feb 02, 2013

Post #2000 on Sep 04, 2013

..."window.parent.tinyMCE.get('post_content').onLoad.dispatch();" contenteditable="true" />I really hope that Wizards put more effort into this franchize, because it is getting less interest in cause of some questionable decisions and bad marketing. Some people dont even know deck pack 1 is out. Not all come to specialized forums to know about promo unlocks.



I dunno how the consoles work, but anyone playing properly on Steam, probably got a bunch of steam ads when they came out if they haven't disabled them, or went anywhere near the steam store.
Just wanted to put in my $.02 on the aura thing.  I think the majority of the White and Blue aura's are actually control-ish style auras.  Similar in form to Pacifism for white and Mind Control for blue.  If you were to actually build a deck that was more geared to agressive auras to buff your own creatures, Green is the way to go.  That's not to say that White and Blue don't have agro styled auras, just that Green does better in that arena, and White/Blue do better in the control styled aura arena. 

However; with Aura Servants, it was obvious they wanted to go down the route of control auras.  They also wanted to introduce (with DotP 2013 in general) combos that can lock down the game.  example; Pariah/Indestructible

You're a lose cannon.

 

 

"I played 70 card decks before it was cool to play 70 card decks." -Random M:tG hipster

Fully agree on archenemy, it is very fun.
Another feature I would like to see for 2014 is the possibility to add the decks from the old versions of the game, because that would add a lot of variety and I am sure there is no technical difficulty doing this since the old decks already work. I would gladly pay a (reasonable priced) DLC for that feature. As it stands, DoTP 2012 has no online games and the old decks aren't used anymore.
The problem I see with Aura Servants is not the heavy aura theme (I'm ok with that), but the deck doesn't feel like an Azorius deck at all. The Azorius Guild likes bureucracy and to create new rules, Aura Servants doesn't do any of these things. It just doesn't feel right from the flavor point of view.

Other problem is about balancing issues. Sepulchral Strength has almost no filler and some decks are crammed to the neck with filler cards. That is sure a big design flaw that is very hard to understand.

Grim Procession isn't much like Dark Heavens at all, which is why I don't like it. Dark Heavens had more sweepers, was more focused on stalling the early game and could do stupid fun things like blowing up lands with Desolation Angel. Grim Procession is pretty straightforward in comparison.
People keep hating on R/G but isn't it more themed on easy cheap but strong creatures with some having a drawback? Isn't that were Shivan Wurm comes in? It's also an old card so is it not designed in a time were its ability is thought of more as a drawback rather than to be used?
True it could be changed to work better now in new decks but I feel the main point of it was more of a drawback side rather than a useful side, so that there's a cheap and pretty powerful creature with a small drawback that could be useful with a few of the cards.
Though I'm not a fan of red so I can't say I like the deck much.

Eye kneed teh speelchequer bach!

I agree with just about evrythiing you wrote. I was just thinking about the overall perfomance of 2013 before I went to sleep and was sad. Here is where I come from first...


I started magic by referrnece of a friend. I played 2011 when I had free psn plus after that whole attack thing and was encouraged to buy 2012 after falling in love with the game. I bought my first paper cards  when Innastrad/Avacny series came intro and the fat boxes( I think that what people call them). At this time i reseach a little MAgic and found out alot of cool stuff about its storylines and plane walkers. This occured after I read the booklet that comes in those fat boxes and realize Magic actually had a story. I like 2012 because they had alot of the main core plain walkers.


When 2013 came I got exited bacasue it seemed like they were going to introduce a little bit of Magic story. We had cool intro and we have those brief backstories about the plainwalkers that came with the deck along with display of plainwalkercards. 


Sadly it ended there. Not only for the story part but the plainwalkers. Thats one of the biggest things from OP opening post. I want to see more plainwalkers introduce in the game. Sorin nor Ral Zarek was in here and there in my top four favorite along with Lilianna and JAce. I feel like the plainwalkers and stories are a big attaction to agic outside of the whole dueling part of it. THe story and plainwalkers are interesting. They bring the Magical feeling to Magic along with the creatures. When you play a card and know some of the story behind it it brings more meaning than just playing a card. Like Griselband for example, here when I play or see this card Lilianna and here rivarly with Garuck comes to my mind more so one of their previous encounter on Innistraud.


I feel like new people like I once were and even people that was here since 2011 are mssing out on that magical feeling. A friend yesterday didnt know Gideon nor Sorin when I ention them. Another friend who played since 2012 dodnt know who Karn was. I even forgot the white girl name that had a life gain deck in 2011. She's also seen in the loading screen when they sho soe of the main core plain walkers.
But where  is everyone else.,Wheres Serra,Tamiyo  and all the other guys?


To add to what already been said about the Decks by the OP, I also feel like alot of these decks have just random cards thrown in them without to much thought. It seems like the devs expect us to be wow'ed becacuse the cards are expensive in real life and alot of them have that little gold symbol on the right side indicating its rare. Even the some of the core decks have some rando stuff just slabbed in them.


I was dissappointed in Jace this year and wish he was Tarland and that soeone else took the face for the ill deck. Even though JAce work sometime, I feel he is more inconsitent  than other decks. There's so many cards that could of been put into this deck that would of made it far better. With Jace being one the strongest out of the plainwalkers his deck shouldn't be more inconsistent than others. Not saying make him OP, because every Plainwalker is beatable.


Like the Op said I want to see more decks in 2014   includin the 10 promtional thing that they did this time around, but give all the deck prootionals and not just the core. This is Magic, a card game with eons of Cards in paper/real world so theres no excuss. Heck 30-40 is a cutting hem some slack because their capable of more than that. Given that we pay little for this game its acceptable having 30ish. But 20ish decks and only four plain walkers in the game is pathetic. maybe if they put real thought into the decks I can settle for 25 decks,but the deck they do make are lackluster. Small amount of decks + alot of poor design choices=lazy.

I wish I look at the decklist of the 2 pack because I regret spending the money for such a crappy blue/green mediocer Red/white. Green/Blue deck with no real ramp and few counte.r that takes like to turn 10 play lol. What was the pooint of this deck. No Vampires nor werewloves dominant decks?


I think my friends are right when they say Dotp is more protional than an actual game devs care about. The start looks attractive to get people to buy it and go out to events to promote new paper theme. After that they let their 5 year old kids along with a roo full of monkeys takeover the game.


For some reason when Im dissatisfied with DOTP im also dissatified wit paper magic.  Maybe its just me but fro DOTP their lack of caring about communty just disgust me enough to stop playing DOTP and paper all together. Maybe because DOTP is still apartof the Magic what ever bad actions they show just bring down value to the business in whole for me. Maybe its just e but this is how I feel. When I break fro DOTP I also do from Paper Magic. When ever I come back to DOTP  I also do same for paper MAgic.


Right now im currently back but not sure how long till next break. Everything OP stated and the things  mention saddens me. Not sure if Ill will be supporting 2014. I wil be happy to pay 20-50 bucks( thats only one fat box or intro's) for 2014 if all of what I said and what was said by OP was improved in game. If that price is what it takes to see these improvements But right now I wont by it for 10 bucks ne more till I see improvement.


Sorry for rant. Had alot to say and been holding that sadness for a while. Had ore to say but for sake of thread ill end it there.   
 
I agree with some of the points. Mindstorms is definitely an endgame deck and if you don't get mana you are ****ed no doubt. Way too many 5 plus imo. But then you go asking for tons of decks. If they can't balance the ones they have what and the hell are they going to do with twice as many? The game would become insane.



I would still hold that, for the most part, the decks are all well balanced. We don't really have anything like Dragon's Roar and Beknighted from the 2012 environment.

And for not fixing bugs for shame for shame. Maybe they will fix those with the next expansion?



No, this is just a repeat of DotP 2012, where the community collected together a list of the bugs, and nothing got fixed until DotP 2013. There's a 99% chance they won't fix any of the bugs in 2013. We'll get the deck packs, and that's it. If there's bugs with the deck pack decks, oh well.

People keep hating on R/G but isn't it more themed on easy cheap but strong creatures with some having a drawback? Isn't that were Shivan Wurm comes in? It's also an old card so is it not designed in a time were its ability is thought of more as a drawback rather than to be used?



Shivan Wurm was printed in the same set as Flametongue Kavu, so the concept of using the Wurm to bounce and re-use cards with enters the battlefield effects was already well in place.

Duels of the Planeswalkers deck builds and analysis: http://megamaster125.angelfire.com/dotp

 

Another one of my websites: http://megamaster125.angelfire.com/rationalchristianity/

 

I am Blue/White

..."window.parent.tinyMCE.get('post_content').onLoad.dispatch();" contenteditable="true" />No, this is just a repeat of DotP 2012, where the community collected together a list of the bugs, and nothing got fixed until DotP 2013. There's a 99% chance they won't fix any of the bugs in 2013. We'll get the deck packs, and that's it. If there's bugs with the deck pack decks, oh well.


Indeed. If Trinity of Elements showed us anything it's how a decent decklist can operate like absolute trash when not properly tested (or fixed).
 
..."window.parent.tinyMCE.get('post_content').onLoad.dispatch();" contenteditable="true" />No, this is just a repeat of DotP 2012, where the community collected together a list of the bugs, and nothing got fixed until DotP 2013. There's a 99% chance they won't fix any of the bugs in 2013. We'll get the deck packs, and that's it. If there's bugs with the deck pack decks, oh well.


Indeed. If Trinity of Elements showed us anything it's how a decent decklist can operate like absolute trash when not properly tested (or fixed).
 



I wasn't even referring to that, but rather how things like Ghoulkeeper's Call to the Grave wouldn't get rid of things with shroud or protection from black.

Duels of the Planeswalkers deck builds and analysis: http://megamaster125.angelfire.com/dotp

 

Another one of my websites: http://megamaster125.angelfire.com/rationalchristianity/

 

I am Blue/White

Trinity of Elements would have been a fantastic deck with manual land tapping.
FWIW, I prefer Planescape over Archenemy.  More interactive.  You can get a game with randoms and not have to worry that you're going to fail hard because they don't know how to work together.

You're a lose cannon.

 

 

"I played 70 card decks before it was cool to play 70 card decks." -Random M:tG hipster

Trinity of Elements would have been a fantastic deck with manual land tapping.



It would have made it better, certainly. 

However, I think that deck was fundamentally flawed at a deeper level than lack of manual land tapping and effect resolution order allowed for.
FWIW, I prefer Planescape over Archenemy.  More interactive.  You can get a game with randoms and not have to worry that you're going to fail hard because they don't know how to work together.



Is this a joke?  Every time I've tried Planechase, it's 2 or 3 people who know each other and gang up on one other player at a time.

FWIW, I prefer Planescape over Archenemy.  More interactive.  You can get a game with randoms and not have to worry that you're going to fail hard because they don't know how to work together.



I'm still loving your auto-sig.  The recent addition of the Chancellor bit kills me.  

I loved that guy, hilarious 
FWIW, I prefer Planescape over Archenemy.  More interactive.  You can get a game with randoms and not have to worry that you're going to fail hard because they don't know how to work together.



Is this a joke?  Every time I've tried Planechase, it's 2 or 3 people who know each other and gang up on one other player at a time.



Nope, not a joke.  I sometimes play with a friend of mine.  If that's the case, I use common sense and direct threat to me to determine who I go after.  For instance; my friend was playing Jace.  I was the only person in the game with a 60 card deck, so I was the first person who would have gotten decked out of all 4.  My friend was my first target, he didn't die first, but he was my target.

You're a lose cannon.

 

 

"I played 70 card decks before it was cool to play 70 card decks." -Random M:tG hipster

As much as I'd really hope to be wrong here, I feel 2014 will have 2HG planechase just to spite us.... No Karstien I would not play if it did come out.
Avenger of Zendikar is not game... Got a question as to whether a card without shroud or hexproof is good? Answer is, dies to removal. "Control Slivers"
Me, I'm kind of hoping 2014 has EDH, but if it doesn't, I'd take Archenemy over Planechase please.

Wizards: If it isn't game design, we can't do it right. Frankly, we're kind of shaky on the game design sometimes too.

..."window.parent.tinyMCE.get('post_content').onLoad.dispatch();" contenteditable="true" />No, this is just a repeat of DotP 2012, where the community collected together a list of the bugs, and nothing got fixed until DotP 2013. There's a 99% chance they won't fix any of the bugs in 2013. We'll get the deck packs, and that's it. If there's bugs with the deck pack decks, oh well.


Indeed. If Trinity of Elements showed us anything it's how a decent decklist can operate like absolute trash when not properly tested (or fixed).
 



I wasn't even referring to that, but rather how things like Ghoulkeeper's Call to the Grave wouldn't get rid of things with shroud or protection from black.


Understood. I still feel it's relevent to your point though; Ghoulkeeper gave us a flawed card or two. Trinity gave us a deck that was flawed by the way it was programmed (EtB effects and "tap mountains first no matter what" made the deck simply not work). Neither deck was fixed obviously, but Trinity suffered far more than Ghoulkeeper.
Very true Splattercat.

Me, I'm kind of hoping 2014 has EDH, but if it doesn't, I'd take Archenemy over Planechase please.



I really don't want to see EDH in DotP, at all, and not just because I don't like EDH, but here's a variety of reasons aside from that why I don't want it.

1. EDH has an entirly different set of rules, and I'm not even talking about the deck building rules. I see glitches galore when it comes to implementing the special zone for the commander, the commander dealing damage to your opponent, the mana cost increase every time the commander is destroyed, and problems when the commander is hit with something that returns it to the library. Given DotP's track record, do you really think if a commander was counters with Hinder that it would go to the bottom of the deck, or improperly go back to the commander zone?

2. DotP is geared towards new players. I don't see having a radically different format from the standard being helpful to new players who are just learning the basic game.

3. The decks themselves. There are 2 main options under consideration of how commander decks would be implemented.
a. Have 2 entirly separate sets of decks, 1 set for your standard MtG gameplay/2HG/etc., and then have a set of commander decks, specifically for commander. While this may sound like a good idea at first, this idea will innevitably be flawed because either the regular decks or the commander decks will be too low in number and variety. The regular decks will get neglected in their design, or the commander decks will, or worse yet, both.

b. Give the regular decks enough unlocks so that you can build a 100 card commander deck with them. This is going to take a LOT of unlocks, especially when you factor in that regular decks are going to want some copies of the same card in their decks. 60 unlocks here would probably be the minimum needed. But wait, you'd want to have some deckbuilding variety in the commander decks, so you would need well over 100 distinct cards per deck, and somehow the regular format still needs to be balanced in all of this. Once again, the design focus will innevitably be split between the regular decks and the commander decks, and both are going to come out underwhelming.

I really don't want to see commander in DotP. Combine the above reasons with me just not liking commander in general, and I guarantee that I won't buy 2014 if it has commander in it.

IMO, the best way to implement commander in the DotP franchise is to have a game that exclusively focuses on commander and nothing else. I still wouldn't buy it, but from a design perspective, that seems to be the best choice.

Duels of the Planeswalkers deck builds and analysis: http://megamaster125.angelfire.com/dotp

 

Another one of my websites: http://megamaster125.angelfire.com/rationalchristianity/

 

I am Blue/White

Yeah, I was figuring sixty unlocks when I mentioned it. The fact that EDH has existed for years on MODO proves it can be done, so I have no worries on that account. The biggest obstacle so far as I'm concerned is having sixty unlocks and enough multiple copy cards to make good sixty card decks and singleton unlocks for EDH decks. Truth be told, though, I wouldn't mind fairly bad decks for EDH so long as it were possible to begin with. Then again, I'm horribly biased as EDH is by far my favourite format. Still, it seems the next logical progression if each DotP is to offer new formats; what else is there? Pauper? Would mean including a lot of cards considered chaff in sixty card decks. Tribal? That went over poorly in 2012. Rainbow Stairwell? Very strict deck construction rules, and all but requires nonbasic lands of kinds they previously had not implemented. Prismatic isn't even a pipe dream for years and years if ever.

Archenemy or EDH seem the obvious choices, and I'm fine with either so I win in all probability. 

Wizards: If it isn't game design, we can't do it right. Frankly, we're kind of shaky on the game design sometimes too.

The thing that I want is better balanced decks. Like someone else said; having decks that are packed to the brim with good cards like Sepulcheral Strenght is not cool when other decks get a bunch of crap cards and some cards can't even interact with other cards in the same deck. If a developer or Sean is reading this, this is what I mean: quick overview on SS; cheap removal, sweepers/mass removal, card draw, ramp, life loss, life gain, fatties, hexproof, sacrifice effects, tutor effects, tokens,"pump" cards, mill, discard effects, regenerate effects and several enchanments...come'on, who the heck is balancing this game????? Don't get me wrong, I am not so much complaining about how good SS but at how weak some other decks are by comparison. While I understand why some other decks don't get all of those capabilites it still bothers me that I feel other decks are being "held back" by comparison.


Also, I want Archenemy back. <3
bump.

Duels of the Planeswalkers deck builds and analysis: http://megamaster125.angelfire.com/dotp

 

Another one of my websites: http://megamaster125.angelfire.com/rationalchristianity/

 

I am Blue/White

Planechase is trash

I miss Archenemy Cry
The thing that I want is better balanced decks. Like someone else said; having decks that are packed to the brim with good cards like Sepulcheral Strenght is not cool when other decks get a bunch of crap cards and some cards can't even interact with other cards in the same deck. If a developer or Sean is reading this, this is what I mean: quick overview on SS; cheap removal, sweepers/mass removal, card draw, ramp, life loss, life gain, fatties, hexproof, sacrifice effects, tutor effects, tokens,"pump" cards, mill, discard effects, regenerate effects and several enchanments...come'on, who the heck is balancing this game????? Don't get me wrong, I am not so much complaining about how good SS but at how weak some other decks are by comparison. While I understand why some other decks don't get all of those capabilites it still bothers me that I feel other decks are being "held back" by comparison.



Exactly this.  So many of the powerful decks are still fresh, fun to play, and beatable, but then you have decks with glaring weaknesses or omissions that severely cripple them.  Look at how well OD does overall, despite an inability to remove artifacts or enchantments from the board.  If a deck is to have weaknesses, it should be strong enough in the other areas to compensate (like OD).

So, please, give us more decks along the lines of SS, OD, GG, BoF, CW...heck, even like MtW, RoI, AD, or similar decks from the past Duels games.

Also, if there is a choice between Planechase and Archenemy, Archenemy wins.  That random die roll takes WAY too long over the course of the game.  Hopefully, there will be a third, unique option for the new Duels though. 
Seriously, there are just glaring imbalances in this game. The fact people say 2012 was way worse just makes my want to puke. The counter heavy decks are just ridiculously OP in this game on a consistent basis and there is no doubt about it. I don't see a lot of the decks on steam lol or if they do play a weaker or slower one it is pretty rare. Not as many players sure but still. They really need to work on balancing 2014 a little better than this.

I mean, against Crosswinds and other decks I am running out of cards with Ajani on a consistent basis and I have tuned the deck and retuned it a bunch of times. Against others as well. I know the deck can be ace, more so in 2HG, but good lord the deck is garbage for me in FFA too much of the time. Or else it just takes waaaaay too long to win. Even with an artifact or whatever if you run out of cards you just sit and wait and hope that you popped your life up to an amount where you can get a clear card and maybe get some damage done. It rarely works against seasoned opponents.


Just to illustrate real quick:
2013's decks have a sort of "Rock Paper Scissors Lizard Spock" balance. Where each deck has a number of favourable matchups, Unfavourable matchups, and even matchups. No deck dies to every other deck and with few arguable examples, every deck is capable of beating every other deck even with unfavourable circumstances.

2012's decks had a "Pecking Order" balance. Realm of Illusion was the best deck and was in favour of beating every other deck in the game. Then Blood Hunger, which would roflstomp every deck except RoI (I think Beknighted may have replaced Blood Hunger though). Then another deck which would kill every deck except those two(/three) etc. Until you got down to, I think it was decided Apex Predators was the worst deck in the game, which would die to virtually every other deck.

So yeah, given the choice between "favourable/unfavourable" and a list of 19 decks wherein each deck could slaughter all the decks below it, 2013 is nigh-infinitely better.

Just to give you an idea of why people are so happy with the current iteration of balance between decks.
All I want to say here is: Archenemy at all costs! It is by far the most entertaining way to play against the AI (playing as the archenemy yourself, of course). When I'm playing a game against the AI, what I want is a game where I usually win but usually have to play well. I feel like I get this in a lot of Archenemy games. It's also good for unlocking, because although it isn't quicker that encounters it's more fun and, since you usually win, you usually unlock a card so don't get frustrated like you can playing 1v1. Also, you see more cards from your deck per game, making it good for learning the deck.
Funny to see all this love for Archenemy in the forums. I remember is was like a ghost town everytime I tried to find a game last year. Personally, I like Planechase more, but since 99% of my games are 1v1, not so much that I can say about it...

WotC doesn't care about flavor. Their forum is the only place where an ORC can kill a troll...

Lost around 120 posts in the forum migration

Post #1000 on Feb 02, 2013

Post #2000 on Sep 04, 2013

Seriously, there are just glaring imbalances in this game. The fact people say 2012 was way worse just makes my want to puke. The counter heavy decks are just ridiculously OP in this game on a consistent basis and there is no doubt about it. I don't see a lot of the decks on steam lol or if they do play a weaker or slower one it is pretty rare. Not as many players sure but still. They really need to work on balancing 2014 a little better than this.

I mean, against Crosswinds and other decks I am running out of cards with Ajani on a consistent basis and I have tuned the deck and retuned it a bunch of times. Against others as well. I know the deck can be ace, more so in 2HG, but good lord the deck is garbage for me in FFA too much of the time. Or else it just takes waaaaay too long to win. Even with an artifact or whatever if you run out of cards you just sit and wait and hope that you popped your life up to an amount where you can get a clear card and maybe get some damage done. It rarely works against seasoned opponents.



Wait a minute, what deck in this game is "counter heavy?" Crosswinds has about 4 counterspells, Dream Puppets and Mindstorms have 3. SaS has 2 that don't work properly. I don't think you know what a counter heavy deck is.

Funny to see all this love for Archenemy in the forums. I remember is was like a ghost town everytime I tried to find a game last year. Personally, I like Planechase more, but since 99% of my games are 1v1, not so much that I can say about it...



Most of the love for archenemy is coming from playing it against the AI to unlock cards, not playing it with 4 human players.

Duels of the Planeswalkers deck builds and analysis: http://megamaster125.angelfire.com/dotp

 

Another one of my websites: http://megamaster125.angelfire.com/rationalchristianity/

 

I am Blue/White

Seriously, there are just glaring imbalances in this game. The fact people say 2012 was way worse just makes my want to puke. The counter heavy decks are just ridiculously OP in this game on a consistent basis and there is no doubt about it. I don't see a lot of the decks on steam lol or if they do play a weaker or slower one it is pretty rare. Not as many players sure but still. They really need to work on balancing 2014 a little better than this.

I mean, against Crosswinds and other decks I am running out of cards with Ajani on a consistent basis and I have tuned the deck and retuned it a bunch of times. Against others as well. I know the deck can be ace, more so in 2HG, but good lord the deck is garbage for me in FFA too much of the time. Or else it just takes waaaaay too long to win. Even with an artifact or whatever if you run out of cards you just sit and wait and hope that you popped your life up to an amount where you can get a clear card and maybe get some damage done. It rarely works against seasoned opponents.



Wait a minute, what deck in this game is "counter heavy?" Crosswinds has about 4 counterspells, Dream Puppets and Mindstorms have 3. SaS has 2 that don't work properly. I don't think you know what a counter heavy deck is.

Funny to see all this love for Archenemy in the forums. I remember is was like a ghost town everytime I tried to find a game last year. Personally, I like Planechase more, but since 99% of my games are 1v1, not so much that I can say about it...



Most of the love for archenemy is coming from playing it against the AI to unlock cards, not playing it with 4 human players.



I know right, thoughts of wind laughs at the words 'counter heavy' in relation to any deck in this game...


EDIT: Just went over the list again....

4x Cancel
2x Negate
2x Remove Soul
2x Counterbore
2x Flashfreeze
1x Summoner's Bane
1x Put Away

Add those to 2 Evacuation, 2 Boomerang, 2 Unsummon and 2 Deluge and try to say crosswinds is counter heavy...

I am Blue/White
I am Blue/White
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Seriously, there are just glaring imbalances in this game. The fact people say 2012 was way worse just makes my want to puke. The counter heavy decks are just ridiculously OP in this game on a consistent basis and there is no doubt about it. I don't see a lot of the decks on steam lol or if they do play a weaker or slower one it is pretty rare. Not as many players sure but still. They really need to work on balancing 2014 a little better than this.

I mean, against Crosswinds and other decks I am running out of cards with Ajani on a consistent basis and I have tuned the deck and retuned it a bunch of times. Against others as well. I know the deck can be ace, more so in 2HG, but good lord the deck is garbage for me in FFA too much of the time. Or else it just takes waaaaay too long to win. Even with an artifact or whatever if you run out of cards you just sit and wait and hope that you popped your life up to an amount where you can get a clear card and maybe get some damage done. It rarely works against seasoned opponents.


Just to illustrate real quick:
2013's decks have a sort of "Rock Paper Scissors Lizard Spock" balance. Where each deck has a number of favourable matchups, Unfavourable matchups, and even matchups. No deck dies to every other deck and with few arguable examples, every deck is capable of beating every other deck even with unfavourable circumstances.

2012's decks had a "Pecking Order" balance. Realm of Illusion was the best deck and was in favour of beating every other deck in the game. Then Blood Hunger, which would roflstomp every deck except RoI (I think Beknighted may have replaced Blood Hunger though). Then another deck which would kill every deck except those two(/three) etc. Until you got down to, I think it was decided Apex Predators was the worst deck in the game, which would die to virtually every other deck.

So yeah, given the choice between "favourable/unfavourable" and a list of 19 decks wherein each deck could slaughter all the decks below it, 2013 is nigh-infinitely better.

Just to give you an idea of why people are so happy with the current iteration of balance between decks.



I don't feel this is the case, at least to the extent you have illustrated here.  I do think the best decks from 2012 were much better than the rest of the pack compared to the same relationship from 2013.  MtW, RoI, and BH could all compete with each other well, with DH and BK not too far behind.  Then there were plenty of competitive decks that weren't as good, then (and this is the real difference) a few really bad decks.  AP, DR, and ToE just weren't good at all, with a few others not too far off.  The worst ones in 2013 aren't nearly as bad as those decks, which is a good thing...but the best decks are still really good, and clearly better overall against the rest of the field, very much like in 2012.

Really, it's the middle-of-the-pack decks with glaring omissions and weaknesses that really put people off when it comes down to it, even if they don't realize it at first.  So many people complained about Beknighted because their favorite decks simply had no answers for a few of the cards.  The build was also fairly linear as well, but at least in the newer games, there are more cards to unlock, which has generally meant more build versatility.  The big thing, though, is that no one wants to feel helpless while playing, so each deck should have a better job of direct responses, or a stronger base to compensate.  Imagine if GK had access to just one or two cards like Black Sun's Zenith, and that Call to the Grave worked properly.  So I really hope we get more decks with those sorts of rock-paper-scissors(-lizard-Spock) relationships to the extent we have now, with more threats and answers from the pack, not less to water it all down.