My fondest wish.

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I know it's greedy, too, but I'm going to say it, just because.

I want something, and I can see two ways to do it.

1) Remove the worst cards being thrown in some decks, staying with thirty or forty unlocks.
2) Add additional unlocks, perhaps as many as fifty or sixty. 

There could be a hybrid option, or another way, but what I want is this - that each deck have at least two distinctive, competitive builds.

Of the current decks, I think PI, MM, SS, and DP come the closest to this ideal. CW tries and fails. What I mean is that I want each deck to have two or more paths to victory, which are about equally viable. Between the base decks and unlocks, to have options. I know in the 2014 deck request thread, I specifically designed a Grixis deck that started out aggro-control, but had sufficient unlocks of each type that it could continue as a hybrid/midrange, or go full aggro or control.

Ultimately, what I'm looking for is that when I play multiplayer, I'd like by turn two to still occasionally be guessing about what might be in my opponent's deck. PI has distinct ramp and aggro builds, SS has a general control and a sacrifice-themed build (either of which can partake of or avoid its graveyard theme), DP has various builds between total control and turbo mill, and you almost can't guess what to expect of MM, because almost every card is a viable option depending on the build and person's playstyle. I'd actually claim MM is the best deck they've ever done, precisely because of the number of ways the deck can go. Its variety makes as much of an intimidating matchup as the power of the cards themselves.

There's a certain pleasure in having the experience to know the majority of an opponent's deck by their first play or second/third land, but overall I think I'd prefer the mystery each game of puzzling out which build they've gone for and adjusting my own strategy accordingly.

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

I can dig it.  Would be cool if some decks didn't have the automatic throw aways, like the 4/4's in the berserkers deck.. Don't think I've ever seen that dude in an fully unlocked 60 card deck..I like the cards that people still debate about, where it becomes yea that cards cool but so is this and somethings gotta go...instead of just throw out the trash and use whats left...
I can dig it.  Would be cool if some decks didn't have the automatic throw aways, like the 4/4's in the berserkers deck.. Don't think I've ever seen that dude in an fully unlocked 60 card deck..I like the cards that people still debate about, where it becomes yea that cards cool but so is this and somethings gotta go...instead of just throw out the trash and use whats left...



Exactly, I'm talking about stuff like Mephidross Vampire in RG, Skarrgan Skybreaker in BR, or Bountiful Harvest in PI. No player with even a basic understanding of card quality and more than half the unlocks plays these cards. I understand the need to have cards which are outdone by unlocks in order to teach newer players lessons about card quality and such, but that lesson can be driven home just as easily by replacing mediocre cards with good/great cards via unlocks, rather than replacing "painfully unplayable rubbish you'd question running in Limited" with "meh." No deck should be punishing to unlock.

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

Well, we got rid of Ember Shot...

/progress
Well, we got rid of Ember Shot...

/progress



Surprisingly, not for Kamahl's Sledge or MudholeUndecided

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

Well, we got rid of Ember Shot...

/progress




Worst card ever.

It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open one's mouth and remove all doubt. - Mark Twain

Mastergear_Owen's take on Magic 2014 Campaign.

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You know what I've got more issues. Whats up with the story in this game? The adverts said I was going to team up with Chandra and we were going to kick butt and chew bubblegum across the planes on a revenge campaign against some... guy she knew I guess? Who's Ramaz anyway? What do I get instead? I beat Chandra like 2 minutes in with a mono-green stompy thing Garruk gave me (why does he keep giving all these new planeswalkers his deck) and then I spent like 5 hours jumping from plane to plane picking up random nicknacks for her mantlepiece while she sits back back doing her nails or something. I was thrown in jail! I got hit by a Roil Storm twice! Do you know how many rats are on Ravnica, Chandra? All of them! All of the rats! All of the rats eating me!

Then we go kick her Ex's bearded-screaming-butt and what does she do to help? Nothing! She throws of the occasional fire ball and spends her time trying not to freeze to death. You should have worn pants Chandra. While we're on the subject what happened to your shoes? You had like Steelies on. Steelies are cool. Now your running around with stupid boots with like 5-inch heels? Thats not appropriate footware for Planeswalking! That's not appropriate footware for normal walking! At least Liliana is doing it for the whole 'evil is sexy' thing and can summon undead to carry her when she breaks her ankle. What are you going to do ride a Phoenix? Its made of fire! You'll fall right through! Man I should have gone Planeswalking with Liliana - yeah she'd crack my head open with a rock 5 minutes in and raise my corpse to serve her but at least we could have gone dancing!

Now with more original content and open bar!

https://www.youtube.com/user/thedevilwuster

Well, we got rid of Ember Shot...

/progress



Surprisingly, not for Kamahl's Sledge or Mudhole


You are right though.

You know. Fire Elemental and all that....
Well, we got rid of Ember Shot...

/progress




Worst card ever.




Sir, behold the glory of Sorrow's Path.

That will be all. 

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

Well, we got rid of Ember Shot...

/progress




Worst card ever.




Sir, behold the glory of Sorrow's Path.

That will be all. 


And/or Wood Elemental.
With say, 6 Forests in play, you get a 2/2 BUT THAT'S NOT ALL! Youi ALSO get to sacrifice two forests!!
Well, we got rid of Ember Shot...

/progress




Worst card ever.




Sir, behold the glory of Sorrow's Path.

That will be all. 




That card is hurting my brain.

It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open one's mouth and remove all doubt. - Mark Twain

Mastergear_Owen's take on Magic 2014 Campaign.

Show
You know what I've got more issues. Whats up with the story in this game? The adverts said I was going to team up with Chandra and we were going to kick butt and chew bubblegum across the planes on a revenge campaign against some... guy she knew I guess? Who's Ramaz anyway? What do I get instead? I beat Chandra like 2 minutes in with a mono-green stompy thing Garruk gave me (why does he keep giving all these new planeswalkers his deck) and then I spent like 5 hours jumping from plane to plane picking up random nicknacks for her mantlepiece while she sits back back doing her nails or something. I was thrown in jail! I got hit by a Roil Storm twice! Do you know how many rats are on Ravnica, Chandra? All of them! All of the rats! All of the rats eating me!

Then we go kick her Ex's bearded-screaming-butt and what does she do to help? Nothing! She throws of the occasional fire ball and spends her time trying not to freeze to death. You should have worn pants Chandra. While we're on the subject what happened to your shoes? You had like Steelies on. Steelies are cool. Now your running around with stupid boots with like 5-inch heels? Thats not appropriate footware for Planeswalking! That's not appropriate footware for normal walking! At least Liliana is doing it for the whole 'evil is sexy' thing and can summon undead to carry her when she breaks her ankle. What are you going to do ride a Phoenix? Its made of fire! You'll fall right through! Man I should have gone Planeswalking with Liliana - yeah she'd crack my head open with a rock 5 minutes in and raise my corpse to serve her but at least we could have gone dancing!

Now with more original content and open bar!

https://www.youtube.com/user/thedevilwuster

That card is hurting my brain.



And you. And your creatures. Just to exchange two blockers. On a land that doesn't tap for mana, but has a drawback Icy Manipulator can trigger. I think Tamanoa or Vigor are just about the only possible good uses for it.

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

That card is hurting my brain.



And you. And your creatures. Just to exchange two blockers. On a land that doesn't tap for mana, but has a drawback Icy Manipulator can trigger. I think Tamanoa or Vigor are just about the only possible good uses for it.




Quite a stretch, eh?

It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open one's mouth and remove all doubt. - Mark Twain

Mastergear_Owen's take on Magic 2014 Campaign.

Show
You know what I've got more issues. Whats up with the story in this game? The adverts said I was going to team up with Chandra and we were going to kick butt and chew bubblegum across the planes on a revenge campaign against some... guy she knew I guess? Who's Ramaz anyway? What do I get instead? I beat Chandra like 2 minutes in with a mono-green stompy thing Garruk gave me (why does he keep giving all these new planeswalkers his deck) and then I spent like 5 hours jumping from plane to plane picking up random nicknacks for her mantlepiece while she sits back back doing her nails or something. I was thrown in jail! I got hit by a Roil Storm twice! Do you know how many rats are on Ravnica, Chandra? All of them! All of the rats! All of the rats eating me!

Then we go kick her Ex's bearded-screaming-butt and what does she do to help? Nothing! She throws of the occasional fire ball and spends her time trying not to freeze to death. You should have worn pants Chandra. While we're on the subject what happened to your shoes? You had like Steelies on. Steelies are cool. Now your running around with stupid boots with like 5-inch heels? Thats not appropriate footware for Planeswalking! That's not appropriate footware for normal walking! At least Liliana is doing it for the whole 'evil is sexy' thing and can summon undead to carry her when she breaks her ankle. What are you going to do ride a Phoenix? Its made of fire! You'll fall right through! Man I should have gone Planeswalking with Liliana - yeah she'd crack my head open with a rock 5 minutes in and raise my corpse to serve her but at least we could have gone dancing!

Now with more original content and open bar!

https://www.youtube.com/user/thedevilwuster

That card is hurting my brain.



And you. And your creatures. Just to exchange two blockers. On a land that doesn't tap for mana, but has a drawback Icy Manipulator can trigger. I think Tamanoa or Vigor are just about the only possible good uses for it.




Quite a stretch, eh?



Being fair, those are both potentially very good uses, especially if you've been spamming tokens. Tam could rack you up rivers of life (and if you're using it, you're probably also using Searing Meditation, Well of Lost Dreams, Ajani's Pridemate, and/or Ageless Entity.

Vigs can just make an army fat in a hurry. Of course, there's generally better ways to accomplish both tasks, but it is a viable use. :p

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

That card is hurting my brain.



And you. And your creatures. Just to exchange two blockers. On a land that doesn't tap for mana, but has a drawback Icy Manipulator can trigger. I think Tamanoa or Vigor are just about the only possible good uses for it.




Quite a stretch, eh?



Being fair, those are both potentially very good uses, especially if you've been spamming tokens. Tam could rack you up rivers of life (and if you're using it, you're probably also using Searing Meditation, Well of Lost Dreams, Ajani's Pridemate, and/or Ageless Entity.

Vigs can just make an army fat in a hurry. Of course, there's generally better ways to accomplish both tasks, but it is a viable use. :p

Wood Elemental on the other hand has two less viable uses...
another thing is the obvious throwaways make alot of cards obvious includes... looking at my example of berserker's got a 4/4 with a drawback (has to swing each turn) for 5..while other decks got baneslayer which is 5/5 + universal upsides lifelink firststrike and flying and 2 more situational upside protection from 2 types...or demigod 5/4 with 2upsides flying and haste and a situational gravedig..or whatever 5cost your favorite deck includes..

Not only that but berserkers got 4 of em!! They may as well just have 4 less cards then the decks that get the option to pick from usefull cards like your example MM...

Just ends up making so many decks the same.  While I don't use peoples builds to figure my own I pretty much end up with the same decks as the ones people post
Wood Elemental on the other hand has two less viable uses...



Well, its uses are less splashy, but you can use it to set up a decent Terravore, Lord of Extinction, Drown in Filth or Worm Harvest. Again, better ways to do it, but hey.

(Although might be it's a good idea to stop mentioning every possible crappy card in one thread before they get the bright idea to use it for designing decks.) 

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

another thing is the obvious throwaways make alot of cards obvious includes... looking at my example of berserker's got a 4/4 with a drawback (has to swing each turn) for 5..while other decks got baneslayer which is 5/5 + universal upsides lifelink firststrike and flying and 2 more situational upside protection from 2 types...or demigod 5/4 with 2upsides flying and haste and a situational gravedig..or whatever 5cost your favorite deck includes..

Not only that but berserkers got 4 of em!! They may as well just have 4 less cards then the decks that get the option to pick from usefull cards like your example MM...

Just ends up making so many decks the same.  While I don't use peoples builds to figure my own I pretty much end up with the same decks as the ones people post



Yeah, Bloodrock Cyclops is at least an efficient 3/3 for 3 in a colour that's fairly rare in. Of course given the deck is also Green, there's pretty much zero reason for them over more Centaur Coursers. Berserkers of Blood Ridge, however, are not efficient or interesting in any way. They could have at least gone for Streetbreaker Wurm or something. Cripes.

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

I agree this is what is sorely needed, and would add a huge amount of enjoyment and longevity into the game.

They did try with Crosswinds, and to be fair to them, the Drake build isn't actually a bad deck - it's just obseleted by the extra turns build, which is one of the most powerful in the game, making you a lunatic not to run it, especially as it's much more entertaining to play too.

A few others had similar issues. Grinning Malice could go top end with stuff like Avatar of Slaughter and Din of the Fireherd, but was obseleted by the 5 mana capped builds due to how good the Demigod of Revenge was, to the extent that most builds didn't even bother with the otherwise automatic includes of Massacre Wurms and Grave Titans.

You could strip the tokens from the token deck and make a decent build, and arguably the mill deck was much better without the mill too. Mana Mastery could go bomb heavy or removal heavy, and even the Exalted deck worked nicely as a control build with most of the Exalted element removed, but more often than not the lack of unlocks prevented this, leaving many alternate bulds just shy of being viable.

I think 40 unlocks was the magic number for this. 30 is just slightly too low, but still allows much more variation that the paltry 20 of 2012. I know the screenshots have only shown 30 so far, but let's live in hope for another promo campaign and an additional 10, as that's what really made the 2013 decks come alive in my opinion, and what made the DLC decks underwhelming in comparison.
I agree this is what is sorely needed, and would add a huge amount of enjoyment and longevity into the game.

They did try with Crosswinds, and to be fair to them, the Drake build isn't actually a bad deck - it's just obseleted by the extra turns build, which is one of the most powerful in the game, making you a lunatic not to run it, especially as it's much more entertaining to play too.



Well, as I see it, the bigger failure is the lack of one and two drop fliers. No Cloud Sprite or Welkin Tern, no Thought Eater or Gossamer Phantasm.

A few others had similar issues. Grinning Malice could go top end with stuff like Avatar of Slaughter and Din of the Fireherd, but was obseleted by the 5 mana capped builds due to how good the Demigod of Revenge was, to the extent that most builds didn't even bother with the otherwise automatic includes of Massacre Wurms and Grave Titans.



Well, Wurm I could see in that, in my experience, the deck is better off heavy-Red, but I myself run a 5cmc top build even for 2HG. Titan really ought to make the cut, but doesn't for me. Perhaps foolishness on my behalf.

You could strip the tokens from the token deck and make a decent build, and arguably the mill deck was much better without the mill too. Mana Mastery could go bomb heavy or removal heavy, and even the Exalted deck worked nicely as a control build with most of the Exalted element removed, but more often than not the lack of unlocks prevented this, leaving many alternate bulds just shy of being viable.

I think 40 unlocks was the magic number for this. 30 is just slightly too low, but still allows much more variation that the paltry 20 of 2012. I know the screenshots have only shown 30 so far, but let's live in hope for another promo campaign and an additional 10, as that's what really made the 2013 decks come alive in my opinion, and what made the DLC decks underwhelming in comparison.



Forty or even thirty might be ideal, if they abanonded the idea of throwing utter trash cards into decks, which serve no purpose when mediocre ones will serve if they can be replaced with good ones. Yet until if and when they do, then fifty or sixty might be better. Also, good to have you back.

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

Excellent posts....I was really hoping for this going into 2013. They didn't exactly disappoint, but they didn't really hit the nail on the head. They made great headway towards this goal by adding even more unlocks (double for the base+expansion), but they really dropped the ball by including oh so many auto excludes. As you stated, RG must be the worst offender, with some cards just being so horribly off flavor and just downright bad.

More than anything else, this is what I REALLY want to see from 2014. I'll gladly randomize my own decks to see 30-40 all viable unlocks for a deck that is already passable in it's unlocked state (which is where even more of the problem comes in....some decks are nigh unplayable until they get unlocked) 
Well, as I see it, the bigger failure is the lack of one and two drop fliers. No Cloud Sprite or Welkin Tern, no Thought Eater or Gossamer Phantasm.


No Scryb Sprites, no Flying Men...

WTF Duels design team!?
Thanks GOA! But my return is short lived!

I may do a topic or two based on 2HG strategies in the new game (and potentially Sealed) as that'll be what will take most of my time in game, but apart from that I don't intend to be too active on here in future.

As I managed to top the leaderboards for 1v1 Planechase and (briefly, mainly due to my teammate's awful connection issues) 2HG in 2013, I'll try to go for the top spot for in Sealed and 2HG in 2014 too!
Grave Titan absolutely belongs at the top end of GM, I run both. The deck has Sootstoke Kindler, you know, and Lyzolda lets you turn the tokens into card draw.

More importantly, though, it gives you a bit more lategame power against SS and OD, two common and powerful opponents.
Regarding Massacre Wurm, I found the cost made it too inconsistent overall. Tough cut, though.
Thanks GOA! But my return is short lived!

I may do a topic or two based on 2HG strategies in the new game (and potentially Sealed) as that'll be what will take most of my time in game, but apart from that I don't intend to be too active on here in future.

As I managed to top the leaderboards for 1v1 Planechase and (briefly, mainly due to my teammate's awful connection issues) 2HG in 2013, I'll try to go for the top spot for in Sealed and 2HG in 2014 too!



Oh, I think you'll contribute a little more than that. Probably a few deck builds too, I daresay, once someone cobbles together something as nice as the site we have now for 2014. I think you'll stay for a DLC pack or two as well. You may not have a lot of time to devote, but you love the game too much to not make time for it where you can.

Grave Titan absolutely belongs at the top end of GM, I run both. The deck has Sootstoke Kindler, you know, and Lyzolda lets you turn the tokens into card draw.

More importantly, though, it gives you a bit more lategame power against SS and OD, two common and powerful opponents.



I love Titan and Lyzolda both, but even running only two Bloodchief Ascension, I can't find room for the Titan. Even Lyzolda gets played as a five mana card more oft than not; I have learned I almost never untap with her out elsewise. Even then she usually ends up saccing herself in response to removal. Still, I can't really complain about two damage and +1 card advantage for the price. Although I admit seeing someone's last removal go at her and then dropping the Titan would be glorious.

I know exactly where the problem probably is though; it's those Deathraiders I run. But I do it because for 2HG, there's a lot of pairings where turn 2 Deathraider, turn 3 Pain Magnification is basically GG. PI or BoF especially. If I have Demonic Tutor in hand turn 2 and not Pain Mag, it's pretty much always my target. Nor can I pass up running Reanimate or Vexing Devil with Mag and Bloodchiefs.

Regarding Massacre Wurm, I found the cost made it too inconsistent overall. Tough cut, though.



Yeah, the triple Black just doesn't work with my mana base. There are times I wish it were in the deck when I'm sitting there with 3BBB out, but then I remember all the times I made it to six or seven or even eight mana with only BB. 

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

Allowing us to make our own decks would completely solve this problem of decks only working one way, even with unlocks. I also agree that the unlocks are just extra cards to strenghten the decks. They do nothing to actually add variety to any of the decks.

Just create two multiplayer modes, one for pre-made decks and one for custom decks.
I don't like Bloodchief Ascension at all, though I get how sick it is in 2HG. I just don't play that mode.
Allowing us to make our own decks would completely solve this problem of decks only working one way, even with unlocks. I also agree that the unlocks are just extra cards to strenghten the decks. They do nothing to actually add variety to any of the decks.

Just create two multiplayer modes, one for pre-made decks and one for custom decks.



It's a nice dream, but unless they shut down MODO entirely, it's just not going to happen. Although with all the complaints about the new client I'm hearing, who knows?

That said, I understand my own request is not too far off real deck customisation. As I said, it's a greedy request. I would not and did not make it after 2012 because 2012 showed no desire or capability that the request might even be a possibility. Generally you could quibble over a few cards, but there was largely only one way to build every 2012 deck. Having seen some indications in 2013 that it's at least possible now, though, I only ask it be more consistent. More decks like the ones I praised, less like RG where there's barely even one viable build and even that requires cards that would be rubbish in any other deck. 

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

Oh, I will definitely put a good million hours or so into playing 2014, I just mean I'm trying to wean myself off forums in general. I work from home quite often and it kills productivity as they're such a good procrastination tool! At least with DOTP my 2HG partners are only on evenings, so I don't get distracted by that.

I'm sure I'll do a few decklists, but I'll try to avoid much in the way of debate I think. I'd like to think the 2HG contributions I made for 2013 were pretty decent, so I'll try to keep posting the occasional thing about that mode.
Oh, I will definitely put a good million hours or so into playing 2014, I just mean I'm trying to wean myself off forums in general. I work from home quite often and it kills productivity as they're such a good procrastination tool! At least with DOTP my 2HG partners are only on evenings, so I don't get distracted by that.

I'm sure I'll do a few decklists, but I'll try to avoid much in the way of debate I think. I'd like to think the 2HG contributions I made for 2013 were pretty decent, so I'll try to keep posting the occasional thing about that mode.



We have vays of making you talk, Mista Bond.

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

yea titan is cool and could go in in place of? idk.. But I think the idea here is.. what if there was 20 cards worth debating. Sure some people may use titan instead of something...But still doesn't change the decks overall feel that much really.
yea titan is cool and could go in in place of? idk.. But I think the idea here is.. what if there was 20 cards worth debating. Sure some people may use titan instead of something...But still doesn't change the decks overall feel that much really.



Well, the big debate cards in GM are the Ascensions, Titans, and how much of your deck to devote to triggering Pain Mag - or at least in 2HG. I could see where in duels PM would be a much smaller deal. I mean, there's a build there for using Din of the Fireherd and some of the other splashy, expensive spells, but even in 2HG it really just doesn't stack up to topping out at 5/6 mana. The deck is just brutally efficient that way. I'd like there to be options for a slower, more control-oriented build, but it's not really there. I remember when we were talking about hashing out a real tier ranking with voted-on decks and stuff, I submitted both aggro and control builds for GM, but they still had twenty cards or so in common.

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