4/8/2013 Feature: "Fusing Passion and Purpose"

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This thread is for discussion of this week's "Fusing Passion and Purpose", which goes live Monday morning on magicthegathering.com.

The picture links for Fuse appear to be broken. Neither picture shows up, just a broken pic icon.
It's kinda funny, because I was feeling apprehensive as I read this article. A new lead designer? And one picked from the great designer search? I love Ken Nagle's design, but I still was worried, especially since this third set has so much pressure on it.

Then I clicked on the reveal for Toil and Trouble. 

All my doubts just flew away like little birdies.  
I like the idea of the cards.... i was toying with something along this line with split cards a while back, but nothing this elegant....

The only I dont like about them (and its not even about the card itself) is that as an EDH player, I need all colors on the card to play it....

Depending on how many they make, this might not be a problem though....
Holy batman Beck is almost Glimpse of Nature, a card banned in modern who also sees play in Legacy. It also works for creatures that enter the battlefield on you opponent's side if that's ever relevant...

Also Toil//Trouble is super sexy.

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

192884403 wrote:
surely one can't say complex conditional passive language is bad grammar ?
Awesome article! It's nice to hear from Alexis.

However, I also have a message to our esteemed webmasters:

The "send email" links at the bottom are not working.
I LOVE reading Alexis Janson's articles. Her writing style just speaks so well to me.

Anyway... between Fuse, Ral being one of the greatest Timmy cards I've ever seen, and getting an article from one of my favorite uncommon writers for DailyMTG, spoiler season is off to a GREAT start! 
that simic guildgate is SO~~ GORGEOUS!!
WOTC continues to highlight that their weakest department is HR! Seriously - how hard is it to employ digital staff for coding that AREN'T also talented game designers so they keep making digital toys for me!! :D
I find this article extremely well written. 

Strange mix of humility (The whole intro paragraphs, the delegation of the color-fixing problem) and self-satisfaction ( I did this, I did that,... instead of speaking of the team). 

What is for sure: if Dragon Maze has some of the intelligence of Alexis embedded, it will be a blast to play.

I just hope the power creep will be kept under control (no Wurmcoil Engine Wink)
Upon seeing Toil//Trouble I'm now officially stoked for Dragon's Maze.

Can't wait
I wasnt playing when Split Cards came out, but they always seemed like a cool idea. This new mechanic excites me even more!

I do have a (rules) question though...

Can you really only Fuse when casting from your hand, or can you Fuse when casting from other zones also?   

EDIT: found the answer myself: it is from hand only.
www.wizards.com/magic/magazine/article.a...   

~ Tim
I am Blue/White Reached DCI Rating 1800 on 28/10/11. :D
Sig
56287226 wrote:
190106923 wrote:
Not bad. But what happens flavor wise when one kamahl kills the other one?
Zis iz a sign uf deep psychological troma, buried in zer subconscious mind. By keelink himzelf, Kamahl iz physically expressink hiz feelinks uf self-disgust ova hiz desire for hiz muzzer. [/GermanPsychologistVoice]
56957928 wrote:
57799958 wrote:
That makes no sense to me. If they spelled the ability out on the card in full then it would not be allowed in a mono-black Commander deck, but because they used a keyword to save space it is allowed? ~ Tim
Yup, just like you can have Birds of paradise in a mono green deck but not Noble Hierarch. YAY COLOR IDENTITY
56287226 wrote:
56888618 wrote:
Is algebra really that difficult?
Survey says yes.
56883218 wrote:
57799958 wrote:
You want to make a milky drink. You squeeze a cow.
I love this description. Like the cows are sponges filled with milk. I can see it all Nick Parks claymation-style with the cow's eyes bugging out momentarily as a giant farmer squeezes it like a squeaky dog toy, and milk shoots out of it.
56287226 wrote:
56735468 wrote:
And no judge will ever give you a game loss for playing snow covered lands.
I now have a new goal in life. ;)
Completely expected yet delightful "news": Alexis continues to be awesome.

I wasn't all that excited for this set. Now I just might be. :-)
Actually, I was considering the idea of Fuse before I even got to this article. I started with Ral first, but halfway down, once I read the words "eleventh keyword" for some reason, I knew it was entwine. But, this is a much cleaner text version of entwine, and gosh does it look amazing. And our rare splits are shards and wedges. Of course! To ecnourage and support the three color limited environment, and to essentially give multi-colored decks, an extra round of "charms" of a sort. I think It's brilliant! I doubt Beck and Call will end up pulling too much cash in, honestly (despite me reallly loving Call), but it's so flavorful, and beautiful, that I just have to sit back and appreciate it.
If you're not playing the game, you're not actually designing Magic. You're just making noise.


So very, very true. Reminds me of the usual noises of card misevaluation whenever a new set's visual spoiler is up. ("Extort is unplayable!")
These split cards with fuse seem like a good way to tie the block draft together, which in all likelihood will be mostly 3-colour / 3-guild decks. But from a limited perspective, the replacement of the basic land with gates is even more important to have fun games that aren't so often just won by whoever happens to get their three colours of mana together when the other is color screwed. The first signs are that this will be a good set and I am looking forward to it.

However, I was really hoping for a few cycles of hybrid cards with three different hybrid symbols in their cost; easily castable in those three colours, and quite splashable in decks that have two out of those three colours, and of course, uncastable in decks that only have one of the three colours.

Basically, they are "true multicolour" hybrid cards. The design could have been based on finding abilities that are shared among those colours, so that there isn't any colour-bleed. For example, both white and blue can put creatures on top of a player's library, and both black and blue can draw cards (though for black, this usually costs life), but on the other hand, both white and black can gain life (white "just like that" and black often together with removal or lifelink). So you could have something like:

(w/u) (w/u) (u/b) (u/b) (w/b) (w/b) [cmc 6]
uncommon
sorcery
Put target creature on top of its owner's library and gain life equal to its toughness. Draw two cards.

As another example, white and green share vigilance, green and red share haste, and white and red share first strike. Thus:

1 (w/r) (r/g) (w/g) [cmc 4]
uncommon
creature
vigilance, haste, first strike
3/2

Or a combat trick: white and green can gain life, green and blue can untap creatures, and white and blue can give flying. Thus:

(w/u) (u/g) (w/g) [cmc 3]
uncommon
instant
Untap all creatures you control. Creatures you control gain flying until end of turn. Gain life equal to the number of creatures you control.

These above examples are just something I came up with in ten minutes, so I am not sure about their power level or anything - just tossing around ideas here.

I am just hoping that if there is ever another multi-colour block that encourages three-coloured limited decks, that these sorts of cycles will appear then...

The good thing about them from a constructed perspective is that they really don't force people into three colours, but are rather easily castable in two-colour constructed decks (being essentially one of each coloured mana and one hybrid of the two).

However, I was really hoping for a few cycles of hybrid cards with three different hybrid symbols in their cost; easily castable in those three colours, and quite splashable in decks that have two out of those three colours, and of course, uncastable in decks that only have one of the three colours.


I was hoping for the exact same thing.

~ Tim   

I am Blue/White Reached DCI Rating 1800 on 28/10/11. :D
Sig
56287226 wrote:
190106923 wrote:
Not bad. But what happens flavor wise when one kamahl kills the other one?
Zis iz a sign uf deep psychological troma, buried in zer subconscious mind. By keelink himzelf, Kamahl iz physically expressink hiz feelinks uf self-disgust ova hiz desire for hiz muzzer. [/GermanPsychologistVoice]
56957928 wrote:
57799958 wrote:
That makes no sense to me. If they spelled the ability out on the card in full then it would not be allowed in a mono-black Commander deck, but because they used a keyword to save space it is allowed? ~ Tim
Yup, just like you can have Birds of paradise in a mono green deck but not Noble Hierarch. YAY COLOR IDENTITY
56287226 wrote:
56888618 wrote:
Is algebra really that difficult?
Survey says yes.
56883218 wrote:
57799958 wrote:
You want to make a milky drink. You squeeze a cow.
I love this description. Like the cows are sponges filled with milk. I can see it all Nick Parks claymation-style with the cow's eyes bugging out momentarily as a giant farmer squeezes it like a squeaky dog toy, and milk shoots out of it.
56287226 wrote:
56735468 wrote:
And no judge will ever give you a game loss for playing snow covered lands.
I now have a new goal in life. ;)
Alexis, I've been a fan of yours since the first Great Designer Search, and I'm very excited for Dragon's Maze. Congratulations on leading it!

 

Goblin Artisans
a Magic: the Gathering design blog
wow i didn't expect split cards to show up again...
Presumbably, a "fused" card goes on the stack as two discrete effects, in either order, or they're going to be grossly misinterpreted as badly as the 'phantom comma' on Browbeat.
Are the actual rules for these available yet?
Presumbably, a "fused" card goes on the stack as two discrete effects, in either order, or they're going to be grossly misinterpreted as badly as the 'phantom comma' on Browbeat.
Are the actual rules for these available yet?

We do not have the comprehensive rules, but they do not work the way you described.

wizards.com/magic/magazine/article.aspx?x=mtg/daily/feature/242
Any time you could cast a split card with fuse, you can choose one half and cast it, just like any other split card. And if you're casting it from your hand (as you usually are), you have the additional option to cast both halves as a single spell by paying their combined cost. Instructions on the left half are processed first, then the instructions on the right, and targets for the two halves are chosen separately.

You follow the instructions in order from left to right. It is similar to resolving a spell that has been spliced on to.
or they're going to be grossly misinterpreted as badly as the 'phantom comma' on Browbeat.



I've never heard of that, whats the "phantom comma"?
or they're going to be grossly misinterpreted as badly as the 'phantom comma' on Browbeat.



I've never heard of that, whats the "phantom comma"?

Browbeat

From what I've heard, people would misinterpret Browbeat as saying "Unless a player has Browbeat, deal 5 damage to him or her, target player draws three cards" and then interpret that as meaning "If target player doesn't have a copy of Browbeat in their hand/library/wherever, they're hit for 5 and you draw three cards". Which is a mistake of a crazy person and the idea that anybody could interpret it that way is itself crazy, but apparently they did!
You follow the instructions in order from left to right. It is similar to resolving a spell that has been spliced on to.

So it is two sequential effects, just in a fixed order?

Yeah that old Browbeat error is the kind of thing that you very nearly have to be a non-native English speaker to mess up, but apparently people did.

On the other hand, my wife (in one of her very first games of Magic) got very excited when she cast Phage the Untouchable, and simply sat and looked at me after casting it, and was heartbroken to learn that "When Phage comes into play, if you didn't play it from your hand, you lose the game" did not mean that every other player besides her had just lost. 

From what I've heard, people would misinterpret Browbeat as saying "Unless a player has Browbeat, deal 5 damage to him or her, target player draws three cards"



A small part of me died reading that. Hopefully I can repress the memory and maintain my faith in humanity. THANKS A LOT.

On the other hand, my wife (in one of her very first games of Magic) got very excited when she cast Phage the Untouchable, and simply sat and looked at me after casting it, and was heartbroken to learn that "When Phage comes into play, if you didn't play it from your hand, you lose the game" did not mean that every other player besides her had just lost. 



Haha thats so cute.

I remember reading (I'm sure some of you do too) an article by Richard Garfield talking about how they had to change the wording of Time Walk because originally the playtest version was "Target player loses next turn", meant to be interpreted as they dont get to take the next turn they were going to take. Players interpreted as the target player losing the game next turn, which to be honest is a more accurate interpretation.

My dad, when I was first learning to play magic, thought that Desert Twister was misprinted because he thought it should destroy a target "permanently", him not being familiar with the magic idea of a "permanent".
You follow the instructions in order from left to right. It is similar to resolving a spell that has been spliced on to.

So it is two sequential effects, just in a fixed order?

I am not sure what you are getting at. It is one spell, and it resolves only once. It is has two sequential effects the same way that Lightning Helix does.
Can someone please explain to me how this mechanic is so good? I just don't see it being that amazing would rather of had the ability to have guild specific mechanics on different colours, i.e. unleash on unblockable dimir creatures or battalian on selesnia creatures.
IMAGE(http://i1287.photobucket.com/albums/a637/Duke-Daemon/impurple_zps3e279094.jpg)
I think the original problem was Book Burning, where the phantom comma was at the end of the first line and therefore more easily read in the wrong way.
You follow the instructions in order from left to right. It is similar to resolving a spell that has been spliced on to.

So it is two sequential effects, just in a fixed order?

I am not sure what you are getting at. It is one spell, and it resolves only once. It is has two sequential effects the same way that Lightning Helix does.

Neither effect of Helix is dependent on the other (apart from counter-on-resolution).

Fused cards behave similarly to Entwine cards such as Promise of Power, which did need some clarification as to what they actually do.

Neither effect of Helix is dependent on the other (apart from counter-on-resolution).

Fused cards behave similarly to Entwine cards such as Promise of Power, which did need some clarification as to what they actually do.

I see. Yes, you perform the actions sequentially. For Beck // Call, you set up the delayed trigger ability first, and then you get the tokens, which trigger the ability.

All spells and abilities are like that. You follow the instructions in order unless the spell specifically says to do them simultaneously like Breaking Wave.
I seriously don't get why this couldn't just have been a spell with Entwine. We've never previously been able to cast two spells in a row without passing priority in between the spellcasts, so how does this new card format deal with priority between spells? Do I get to respond to the casting of one half first, then the other half? And what happens if I counter one half of the spell? Is the whole card countered if I counter one half, or do I have to counter both? If I have to counter both, does the Fuse card not go to the graveyard after I counter one half? How will triggered abilities that trigger off of spellcasts be layered on the stack when casting both halves?



How would this have been implemented cleanly with Entwine? What would you suggest the casting cost for the spell be, and the entwine cost? With these, you could pay 2B, 2R, or 4BR, what would the Entwine version of this look like?

Also, this is not two seperate spells being cast. It is one spell, with multiple lines of text. If you cast both sides, you are casting one spell. One counterspell stops this. Triggers will trigger off of one spell being cast. There is no priority between anything, as only one spell is being cast. Casting this from anywhere other than your hand will function like previous split cards (you can cast either side), but you can't choose to cast both.

We've never previously been able to cast two spells in a row without passing priority in between the spellcasts,



Yes we have that's how it works already?

But that's not important here, just read the mechanics article for how it works:

www.wizards.com/magic/magazine/article.a... 

We've never previously been able to cast two spells in a row without passing priority in between the spellcasts,



Yes we have that's how it works already?

But that's not important here, just read the mechanics article for how it works:

www.wizards.com/magic/magazine/article.a... 

Thanks. Did not read that article before now.

Okay, so fused spells behave like one spell on the stack with the combined mana cost of both spells. That answers my questions.

As for entwine, the cards would've obviously had to have abilities limited to the card's mana cost, but the idea is the same. But I get it now. No need to continue on that subject. 
Can someone please explain to me how this mechanic is so good? I just don't see it being that amazing would rather of had the ability to have guild specific mechanics on different colours, i.e. unleash on unblockable dimir creatures or battalian on selesnia creatures.



It's pretty simple.

Take Toil & Trouble:

 On one side you have Sign in Blood, but for one more mana, but less black intensive; on the other you have Sudden Impact, but this time for one less mana and no change in color intensity. Early in the game, especially in Limited, you can simply play one side or the other: If Orzhov, or a decent life buffer, you can use Toil to keep your hand stocked; whereas if Rakdos or on a stalled board, where one player can't push through the other's defenses, Trouble is a way of pushing damage (aka, "reach"). One can reverse these situations by using Toil to ping a player, or Trouble to put early pressure on the opponent, as they'd likely make more mistakes or uneven trades.

That's early. Later in the game, you can add them together, effectively entwining the spell: Toil them for two cards, they lose 2, the Trouble them for their hand size. If you can accelerate with Keyrunes early enough, say have two out, you can do this turn 5, which if the opponent is still holding to a mitt of cards, can allow you to dome them for 5-7, or even a wonderful 9. Any further Trouble you get will only cause them to have issues.

"Possibilities abound, too numerous to count." "Innocent, unbiased observation is a myth." --- P.B. Medawar (1969) "Ever since man first left his cave and met a stranger with a different language and a new way of looking at things, the human race has had a dream: to kill him, so we don't have to learn his language or his new way of looking at things." --- Zapp Brannigan (Beast With a Billion Backs)
Thanks. Did not read that article before now.

Okay, so fused spells behave like one spell on the stack with the combined mana cost of both spells. That answers my questions.

As for entwine, the cards would've obviously had to have abilities limited to the card's mana cost, but the idea is the same. But I get it now. No need to continue on that subject. 



Yep, this is different design space than entwine, although it can be similar in feel. Glad to see your questions resolved!
Can someone please explain to me how this mechanic is so good? I just don't see it being that amazing would rather of had the ability to have guild specific mechanics on different colours, i.e. unleash on unblockable dimir creatures or battalian on selesnia creatures.



The mechanic, by itself, isn't good or bad; its just a mechanic. It really depends on what you are calling "good". I personally enjoy split cards a bunch, and so making a riff on the split mechanic is "good" to me. However, it sounds like you are looking for something specific that isn't being met by this new mechanic, and are disappointed, which I can understand, because magic is such a large game that not everyone is looking for the same thing.

If you want an evaluation of cards that we know of with the mechanic, check out Qilong's post. That can give you an idea of the power level and flexibility of cards we know with this mechanic. I personally think that this sort of flexibility leads to better gameplay, and therefor is a "good" mechanic, but I understand that magic is a huge game, and players are looking for different things.
All I can say is that after Toil and Trouble, there better be a card that is just the same on both halves called Bubble and Bubble.
All I can say is that after Toil and Trouble, there better be a card that is just the same on both halves called Bubble and Bubble.



The quote you are referring to is:

"Double, double toil and trouble; Fire burn, and caldron bubble." - MacBeth, Act 4, Scene 1.

The convention for split cards is to involve a statement of two verbs, two nouns, or a noun and a verb that are conventionally conjoined by "and," written in parlance as "&." The use of "bubble, bubble" is a common misspeak of "double, double" but is not split by an "and."

Expect things like "Wrack and Ruin," etc.



"Possibilities abound, too numerous to count." "Innocent, unbiased observation is a myth." --- P.B. Medawar (1969) "Ever since man first left his cave and met a stranger with a different language and a new way of looking at things, the human race has had a dream: to kill him, so we don't have to learn his language or his new way of looking at things." --- Zapp Brannigan (Beast With a Billion Backs)

Expect things like "Wrack and Ruin," etc.



I really hope we dont see Wrack // Ruin, both because Rack and Ruin already exists, but also because I detest that spelling of "wrack"