1/7/2013 MM: "Gatecrashing the Party, Part 2"

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This thread is for discussion of this week's Making Magic, which goes live Monday morning on magicthegathering.com.
Hooooooooooooooooooooooly crap I LOVE Mind Grind.

As a Dimir fan, I was very worried about what you guys would come up with for the Dimir mechanic, and I thought I would hate it if it was anything that didn't mill. But Cipher is super interesting and awesome and you even kept a lot of mill cards for Dimir, which is like, best of both worlds for me. Thanks for that.

Also, kind of unrelated but I wish you reprinted Glimpse the Unthinkable in Gatecrash. Its price tag is way too absurd for somoene that just wants to use it in a casual modern deck.

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

192884403 wrote:
surely one can't say complex conditional passive language is bad grammar ?
I've long believed that haunt could still work well if the ETB/Death trigger idea was dropped in favor of aura-like effects that would feel like the creature was actually being haunted. Heck, it's a resonant enough idea that I wouldn't be surprised to see it in a Core Set some day.

Come join me at No Goblins Allowed


Because frankly, being here depresses me these days.

idk how hard it would be rules wise but i think it would be cool to have enchantments, instants, ect. say cardname tramples, flies, deathtouches? idk could save some space getting rid of gains and just sounds cooler reading.
Frankly, I don't like Cipher, for one specific reason:  In a guild, or at least, colour combination that is one of the LEAST focused on creatures and attacking, you gave us a mechanic that requires dealing combat damage to work.  It feels insulting, that a spell and library focused guild needs to run creatures AND hit players with them to be able to have its mechanic actually do anything, aside from exile its spells.  Bah.
Cipher is terrible. :/ I would prefer the spells go into my graveyard so I can use snapcaster on them rather than well... Attack with snapcaster (prolly getting it killed) in order to use it again. UB has almost no focus on creatures. And unless something changes that in gatecrash I feel as if the point of playing that color combo was missed.
Blue and Black may have the least amount of creatures, but let me ask you this.

What color(s) have the most "unblockable" creatures?
IMAGE(http://pwp.wizards.com/1205820039/Scorecards/Landscape.png)
Frankly, I don't like Cipher, for one specific reason:  In a guild, or at least, colour combination that is one of the LEAST focused on creatures and attacking, you gave us a mechanic that requires dealing combat damage to work.  It feels insulting, that a spell and library focused guild needs to run creatures AND hit players with them to be able to have its mechanic actually do anything, aside from exile its spells.  Bah.


Insulting? This is confusing. To whom, exactly, is it insulting? Did WotC do it just to annoy you personally, or someone else? Do the cards have feelings?
My first reaction is disappointment. Disappointment that it isn't anywhere near as good as Glimpse the Unthinkable (goo.gl/JFlti). I was really hoping for a Dimir card that was as valuable and Glimpse, but it looks like we're (probably) out of luck.

I also don't understand how this card can be so much worse than Mind Funeral(goo.gl/4ehhJ). Mind Funeral was printed just a few short years ago at uncommon level and has a ton more value. Color me confused with Mind Grind. 

Rosewater says he likes the idea of building tension through "milling a random amount of cards." He says that he "liked the idea that each time you milled the opponent, there would be some drama." And while I agree that it was/is a lot of fun to hit an opponent with a Trepanation Blade (goo.gl/rj5VF), it has never exactly been a competitive mechanic.

Magic Players like to be able to count on the value of the cards they play. Especially cards with (X) costs. Sphinx's Revelation or Rakdos's Return, for instance, have some amount of chance involved with what you pay for them, but there is always an upside you can count on. Mind Grind has a lot more ambiguity involved. Magic has enough chance involved as it is, players like to be able to minimize chance as much as possible when deck building.

Lastly, lets consider how much you'd have to pay in order for Mind Grind to be at least as good as Mind Funeral or Glimpse the Unthinkable. Glimpse guarantees a mill of 10. In a deck playing 24 land, Mind Funeral drops an average of 9-10 cards before it hits it's forth land. That means that, in order for Mind Grind to have similar value, you'd have to pay six mana right out of the gate.   

Six. Mana. Compared to the two mana drop Glimpse or the three mana Funeral?

Color me confused. 

I might be missing something. Anyone think of a way Mind Grind could be better than I'm seeing at first glance?
I understand that it's not as great as Glimpse or Mind Funeral for duels, but it's pretty obvious how this shines in multiplayer.  If you have two opponents and cast with X = 4, that's the equivalent of casting two Mind Funeral directed at the two different opponents.  As the number of players increases, the more absurd this card gets.

My EDH decks:

Erebos ()

Damia ()

Ghave ()

Sliver Overlord ()

Multiplayer is definitely a valid point. Mind Grind is pretty cool in that type of setting.
I like cipher, but I wonder why the card text uses the word encode, and MaRo's article uses graft to sort of describe the same thing. Too many verbs! Encode should have been the name of the keyword.
"One of the cards I designed was a creature that allowed you to imprint an instant or sorcery from your hand. Then whenever the creature dealt combat damage, the imprinted spell would go off. I don't remember why that card didn't make it to print but I've always liked the design."

I'm pretty sure the card you're thinking of did see print, and it's called Spellbinder.
I like cipher, but I wonder why the card text uses the word encode, and MaRo's article uses graft to sort of describe the same thing. Too many verbs! Encode should have been the name of the keyword.



Agreed. Not only does Cipher not fit as the title (the word is defined as performing an encryption/decryption which isn't what happens here) Encode is actually used to tell players what the spell does. 

But eh. My dislike of this mechanic has more to do with the added value it has: U/B players can re-cast their spells for free and historically, when blue has had a free spell mechanic, bad things have happened to the game.

The W/R guild seems very, very weak.  
Frankly, I don't like Cipher, for one specific reason:  In a guild, or at least, colour combination that is one of the LEAST focused on creatures and attacking, you gave us a mechanic that requires dealing combat damage to work.  It feels insulting, that a spell and library focused guild needs to run creatures AND hit players with them to be able to have its mechanic actually do anything, aside from exile its spells.  Bah.



Cipher is terrible. :/ I would prefer the spells go into my graveyard so I can use snapcaster on them rather than well... Attack with snapcaster (prolly getting it killed) in order to use it again. UB has almost no focus on creatures. And unless something changes that in gatecrash I feel as if the point of playing that color combo was missed.



Cipher was made for U/B in Limited, which is all about (evasive) creatures.
Hey, I recognize that "Veteran Spearman" card!  Smile

I will be overjoyed if it actually gets printed in Gatecrash.

 

Goblin Artisans
a Magic: the Gathering design blog
My first reaction is disappointment. Disappointment that it isn't anywhere near as good as Glimpse the Unthinkable (goo.gl/JFlti). I was really hoping for a Dimir card that was as valuable and Glimpse, but it looks like we're (probably) out of luck.

I also don't understand how this card can be so much worse than Mind Funeral(goo.gl/4ehhJ). Mind Funeral was printed just a few short years ago at uncommon level and has a ton more value. Color me confused with Mind Grind. 

Rosewater says he likes the idea of building tension through "milling a random amount of cards." He says that he "liked the idea that each time you milled the opponent, there would be some drama." And while I agree that it was/is a lot of fun to hit an opponent with a Trepanation Blade (goo.gl/rj5VF), it has never exactly been a competitive mechanic.

Magic Players like to be able to count on the value of the cards they play. Especially cards with (X) costs. Sphinx's Revelation or Rakdos's Return, for instance, have some amount of chance involved with what you pay for them, but there is always an upside you can count on. Mind Grind has a lot more ambiguity involved. Magic has enough chance involved as it is, players like to be able to minimize chance as much as possible when deck building.

Lastly, lets consider how much you'd have to pay in order for Mind Grind to be at least as good as Mind Funeral or Glimpse the Unthinkable. Glimpse guarantees a mill of 10. In a deck playing 24 land, Mind Funeral drops an average of 9-10 cards before it hits it's forth land. That means that, in order for Mind Grind to have similar value, you'd have to pay six mana right out of the gate.   

Six. Mana. Compared to the two mana drop Glimpse or the three mana Funeral?

Color me confused. 

I might be missing something. Anyone think of a way Mind Grind could be better than I'm seeing at first glance?



Your statement is almost like comparing Blaze to Lightning Bolt.  X spells are not very good at low x values because, as you have pointed out, there are static cost cards that can do the same job for way less mana.  The value of X spells is that their value increases for every single mana you put in it.  For this card, the value increases greatly for each mana spent on X because each X represents a land that your opponent will no longer have and it removes everything in between.  Also the longer the game goes, the more mana your opponent has out means there are less lands in the deck.

You used X = 4 which is the exact same as mind funeral.  However, put on one or two extra mana and you can end up with a card that mills for nearly twice the amount depending on the concentration of lands.

And of course, this card is made for multiplayer as you have already acknowledged.
IMAGE(http://pwp.wizards.com/1205820039/Scorecards/Landscape.png)
I'd like to point out that most of the arguments made against Mind Grind would apply to Rakdos's Return and Sphinx's Revelation, too. Yet we know those two cards are excellent. I personally expected Sphinx's Revelation to be a bit too slow - after all, for 5 mana it's like playing both parts of Think Twice at once, or an expensive Inspiration - and yet it's still not *bad*. In a dedicated mill strategy, the same will be true in the early game: if you have no other worthwhile plays, paying 5 for this will likely mill 6-9 cards, which is nothing special, but *does* advance your gameplan...enough that when you cast it for 10+ (see: Sphinx's Revelation drawing 7+) that early first use may well prove decisive.

Now, obviously, Sphinx's Revelation has more practical use, and clearly fits in a strategy, whereas Mind Grind perhaps does not. *But* that means the argument against Mind Grind is the viability of the strategy, *not* its casting cost.

What's really too bad about this card is that you can't hit yourself with an early X=3 and try to mill some Dream Twists and Increasing Confusions for value. :P
I think a better mechanic for dimir would be something around a blackmail theme.

For example

Blackmail - You may choose to have CARDNAME deal no damage in combat. If you do, do X

where X can be forcing your opponent to discard cards, sacrifice creatures, mill cards, or other underhanded things.

My first reaction is disappointment. Disappointment that it isn't anywhere near as good as Glimpse the Unthinkable (goo.gl/JFlti). I was really hoping for a Dimir card that was as valuable and Glimpse, but it looks like we're (probably) out of luck.


Just so you don't make life hard on yourself, you should know these forums have an autocard feature.  Just surruond the card name in "c" tags like this:


Glimpse the Unthinkable


and you get Glimpse the Unthinkable.

If you're on MTGO check out the Free Events via PDCMagic and Gatherling.

Other games you should try:
DC Universe Online - action-based MMO.  Free to play.  Surprisingly well-designed combat and classes.

Planetside 2 - Free to play MMO-meets-FPS and the first shooter I've liked in ages.
Simunomics - Free-to-play economy simulation game.

I think a better mechanic for dimir would be something around a blackmail theme.

For example

Blackmail - You may choose to have CARDNAME deal no damage in combat. If you do, do X

where X can be forcing your opponent to discard cards, sacrifice creatures, mill cards, or other underhanded things.




The unofficial name for abilities like that is "Saboteur", although it includes both negatives and positives: Thieving Magpie and Hypnotic Specter.


But they ditched the no-damage rider back since the days of Ophidan.  Some nonsense about how "choices" and "options" aren't really synonyms and players buying more packs if the card just does both.

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.

The thing about this is that instead of x increasing linearly (every addition is one more) every addition could be for around 4. thats good.