1/28/2013 MM: "Storming the Gatecrash, 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.

So if RtR was the Spike set, and Gatecrash is the Johnny set, does that mean Dragon's Maze will be geared towards Timmies?

Oh, my inner Timmy is starting to swell with anticipation already!
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I gripe a lot about magic in these responses, but after the prerelease weekend, I think everyone at WotC needs a ton of praise. Gatecrash seems awesome. Thank you.

I was afraid Boros was going to be much better than Gruul, but I listened to you folks on this site, and I decided to try both out. To the player that hates playing aggro, they probably won't notice a difference; I noticed everything. Boros really did play much differently in combat that Gruul. I was stuffing my deck with small, evasive or battalion guys as much as I could for Boros, but found myself stuffing the Gruul deck with as many Bloodrush critters as possible, regardless of survivability. Boros mainly had a logjam at the 2 mana slot; Gruul had one at 3. Boros relied a lot on instants to keep guys alive in combat, Gruul typically just punched through damage on a tapped-out opponent. I enjoyed Boros, but absolutely loved Gruul. Fantastic!

I think the best moment was knowing that I was only 1 of 3 Gruul players in a Prerelease and the other players were cheering for us Gruul to see how far we could fight. Pretty far, apparently. I smashed through every other guild, up to the finals, where I met my Orzhov opponent. I smashed through him too, much faster than he was expecting to earn an undefeated record after 6 rounds. The store owner and judge confided in me afterward that they were rooting for the Gruul the entire tournament, and were very happy to see one of us pull it out in the end. When the store owner handed me the prize packs, I simply turned to the crowd of players and shouted "Meat and eggs! We eat!" This was met with thunderous cheers.

Each guild played exactly the way the players wanted (from what I gathered at my 2 events). My deck managed to win and I didn't even play a rare outside of the rubblehulk promo. This is what makes magic great, and why I am glad you tested everything to make sure the guilds played 'just right.'

Keep up the great work! Looking forward to the Dragon's Maze prerelease!
Why did you play up Merfolk so much when there only ended up being like 3 in the whole set? You made it seem like such a big deal that Merfolk had taken over Simic, and bam, it wasn't even really a thing. You guys pulled the same thing when you played up Wolfirs, Gryffs and Revenants in Avacyn.

As someone who cares a lot about tribal stuff and flavor, I'm really starting to not buy into the hype for new sets. I'm at the point where I doubt the Gateless rebels will even be relevant in the third set, even though half of GTC is building them up.

Also the lack of enchantments was really disappointing, after the original block had lots of great support and RtR had goodies like Ethereal Armor and Sphere of Safety. Holy Mantle is garbage.

The cycle of Land Auras is honestly just a waste of space. Barely any of them are usable in any deck. I know you guys design for limited a lot and all that, but cards -do not go away- after draft is over. It really sucks to be stuck with a pile of literally worthless cards no one will ever want to use. And I'm as hyper-casual as players get. 

The cycle of Land Auras is honestly just a waste of space. Barely any of them are usable in any deck. I know you guys design for limited a lot and all that, but cards -do not go away- after draft is over. It really sucks to be stuck with a pile of literally worthless cards no one will ever want to use. And I'm as hyper-casual as players get. 



Tin Street Market is cool because it represents the typical, overcrowded, overpriced bazaar that pops up in fantasy cities. Compare it to Underworld Connections, and you'll see where the real bargins are. The green one is a farmer's market. The white one is a pulpit. The blue one is a flying racetrack.

My point is, the cycle serves a creative purpose, to better represent the way 'city' themes impose themselves on the landscape. The cards aren't good because they don't have to be, and R&D decided to make the powerful cards somewhere else. Except for Underworld Connections, that one is pretty good.

I have no excuses for Contaminated Ground. It doesn't fit the flavor nearly as well as Chronic Flooding or TSA AgentsSecurity Blockade, or the rest.
Wow, Urban Evolution for that drew 2 instead of 3? That would be absolutely INSANE and I would love if it were printed! Urban Evolution as it is now I think can only be played in Omnidoor Thragfire

Also regarding haste granting cards, the only two I like are Fires of Yavimaya and Urabrask the Hidden, because they cleverly sidestep the redundancy of this effect. Especially Fires, I love its design.

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192884403 wrote:
surely one can't say complex conditional passive language is bad grammar ?
I think the problem with Rapid Hybridization is the same as with Swords to Plowshares and Path to Exile. It's not necessarily that the color can't do the effect (though I'd debate it), but that it's just way too efficient at it, which renders the drawback mostly meaningless. (Especially in Gatecrash where you're likely to be Hybridizing something that's been Bloodrushed, Ciphered, or heavily Evolved.)

Come join me at No Goblins Allowed


Because frankly, being here depresses me these days.

I really enjoyed the discussion on "milling" vs "grinding".  It makes a lot of sense to mix the two together, and I'm not sure it's something that I would ever have thought of it or even realized what Wizards has done here on my own.  Thanks for explicitly pointing it out.

I don't really like Psychic Strike and everything it implies, though.  I love me some counterspells, but even I like the idea that you have to commit to blue in order to get a hard counter.  Making hard counters splashable just means that more people will be playing hard counters, which will make more people complain about hard counters, which will make R&D nerf counterspells even more.  Boo, hiss.

Odric, Master Tactician: Woah that guy would be even more scary if only requiring 2 other creatures. I wonder what stats it had with that ability. I like how it needs a heavy commitment now.


Ogre Slumlord: No mention of Ratcatcher? I thought it was a conscious throwback.


Rapid Hybridization: Should be an aura. To better capture the flavor of polymorphing, you should be able to turn it back to it's original state by destroying the enchantment (both in the Magic meaning and magic meaning).

Thank you guys sooooooo much, for pushing Ooze Flux to print! Ever since I caught sight of it, I've been fooling around deck ideas, from Populating Oozes with sundering growths for those inevitable oblivion rings.... strangleroot geist, for the creature that undies forever... mikaeus, the unhallowed, to create huge splashy triggers for evolving wrath effects. I just can't decide which path I want to take with it! Maybe Primal Surge, feeding a gyre sage with evolving oozes. Seriously, Ooze Flux instantly became, pretty much my favorite rare out of the set. certain not the tournament-breaking high dollar rare, but still... An excellent piece that's just, plain FUN.
It felt weird to read a story about the design of Rapid Hybridization without any mention of Pongify.

You seem to want to believe so hard that Odric and Battalion are "original" or "genius", but they're just derivitive of the Lorwyn card Windbrisk Heights, which you seem to have forgotten in spite of how much serious play it saw.


GDS2 happened in 2011, Odric in 2012 (in spite of naming conventions), and the Boros Battalion in 2013.  Windbrisk Heights happened in 2007, and you really shouldn't have forgotten in.


I'm not saying it's not a good design, only that it's not new the way you seemed to think it is.

It actually was the mechanic of the Lorwyn Kithkin for a while in design. Windbrisk Heights is the remnant of that just like there are still remnants of Grind and Gruul Ragebeast in Gatecrash.
Does a card still subtly hose tokens when you bluntly state that it does? These articles are nice, but they can also kill the discovery you claim we all want.

As far as how the primordials get used, this is how it went for me on Saturday.
Player A: 'Look at this cool primordial I opened at the prerelease.' (puts primordial into deck)
Player B: 'Bribery your primordial.'
Me: 'Clone for a primordial.'
Player B and Me: 'That was fun.'            
About Rapid Hybridization:
I do admit that in retrospect I wish this card either exiled the creature or put it on the bottom of its owner's library. It is odd that it sets off death triggers and can be reanimated while the creature it turned into is still on the battlefield.

I think it is strange that the developers of that card forgot lessons that had already been learned. The most recent polymorphing cards, like Mass Polymorph and Chaos Warp, correctly avoid the destroy wording.
Thank you guys sooooooo much, for pushing Ooze Flux to print! Ever since I caught sight of it, I've been fooling around deck ideas, from Populating Oozes with sundering growths for those inevitable oblivion rings.... strangleroot geist, for the creature that undies forever... mikaeus, the unhallowed, to create huge splashy triggers for evolving wrath effects. I just can't decide which path I want to take with it! Maybe Primal Surge, feeding a gyre sage with evolving oozes. Seriously, Ooze Flux instantly became, pretty much my favorite rare out of the set. certain not the tournament-breaking high dollar rare, but still... An excellent piece that's just, plain FUN.



How would you feel about Mikaeus, the Unhallowed + Burning-Tree Emissary + some sac outlet? I think it sounds like lots of fun!

And that's only in !
Rules Adviser, casual tournament organizer, lover of EDH and MtG evangelist.
Does a card still subtly hose tokens when you bluntly state that it does?

Good question... rendered largely irrelevant by the fact they printed Illness in the Ranks in the same set.

So in fact, Homing Lightning's real purpose is as a foil to one particular card. I'll leave you to work out which one for yourself, though. Cool
It felt weird to read a story about the design of Rapid Hybridization without any mention of Pongify.



Ditto!!!
So if RtR was the Spike set, and Gatecrash is the Johnny set, does that mean Dragon's Maze will be geared towards Timmies?

Oh, my inner Timmy is starting to swell with anticipation already!

I think you msread the anecdote. ONE CYCLE in RTR was for spikes (the uncounterables).  And ONE CYCLE in Gatecrash started for johnnies before going timmy (the primordials).  While some sets may have a particular affinity given the flavor (e.g. Tribal for timmy and phyrexian for spikE), they don't randomly dedicate sets to one psychographic.

Tin Street Market is cool because it represents the typical, overcrowded, overpriced bazaar that pops up in fantasy cities. Compare it to Underworld Connections, and you'll see where the real bargins are. The green one is a farmer's market. The white one is a pulpit. The blue one is a flying racetrack.

My point is, the cycle serves a creative purpose, to better represent the way 'city' themes impose themselves on the landscape. The cards aren't good because they don't have to be, and R&D decided to make the powerful cards somewhere else. Except for Underworld Connections, that one is pretty good.

Your explanation is accurate, but I reject the implication that a card shouldn't be good AND flavorful.

Rapid Hybridization: Should be an aura. To better capture the flavor of polymorphing, you should be able to turn it back to it's original state by destroying the enchantment (both in the Magic meaning and magic meaning).

Well said.  I suppose the appropriate card might have been an aura with flash, unless they now think that's too advanced for the rarity?  Also, I too expected some Pongify-related backstory.

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.

How would you feel about Mikaeus, the Unhallowed + Burning-Tree Emissary + some sac outlet? I think it sounds like lots of fun!

And that's only in !

Unfortunately, Mikaeus only grants Undying to non-human creatures, and the Emissary is a human
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I don't have much against rapid hybridization other than the fact that it destroys **** rathing than exiling it. Even in this form, it feels very blue. The fact that you sometimes might want to do it to yourself makes sure that it isn't at all black.

The thing that is disconcerting, however, is Psychic Strike. Counterspelling is blue, blue blue. Not black blue. Maybe counterspelling unless they sacrifice something is black blue. Maybe counterspelling unless they discard some stuff is black blue. But a hard counterspell should not be black blue. Counterspells is one of the least-corrupted parts of the color pie. Don't mess it up. 

On the other hand, I absolutely love Ooze Flux. I already thought the evolve mechanic was cool, but Ooze Flux just makes it that much cooler. Awesomest card in the set!
Suprised no one mentioned this:

Stolen Identity works very well as a Dimir card but it has a secret second use. It's also good when splashed in a Selesnyan deck. Huh? Just a little taste of things to come.



DGM: Allied color guild arcs? Or maybe just a focus on encouraging 3C+ decks, like :G: Simic-flavored cards that synergize specifically with unleash.
Standard Pauper! (play it on MTGO)
Suprised no one mentioned this:

Stolen Identity works very well as a Dimir card but it has a secret second use. It's also good when splashed in a Selesnyan deck. Huh? Just a little taste of things to come.



DGM: Allied color guild arcs? Or maybe just a focus on encouraging 3C+ decks, like :G: Simic-flavored cards that synergize specifically with unleash.

Well Scavenge and Evolve and Unleash all have counter thingies. 

Populate works fairly well with battalion I guess, I'm gonna stick Dimir in here too. 

No idea about the others though. 
I love Gatecrash. I might have some niggles or worries about small parts of the set, I'm glad to see the designer's perspective. I can't wait for Dragon's Maze.

When the store owner handed me the prize packs, I simply turned to the crowd of players and shouted "Meat and eggs! We eat!" This was met with thunderous cheers. 

It's the little things that matter when you play Magic. :D
I think Blue's polymorphing should put creatures on the bottom of players' libraries rather than exiling or destroying them. Blue shouldn't be able to deal permanently with creatures.

For the rest, I actually disagree that there should've been an Ooze lord in Gatecrash. Rather, there should've been a Mutant lord. Mutants are far more Simicy than Oozes. Master Biomancer comes close, but it's not good enough.
76125763 wrote:
Zindaras' meta is like a fossil, ancient and its secrets yet to be uncovered. Only men of yore, long dead, knew of it.
Suprised no one mentioned this:

Stolen Identity works very well as a Dimir card but it has a secret second use. It's also good when splashed in a Selesnyan deck. Huh? Just a little taste of things to come.



DGM: Allied color guild arcs? Or maybe just a focus on encouraging 3C+ decks, like :G: Simic-flavored cards that synergize specifically with unleash.

Yeah, I spotted that. It's not completely clear whether he means the Selesnyan use is the "secret" second use or not. And if we assume he's suggesting the "taste of things to come" is referring to Dragon's Maze, it's not clear if he's meaning just "you'll want to draft 3- or 4-colour decks when drafts go DGM-GTC-RTR", or if he's meaning something more cryptic than that.

Now, clearly, almost all the RtR and Gatecrash guilds do work well with some off-colour cards from the other set:


  • Selesnya's populate also works well with Pack Rat, Call of the Nightwing and Mystic Genesis.

  • Both of the RtR +1/+1 counter guilds - Golgari and Rakdos - work very well with Simic cards like Sapphire Drake, Crowned Ceratok and Bioshift; in particular, better than they work with each other.

  • Azorius's detain helps you get through with encoded creatures or avoid losing your battalion. 

  • Izzet is less obvious, but most of the overload cards do the same.

    And on the Gatecrash side: 

  • Dimir's cipher loves Rogue's Passage, Soulsworn Spirit and Teleportal, among others, although only Teleportal is off-colour.

  • I don't see much in RtR that helps Orzhov; no obvious ways to recast spells repeatedly or provide the mana for extort, certainly nothing with as great synergy as cipher.

  • Boros loves the token-generation in Selesnya: Eyes in the Skies is awesome for battalion, and Rogue's Passage is good at keeping your battalion creature alive.

  • A Gruul bloodrush deck is going to make Jarad, Golgari Lich Lord pretty big pretty quickly (and at instant speed).

  • Simic evolvers are glad to see Selesnya making big creatures; RtR's kooky-sized vanillas like Catacomb Slug and Cobblebrute are great for triggering evolve, and Fathom Mage is overjoyed to have a bunch of scavenge counters dropped on her.


I don't think there's anything mysterious here, though. This is just block design: designing the two sets to work well together when they're drafted DGM-GTC-RTR. 

The only thing that makes me think there's something being hinted at in Mark's comment you quote is that it also reminds me of the way that the Dragon's Maze prerelease announcement tells us that the guilds will be paired with each other.
It's interesting to know Odric could have been a fairly decent card but was made far less appealing not for any sort of balance reason but simply because one developer didn't want it to step on the toes of stuff coming out 7 months later.
Selesnya's populate also works well with Pack Rat, Call of the Nightwing and Mystic Genesis.



You named some rares and a lame 1/1 flyer that Selesnya had no problem making. Miming Slime and Urbis Protector are the real gems for Populate in DGR drafts.

I don't see much in RtR that helps Orzhov; no obvious ways to recast spells repeatedly or provide the mana for extort, certainly nothing with as great synergy as cipher.



Faerie Impostor, Inaction Injunction, Treasured Find, Grisly Salvage, Cremate
Selesnya's populate also works well with Pack Rat, Call of the Nightwing and Mystic Genesis.



You named some rares and a lame 1/1 flyer that Selesnya had no problem making. Miming Slime and Urbis Protector are the real gems for Populate in DGR drafts.

Ah, yeah. At that point in the post I was still looking for off-colour help in particular, to fit with MaRo's hint. But it looks like I'd forgotten that point by the time I got to Boros, so I can understand why that didn't come across well.

The thing that is disconcerting, however, is Psychic Strike. Counterspelling is blue, blue blue. Not black blue. Maybe counterspelling unless they sacrifice something is black blue. Maybe counterspelling unless they discard some stuff is black blue. But a hard counterspell should not be black blue. Counterspells is one of the least-corrupted parts of the color pie. Don't mess it up.



Dimir is black blue.  Psychic Strike is a Dimir counterspell that also mills.  Dimir has been allowed to add black to cards that are typically blue as it is able to mill.

I do agree that in any other set that Psychic Strike would be blue.  Then again, so would Mind Grind and Glimpse the Unthinkable.  Black doesn't have much of anything that mills, but Dimir creates the exception.
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Dimir is black blue.  Psychic Strike is a Dimir counterspell that also mills.  Dimir has been allowed to add black to cards that are typically blue as it is able to mill.

I do agree that in any other set that Psychic Strike would be blue.  Then again, so would Mind Grind and Glimpse the Unthinkable.  Black doesn't have much of anything that mills, but Dimir creates the exception.



That is not the case. Black has gotten mill for a while. Often with blue required, but certainly not always.
Rules Adviser, casual tournament organizer, lover of EDH and MtG evangelist.


Dimir is black blue.  Psychic Strike is a Dimir counterspell that also mills.  Dimir has been allowed to add black to cards that are typically blue as it is able to mill.

I do agree that in any other set that Psychic Strike would be blue.  Then again, so would Mind Grind and Glimpse the Unthinkable.  Black doesn't have much of anything that mills, but Dimir creates the exception.



That is not the case. Black has gotten mill for a while. Often with blue required, but certainly not always.



I said much of anything not anything.  I am well aware that black has some mill, but compare the amount of black mill to blue mill and you will see a large difference.

And I don't see how dredge is mill.  Yes, it puts cards from your library into your graveyard, but that is simply the cost of bringing the card back.  Mill is about putting cards from the opponent's library to the graveyard, not as a cost of doing something else.

Yes, black will use cards in your library as a cost to fuel it's power, but black rarely makes an opponent mill.  That is the realm of blue with the exception of Dimir.
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I'm immensely looking forward to Dragon's Maze and M14, and the completely new metagame they will bring to Standard.
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Selesnya's populate also works well with Pack Rat, Call of the Nightwing and Mystic Genesis.



You named some rares and a lame 1/1 flyer that Selesnya had no problem making. Miming Slime and Urbis Protector are the real gems for Populate in DGR drafts.

Ah, yeah. At that point in the post I was still looking for off-colour help in particular, to fit with MaRo's hint. But it looks like I'd forgotten that point by the time I got to Boros, so I can understand why that didn't come across well.



Well, then there is Rapid Hybridization on your own creatures and Stolen Identity. And a few marginal cards, but Selesnya is just not that interested in populating 1/1s. Although if you're short on token makers, those late picks Beckon Apparition and Murder Investigation will come in handy.
I said much of anything not anything.  I am well aware that black has some mill, but compare the amount of black mill to blue mill and you will see a large difference.

Yes, black will use cards in your library as a cost to fuel it's power, but black rarely makes an opponent mill.  That is the realm of blue with the exception of Dimir.




You argue that Dimir created an exception that allowed there to be black mill, and that otherwise the various or mill cards in GTC would be mono-blue. The fact that there are already non-Dimir black and blue/black mill cards disproves that. It just ain't so.

In fact, you claimed that Mind Grind would be mono-blue if it wasn't Dimir, when the card that it most closely references in both name and effect, Mind Funeral, is already a , non-Dimir mill card. Your argument simply has no support in the cards.
Rules Adviser, casual tournament organizer, lover of EDH and MtG evangelist.
It is true there is more mill in blue than in black, but this is entirely irrelevant. There is colorless mill too for god's sake, and the blue mill often doesn't need any more than . In that case, they are not changing what would normally be a to a as a cheap trick, they are adding as a cost (rather than colorless) to require more dimir dedication and limit the amount of decks the card can be played in. There is a big difference. A counterspell like that would be, for example, counterflux. It doesn't hurt the color pie, but still supports the colors. 

There is simply no other modern non-time-spiral-block case of a color pie violation anywhere near the magnitude of psychic strike. The fact that Maro chooses to highlight this mistake as some sort of selling point rather than noticing it and not drawing attention to it (as it otherwise would have been fairly irrelevant in the grand scheme of things) is disheartening. 
Suprised no one mentioned this:

Stolen Identity works very well as a Dimir card but it has a secret second use. It's also good when splashed in a Selesnyan deck. Huh? Just a little taste of things to come.



DGM: Allied color guild arcs? Or maybe just a focus on encouraging 3C+ decks, like :G: Simic-flavored cards that synergize specifically with unleash.



Probably tied to the "Guild's secret ally" thingie the Prerelease is going to have. All's I know is that Stolen Identity on a Grove of the Guardian token is going to net you a LOT of damage that will eventually pummel your opponent to death. That, or there's Urbis Protector (not necessarily Selesnya, but tokens oriented), which gives you a constant stream of Angel tokens.

Note that, aside from the guilds that already care about +1/+1 counters (Simic, Rakdos), there's life matters (Selesnya, Orzhov), graveyard matters (Dimir, Golgari), combat matters (Azorius, Boros) and the last pair out, "spell effects" (Izzet and Gruul), in which the two guilds seem to align on a strong thematic axis. Of them, only Simic/Rakdos don't share a color; if, instead, we align Simic with Golgari, we get Dimir with Rakdos, which sadly does not share much of an axis of play: Rakdos wants each of its cards to be a grenade, thrown recklessly and with much glee, while Dimir invests heavily in the arrangement of its cards, trying to sculpt a perfect "courier" to bring the "message" or deliver the "task."
"Possibilities abound, too numerous to count." "Innocent, unbiased observation is a myth." --- P.B. Medawar (1969) "Ever since man first left his cave and met a stranger with a different language and a new way of looking at things, the human race has had a dream: to kill him, so we don't have to learn his language or his new way of looking at things." --- Zapp Brannigan (Beast With a Billion Backs)
There is simply no other modern non-time-spiral-block case of a color pie violation anywhere near the magnitude of psychic strike. The fact that Maro chooses to highlight this mistake as some sort of selling point rather than noticing it and not drawing attention to it (as it otherwise would have been fairly irrelevant in the grand scheme of things) is disheartening. 



MaRo is saying they're trying out a change to the color pie. So this is not a color pie violation. 

Why is it so important to you that counterspelling is heavy blue?

Probably tied to the "Guild's secret ally" thingie the Prerelease is going to have.



Not just the prerelease. Once we are drafting DGR, it'll be quite hard to draft 1-guild decks, as that will always result in 1 pack lacking multicolor goodies. Although we should be on the lookout the coming months for any RtR guilds that are draftable in Gatecrash. Boros for example was very draftable in RtR, so in DGR it will be perfectly possible to draft straight Boros.
There is simply no other modern non-time-spiral-block case of a color pie violation anywhere near the magnitude of psychic strike. The fact that Maro chooses to highlight this mistake as some sort of selling point rather than noticing it and not drawing attention to it (as it otherwise would have been fairly irrelevant in the grand scheme of things) is disheartening. 



MaRo is saying they're trying out a change to the color pie. So this is not a color pie violation. 

Why is it so important to you that counterspelling is heavy blue?



He is making waaay too much of flat counters without in its cost, and picking on just this one card is silly. Just look at the number of flat counters in the Block so far: here

Cancel - [/m] />[]onefl[/] - [m] (qualified)
Dimir Charm - (qualified)
Dispel - (qualified)
Essence Backlash - (additional effect)
Fall of the Gavel - (additional effect)
Mystic Genesis - (additional effect)
Psychic Strike - (additional effect)
Scatter Arc - (qualified, additional effect)

Every Blue Guild got a flat counter with an additional effect. Every one, and only two had in their costs; Izzet got two, Dimir got it on a Charm. Note that "flat counter" is interpreted here as "counter target [qualifier] spell [with qualifier]" without the option of an "out," such as "unless." With just the statement, "counter target spell" and Full Stop, well ... every guild still got one of those. Counterflux wouldn't count on this additional criterion, as you cannot counter your own spells, and that detracts from it's "Counter target spell." wording that some may favor. So ... that's a lot of "flat counters."
"Possibilities abound, too numerous to count." "Innocent, unbiased observation is a myth." --- P.B. Medawar (1969) "Ever since man first left his cave and met a stranger with a different language and a new way of looking at things, the human race has had a dream: to kill him, so we don't have to learn his language or his new way of looking at things." --- Zapp Brannigan (Beast With a Billion Backs)
It's fine.
There is simply no other modern non-time-spiral-block case of a color pie violation anywhere near the magnitude of psychic strike. The fact that Maro chooses to highlight this mistake as some sort of selling point rather than noticing it and not drawing attention to it (as it otherwise would have been fairly irrelevant in the grand scheme of things) is disheartening. 



MaRo is saying they're trying out a change to the color pie. So this is not a color pie violation. 

Why is it so important to you that counterspelling is heavy blue?



He is making waaay too much of flat counters without in its cost, and picking on just this one card is silly. Just look at the number of flat counters in the Block so far: here

Cancel - [/m] />[]onefl[/] - [m] (qualified)
Dimir Charm - (qualified)
Dispel - (qualified)
Essence Backlash - (additional effect)
Fall of the Gavel - (additional effect)
Mystic Genesis - (additional effect)
Psychic Strike - (additional effect)
Scatter Arc - (qualified, additional effect)

Every Blue Guild got a flat counter with an additional effect. Every one, and only two had in their costs; Izzet got two, Dimir got it on a Charm. Note that "flat counter" is interpreted here as "counter target [qualifier] spell [with qualifier]" without the option of an "out," such as "unless." With just the statement, "counter target spell" and Full Stop, well ... every guild still got one of those. Counterflux wouldn't count on this additional criterion, as you cannot counter your own spells, and that detracts from it's "Counter target spell." wording that some may favor. So ... that's a lot of "flat counters."



The rule was that unconditional counters had to have UU in their mana cost. Of the cards that you posted, most have conditions or have UU in the mana cost. The ONLY exceptions are Psychic Strike and Fall of the Gavel. The second one has been discussed on his tumblr, maybe not on the main site.

Remove Soul, Flash Counter, etc have always counted as a conditional counterspell
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