Pros on the Instant Supertype

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I'm resurrecting this subject and creating this thread due to an answer from Matt Tabak to a question I submited to his Tumblr. Thanks, Mr. Tabak.


The instant supertype. I developed an interest on the subject years ago, during the process of teaching the game to new players. I apply a progressive method of teaching, where I stablish basic structures such as parts of a card, overall color philosophy, card types, and turn structure first, then gradually introduce the concepts that behave as exceptions to these basic structures. It's only after the learning of the concepts of playing lands, casting spells and activating abilities during a player's main phases that I move to the slightly more advanced concept of casting spells and activating abilities outside a main phase. Experience has taught me that players "catch" Magic's operation with more ease this way, and I really believe it's better than trying to teach the "rule" together with the "exception".


But then I came to two small problems when using this method. First, I can't show them any instant card during their first games (this one is easily adressed, just not showing them the cards). The second one is explaning what an instant card is. That one demands a little more explanation, since no one ever saw Harry Potter or a D&D wizard casting an "instant". All other non-planeswalker card types don't need that explanation, since they all speak for themselves (but planeswalkers are an entirely different animal, we know).


The substitution of the instant card type for sorcery cards with the supertype instant could remove some more baggage weight from the game, simplifying things out a little more. The major downside in doing so is the colossal amount of errata it would generate, but even that downside could be more manageble and less drastic than it's now supposed to be, IMHO (more on that later). For argument sake, I'll just focus on the upsides I see on the matter, and let the discussion of eventual downsides to the replies.

So, let's talk about said upsides: 



Precedent on Fantasy


The majority of the card types is named after common fantasy terms, except for "planeswalker" (that's a special thing for definition and for its very own nature) and "instant". It's very easy for the average people to "catch" what an artifact's supposed to do, as well as a creature, an enchantment, a land or a sorcery. People had seem them before. Indiana Jones applied all his skills to find a powerful artifact in "Raiders of the Lost Arc". Luke Skywalker meets every type of being or otherworldly creature in "Star Wars". Princess Aurora fell asleep due to Maleficent's enchantment in "Sleeping Beauty". And Harry Potter makes use of all those "expeliarmus" stuff during all of his franchise. But no one ever heard about an "instant" before taught about it when playing Magic.


Easier mechanical concept

Everything that stays on the battlefield is a permanent. Permanents are physical stuff (ok, enchantments aren't physical, but the game needs them this way). What's not a permanent is a sorcery, as sorceries are one-shot magical stuff. They're "actions", not "things". And having just one kind of flavorful feat is better than a flavorful one and a not-so-flavorful one (or worse, if we still had interrupts and mana sources).


Proper use of the word

Unlike other card types' names, as "creature" or "land", "instant" is not a substantive. It's an adjective, and as such, it has better uses when defining qualities, when making adjectival. Magic also makes use of several adjectives or adverbs, such as "indestructible" (or "can't be destroyed"), unblockable (or "can't be blocked"), "colorless", "attacking", "blocking", "green" creature, "black" enchantment, "blue" card. If a card's template could describe "you may cast this spell instantly", it could be simpler and easier than saying "you may cast this spell at any time you could cast an instant"


Appreciation of the mechanic

The greater number of plays in a game of Magic happen during the main phases (hence the "main") and the most interactive of all phases, the combat phase. These are the basics, and the way the majority of players begin assimilating them. That's the "fundamentals", the "core" of playing Magic. Casting spells or activating abilities "instantly" is usually a complementary "next step", the entering of an "advanced level" that prepares new players to learn about the stack, about priorities, etc.

Then, everything that happens outside the "main" phases begins to past the fundamentals.  It begins to enter the "different", the "special" area. And in Magic, things that carry special rules or follow a different pattern use to be specially identified, with a keyword, or with a different word in the type line. That's why we have "basic" lands or "legendary" creatures, for instance. Because even they're still lands or creatures, they have "something more". And an instant supertype could be just that: otherwise regular spells that carry "something more".


More elegant templating

There are currently only 11 cards that care about straigth instant spells, and that would receive errata in their text boxes: Bant Charm, Burnout, Dispel, Flash Counter, Guttural Response, Hand to Hand, Hidden Gibbons, Ichneumon Druid, In the Eye of Chaos, Izzet Guildmage, and Lunar Mystic. Aditionally, there are currently only 16 cards that care about "instant cards" that would also be errated: Cognivore, Cunning Wish, Firemind's Foresight, Isochron Scepter, Kaho Minamo Hystorian, Merchant Scroll, Mystical Teachings, Nucklavee, Scrivener, Sirocco, Spellbinder, Spellweaver Volute, Sunforger, Surreal Memoir, Toshiro Umezawa, and Wild Research.

We also have 9 cards that would receive an unfamiliar "non-instant" instance (nothing much different from any "non-black" or "non-basic" technology out there): Anarchist, Burning Wish, Deja Vu, Magnivore, Personal Tutor, Quicken, Recoup, Sage's Knowledge, and Spellweaver Helix.

On the other hand, we have currently 63 cards with "instant or sorcery spell" and 33 cards with "instant or sorcery card" in their text boxes that could benefit from a cleaner templating. Their text could simply refer to "sorcery spells" or "sorcery cards".

A point worth of note is that we would not change or include new terminology to already existing cards. A card that reads "instant or sorcery spell" would still carry the word "sorcery" on it. So, no illegal actions could arise from any play that cares about a (updated) sorcery.

Oh, sure. There are also the cards with flash. That lone keyword itself takes a whole line of rules text from a card. But no more an issue if the baggage could move to the type line (an instant creature with a single line of text? Wow, how elegant!).


More design space

Cleaner and more elegant template could lead to cleaner and more elegant design, in a world where card space is so valuable. Shorter and simpler rules text may increase the chances of new mechanics seeing the light of day. Resurrection of old, cluncky ones also becomes a possibility (for example, an hypothetical revamp on splice, this time onto sorceries, becomes a little more considerable). Also, with more available space, more cards can be born by the combination of existing effects (how many variations on Kiln Fiend can you think on?).




These are the greater upsides on the subject, in my vision. The "scarier" issue would be, of course, the massive errata in the type line of instant cards. There's currently 1701 instants in Magic. That huge errata is what worries R&D members the most, and it's the only reason that hinders the instant supertype implementation. They're less inclined to these type of "world shaking" changes these days. But let's be honest: does someone even notice the type "interrupt" printed on a Force of Will or a Dark Ritual nowadays? For sure no one does (no, you don't. Don't try to trick us). So, for current Magic players at least, it in fact would have no impact (other than a month or two of internet-rage). That limits the issues to future Magic players, that will admittedly experiment some confusion when seeing an outdated "instant" card (and that's the true core of the entire matter, IMHO: would new players most benefit or most suffer prejudice from such a big change? I bet for the former.).

I personally feel R&D fears the extent of the errata problem a little too much. They have done if before, even in recent past. People burst in panic (and survived) at the end of the batch and the creation of the stack, at the extinction of interrupts and the appearance (and demise) of mana sources, at the rise and the fall of damage on stack, at the advent of the 8th Edition card frame. R&D had the courage to change the types of the greater amount of creatures in the game in order to simplify and correct things up. It created some confusion, of course (that in some cases persist to these days). But the game improved greatly with the change.

They keep messing with sacred cows in recent times. They timeshifted cards. They crafted an entirely new card type (admittedly a not-so-beloved one). They created cards printed in both sides (this time a huge hit). They're even fusing different cards in a single cardframe. Right now they're changing the face of the most beloved Magic race of all time. They created planeswalker cards, for Urza's sake! PLANESWALKERS!

C'mon guys. We know you have the guts. Just make it happen.





-I apologize in advance for any gramathical or vocabulary errors. English is not my mother language, but I'm doing my best here.

 

I am Blue/White
I am Blue/White
Take The Magic Dual Colour Test - Beta today!
Created with Rum and Monkey's Personality Test Generator.

 

I'm both orderly and rational. I value control, information, and order. I love structure and hierarchy, and will actively use whatever power or knowledge I have to maintain it. At best, I am lawful and insightful; at worst, I am bureaucratic and tyrannical.
Just to help illustrate the point (as the vision of "actual" cards is better than written words), some generic cards with the instant supertype in mind could look something like this (spoiler alert):


Show

     


Oh, and "you can't activate this ability instantly" could be also an alternative to "activate this ability only as a sorcery"

 

I am Blue/White
I am Blue/White
Take The Magic Dual Colour Test - Beta today!
Created with Rum and Monkey's Personality Test Generator.

 

I'm both orderly and rational. I value control, information, and order. I love structure and hierarchy, and will actively use whatever power or knowledge I have to maintain it. At best, I am lawful and insightful; at worst, I am bureaucratic and tyrannical.
First of all, i agree with almost every upside you have listed, and if the game were being created from scratch i would give a thumbs up in a heartbeat.

That being said though, i am against making the change at this point in the game's lifespan. The primary reason i have against the change is that i think the consequences of the errata are larger than you think they are. More details can be found in the first section below.

It's also worth looking at the Grand Creature Type Update, since it has similarities to your proposal in terms of scope. Obviously the grand creature type update was deemed worth doing, but i think the difference there is that they realized they needed to make that change (due to the existence of reprints) and that overpowered the complications of massive errata. Your proposal, while desirable, is not necessary at least as far as i can see.

The impact of errata (hidden to save space)
With regard to the impact of errata, part of the problem is that errata is not always on hand. I just had a case the other day where i was playing a cube someone had put together with a tribal theme. Included in my cards was Cenn's Tactician. I know the grand creature type update occured, i know that some cards are now soldiers that didn't used to be, but which ones? I happened to have a smartphone with me, which gives me a greater ability to look up cards than some have, but it is still tedious to look up the oracle text of every creature card in my deck. Plus, even if i had found ones that had soldier, if i tried to use the tactician on the creature, an opponent would have called it out and i would have to pull up the oracle text again to show them. None of this is insurmountable, but it is enough of a barrier that i didn't even bother. I just played all my cards as though their creature types were exactly what was printed on them. Naturally i would have been more diligent if this was a tournament match, but most matches are casual matches.

And similar things will happen with the instant-as-supertype case. Imagine we make the change and 5 years from now i find two cards that say "Counter target sorcery spell". One is Envelop, while the other is a reprinted copy of Muddle the Mixture. It happens to be the case that envelop has received errata to say "non-instant sorcery", but i'll only know that if i look it up. So either i be lazy and play the cards wrong some of the time, or i have to look it up which can be frustrating.

EDIT - to use one of your hypothetical cards: suppose a few years from now a new-ish player finds two cards in a friend's collection, Anarchist and your card Officer Librarian. They both have identical rules text and indeed are almost functionaly identical when looking at the physical cards. Unless the player knows the history of the rule changes and the date of the printing of those two cards, he won't even think to look up their oracle text and will have no idea that anarchist functions differently.

Not all cases will have this problem. In particular, when looking at the instant or sorcery card itself, i'll probably play it fine. "sorcery" cards will look the same before and after; "instants" will look different after, but most people can probably pick up a card that just says "instant" and figure out "ah, this actually means instant sorcery"; "instant sorcery" will look weird to people that aren't familiar with the change, but they'll probably figure out that it means what they think of as "instant". The problems emerge on cards that refer to instants and sorceries, becuase without looking up the oracle text you won't know whether the card in front of you really means instants or just instant sorceries; and you won't know whether it really means sorceries or just non-instant sorceries.

Why does the grand creature type update get a pass?
Now, the grand creature type update has the same issue where you either play the cards wrong some of the time or you have to look it up, so why did it get to happen while the instant-as-supertype thing does not? Initially, they did not intend to do the grand creature type update, specifically because of the problem i ran into in my cube: they didn't want people to have to look up the oracle text.

But it soon became clear that they could not do what they wanted to do; cards get reprinted, and those new cards would need to follow the "race class" model. As a result, cards would inevitably get errataed despite their goal to not do so. As a result, their hand was forced, and they decided it would be better to do it all at once in a roughly-consistent way, rather than do it bit by bit and end up with a patchwork of inconsistent fixes.

In the case of Instants-as-supertypes though, there is nothing compelling the change. The game can continue to function with instants being a card type. There are undoubtedly some benefits from having instant be a supertype, but since the change isn't necessary, those benefits need to be compelling enough that they overpower the problems that will be caused. In my opinion (and apparently the opinion of WotC), the benefits do not outweigh the costs. The benefits are, primarily, about elegance. While elegance is a noble goal, it's going to have a tough time beating out people not knowing how to play their cards.

English is not my mother language, but I'm doing my best here.

You did far better than most english-as-a-first-language people do, and i even see use of idioms in your post! (sacred cows)
I think this is a pretty compelling idea. I don't know whether the advantages outweigh the disadvantages, but if I had to guess I'd think they would.

I just wanted to point out another minor templating improvement this would enable. The timing restrictions on Dimir Guildmage could become "Activate this ability only any time you could cast a spell." I always thought singling out sorceries in that templating was a little odd, since there's nothing particularly special about them ("... only any time you could cast a creature spell" would of course be worse, because at least sorceries have a natural contrast to instants by being basically the same supertype).

There's already the confusion that Quicken doesn't let you activate the guildmage. "Any time you could cast a spell" would be even worse, since clearly you can cast a spell any time you have priority.

Anyhow I fully agree with cyphern on this.
blah blah metal lyrics
I understand and agree with all of cyphern's arguments, yet I really came to a different subjective conclusion. Smile

My basic assumption in all this subject is, well, very basic: the average Magic player is usually a smart people, be it a 10-ager or a 30-ager.

After years following and consuming all kind of media from R&D employers, a pattern becomes clear: they're always dooming all kind of stuff due to "market research" results. I have no idea about methods or eficacy of such researchs, but a thing that calls my attention is the fact that almost everything is "too confusing" for the poor new player. But it had never hinder Wizards from releasing "too confusing" stuff after "too confusing" stuff (fuse's not confusing?? Oh, c'mon!). R&D guys are smarter than the average smart people, and I know with all of my heart that they know when something is "too confusing", and opt for releasing it anyways. Because they know their consumers are smart people.

And frankly? Looking forward, I believe the future Magic player will be even smarter than we currently are. They'll get confused with any change we present them in a first moment, then will figure it out and move on.

Well, what I think that could happen with the instant-as-a-supertype thing is: the new player will hear about that amazing Magic: the Gathering game, then will buy some packs, or intro decks, or other thing, with whichever new terminology printed on the cards, then will learn how to play with those cards. Or he/she will get some older cards from a more experienced player, with whichever old terminology printed on them, and do the same thing. Then, at some point in the future, he/she will be confronted with older or newer cards, will scratch his/her head, will ask a couple questions to the guy next to him/her, and will keep playing.

Or sort of.
 

I am Blue/White
I am Blue/White
Take The Magic Dual Colour Test - Beta today!
Created with Rum and Monkey's Personality Test Generator.

 

I'm both orderly and rational. I value control, information, and order. I love structure and hierarchy, and will actively use whatever power or knowledge I have to maintain it. At best, I am lawful and insightful; at worst, I am bureaucratic and tyrannical.
Not sure the supertype is that visible. "Flash" can't be missed; Instant could, especially on permanents. Since there aren't a whole lot of Flash cards, it could get pretty confusing.

I don't share your concern with "instant" not being a noun. We have a lot of "gains flying" cases that newer players get pretty quickly.

Aaaaand there's the fact that older players would get confused forever. It's not the same as changing creature types or terminology, you're doing a pretty major change, and for what? Cleaner template? There's nothing confusing about instant and nothing much to gain from moving it to supertype except aesthetically speaking.

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".

Not sure the supertype is that visible. "Flash" can't be missed; Instant could, especially on permanents. Since there aren't a whole lot of Flash cards, it could get pretty confusing.

I don't share your concern with "instant" not being a noun. We have a lot of "gains flying" cases that newer players get pretty quickly.

Aaaaand there's the fact that older players would get confused forever. It's not the same as changing creature types or terminology, you're doing a pretty major change, and for what? Cleaner template? There's nothing confusing about instant and nothing much to gain from moving it to supertype except aesthetically speaking.



I'm not sure yet how I feel about the proposed change, but I will point out that the game has undergone major changes before.  Are older players confused forever that interrupts are gone?
 
Instants arent "instant", since they dont happen "instantly" (only mana abilities do that).

All our spells are a form of "sorcery", whether they have one shot effects or whether they linger on the battlefield. In fact, everything we cast in an entire duel could be lumped together and called "sorcery" (just as we could be called "sorcerers" by people who dont know that other Planes exist).

~ 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. ;)
I think a lot of people close to Magic would go for the Instant supertype if the game was started from scratch (I know MaRo has said as much). I'm definitely a fan personally. But, I am willing to defer to MaRo et al. on resolving the conflict between ideal form and intertia. That said, we already deal with a similar issue with Interrupts and the longer we wait the more difficult a change would be. Also, after a few years new players (who are always the group we have to worry about most) would mostly only see cards with the new template. Perhaps the biggest issue is that unlike Interrupt, Instant would still have a game meaning; maybe a new word would have to be used for a Supertype, and then is the new word as clean? Also, Modern being a thing might be an impediment: if Modern had flopped, we would only have to worry about pre-change cards being around in eternal formats, which do not have a lot of new players.

As for the reminder text template, I think this would be better: (You may cast Instant spells any time you have priority.) The text is much less convoluted, even if it requires knowing what priority is.

Magic and Magic Online Volunteer Community Lead. On Strike

I'm trying to make my official VCL posts in purple.

You posted saying my thread was moved/locked but nothing happened.


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Dual means two. A duel is a battle between two people. Lands that make two colors of mana are dual lands. A normal Magic battle is a duel.
Thanks to PhoenixLAU for the [thread=1097559]awesome avatar[/thread]!
Quotables

Show
"While a picture is worth a thousand words, each lolcat actually produces a negative wordcount." -Ith "I think "Highly Informed Sarcasm" should be our Magic Online General motto." -Ith "Sorry, but this thread seems just like spam. TT is for off-topic discussion, not no-topic discussion." -WizO_Kwai_Chang "Stop that! If you're not careful, rational thinking may catch on!" -Sax "... the only word i see that fits is incompitant." -Mr44 (sic) "You know a thread is gonna be locked when it gets to the hexadecimal stage." -Gathion "It's a good gig" - Gleemax "I tell people often, if you guys want to rant, you've certainly got the right to (provided you obey CoC/ToS stuff), and I don't even really blame you. But if you see something you think needs changing a well thought-out, constructive post does more to make that happen." - Worth Wollpert

The type line is already too cluttered. The text box has more space. For this reason alone, Flash > Instant supertype.


Just look at Ethersworn Shieldmage. Try fitting "Instant Artifact Creature - Vedalken Wizard" there - it would end up like Sen Triplets's type line, with that smaller font size.

[<o>]
The type line is already too cluttered. The text box has more space. For this reason alone, Flash > Instant supertype.

Just look at Ethersworn Shieldmage. Try fitting "Instant Artifact Creature - Vedalken Wizard" there - it would end up like Sen Triplets's type line, with that smaller font size.


And so they could never print that Instant Legendary Artifact Creature - Homunculus Spellshaper I always dreamt about? It looks so sad... Frown
Seriously. Don't you think that reducing text length in more commonly seem cards, like Snapcaster Mage (from 8 to 7 lines of text, including reminder text, for instance), or Qsali Ambusher, or Restoration Angel, would be a much more frequent thing than reduce the typo in a very occasional legendary/artifact/snow/whathever creature? How many creatures do we have today that occupy all their type lines with text?

I am Blue/White
I am Blue/White
Take The Magic Dual Colour Test - Beta today!
Created with Rum and Monkey's Personality Test Generator.

 

I'm both orderly and rational. I value control, information, and order. I love structure and hierarchy, and will actively use whatever power or knowledge I have to maintain it. At best, I am lawful and insightful; at worst, I am bureaucratic and tyrannical.

Snapcaster, being a rare, should not get reminder text for a common keyword on the set. If they found space for that, they had enough space for Flash. Ambusher even got two lines of flavor text! Restoration Angel's font size looks better than the Triplet's.


EDIT: Wait, how do you think Qasali Ambusher would be re-worded? It would need just as much if not more text.



This looks obvious to me. There's plenty of space on the text box; very few cards are really clutered there. Up to 7 or 9 lines are still fine.


But type line is a single line, and you've got the set symbol and now color indicator sharing this space too. No, I think Flash on the text box makes more sense than a new supertype for all your examples.

[<o>]
I like this idea in theory. Like many people have said, if the game was being created now, I'd go for this in a second.
In practice, it's rather complicated. 

I think it could be done... but likely not in the way you layed out. When the rules change in such a major way, cards don't need to maintain the same functionality as they have hisortically had. Yes, this annoys some players, but it's for the greater good. When interrupts went way, the few cards that refered to interrupts specifcally were changed to refer to instants instead. When damage on the stack was removed, many cards printed while it was around changed in function and power level greatly.

Basically, what I'm saying is... the few cards that refer specifally to Sorcieres? They wouldn't be errated. They'd simply become more powerful, since the definition of what a Sorcery is changed.
And those that refer to Instants? Those (mostly) wouldn't need to be errated, either. They'd also become (slightly) more powerful, since the definition of what an Instant is also changed.
 
I think kaldare's given us a potential solution here. However, this solution comes with its own issues. I can think of some:

A power level concern: Sunforger would become even more absurd. (hover for spoilers)

A complexity: Isochron Scepter and other cards that allow you to copy instant spells/cards would enable strangeness. What happens when you cast a copy of Skylasher?

And is it okay that I can now Reverberate my Bogardan Hellkite?

By no means do I intend to use the above examples as a reason that the suggestion is infeasible. On the contrary, I'd like to discuss ways to overcome those issues.
I think kaldare's given us a potential solution here. However, this solution comes with its own issues. I can think of some:

A power level concern: Sunforger would become even more absurd. (hover for spoilers)

A complexity: Isochron Scepter and other cards that allow you to copy instant spells/cards would enable strangeness. What happens when you cast a copy of Skylasher?

And is it okay that I can now Reverberate my Bogardan Hellkite?

By no means do I intend to use the above examples as a reason that the suggestion is infeasible. On the contrary, I'd like to discuss ways to overcome those issues.


Sunforger and Scepter would be erratad to Instant Sorcery. Reverberate would just read Sorcery. This is part of the reason I think we would need to use a different word for the supertype, to prevent confusion with older cards. Maybe Fast (which echos the informal term 'fast effects')? Fast has the additional benefit of being only four characters (five with the space).

Sunforger
Artifact — Equipment
Equipped creature gets +4/+0.
, Unattach Sunforger: Search your library for a red or white fast sorcery card with converted mana cost 4 or less and cast that card without paying its mana cost. Then shuffle your library.
Equip

Isochron Scepter
Artifact
Imprint — When Isochron Scepter enters the battlefield, you may exile a fast sorcery card with converted mana cost 2 or less from your hand.
, : You may copy the exiled card. If you do, you may cast the copy without paying its mana cost.

Skylasher
Fast Creature — Insect
Skylasher can't be countered. Reach, protection from blue

Reverberate
Fast Sorcery
Copy target sorcery spell. You may choose new targets for the copy.

Bogardan Hellkite
Fast Creature — Dragon
Flying When Bogardan Hellkite enters the battlefield, it deals 5 damage divided as you choose among any number of target creatures and/or players.

Magic and Magic Online Volunteer Community Lead. On Strike

I'm trying to make my official VCL posts in purple.

You posted saying my thread was moved/locked but nothing happened.


Show
Unfortunately, VCLs do not currently have the tools necessary to take moderation actions directly. VCLs submit their actions to ORCs, who then actually perform the action. This processing can take between a few minutes and several hours, depending on how busy/attentive the ORCs are.

If you see something that needs VCL attention, please use this thread to make a request and a VCL will look at it as soon as possible. CoC violations should be reported to Customer Service using the "report post" button. Please do not disrupt the thread by making requests of either kind in-thread.

General MTGO FAQ

Yes, the Shuffler is Random!
The definitive thread on the Magic Online shuffler.

Magic Math Made Easy
Draw probabilities, Swiss results, Elo ratings and booster EV

Event EV Calculator
Calculate the EV for any event with a fixed number of rounds and prizes based on record

Dual means two. A duel is a battle between two people. Lands that make two colors of mana are dual lands. A normal Magic battle is a duel.
Thanks to PhoenixLAU for the [thread=1097559]awesome avatar[/thread]!
Quotables

Show
"While a picture is worth a thousand words, each lolcat actually produces a negative wordcount." -Ith "I think "Highly Informed Sarcasm" should be our Magic Online General motto." -Ith "Sorry, but this thread seems just like spam. TT is for off-topic discussion, not no-topic discussion." -WizO_Kwai_Chang "Stop that! If you're not careful, rational thinking may catch on!" -Sax "... the only word i see that fits is incompitant." -Mr44 (sic) "You know a thread is gonna be locked when it gets to the hexadecimal stage." -Gathion "It's a good gig" - Gleemax "I tell people often, if you guys want to rant, you've certainly got the right to (provided you obey CoC/ToS stuff), and I don't even really blame you. But if you see something you think needs changing a well thought-out, constructive post does more to make that happen." - Worth Wollpert
Actually, I kinda like the sound of Fast. "Fast Sorcery" hurts much less than "Instant Sorcery." The only weird part is that Sorceries don't usually have a supertype.

Thanks for the example -- I can see now how using a different term lets the older cards be "correct" without needing actual errata. What do you think of cards like Envelop? Will they simply get a power boost?

Sorry for the Ambusher, it was a poorly chosen from-top-of-head example. But you got the point.


Ok, so we know about the huge "inertia" issue, and no one's despising it. We know that the massive errata is the colossal problem that precludes R&D from implementing such change. We already know it's more a (highly) desirable measure than an indispensable one. But as I use to say, "I have the no already, I just need to work for the yes". Smile

Note this would not be an ordinary case of a "change for the change", as these changes are recognized as benefitial even by the high echelon inside R&D. It wasn't for the errata issue, it could even be already implemented. It isn't a case of "fear of the change" neither, they have the most legitimate right to fear it and remain cautious. It's universally agreed, I think. But (and a great BUT here), it's not an absolute matter. It's not like the Reserved List issue for instance, backed up by a legal determination. It's more like a relative and subjective matter, already object of much deliberation for sure, but yet with open ends and much space for argumentation.

The main discussion here is about measure, about "how much". How much complication opposed to how much simplification could we get. General consensus up to the moment gravitates towards the "do nothing", but without any certainty or conviction about that. I would really like to take this discussion to another level, up to the point where we could develop an actual conviction, whichever be it.


Not sure the supertype is that visible. "Flash" can't be missed; Instant could, especially on permanents. Since there aren't a whole lot of Flash cards, it could get pretty confusing.

I don't share your concern with "instant" not being a noun. We have a lot of "gains flying" cases that newer players get pretty quickly.

Aaaaand there's the fact that older players would get confused forever. It's not the same as changing creature types or terminology, you're doing a pretty major change, and for what? Cleaner template? There's nothing confusing about instant and nothing much to gain from moving it to supertype except aesthetically speaking.

No player had ever missed that Niv Mizzet, the Firemind is legendary, as far as I know. I'm pretty sure no one would miss an "instant sorcery" Giant Growth. Again, I really believe Magic players are in general smart people. But sure, we may only guess about those things.

I agree there's nothing confusing about current instants, but respectifully disagree that there's nothing much to gain with instant-as-a-supertype. I listed six reasons I think are good ones, and I'm sure someone can think on a couple more yet. And I really believe those upsides have the potential to outweight the errata downside over time (but, as pointed by bubba0077, the longer we wait the more difficult a change would be).

Oh, and the "gains flying" issue could be subject for another "world changing" topic per se, don't you think? You know, newer players get this kind of change pretty quickly. 


Also, after a few years new players (who are always the group we have to worry about most) would mostly only see cards with the new template. Perhaps the biggest issue is that unlike Interrupt, Instant would still have a game meaning; maybe a new word would have to be used for a Supertype, and then is the new word as clean? Also, Modern being a thing might be an impediment: if Modern had flopped, we would only have to worry about pre-change cards being around in eternal formats, which do not have a lot of new players.

As for the reminder text template, I think this would be better: (You may cast Instant spells any time you have priority.) The text is much less convoluted, even if it requires knowing what priority is.



I believe that keeping the term "instant" would be crucial to build a bridge for both older and newer players get the change. Older players would make an instant (pun indeed) link with the good'ol instants they used to know (assuming they're in the "smart people" side of the spectrum), as newer players would promptly associate a newfound, old school "instant" with their recent opened "instant sorcery".


As for the reminder text template, I think this would be better: (You may cast Instant spells any time you have priority.) The text is much less convoluted, even if it requires knowing what priority is.

That hypothetical text I proposed was explicitly intended to avoid the term "priority". Turn structure is one of first, most basic aspects of the game learnt by a beginner player. I think that teach him/her the exact time windows where he/she could cast a spell could play a better role here.
 

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"Fast sorcery" sounds really great, I admit.

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I'm both orderly and rational. I value control, information, and order. I love structure and hierarchy, and will actively use whatever power or knowledge I have to maintain it. At best, I am lawful and insightful; at worst, I am bureaucratic and tyrannical.

"Fast sorcery" sounds really great, I admit.


It does, although I have my reservations about "fast creature". If I heard that, I'd assume it has haste or first strike.
That hypothetical text I proposed was explicitly intended to avoid the term "priority". Turn structure is one of first, most basic aspects of the game learnt by a beginner player. I think that teach him/her the exact time windows where he/she could cast a spell could play a better role here.
 


I figured as much, but I think the reminder text you gave might be even more confusing. It's inaccurate and wordy. Much better to just introduce the concept of priority (whenever you can do something).


"Fast sorcery" sounds really great, I admit.


It does, although I have my reservations about "fast creature". If I heard that, I'd assume it has haste or first strike.


That's probably going to be a problem with most supertype choices. I do think flash could be used without most of the problems reusing instant would have,  is still short, and cards that grant flash now could still be mostly played as written (creature cards in your hand can be played as if they had flash still works). But, Fast Sorecery does sound nice, and instant has been around much longer than flash; it would be weird keeping the newer term if we were going to keep one of them.

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When I was designing my own TCG I used "fast" for this. I actually think I like "flash" better, though, for the reason LMTRK points out: it's not that it actually happens faster than other spells, but rather you can do it at a different time.

I think that in the unlikely case that Magic decides to do this, I think any word other than "instant" is preferable, so that it's crystal clear that old cards that refer to "instant" in the text don't affect Ashcoat Bear.
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I spent so much time and "fervor" writing the original post, that I forgot something important: a sugestion to help handle the change.

(after all, when you present a problem, it's always a polite measure also present a form of solution to it.) 



And it would be a different, more honest and direct, approach of the information:

Let's say R&D intends to release M15 in July, 2014 with the implemented change. So, someday around April or May, one of R&D's public faces releases a short note in one of his/her social medias. Something in the lines of "I can't give any details right now, but in a few months we may expect for in interesting facelift in Magic. Stay tunned." (MaRo does things like that all the time. Just try to ask him anything about Theros today...). 

The entire Multiverse (or the MtG web foruns at least) would promptly explode in excitement (and hysteria, of course) a few minutes later. We know how much the community is eager for this kind of information (people start a bombardment of questions about the next set a few hours after the full spoiler of the most recent set is announced). And that state of curiosity and excitement would persist until the end of the spoiler season.

And that's the beauty of the thing: as time would elapse between announcement and release of the changes, guessings would multiply, people would think and talk about the matter, and small bits of information would naturally leak, up to the point where people would be so used to the change that it would become old news. No one would be caught by surprise. Complainers would have the impact assimilated already. Supporters would be anxious to see the new cards. And life would once again follow its course.

Makes sense for you the same way it makes for me?
 

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The entire Multiverse (or the MtG web foruns at least) would promptly explode in excitement (and hysteria, of course) a few minutes later. We know how much the community is eager for this kind of information (people start a bombardment of questions about the next set a few hours after the full spoiler of the most recent set is announced). And that state of curiosity and excitement would persist until the end of the spoiler season.

And that's the beauty of the thing: as time would elapse between announcement and release of the changes, guessings would multiply, people would think and talk about the matter, and small bits of information would naturally leak, up to the point where people would be so used to the change that it would become old news. No one would be caught by surprise. Complainers would have the impact assimilated already. Supporters would be anxious to see the new cards. And life would once again follow its course.


Well... that's the case for people who are as passionate about the game as you are. You know, the kind of people who actually read about Magic online and know of this sort of thing in advance.

A lot of players are way less dedicated, and you have to think about what'll happen if someone opens a booster and finds a Flash/Fast/Instant Sorcery without having read about the change. The marketing cards could alleviate some confusion there, but considering that that slot is also used for tokens and other rules cards, one may still have to open a lot of boosters to actually get that information.

That's why I would recommend against Fast Sorcery in particular. 'Instant' and 'Flash' are terms that players are already familiar with, so they could figure out that the functionality carried over into a supertype. "Fast" currently doesn't mean anything to Magic players, and as I said earlier, it could easily be mistaken for meaning 'haste'.
That's why I would recommend against Fast Sorcery in particular. 'Instant' and 'Flash' are terms that players are already familiar with, so they could figure out that the functionality carried over into a supertype. "Fast" currently doesn't mean anything to Magic players, and as I said earlier, it could easily be mistaken for meaning 'haste'.

Agree. The sound of "fast sorcery" is really powerful and nice, but it doesn't carry necessary baggage or flavor. It doesn't fit.

I also agree there's many people who don't activelly look for online information, or any kind of information at all. But let's be honest one more time: Magic's a social game, and we're in middle 2013. How many time it takes for someone that's already playing Magic to hear about any news? I mean, they know about Prereleases and Game Days, right? Even in 1999, players heard about 6th Edition changes and got them, didn't they? They also buy their product from shelves at game stores. So they'll know someway. Also, there's many ways to activelly make them know, too.

And again, we're just talking about current (or soon-to-be) Magic players here. Future players will just buy the game with wichever fresh face it'll present, for sure.

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What's a Game Day?
I also agree there's many people who don't activelly look for online information, or any kind of information at all. But let's be honest one more time: Magic's a social game, and we're in middle 2013. How many time it takes for someone that's already playing Magic to hear about any news? I mean, they know about Prereleases and Game Days, right? Even in 1999, players heard about 6th Edition changes and got them, didn't they? They also buy their product from shelves at game stores. So they'll know someway. Also, there's many ways to activelly make them know, too.

And again, we're just talking about current (or soon-to-be) Magic players here. Future players will just buy the game with wichever fresh face it'll present, for sure.


A very significant amount of players know about Prereleases only because the tournament organisers promote them. As for Game Days... even I have no idea what Game Days are, and I'm here on the forums.

Between a rules card, other players willing to explain it and perhaps some reminder text here and there, I think it could be a relatively smooth conversion. I even think that it will make the game easier to learn for new players: a supertype that signifies an exception is easier to grasp than a whole card type being an exception. The primary concern, I feel, is players who already play.
I like the general idea between supertyping Flash/Instant, but I feel that it would require a reframing device similar to Miracles. In that, in order for Yeva, Nature's Herald to intuitively pop as an Instant Creature, that makes other Green creatures Instant Creatures,  the card's aesthetics would have to change. I feel that one of the bigger mistakes of Magic's design has been trying to keep cardfaces minimal in relation to the relationship that the cards have with our play. I think Planeswalkers breaking the card's borders, and Miracles having a different template is a step towards creating naunced variants of the current card aesthetic that will facilitate changes to the game's mechanical core to make it function better. 

Magic is a game that should continue to reinvent itself to become better, and we shouldn't try to stifle that for a sense of cold comfort for what we're used to.  The argument for retaining tradition because change alienates us faithful to the game is a fairly bad one, so long as the game developers know when they are pushing too hard in a bad direction.
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I like the general idea between supertyping Flash/Instant, but I feel that it would require a reframing device similar to Miracles. In that, in order for Yeva, Nature's Herald to intuitively pop as an Instant Creature, that makes other Green creatures Instant Creatures,  the card's aesthetics would have to change. I feel that one of the bigger mistakes of Magic's design has been trying to keep cardfaces minimal in relation to the relationship that the cards have with our play. I think Planeswalkers breaking the card's borders, and Miracles having a different template is a step towards creating naunced variants of the current card aesthetic that will facilitate changes to the game's mechanical core to make it function better. 

Magic is a game that should continue to reinvent itself to become better, and we shouldn't try to stifle that for a sense of cold comfort for what we're used to.  The argument for retaining tradition because change alienates us faithful to the game is a fairly bad one, so long as the game developers know when they are pushing too hard in a bad direction.

Wish so hard I had written this entire post myself. Wink

I consider this reframing idea absolutely amazing. Not in a radical way like the one did in Futute Sight for sure, but more of what they did with Miracles. It's possible to keep the basic, familiar frame, and just add some small, flavorful twists to it. It could solve the recognition issue (being it an issue or not), but preserving tradition and adding some modernity at the same time. Very well played.

I can only imagine how much of a beauty could a Snow card be with an added "snowy" twist, like frozen borders or something. Oh hell. How bad I want it right now. I think it's time to contact my card alterator guy again. 

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I love the idea of just making "Flash" a supertype, and eliminating the term "Instant" altogather.
Anything that says "Sorcery" just keeps that wording, since it's still valid. This makes a few cards a little more powerful, but it's OK for major rules changes to do that. (And it even makes a few portal cards more consistent. lol)
Anything currently saying "Instant" would be changed to "Flash Sorcery". Since "Instant", like "Interrupt", "In play", and "fast effect" before it, would no longer be a valid game term, nobody could really be surprised/confused that the wording on cards that use it changed.

As for running out of space... Well, the type line is too congested right now, that's true. 
It might not be a bad idea to move subtypes to their own, secondary, type line. Or maybe just moving the Expansion symbol to the bottom of the card ala  the 8th edition test prints might be a better idea.
The space issue is really only a problem on seven cards, which have both Flash and the Legendary supertype. I actually think that's fine. And it's not like it isn't an issue that exists already.

Legendary Flash Creature -- Human Wizard
Legendary Creature -- Human Barbarian Warrior

So the hurdle that remains is thus: Why on earth does this need to change?
So the hurdle that remains is thus: Why on earth does this need to change?

It has been discussed since the beggining: it really doesn't need to change, but the game can improve greatly if it does.

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I'm both orderly and rational. I value control, information, and order. I love structure and hierarchy, and will actively use whatever power or knowledge I have to maintain it. At best, I am lawful and insightful; at worst, I am bureaucratic and tyrannical.

So the hurdle that remains is thus: Why on earth does this need to change?



Need? Things rarely, if ever, need to change. But I would argue the game would be better off if this did change. 
Gameplay and flavor wise, Instants are just Sorceries with an extra bonus. It's only for historical reasons they have their own card type. In the modern game, they have no reason to have their own type then interrupts do.
 
While I am not a particularly strong advocate of this change, I would like to point out something that I think could be an interesting paradigm shift if this were implemented.

Right now, people often refer to "sorcery speed" and "instant speed". However, if instant became a supertype, we could establish a new precedent: "spell speed" and "ability speed".

Alchemist's Refuge: "You may cast nonland cards this turn any time you could activate an ability."
Slitherhead: "(, Exile this card from your graveyard: Put a +1/+1 counter on target creature. Scavenge only as a spell.)"
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I hate the "any time you could X" template, because it doesn't actually do what it says. The only thing worse than obvious rules jargon are sentences that look like ordinary English but "disguise" special rules meaning.

As for the OP, if we were designing Magic from scratch, an Instant supertype might make sense. As it is it puts a lot of strain on an already crowded resource (the type line) for what does not, to me, appear to be very much upside.
I hate the "any time you could X" template, because it doesn't actually do what it says. The only thing worse than obvious rules jargon are sentences that look like ordinary English but "disguise" special rules meaning.

As for the OP, if we were designing Magic from scratch, an Instant supertype might make sense. As it is it puts a lot of strain on an already crowded resource (the type line) for what does not, to me, appear to be very much upside.

I hate it too. Current reminder text for flash disguises rules meaning with ordinary wording this way, as if it reads "go learn what an instant means in the first place, then cast this spell at any time you could cast an instant". I really think that specify time windows, in plain and simple English, would do the job much better.

About "making Magic from scratch", it seems an almost complete agreement that the instant-as-a-supertype thing would be an improvement. But well, more than just guessing "what if?", I think the possibility of such implementation has real potential. Almost everyone agree we have a good thing in hands. The powers-that-be agree with it. There's only a great amount of inertia to overcome.

Do you remember that Magic's 10th anniversary introduced the modern card frame? Do you agree that it was an "unecessary" change, but that it was extremely good for the game's long-term health?

Do you agree the 6th Edition rules change and the Great Creature Type Update were the greater changes that were and will possibly ever be made to the game? I think it's clear that the Magic game became what it is right now just because of those changes, right?


So c'mon guys. We have some highly likeable solutions poping up in this thread. Slight twists in cardframes to better distinct supertypes. Expansion symbols next to artists' credits. The reframing idea is so brilliant I can't even assume that an R&D member would ever dislike it. Holy Freyalise, both the planeswakers and the miracles news frames speak for the cause. They're awesome, and were even commercial success!


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The 6th edition changes were great. I can't say the same for the Creature Type Update, unfortunately -- as a "textualist" I consider that change one of the worst abominations to happen in the history of the rules ;)

I can get behind slight changes to the card frame. If the frames were redesigned so that supertypes, types, and subtypes all fit comfortably, I have no real problem with "Instant Creatures."
I really liked the Grand Creature Type Update, but it's mostly good in comparison to the other options:
1. What they'd been doing, updating creature types as they were reprinted. This meant that in order to know what a card's creature type was, you had to know how recently it was reprinted, and if only some cards get reprinted, there's a permanent inconsistency.
2. Reprint cards without changing their creature types. So in the same set, some of the creatures that are obviously humans would actually say Human in the type line, while others wouldn't.
3. Never reprint a card that has an unsuitable creature type. This would cut off a huge number of potential reprints. Given that the policy at the time was that core sets consisted only of reprints, this wasn't a good option. Also, it would let obvious errors in creature types (e.g. Goblin Rock Sled not being a Goblin) persist.

I do understand that having the Oracle text not match the printed text is a problem, but I think the real abomination is the things they printed on type lines early on.
So the hurdle that remains is thus: Why on earth does this need to change?

Because instant and sorcery are one type that pretends to be two.
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So the hurdle that remains is thus: Why on earth does this need to change?

Because instant and sorcery are one type that pretends to be two.

Just like artifact and enchantment?

[<o>]
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