Discussing MaRo's Mana System podcast, and the mana system in general

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So MaRo's most recent Drive To Work podcast (media.wizards.com/podcasts/magic/driveto...) is about the ever-controversial mana system... I have some comments about his podcast, and figured I'd start a conversation.

Overall, I think he makes some good and valid points. So I'm not going to say that he's fundamentally 100% wrong. But I do have some issues to bring up:
(1) He tries to have it both ways on a few points. In particularly, he both says (paraphrasing) "it's so easy to blame your losses on the mana system, when really you need to learn that your losses are your own fault" and "the great thing about the mana system is that it means that you have a chance of beating Jon Finkel". Thing is, those can't both be true statements. Either there are some non-zero number of games where the luck of the mana is in fact the overwhelmingly determining factor in the outcome of the game, or in fact the mana system will NOT ever let a beginning or mediocre player beat John Finkel.
(2) He makes an analogy between a game of magic in which you're mana screwed and his experience working on a float in college, where they didn't have many resources, but they had a great time anyhow, and then the next year they had plenty of resources, and the charm was gone. This is a ridiculous, and quite frankly patronizing, analogy. I've got a better one for you, Maro: so you're working on this float. You're super excited by it, you and your friends in Lambda Lambda Lambda put a lot of effort into it, you really think everyone's going to like it. And you're really really competitive, and the float-building is part of a competition, and you really want to beat the Alpha Betas. So the day of the parade comes along, and by random chance the Alpha Betas get stuck at the beginning of the parade and you get stuck at the end of the parade. And after the front of parade has gone past the judges but before the end of the parade has, there's a sudden rainstorm that comes up out of nowhere and it totally drenches your float, and then it gets stuck in the mud and parts of it break off while you're trying to get it out, and then you lose the competition and no one ever even gets to see your beautiful float at all, and all that effort was totally wasted.
(3) In general, I think a lot of what he's talking about makes good sense, and applies well to games with mild mana screw. That is, if I draw my 4th land, I'm going wrath. That's plan A, and it's nice and easy. If I don't draw it, then I have to make a tough choice... do I play boros reckoner without mana to give it first strike? Do I flashback think twice main phase and leave myself tapped out? Do I say go with mana up to cast azorius charm and then think twice end step? Etc. Etc. That's a situation where the variability of drawing a land or not leads to interesting decisions... but when people talk about the games they got mana screwed they aren't talking about that game, they're talking about the game where they kept 2 land on the draw and discarded 5 times in a row.
(4) In general, I think my biggest issue is not so much the position he stakes out but the absolute way he stakes it out. He could say "hey, the mana system is great, and it does all these wonderful things for the game (and he does make a good argument along those lines), but there are also some number of games that are just utterly miserable, and it's an unavoidable drawback. So yes, there are some truly awfully miserable games of Magic due to the mana system, but the good far outweighs the bad". And in fact, he very briefly gives that position some lip service, and talks about mechanics that help smooth out mana, but then he backs off from that pretty quickly. To talk to him, you'd think that the mana system was just awesome in 99.99% of games and only in super-rare corner cases is it anything less than awesome, and only whiners who don't really see the MaRo-preached-gospel ever complain about it.


Anyhow, this also seems like a good place for some general musings on the topic of the mana system...


So, is mana screw a good thing? Well, I think the key thought experiment is this: pretend that you're one of the programmers for MTGO, and you find the code that shuffles decks, and you modify it so that any time it shuffles a deck, it actually shuffles it twice, and chooses whichever shuffling has more evenly-distributed lands. Then you stick this code into the live MTGO servers, and you don't tell anyone that you did this and no one notices for a while. So, during the time that your code is running live, is MTGO a more fun game, a less fun game, or the same? Remember, nothing here is guaranteeing anything. You can still miss any particularly land drop. You can still get flooded. But everything is pulled towards the norm... so mana screw and mana flood are less common, and extreme cases are MUCH less common. To me, this would inarguably be a better, more fun game. You can certainly imagine an option on mtgo which optionally turned this feature on, but it would only apply if all players had selected it ahead of time, and you'd never actually know of it was on... I would 100% select that without a second thought.


Another thought which I haven't generally seen discussed is that the impact of mana screw is different in different formats. In particular, I think it's at its absolute worst in limited (which happens to be the only format I play). There are two main reasons for this:
(1) A lot of the factors that alleviate mana screw, or allow better players to make better decisions about how to deal with it, aren't present. In constructed, a better player will build a better mana base because she'll better know how to take advantage of the avilable dual lands, farseeks, etc. In limited, a better player will have a better idea of how highly to draft gates and other fixers, but there's much less control there. In addition, constructed decks are much more uniform and consistent than limited decks. So if your draw is a bunch of good cards but not quite enough lands to cast them dependably, you can mulligan that in a constructed deck knowing that you'll likely draw equally good cards with better lands. In limited, you only have 3 bombs in your deck, so if your draw is 3 bombs, 2 decent cards and only 2 lands, the math dictates that it's probably correct to keep that hand because the upside is so high. So it's more often correct to keep a hand where there's this huge variance based on whether or not you hit your land draws.
(2) Losing with a constructed deck means that you don't get to play it again... until the next tournament. Losing with a limited deck means that you don't get to play it again... ever. So when you finally open Domri Rade and build what seems like a super-awesome deck, and then you just don't draw lands and lose in round 1 of the 8-4, there's a level of frustration there that isn't present in a constructed format.


So, what, if anything, do I wish were different? Well, as mentioned above, I wish MaRo's attitude were closer to "yeah, mana screw really sucks, but it's a necessary side effect of an awesome mana system" rather than "what, you think mana screw is bad? You are so foolish and wrong, it really makes it better, you don't know what you're talking about". As for actually making changes to alleviate the issue, there are a few possibilities I can see exploring:
(1) As mentioned above, there are some MTGO-specific things involving actually changing how the shuffler works that I don't think are ridiculous. In fact, I think it's a close-to-all-upside solution on a theoretical level, but doing something that only applies in the digital realm is a pretty big and potentially dangerous step
(2) Another potentially area of discussion is clearly the mulligan rule. Real old-timers remember the old mulligan rule, which was that if you had zero lands or all lands, you could reveal your hand and then just shuffle and draw a new seven. (It's been a long time but I _think_ that you were just stuck with your second seven no matter what.) An obvious and generally reasonable idea is to just have both mulligan rules. You draw your first 7 cards. If you have all lands or all spells, you reveal them and shuffle and draw again. Now you've used your only all-land-or-all-spell mulligan and so you are back in "normal" mulligan land. Alternatively you draw your first 7 and just don't like it, so you draw 6, and this 6 is all lands or all spells. Well, now you reveal them, and draw a different 6, etc. You get only one all-land-or-all-spell mulligan, but you can use it at any number of cards during the normal mulligan process. (There are many other possible similar possibilities.) The generally response to suggestions like this is that this rule could be abused by combo decks. And that's a reasonable response. That said, that might not actually be that big a problem. So it makes combo decks in Legacy or Modern 5% or 10% better? Well, decks of various sorts always go up and down in power, and people adjust by sideboarding, and sometimes cards get banned. My point is not "this idea is so awesome that we should just do it and screw the impact it has", my point is that if we came up with a rule that made magic X% better across the board, and it also makes combo decks Y% more powerful, the game as a whole might end up better with that rule in place.
(3) I think my most actually practical/likely suggestion has to do with something else that often comes into play when mana screw is occurring, which is the discard step. The simplest version would be something like, whenever you discard one or more cards in your discard step, you can also then shuffle any number of other cards from your hand into your library and draw that many cards. Quite possibly there would have to be a clause saying you could only do this if you played no lands or spells during your turn. There are a lot of possible knobs on this rule... maybe you can only do up to 2 or 3 cards this way, maybe you exile the cards instead of shuffling them, etc. It could also work more like Scrabble (skip your entire turn, but get to exchange any number of cards). It could also be a version of a proposal people frequently have, which is to let you discard a card to tutor for a basic land card, but you can only do it during your discard step and only if you've done nothing this turn. The two main problems I can see with such a rule are (a) keeping it from being abusable, and (b) it's very nonelegant to just have this somewhat complicated rule with a bunch of restrictions on it stuck into the otherwise elegant rules of magic. I don't necessarily think either of those can not be overcome, and I think it's a discussion worth having.
(4) Finally, MaRo mentioned the DuelMasters version of the mana system, which is something that a lot of people have proposed for Magic, and in fact versions of it have been played at many a kitchen table over the years. MaRo quite clearly states that this mana system is far worse. He might be right. But I'd like to see it tried... someone should run a medium sized or large clearly-non-sanctioned tournament with that rule in effect and see what happens. Maybe it would be miserable and lame. And if so, then, hey, it actually HAPPENED and we can all look at it and say "huh, I guess that's no fun after all". But I would sure as hell pay money to play in a sealed deck or draft tournament with some version of that rule in effect. I think it would be a blast. And Magic could certainly survive the minor confusion that would ensue from a particular rule variation being occasionally used in clearly and distinctly marked events. Obivously WOTC would never touch this with a 10-foot pole, but it could easily happen entirely without them. (If there are Momir queues on MTGO, there could also be special draft queues where everyone always gets the Dakkon avatar in play, which is effectively this rule. I would certainly play in such a queue to see what it was like.)



Anyhow, sorry for the big wall of text, I hope people found it interesting, and I'm curious to hear your responses.
...So is your argument that Mana Screw is good/bad (<--- note="" that="" i="" m="" not="" actually="" sure="" which="" of="" the="" two="" sides="" you="" re="" taking="" or="" is="" your="" argument="" em="">Maro's attitude is bad?

The former is an D&DT question which has been discussed to death by lots of other people: the end result of that discussion is "tweaking the current system of resource management risks severe degeneration of the metagame" and "Magic is too entrenched to switch to a different system of resource management, regardless of its degree of superiority relative to the current system".

The latter is not an D&DT question.

To address a minor point made in the middle (your thought experiment of a tweak to the MTGO shuffler), I'll point out that an algorithm which preferentially selects certain arrangements of cards over others is, by definition, not random. Not only are you perhaps unaware of the firestorm of choas and bad PR which would certainly result were it to become known that the MTGO was ever even the slightest bit non-random, but the rules of Magic also forbid non-random shuffles.
103.1. At the start of a game, each player shuffles his or her deck so that the cards are in a random order.


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

Level 1 Judge as of 09/26/2013

Zammm = Batman

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

...So is your argument that Mana Screw is good/bad (<--- note="" that="" i="" m="" not="" actually="" sure="" which="" of="" the="" two="" sides="" you="" re="" taking="" or="" is="" your="" argument="" em="">Maro's attitude is bad?

The former is an D&DT question which has been discussed to death by lots of other people: the end result of that discussion is "tweaking the current system of resource management risks severe degeneration of the metagame" and "Magic is too entrenched to switch to a different system of resource management, regardless of its degree of superiority relative to the current system".


My argument is that mana SCREW, at least extreme mana screw (obviously debatable where the line is) is bad, and bad for the game, even if it's part of the mana system, which is good for the game.


To address a minor point made in the middle (your thought experiment of a tweak to the MTGO shuffler), I'll point out that an algorithm which preferentially selects certain arrangements of cards over others is, by definition, not random. Not only are you perhaps unaware of the firestorm of choas and bad PR which would certainly result were it to become known that the MTGO was ever even the slightest bit non-random, but the rules of Magic also forbid non-random shuffles.
103.1. At the start of a game, each player shuffles his or her deck so that the cards are in a random order.




Yes, well I'm clearly not actually real-world proposing that someone do exactly what I said, particularly in secret. That said, I do maintain that if something like that were done, which basically pulled in the edges of the distribution curve of land, then it would make magic online a better game. It would be more fun for more people, there would be more enjoyment and less frustration overall. 

As for non-online magic, there's a difference between saying "no proposal that anyone has ever come up with for dealing with mana screw has had more upsides than downsides" and "no proposal COULD have more upsides than downsides". Maybe we'll argue forever and nothing will ever change, that won't surprise me. I mean, Magic is a great game as it is. So an attitude of "hey, we've heard LOTS of proposals for ways to 'fix mana screw', and they've all had issues, and most people don't even really understand what parts of the mana system are or are not problems" is a reasonable one. But that's very different from any of "there is no problem with the mana system" or "nothing can ever be changed" or "no possible proposal COULD EVER improve things".
Whatever we do, it is an entirely open question whether it will increase or decrease enjoyment of the game. I was merely pointing out that this discussion is likely to be entirely unproductive: I feel fairly sure that most of the other regulars aren't even going to look at this thread, having been burned pretty badly in the past by argumentative incoherent ramblers who refused to respond to either sense or logic when their proposals were shown to be flawed.

Major props to you for not being one of those people, by the way: and the fact that I'm thanking you for that should definitely tell you something about the usual quality of proposals of this type.

Additionally, at this point we have seen probably seen almost every suggestion that could exist and none of them showed much merit. There were one or two that I thought managed to fix all the problems the systen currently has without creating too many problems of their own, but both of them required implementing a new system, which we just can't do.

In any case, there is one point that I find particularly salient: in the twenty years since Magic was first printed, there have been fairly significant shifts in how the other two parts of the Golden Trifecta -- the Trading Card Game and the Color Wheel -- are implemented. The former has progressively heavier emphasis placed on the "Card Game" part and correspondingly lighter emphasis placed on the "Trading" part, as compared to the early years: mostly a result of Magic's continuingly-accelerated growth as a popular game.

As to the latter, Maro has made it clear that while the colors and their philosophies have and will remain consistent, their interpretation will not: the explication of the colors in terms of the individual card mechanics will shift and change to adapt to the mechanical needs of each particular environment and the Wheel itself has been entirely overhauled twice to create greater mechanical balance between the colors.

The Mana System, however, works exactly the same today as it did when Wizards first published Alpha. Magic may have its problems, but that fact makes it really, really hard for me to believe that the Mana System (and all of the mana screw it entails) is one of them.

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

Level 1 Judge as of 09/26/2013

Zammm = Batman

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

Okay. I've read it all.
So, the discussion has indeed happened a few times. Here are the main issues with it:

+ MaRo does a really good job brainwashing people. There is a lobby saying that this system is the best, because it lets really bad players win some games. This argument isn't a good one, as other games are really interesting without having this issue (randomness comes even without having mana issues). The reason they don't get as much light as MtG is only because MtG is older and has an already existing fanbase that isn't willing to try another game. I do wish MaRo would stop this brainwashing habbit.
+ Wizards doesn't care. Why would they? The system works as is, so they don't feel the need to make it better, taking risks for the game.
+ The player base doesn't like changes. Even if you do find a good way to make an interesting change, you'll have loads of complaints.
+ The issue is complicated. Many ideas that seem good at first glance have flaws, so it would need loads of testing.



My take on this is:

+ Stop MaRo from talking about the mana system. Richard Garfield has found an incredibly good system, true, but like many inventions it has to be modified before it becomes perfect (except for the mana burn, the system hasn't been improved even once since the game was created). Seriously, he sounds like an Orzhov cleric.
+ Get some staff to come discuss this issue with the player base, or at least show they are looking into it. We can talk about the issue all we want, if no staff member takes it into account, then it's useless.
+ Part of the issue is that you cannot afford to lose one turn. Mana screw wouldn't be such an issue if you could make a comeback after losing two turns due to mana issues. Man, standard isn't that much slower than modern, I've seen a Selesnya deck that could often win on turn 4.
+ Decks are considered to have the right amount of lands between 20 to 29 lands. Statistically, this means that you get less than three lands when you mulligan for the first time. This means you're already ****ed if your opening hand isn't sufficient. It would be nice to think about solutions that make lands not worthless mid-game.
I don't have the time or inclination to write out a complete response to this thread--it's late and I'd prefer getting to bed, but one point stuck out at me while reading, so I'll respond to that at least. (I haven't actually listened to MaRo's podcast on this subject yet.)

(1) He tries to have it both ways on a few points. In particularly, he both says (paraphrasing) "it's so easy to blame your losses on the mana system, when really you need to learn that your losses are your own fault" and "the great thing about the mana system is that it means that you have a chance of beating Jon Finkel". Thing is, those can't both be true statements. Either there are some non-zero number of games where the luck of the mana is in fact the overwhelmingly determining factor in the outcome of the game, or in fact the mana system will NOT ever let a beginning or mediocre player beat John Finkel.

These points are not in contradiction unless they were given as absolutes.

The fact that the mana system can be used as a scapegoat to excuse losses--claiming that there was nothing to be done when in fact those losses were in reality either winnable or avoidable--doesn't mean that there are never instances of true mana screw, when there really isn't anything that could have been done to avoid it. There are. They're far less common than most beginning players think, but they do exist. So it is in fact possible for the mana system to both allow a terrible player to beat Johnny Magic, and be used as a scapegoat for losses that were actually well-earned.


Maybe I'll return to this thread later--it's by far the best one of its kind I've ever seen. But for now, I need some sleep.

Come join me at No Goblins Allowed


Because frankly, being here depresses me these days.

There's something you've missed, OP. It's what I'd call "generality".

Let's say you have a perfectly well-built deck and a perfect mulligan strategy. Let's say that one time in fifty, you get mana-screwed. That game in fifty, you might be inclined to say "hey, that sucks, I did everything I could and even more to prevent this, and it's still randomly spouting losses at me! How fair is that!" However, the rationnal thing to say is "okay, let's win those two other games for the match".

Fixing the mana system takes away a lot of skill-testing, not only in deck-building, but most important, in mulliganning. It enables people to play greedier manabases with less lands. It lets people be lazy.

I don't often look at people playing around, but you can be sure that when someone is complaining a lot about his unlucky draws, he's playing real bad. Let me give you an extreme example to illustrate my point.

One time, I was playing MBC on MBC. It was before rotation, so Innistrad+Mirrodin. We both ended up at one point topdecking lands for eight turns in a row. I have no cards in hand. He only has a Go for the Throat, but he has a Liliana of the Veil on the battlefield. For eight damn turns, he played his land, than passed the turn rather than activate Liliana because he wanted to keep his card, all the while commenting about how dull that was that the game was frozen. All I could think is "goddammit, you'Re the one complaining? You have a free pass to build up Liliana as much as you like and you prefer playing lands?"

This isn't to say that you never are really screwed, but there are way too many factors to really understand if you could do anything or not. You didn't mulligan? Maybe you shouldn't have kept a hand in which you only needed one more land to do anything. Maybe you should have kept a six-lands hand. Maybe you should have gone down to four card and would've won. Maybe you missplayed.

When MaRo talks about working on reduced ressources, he's right. Fighting to stay alive long enough to come back from screw is an incredible feeling when it works. Last FNM, I went down to four cards, on the play, and still won the game (Terminus for three creatures and a lot of low cost removal). It was a lot of fun thinking that I could manage a win out of that.

Mulliganning is one of the most difficult part of the game, but it's not that apparent. People don't realize that their mulliganning decisions are bad. It's not that obvious. However, when you're a pro, mana screw isn't that problematic anymore.

Anyway, reducing randomness will not reduce mana screw. I know this sounds a bit strange, but players will build their decks accordingly, so that they get to the same odds as now, but with decks that have a lot fewer lands. You'll be back to the start : same problem, because anyone that would want to build a deck like today will be crushed by those who draw more fuel because they played around it, a strategy that will win more games than it loses.

As of now, we have a lot of ways to make sure our decks have a perfect land curve. Farseek, mana-producing artifacts and creatures... you could build a deck in which you'd never be screwed. However, you'd sacrifice efficiency. It would be the same thing with your proposed solution.

When I get screwed, I don't get disheartened anymore. I remember that it's best of threes. If I don't win the two other games, I didn't lose "because of mana screw". I lost because I couldn't manage to win two out of three games, one of which was hampered by lack of lands, but the other by lack of removal, maybe. See where I'm going?

I'm one of those marginal persons who love mana screw and learned to don't mind when it happens. 

Rules Advisor

Quotes
76783093 wrote:
56957928 wrote:
58331438 wrote:
56945988 wrote:
Rancor dies to in-response removal.
Yeah... Until next game, where it'll be right back. Seriously, there's no way to deal with Rancor in any format. It should be banned, except Gleemax is a lobbyist for the Rancor party, so that'll never happen.
You can't ban rancor, it just returns to your deck.
58331438 wrote:
57461258 wrote:
You might want to actually talk to the Flavor & Storyline Board people... since, you know, our whole reason for playing Magic is the flavor. I'm willing to bet you'll get a lot more interest there than in General.
Indeed, both posters down there would be thrilled.
57817638 wrote:
I think I wasn't direct enough in my last post. I'll try to fix it now. Ahem... NO ONE CARES there you have it.
57471038 wrote:
When talks about banning Jace first started, I was thinking that I would see him banned come June 20th. But as I think more about it, I don't really think that Jace is the problem anymore. Sure his power level leaves very little to the imagination (opening Jace is like opening a refrigerator box with a naked girl on the inside), and sure his price does have a strong impact on what players choose to play (playing Jace is like being intimate with a woman and she doesn't charge you in the morning), but it is not the source of all the problems in Standard.
76973988 wrote:
How do people think saving room to print more abilities on cards is dumbing down the game?

Do you really think, say, Akroma would ever be printed if she said, "Akroma can block by creatures with this ability and cannot be blocked by creatures without this ability.  If a creature without this ability would deal combat damage by Akroma would be destroyed, prevent all combat damage that creature would deal to Akroma this combat.  Attacking does not cause Akroma to tap.  If Akroma is blocked and deals lethal damage, it deals the remainder of its damage to the defending player.  Akroma may attack and use abilities that require tapping in the casting cost the turn it enters the battlefield.  Akroma cannot be damaged, enchanted, equipped, blocked or targeted by black or red sources" rather than her "dumbed down" wording she has?  No freaking way.  Keywording and shorthand allows them to make complicated cards easy to play with, allowing them to be printed in the first place.
57817638 wrote:
The creation of praetors was worth it just because now amoeboid changeling is a praetor.
57140668 wrote:
1. cast frankie peanuts2. ask opponent "will you concede the game this turn"? if they say yes, you win; if they say no, play a staying power
3. subsequently ask "will you attack this turn"? and "will you cast a spell this turn"? (using a Teferi, Mage of Zhalfir for the second question if necessary) to ensure they can't disrupt the combo
4. donate them a platinum angel
5. play a mox lotus and braingeyser them for every card in their library. play an opalescence and donate them a glorious anthem and a blacker lotus, then play enchanted evening. play and activate a mindslaver and then donate them a fastbond and the mox lotus (returning one of the donates to your hand with eternal witness or whatever)
6. during their turn, play every permanent in their hand (playing lands with fastbond) then (as yourself) cast mirrorweave on the blacker lotus, so every permanent becomes a copy of it. proceed to tear up every card they control, and hopefully do it before they notice that they aren't bound by staying power's ability anymore and can concede
82423538 wrote:
57471038 wrote:
82423538 wrote:
One part of the statement being true=/=the whole statement true.
Whatever. I'm still here about ten minutes away. Whenever you want to get destroyed in Magic, I'm available.
I would like to get destroyed in Magic, actually. Do you know anybody good enough?
57617478 wrote:
Please format your statements in a way that doesn't look like a baboon hit its face on your keyboard.
57140668 wrote:
why did Garruk Relentless lose a loyalty counter
Show
to get to the other side
89522235 wrote:
You're such an obvious troll that you have hexproof and : Regenerate.
56957928 wrote:
56776038 wrote:
Dark Ritual being overpowered is determined more by what is done with it than the card itself.
True, but the fact that it enables so many ridiculous things is pretty telling. It's like, sure I can use a shotgun as a bludgeoning instrument, but that doesn't make it not a shotgun.
79035425 wrote:
Shortly before Serra died, she transferred her spark into an angel whose full name was Asha Avacyn Bolas. Her dragon father groomed her for her positions in Alara and Innistrad, and she's also been getting help from her uncle Ugin in the form of Urza, who was resurrected as Marit Lage to be the avatar as which she projects herself into material realms. Grieslbrand is a split personality who sometimes wanders the planes disguised as a human woman named Liliana Vess.
97610188 wrote:
Yeah that (Content Removed) really annoys me. Moderated by MY_self right about naahowwww!
93446159 wrote:
Dilleux_Lepaire just won the thread.
57461258 wrote:
And, as usual, Dilleux wins the entire thread. Nice work, sir, nice work.
99113151 wrote:
They need to make 9 layers of zones where cards go when they "die". Much like Hell.
56778328 wrote:
Wow, holy doggy poop, kids, obvious statement is obvious.
56776038 wrote:
122053101 wrote:
i don't think your geting it WotC is trying to kill the comption to make it so that there shity app is the only one left.
I haven't tried the app. How is its use of English grammar? Cheers!
57471038 wrote:
Everyone's life would be easier if players would, instead of coming to the 'net for help with a deck, just netdeck and be done with it. And I'm not talking about some Top 8 lists, for the Casualists, too, can benefit from netdecking. I've netdecked plenty of decks from the Casual Play forums from users such as Mown, Raedien, Floopfoot, and a few others. I snatched straight the heck out of my web browser. Yes, people, your original idea fell victim to a savage netdecker. You have been assimiliated. Suppose I wanted a Zombie deck. Why on earth would I spend time searching Gatherer for a decent list of Zombie cards when Raedien already did it for me? Taking time to be creative or waiting on people on the forums to tell you why your deck sucks or 'go to Casual forums' is a disasterous waste of time (to me).
56957928 wrote:
82423538 wrote:
If WotC started putting $100 bills in packs, the players would complain that they folded them wrong.
No, they just spam them with ban requests. That being said, Magic was ruined back in Alpha when they added all that rules and cards [Debutantes avert your eyes]. My friends and I still like playing it the "pure" way (Basically we go into the woods and hit eachother with wiffle bats while shouting made up obscenities. You know, the way Garfield wanted it to be played).
56957928 wrote:
Don't worry about it. I've come up with a list of changes to fix EDH. -First off, there's no commander. -The minimum deck size is 60 cards, and each deck can have up to four of each card, save basic lands and relentless rats. Also decks have no color identity. -Starting life total is 20. And voila, now things are balanced.
89522235 wrote:
Here's a clever play you can try yourself: -Convince friend to run relentless rats.dec in legacy tournament -Get a deck with lots of mill, yixlid jailer, and humility -Drop humility and jailer, wait for him to dump his hand, mill him out -All his rats now have no abilities. Call a judge because he's playing an illegal deck with more than 4 of a single card. -Get him/her banned from competitive magic play
142055101 wrote:
But how to mark them without making the individual sleeve different! You could buy a skunk and slam it's butt on you deck (pardon the french) Then after the game just sniff at your opponent's pile of cards and you will know if any of your cards are there!!!
141434757 wrote:
In Soviet Russia, Sorin opens You
71235715 wrote:
L, is for the leather gloves you weaaaar. O, is for the organs that guy could spaaaare. V, is very very, extraordinay. E, is for every vagrant i butchered in a wine cellar befooooore.
57052258 wrote:
The outer layer of the Magic: the Gathering box, the carton, or crust, is fairly thin and light, and contains largely aluminosilcates. Within that lies the middle layer, consisting of the familiar booster pack. Although solid, the booster packs' high temperatures allow them to acutally move around within the booster box. This flow, sometimes called convection, is cited by frustrated box mappers as one of WOTC's most genious uses of thermodynamics since the Ravnica block. No one knows what lies at the core of the booster box, but scientists theorize that it must be especially dense in order to make up for the large amount of fluff distributed amongst the booster packs.
58232598 wrote:
88993869 wrote:
Torpor Orb is absolutely godawful against Vexing Devil.
whoever is playing vexing devil is probably losing anyways
56957928 wrote:
I imagine [Ajani 3's] second ability involves him hurling the creature at your opponent Brion Stoutarm style, then the guy is just like "Okay, that may have worked, but don't- GOD DAMN IT!" as he does it again because cats don't give a **** :33.
56957928 wrote:
"Do or do not, there is no try." - Albus Dumbledore, The Lord of the Rings.
89522235 wrote:
68978039 wrote:
Its like that one time Elves broke out in a field of Jund. Elves became a resurgent hit, then died off again once Jund adapted to the rest of the field of G/W that it required mass removal that inherently pooped on Elves too. Submit to the menace. Delver can, and will blot out the sun.
Then we shall play in the shade.
89522235 wrote:
I'm sorry, this forum isn't for getting bad advice on mediocre decks, that's standard deck help. This forum is for starting ****storms.
97820278 wrote:
139359831 wrote:
Your advice would only lead me to make generic, boring, and unworthy content. It's of no use to me.
I just got this image of you as an architect, having finished a building suspended by only a small pole in its southwest corner, saying it's original. Then the building collapses.
56957928 wrote:
I for one love the flavor of legendary lands. "I remember my days as a youth at Tolarian Academy." "Wow, small multiverse, I actually went there too." "WAIT, DON'T- Well ****, there's $200,000 in student loans well spent."
56957928 wrote:
And flavor goes out the window when you cast a second copy of a planeswalker right after the first one dies, so... "Hey Nissa, I need a favor." "You just asked me for a 'favor' like thirty seconds ago, and it turned out to be having Sarkhan Transmogrify my only follower into a dragon like 5 times -which dickery aside also violates some laws of causality - and then you let me get beaten over the head by that hedron crab." "...I'll give you " "...Well all right then."
57150868 wrote:
GM, I don't think Dill is better than you. I KNOW it. Even if he wakes up every morning, clubs a baby seal, steals all the TV remotes from within a block's radius of his house and then robs hungry orphans of their food he'd be better than you, for the simple reason that he learns from his mistakes.
143211137 wrote:
57033358 wrote:
Tamiyo vs. Gideon
What would they have to fight about? Like, all I can think of now is Gideon going "Hey, long-ears! I'm gathering a group of 'Walkers together to fight some tentacle monsters.....you want in?" and Tamiyo going "Ew! Hentai no bakka Gideon-desu desu!" and flying away.
76783093 wrote:
I open 4 packs just to be on the safe side. Not only do I get more cards than everyone else, but I also get to spend the rest of the night off. Win Win.
191752181 wrote:
MaRo has a thing for people opening boosters with bad cards. But since he can only get so many bad cards printed in each set, he has found a devious way of getting more bad cards into circulation: He makes entire print sheets with just bad rares, then puts them onto the assembly line. He proceeds to wring his hands and twirl his evil mustache that he grew for twirling purposes as a lightning bolt strikes in the background. Afterwards, he goes to make sure that the good cards are only opened by everyone's friends, and that we all only get to open bad cards. He does this by memorising each booster, than switching them around accordingly. Whenever someone complains about a card, he immediately jumps out from behind a chair to yell "WELL, IT'S NOT FOR YOU!" before merging back into the shadows in order to devise new ways in which he can screw over players, then claim that he has valid reasons for doing so.
97820278 wrote:
192729031 wrote:
You open a booster pack, and staring back at you from the rare slot is a Lotleth Troll? At least I can stick him in my EDH deck and still have four for my standard constructed.
Because lol troll
56874518 wrote:
It helped that I more or less skipped most of GM_Champion's longer diatribes. I only have so many brain cells I'm willing to sacrifice each day.
192931349 wrote:
Mark Rosewater is sitting in a seemingly innocuous cable TV van, outside of Bankaimastery's house. Sitting nearby are two hardened criminal hackers, fresh out of prison, and filled with resentment at their lack of physical fitness. "Have you managed to hack his brainwaves yet? The set deadline's coming up fast." "We're almost through. It should be coming up on the screen any second." The hacker presses a button, and Kevin's thoughts flash onto the screen. Mark and the hackers stare in amazement at the sheer beauty, the elegance, and the raw truth of what they see. It's like the ending to 2001: A Space Odyssey. Brilliant light shines across the screen, the truth of existence is made clear to them, and they despair at their own foolishness, their own ignorance, their own inadequacy. And then they steal his ideas. As they return back to R&D, Mark sneers at a haggard old man chained to a cast-iron sphere. The man looks up from his laborious task of breaking rocks in the dungeon of Wizards of the Coast headquarters, and asks a question: "Kevin, my greatest student. He - he's all right, isn't he? You didn't hurt him?" Mark deals him a weighty blow with his boot. "Know your place, Richard. Get back to work."
57023768 wrote:
Now show me on the Garruk doll where Zac Hill ruined your enjoyment of Magic...
63711769 wrote:
I'm only opposed to it because it bears so little relation to how people actually play the game. The example of Miracles is actually a much better one then the Clone example I was trying to use. From the game's perspective, the card can move instantly from face down in the library to revealed in the hand and that's fine for the rules. But in real life, we can't actually do that, so the card spends a good bit of time in locations that are neither where that player's library is nor where that player's hand is. And that's fine for real life. What I don't want is the disconnect to be explicitly codified. Along the lines of
183664.697 A game of Magic as laid out by these rules exists only as a pure Platonic ideal, utterly unrealizable by fallible mortals limited by the confines of physicality and the ravages of evil and sin. 183664.698 The cake is a lie, too.
I know it's true, but I don't want the rules to actually straight-up tell me that.
147137503 wrote:
77120821 wrote:
Pfft this cant be serious can it? If it is please delete your account OP. Its not even close to ban worthy, considering what JTMS and stoneforge had to accomplish to get banned i see the WotC selling magic to aquire Pokemon before that ever happens.
I'm trying to imagine sorin markov as a gym leader in one of those pokemon games which you have to beat him to get his badge... somehow I imagine that he would stab you in the chest with his sword before giving you the badge, even if you beat his pokemon....
196239043 wrote:
Personally, I'd be fine with tea time but then I'm not gonna waste the mana summoning Emrakul, the Aeons Torn. He always takes all the sugar, drinks the whole pot of Earl Grey and doesn't even say thank you. SO. RUDE.

 

JustTerrorIt wrote:

 

JuliusPringle wrote:

All I want to do is sit down and play magic, but when I walked in yesterday, (since I didn't talk to anyone) nobody talked to me and I silently bought what I wanted and walked out.


If you don't talk to anyone, that increases the odds that no one will talk to you.

 

JuliusPringle wrote:

So how do I just... introduce myself? "Hi, my name is Adam, wanna play magic with me?" Do I go to the counter and talk to the cashier?


Yeah. Talk to the cashier. Tell him/her that you want a Black Lotus, and if they don't have one tell them that the store isn't on par with what you expected.

 

Reach into your back left pocket. Pull out a deck list that you copied directly from some ChannelFireball top 8 Standard discussion, and ask for all the cards, as is, on that list. Then, ask for some random, probably terrible cards from whatever set is Standard legal. Say it's tech for the upcoming changes in the metagame.

 

Pull out a deck, and tell some random dude you wanna test (you have to use the term "test" for this to work) for Standard. Make sure that deck contains Kitchen Finks and Alluring Siren. Maybe throw in Nyxathid for good measure.

 

Finally, before you leave, spill (make it look like an accident) one hundred singleton, random cards onto the floor. Pick them up, put them in a pile, and say "EEE-DEE-AYCH".

 

I know this sounds dumb at first, but it will work. With the method outlined above, you will draw the attention of players that play older formats by asking for cards that no one on Earth can reasonably afford. You will get the attention of the wanna-be pro, Stomp-n00bz players by pulling out a well known decklist and declare that you have "tech" to make it better. You will get the attention of all the kind, helpful players by seemingly not knowing the most common format by having non-Standard legal cards in a deck that you claim is Standard legal. Finally, you catch all the rest of the Magic players by saying "EEE-DEE-AYCH" (EDH (or Commander)).

And there you have it. You will be talking to more people than you would have wanted to talk to in no time.

 

Smoke_Stack wrote:

EDH is the best format anyway


See, it's starting already.

 

Break the Card
What is Break the Card?
Break the Card is a regular thread in the Cards and Combo Forum. Quite simply, the participants are given a Johnnystatic card (e.g. Xenograft) and are asked to build a deck around it. The winner and honorable mentions are sigged below. Get brewing!
Week 1 : Xenograft
This week's Break the Card was based around Xenograft. Thread : http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75842/27681049/Break_the_card_:_Xenograft?pg=1 Winner : Axterix with his Vampdrazi deck. Finalist : Vektor480 with his Ally/Golem/Plant deck. Honorable mentions : Zammm for the Turntimber Ranger combo and TinGorilla for suggesting Sarkhan the Mad.
Week 2 : Mindlock Orb
Here's the link to the Mindlock Orb contest : http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75842/27697565/Break_the_Card_:_Mindlock_Orb?sdb=1&pg=last#497536269 Winner : Axterix with his Maralen of the Mornsong deck. Honorable mentions : Void_Elemental.
Week 3 : Bludgeon Brawl
Here's the link to Break the Card : Bludgeon Brawl : http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75842/27715169/Break_the_Card_:_Bludgeon_Brawl?sdb=1&pg=last#498208797 Winner : Vektor and his Grab the World deck. Finalist : Crandor with his Awesome Aliteration deck. Honorable mentions : RP Jesus with his Wat deck and Zix200 with his Signet Renewal deck.
Week 4 : Followed Footsteps
This week was Followed Footsteps : http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75842/27748677/Break_the_Card_:_Followed_Footsteps?pg=1 Winner : Tevish_Szat with his Exponential Growth deck. Honorable mentions : Zix with his Carbon Copies deck and Escef with his Fungus of Speed and Time deck.
Week 5 : Delaying Shield
This week's card was Delaying Shield : http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75842/27790101/Break_the_Card_:_Delaying_Shield Winner : Tevish_Szat. Finalist : Vampire_Bat. Honorable Mention : Zix200.
Week 6 : Painter's Servant
This week's card was Painter's Servant : http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75842/27940861/Break_the_Card_:_Painters_Servant?pg=1 Winner : Tevish_Szat with his Paint it Black deck. Finalist : Wprundv with his Tiger, Tiger Painted Bright deck.
Week 7 : Venser, the Sojourner
This week's card was Venser, the Sojourner : http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75842/27977489/Break_the_Card_:_Venser,_the_Sojourner Winner : Izzett with her "Venser, Trickster Trader" deck. Finalist : Wprundv with his "Tactical Sojourner Action" deck.
Week 8 : Personal Sanctuary
This week's card was Personal Sanctuary : http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75842/28005461/Break_the_card_:_Personal_Sanctuary Winner : MrQuizzles. Honorable mention : Vampire_Bat and UbberSheep
Week 9 : Sundial of the Infinite
This week's card was Sundial of the Infinite : http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75842/28038277/Break_the_card_:_Sundial_of_the_Infinite Finalist : Izzett with her "Afterlife Trespassers" deck. Winner : Xeromus with his "Fortune 500" deck.
Week 10 : Jace's Archivist
This week's card was Jace's Archivist : http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75842/28063377/Break_the_Card_:_Jaces_Archivist. Finalists : Jentaru with his "Consecration of the Draw" deck and HereticSmitty with his "ADHD: The deck" deck. Winner : JaxsonBateman with his "The Archives Are Endless!" deck.
Week 11 : Search the City
This week's card was Search the City : http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75842/29518555/Break_the_Card_:_Search_the_City Finalist : Mown with "A Thousand Footsteps". Winner : Desolation_masticore with "Burn the City".
Week 12 : Fiend Hunter
This week's card was Fiend Hunter : http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75842/29530975/Break_the_Card_:_Fiend_Hunter Winner : Yuyu63 with "Carnival Hunting". Honorable mention : Dknowle's "Champion the Fiend".
Week 13 : Clock of Omens
This week's card was Clock of Omens : http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75842/29541549/Break_the_Card_:_Clock_of_Omens?pg=1 Winner : Dknowle's "The Myrs Go Marching".
Week 14 : Light of Sanction
This week's card was Light of Sanction : http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75842/29607219/Break_the_Card_:_Light_of_Sanction?pg=1 Winner : Zauzich's "Divine Plague".
Week 15 : Assemble the Legion
This week's card was Assemble the Legion : http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75842/29662307/Break_the_Card_:_Assemble_the_Legion Winner : JBTM's "Some Assembly Required".
Week 16 : High Tide
This week's cards were High Tide and/or Bubbling Muck : http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75842/29760427/Break_the_Card_:_High_Tide Winner : Mown's "Puppet Strings".
Week 17 : Illusionist's Bracers
This week's card was Illusionist's Bracers : http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75842/29776943/Break_the_Card_:_Illusionistss_Bracers Winner : Enigma256's "Tezzeret's Bracers"
Week 18 : Savor the Moment
This week's card was Savor the Moment : http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75842/29787235/Break_the_Card_:_Savor_the_Moment Winner : POSValkir's "A Savory Filibuster!"
Week 19 : Grinning Ignus
This week's card was Grinning Ignus : http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75842/29795547/Break_the_Card_:_Grinning_Ignus Winner : dknowle's "Luren' and Laughin'".
Week 20 : Transcendence
This week's card was Transcendence : http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75842/29806481/Break_the_Card_:_Transcendence Winners : Mown's "Transcending Timing Restrictions" and Dknowle's "Blinded by Greed", tied for the win.
Week 21 : Mortus Strider
This week's card was Mortus Strider : http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75842/29818471/Break_the_Card_:_Mortus_Strider Winner : SimonGlume's "Mortus Head".
Week 22 : High Priest of Penance
This week's card was High Priest of Penance : http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75842/29917231/Break_the_Card_High_Priest_of_Penance Winners : JBTM's "Two Clerics and a Goblin walk into a (Bom)bar(dment)..." and POSValkir1's "Choke Their Rivers with Our Dead!".
Week 23 : False Cure
This week's card was False Cure :http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75842/29964239/Break_the_Card_:_False_Cure Winner : Dknowle's "When Hippos Fly".

Week 24 : Akroan Horse

This week's card was Akroan Horse : http://community.wizards.com/forum/cards-and-combos/threads/4024821.

Winner : Dknowle's "Indian Giver".

Week 25 : Leylines

This week saw multiple cards being in the contest : all of the Leylines! http://community.wizards.com/forum/cards-and-combos/threads/4067621

Winner : POSValkir1's "Laying the Battle Lines".

People don't realize that their mulliganning decisions are bad.



That's part of the issue here. When you lose due to mana screw, how do you know where you made a mistake, or if you even did make one? In a recent limited tournament, I got color screwed twice (I was playing a red splash in an Orzhov deck) during the first match (drawing loads of red lands and almost no black one), and the player that won the game did so with a much wackier manabase.
The issue is even more prominent, as mulliganing a 2-land hand, you'll often not draw more lands after the mulligan (statistics and everything).

As of now, we have a lot of ways to make sure our decks have a perfect land curve. Farseek, mana-producing artifacts and creatures... you could build a deck in which you'd never be screwed. However, you'd sacrifice efficiency. It would be the same thing with your proposed solution.



That's why I suggested making the mana screw less deadly, or having lands be useful during the mid-game part. There are loads of possibilities no one has even tried to think of. If we want to get to a good solution, we need to look at the issue, not avert our eyes from it.

When I get screwed, I don't get disheartened anymore. I remember that it's best of threes. If I don't win the two other games, I didn't lose "because of mana screw". I lost because I couldn't manage to win two out of three games, one of which was hampered by lack of lands, but the other by lack of removal, maybe. See where I'm going?



What if you lose two games during the same match due to mana screw?

Personnally, I'm at the point where I don't even try to make remotely greedy mana bases anymore (18 lands when drafting), and I'll probably even calculate statistics to have a very good point of view on how this works. If I manage to hit something sufficiently interesting, I'll transmit it to my playgroup, and I'll post it here, too.
Can think of only two solutions with minimal rule-changing:
A new card type (in addition to lands, creatures, plainswalkers, etc.)
A new mana-fixing keyword that's very common, perhaps more common than Flying.
     In Duels Master mentioned in op they tap creatures(in mana zones) for mana instead of land cards. Mtg can do this with a new ability similar to mana elves, but with the additional clause "Use this ability if you didn't play a land this turn. You can't play lands this turn. L>Add G to your mana pool." In this way it can't be used for mana acceleration but only for alleviating missed land drops. If this becomes a very common keyword among permanents that would ease things maybe?

In any case, there is one point that I find particularly salient: in the twenty years since Magic was first printed, there have been fairly significant shifts in how the other two parts of the Golden Trifecta -- the Trading Card Game and the Color Wheel -- are implemented. The former has progressively heavier emphasis placed on the "Card Game" part and correspondingly lighter emphasis placed on the "Trading" part, as compared to the early years: mostly a result of Magic's continuingly-accelerated growth as a popular game.

As to the latter, Maro has made it clear that while the colors and their philosophies have and will remain consistent, their interpretation will not: the explication of the colors in terms of the individual card mechanics will shift and change to adapt to the mechanical needs of each particular environment and the Wheel itself has been entirely overhauled twice to create greater mechanical balance between the colors.

The Mana System, however, works exactly the same today as it did when Wizards first published Alpha. Magic may have its problems, but that fact makes it really, really hard for me to believe that the Mana System (and all of the mana screw it entails) is one of them.



Well, it's entirely plausible that both (a) the mana system is one of magic's greatest strengths, but has flaws, and a better mana system could exist, but
(b) there's no way to get there from here.

I mean, if God himself descended from the heavens and explained to us a brilliant but totally different mana system which every single one of us from lowly posters on this forum up to MaRo and Richard Garfield looked and said "yup, that's a BRILLIANT idea, solves all the problems while leaving the strengths intact", it still might be the case that trying to change magic from it's current good-but-flawed mana system to the God mana system wouldn't be worth it because of the confusion and troubles of the changeover.


(And, in fact, I'd argue that there's one pretty enormous change to the overall way the mana system works which did get made, which was changing the mulligan rule.)



That said, here's my question for you and any other poster in this thread... go back up to the OP and read my hypothetical about someone hacking the mtgo shuffler. Bearing in mind that (a) I'm not actually endorsing this happening in the real world, and (b) it's a crucial part of this hypothetical that NO ONE KNOWS THIS WAS DONE; would mtgo be a better or a worse game during the time when this hack was in place?


+ MaRo does a really good job brainwashing people. There is a lobby saying that this system is the best, because it lets really bad players win some games. This argument isn't a good one, as other games are really interesting without having this issue (randomness comes even without having mana issues). 



I think I agree with parts of what you say, but would phrase it somewhat differently. To me, the key issue (well, a key issue) is that it's at least in theory possible to have enough randomness in the game that worse players will beat better players, and even have that randomness express itself through the mana system, without the really extreme game where you keep a reasonable hand and then just discard 4 times in a row. To me, there's a huge difference between how I feel after a game in which I was stuck with a 6 drop in my hand all game that probably would have won me the game if I'd drawn land #6, but I did play plenty of spells and interaction occurred; vs a game in which I just felt like I wasn't playing magic at all. The existence of the first kind of game pretty much fills all the "good" roles that mana screw can fill, as discussed by MaRo, but he likes to pretend that the second kind doesn't happen at all. I lost a game in a GTC draft a while back where I had an active bane alley broker, so was seeing two cards a turn, and did nothing for 5 straight turns but draw lands (plus a prophetic prism). It was frustrating, but I had actually at least felt like I was playing during large parts of the game, so that level of luck-of-the-draw I can accept.




+ Stop MaRo from talking about the mana system. Richard Garfield has found an incredibly good system, true, but like many inventions it has to be modified before it becomes perfect (except for the mana burn, the system hasn't been improved even once since the game was created). Seriously, he sounds like an Orzhov cleric.


I wouldn't state in quite those terms, but I basically agree. I think the problem is that there are in fact plenty of people who vastly overstate the problems of the mana system and rant about it at great and incoherent length, so MaRo responds to that by circling his psychological wagons and going a bit too far over on the defensive.


+ Get some staff to come discuss this issue with the player base, or at least show they are looking into it. We can talk about the issue all we want, if no staff member takes it into account, then it's useless.


I would love love LOVE to see a serious discussion of this issue from members of R&D, including things like "we played an entire FFL season with rule X in play and it turned out to suck for reason Y". If the problem can't be solved, I can accept that. It's when the problem isn't even acknowledged that I get tetchy.

@OP: Great post. As was mentioned, lots of these threads are of very dubious quality, but you make some excellent suggestions. I love the thought experiment about the MTGO shuffler, and I agree, MTGO would just be a better, more fun game in that case.


I agree you're overstating your case with the point about scapegoating, as zamm pointed out.


I definitely think that there are a number of better mana systems that could exist, but existing cards, decks, and players are tailored for the current mana system and very entrenched, such that it would be very hard to move to a better system.


(I think it's also worth mentioning that mana screw is the one major wart in an otherwise genius idea. The turn-by-turn accumulation and spending of resources is indeed fantastic, as I'm sure Maro said in his podcast. I don't do podcasts so sadly I miss out on the source here.)


Would love to post more, but sadly I have to leave now for the weekend. Will be back here on Monday.


(1) He tries to have it both ways on a few points. In particularly, he both says (paraphrasing) "it's so easy to blame your losses on the mana system, when really you need to learn that your losses are your own fault" and "the great thing about the mana system is that it means that you have a chance of beating Jon Finkel". Thing is, those can't both be true statements. Either there are some non-zero number of games where the luck of the mana is in fact the overwhelmingly determining factor in the outcome of the game, or in fact the mana system will NOT ever let a beginning or mediocre player beat John Finkel.

These points are not in contradiction unless they were given as absolutes.


Which is my whole point. Most of the points that MaRo makes are reasonable ones with solid logic behind them... but he states them in an overly-absolute and condescending fashion.


Maybe I'll return to this thread later--it's by far the best one of its kind I've ever seen. But for now, I need some sleep.



Please do, as clearly the point of a thread like this is far more to generate some interesting conversation than it is to actually get anything changed.
There's something you've missed, OP. It's what I'd call "generality".

Let's say you have a perfectly well-built deck and a perfect mulligan strategy. Let's say that one time in fifty, you get mana-screwed. That game in fifty, you might be inclined to say "hey, that sucks, I did everything I could and even more to prevent this, and it's still randomly spouting losses at me! How fair is that!" However, the rationnal thing to say is "okay, let's win those two other games for the match".



Nonsense. The rational thing to do is to do BOTH of those things. If I lose a game to really severe mana screw, I say "thanks, Mark Rosewater!" (really, I say that). That doesn't mean I give up or throw my hands in the air or don't attempt to win the next two games (assuming this was game 1 of the match). It does mean that I think to myself "man it's sooooo frustrating that playing this game I love so much is so idiotically pointless and stupid some times, and it pisses me off even more than frickin MaRo is so chipper and in denial about it".


Fixing the mana system takes away a lot of skill-testing, not only in deck-building, but most important, in mulliganning. It enables people to play greedier manabases with less lands. It lets people be lazy.


That depends what "fixing the mana system" means. If the mana system worked differently, then there would be a different mana system, and the best way to build a deck would be different. So lazy doesn't even apply, because there would be entirely different rules and guidelines and principles. The skills would change, but there would certainly still be skill. 


I don't often look at people playing around, but you can be sure that when someone is complaining a lot about his unlucky draws, he's playing real bad.


Again, a MaRo-esque overstatement. Some people complain all the times about mana screw and are whiney, and if they didn't have mana screw to complain about they would complain about something else. Other people say "sometimes I get really badly mana screwed... probably no more than anyone else, and no more than probability dictates, but I believe that the extent to which severe mana screw diminishes the fun of the game is a flaw in the game's fundamental design". Don't confuse the second claim with the first.



This isn't to say that you never are really screwed, but there are way too many factors to really understand if you could do anything or not. You didn't mulligan?


Here's the thing, though, there are times when not mulliganing and then getting mana screwed was precisely the correct decision. If I'm playing GTC limited and my opening hand is two forests, frilled oculus,  manipulator, master biomancer, croconura and some other spell, on the draw, I absolutely positively snap keep that every time. If I don't draw any lands I'm certainly losing, and if I draw only forests I'm probably losing. But the hand is so powerful if it DOES draw land that keeping it is clearly correct. But I still might get mana screwed, and in that case having had the mulligan decision actually makes it WORSE, psychologically, because it gives me something to second guess, even though I'm 100% certain that the decision to keep the hand was right.

So, yes, there are many many many things that people can do that people (even me at times, I'm sure) don't do properly to make mana screw less severe, but IT STILL CAN HAPPEN. You can still lose a game or a match absolutely entirely due to mana screw. 



As of now, we have a lot of ways to make sure our decks have a perfect land curve. Farseek, mana-producing artifacts and creatures... you could build a deck in which you'd never be screwed.


Never? Hardly. Yes, obviously, you can make tradeoffs between deck power and deck consistency. But ultimately you should still build a deck that wins most often. If I'm playing competitively, and there are two builds for my deck, one that will get mana screwed 10% of the time, lose 20% of the time, and win 70% of the time, and one that will get mana screwed 2% of the time, lose 30% of the time and win 68% of the time, I should build the first one. But, and here's the key point, magic SHOULD NOT PRESENT THAT CHOICE.


I'm one of those marginal persons who love mana screw and learned to don't mind when it happens. 



I've certainly got a lot more philosophical about it as I've played over the years (many many years), but I find it very hard to imagine anyone who is so utterly calm about it that they can get to some important match in a tournament (round 2 of an 8-4 on mtgo, or the win-or-in-round for top 8 of a tournament big or small), get badly mana screwed twice in a row, and then just walk out with a smile on their face whistling and cheerful exactly as happy as they would be had the match gone differently. (Obviously competitive vs truly casual magic are very different beasts, and I'm talking about the former.) I'm not saying no such people exist or that you're not one of them, I'm saying that they're unbelievably rare... frankly, if you love the game and also want to win, you SHOULD be emotionally invested enough to be disturbed by losing due to extreme mana screw.

Well, the answers in this thread are rather disappointing.

It's easy to say: "I definitely think that there are a number of better mana systems that could exist, but existing cards, decks, and players are tailored for the current mana system and very entrenched, such that it would be very hard to move to a better system."

Or being even more negative: "I feel fairly sure that most of the other regulars aren't even going to look at this thread, having been burned pretty badly in the past by argumentative incoherent ramblers who refused to respond to either sense or logic when their proposals were shown to be flawed."

Which rather sounds like an undirected flaming attack against anyone with other thoughts or believes.

I haven't heard of a good solution yet, but if I were a designer, neither existing cards, decks nor players would stop me to develop different types. And I believe that R&D really try their best to reduce the negative impact.

Whenever I read things like "Mulliganning is one of the most difficult part of the game, but it's not that apparent. People don't realize that their mulliganning decisions are bad.", it usually makes me turn away of a discussion. In my opinion, mulligans are not a "part of the game", but more a necessity of a flawed system. It shouldn't exist as another strategical option.

If you have a bad software with a lot of bugs, but also have some crazy hacks that can fix them, I would still call it a flawed system and wouldn't consider the hacks being an essential part of the software.

This might not be the best analogy, but it's useful to understand how I would appraise suggested solutions. To stick to this metapher, these 'bugs' can either be annoying or severe, depending on when they occur.

I prefer in-game solutions that do not alter the 'normal' mechanic too much. However, I don't even bother about color-fixing issues, so all the Farseek cards do not count, since they could have been lands in the first place. Rather than introducing cycling (especially basic land cycling), I would print more cards that offer choices and spells that allow you to draw cards. And this is what R&D does. They've developed lands that offer spell-like abilities (see Sejiri Steppe or Cathedral of War) and invented a lot of alternative casting costs (f.e. Phyrexian Mana) and even created landfall that reduces the impact of lands being a 'dead draw'.

But all these options are quite worthless, if you have no lands in your opening hand. And this is where the "before the game starts" hacks and fixes have to take place. You have to elaborate a solution that assures you end up with at least one land in your hand. This would at least be a good starting point for all the in-game solutions that I 've talked about already. So, the easiest way to ensure this would be that each player chooses a land by some means (f.e. either random or not) and draws only 6 cards. Sure, this might still be the only land card you have in your opening hand or you could draw a total of 7 land cards, but it would be a better "starting point" for other solutions. To return to the software metapher, this would be a required precondition.

The most difficult part however is to ensure that your fixes aren't abused for other things. F.e. the mulligan rule can be abused as a overall strategic decision. Are the cards in my hand good enough to give me a powerful position in the game? Alternative mana costs like Phyrexian Mana isn't just fixing the mana base, but instead used to curve the mana base and to increase the overall speed of your deck. Even plain old card draw does not just increase the chance to draw a required land card, but also to gather pieces of a combo.

You have to consider this, especially if you discuss the 'second land deck' solution (what feels like a Leyline version of Endless Horizons that replaces the normal draw step instead). I wouldn't mind if it would affect "existing cards, decks, and players" at least not in the development stage, but I would rather fear the implications. Does it fix the problem or is it opening new ones.
(And, in fact, I'd argue that there's one pretty enormous change to the overall way the mana system works which did get made, which was changing the mulligan rule.)

I see what you're getting at here, and while the introduction of the Paris mulligan was very much a tectonic shift in how players thought about and played their decks, in terms of the mana system, all it does is tweak some numbers a little bit. It's nowhere near as fundamental as the reinterpretation of the Trading Card Game or the Color Wheel were.

Or being even more negative: "I feel fairly sure that most of the other regulars aren't even going to look at this thread, having been burned pretty badly in the past by argumentative incoherent ramblers who refused to respond to either sense or logic when their proposals were shown to be flawed."

If you doubt my assessment of those other posters, you're welcome to seek out and examine those threads for yourself. Or look at how many of the other people in this thread have thanked the OP for being coherant and reasonable.

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

Level 1 Judge as of 09/26/2013

Zammm = Batman

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

Hey, I'd like to present my own opinion on this subject, and this is not meant to reflect on the validity of anyone else's opinion.
I think extreme mana flood/screw is a tradeoff that players take when they build their decks and, to a lesser extent, make muliganning/play decisions. If I want to reduce the probability of mana issues to near zero, I can play lots of lands and lots of draw smothing like Ponder and Preordain, to allow me to get more lands or get rid of them as I need. On the other hand, a player who doesn't care about flood/screw would be more likely to play a deck that is more prone to such problems, such as most aggro decks. I think this is just a choice on the part of the player - I can either have 10% of my games be no fun with this deck, or 2% with that deck. I believe allowing that choice to play out is a net positive for the game, even if those individual rounds aren't as fun. If you want to play a deck that never has mana problems, try Vintage Dredge. Unfortunately, that consistency can only be achieved at the consequence of having virtually every game play out the same. Playing close to the edge is fun and successful, and you can't play close to the edge if there is no edge.
Again, not trying to criticize, this is just what I think.

EDIT: Just one more thing: Guaranteeing players lands breaks Vintage Dredge, as they get Bazaar of Baghdad, and even giving a basic land would break Legacy Belcher. No can do, unfortunately.
Won a TPmanW contest with Demonic Arbitrator. (see below) My username is a simple continued fraction. Look it up. My favorite cards I've made:
Show
Æther Rider Creatuere - Spirit (U) Vanishing 0 (This permanent enters the battlefield with zero time counters on it. At the beginning of your upkeep, remove a time counter from it. When the last is removed, sacrifice it.) Flying : Put a time counter on ~. Any player may activate this ability. It comes on the wind, from realms unknown. 2/2 Kaldurian Behemoth Creature - Beast (R) Mana produced by lands may not be used to pay ~'s mana cost. Trample On Kalduria, the beasts are too good to eat common grass. 10/10 Demonic Arbitrator Sorcery Starting with you, each player may pay any amount of life. If any player paid life, repeat this process. If a player paid more life in total than any other, that player searches his or her library for a card and puts that card into his or her hand. Then that player shuffles his or her library. "Your sacrifice has been judged worthy. What power do you require?"
I think extreme mana flood/screw is a tradeoff that players take when they build their decks and, to a lesser extent, make muliganning/play decisions. If I want to reduce the probability of mana issues to near zero, I can play lots of lands and lots of draw smothing like Ponder and Preordain, to allow me to get more lands or get rid of them as I need. On the other hand, a player who doesn't care about flood/screw would be more likely to play a deck that is more prone to such problems, such as most aggro decks. I think this is just a choice on the part of the player - I can either have 10% of my games be no fun with this deck, or 2% with that deck.



There's a lot to say about this:
+ If you are going to increase the number of lands in your deck, another mana issue will increase: mana full.
+ All colors are not equivalent in regards to the suggested cards. I'm not sure it'd be positive if white (or any other color for that matter) happened to be the color of mana death/full because it doesn't have solutions to get rid of those issues.
+ Someone earlier said something I really agree with: players should not have to chose between efficiency and the absence of mana issues.


I'm not in favor of making sure the players have X lands, I'm rather in the favor of having some form of cycling on basic lands so that anybody can increase the number of lands without fear of mana full.
There are a lot of things to answer, I'll try to not miss anything.


That's part of the issue here. When you lose due to mana screw, how do you know where you made a mistake, or if you even did make one? In a recent limited tournament, I got color screwed twice (I was playing a red splash in an Orzhov deck) during the first match (drawing loads of red lands and almost no black one), and the player that won the game did so with a much wackier manabase.
The issue is even more prominent, as mulliganing a 2-land hand, you'll often not draw more lands after the mulligan (statistics and everything).



Mulliganning is an art. It took me years to understand that. Most of the time, if you got mana-screwed twice in a row, you made a mulliganning mistake (assuming it's not the deckbuilding or the shuffling). The odds of starting with three lands and low-cost spells in hand and drawing only your big spells and no further mana for twelve turns in a row is so low it shouldn't happen twice. If it happenned twice, you made a mistake.

That's why I suggested making the mana screw less deadly, or having lands be useful during the mid-game part. There are loads of possibilities no one has even tried to think of.



You really think so?

What if you lose two games during the same match due to mana screw?



Either I mulliganned wrong, and I reflect on what I should've done, or it's so rare I don't care. Losing one match every three years to that isn't going to wear me down. In fact, I don't remember it happening.

That said, here's my question for you and any other poster in this thread... go back up to the OP and read my hypothetical about someone hacking the mtgo shuffler. Bearing in mind that (a) I'm not actually endorsing this happening in the real world, and (b) it's a crucial part of this hypothetical that NO ONE KNOWS THIS WAS DONE; would mtgo be a better or a worse game during the time when this hack was in place?



Your hypothetical includes nobody knows. With that, I can say with certainty it would be worse. The very fun out of Magic is to know what you're dealing with. Additionnaly, you'd have worse deck and worse pilots winning only because the rules have changed without anyone knowing.


Nonsense. The rational thing to do is to do BOTH of those things. If I lose a game to really severe mana screw, I say "thanks, Mark Rosewater!" (really, I say that). That doesn't mean I give up or throw my hands in the air or don't attempt to win the next two games (assuming this was game 1 of the match). It does mean that I think to myself "man it's sooooo frustrating that playing this game I love so much is so idiotically pointless and stupid some times, and it pisses me off even more than frickin MaRo is so chipper and in denial about it".



I won't comment about MaRo, expecially without knowing what he said in the podcast. What I'll say is that I didn't mean throwing a fit, just being irritated, like you obviously are (you've started a thread about it).


That depends what "fixing the mana system" means. If the mana system worked differently, then there would be a different mana system, and the best way to build a deck would be different. So lazy doesn't even apply, because there would be entirely different rules and guidelines and principles. The skills would change, but there would certainly still be skill.



Mulligans would be easier, ressource management would be far easier, you wouldn't even have to think about your mana-base, the curve would be much more forgiving... You're underestimating the amount of skill that can help mitigate the odds of being screwed and losing because of it.


Again, a MaRo-esque overstatement. Some people complain all the times about mana screw and are whiney, and if they didn't have mana screw to complain about they would complain about something else. Other people say "sometimes I get really badly mana screwed... probably no more than anyone else, and no more than probability dictates, but I believe that the extent to which severe mana screw diminishes the fun of the game is a flaw in the game's fundamental design". Don't confuse the second claim with the first.



I'm just saying that I've seen numerous people complain of mana-screw in situations they created themselves. It boosts the number of complainers, which gives an odd sense that everyone hates mana-screw and that it's obviously bad for the game.


Here's the thing, though, there are times when not mulliganing and then getting mana screwed was precisely the correct decision. If I'm playing GTC limited and my opening hand is two forests, frilled oculus ,  Simic manipulator, master biomancer , crocanura and some other spell, on the draw, I absolutely positively snap keep that every time.



I would never keep that hand. Never. Not only are you relying on drawing an island to do anything (remember, that's 9 cards out of the 33 remaining), but if you don't draw early-game threats, you aren't doing anything until turn three, Manipulator won't be of any use unless you get two islands, and you need two more lands to land Biomancer. You also have Crocanura who won't get bigger anytime soon. Really, that's not a keeper. You have over 25% odds of not drawing an island before turn four. Almost 18% of not drawing one until turn five. By then, you're dead.

However, it illustrates quite clearly the problem with mulligans : it you calculated the odds of being screwed out of the match while keeping that hand, you'd fall off your chair and throw it away. But the sheer power of some of the cards made you think you should keep it. You play the hand and you don't draw that island for three or four turns (not at all incredible). You losr the game. Now, mana-screwed has prevented you from playing your game. However, it hasn't really. It's your poor mulliganing that caused it.

 Never? Hardly. Yes, obviously, you can make tradeoffs between deck power and deck consistency. But ultimately you should still build a deck that wins most often. If I'm playing competitively, and there are two builds for my deck, one that will get mana screwed 10% of the time, lose 20% of the time, and win 70% of the time, and one that will get mana screwed 2% of the time, lose 30% of the time and win 68% of the time, I should build the first one. But, and here's the key point, magic SHOULD NOT PRESENT THAT CHOICE.



Why?

I've certainly got a lot more philosophical about it as I've played over the years (many many years), but I find it very hard to imagine anyone who is so utterly calm about it that they can get to some important match in a tournament (round 2 of an 8-4 on mtgo, or the win-or-in-round for top 8 of a tournament big or small), get badly mana screwed twice in a row, and then just walk out with a smile on their face whistling and cheerful exactly as happy as they would be had the match gone differently. (Obviously competitive vs truly casual magic are very different beasts, and I'm talking about the former.) I'm not saying no such people exist or that you're not one of them, I'm saying that they're unbelievably rare... frankly, if you love the game and also want to win, you SHOULD be emotionally invested enough to be disturbed by losing due to extreme mana screw.

 

I'm emotionally invested enough to understand that when I'm mana-screwed, I either made something wrong or I wasn't able to pull through in the other two games. When I get mana-screwed bad twice in a row, I have exactly the same face as when I cast an overkill creature that got sweeped and it costed me the game. Or when I got killed by a regenerative creature enchanted with Madcap Skills and I couldn't draw a damn piece of removal to deal with it at the prerelease. Magic is a game of luck mitigated by skill. Lands are one of its part. Mulligans also are. I wouldn't trade them for anything.

 Whenever I read things like "Mulliganning is one of the most difficult part of the game, but it's not that apparent. People don't realize that their mulliganning decisions are bad.", it usually makes me turn away of a discussion. In my opinion, mulligans are not a "part of the game", but more a necessity of a flawed system. It shouldn't exist as another strategical option.



Mulligans are one of the most skill-testing, interesting decisions of the whole game. They're not only a necessity of a flawed system. They're a dynamic way of sculpting your hand, that adds a lot of depth to the game, prevents not only mana-screw, but also low-cost-screw, removal-screw, sweeper-screw... I've kept six-lands hands and shuffled away three-lands hands. Reducing mulligans to "something we can't get around because of the mana system" is misunderstanding its real function. Its akin to saying sideboard are only a necessity of a flawed system where you need your hate cards to deal with some decks, so they can't just ban them. They're much more than that.

Mulligans, when you understand their depth and hwo they work, are one of the best mechanics of the game.

Rules Advisor

Quotes
76783093 wrote:
56957928 wrote:
58331438 wrote:
56945988 wrote:
Rancor dies to in-response removal.
Yeah... Until next game, where it'll be right back. Seriously, there's no way to deal with Rancor in any format. It should be banned, except Gleemax is a lobbyist for the Rancor party, so that'll never happen.
You can't ban rancor, it just returns to your deck.
58331438 wrote:
57461258 wrote:
You might want to actually talk to the Flavor & Storyline Board people... since, you know, our whole reason for playing Magic is the flavor. I'm willing to bet you'll get a lot more interest there than in General.
Indeed, both posters down there would be thrilled.
57817638 wrote:
I think I wasn't direct enough in my last post. I'll try to fix it now. Ahem... NO ONE CARES there you have it.
57471038 wrote:
When talks about banning Jace first started, I was thinking that I would see him banned come June 20th. But as I think more about it, I don't really think that Jace is the problem anymore. Sure his power level leaves very little to the imagination (opening Jace is like opening a refrigerator box with a naked girl on the inside), and sure his price does have a strong impact on what players choose to play (playing Jace is like being intimate with a woman and she doesn't charge you in the morning), but it is not the source of all the problems in Standard.
76973988 wrote:
How do people think saving room to print more abilities on cards is dumbing down the game?

Do you really think, say, Akroma would ever be printed if she said, "Akroma can block by creatures with this ability and cannot be blocked by creatures without this ability.  If a creature without this ability would deal combat damage by Akroma would be destroyed, prevent all combat damage that creature would deal to Akroma this combat.  Attacking does not cause Akroma to tap.  If Akroma is blocked and deals lethal damage, it deals the remainder of its damage to the defending player.  Akroma may attack and use abilities that require tapping in the casting cost the turn it enters the battlefield.  Akroma cannot be damaged, enchanted, equipped, blocked or targeted by black or red sources" rather than her "dumbed down" wording she has?  No freaking way.  Keywording and shorthand allows them to make complicated cards easy to play with, allowing them to be printed in the first place.
57817638 wrote:
The creation of praetors was worth it just because now amoeboid changeling is a praetor.
57140668 wrote:
1. cast frankie peanuts2. ask opponent "will you concede the game this turn"? if they say yes, you win; if they say no, play a staying power
3. subsequently ask "will you attack this turn"? and "will you cast a spell this turn"? (using a Teferi, Mage of Zhalfir for the second question if necessary) to ensure they can't disrupt the combo
4. donate them a platinum angel
5. play a mox lotus and braingeyser them for every card in their library. play an opalescence and donate them a glorious anthem and a blacker lotus, then play enchanted evening. play and activate a mindslaver and then donate them a fastbond and the mox lotus (returning one of the donates to your hand with eternal witness or whatever)
6. during their turn, play every permanent in their hand (playing lands with fastbond) then (as yourself) cast mirrorweave on the blacker lotus, so every permanent becomes a copy of it. proceed to tear up every card they control, and hopefully do it before they notice that they aren't bound by staying power's ability anymore and can concede
82423538 wrote:
57471038 wrote:
82423538 wrote:
One part of the statement being true=/=the whole statement true.
Whatever. I'm still here about ten minutes away. Whenever you want to get destroyed in Magic, I'm available.
I would like to get destroyed in Magic, actually. Do you know anybody good enough?
57617478 wrote:
Please format your statements in a way that doesn't look like a baboon hit its face on your keyboard.
57140668 wrote:
why did Garruk Relentless lose a loyalty counter
Show
to get to the other side
89522235 wrote:
You're such an obvious troll that you have hexproof and : Regenerate.
56957928 wrote:
56776038 wrote:
Dark Ritual being overpowered is determined more by what is done with it than the card itself.
True, but the fact that it enables so many ridiculous things is pretty telling. It's like, sure I can use a shotgun as a bludgeoning instrument, but that doesn't make it not a shotgun.
79035425 wrote:
Shortly before Serra died, she transferred her spark into an angel whose full name was Asha Avacyn Bolas. Her dragon father groomed her for her positions in Alara and Innistrad, and she's also been getting help from her uncle Ugin in the form of Urza, who was resurrected as Marit Lage to be the avatar as which she projects herself into material realms. Grieslbrand is a split personality who sometimes wanders the planes disguised as a human woman named Liliana Vess.
97610188 wrote:
Yeah that (Content Removed) really annoys me. Moderated by MY_self right about naahowwww!
93446159 wrote:
Dilleux_Lepaire just won the thread.
57461258 wrote:
And, as usual, Dilleux wins the entire thread. Nice work, sir, nice work.
99113151 wrote:
They need to make 9 layers of zones where cards go when they "die". Much like Hell.
56778328 wrote:
Wow, holy doggy poop, kids, obvious statement is obvious.
56776038 wrote:
122053101 wrote:
i don't think your geting it WotC is trying to kill the comption to make it so that there shity app is the only one left.
I haven't tried the app. How is its use of English grammar? Cheers!
57471038 wrote:
Everyone's life would be easier if players would, instead of coming to the 'net for help with a deck, just netdeck and be done with it. And I'm not talking about some Top 8 lists, for the Casualists, too, can benefit from netdecking. I've netdecked plenty of decks from the Casual Play forums from users such as Mown, Raedien, Floopfoot, and a few others. I snatched straight the heck out of my web browser. Yes, people, your original idea fell victim to a savage netdecker. You have been assimiliated. Suppose I wanted a Zombie deck. Why on earth would I spend time searching Gatherer for a decent list of Zombie cards when Raedien already did it for me? Taking time to be creative or waiting on people on the forums to tell you why your deck sucks or 'go to Casual forums' is a disasterous waste of time (to me).
56957928 wrote:
82423538 wrote:
If WotC started putting $100 bills in packs, the players would complain that they folded them wrong.
No, they just spam them with ban requests. That being said, Magic was ruined back in Alpha when they added all that rules and cards [Debutantes avert your eyes]. My friends and I still like playing it the "pure" way (Basically we go into the woods and hit eachother with wiffle bats while shouting made up obscenities. You know, the way Garfield wanted it to be played).
56957928 wrote:
Don't worry about it. I've come up with a list of changes to fix EDH. -First off, there's no commander. -The minimum deck size is 60 cards, and each deck can have up to four of each card, save basic lands and relentless rats. Also decks have no color identity. -Starting life total is 20. And voila, now things are balanced.
89522235 wrote:
Here's a clever play you can try yourself: -Convince friend to run relentless rats.dec in legacy tournament -Get a deck with lots of mill, yixlid jailer, and humility -Drop humility and jailer, wait for him to dump his hand, mill him out -All his rats now have no abilities. Call a judge because he's playing an illegal deck with more than 4 of a single card. -Get him/her banned from competitive magic play
142055101 wrote:
But how to mark them without making the individual sleeve different! You could buy a skunk and slam it's butt on you deck (pardon the french) Then after the game just sniff at your opponent's pile of cards and you will know if any of your cards are there!!!
141434757 wrote:
In Soviet Russia, Sorin opens You
71235715 wrote:
L, is for the leather gloves you weaaaar. O, is for the organs that guy could spaaaare. V, is very very, extraordinay. E, is for every vagrant i butchered in a wine cellar befooooore.
57052258 wrote:
The outer layer of the Magic: the Gathering box, the carton, or crust, is fairly thin and light, and contains largely aluminosilcates. Within that lies the middle layer, consisting of the familiar booster pack. Although solid, the booster packs' high temperatures allow them to acutally move around within the booster box. This flow, sometimes called convection, is cited by frustrated box mappers as one of WOTC's most genious uses of thermodynamics since the Ravnica block. No one knows what lies at the core of the booster box, but scientists theorize that it must be especially dense in order to make up for the large amount of fluff distributed amongst the booster packs.
58232598 wrote:
88993869 wrote:
Torpor Orb is absolutely godawful against Vexing Devil.
whoever is playing vexing devil is probably losing anyways
56957928 wrote:
I imagine [Ajani 3's] second ability involves him hurling the creature at your opponent Brion Stoutarm style, then the guy is just like "Okay, that may have worked, but don't- GOD DAMN IT!" as he does it again because cats don't give a **** :33.
56957928 wrote:
"Do or do not, there is no try." - Albus Dumbledore, The Lord of the Rings.
89522235 wrote:
68978039 wrote:
Its like that one time Elves broke out in a field of Jund. Elves became a resurgent hit, then died off again once Jund adapted to the rest of the field of G/W that it required mass removal that inherently pooped on Elves too. Submit to the menace. Delver can, and will blot out the sun.
Then we shall play in the shade.
89522235 wrote:
I'm sorry, this forum isn't for getting bad advice on mediocre decks, that's standard deck help. This forum is for starting ****storms.
97820278 wrote:
139359831 wrote:
Your advice would only lead me to make generic, boring, and unworthy content. It's of no use to me.
I just got this image of you as an architect, having finished a building suspended by only a small pole in its southwest corner, saying it's original. Then the building collapses.
56957928 wrote:
I for one love the flavor of legendary lands. "I remember my days as a youth at Tolarian Academy." "Wow, small multiverse, I actually went there too." "WAIT, DON'T- Well ****, there's $200,000 in student loans well spent."
56957928 wrote:
And flavor goes out the window when you cast a second copy of a planeswalker right after the first one dies, so... "Hey Nissa, I need a favor." "You just asked me for a 'favor' like thirty seconds ago, and it turned out to be having Sarkhan Transmogrify my only follower into a dragon like 5 times -which dickery aside also violates some laws of causality - and then you let me get beaten over the head by that hedron crab." "...I'll give you " "...Well all right then."
57150868 wrote:
GM, I don't think Dill is better than you. I KNOW it. Even if he wakes up every morning, clubs a baby seal, steals all the TV remotes from within a block's radius of his house and then robs hungry orphans of their food he'd be better than you, for the simple reason that he learns from his mistakes.
143211137 wrote:
57033358 wrote:
Tamiyo vs. Gideon
What would they have to fight about? Like, all I can think of now is Gideon going "Hey, long-ears! I'm gathering a group of 'Walkers together to fight some tentacle monsters.....you want in?" and Tamiyo going "Ew! Hentai no bakka Gideon-desu desu!" and flying away.
76783093 wrote:
I open 4 packs just to be on the safe side. Not only do I get more cards than everyone else, but I also get to spend the rest of the night off. Win Win.
191752181 wrote:
MaRo has a thing for people opening boosters with bad cards. But since he can only get so many bad cards printed in each set, he has found a devious way of getting more bad cards into circulation: He makes entire print sheets with just bad rares, then puts them onto the assembly line. He proceeds to wring his hands and twirl his evil mustache that he grew for twirling purposes as a lightning bolt strikes in the background. Afterwards, he goes to make sure that the good cards are only opened by everyone's friends, and that we all only get to open bad cards. He does this by memorising each booster, than switching them around accordingly. Whenever someone complains about a card, he immediately jumps out from behind a chair to yell "WELL, IT'S NOT FOR YOU!" before merging back into the shadows in order to devise new ways in which he can screw over players, then claim that he has valid reasons for doing so.
97820278 wrote:
192729031 wrote:
You open a booster pack, and staring back at you from the rare slot is a Lotleth Troll? At least I can stick him in my EDH deck and still have four for my standard constructed.
Because lol troll
56874518 wrote:
It helped that I more or less skipped most of GM_Champion's longer diatribes. I only have so many brain cells I'm willing to sacrifice each day.
192931349 wrote:
Mark Rosewater is sitting in a seemingly innocuous cable TV van, outside of Bankaimastery's house. Sitting nearby are two hardened criminal hackers, fresh out of prison, and filled with resentment at their lack of physical fitness. "Have you managed to hack his brainwaves yet? The set deadline's coming up fast." "We're almost through. It should be coming up on the screen any second." The hacker presses a button, and Kevin's thoughts flash onto the screen. Mark and the hackers stare in amazement at the sheer beauty, the elegance, and the raw truth of what they see. It's like the ending to 2001: A Space Odyssey. Brilliant light shines across the screen, the truth of existence is made clear to them, and they despair at their own foolishness, their own ignorance, their own inadequacy. And then they steal his ideas. As they return back to R&D, Mark sneers at a haggard old man chained to a cast-iron sphere. The man looks up from his laborious task of breaking rocks in the dungeon of Wizards of the Coast headquarters, and asks a question: "Kevin, my greatest student. He - he's all right, isn't he? You didn't hurt him?" Mark deals him a weighty blow with his boot. "Know your place, Richard. Get back to work."
57023768 wrote:
Now show me on the Garruk doll where Zac Hill ruined your enjoyment of Magic...
63711769 wrote:
I'm only opposed to it because it bears so little relation to how people actually play the game. The example of Miracles is actually a much better one then the Clone example I was trying to use. From the game's perspective, the card can move instantly from face down in the library to revealed in the hand and that's fine for the rules. But in real life, we can't actually do that, so the card spends a good bit of time in locations that are neither where that player's library is nor where that player's hand is. And that's fine for real life. What I don't want is the disconnect to be explicitly codified. Along the lines of
183664.697 A game of Magic as laid out by these rules exists only as a pure Platonic ideal, utterly unrealizable by fallible mortals limited by the confines of physicality and the ravages of evil and sin. 183664.698 The cake is a lie, too.
I know it's true, but I don't want the rules to actually straight-up tell me that.
147137503 wrote:
77120821 wrote:
Pfft this cant be serious can it? If it is please delete your account OP. Its not even close to ban worthy, considering what JTMS and stoneforge had to accomplish to get banned i see the WotC selling magic to aquire Pokemon before that ever happens.
I'm trying to imagine sorin markov as a gym leader in one of those pokemon games which you have to beat him to get his badge... somehow I imagine that he would stab you in the chest with his sword before giving you the badge, even if you beat his pokemon....
196239043 wrote:
Personally, I'd be fine with tea time but then I'm not gonna waste the mana summoning Emrakul, the Aeons Torn. He always takes all the sugar, drinks the whole pot of Earl Grey and doesn't even say thank you. SO. RUDE.

 

JustTerrorIt wrote:

 

JuliusPringle wrote:

All I want to do is sit down and play magic, but when I walked in yesterday, (since I didn't talk to anyone) nobody talked to me and I silently bought what I wanted and walked out.


If you don't talk to anyone, that increases the odds that no one will talk to you.

 

JuliusPringle wrote:

So how do I just... introduce myself? "Hi, my name is Adam, wanna play magic with me?" Do I go to the counter and talk to the cashier?


Yeah. Talk to the cashier. Tell him/her that you want a Black Lotus, and if they don't have one tell them that the store isn't on par with what you expected.

 

Reach into your back left pocket. Pull out a deck list that you copied directly from some ChannelFireball top 8 Standard discussion, and ask for all the cards, as is, on that list. Then, ask for some random, probably terrible cards from whatever set is Standard legal. Say it's tech for the upcoming changes in the metagame.

 

Pull out a deck, and tell some random dude you wanna test (you have to use the term "test" for this to work) for Standard. Make sure that deck contains Kitchen Finks and Alluring Siren. Maybe throw in Nyxathid for good measure.

 

Finally, before you leave, spill (make it look like an accident) one hundred singleton, random cards onto the floor. Pick them up, put them in a pile, and say "EEE-DEE-AYCH".

 

I know this sounds dumb at first, but it will work. With the method outlined above, you will draw the attention of players that play older formats by asking for cards that no one on Earth can reasonably afford. You will get the attention of the wanna-be pro, Stomp-n00bz players by pulling out a well known decklist and declare that you have "tech" to make it better. You will get the attention of all the kind, helpful players by seemingly not knowing the most common format by having non-Standard legal cards in a deck that you claim is Standard legal. Finally, you catch all the rest of the Magic players by saying "EEE-DEE-AYCH" (EDH (or Commander)).

And there you have it. You will be talking to more people than you would have wanted to talk to in no time.

 

Smoke_Stack wrote:

EDH is the best format anyway


See, it's starting already.

 

Break the Card
What is Break the Card?
Break the Card is a regular thread in the Cards and Combo Forum. Quite simply, the participants are given a Johnnystatic card (e.g. Xenograft) and are asked to build a deck around it. The winner and honorable mentions are sigged below. Get brewing!
Week 1 : Xenograft
This week's Break the Card was based around Xenograft. Thread : http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75842/27681049/Break_the_card_:_Xenograft?pg=1 Winner : Axterix with his Vampdrazi deck. Finalist : Vektor480 with his Ally/Golem/Plant deck. Honorable mentions : Zammm for the Turntimber Ranger combo and TinGorilla for suggesting Sarkhan the Mad.
Week 2 : Mindlock Orb
Here's the link to the Mindlock Orb contest : http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75842/27697565/Break_the_Card_:_Mindlock_Orb?sdb=1&pg=last#497536269 Winner : Axterix with his Maralen of the Mornsong deck. Honorable mentions : Void_Elemental.
Week 3 : Bludgeon Brawl
Here's the link to Break the Card : Bludgeon Brawl : http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75842/27715169/Break_the_Card_:_Bludgeon_Brawl?sdb=1&pg=last#498208797 Winner : Vektor and his Grab the World deck. Finalist : Crandor with his Awesome Aliteration deck. Honorable mentions : RP Jesus with his Wat deck and Zix200 with his Signet Renewal deck.
Week 4 : Followed Footsteps
This week was Followed Footsteps : http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75842/27748677/Break_the_Card_:_Followed_Footsteps?pg=1 Winner : Tevish_Szat with his Exponential Growth deck. Honorable mentions : Zix with his Carbon Copies deck and Escef with his Fungus of Speed and Time deck.
Week 5 : Delaying Shield
This week's card was Delaying Shield : http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75842/27790101/Break_the_Card_:_Delaying_Shield Winner : Tevish_Szat. Finalist : Vampire_Bat. Honorable Mention : Zix200.
Week 6 : Painter's Servant
This week's card was Painter's Servant : http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75842/27940861/Break_the_Card_:_Painters_Servant?pg=1 Winner : Tevish_Szat with his Paint it Black deck. Finalist : Wprundv with his Tiger, Tiger Painted Bright deck.
Week 7 : Venser, the Sojourner
This week's card was Venser, the Sojourner : http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75842/27977489/Break_the_Card_:_Venser,_the_Sojourner Winner : Izzett with her "Venser, Trickster Trader" deck. Finalist : Wprundv with his "Tactical Sojourner Action" deck.
Week 8 : Personal Sanctuary
This week's card was Personal Sanctuary : http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75842/28005461/Break_the_card_:_Personal_Sanctuary Winner : MrQuizzles. Honorable mention : Vampire_Bat and UbberSheep
Week 9 : Sundial of the Infinite
This week's card was Sundial of the Infinite : http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75842/28038277/Break_the_card_:_Sundial_of_the_Infinite Finalist : Izzett with her "Afterlife Trespassers" deck. Winner : Xeromus with his "Fortune 500" deck.
Week 10 : Jace's Archivist
This week's card was Jace's Archivist : http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75842/28063377/Break_the_Card_:_Jaces_Archivist. Finalists : Jentaru with his "Consecration of the Draw" deck and HereticSmitty with his "ADHD: The deck" deck. Winner : JaxsonBateman with his "The Archives Are Endless!" deck.
Week 11 : Search the City
This week's card was Search the City : http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75842/29518555/Break_the_Card_:_Search_the_City Finalist : Mown with "A Thousand Footsteps". Winner : Desolation_masticore with "Burn the City".
Week 12 : Fiend Hunter
This week's card was Fiend Hunter : http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75842/29530975/Break_the_Card_:_Fiend_Hunter Winner : Yuyu63 with "Carnival Hunting". Honorable mention : Dknowle's "Champion the Fiend".
Week 13 : Clock of Omens
This week's card was Clock of Omens : http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75842/29541549/Break_the_Card_:_Clock_of_Omens?pg=1 Winner : Dknowle's "The Myrs Go Marching".
Week 14 : Light of Sanction
This week's card was Light of Sanction : http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75842/29607219/Break_the_Card_:_Light_of_Sanction?pg=1 Winner : Zauzich's "Divine Plague".
Week 15 : Assemble the Legion
This week's card was Assemble the Legion : http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75842/29662307/Break_the_Card_:_Assemble_the_Legion Winner : JBTM's "Some Assembly Required".
Week 16 : High Tide
This week's cards were High Tide and/or Bubbling Muck : http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75842/29760427/Break_the_Card_:_High_Tide Winner : Mown's "Puppet Strings".
Week 17 : Illusionist's Bracers
This week's card was Illusionist's Bracers : http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75842/29776943/Break_the_Card_:_Illusionistss_Bracers Winner : Enigma256's "Tezzeret's Bracers"
Week 18 : Savor the Moment
This week's card was Savor the Moment : http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75842/29787235/Break_the_Card_:_Savor_the_Moment Winner : POSValkir's "A Savory Filibuster!"
Week 19 : Grinning Ignus
This week's card was Grinning Ignus : http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75842/29795547/Break_the_Card_:_Grinning_Ignus Winner : dknowle's "Luren' and Laughin'".
Week 20 : Transcendence
This week's card was Transcendence : http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75842/29806481/Break_the_Card_:_Transcendence Winners : Mown's "Transcending Timing Restrictions" and Dknowle's "Blinded by Greed", tied for the win.
Week 21 : Mortus Strider
This week's card was Mortus Strider : http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75842/29818471/Break_the_Card_:_Mortus_Strider Winner : SimonGlume's "Mortus Head".
Week 22 : High Priest of Penance
This week's card was High Priest of Penance : http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75842/29917231/Break_the_Card_High_Priest_of_Penance Winners : JBTM's "Two Clerics and a Goblin walk into a (Bom)bar(dment)..." and POSValkir1's "Choke Their Rivers with Our Dead!".
Week 23 : False Cure
This week's card was False Cure :http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75842/29964239/Break_the_Card_:_False_Cure Winner : Dknowle's "When Hippos Fly".

Week 24 : Akroan Horse

This week's card was Akroan Horse : http://community.wizards.com/forum/cards-and-combos/threads/4024821.

Winner : Dknowle's "Indian Giver".

Week 25 : Leylines

This week saw multiple cards being in the contest : all of the Leylines! http://community.wizards.com/forum/cards-and-combos/threads/4067621

Winner : POSValkir1's "Laying the Battle Lines".

Nonsense. The rational thing to do is to do BOTH of those things. If I lose a game to really severe mana screw, I say "thanks, Mark Rosewater!" (really, I say that). That doesn't mean I give up or throw my hands in the air or don't attempt to win the next two games (assuming this was game 1 of the match). It does mean that I think to myself "man it's sooooo frustrating that playing this game I love so much is so idiotically pointless and stupid some times, and it pisses me off even more than frickin MaRo is so chipper and in denial about it".



I think MaRo is fully aware of your frustration (and the frustration of thousands of other players in the same situation) but the idea he's hooke on is that it's still a game you love.  Frustration feels bad, but a game that frustrates you isn't necessarily a bad game.  In other genres, players will willingly submit themselves to extremely frustrating scenarios, like impossible boss fights, bullet-hell shooters or sadistic platformers like Super Meat Boy, because despite the frustration the underlying game is so compelling and the sense of accomplishment for defying the odds is so satisfying that you want to play again regardless.

A game that produces negative emotions is forgiveable.  A game that produces no emotions at all is doomed.  The randomness of the mana system and the unbalanced games it creates are not fine-tuned to create a clean competitive environment, they're designed to provoke feelings.
The World of Eldangard - a three act M:tG block by Fallingman Eldangard Stormfront Ragnarok
"Maybe Jon Finkel will get manascrewed and I get perfect draws."
This statement encourages me to kill myself.

There's few things I despise more than getting manascrewed in magic; it's watching it happen to an opponent. If my opponent sits there like a goldfish and tanks it into submission, there's absolutely nothing satisfying about that. Nothing.

Frustration feels bad, but a game that frustrates you isn't necessarily a bad game.  In other genres, players will willingly submit themselves to extremely frustrating scenarios, like impossible boss fights, bullet-hell shooters or sadistic platformers like Super Meat Boy, because despite the frustration the underlying game is so compelling and the sense of accomplishment for defying the odds is so satisfying that you want to play again regardless.


I think those are quite different from Magic. First of all, Magic is a competitive game, meaning you play against an opponent. For a lot of players, they want an even playing ground. They want the ridiculous challenge to come from the opponent's skill, not by the hurdles the game throws in your face. You don't play All Random with repick in competitive DotA and put the skill at being able to adapt to the situation, because that is ridiculous. Just like the laning phase in DotA, you can get really far behind in Magic if the game doesn't deliver properly.

And for me, Super Meat Boy is satisfying because I overcome it with challenge, not because I played enough times to the point where I randomly got good draws.

However, unlike my DotA example, mana screw is usually something that becomes evident later in the game. And because of that, it is also harder to set yourself up for. Sure, you can mulligan so your starting hand is better, but that doesn't do anything to the top of your library. To survive in magic, you need both a combiation of lands and spells. This means that there's no real secure method to decrease one without increasing the other, without also hurting the efficiency of your deck. And it also makes it harder to find a hand that is resistant to both of them. If you're playing a midrange deck, you run the risk of missing your third land drop with two lands in hand at the start, and you run the risk of not having enough pressure with four of them. And every time you mulligan, the chance of getting screwed gets significantly higher. It can still help, but mulliganing is rather risky.

On that topic, an interesting question came to me; what if the second player had another card in his starting hand instead of drawing it? How would that push the relation between play vs draw? I might have to make a thread on this - but I probably won't.

Yxoque wrote:
This forum can't even ****ing self-destruct properly.

IMAGE(http://img.pokemondb.net/sprites/black-white/anim/normal/plusle.gif)

I don't think the feeling of unfairness from random draws is that much different than the feeling of unfairness from a game that stacks impossible obstacles in front of you. People are good at personifying things, so whether it's the specter of a sadistic video game designer or the cruel whims of fate, I think players will feel similar emotions. The question is, is losing a game of Magic due to mana screw going to make you go home in frustration, or is the game compelling enough to make you shuffle up and try again. If you couple a frustrating loss with the sense that you know what you need to do better next time, that's a winning combo in my opinion.
The World of Eldangard - a three act M:tG block by Fallingman Eldangard Stormfront Ragnarok
The question is, is losing a game of Magic due to mana screw going to make you go home in frustration, or is the game compelling enough to make you shuffle up and try again.


At some point, I stopped playing MtG partially due to mana screw and went to another TCG. If I actually had the choice, I'd still be playing that other game.
If you couple a frustrating loss with the sense that you know what you need to do better next time, that's a winning combo in my opinion.


How do you get that sense with mana screw? It's not easy to understand where you were wrong (if you actually were wrong at some point), even more so if you actually did the right choice statistically speaking.


Also, part of the point that MaRo is trying to make (the worse player standing chances against the better one) shouldn't be a good one. Playing against a less experienced player, one should take a less efficient deck, unless they are training, or during a tournament.
The question is, is losing a game of Magic due to mana screw going to make you go home in frustration, or is the game compelling enough to make you shuffle up and try again.


At some point, I stopped playing MtG partially due to mana screw and went to another TCG. If I actually had the choice, I'd still be playing that other game.
If you couple a frustrating loss with the sense that you know what you need to do better next time, that's a winning combo in my opinion.


How do you get that sense with mana screw? It's not easy to understand where you were wrong (if you actually were wrong at some point), even more so if you actually did the right choice statistically speaking.



Let me rephrase slightly.  It's not necessarily about understanding where you went wrong.  Actually knowing the statistics and the metagame and the game's strategy so that you correctly know each mistake you made is an advanced skill that novice players won't really understand.  What's important is that after each loss you are left with the feeling that you can approach a fresh game with a new plan and new expectations and hopefully do better.  If a player can at least partially blame bad luck for their loss, then the next game offers you another chance.  If there were less variance in play then the losing player has no motivation to try again, at least not without a lot more practice or revisions to their deck.  They have every reason to expect the next game to play out the same as the first three.

Personally, I have never really gotten interested in competitive video games like the Street Fighter series, because I know everything is fully deterministic and it often feels like the player who wins the first game is very likely to win the second game and the third game unless their opponent is able to learn and adapt quickly enough. Now if the losing player doesn't get a grip on some understanding of why they lost, the game is simply a mystery box that makes them lose.  In order to make a game compelling, the very first thing that a player needs to figure out in the game is that certain things make you win and certain things make you lose. Those things don't even need to be right, they just need to be things that a novice can latch onto in order to form a game plan they can follow.

In most fighting games I believe this role is filled by Special moves.  A novice does not understand tactics, but if they lose because of a flashy powerful move they will realize that there are powerful, hard-to-execute attacks in the game and they will want to learn those moves.  Their basic understanding of the game is that the player who gets really good at pulling off complex button presses has the advantage.  Even though in competitive play most special moves aren't as important to victory as well-timed basic punches and kicks. If all they see are basic punches and kicks, and they keep losing despite the fact that they seem to be doing the exact same punches and kicks as their opponent, the game looks futile.  In Magic, concepts like tempo and card advantage are not immediately visible, and if a newbie is going to get a grip on the game long enough to start learning these things, they need a simple game plan.  That game plan is to draw more lands than their opponent and cast their big game-winning creature.  This is not a great game plan, but it fills a need.


Also, part of the point that MaRo is trying to make (the worse player standing chances against the better one) shouldn't be a good one. Playing against a less experienced player, one should take a less efficient deck, unless they are training, or during a tournament.



"Should" or "shouldn't" are words that imply a goal.  So when you say that it shouldn't be a good thing, what goal do you think is being mis-served by having a game system where a poorer player can sometimes win against a better player? (Not rhetorical or sarcastic, I wouldn't mind a deeper response to this.)

The goal I can think of off-hand is the goal of properly ranking the relative skill of different players, so that a tournament always reflects skill differences as accurately as possible and that superior players are consistently rewarded.  However I think that the problem of poorer players winning too often in tournaments against more skilled players.... well, isn't a problem that actually exists.
 And yes, the point of the game is to win through strategy, so if the game is won through something other than good strategy too often then it means the game is not very good.  So the other goal is to make a game that actually has a point.  But again I just don't see that as a problem.

Oh, and voluntarily handicapping yourself when facing a less experienced player is a good and honorable thing, but probably only feasible at kitchen table games with a group of friends.  A lot of players' games will be played at their LGS's Friday Night tournaments, and the game has to accomodate these environments too.  Sadly it's just not something that can be done across the board. 
The World of Eldangard - a three act M:tG block by Fallingman Eldangard Stormfront Ragnarok
Let me rephrase slightly.  It's not necessarily about understanding where you went wrong.  Actually knowing the statistics and the metagame and the game's strategy so that you correctly know each mistake you made is an advanced skill that novice players won't really understand.  What's important is that after each loss you are left with the feeling that you can approach a fresh game with a new plan and new expectations and hopefully do better.  If a player can at least partially blame bad luck for their loss, then the next game offers you another chance.  If there were less variance in play then the losing player has no motivation to try again, at least not without a lot more practice or revisions to their deck.  They have every reason to expect the next game to play out the same as the first three.



Part of the interest of any game is to improve yourself. Many video games let you do so by improving your reflexes or seeing which strategies are or aren't efficient. If you lose games but can't know where how to improve, then it's a huge miss for the game.

Oh, and voluntarily handicapping yourself when facing a less experienced player is a good and honorable thing, but probably only feasible at kitchen table games with a group of friends.  A lot of players' games will be played at their LGS's Friday Night tournaments, and the game has to accomodate these environments too.  Sadly it's just not something that can be done across the board. 



The biggest part of the game isn't tournaments, it's kitchen table play, and I'm quite sure too many players don't get that a handicap is a good thing. If my opponent is only going to win when I'm mana-screwed, that opponent will probably stop playing with me just the same (unless I have an insane amount of mana-screws).
If I'm going to a tournament, then I know that the level is supposed to be high and will go with an adapted mind-set, and won't complain if I lose to someone who played better or/and had a better deck.
I don't think the feeling of unfairness from random draws is that much different than the feeling of unfairness from a game that stacks impossible obstacles in front of you.


But it is, at least for me. In SMB, I have to overcome an obstacle. In Magic, I have to overcome a nuisance. And as said, Magic isn't a game against an obstacle, it's against a player. Magic's job isn't to try and stack impossible obstacles in front of you, that's what the player is supposed to do. If I feel that the game is actively hindering my chance of winning, then that's not a good thing, in the context of a duel.
People are good at personifying things, so whether it's the specter of a sadistic video game designer or the cruel whims of fate, I think players will feel similar emotions. The question is, is losing a game of Magic due to mana screw going to make you go home in frustration, or is the game compelling enough to make you shuffle up and try again. If you couple a frustrating loss with the sense that you know what you need to do better next time, that's a winning combo in my opinion.


I know that when I played Duel of the Planeswalker, I took a liking with the blue Talrand deck. Eventually, I faced the Krenko goblin deck. Know what my strategy was? "Let's hope he doesn't draw Goblin Piledriver." It's not mana related, but it's still about the randomness of the draw. My strategy wasn't about becoming better, it was about brute forcing until I got lucky. Eventually, I think I changed to a deck that was more apt to not getting randomly screwed by the card so I could continue, but I still think it's relevant. Even if I got victorious, I wouldn't feel happy about that game, because I wouldn't attribute that to any skill.

And that is also where I think the "randomness" in Magic should be, deck construction. If you want to beat an opponent in your playgroup, you can just adapt your deck to make it better against that opponent. The game is still going to be random, because it's a card game, so the variance will still be there. Of course, more expensive decks are usually a lot better, meaning that in this world, it would probably be harder to motivate a new player to try out FNM. In an ideal world, the metagame would be varied enough to where a strategy might be lucky in that the rest of the tournament isn't prepared for it, and cards would't be as expensive, but that's rather difficult to accomplish.

Although the draw of FNM should really be the ability to meet other magic players, rather than the dream of lucking your way into victories. It sort of sounded like MaRo wanted the latter to be a thing.

Yxoque wrote:
This forum can't even ****ing self-destruct properly.

IMAGE(http://img.pokemondb.net/sprites/black-white/anim/normal/plusle.gif)

Metagaming and deck construction are high level concepts that a novice player isn't going to pick up on immediately.  Early sets tried to make it more obvious by printing blatant color-hate cards like Gloom or Tsunami, but I think the modern design philosophy has stepped away from those because they're too swingy, either they do nothing or they're incredibly strong.

The most obvious thing that a new player can grab onto, the first-order strategy that will help them understand the flow of the game, is the mana system.  It's got a clearly visible development over the course of the game, and it's easy to see that getting too few or too little lands can have a big effect on the outcome.  If the mana system did not have any variance in it, if it was simply playing one land per turn for six turns or so every single game, then neither player gets an advantage from it.  And if neither player has a visible advantage in the mana system, then players need to find something else to base their strategy around, which makes the jump from raw beginner to newbie-with-a-plan just a bit bigger.  Learning to deal with unpredictable resources in the game is the first level of gameplay.  The game could start elsewhere, in theory, but I think that a random mana base does the job.

To an advanced player managing mana is something you don't like to think about.  It's an annoyance when things don't turn out right, but it's just background noise most of the time.  It's just like the dexterity challenge of executing a combo attack in a fighting game.  It would be nice if the little challenges just disappeared at some point, but the game needs the little challenges in order to build up to the big challenges, and to make sure that players of different skill levels can compete without one player being completely lost.  A newbie in Street Fighter doesn't understand the importance of reach or positioning or the metagame of character matchups, but they can still compete with a more advanced player and just try to throw out the most powerful moves they know of, and feel like they have a goal to work towards.  In Magic, a lower level player can duel a higher level player without understanding things like tempo or what an "aggro" deck means, but with the knowledge that if they can get up to five mana they can play their favorite spell.  They feel like they have a goal.

Just let me know if I'm getting too attached to that analogy by the way.
The World of Eldangard - a three act M:tG block by Fallingman Eldangard Stormfront Ragnarok
I think there's still a fairly reasonable amount of hate cards, they have just shifted from being color related to deck related. The graveyard hate available is extremely strong, for example. Not that I want it to be like that either. I'm not entirely sure, and I fear that my discussion is rooted in something too theoretical to actully be practically plausible. However, I would like it if the average power level of cards were better, and I like to think that it would lead to more diversity and accessibility. So maybe some new player made a graveyard deck, and because of the card quality, the deck is actually pretty good. The tournament players didn't bring much graveyard hate, since GY decks haven't made any top 8's, so he actually does pretty well, because the threat was unexpected. I think that's how it ideally should be. And for hate cards, I would like them to be more in the realm of Deathrite Shaman power, in that the aren't specifically designed to hose something, but they are good at doing it as a side-effect.

In the fighting game example, managing the abiity to combo is something you train to be good at, and not something that is randomly going to break apart. A new player is always going to be crushed, unlikely in Magic, where they might succeed. Just to emphasize the difference. I'm sure you're aware of it, and I'm not implying any positives or negatives with it, just that I don't think the examples have much similarity.

Yxoque wrote:
This forum can't even ****ing self-destruct properly.

IMAGE(http://img.pokemondb.net/sprites/black-white/anim/normal/plusle.gif)

An obvious and generally reasonable idea is to just have both mulligan rules. You draw your first 7 cards. If you have all lands or all spells, you reveal them and shuffle and draw again. Now you've used your only all-land-or-all-spell mulligan and so you are back in "normal" mulligan land. Alternatively you draw your first 7 and just don't like it, so you draw 6, and this 6 is all lands or all spells. Well, now you reveal them, and draw a different 6, etc. You get only one all-land-or-all-spell mulligan, but you can use it at any number of cards during the normal mulligan process. (There are many other possible similar possibilities.)



I like it.
Yeah, it's not a perfect analogy, because while an experienced magic player can learn to reduce mana-screw it can never be truly eliminated. An experienced Street Fighter player can train their reflexes so that they can nail the super-move 99.99% of the time. But at intermediate levels they both still have the feeling of randomness, I think. You know how to throw a fireball, but your fingers can only make it happen most of the time. And even though it's your own fault for twitching your thumb wrong, it feels like you just got unlucky. Ideally Magic would have the tools for a knowledgeable player to eliminate mana issues 99.99% of the time, but even then, the intermediate phase of unpredictability does some good things for helping players get better and enjoy the game even when they lose a lot.
The World of Eldangard - a three act M:tG block by Fallingman Eldangard Stormfront Ragnarok

Most of the time, if you got mana-screwed twice in a row, you made a mulliganning mistake


I gotta say, that's a pretty crazy-sounding statement. Obviously some hands are auto-mulligans and some are auto-keeps. But there are certainly some that are on the borderline. My borderline might be different from your borderline, and there's really no way to prove who's right, but there has to be some "worst" 7-card hand that is correct to keep. And whatever that hand is, keeping it will sometimes result in mana screw, kind of by definition. I mean, maybe some very niche constructed decks can dependably either have every land they need to cast every spell in their opening hand, or not, but limited decks almost always have some number of 4 or 5 drops, and clearly the correct rule for how to mulligan isn't "keep your hand ONLY if you have sufficient land to cast every spell in your deck".
If you watch enough drafts posted online from people like LSV or PV you will see them keep hand which clearly RISK getting mana screwed. And some of the time, they get mana screwed. And that does NOT mean that they mulliganed wrong.
(I will reiterate, by the way, that this is a much bigger issue in limited than in constructed...)
Additionnaly, you'd have worse deck and worse pilots winning only because the rules have changed without anyone knowing.


This is 100% wrong, and in fact precisely opposes with one of MaRo's main points. The more mana screw there is, the more often bad decks and worse players will win, because the better player getting mana screwed is far and away the easiest way for a bad player to beat a better one.

What I'll say is that I didn't mean throwing a fit, just being irritated, like you obviously are (you've started a thread about it).


Of course I'm irritated (in general, not necessarily right at this instance today). I love Magic. It's the best game I've ever played, and I've spent more time on it than any recreational activity other than reading books. But it has some big fundamental flaws. I wouldn't get irritated or care if I didn't love it this much.


That depends what "fixing the mana system" means. If the mana system worked differently, then there would be a different mana system, and the best way to build a deck would be different. So lazy doesn't even apply, because there would be entirely different rules and guidelines and principles. The skills would change, but there would certainly still be skill.


Mulligans would be easier, ressource management would be far easier, you wouldn't even have to think about your mana-base, the curve would be much more forgiving... You're underestimating the amount of skill that can help mitigate the odds of being screwed and losing because of it.


You are again 100% wrong. Fixing the mana system (at least for the typically discussed types of "fixing the mana system") would make mulligans much HARDER. Let's say that magic switched over to the Duelmasters mana system (every card can be used as either a spell or a land, effectively). Mulliganing in that game wouuld be BRUTALLY hard compared to how it is now. Right now, give me a random 7-card hand for any deck in any format, and give Jon Finkel that same hand, and I'll come up with the "right" mulligan decision a fairly large percentage of the time (that is, the one that agrees with Finkel) because so many mulligans come from either too many or too few hands. With that no longer being an issue, then all that's left is the subtle and close cases where I have powerful spells but not a good curve, or not enough combo pieces, not enough hate cards vs. dredge, etc. There's a certain category of decision that's no longer there (the "really good cards, but borderline-keepable mana" hand) but all the easy cases are gone, so it's way tougher overall.



I would never keep that hand. Never. Not only are you relying on drawing an island to do anything (remember, that's 9 cards out of the 33 remaining), but if you don't draw early-game threats, you aren't doing anything until turn three, Manipulator won't be of any use unless you get two islands, and you need two more lands to land Biomancer. You also have Crocanura who won't get bigger anytime soon. Really, that's not a keeper. You have over 25% odds of not drawing an island before turn four. Almost 18% of not drawing one until turn five. By then, you're dead.


Well, I very strongly disagree, and there's no way to really know who's right. But my point is not to debate keeping that precise hand, my point is that unless your entire philosophy is just totally alien, there will be hands that you will keep but which will possibly lead to mana screw. (Take that sample hand and replace a forest with an island, for instance. Now it can cast frilled oculus turn 2, but you will still lose if you just don't draw land #3 for 5 or 6 turns.)

However, it illustrates quite clearly the problem with mulligans : it you calculated the odds of being screwed out of the match while keeping that hand, you'd fall off your chair and throw it away. But the sheer power of some of the cards made you think you should keep it. You play the hand and you don't draw that island for three or four turns (not at all incredible). You losr the game. Now, mana-screwed has prevented you from playing your game. However, it hasn't really. It's your poor mulliganing that caused it.


Even assuming you're right, it's still both. The thing that is bad about mana screw is not "sometimes I make a decision and then I lose, this game sucks!" it's "sometimes I make a decision, and then I just sit there all game not playing at all and an miserable, and THEN I lose". I don't really mind losing. OK, that's a lie. I hate losing. But clearly any game has someone lose. It's not a design flaw. But there are fairly few games in which some percentage of the games, no matter you do, you just sit there utterly incapable of playing.
It _should_ be the case that when I decide whether to mulligan, if I decide wrong, my odds of winning decrease. That's what making decisions is. What should NOT be the case is that one of the paths of my decision tree leads me into a game in which I do nothing, don't have fun, and don't even feel like I'm playing.


Never? Hardly. Yes, obviously, you can make tradeoffs between deck power and deck consistency. But ultimately you should still build a deck that wins most often. If I'm playing competitively, and there are two builds for my deck, one that will get mana screwed 10% of the time, lose 20% of the time, and win 70% of the time, and one that will get mana screwed 2% of the time, lose 30% of the time and win 68% of the time, I should build the first one. But, and here's the key point, magic SHOULD NOT PRESENT THAT CHOICE.


Why?


Because it's bad for the game. Suppose I come up with a modern deck tomorrow that for some reason has just the sketchiest mana base in histor, but is super-duper-powerful when the mana base comes together. So fully 30% of the games I get mana screwed and can't cast a spell at all. But of the other 70%, I win almost every single time. Now, that's a great win percentage overall, I should play this deck. But if it became popular, that would be TERRIBLE for magic as a whole, because so many games would be decided in a completely uninteresting way. The format would be less fun to play, less fun to watch, just generally crappier.
This has gotten kind of abstruse, but there are some real-life examples that are kind of comparable. Suppose I'm playing in a sealed GP, and I have a card pool that has its good cards very evenly scattered over the colors, so I end up having to build a very even 3 color deck. Now, it's certainly possible that I'll have a cardpool where the best deck, the deck that gives me the best chance of winning, is a 3 color deck. So I should clearly build that deck. But that deck is going to have a worse mana base than a 2-color (or 1-color) deck. That's an interesting place for the mana system... on the one hand, parts of what makes Magic so fascinating and difficult is that there's this tradeoff where the more powerful my cards are, the worse my mana base is, and the better player will strike the balance better. At the same time, though, something that makes me win more (building a 3 color deck, when in fact it turns out that's the best deck, as it sometimes is) also makes me get mana screwed more. One of the major philosophies of R&D over the past decade is to make it so that the things people WANT to do are also the things they SHOULD do (ie, play with big fat creatures). This is a case where the game is directly opposed to that philosophy.

When I get mana-screwed bad twice in a row, I have exactly the same face as when I cast an overkill creature that got sweeped and it costed me the game. Or when I got killed by a regenerative creature enchanted with Madcap Skills and I couldn't draw a damn piece of removal to deal with it at the prerelease. Magic is a game of luck mitigated by skill. Lands are one of its part. Mulligans also are. I wouldn't trade them for anything.

Maybe that's the root of the disagreement. When I overextend into a sweeper, then at least I had choices, I had a rich decision tree with branches along all the sides, I was tapping land and casting spells and playing the game of magic. When I have a borderline opening hand, keep it, and then don't draw land, (a) I have no idea of really knowing if my decision was "correct", and (b) I'm not playing the game I love, I'm saying go and discarding every turn.

And yes, losing to one thing that you have a ton of removal for is also very frustrating, but for lack of a better term, it doesn't feel like a flaw in the game. I mean, it's hard to imagine a game that even remotely resembled magic that didn't have situations where something happened and you just didn't draw the right cards to deal with it.  Certainly, I'd prefer that there not be TOO many cards of the "well, once this is in play, all that matters is wheter you happen to have removal RIGHT NOW" variety... Steel of the Godhead singlehandedly made 3xShadowmoor draft about 15% less fun, imho. But I don't look at that and say "well, clearly we should discuss altering the rules of the game to fix this". I've never seen anyone propose changing the rules of magic so that everyone can be guaranteed at least one removal spell in their opening hand, or anything like that.

Nonsense. The rational thing to do is to do BOTH of those things. If I lose a game to really severe mana screw, I say "thanks, Mark Rosewater!" (really, I say that). That doesn't mean I give up or throw my hands in the air or don't attempt to win the next two games (assuming this was game 1 of the match). It does mean that I think to myself "man it's sooooo frustrating that playing this game I love so much is so idiotically pointless and stupid some times, and it pisses me off even more than frickin MaRo is so chipper and in denial about it".



 In other genres, players will willingly submit themselves to extremely frustrating scenarios, like impossible boss fights, bullet-hell shooters or sadistic platformers like Super Meat Boy, because despite the frustration the underlying game is so compelling and the sense of accomplishment for defying the odds is so satisfying that you want to play again regardless.

A game that produces negative emotions is forgiveable.  A game that produces no emotions at all is doomed.  The randomness of the mana system and the unbalanced games it creates are not fine-tuned to create a clean competitive environment, they're designed to provoke feelings.



I gotta say, this is a crazy analogy and I can't get behind it at all. A much better gaming analogy is something like really-bad-AI or terrible-camera-angles, bugs or really-bad-controls. When computer games have flaws like that, people don't rush to defend them by saying "well, we WANT the game to generate emotion". (Well, maybe they do, people say all sorts of weird things, but they're wrong.)
I'd like to state that I believe that, as much as I believe that there is something to be done with mana screw, I don't want color death to disappear from the game (I'd rather have it more prominent).

Most of the time, if you got mana-screwed twice in a row, you made a mulliganning mistake


I gotta say, that's a pretty crazy-sounding statement. Obviously some hands are auto-mulligans and some are auto-keeps. But there are certainly some that are on the borderline. My borderline might be different from your borderline, and there's really no way to prove who's right, but there has to be some "worst" 7-card hand that is correct to keep. And whatever that hand is, keeping it will sometimes result in mana screw, kind of by definition. I mean, maybe some very niche constructed decks can dependably either have every land they need to cast every spell in their opening hand, or not, but limited decks almost always have some number of 4 or 5 drops, and clearly the correct rule for how to mulligan isn't "keep your hand ONLY if you have sufficient land to cast every spell in your deck".
If you watch enough drafts posted online from people like LSV or PV you will see them keep hand which clearly RISK getting mana screwed. And some of the time, they get mana screwed. And that does NOT mean that they mulliganed wrong.



I'd like to see stats about mana-screw at top levels (won't crunch the numbers myself, though). I bet you'd be surprised at how little of it there is. You're talking like you have one in ten odds of being screwed. More like one in forty. Assuming one in forty, that's one in eight hundred that there are two in a row. Randomly losing every eight hundredth match hardly seems a problem to me. If it happens regularly enough that you notice it, you have problems with your mulligans.

I'm not saying mulligans answer everything, but twice in a row is a lot. It also depends on your definition of mana screw.

Additionnaly, you'd have worse deck and worse pilots winning only because the rules have changed without anyone knowing.


This is 100% wrong, and in fact precisely opposes with one of MaRo's main points. The more mana screw there is, the more often bad decks and worse players will win, because the better player getting mana screwed is far and away the easiest way for a bad player to beat a better one.



No, that's not it. If nobody knows the decks have suddenly become mroe consistant, the decks that were prepared to be consistant enough (the well-built decks) will just be as consistant as ever, and the decks that were designed to be inconsistent (the poor-built decks) will get a big increase in consistance. Hence, bad decks will win.

MaRo, by an hyperbole, only means to say that a worse player can always win because his opponent stumbles with his mana, which means that better players don't have a 100% winning and that you can play with people that aren't in your league and still have fun.


Of course I'm irritated (in general, not necessarily right at this instance today). I love Magic. It's the best game I've ever played, and I've spent more time on it than any recreational activity other than reading books. But it has some big fundamental flaws. I wouldn't get irritated or care if I didn't love it this much.



That wasn't meant as an insult or anything. It was just a factual observation. 


Mulligans would be easier, ressource management would be far easier, you wouldn't even have to think about your mana-base, the curve would be much more forgiving... You're underestimating the amount of skill that can help mitigate the odds of being screwed and losing because of it.


You are again 100% wrong. Fixing the mana system (at least for the typically discussed types of "fixing the mana system") would make mulligans much HARDER. Let's say that magic switched over to the Duelmasters mana system (every card can be used as either a spell or a land, effectively). Mulliganing in that game wouuld be BRUTALLY hard compared to how it is now. Right now, give me a random 7-card hand for any deck in any format, and give Jon Finkel that same hand, and I'll come up with the "right" mulligan decision a fairly large percentage of the time (that is, the one that agrees with Finkel) because so many mulligans come from either too many or too few hands. With that no longer being an issue, then all that's left is the subtle and close cases where I have powerful spells but not a good curve, or not enough combo pieces, not enough hate cards vs. dredge, etc. There's a certain category of decision that's no longer there (the "really good cards, but borderline-keepable mana" hand) but all the easy cases are gone, so it's way tougher overall.


I strongly disagree. Fixing the mana system so that you always have the right amount of lands will make muliganning easier because the main problem is gone. You'll be able to keep most hand without a problem and win with it. Experienced player will be able to scrape a bit of an advantage by mulliganning odd hands that happen from time to time, but really, if you always hit your lands and have a well-built deck, it won't be very hard to keep your hand instead of going down to six. Going down to six wouldn't be worth the increase in quality, assuming your deck is good.


Well, I very strongly disagree, and there's no way to really know who's right. But my point is not to debate keeping that precise hand, my point is that unless your entire philosophy is just totally alien, there will be hands that you will keep but which will possibly lead to mana screw. (Take that sample hand and replace a forest with an island, for instance. Now it can cast frilled oculus turn 2, but you will still lose if you just don't draw land #3 for 5 or 6 turns.)



Assuming you make perfect decisions, mana-screw won't be regular, quite the opposite. There's a reason it's always the same pros that top eight tournaments. It's not because they randomly lose whole matches to mana-screw, else they wouldn't get 8-0 in the first day regularly. 


Even assuming you're right, it's still both. The thing that is bad about mana screw is not "sometimes I make a decision and then I lose, this game sucks!" it's "sometimes I make a decision, and then I just sit there all game not playing at all and an miserable, and THEN I lose". I don't really mind losing. OK, that's a lie. I hate losing. But clearly any game has someone lose. It's not a design flaw. But there are fairly few games in which some percentage of the games, no matter you do, you just sit there utterly incapable of playing.
It _should_ be the case that when I decide whether to mulligan, if I decide wrong, my odds of winning decrease. That's what making decisions is. What should NOT be the case is that one of the paths of my decision tree leads me into a game in which I do nothing, don't have fun, and don't even feel like I'm playing.



And when you only draw high-end spells, it's the same. Yet nobody complains. You spend your whole game with four dead cards in hand, but hey, you feel like you're playing for some reason. Same ifyou don't draw any piece of removal and you're getting bashed in with an unblockable critter. You feel like you can't do anything. So what?


Because it's bad for the game. Suppose I come up with a modern deck tomorrow that for some reason has just the sketchiest mana base in histor, but is super-duper-powerful when the mana base comes together. So fully 30% of the games I get mana screwed and can't cast a spell at all. But of the other 70%, I win almost every single time. Now, that's a great win percentage overall, I should play this deck. But if it became popular, that would be TERRIBLE for magic as a whole, because so many games would be decided in a completely uninteresting way. The format would be less fun to play, less fun to watch, just generally crappier.



But that kind of deck is impossible to build. Going off theorical odds that can't really be isn't proving anything. What makes mana-screw interesting is that when you control it, it does not happen often enough to be a nuisance.

his has gotten kind of abstruse, but there are some real-life examples that are kind of comparable. Suppose I'm playing in a sealed GP, and I have a card pool that has its good cards very evenly scattered over the colors, so I end up having to build a very even 3 color deck. Now, it's certainly possible that I'll have a cardpool where the best deck, the deck that gives me the best chance of winning, is a 3 color deck. So I should clearly build that deck. But that deck is going to have a worse mana base than a 2-color (or 1-color) deck. That's an interesting place for the mana system... on the one hand, parts of what makes Magic so fascinating and difficult is that there's this tradeoff where the more powerful my cards are, the worse my mana base is, and the better player will strike the balance better. At the same time, though, something that makes me win more (building a 3 color deck, when in fact it turns out that's the best deck, as it sometimes is) also makes me get mana screwed more. One of the major philosophies of R&D over the past decade is to make it so that the things people WANT to do are also the things they SHOULD do (ie, play with big fat creatures). This is a case where the game is directly opposed to that philosophy.



You're trading raw power for consistency. Seems like a skill-testing decision to me. It could also happen with a lot more types of cards (Aggro or Control? Control is safer, but aggro just wins game out of nowhere). I don't see what's the problem with that.

Maybe that's the root of the disagreement. When I overextend into a sweeper, then at least I had choices, I had a rich decision tree with branches along all the sides, I was tapping land and casting spells and playing the game of magic. When I have a borderline opening hand, keep it, and then don't draw land, (a) I have no idea of really knowing if my decision was "correct", and (b) I'm not playing the game I love, I'm saying go and discarding every turn.



You missed the point. The point was that I don't see being mana-screwed as anything else than either a mistake on my part or bad luck in a random game like any other badluck that could happen.
But there are fairly few games in which some percentage of the games, no matter you do, you just sit there utterly incapable of playing.



Poker, Settlers of Catan, Dice, Risk, Cribbage... Need I go on? As soon as there is randomness in how the ressources are attributed, there are some games where you can't do anything. That's how it goes.

Rules Advisor

Quotes
76783093 wrote:
56957928 wrote:
58331438 wrote:
56945988 wrote:
Rancor dies to in-response removal.
Yeah... Until next game, where it'll be right back. Seriously, there's no way to deal with Rancor in any format. It should be banned, except Gleemax is a lobbyist for the Rancor party, so that'll never happen.
You can't ban rancor, it just returns to your deck.
58331438 wrote:
57461258 wrote:
You might want to actually talk to the Flavor & Storyline Board people... since, you know, our whole reason for playing Magic is the flavor. I'm willing to bet you'll get a lot more interest there than in General.
Indeed, both posters down there would be thrilled.
57817638 wrote:
I think I wasn't direct enough in my last post. I'll try to fix it now. Ahem... NO ONE CARES there you have it.
57471038 wrote:
When talks about banning Jace first started, I was thinking that I would see him banned come June 20th. But as I think more about it, I don't really think that Jace is the problem anymore. Sure his power level leaves very little to the imagination (opening Jace is like opening a refrigerator box with a naked girl on the inside), and sure his price does have a strong impact on what players choose to play (playing Jace is like being intimate with a woman and she doesn't charge you in the morning), but it is not the source of all the problems in Standard.
76973988 wrote:
How do people think saving room to print more abilities on cards is dumbing down the game?

Do you really think, say, Akroma would ever be printed if she said, "Akroma can block by creatures with this ability and cannot be blocked by creatures without this ability.  If a creature without this ability would deal combat damage by Akroma would be destroyed, prevent all combat damage that creature would deal to Akroma this combat.  Attacking does not cause Akroma to tap.  If Akroma is blocked and deals lethal damage, it deals the remainder of its damage to the defending player.  Akroma may attack and use abilities that require tapping in the casting cost the turn it enters the battlefield.  Akroma cannot be damaged, enchanted, equipped, blocked or targeted by black or red sources" rather than her "dumbed down" wording she has?  No freaking way.  Keywording and shorthand allows them to make complicated cards easy to play with, allowing them to be printed in the first place.
57817638 wrote:
The creation of praetors was worth it just because now amoeboid changeling is a praetor.
57140668 wrote:
1. cast frankie peanuts2. ask opponent "will you concede the game this turn"? if they say yes, you win; if they say no, play a staying power
3. subsequently ask "will you attack this turn"? and "will you cast a spell this turn"? (using a Teferi, Mage of Zhalfir for the second question if necessary) to ensure they can't disrupt the combo
4. donate them a platinum angel
5. play a mox lotus and braingeyser them for every card in their library. play an opalescence and donate them a glorious anthem and a blacker lotus, then play enchanted evening. play and activate a mindslaver and then donate them a fastbond and the mox lotus (returning one of the donates to your hand with eternal witness or whatever)
6. during their turn, play every permanent in their hand (playing lands with fastbond) then (as yourself) cast mirrorweave on the blacker lotus, so every permanent becomes a copy of it. proceed to tear up every card they control, and hopefully do it before they notice that they aren't bound by staying power's ability anymore and can concede
82423538 wrote:
57471038 wrote:
82423538 wrote:
One part of the statement being true=/=the whole statement true.
Whatever. I'm still here about ten minutes away. Whenever you want to get destroyed in Magic, I'm available.
I would like to get destroyed in Magic, actually. Do you know anybody good enough?
57617478 wrote:
Please format your statements in a way that doesn't look like a baboon hit its face on your keyboard.
57140668 wrote:
why did Garruk Relentless lose a loyalty counter
Show
to get to the other side
89522235 wrote:
You're such an obvious troll that you have hexproof and : Regenerate.
56957928 wrote:
56776038 wrote:
Dark Ritual being overpowered is determined more by what is done with it than the card itself.
True, but the fact that it enables so many ridiculous things is pretty telling. It's like, sure I can use a shotgun as a bludgeoning instrument, but that doesn't make it not a shotgun.
79035425 wrote:
Shortly before Serra died, she transferred her spark into an angel whose full name was Asha Avacyn Bolas. Her dragon father groomed her for her positions in Alara and Innistrad, and she's also been getting help from her uncle Ugin in the form of Urza, who was resurrected as Marit Lage to be the avatar as which she projects herself into material realms. Grieslbrand is a split personality who sometimes wanders the planes disguised as a human woman named Liliana Vess.
97610188 wrote:
Yeah that (Content Removed) really annoys me. Moderated by MY_self right about naahowwww!
93446159 wrote:
Dilleux_Lepaire just won the thread.
57461258 wrote:
And, as usual, Dilleux wins the entire thread. Nice work, sir, nice work.
99113151 wrote:
They need to make 9 layers of zones where cards go when they "die". Much like Hell.
56778328 wrote:
Wow, holy doggy poop, kids, obvious statement is obvious.
56776038 wrote:
122053101 wrote:
i don't think your geting it WotC is trying to kill the comption to make it so that there shity app is the only one left.
I haven't tried the app. How is its use of English grammar? Cheers!
57471038 wrote:
Everyone's life would be easier if players would, instead of coming to the 'net for help with a deck, just netdeck and be done with it. And I'm not talking about some Top 8 lists, for the Casualists, too, can benefit from netdecking. I've netdecked plenty of decks from the Casual Play forums from users such as Mown, Raedien, Floopfoot, and a few others. I snatched straight the heck out of my web browser. Yes, people, your original idea fell victim to a savage netdecker. You have been assimiliated. Suppose I wanted a Zombie deck. Why on earth would I spend time searching Gatherer for a decent list of Zombie cards when Raedien already did it for me? Taking time to be creative or waiting on people on the forums to tell you why your deck sucks or 'go to Casual forums' is a disasterous waste of time (to me).
56957928 wrote:
82423538 wrote:
If WotC started putting $100 bills in packs, the players would complain that they folded them wrong.
No, they just spam them with ban requests. That being said, Magic was ruined back in Alpha when they added all that rules and cards [Debutantes avert your eyes]. My friends and I still like playing it the "pure" way (Basically we go into the woods and hit eachother with wiffle bats while shouting made up obscenities. You know, the way Garfield wanted it to be played).
56957928 wrote:
Don't worry about it. I've come up with a list of changes to fix EDH. -First off, there's no commander. -The minimum deck size is 60 cards, and each deck can have up to four of each card, save basic lands and relentless rats. Also decks have no color identity. -Starting life total is 20. And voila, now things are balanced.
89522235 wrote:
Here's a clever play you can try yourself: -Convince friend to run relentless rats.dec in legacy tournament -Get a deck with lots of mill, yixlid jailer, and humility -Drop humility and jailer, wait for him to dump his hand, mill him out -All his rats now have no abilities. Call a judge because he's playing an illegal deck with more than 4 of a single card. -Get him/her banned from competitive magic play
142055101 wrote:
But how to mark them without making the individual sleeve different! You could buy a skunk and slam it's butt on you deck (pardon the french) Then after the game just sniff at your opponent's pile of cards and you will know if any of your cards are there!!!
141434757 wrote:
In Soviet Russia, Sorin opens You
71235715 wrote:
L, is for the leather gloves you weaaaar. O, is for the organs that guy could spaaaare. V, is very very, extraordinay. E, is for every vagrant i butchered in a wine cellar befooooore.
57052258 wrote:
The outer layer of the Magic: the Gathering box, the carton, or crust, is fairly thin and light, and contains largely aluminosilcates. Within that lies the middle layer, consisting of the familiar booster pack. Although solid, the booster packs' high temperatures allow them to acutally move around within the booster box. This flow, sometimes called convection, is cited by frustrated box mappers as one of WOTC's most genious uses of thermodynamics since the Ravnica block. No one knows what lies at the core of the booster box, but scientists theorize that it must be especially dense in order to make up for the large amount of fluff distributed amongst the booster packs.
58232598 wrote:
88993869 wrote:
Torpor Orb is absolutely godawful against Vexing Devil.
whoever is playing vexing devil is probably losing anyways
56957928 wrote:
I imagine [Ajani 3's] second ability involves him hurling the creature at your opponent Brion Stoutarm style, then the guy is just like "Okay, that may have worked, but don't- GOD DAMN IT!" as he does it again because cats don't give a **** :33.
56957928 wrote:
"Do or do not, there is no try." - Albus Dumbledore, The Lord of the Rings.
89522235 wrote:
68978039 wrote:
Its like that one time Elves broke out in a field of Jund. Elves became a resurgent hit, then died off again once Jund adapted to the rest of the field of G/W that it required mass removal that inherently pooped on Elves too. Submit to the menace. Delver can, and will blot out the sun.
Then we shall play in the shade.
89522235 wrote:
I'm sorry, this forum isn't for getting bad advice on mediocre decks, that's standard deck help. This forum is for starting ****storms.
97820278 wrote:
139359831 wrote:
Your advice would only lead me to make generic, boring, and unworthy content. It's of no use to me.
I just got this image of you as an architect, having finished a building suspended by only a small pole in its southwest corner, saying it's original. Then the building collapses.
56957928 wrote:
I for one love the flavor of legendary lands. "I remember my days as a youth at Tolarian Academy." "Wow, small multiverse, I actually went there too." "WAIT, DON'T- Well ****, there's $200,000 in student loans well spent."
56957928 wrote:
And flavor goes out the window when you cast a second copy of a planeswalker right after the first one dies, so... "Hey Nissa, I need a favor." "You just asked me for a 'favor' like thirty seconds ago, and it turned out to be having Sarkhan Transmogrify my only follower into a dragon like 5 times -which dickery aside also violates some laws of causality - and then you let me get beaten over the head by that hedron crab." "...I'll give you " "...Well all right then."
57150868 wrote:
GM, I don't think Dill is better than you. I KNOW it. Even if he wakes up every morning, clubs a baby seal, steals all the TV remotes from within a block's radius of his house and then robs hungry orphans of their food he'd be better than you, for the simple reason that he learns from his mistakes.
143211137 wrote:
57033358 wrote:
Tamiyo vs. Gideon
What would they have to fight about? Like, all I can think of now is Gideon going "Hey, long-ears! I'm gathering a group of 'Walkers together to fight some tentacle monsters.....you want in?" and Tamiyo going "Ew! Hentai no bakka Gideon-desu desu!" and flying away.
76783093 wrote:
I open 4 packs just to be on the safe side. Not only do I get more cards than everyone else, but I also get to spend the rest of the night off. Win Win.
191752181 wrote:
MaRo has a thing for people opening boosters with bad cards. But since he can only get so many bad cards printed in each set, he has found a devious way of getting more bad cards into circulation: He makes entire print sheets with just bad rares, then puts them onto the assembly line. He proceeds to wring his hands and twirl his evil mustache that he grew for twirling purposes as a lightning bolt strikes in the background. Afterwards, he goes to make sure that the good cards are only opened by everyone's friends, and that we all only get to open bad cards. He does this by memorising each booster, than switching them around accordingly. Whenever someone complains about a card, he immediately jumps out from behind a chair to yell "WELL, IT'S NOT FOR YOU!" before merging back into the shadows in order to devise new ways in which he can screw over players, then claim that he has valid reasons for doing so.
97820278 wrote:
192729031 wrote:
You open a booster pack, and staring back at you from the rare slot is a Lotleth Troll? At least I can stick him in my EDH deck and still have four for my standard constructed.
Because lol troll
56874518 wrote:
It helped that I more or less skipped most of GM_Champion's longer diatribes. I only have so many brain cells I'm willing to sacrifice each day.
192931349 wrote:
Mark Rosewater is sitting in a seemingly innocuous cable TV van, outside of Bankaimastery's house. Sitting nearby are two hardened criminal hackers, fresh out of prison, and filled with resentment at their lack of physical fitness. "Have you managed to hack his brainwaves yet? The set deadline's coming up fast." "We're almost through. It should be coming up on the screen any second." The hacker presses a button, and Kevin's thoughts flash onto the screen. Mark and the hackers stare in amazement at the sheer beauty, the elegance, and the raw truth of what they see. It's like the ending to 2001: A Space Odyssey. Brilliant light shines across the screen, the truth of existence is made clear to them, and they despair at their own foolishness, their own ignorance, their own inadequacy. And then they steal his ideas. As they return back to R&D, Mark sneers at a haggard old man chained to a cast-iron sphere. The man looks up from his laborious task of breaking rocks in the dungeon of Wizards of the Coast headquarters, and asks a question: "Kevin, my greatest student. He - he's all right, isn't he? You didn't hurt him?" Mark deals him a weighty blow with his boot. "Know your place, Richard. Get back to work."
57023768 wrote:
Now show me on the Garruk doll where Zac Hill ruined your enjoyment of Magic...
63711769 wrote:
I'm only opposed to it because it bears so little relation to how people actually play the game. The example of Miracles is actually a much better one then the Clone example I was trying to use. From the game's perspective, the card can move instantly from face down in the library to revealed in the hand and that's fine for the rules. But in real life, we can't actually do that, so the card spends a good bit of time in locations that are neither where that player's library is nor where that player's hand is. And that's fine for real life. What I don't want is the disconnect to be explicitly codified. Along the lines of
183664.697 A game of Magic as laid out by these rules exists only as a pure Platonic ideal, utterly unrealizable by fallible mortals limited by the confines of physicality and the ravages of evil and sin. 183664.698 The cake is a lie, too.
I know it's true, but I don't want the rules to actually straight-up tell me that.
147137503 wrote:
77120821 wrote:
Pfft this cant be serious can it? If it is please delete your account OP. Its not even close to ban worthy, considering what JTMS and stoneforge had to accomplish to get banned i see the WotC selling magic to aquire Pokemon before that ever happens.
I'm trying to imagine sorin markov as a gym leader in one of those pokemon games which you have to beat him to get his badge... somehow I imagine that he would stab you in the chest with his sword before giving you the badge, even if you beat his pokemon....
196239043 wrote:
Personally, I'd be fine with tea time but then I'm not gonna waste the mana summoning Emrakul, the Aeons Torn. He always takes all the sugar, drinks the whole pot of Earl Grey and doesn't even say thank you. SO. RUDE.

 

JustTerrorIt wrote:

 

JuliusPringle wrote:

All I want to do is sit down and play magic, but when I walked in yesterday, (since I didn't talk to anyone) nobody talked to me and I silently bought what I wanted and walked out.


If you don't talk to anyone, that increases the odds that no one will talk to you.

 

JuliusPringle wrote:

So how do I just... introduce myself? "Hi, my name is Adam, wanna play magic with me?" Do I go to the counter and talk to the cashier?


Yeah. Talk to the cashier. Tell him/her that you want a Black Lotus, and if they don't have one tell them that the store isn't on par with what you expected.

 

Reach into your back left pocket. Pull out a deck list that you copied directly from some ChannelFireball top 8 Standard discussion, and ask for all the cards, as is, on that list. Then, ask for some random, probably terrible cards from whatever set is Standard legal. Say it's tech for the upcoming changes in the metagame.

 

Pull out a deck, and tell some random dude you wanna test (you have to use the term "test" for this to work) for Standard. Make sure that deck contains Kitchen Finks and Alluring Siren. Maybe throw in Nyxathid for good measure.

 

Finally, before you leave, spill (make it look like an accident) one hundred singleton, random cards onto the floor. Pick them up, put them in a pile, and say "EEE-DEE-AYCH".

 

I know this sounds dumb at first, but it will work. With the method outlined above, you will draw the attention of players that play older formats by asking for cards that no one on Earth can reasonably afford. You will get the attention of the wanna-be pro, Stomp-n00bz players by pulling out a well known decklist and declare that you have "tech" to make it better. You will get the attention of all the kind, helpful players by seemingly not knowing the most common format by having non-Standard legal cards in a deck that you claim is Standard legal. Finally, you catch all the rest of the Magic players by saying "EEE-DEE-AYCH" (EDH (or Commander)).

And there you have it. You will be talking to more people than you would have wanted to talk to in no time.

 

Smoke_Stack wrote:

EDH is the best format anyway


See, it's starting already.

 

Break the Card
What is Break the Card?
Break the Card is a regular thread in the Cards and Combo Forum. Quite simply, the participants are given a Johnnystatic card (e.g. Xenograft) and are asked to build a deck around it. The winner and honorable mentions are sigged below. Get brewing!
Week 1 : Xenograft
This week's Break the Card was based around Xenograft. Thread : http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75842/27681049/Break_the_card_:_Xenograft?pg=1 Winner : Axterix with his Vampdrazi deck. Finalist : Vektor480 with his Ally/Golem/Plant deck. Honorable mentions : Zammm for the Turntimber Ranger combo and TinGorilla for suggesting Sarkhan the Mad.
Week 2 : Mindlock Orb
Here's the link to the Mindlock Orb contest : http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75842/27697565/Break_the_Card_:_Mindlock_Orb?sdb=1&pg=last#497536269 Winner : Axterix with his Maralen of the Mornsong deck. Honorable mentions : Void_Elemental.
Week 3 : Bludgeon Brawl
Here's the link to Break the Card : Bludgeon Brawl : http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75842/27715169/Break_the_Card_:_Bludgeon_Brawl?sdb=1&pg=last#498208797 Winner : Vektor and his Grab the World deck. Finalist : Crandor with his Awesome Aliteration deck. Honorable mentions : RP Jesus with his Wat deck and Zix200 with his Signet Renewal deck.
Week 4 : Followed Footsteps
This week was Followed Footsteps : http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75842/27748677/Break_the_Card_:_Followed_Footsteps?pg=1 Winner : Tevish_Szat with his Exponential Growth deck. Honorable mentions : Zix with his Carbon Copies deck and Escef with his Fungus of Speed and Time deck.
Week 5 : Delaying Shield
This week's card was Delaying Shield : http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75842/27790101/Break_the_Card_:_Delaying_Shield Winner : Tevish_Szat. Finalist : Vampire_Bat. Honorable Mention : Zix200.
Week 6 : Painter's Servant
This week's card was Painter's Servant : http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75842/27940861/Break_the_Card_:_Painters_Servant?pg=1 Winner : Tevish_Szat with his Paint it Black deck. Finalist : Wprundv with his Tiger, Tiger Painted Bright deck.
Week 7 : Venser, the Sojourner
This week's card was Venser, the Sojourner : http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75842/27977489/Break_the_Card_:_Venser,_the_Sojourner Winner : Izzett with her "Venser, Trickster Trader" deck. Finalist : Wprundv with his "Tactical Sojourner Action" deck.
Week 8 : Personal Sanctuary
This week's card was Personal Sanctuary : http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75842/28005461/Break_the_card_:_Personal_Sanctuary Winner : MrQuizzles. Honorable mention : Vampire_Bat and UbberSheep
Week 9 : Sundial of the Infinite
This week's card was Sundial of the Infinite : http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75842/28038277/Break_the_card_:_Sundial_of_the_Infinite Finalist : Izzett with her "Afterlife Trespassers" deck. Winner : Xeromus with his "Fortune 500" deck.
Week 10 : Jace's Archivist
This week's card was Jace's Archivist : http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75842/28063377/Break_the_Card_:_Jaces_Archivist. Finalists : Jentaru with his "Consecration of the Draw" deck and HereticSmitty with his "ADHD: The deck" deck. Winner : JaxsonBateman with his "The Archives Are Endless!" deck.
Week 11 : Search the City
This week's card was Search the City : http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75842/29518555/Break_the_Card_:_Search_the_City Finalist : Mown with "A Thousand Footsteps". Winner : Desolation_masticore with "Burn the City".
Week 12 : Fiend Hunter
This week's card was Fiend Hunter : http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75842/29530975/Break_the_Card_:_Fiend_Hunter Winner : Yuyu63 with "Carnival Hunting". Honorable mention : Dknowle's "Champion the Fiend".
Week 13 : Clock of Omens
This week's card was Clock of Omens : http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75842/29541549/Break_the_Card_:_Clock_of_Omens?pg=1 Winner : Dknowle's "The Myrs Go Marching".
Week 14 : Light of Sanction
This week's card was Light of Sanction : http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75842/29607219/Break_the_Card_:_Light_of_Sanction?pg=1 Winner : Zauzich's "Divine Plague".
Week 15 : Assemble the Legion
This week's card was Assemble the Legion : http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75842/29662307/Break_the_Card_:_Assemble_the_Legion Winner : JBTM's "Some Assembly Required".
Week 16 : High Tide
This week's cards were High Tide and/or Bubbling Muck : http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75842/29760427/Break_the_Card_:_High_Tide Winner : Mown's "Puppet Strings".
Week 17 : Illusionist's Bracers
This week's card was Illusionist's Bracers : http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75842/29776943/Break_the_Card_:_Illusionistss_Bracers Winner : Enigma256's "Tezzeret's Bracers"
Week 18 : Savor the Moment
This week's card was Savor the Moment : http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75842/29787235/Break_the_Card_:_Savor_the_Moment Winner : POSValkir's "A Savory Filibuster!"
Week 19 : Grinning Ignus
This week's card was Grinning Ignus : http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75842/29795547/Break_the_Card_:_Grinning_Ignus Winner : dknowle's "Luren' and Laughin'".
Week 20 : Transcendence
This week's card was Transcendence : http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75842/29806481/Break_the_Card_:_Transcendence Winners : Mown's "Transcending Timing Restrictions" and Dknowle's "Blinded by Greed", tied for the win.
Week 21 : Mortus Strider
This week's card was Mortus Strider : http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75842/29818471/Break_the_Card_:_Mortus_Strider Winner : SimonGlume's "Mortus Head".
Week 22 : High Priest of Penance
This week's card was High Priest of Penance : http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75842/29917231/Break_the_Card_High_Priest_of_Penance Winners : JBTM's "Two Clerics and a Goblin walk into a (Bom)bar(dment)..." and POSValkir1's "Choke Their Rivers with Our Dead!".
Week 23 : False Cure
This week's card was False Cure :http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75842/29964239/Break_the_Card_:_False_Cure Winner : Dknowle's "When Hippos Fly".

Week 24 : Akroan Horse

This week's card was Akroan Horse : http://community.wizards.com/forum/cards-and-combos/threads/4024821.

Winner : Dknowle's "Indian Giver".

Week 25 : Leylines

This week saw multiple cards being in the contest : all of the Leylines! http://community.wizards.com/forum/cards-and-combos/threads/4067621

Winner : POSValkir1's "Laying the Battle Lines".

MaRo, by an hyperbole, only means to say that a worse player can always win because his opponent stumbles with his mana, which means that better players don't have a 100% winning and that you can play with people that aren't in your league and still have fun.


Then he's meaning something that isn't true. Only winning if your opponent isn't playing isn't very different from only winning when you're playing against goldfish. How fun...

But that kind of deck is impossible to build. Going off theorical odds that can't really be isn't proving anything. What makes mana-screw interesting is that when you control it, it does not happen often enough to be a nuisance.


Even if mana screw is a player problem, when it happens too often, it's a huge nuisance, and really not fun.

You missed the point. The point was that I don't see being mana-screwed as anything else than either a mistake on my part or bad luck in a random game like any other badluck that could happen...."window.parent.tinyMCE.get('post_content').onLoad.dispatch();" contenteditable="true">


You missed the point. To any player that doesn't have the level to avoid mana screw, it makes the game a terrible, uninteresting experience.

Poker, Settlers of Catan, Dice, Risk, Cribbage... Need I go on? As soon as there is randomness in how the ressources are attributed, there are some games where you can't do anything. That's how it goes.


Poker isn't only luck reliant. If you have bad hands, you can still bluff your way through the game.
Settlers of Catan is typically the kind of uninteresting game that could get fully automated (like monopoly), even taking trades into account.
Risk is trickier. So long as you are using the cards rule, most of the game is making sure you at least invade one country each turn. If at some point you don't manage to do so, then you probably can admit your loss and avoid wasting more time. Also, I'd be pretty interested in the results of a good AI for this game.
This may be a little bit pedantic, but an analogy isn't bad just because you disagree with the message it's trying to get across. An analogy is just an extended metaphor not a second level of argument. As soon as people stop debating the topic and start arguing about the analogy instead, things just get weird and pointless.

Analogies should be one use only. If the point you're making doesn't need an analogy, hijacking someone else's metaphor to suit your own point of view is pointless.

Not that your analogy is totally wasted. I can see you think of mana variance as a bug rather than a feature, so you made that point effectively. I just think there are lots of positive features to it as well. I admit to feeling annoyance at the game, but I never feel as though it's a flaw or an oversight, so that's where our viewpoints are different.
The World of Eldangard - a three act M:tG block by Fallingman Eldangard Stormfront Ragnarok



Assuming you make perfect decisions, mana-screw won't be regular, quite the opposite. There's a reason it's always the same pros that top eight tournaments. It's not because they randomly lose whole matches to mana-screw, else they wouldn't get 8-0 in the first day regularly.


(I've snipped a bunch of stuff, because it's all really talking about the same issue, I think... let me know if there's specific stuff I snipped out you want me to respond to.)
I gotta say, it's entirely unclear to me what point you're making here. Clearly Magic is a game involving both skill and luck. You need both in order to win a big tournament. Skill alone isn't enough. For instance, Tom Martell won the most recent pro tour, and then didn't make day 2 of GP San Diego. Did he get vastly worse between those two events?
So a really great player (we'll use Jon Finkel) sits down in round 1 of the pro tour across from some just-good-but-not-great player. Finkel will _probably_ win, because he's Finkel. But he could plausibly lose. Even Finkel probably isn't favored more than maybe 80-20 vs someone who's good enough to make the PT. And what's by far the easiest and most likely way for him to lose? Mana issues. Even if he built his deck perfectly and mulligans perfectly, there will be games where he gets badly mana screwed, games in which me correctly mulligans down to 5 but then has mulliganed to 5 and can't overcome that, and games in which he gets non-catastrophically manascrewed, but draws 4 or 5 straight lands at a key moment in the game and loses.
Now, do something to "fix" the mana system entirely... say, the duelmasters mana rule. Now Jon Finkel sits down across from someone round 1 of the pro tour. He's not going to lose due to mana screw. He's not going to lose due to mana flood. He's much less likely to mulligan to 5. Have his chances of beating this round 1 opponent increased or decreased?




And when you only draw high-end spells, it's the same. Yet nobody complains. You spend your whole game with four dead cards in hand, but hey, you feel like you're playing for some reason. Same ifyou don't draw any piece of removal and you're getting bashed in with an unblockable critter. You feel like you can't do anything. So what?


So what, what? Yes, all of those things are also frustrating. I'm not sure what your point is... I don't think anyone wants to remove all randomness from Magic. Any game that even remotely resembles Magic is going to have times when you lose because you just don't draw the right cards at the right times. But a game could exist that was like Magic that didn't have anything remotely resembling mana screw.


You missed the point. The point was that I don't see being mana-screwed as anything else than either a mistake on my part or bad luck in a random game like any other badluck that could happen.


So tomorrow I (hypothetically) sit down and play two games of GTC draft. In the first one, my opponent and I both get reasonable mana draws, and the game is going along well, interacting and stuff, the board is pretty even, and then my opponent casts aurelia the warleader and kills me. In the second game, I draw 0 land at 7, then 1 land at 6, then 1 land at 5 and keep it, and cast only a single 2/2 creature the entire game. Now in both cases it's pretty clear that the luck had a huge impact on the outcome of the game. In the first case, the luck is that he happened to open and then draw an Aurelia and I didn't, (let's assume that I didn't do something stupid in game 1 like randomly waste a grizzly spectacle on an irrelevant creature), and in the second game the luck was mana. But in the second game I walk away from the table grinding my teeth and cursing the game, which I don't in the first game. Do you understand why I (and a TON of other magic players, or this wouldn't be such a frequent topic of discussion) have that reaction, even if you yourself don't for whatever reason?

Poker, Settlers of Catan, Dice, Risk, Cribbage... Need I go on? As soon as there is randomness in how the ressources are attributed, there are some games where you can't do anything. That's how it goes.


Interestingly, the creator of Settlers apparently thought that the Settlers-equivalent of getting manascrewed, which is just never rolling any numbers that produce your resource (I assume that's what you're talking about) was enough of a problem that he added rules to two later Settlers variations to alleviate the issue. (In Settlers of Nuremberg you draw the die rolls from a deck which forces them to the correct distribution, but the order is still random. In Spacefarers of Catan, players who haven't reached a certain number of VP get to draw a resource card at random each turn.)
I gotta say, it's entirely unclear to me what point you're making here. Clearly Magic is a game involving both skill and luck. You need both in order to win a big tournament. Skill alone isn't enough. For instance, Tom Martell won the most recent pro tour, and then didn't make day 2 of GP San Diego. Did he get vastly worse between those two events?

It's not that simple. There are many potential reasons why Tom didn't do as well in San Diego as he did at the Pro Tour that have nothing to do with mana screw. Perhaps the deck he played was not as well-positioned against the metagame; or he was less familiar with his deck; or he was less familiar with the format; or he was less familiar with particular matchups that arose; or his matches were against better players; or he ran into bad matchups more often.

Come join me at No Goblins Allowed


Because frankly, being here depresses me these days.

I gotta say, it's entirely unclear to me what point you're making here. Clearly Magic is a game involving both skill and luck. You need both in order to win a big tournament. Skill alone isn't enough. For instance, Tom Martell won the most recent pro tour, and then didn't make day 2 of GP San Diego. Did he get vastly worse between those two events?

It's not that simple. There are many potential reasons why Tom didn't do as well in San Diego as he did at the Pro Tour that have nothing to do with mana screw. Perhaps the deck he played was not as well-positioned against the metagame; or he was less familiar with his deck; or he was less familiar with the format; or he was less familiar with particular matchups that arose; or his matches were against better players; or he ran into bad matchups more often.



Clearly, but you're avoiding the main question... if mana screw were completely a non-issue (say, Magic adopts the Duelmasters system, play any card as land), would Jon Finkel's odds of winning round 1 of the pro tour vs a random-qualified-for-the-PT player go up or down? MaRo says they go up. I say they go up (although I disagree with MaRo about many other parts of this issue).   Dilleux_Lepaire seems to be saying that they go down.

Then he's meaning something that isn't true. Only winning if your opponent isn't playing isn't very different from only winning when you're playing against goldfish. How fun...



Fallacy. Mana screw isn't only when you don't get to play anything. It's also when you're stuck at three lands, when you stumble a bit but still rebound, etc. He isn't talking about those games when you stay stuck at one mana, because a good player will almost never encounter those.

But that kind of deck is impossible to build. Going off theorical odds that can't really be isn't proving anything. What makes mana-screw interesting is that when you control it, it does not happen often enough to be a nuisance.


Even if mana screw is a player problem, when it happens too often, it's a huge nuisance, and really not fun.



So? How does that answer my point?


You missed the point. To any player that doesn't have the level to avoid mana screw, it makes the game a terrible, uninteresting experience.



Just like playing against a pro is dull for any newbie that gets all of his Craw Wurms Doom Bladed.


Poker isn't only luck reliant. If you have bad hands, you can still bluff your way through the game.
Settlers of Catan is typically the kind of uninteresting game that could get fully automated (like monopoly), even taking trades into account.
Risk is trickier. So long as you are using the cards rule, most of the game is making sure you at least invade one country each turn. If at some point you don't manage to do so, then you probably can admit your loss and avoid wasting more time. Also, I'd be pretty interested in the results of a good AI for this game.



You're trying too hard. Poker when you always draw crap hands isn't winnable, except if you play against a real stupid opponent. Settlers may sound dull to you, but it has an incredible success. Risk is entirely dependant on dice roll. Hell, I once lost 34 troups in a row when invading. Sometimes you just get screwed up. But if you want better examples, just play any card game.

I gotta say, it's entirely unclear to me what point you're making here. Clearly Magic is a game involving both skill and luck. You need both in order to win a big tournament. Skill alone isn't enough. For instance, Tom Martell won the most recent pro tour, and then didn't make day 2 of GP San Diego. Did he get vastly worse between those two events?



Reducing that to mana screw is ridiculous. Come on.

So a really great player (we'll use Jon Finkel) sits down in round 1 of the pro tour across from some just-good-but-not-great player. Finkel will _probably_ win, because he's Finkel. But he could plausibly lose. Even Finkel probably isn't favored more than maybe 80-20 vs someone who's good enough to make the PT. And what's by far the easiest and most likely way for him to lose? Mana issues. Even if he built his deck perfectly and mulligans perfectly, there will be games where he gets badly mana screwed, games in which me correctly mulligans down to 5 but then has mulliganed to 5 and can't overcome that, and games in which he gets non-catastrophically manascrewed, but draws 4 or 5 straight lands at a key moment in the game and loses.
Now, do something to "fix" the mana system entirely... say, the duelmasters mana rule. Now Jon Finkel sits down across from someone round 1 of the pro tour. He's not going to lose due to mana screw. He's not going to lose due to mana flood. He's much less likely to mulligan to 5. Have his chances of beating this round 1 opponent increased or decreased?



Increased. In fact, near 100%. Like when you play Chess. That's not Magic.

I have no idea why you think I'd answer decreased. Would you refer to what I said so I can clarify?


So what, what? Yes, all of those things are also frustrating. I'm not sure what your point is... I don't think anyone wants to remove all randomness from Magic. Any game that even remotely resembles Magic is going to have times when you lose because you just don't draw the right cards at the right times. But a game could exist that was like Magic that didn't have anything remotely resembling mana screw.


 
Why? Because you don't like when it's land instead? I submit that it's only because lands are more visible and that you remember more clearly those few times where you got really screwed out of an important game and never realized your mistakes.


So tomorrow I (hypothetically) sit down and play two games of GTC draft. In the first one, my opponent and I both get reasonable mana draws, and the game is going along well, interacting and stuff, the board is pretty even, and then my opponent casts aurelia the warleader and kills me. In the second game, I draw 0 land at 7, then 1 land at 6, then 1 land at 5 and keep it, and cast only a single 2/2 creature the entire game. Now in both cases it's pretty clear that the luck had a huge impact on the outcome of the game. In the first case, the luck is that he happened to open and then draw an Aurelia and I didn't, (let's assume that I didn't do something stupid in game 1 like randomly waste a grizzly spectacle on an irrelevant creature), and in the second game the luck was mana. But in the second game I walk away from the table grinding my teeth and cursing the game, which I don't in the first game. Do you understand why I (and a TON of other magic players, or this wouldn't be such a frequent topic of discussion) have that reaction, even if you yourself don't for whatever reason?



Calculate the odds of getting screwed that much. Then look up what it is. You'll find that it's so small it doesn't matter. Yes, getting completely screwed is bad. However, it's so rare it's not worth thiking about it. And getting screwed a bit is exactly like not drawing enough creatures or removal, except it's more visible.

Rules Advisor

Quotes
76783093 wrote:
56957928 wrote:
58331438 wrote:
56945988 wrote:
Rancor dies to in-response removal.
Yeah... Until next game, where it'll be right back. Seriously, there's no way to deal with Rancor in any format. It should be banned, except Gleemax is a lobbyist for the Rancor party, so that'll never happen.
You can't ban rancor, it just returns to your deck.
58331438 wrote:
57461258 wrote:
You might want to actually talk to the Flavor & Storyline Board people... since, you know, our whole reason for playing Magic is the flavor. I'm willing to bet you'll get a lot more interest there than in General.
Indeed, both posters down there would be thrilled.
57817638 wrote:
I think I wasn't direct enough in my last post. I'll try to fix it now. Ahem... NO ONE CARES there you have it.
57471038 wrote:
When talks about banning Jace first started, I was thinking that I would see him banned come June 20th. But as I think more about it, I don't really think that Jace is the problem anymore. Sure his power level leaves very little to the imagination (opening Jace is like opening a refrigerator box with a naked girl on the inside), and sure his price does have a strong impact on what players choose to play (playing Jace is like being intimate with a woman and she doesn't charge you in the morning), but it is not the source of all the problems in Standard.
76973988 wrote:
How do people think saving room to print more abilities on cards is dumbing down the game?

Do you really think, say, Akroma would ever be printed if she said, "Akroma can block by creatures with this ability and cannot be blocked by creatures without this ability.  If a creature without this ability would deal combat damage by Akroma would be destroyed, prevent all combat damage that creature would deal to Akroma this combat.  Attacking does not cause Akroma to tap.  If Akroma is blocked and deals lethal damage, it deals the remainder of its damage to the defending player.  Akroma may attack and use abilities that require tapping in the casting cost the turn it enters the battlefield.  Akroma cannot be damaged, enchanted, equipped, blocked or targeted by black or red sources" rather than her "dumbed down" wording she has?  No freaking way.  Keywording and shorthand allows them to make complicated cards easy to play with, allowing them to be printed in the first place.
57817638 wrote:
The creation of praetors was worth it just because now amoeboid changeling is a praetor.
57140668 wrote:
1. cast frankie peanuts2. ask opponent "will you concede the game this turn"? if they say yes, you win; if they say no, play a staying power
3. subsequently ask "will you attack this turn"? and "will you cast a spell this turn"? (using a Teferi, Mage of Zhalfir for the second question if necessary) to ensure they can't disrupt the combo
4. donate them a platinum angel
5. play a mox lotus and braingeyser them for every card in their library. play an opalescence and donate them a glorious anthem and a blacker lotus, then play enchanted evening. play and activate a mindslaver and then donate them a fastbond and the mox lotus (returning one of the donates to your hand with eternal witness or whatever)
6. during their turn, play every permanent in their hand (playing lands with fastbond) then (as yourself) cast mirrorweave on the blacker lotus, so every permanent becomes a copy of it. proceed to tear up every card they control, and hopefully do it before they notice that they aren't bound by staying power's ability anymore and can concede
82423538 wrote:
57471038 wrote:
82423538 wrote:
One part of the statement being true=/=the whole statement true.
Whatever. I'm still here about ten minutes away. Whenever you want to get destroyed in Magic, I'm available.
I would like to get destroyed in Magic, actually. Do you know anybody good enough?
57617478 wrote:
Please format your statements in a way that doesn't look like a baboon hit its face on your keyboard.
57140668 wrote:
why did Garruk Relentless lose a loyalty counter
Show
to get to the other side
89522235 wrote:
You're such an obvious troll that you have hexproof and : Regenerate.
56957928 wrote:
56776038 wrote:
Dark Ritual being overpowered is determined more by what is done with it than the card itself.
True, but the fact that it enables so many ridiculous things is pretty telling. It's like, sure I can use a shotgun as a bludgeoning instrument, but that doesn't make it not a shotgun.
79035425 wrote:
Shortly before Serra died, she transferred her spark into an angel whose full name was Asha Avacyn Bolas. Her dragon father groomed her for her positions in Alara and Innistrad, and she's also been getting help from her uncle Ugin in the form of Urza, who was resurrected as Marit Lage to be the avatar as which she projects herself into material realms. Grieslbrand is a split personality who sometimes wanders the planes disguised as a human woman named Liliana Vess.
97610188 wrote:
Yeah that (Content Removed) really annoys me. Moderated by MY_self right about naahowwww!
93446159 wrote:
Dilleux_Lepaire just won the thread.
57461258 wrote:
And, as usual, Dilleux wins the entire thread. Nice work, sir, nice work.
99113151 wrote:
They need to make 9 layers of zones where cards go when they "die". Much like Hell.
56778328 wrote:
Wow, holy doggy poop, kids, obvious statement is obvious.
56776038 wrote:
122053101 wrote:
i don't think your geting it WotC is trying to kill the comption to make it so that there shity app is the only one left.
I haven't tried the app. How is its use of English grammar? Cheers!
57471038 wrote:
Everyone's life would be easier if players would, instead of coming to the 'net for help with a deck, just netdeck and be done with it. And I'm not talking about some Top 8 lists, for the Casualists, too, can benefit from netdecking. I've netdecked plenty of decks from the Casual Play forums from users such as Mown, Raedien, Floopfoot, and a few others. I snatched straight the heck out of my web browser. Yes, people, your original idea fell victim to a savage netdecker. You have been assimiliated. Suppose I wanted a Zombie deck. Why on earth would I spend time searching Gatherer for a decent list of Zombie cards when Raedien already did it for me? Taking time to be creative or waiting on people on the forums to tell you why your deck sucks or 'go to Casual forums' is a disasterous waste of time (to me).
56957928 wrote:
82423538 wrote:
If WotC started putting $100 bills in packs, the players would complain that they folded them wrong.
No, they just spam them with ban requests. That being said, Magic was ruined back in Alpha when they added all that rules and cards [Debutantes avert your eyes]. My friends and I still like playing it the "pure" way (Basically we go into the woods and hit eachother with wiffle bats while shouting made up obscenities. You know, the way Garfield wanted it to be played).
56957928 wrote:
Don't worry about it. I've come up with a list of changes to fix EDH. -First off, there's no commander. -The minimum deck size is 60 cards, and each deck can have up to four of each card, save basic lands and relentless rats. Also decks have no color identity. -Starting life total is 20. And voila, now things are balanced.
89522235 wrote:
Here's a clever play you can try yourself: -Convince friend to run relentless rats.dec in legacy tournament -Get a deck with lots of mill, yixlid jailer, and humility -Drop humility and jailer, wait for him to dump his hand, mill him out -All his rats now have no abilities. Call a judge because he's playing an illegal deck with more than 4 of a single card. -Get him/her banned from competitive magic play
142055101 wrote:
But how to mark them without making the individual sleeve different! You could buy a skunk and slam it's butt on you deck (pardon the french) Then after the game just sniff at your opponent's pile of cards and you will know if any of your cards are there!!!
141434757 wrote:
In Soviet Russia, Sorin opens You
71235715 wrote:
L, is for the leather gloves you weaaaar. O, is for the organs that guy could spaaaare. V, is very very, extraordinay. E, is for every vagrant i butchered in a wine cellar befooooore.
57052258 wrote:
The outer layer of the Magic: the Gathering box, the carton, or crust, is fairly thin and light, and contains largely aluminosilcates. Within that lies the middle layer, consisting of the familiar booster pack. Although solid, the booster packs' high temperatures allow them to acutally move around within the booster box. This flow, sometimes called convection, is cited by frustrated box mappers as one of WOTC's most genious uses of thermodynamics since the Ravnica block. No one knows what lies at the core of the booster box, but scientists theorize that it must be especially dense in order to make up for the large amount of fluff distributed amongst the booster packs.
58232598 wrote:
88993869 wrote:
Torpor Orb is absolutely godawful against Vexing Devil.
whoever is playing vexing devil is probably losing anyways
56957928 wrote:
I imagine [Ajani 3's] second ability involves him hurling the creature at your opponent Brion Stoutarm style, then the guy is just like "Okay, that may have worked, but don't- GOD DAMN IT!" as he does it again because cats don't give a **** :33.
56957928 wrote:
"Do or do not, there is no try." - Albus Dumbledore, The Lord of the Rings.
89522235 wrote:
68978039 wrote:
Its like that one time Elves broke out in a field of Jund. Elves became a resurgent hit, then died off again once Jund adapted to the rest of the field of G/W that it required mass removal that inherently pooped on Elves too. Submit to the menace. Delver can, and will blot out the sun.
Then we shall play in the shade.
89522235 wrote:
I'm sorry, this forum isn't for getting bad advice on mediocre decks, that's standard deck help. This forum is for starting ****storms.
97820278 wrote:
139359831 wrote:
Your advice would only lead me to make generic, boring, and unworthy content. It's of no use to me.
I just got this image of you as an architect, having finished a building suspended by only a small pole in its southwest corner, saying it's original. Then the building collapses.
56957928 wrote:
I for one love the flavor of legendary lands. "I remember my days as a youth at Tolarian Academy." "Wow, small multiverse, I actually went there too." "WAIT, DON'T- Well ****, there's $200,000 in student loans well spent."
56957928 wrote:
And flavor goes out the window when you cast a second copy of a planeswalker right after the first one dies, so... "Hey Nissa, I need a favor." "You just asked me for a 'favor' like thirty seconds ago, and it turned out to be having Sarkhan Transmogrify my only follower into a dragon like 5 times -which dickery aside also violates some laws of causality - and then you let me get beaten over the head by that hedron crab." "...I'll give you " "...Well all right then."
57150868 wrote:
GM, I don't think Dill is better than you. I KNOW it. Even if he wakes up every morning, clubs a baby seal, steals all the TV remotes from within a block's radius of his house and then robs hungry orphans of their food he'd be better than you, for the simple reason that he learns from his mistakes.
143211137 wrote:
57033358 wrote:
Tamiyo vs. Gideon
What would they have to fight about? Like, all I can think of now is Gideon going "Hey, long-ears! I'm gathering a group of 'Walkers together to fight some tentacle monsters.....you want in?" and Tamiyo going "Ew! Hentai no bakka Gideon-desu desu!" and flying away.
76783093 wrote:
I open 4 packs just to be on the safe side. Not only do I get more cards than everyone else, but I also get to spend the rest of the night off. Win Win.
191752181 wrote:
MaRo has a thing for people opening boosters with bad cards. But since he can only get so many bad cards printed in each set, he has found a devious way of getting more bad cards into circulation: He makes entire print sheets with just bad rares, then puts them onto the assembly line. He proceeds to wring his hands and twirl his evil mustache that he grew for twirling purposes as a lightning bolt strikes in the background. Afterwards, he goes to make sure that the good cards are only opened by everyone's friends, and that we all only get to open bad cards. He does this by memorising each booster, than switching them around accordingly. Whenever someone complains about a card, he immediately jumps out from behind a chair to yell "WELL, IT'S NOT FOR YOU!" before merging back into the shadows in order to devise new ways in which he can screw over players, then claim that he has valid reasons for doing so.
97820278 wrote:
192729031 wrote:
You open a booster pack, and staring back at you from the rare slot is a Lotleth Troll? At least I can stick him in my EDH deck and still have four for my standard constructed.
Because lol troll
56874518 wrote:
It helped that I more or less skipped most of GM_Champion's longer diatribes. I only have so many brain cells I'm willing to sacrifice each day.
192931349 wrote:
Mark Rosewater is sitting in a seemingly innocuous cable TV van, outside of Bankaimastery's house. Sitting nearby are two hardened criminal hackers, fresh out of prison, and filled with resentment at their lack of physical fitness. "Have you managed to hack his brainwaves yet? The set deadline's coming up fast." "We're almost through. It should be coming up on the screen any second." The hacker presses a button, and Kevin's thoughts flash onto the screen. Mark and the hackers stare in amazement at the sheer beauty, the elegance, and the raw truth of what they see. It's like the ending to 2001: A Space Odyssey. Brilliant light shines across the screen, the truth of existence is made clear to them, and they despair at their own foolishness, their own ignorance, their own inadequacy. And then they steal his ideas. As they return back to R&D, Mark sneers at a haggard old man chained to a cast-iron sphere. The man looks up from his laborious task of breaking rocks in the dungeon of Wizards of the Coast headquarters, and asks a question: "Kevin, my greatest student. He - he's all right, isn't he? You didn't hurt him?" Mark deals him a weighty blow with his boot. "Know your place, Richard. Get back to work."
57023768 wrote:
Now show me on the Garruk doll where Zac Hill ruined your enjoyment of Magic...
63711769 wrote:
I'm only opposed to it because it bears so little relation to how people actually play the game. The example of Miracles is actually a much better one then the Clone example I was trying to use. From the game's perspective, the card can move instantly from face down in the library to revealed in the hand and that's fine for the rules. But in real life, we can't actually do that, so the card spends a good bit of time in locations that are neither where that player's library is nor where that player's hand is. And that's fine for real life. What I don't want is the disconnect to be explicitly codified. Along the lines of
183664.697 A game of Magic as laid out by these rules exists only as a pure Platonic ideal, utterly unrealizable by fallible mortals limited by the confines of physicality and the ravages of evil and sin. 183664.698 The cake is a lie, too.
I know it's true, but I don't want the rules to actually straight-up tell me that.
147137503 wrote:
77120821 wrote:
Pfft this cant be serious can it? If it is please delete your account OP. Its not even close to ban worthy, considering what JTMS and stoneforge had to accomplish to get banned i see the WotC selling magic to aquire Pokemon before that ever happens.
I'm trying to imagine sorin markov as a gym leader in one of those pokemon games which you have to beat him to get his badge... somehow I imagine that he would stab you in the chest with his sword before giving you the badge, even if you beat his pokemon....
196239043 wrote:
Personally, I'd be fine with tea time but then I'm not gonna waste the mana summoning Emrakul, the Aeons Torn. He always takes all the sugar, drinks the whole pot of Earl Grey and doesn't even say thank you. SO. RUDE.

 

JustTerrorIt wrote:

 

JuliusPringle wrote:

All I want to do is sit down and play magic, but when I walked in yesterday, (since I didn't talk to anyone) nobody talked to me and I silently bought what I wanted and walked out.


If you don't talk to anyone, that increases the odds that no one will talk to you.

 

JuliusPringle wrote:

So how do I just... introduce myself? "Hi, my name is Adam, wanna play magic with me?" Do I go to the counter and talk to the cashier?


Yeah. Talk to the cashier. Tell him/her that you want a Black Lotus, and if they don't have one tell them that the store isn't on par with what you expected.

 

Reach into your back left pocket. Pull out a deck list that you copied directly from some ChannelFireball top 8 Standard discussion, and ask for all the cards, as is, on that list. Then, ask for some random, probably terrible cards from whatever set is Standard legal. Say it's tech for the upcoming changes in the metagame.

 

Pull out a deck, and tell some random dude you wanna test (you have to use the term "test" for this to work) for Standard. Make sure that deck contains Kitchen Finks and Alluring Siren. Maybe throw in Nyxathid for good measure.

 

Finally, before you leave, spill (make it look like an accident) one hundred singleton, random cards onto the floor. Pick them up, put them in a pile, and say "EEE-DEE-AYCH".

 

I know this sounds dumb at first, but it will work. With the method outlined above, you will draw the attention of players that play older formats by asking for cards that no one on Earth can reasonably afford. You will get the attention of the wanna-be pro, Stomp-n00bz players by pulling out a well known decklist and declare that you have "tech" to make it better. You will get the attention of all the kind, helpful players by seemingly not knowing the most common format by having non-Standard legal cards in a deck that you claim is Standard legal. Finally, you catch all the rest of the Magic players by saying "EEE-DEE-AYCH" (EDH (or Commander)).

And there you have it. You will be talking to more people than you would have wanted to talk to in no time.

 

Smoke_Stack wrote:

EDH is the best format anyway


See, it's starting already.

 

Break the Card
What is Break the Card?
Break the Card is a regular thread in the Cards and Combo Forum. Quite simply, the participants are given a Johnnystatic card (e.g. Xenograft) and are asked to build a deck around it. The winner and honorable mentions are sigged below. Get brewing!
Week 1 : Xenograft
This week's Break the Card was based around Xenograft. Thread : http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75842/27681049/Break_the_card_:_Xenograft?pg=1 Winner : Axterix with his Vampdrazi deck. Finalist : Vektor480 with his Ally/Golem/Plant deck. Honorable mentions : Zammm for the Turntimber Ranger combo and TinGorilla for suggesting Sarkhan the Mad.
Week 2 : Mindlock Orb
Here's the link to the Mindlock Orb contest : http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75842/27697565/Break_the_Card_:_Mindlock_Orb?sdb=1&pg=last#497536269 Winner : Axterix with his Maralen of the Mornsong deck. Honorable mentions : Void_Elemental.
Week 3 : Bludgeon Brawl
Here's the link to Break the Card : Bludgeon Brawl : http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75842/27715169/Break_the_Card_:_Bludgeon_Brawl?sdb=1&pg=last#498208797 Winner : Vektor and his Grab the World deck. Finalist : Crandor with his Awesome Aliteration deck. Honorable mentions : RP Jesus with his Wat deck and Zix200 with his Signet Renewal deck.
Week 4 : Followed Footsteps
This week was Followed Footsteps : http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75842/27748677/Break_the_Card_:_Followed_Footsteps?pg=1 Winner : Tevish_Szat with his Exponential Growth deck. Honorable mentions : Zix with his Carbon Copies deck and Escef with his Fungus of Speed and Time deck.
Week 5 : Delaying Shield
This week's card was Delaying Shield : http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75842/27790101/Break_the_Card_:_Delaying_Shield Winner : Tevish_Szat. Finalist : Vampire_Bat. Honorable Mention : Zix200.
Week 6 : Painter's Servant
This week's card was Painter's Servant : http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75842/27940861/Break_the_Card_:_Painters_Servant?pg=1 Winner : Tevish_Szat with his Paint it Black deck. Finalist : Wprundv with his Tiger, Tiger Painted Bright deck.
Week 7 : Venser, the Sojourner
This week's card was Venser, the Sojourner : http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75842/27977489/Break_the_Card_:_Venser,_the_Sojourner Winner : Izzett with her "Venser, Trickster Trader" deck. Finalist : Wprundv with his "Tactical Sojourner Action" deck.
Week 8 : Personal Sanctuary
This week's card was Personal Sanctuary : http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75842/28005461/Break_the_card_:_Personal_Sanctuary Winner : MrQuizzles. Honorable mention : Vampire_Bat and UbberSheep
Week 9 : Sundial of the Infinite
This week's card was Sundial of the Infinite : http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75842/28038277/Break_the_card_:_Sundial_of_the_Infinite Finalist : Izzett with her "Afterlife Trespassers" deck. Winner : Xeromus with his "Fortune 500" deck.
Week 10 : Jace's Archivist
This week's card was Jace's Archivist : http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75842/28063377/Break_the_Card_:_Jaces_Archivist. Finalists : Jentaru with his "Consecration of the Draw" deck and HereticSmitty with his "ADHD: The deck" deck. Winner : JaxsonBateman with his "The Archives Are Endless!" deck.
Week 11 : Search the City
This week's card was Search the City : http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75842/29518555/Break_the_Card_:_Search_the_City Finalist : Mown with "A Thousand Footsteps". Winner : Desolation_masticore with "Burn the City".
Week 12 : Fiend Hunter
This week's card was Fiend Hunter : http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75842/29530975/Break_the_Card_:_Fiend_Hunter Winner : Yuyu63 with "Carnival Hunting". Honorable mention : Dknowle's "Champion the Fiend".
Week 13 : Clock of Omens
This week's card was Clock of Omens : http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75842/29541549/Break_the_Card_:_Clock_of_Omens?pg=1 Winner : Dknowle's "The Myrs Go Marching".
Week 14 : Light of Sanction
This week's card was Light of Sanction : http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75842/29607219/Break_the_Card_:_Light_of_Sanction?pg=1 Winner : Zauzich's "Divine Plague".
Week 15 : Assemble the Legion
This week's card was Assemble the Legion : http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75842/29662307/Break_the_Card_:_Assemble_the_Legion Winner : JBTM's "Some Assembly Required".
Week 16 : High Tide
This week's cards were High Tide and/or Bubbling Muck : http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75842/29760427/Break_the_Card_:_High_Tide Winner : Mown's "Puppet Strings".
Week 17 : Illusionist's Bracers
This week's card was Illusionist's Bracers : http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75842/29776943/Break_the_Card_:_Illusionistss_Bracers Winner : Enigma256's "Tezzeret's Bracers"
Week 18 : Savor the Moment
This week's card was Savor the Moment : http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75842/29787235/Break_the_Card_:_Savor_the_Moment Winner : POSValkir's "A Savory Filibuster!"
Week 19 : Grinning Ignus
This week's card was Grinning Ignus : http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75842/29795547/Break_the_Card_:_Grinning_Ignus Winner : dknowle's "Luren' and Laughin'".
Week 20 : Transcendence
This week's card was Transcendence : http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75842/29806481/Break_the_Card_:_Transcendence Winners : Mown's "Transcending Timing Restrictions" and Dknowle's "Blinded by Greed", tied for the win.
Week 21 : Mortus Strider
This week's card was Mortus Strider : http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75842/29818471/Break_the_Card_:_Mortus_Strider Winner : SimonGlume's "Mortus Head".
Week 22 : High Priest of Penance
This week's card was High Priest of Penance : http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75842/29917231/Break_the_Card_High_Priest_of_Penance Winners : JBTM's "Two Clerics and a Goblin walk into a (Bom)bar(dment)..." and POSValkir1's "Choke Their Rivers with Our Dead!".
Week 23 : False Cure
This week's card was False Cure :http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75842/29964239/Break_the_Card_:_False_Cure Winner : Dknowle's "When Hippos Fly".

Week 24 : Akroan Horse

This week's card was Akroan Horse : http://community.wizards.com/forum/cards-and-combos/threads/4024821.

Winner : Dknowle's "Indian Giver".

Week 25 : Leylines

This week saw multiple cards being in the contest : all of the Leylines! http://community.wizards.com/forum/cards-and-combos/threads/4067621

Winner : POSValkir1's "Laying the Battle Lines".


I gotta say, it's entirely unclear to me what point you're making here. Clearly Magic is a game involving both skill and luck. You need both in order to win a big tournament. Skill alone isn't enough. For instance, Tom Martell won the most recent pro tour, and then didn't make day 2 of GP San Diego. Did he get vastly worse between those two events?



Reducing that to mana screw is ridiculous. Come on.


I didn't think I was doing so. You seemed to be saying that, because the same players tend to do well, that proves that mana screw isn't an issue. I'm saying that while the same players TEND to do well, they don't ALWAYS do well, even the best sometimes lose; and a LARGE reason for that, particularly if they're losing to a much inferior player as opposed to an equivalently good player with a better metagame deck; is mana screw/flood.


So a really great player (we'll use Jon Finkel) sits down in round 1 of the pro tour across from some just-good-but-not-great player. Finkel will _probably_ win, because he's Finkel. But he could plausibly lose. Even Finkel probably isn't favored more than maybe 80-20 vs someone who's good enough to make the PT. And what's by far the easiest and most likely way for him to lose? Mana issues. Even if he built his deck perfectly and mulligans perfectly, there will be games where he gets badly mana screwed, games in which me correctly mulligans down to 5 but then has mulliganed to 5 and can't overcome that, and games in which he gets non-catastrophically manascrewed, but draws 4 or 5 straight lands at a key moment in the game and loses.
Now, do something to "fix" the mana system entirely... say, the duelmasters mana rule. Now Jon Finkel sits down across from someone round 1 of the pro tour. He's not going to lose due to mana screw. He's not going to lose due to mana flood. He's much less likely to mulligan to 5. Have his chances of beating this round 1 opponent increased or decreased?



Increased. In fact, near 100%. Like when you play Chess. That's not Magic.

I have no idea why you think I'd answer decreased. Would you refer to what I said so I can clarify?



Most clearly when you said this: "Additionnaly, you'd have worse deck and worse pilots winning only because the rules have changed without anyone knowing." That pretty stongly implies to me that a major result of "fixing mana screw" (in that case I believe my mtgo hacked-shuffler hypothetical" would be to allow bad players with bad decks to win more.
 



Why? Because you don't like when it's land instead? I submit that it's only because lands are more visible and that you remember more clearly those few times where you got really screwed out of an important game and never realized your mistakes.


First of all, please drop the line about "never realized your mistakes", in that, while certainly true at some level, it's irrelevant. I make mistakes. You make mistakes. LSV makes mistakes. Finkel makes mistakes. But there are still plenty of games which you or I or LSV or Finkel have lost which had NOTHING to do with making mistakes. Some of those were due to mana issues. Some were due to other kinds of pretty-clearly-luck-related-issues (ie, opponent in limited just has all the bombs). Some were due to other things. My contention is that even though the land issues and the losing-to-other-luck-related-issues are on some theoretical level very similar, they FEEL incredibly different. Why does that matter? Because Magic is a game and, above all else, it's supposed to be fun.

Someone earlier in this thread made some comment about how "well, if mana screw is so bad, why doesn't it make you quit", or something like that. I just recently talked to a coworker who noticed some magic cards on my desk, and said that he used to play, and he quit because he found mana screw so frustrating. How many such people are out there?

Fixing mana screw (in some hypothetical "perfect fashion" that didn't ruin a million other things) might or might not make magic a more or less skill-intensive game... it's hard to say without knowing what this way was. But it would certainly make it a more FUN game, and that's good for everyone.

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