5/13/2013 MM: "Absence"

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This thread is for discussion of this week's Making Magic, which goes live Monday morning on magicthegathering.com.

Soon: MaRo's explanation for what is missing from Dragon's Maze (such as dragons -- Dragonshift is not a dragon). Hopefully, the explanation for why Nephilim are missing will involve something more substantial than because the set was mechanically tight and thus limited room for them. I'm fine with them gone: they need to be done right, or at least the four-color cycle of legendary creatures need to be done right, and that requires better time and dedication (so here's hoping for one of the Commander-available products). I fear he will bring up (again) the spiel that 4-color cards are hard to design: You just need to find the right perspective, and it will come.

For example:
is about imposition of ideal on the world, but - the color left out - is about freedom. If so, this color sequence can be conceptualize to involve aspects that deny freedom in this sense, but also imposition of realities.

One can take the two central colors, and focus the card to them, while involving something the two outer colors do, but not the misisng color. Perhaps the card becomes a hybrid of two concepts, but it means the card does something that specifically disregards the missing color's aspect.

Similarly, one can involve a theme of each one, and develop how each other color deals with that concept, whilst the missing color rejects it. White can be about lifegain, which Blue, Black and Green can care about, but Red tends to be antithetical to. have decent abilities when it comes to card draw, in some cases VERY well, but White tends not to.

It goes on. Magic makes lots of lists, there are some things that fall only into one color, and these can be the exceptions to what the other cards can't do, while enabling common themes for what the included colors can. I do not think this is hard, but it leaves limited space. As such, it can (and should) be done, but I agree that it shouldn't be in Ravnica (even the Nephilim were odd in Ravnica).
"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)
Soon: MaRo's explanation for what is missing from Dragon's Maze (such as dragons -- Dragonshift is not a dragon). Hopefully, the explanation for why Nephilim are missing will involve something more substantial than because the set was mechanically tight and thus limited room for them. I'm fine with them gone: they need to be done right, or at least the four-color cycle of legendary creatures need to be done right, and that requires better time and dedication (so here's hoping for one of the Commander-available products). I fear he will bring up (again) the spiel that 4-color cards are hard to design: You just need to find the right perspective, and it will come.



Especially since many 5 color cards don't seem mechanically relevant.
Wait... Flbthp was on also on a RTR card?!? I MUST FIND THIS. Already collecting Totally Lost.
k, I can't even finish the article yet... The Nephilim are disliked because they're not good cards. Seriously, they're 1/1s and 2/2s and 3/3s... and Yore-Tiller shoulda had haste.
Wait... Flbthp was on also on a RTR card?!? I MUST FIND THIS. Already collecting Totally Lost.



Doorkeeper.
Selesnya X spell...uh....dur...... Really? no one noticed that? Did ya'll forget the sky is blue also?

Putrefy was reprinted. Mortify should've been too.
Lightning Helix, ok, we got a lame explanation for that a couple Fridays ago, so, sure.. The rest of them, they're pretty strong and not really good for Standard. Though Condemn should be a Core set staple. And Birds should've been somewhere. I mean, it wasn't taken out of M13 accidentally.

As far as dragons, I'm ok with that. Its Dragon's Maze, not Dragons Maze. Its a maze that belongs to a Dragon, not a Maze of dragons.
But the player base is dumb and doesn't understand a possessive term. I'd appreciate R&D razzing them for once, since they already got a simplified game.
Fblthp is in the art of Doorkeeper, though he's not mentioned by name.

The thing about four color vs five color is that four color cards need to try and justify their particular colors, whereas there's only one possible combination of five color so it doesn't really have to. Let's say you were going to make Fusion Elemental a four color card, which color would you take out? What about a four color Progenitus?

Qilong, if you think it's easy, how about submitting some designs to YmtC (the forum, not the contest)? It'd be cool to see what you come up with.
With the Selesnya X spell, maybe if you've been working on / playing the game long enough then X spells don't stand out to you that much? There probably aren't that many Timmies on the development team. It's just another evergreen mechanic, it would be like failing to notice that every guild got a creature with intimidate except for one.
How many players noticed that nine out of ten guilds got X spells without being told by another player?

About Kiora Atua's world of leviathans, I wonder if that would be Theros?
Rosewater, who will likely not read this, wrote:

They were slammed in our market research. Players hated them. Why?



Yeah, Why? Well, I've not heard that much about why. I can certainly guess there are two reasons they weren't liked you didn't list, though. First, their mana costs were difficult to deal with even when you had Rva mana going: the manabases were developed so as to optimize at 3 mana, not 4, not 5. So you overshot your sweet spot.

Second, few of them were designed so that their abilities or body sizes were useful without heavy investment, which wasn't very possible during Rav, likely when you did your Market Research. However, I am rather perplexed about your perspective, as it seems to be fixated during Standard with Ravnica. The Nephilim are popular now, but no one who really cares about them (EDH players) can reasonably use them because they are merely outclassed. The problem they had that made them unappealing for constructed play was they they didn't reward the player enough initially, certainly not with body size relative to cost to power. These days, we'd see 5 or 6 toughness at that cost and investment, maybe higher if the card has a mechanic that cares about toughness; or extremely high power that makes them enticing to use with other cards. The Nephilim were, with the exception of Ink-Treader, trying to be one-man armies that didn't really care what other cards they worked with, merely that they were there: Yore-Tiller was about creatures, Witch-Maw liked all spells, Glint-Eye pitched cards to draw them, but it was a convoluted looting ability, and Dune-Brood cared about nothing in particular but getting through to hit.

It's more like YOU guys didn't care enough about them to give players directions for them.

The Nephilim wanted to be build-around-me cards, and you tried -- but not hard enough. See earlier post about looking for unusual directions in design you seem to clearly be ignoring.
"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)
Yeah, Why? Well, I've not heard that much about why. I can certainly guess there are two reasons they weren't liked you didn't list, though. First, their mana costs were difficult to deal with even when you had Rva mana going: the manabases were developed so as to optimize at 3 mana, not 4, not 5. So you overshot your sweet spot.



Not really, it was talked about in a development article at the time. one of the problems they faced was that T2 signet, T3 Nephilim was too easily assembled. If the signets didn't exist, the nephilim would've been more pushed as cards.
So the planeswalker didnt fit, neither did tamiyo right?
Fblthp is in the art of Doorkeeper, though he's not mentioned by name.

The thing about four color vs five color is that four color cards need to try and justify their particular colors, whereas there's only one possible combination of five color so it doesn't really have to. Let's say you were going to make Fusion Elemental a four color card, which color would you take out? What about a four color Progenitus?

Qilong, if you think it's easy, how about submitting some designs to YmtC (the forum, not the contest)? It'd be cool to see what you come up with.



community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/758...
"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)
Yeah, Why? Well, I've not heard that much about why. I can certainly guess there are two reasons they weren't liked you didn't list, though. First, their mana costs were difficult to deal with even when you had Rva mana going: the manabases were developed so as to optimize at 3 mana, not 4, not 5. So you overshot your sweet spot.



Not really, it was talked about in a development article at the time. one of the problems they faced was that T2 signet, T3 Nephilim was too easily assembled. If the signets didn't exist, the nephilim would've been more pushed as cards.



I get what you're saying. From what I hear, the Signets were a problem. Turn 2 accellerators that don't enter play tapped seem to be pretty back for Standard, which is why the Keyrunes and Cluestones were developed instead. However, the tradeoff should have prevented the Nephilim from seeing print, reduced the set by 5 and allowed some other, more interesting cards to exist within the set.
"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)
I think the set feels massively disjoined.  I was disappointed not to see cards that bridged guilds (not merged).

I was expecting to see cards from one guild that helped out neighboring guilds.

Selesnia needs tokens, where are the Gruul tokens (When RTR was released my first assumption was that there would be a Gruul card that made a Rhino token in Dragon's Maze... there wasn't.)? Boros Knights? Orzhov Angels/Demons?

I was expecting each guild that was either Green or White to have an uncommon that made a token that was better then 3/3 (4/4 flying from Orzhov, 4/4 Trample from Gruul, etc) but not as good as 5/5 trample.

Golgari (Scavenge) needs evasive creatures, so does Gruul... Rakdos should have had something to help these two (and the 3 color deck that merges all 3 guilds) Trample for example. Speaking of evasion, Golgari and Dimir both like evasion... What did Simic have to help them out?

I didn't expect you to put two different guild keywords on a single card, but I did expect cards from one guild designed to work well with a different guild... be that a UG unblockable creature (for Scavange and Cipher) or a mono-black Cipher card designed to go well in a BW Orzhov deck.

Speaking of Cipher... no one thought it important to have one of that mechanic's cards be even halfway playable?  What exactly happened with Trait Doctoring?  That card is terrible (worse then One with Nothing).  I have played with Whim of Volrath, Slight of Mind, Magical Hack and a few other similar cards... I typically use them to change Landwalk or Protection abilities to make my creatures unblockable and/or save them from removal.  Trait Doctoring is a Sorcery that you cast after combat...  I understand that there are bad cards included intentionally... but did you have to make two different Cipher cards in the same set that are terrible for the same reason? (Yes, Hidden Strings can untap my creatures after they attacked... but it can't tap my opponent's creatures (despite saying it can), Hands of Binding is MUCH better in most cases.  You should have put Hidden Strings in GateCrash and Hands of Binding in Dragon's Maze, or atleast made a halfway useful card with Cypher in Dragons Maze (would Trait Doctoring have been too good if you made it not wear off at end of turn but not be able to target lands?))
Fblthp is in the art of Doorkeeper, though he's not mentioned by name.


Where? The only Homunculus I see in that art is the big one, and that clearly isn't Fblthp — way too confident, plus Fblthp is a gardener, not a doorkeeper.
Where is Fblthp in the Dragon's Maze? Well obviously we can't see him because he's Totally Lost...
Melriken - Hidden Strings can be a powerful card for fast decks because it can untap lands, allowing you to cast more spells each turn.
I think the set feels massively disjoined.  I was disappointed not to see cards that bridged guilds (not merged).

I was expecting to see cards from one guild that helped out neighboring guilds.

Selesnia needs tokens, where are the Gruul tokens (When RTR was released my first assumption was that there would be a Gruul card that made a Rhino token in Dragon's Maze... there wasn't.)? Boros Knights? Orzhov Angels/Demons?

I was expecting each guild that was either Green or White to have an uncommon that made a token that was better then 3/3 (4/4 flying from Orzhov, 4/4 Trample from Gruul, etc) but not as good as 5/5 trample.

Golgari (Scavenge) needs evasive creatures, so does Gruul... Rakdos should have had something to help these two (and the 3 color deck that merges all 3 guilds) Trample for example. Speaking of evasion, Golgari and Dimir both like evasion... What did Simic have to help them out?

I didn't expect you to put two different guild keywords on a single card, but I did expect cards from one guild designed to work well with a different guild... be that a UG unblockable creature (for Scavange and Cipher) or a mono-black Cipher card designed to go well in a BW Orzhov deck.

Speaking of Cipher... no one thought it important to have one of that mechanic's cards be even halfway playable?  What exactly happened with Trait Doctoring?  That card is terrible (worse then One with Nothing).  I have played with Whim of Volrath, Slight of Mind, Magical Hack and a few other similar cards... I typically use them to change Landwalk or Protection abilities to make my creatures unblockable and/or save them from removal.  Trait Doctoring is a Sorcery that you cast after combat...  I understand that there are bad cards included intentionally... but did you have to make two different Cipher cards in the same set that are terrible for the same reason? (Yes, Hidden Strings can untap my creatures after they attacked... but it can't tap my opponent's creatures (despite saying it can), Hands of Binding is MUCH better in most cases.  You should have put Hidden Strings in GateCrash and Hands of Binding in Dragon's Maze, or atleast made a halfway useful card with Cypher in Dragons Maze (would Trait Doctoring have been too good if you made it not wear off at end of turn but not be able to target lands?))


1.  No reason for that kind of bleed.  I don't believe I was expecting a Gruul token card, nor an orzhov token card.  That being said, Orzhov does have the ability to make weak flying tokens, which is about all they had back in the day too.  Orzhov also has that deathrite angel card that creates a cleric that can revive her.  It's not the most impressive card, but it exists.  Anyway, main point, why would that be an expected thing??

2. If you look around "evasive creatures" exist in both gruul and golgari, they just weren't printed in dragon's maze.  For Gruul you have a number of tramply guys, and their new guildmage can give all creatures trample.  For Golgari you have Daggerdrome Imp, Tormented Soul, and Crowned Ceratok, and I don't know why you'd be looking for more than that.  I'd also mention that Jarad, and Varolz can work together for ultimate evasive purposes, since Varolz is hard to remove, and can get big, and Jarad can close games out with his sac ability.  Simic already has Elusive Krasis, and Crowned Ceratok for evasion.  Oh, they also have Cloudfin Raptor(who can be amazing).

3.  I will agree with you on Trait Doctoring.  It's especially odd when you consider that they didn't include any card that obviously could go with it.  We aren't dealing with kill spells that consider color, we aren't dealing with straight hosers, and trait doctoring could only assist with either if it was targetting a permanent.  I guess you could combo with some old card like snake pit, or bloodhall ooze?  Even then it's pretty bad.  Hidden Strings I can't agree with you on.

Hidden Strings does something Cipher is supposed to do, in that it is an ability you can utilize to great effect every turn.  Without much effort there are even infinite combos that go off hidden strings, although a bit unweildly.  My favorite is a dragonshift deck I have that utilizes pingers and mana guys(mostly zhur-taa druid is best though), and then untaps them to ping and mana more with added abilities for my creatures tapping out.  For example, you can play a zhur-taa druid, drop a curiosity on it, tap it to ping them, draw a card and use the mana to cast hidden strings to untap it and something else(possibly land?  Who knows), and then attack with the invisible stalker to use hidden strings to untap him AGAIN drawing 3 cards the turn you cast hidden strings, and 2 cards a turn until they figure out a way to stop you, which could be harder than you think in the right deck.  None of those cards are expensive mana wise so it's hard to see coming, and there are some nice utility tappers right now that fit into such a thing.
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If ever there was a block to do 4 color legends right, it was this one. All you had to do was pick 2 guilds that add up to 4 colors and do agents of those 2 guilds. Izzet is a Maro favorite so what would an izzet/selensia or izzet/orvhov guy be? An easy way to make 4 color legends is what that guy would be.
Selesnya X spell...uh....dur...... Really? no one noticed that? Did ya'll forget the sky is blue also?



They said they weren't making an X spell cycle.   They just happened to make a group of X spells that came close to a cycle. 
IMAGE(http://pwp.wizards.com/1205820039/Scorecards/Landscape.png)
Absorb and Prophetic Bolt were both from Invasion block, MaRo.

I still don't get why they didn't reprint those cards, though. Wasn't Ravnica Standard one of the most beloved Standard environs of all time? Meaning that these cards probably weren't broken the first time, and thus wouldn't be now either? Especially Remand would have been nice.

EDIT: Also, the Grandeur talk and the way they go from talking about it to talking about mechanics that they wanna use again, and back to Grandeur... Along with how people have speculated that Theros may have a legendary theme... I could go for that. 
I'm extremely confused: were there people actually expecting Niv Mizzet to get another card? I know Wizards disproportionately loves the guy, but considering a large reason for the Emmara controversy was Wizards wanted to treat all the guilds exactly equally (by giving R/U a legend and not just a planeswalker), was there ever a chance they'd print a new bonus version of a legend just two sets later? Heck, if anything I was expecting a Feather card since the block was announced, but at least Creative came up with a (extremely questionable and unsatisfying) reason she's not around.

I agree guild equipment would have been nice, but it's the type of thing I never even realized I was missing until MaRo mentionned it, so it looks like he and Wizards were right about not needing them. I am quite a bit more miffed by the lack of guild mechanic cards, especcially any innovation from their first appearance. I would have bet money that DGM would have had an Overload card that affected both players, as it's specifically worded to allow for that should they choose, and an instant Cipher or a card that triggers of Extorting were also anticipated cards. You say most of them had "limited design space" and I understand that. But that just makes these mechanics even less likely to return someday, so why not be sure to explore all of what they can do rather than limit that "small space" even further.

And for those baffled by the lack of a Selesnyan X spell: keep in mind Wizards didn't even intend for Sphinx's Revelation and Rakdos's Return to be direct mirrors to each other. It seems obvious to us, but I get that when the card costs, names, and abilities are changing constantly it's easy to miss things that jump out when looked at as a whole.
Came here to complain about cipher, good to know other people already have. Seriously, YOU told us you kept the exciting cipher cards for DGM, and we get Trait Doctoring. A card you admit you print only every few blocks because of how niche it is. But why rob Dimir of a card slot (1 out of 2, even) to do that? The only way I see it is R&D failing to come up with an exciting cipher card that was both cool and powerful (because God forbid they print powerful instant/sorceries now) and came to the conclusion that using that slot for Trait Doctoring would be a "two birds with one stone".

Let's look at what the other guilds got for their DGM mechanics "last hurrah":
Azorius: Lavinia of the Tenth - Lyev Decree
Izzet: Dragonshift - Weapon Surge
Golgari: Varolz, the Scar-Striped - Thrashing Mossdog
Selesnya: Scion of Vitu-Ghazi - Wake the Reflection
Rakods: Exava, Rakdos Blood Witch - Rakdos Drake
Simic: Renegade Krasis - Battering Krasis
Boros: Tajic, Blade of the Legion - Boros Mastiff
Gruul: Pyrewild Shaman - Rubblebelt Maaka
Orzhov: Pontiff of Blight - Tithe Drinker

see a pattern? Now let's look at Dimir;
Trait Doctoring - Hidden Strings
whoop-dee-****ing-doo

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

192884403 wrote:
surely one can't say complex conditional passive language is bad grammar ?
3
Artifact
When CARDNAME comes into play, choose two different colors.
Tap CARDNAME: add 1 mana of either color chosen to your mana pool.
Pay 1 mana of both colors chosen, sacrifice CARDNAME:  Draw a card.



BAM!


9 more slots open up.  No space?  That was a choice. 
3
Artifact
When CARDNAME comes into play, choose two different colors.
Tap CARDNAME: add 1 mana of either color chosen to your mana pool.
Pay 1 mana of both colors chosen, sacrifice CARDNAME:  Draw a card.



BAM!


9 more slots open up.  No space?  That was a choice. 



They intentionally wasted those 9 slots so Magic would be fun to play for an afternoon of limited instead of fun to play forever when all those cards are in landfills.
3
Artifact
When CARDNAME comes into play, choose two different colors.
Tap CARDNAME: add 1 mana of either color chosen to your mana pool.
Pay 1 mana of both colors chosen, sacrifice CARDNAME:  Draw a card.



BAM!


9 more slots open up.  No space?  That was a choice. 



Those 10 slots were needed for limited.
3
Artifact
When CARDNAME comes into play, choose two different colors.
Tap CARDNAME: add 1 mana of either color chosen to your mana pool.
Pay 1 mana of both colors chosen, sacrifice CARDNAME:  Draw a card.



BAM!


9 more slots open up.  No space?  That was a choice. 



Those 10 slots were needed for limited.



I agree about the need.  However, the environment that needed that amount of fixing in the third block was a choice.  And that choice drove some pretty lame concessions, IMHO.
BAM!

9 more slots open up. No space? That was a choice.

Most of the space constraints were at rare and mythic, so freeing up nine common slots would not have helped that much.
Absorb and Prophetic Bolt were both from Invasion block, MaRo.





Dang, beat me to it.  Although add me to the crowd that wants those two and Undermine to be reprinted.

Those who fear the darkness have never seen what the light can do.

I've seen angels fall from blinding heights. But you yourself are nothing so divine. Just next in line.

191752181 wrote:
All I'm saying is, I don't really see how she goes around petrifying swords and boots and especially mirrors. How the heck does she beat a Panoptic Mirror? It makes no sense for artifacts either. Or enchantments, for that matter. "Well, you see, Jimmy cast this spell to flood the mountain, but then the gorgon just looked at the water really hard and it went away."
3
Artifact
When CARDNAME comes into play, choose two different colors.
Tap CARDNAME: add 1 mana of either color chosen to your mana pool.
Pay 1 mana of both colors chosen, sacrifice CARDNAME:  Draw a card.



BAM!


9 more slots open up.  No space?  That was a choice. 



That card requires both players to remember a pair of colors. Coldsteel Heart created problematic memory issues; this would be far worse.

 

Goblin Artisans
a Magic: the Gathering design blog
3
Artifact
When CARDNAME comes into play, choose two different colors.
Tap CARDNAME: add 1 mana of either color chosen to your mana pool.
Pay 1 mana of both colors chosen, sacrifice CARDNAME:  Draw a card.



BAM!


9 more slots open up.  No space?  That was a choice. 



That card requires both players to remember a pair of colors. Coldsteel Heart created problematic memory issues; this would be far worse.



*cough*Tablet of the Guilds*cough*. It's not memory that would be the issue, its the combination of memory and mana output (to flexible, too strong; it's not like Sol Grail is a problem, either).

"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)
3
Artifact
When CARDNAME comes into play, choose two different colors.
Tap CARDNAME: add 1 mana of either color chosen to your mana pool.
Pay 1 mana of both colors chosen, sacrifice CARDNAME:  Draw a card.



BAM!


9 more slots open up.  No space?  That was a choice. 



That card requires both players to remember a pair of colors. Coldsteel Heart created problematic memory issues; this would be far worse.



*cough*Tablet of the Guilds*cough*. It's not memory that would be the issue, its the combination of memory and mana output (to flexible, too strong; it's not like Sol Grail is a problem, either).




Having that card in the set is very substantially different for limited play than a cycle of cluestones. 
I think wizards did a pretty good job with this block. However, I do have one complaint that I think is not minor. There was a lot of hype surrounding the guilds and it worked out great for RtR and GC, but I was hugely disappointed with Dragon's Maze Prerelease from a guild perspective. I bought into simic and opened up my six packs to a total of TWO cards with evolve. HUGE disappointment. Don't get me wrong, I still think it's a really fun limited format, but it was difficult to get past the initial frustration. 

As far as powerful cards that I want to see reprinted? That list is a mile long! I would love to see iconic reprints a little more often. Overall, keep up the good work!
3
Artifact
When CARDNAME comes into play, choose two different colors.
Tap CARDNAME: add 1 mana of either color chosen to your mana pool.
Pay 1 mana of both colors chosen, sacrifice CARDNAME:  Draw a card.



BAM!


9 more slots open up.  No space?  That was a choice. 



That card requires both players to remember a pair of colors. Coldsteel Heart created problematic memory issues; this would be far worse.



*cough*Tablet of the Guilds*cough*. It's not memory that would be the issue, its the combination of memory and mana output (to flexible, too strong; it's not like Sol Grail is a problem, either).




Having that card in the set is very substantially different for limited play than a cycle of cluestones. 



Missing the point. My comment was regarding "memory issues;" nothing to do with Limited play. Also, pretty fun in Limited play, if you get it and keep it.
"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)
Sol Grail and Coldsteel Heart do indeed have memory issues. You may think they're insignificant, but they undeniably exist. See Mark Rosewater's tumblr or Aaron Forsythe's comments on Crystal Cairn

 

Goblin Artisans
a Magic: the Gathering design blog
I still don't get why they didn't reprint those cards, though. Wasn't Ravnica Standard one of the most beloved Standard environs of all time? Meaning that these cards probably weren't broken the first time, and thus wouldn't be now either? Especially Remand would have been nice.

I don't know about the others, but they won't reprint Remand because it's far more powerful than they'd like it to be.
Sol Grail and Coldsteel Heart do indeed have memory issues. You may think they're insignificant, but they undeniably exist. See Mark Rosewater's tumblr or Aaron Forsythe's comments on Crystal Cairn



And yet, they still printed cards that have memory issues: remember, Tablet of the Guilds? It's not like this is so much of a problem that a card with memory issues isn't printed every so often, and designed for Limited & low-level Constructed players.

"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)
Sol Grail and Coldsteel Heart do indeed have memory issues. You may think they're insignificant, but they undeniably exist. See Mark Rosewater's tumblr or Aaron Forsythe's comments on Crystal Cairn



And yet, they still printed cards that have memory issues: remember, Tablet of the Guilds? It's not like this is so much of a problem that a card with memory issues isn't printed every so often, and designed for Limited & low-level Constructed players.




The reason that Coldsteel Heart had memory issues and Tablet of the Guilds didn't is because lots of people played with Coldsteel Heart, but almost no-one played with Tablet of the Guilds.
In my opinion, this is actually a dealbreaker on a common that would see a great deal of limited and casual play. Can you name a single common printed since the advent of NWO with comparable memory issues? I can't think of any, but that could be because I have memory issues of my own...

 

Goblin Artisans
a Magic: the Gathering design blog
I had a few thoughts about this - I'll try to follow the article.

Nephilim: Completely agreed here.  They didn't belong in Ravnica the first time, nor do they belong there now.

Hybrid cards: These are VERY self-explanatory.  Any or ALL of the gold cards could have been hybrid and worked fine. 

Equipment: OK, obviously we don't want 10, but a "number of colors matters" or  some all purpose equipment would have been nice.

Guiild Mechanics:  The big problem here is you get lots of Mutant's Prey and Give//Take but no Unleash or Scavenge.  The cards to work WITH the guild mechqanics are there, but you have to be really lucky to find the guild mechanic cards you need to make them worth playing.

Particular Reprints: "If we use up all the "power points" on reprints, that means we have less with which to make our new cards exciting." This would be perfectly reasonable if Dragon's Maze had more powerful or exciting cards.  Also, BoP should have been in M13 if you weren't going to print it in RTR(presumably the reason it was not in 9th edition).

Dragons: Yeah, I think we all got that "Dragon's" meant "Niv-Mizzet's"

Niv-Mizzet: So RTR was printed before you knew the name of DGM?  That seems weird.  You also mention that Ral Zarek was in his spot several times.  Not that Ral isn't cool, but he didn't really need to be on Ravnica either.

One more thing: Prerelease cards.  I thought you had finally gotten it right for RTR and GTC prerelease.  And when you announced Maze's End as the promo card for DGM, I assumed it could be played in the prerelease.  After all, what other use is a Mythic rare that is only worth playing in sealed?  People want to play with their promo card, particularly if it isn't worth putting in their constructed deck.

 
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