7/1/2013 MM:"Sliver Pâté"

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

Almost none. R&D was all aboard on the lord change, and we believe in the importance of consistency in current design, so it wasn't an issue of if Slivers would change, but when.


Really (almost) none? Wow, I know R&D doesn't always see eye to eye with the older players, but I didn't think the gap was this huge. A better question might be "did R&D anticipate this being a controversial move with older players?"

Well, it WAS pointed out that the majority of the polled players--which I'll trust included the old retinue--didn't realize at first that sliver bonuses weren't one-sided. Same situation as with the lords, if you'll note--and apparently, this dated all the way back to Alpha! If this really does include the old retinue, maybe grumbling won't be quite that widespread. (Loudness is a different story.)

I notice that a lot was made of the concept of what intuitively makes sense--the whole idea that the opposition shouldn't be able to benefit at all from your cards (absent the likes of Steal Artifact and Disharmony). Also, what Rosewater mentioned about the brain being genuinely overloaded with precepts may help the matter. I remember I forgot I had once Purelaced an enemy creature...even though I had a Circle of Protection: White set up. Meaning I forgot to use it to null the creature's damage. This was back in 1995. Still...I have a hard time believing people are hopelessly unable to train themselves to keep more things in mind at once (of course, this is coming from someone who tends to be irritated at himself for having problems paying attention to four people at once. One should be able to maintain at least SEVEN disparate threads of thought at once!). Seems a bit fatalistic.

But that said, given that they had the idea (a race of nothing but lords), but hadn't settled on slivers, I'm surprised they didn't try for a new race. The concept was effectively that of the golem splicers in New Phyrexia, just self-contained (i.e. the splicer and the golem are the same creature). Not that I have an idea of what new creature type to come up with. Yaksa, for all I know.

I just hope we don't run into a swath of counter-arguments that turn out to be defiled with elitism.

Wow, did he dodge the question about Sliver art direction HARD. That's the thing that's got most people up in arms, and he just said "talk to Doug".  I get the sense he himself may not be a fan of the creative direction for these slivers.  He even talked about how iconic they were, and didn't really address how much of their "iconicness" is lost with this weird and unecessary art shift to generic monsters.

Almost none. R&D was all aboard on the lord change, and we believe in the importance of consistency in current design, so it wasn't an issue of if Slivers would change, but when.


Really (almost) none? Wow, I know R&D doesn't always see eye to eye with the older players, but I didn't think the gap was this huge. A better question might be "did R&D anticipate this being a controversial move with older players?"




The Slivers change was hinted at a few "designed by" cycles ago.  Universal effects are Unfun for new players and draft players so they shifted the one-sided effects. It's about keeping the game aprochable... Nothing is worse for new players than being in games where counterintuitive mechanics are like an inside joke all the older players get, and complex rules lawyers interactions have all the action happening at the end of turns and such.

Personally I liked where Plague Sliver was going with negative shared sliver effects... A few more carefully chosen "negatives" would have made a really mean counter-intuitive design like "Dredge" became. That's not something you'd see outside an extreme expert set.   But hey, maybe we can get a Sliver King or something out off the deal!

I feel like Magic deserves the Honest Trailers treatment:


In a game claiming to be for smart people, where cards are designed by doing whatever seems obvious, and the most popular Grand Prix ever features a set completely predating our new philosophy, comes a mechanic so popular that it was changed to be completely different.  Meet Jace:



a card we keep breaking so hard, we had to go backwards a version just to take him out of the spotlight.  And meet Chandra:



No, not that one.



Not that one either.



Oh God no.  



Yeah, that's the one.  A planeswalker so powerful, her abilities are practically blue.   Watch as they try to hold off against yet another Green / White Mythic so over-the-top



it will only get 12 more prominent mentions between now and release.  Come join the fun as creatures just keep getting incrementally better, and spells keep getting incrementally worse.  Starring:


Muscle Sliver                                                        Gemhide Sliver                                              Winged Sliver


                                        


Compulsive Research                                           Might of Oaks                                      aaaand Fecundity


                                         


Magic Twenty-Fourteen.  There may be better card games, but you already own a lot of this one.

If you're on MTGO check out the Free Events via PDCMagic and Gatherling.

Other games you should try:
DC Universe Online - action-based MMO.  Free to play.  Surprisingly well-designed combat and classes.

Planetside 2 - Free to play MMO-meets-FPS and the first shooter I've liked in ages.
Simunomics - Free-to-play economy simulation game.

Hybrid mana is another non-evergreen mechanic that has made four appearances: Ravnica block, Shadowmoor block, Alara Reborn, Return to Ravnica block.
WIth the old/new sliver question I think a really big point was missed.

The issue came up but it's only going to matter in Constructed in formats where they overlap (Modern and back) and only when you have a mirror match. The vast majority of the time, in a two-player game, the new Slivers and the old Slivers are going to function identically.



Slivers are popular in casual crowds.
A vast majority of the time people play, old and new slivers will mix.
And that's where the problems will arise.

But in his answer he says that it's no problem in constructed so it didn't matter.

So because they're popular with the casual crowds, they come back. But the biggest problem for those casual crowds (mixing new and old) just gets an 'o well'-treatment.

www.nogoblinsallowed.com

So most newer players just use standard cards. Is that the take-away here because I find it hard to believe.

The big  boxes of cheap cards at gaming stores are full of historically over-printed cards like goblin king (in 11 sets). Isn't it more confusing that some lords work one way, and some work another? They all get shuffled up together unless you play standard, which implies you are good enough to wager entry fees on your game.

I have a hard time believing that old sliver cards aren't going to get pulled out of collections and put into trade binders now. Players opening M14 slivers and wanting more are going to be exposed to the old ones unless it is WOTC's view that a new player will acquire the entire contents of a new sliver deck simply by opening or trading cards with people that only have M14 packs.

Are what we're really talking about here more of an overseas issue? I haven't seen gaming stores THAT much more full than in other periods in Magic's past. The game has grown rapidly outside the US, and are goblin kinds and old slivers rare there? Is that more of what these numbers suggest? If it is an over-seas sales strategy, that's fine. But telling people from the USA that our experiences aren't what they are makes you sound like you've been locked in the ivory tower way too long. Did slivers not sell as well the first time because of their templating or because they were available in a heck of a lot less markets, the population of people that can afford to play Magic has grown, and nerdy things have become more accesssible? I think you take credit for things that have more to do with the world changing than Magic changing.          
Mark came in 4th (Alexis 1st, Ken 2nd, and Graham Hopkins 3rd).

I believe Mr. Hopkins's first name is spelled "Graeme".
I hate slivers
Awesome post amarsir.

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

192884403 wrote:
surely one can't say complex conditional passive language is bad grammar ?



Slivers are like the Justin Bieber of Magic, annoying but popular enough with the masses to be raking in the dough.

Did slivers not sell as well the first time because ....



There has never been a time where slivers did not sell well.
I was full on board with the change to lords. I am off board on this change. Hell, I only noticed it because it was specifically addressed in the article. Obviously, we should've seen this one coming, since they've already changed how lords work. But the nice thing about rules is having exceptions. Slivers work well flavourfully because they're that exception.

And, like JaC put so well, Slivers are a casual mechanic. There's going to be a lot of Sliver mirror matches around casual tables, and this change is going to make them terrible. Lords were easy to change because the change itself does not lead to board complexity. Play one Sliver mirrormatch with both old and new Slivers and tell me how that works out. Is that a sacrifice worth making to help new players at the prerelease? Maybe. Is that a sacrifice that should be made without thought? Hell no.

Now, this transgression is, in the end, somewhat acceptable. I was psyched to hear that Slivers were returning. They've always been one of my favourite creature types (though you're showing that you're kind of running out of places to take them). They're basically the only real iconic Magic creature type, the only thing that Magic really added to the fantasy world (Thallids, I guess, work as well, but they don't come close to Slivers). They are uniquely Magic, with a long and specific art history as well.

And then I saw how they were returning. This is a disgrace. You've built up tons of art capital by having Sliver art be exactly the same over three completely different blocks, and then you decide to throw it all away because you ran out of ideas for their art? That's just pathetic. I've gone and read Beyer's take on the issue and it just makes things worse. You wanted to make Slivers humanoid? You wanted to be able to give them facial expressions? Here's the thing, though: Slivers are bugs. Bugs do not have facial expressions. Bugs should not have facial expressions. Unless you're Pixar. But you're not.

Bees, ants and hornets are scary because they are mindless robots who will attack you en masse when they see you. The lack of humanity is what defines them, what makes them scary. And so it is with Slivers. None of the Slivers look remotely like they're part of a hive. They look like a bunch of humans with fancy armour on.
76125763 wrote:
Zindaras' meta is like a fossil, ancient and its secrets yet to be uncovered. Only men of yore, long dead, knew of it.
My problem with the new slivers is that they feel like a complete slap in the face to the people who have a sliver deck that they've been playing with since Tempest (or since Legions, or since Time Spiral, or even just since Premium Deck Series: Slivers). There are concerns about the possibility of a match involving both new and old slivers. Well, it's okay: that will never happen, because all the old slivers are now obsolete!

Making a strictly better Winged Sliver and a strictly better Gemhide Sliver and whatever else you do is horrible, because now basically the old ones are worthless. To me, the entire appeal of slivers is that you have three different blocks worth of cards to choose from, and you get to pick the best ones from each and mix them all together. But now, these new M14 ones are just better than all the old ones, and if you've been tuning a sliver deck for ten years, you're probably best off just throwing it out and starting over.

I get that this is an awkward situation, because I actually agree that slivers should have been "you control". But you can't just ignore history. Isn't a huge part of the point of bringing a mechanic back to be a treat for the people who remember it being there the first time? I mean, what you've done is not bringing back slivers. What you've done is made a new tribe, and also burned every copy of any of the old slivers.

Oh yeah and the art is really dumb too.
blah blah metal lyrics




I'm sorry you are annoyed with Slivers.  I am not and apparently so are a number of other people.  I am annoyed that they took what was iconic about slivers (full hive mind, insectoid shape) and threw it out the window.
IMAGE(http://pwp.wizards.com/1205820039/Scorecards/Landscape.png)
My problem with the new slivers is that they feel like a complete slap in the face to the people who have a sliver deck that they've been playing with since Tempest (or since Legions, or since Time Spiral, or even just since Premium Deck Series: Slivers). There are concerns about the possibility of a match involving both new and old slivers. Well, it's okay: that will never happen, because all the old slivers are now obsolete!

Making a strictly better Winged Sliver and a strictly better Gemhide Sliver and whatever else you do is horrible, because now basically the old ones are worthless. To me, the entire appeal of slivers is that you have three different blocks worth of cards to choose from, and you get to pick the best ones from each and mix them all together. But now, these new M14 ones are just better than all the old ones, and if you've been tuning a sliver deck for ten years, you're probably best off just throwing it out and starting over.

I get that this is an awkward situation, because I actually agree that slivers should have been "you control". But you can't just ignore history. Isn't a huge part of the point of bringing a mechanic back to be a treat for the people who remember it being there the first time? I mean, what you've done is not bringing back slivers. What you've done is made a new tribe, and also burned every copy of any of the old slivers.

Oh yeah and the art is really dumb too.



Having 8 Might Slivers is better than 4 Might Slivers, so I'll be using them together. Besides, there's a bunch of Slivers that are just worse than the original ones (especially the ones that have bigger bodies themselves). Bonesplitter and Watcher are better than the two replacements they've come up with.
76125763 wrote:
Zindaras' meta is like a fossil, ancient and its secrets yet to be uncovered. Only men of yore, long dead, knew of it.
Did slivers not sell as well the first time because ....



There has never been a time where slivers did not sell well.




Your comment misses the point. It is comparitive, and based on this from the article regarding Time Spiral slivers vs Today "The reason Magic currently has so many more people playing than when Time Spiral was out is because we've spent a lot of time and energy to keep the new players from leaving because things didn't make sense when they start to play. This is about far more than the lord issue, but the key to some big changes are lots of little ones."

Did Time Spiral slivers sell in smaller numbers than expected M14 sales because of changes like the ones made to lords and the sliver template or because of broader, global changes not necessarily in WOTC's control-outside of having worked hard to establish itself worldwide? 

When people without knowledge of Time Spiral slivers see M14 slivers for the first time, will they be more confused, or less confued, when the two inevitably become intermixed? Why is this gemhide sliver the same, yet slightly different from this new sliver I just opened other than one looks like Predator and the other a little more like Alien? Is this only really an issue in the USA where Goblin King and slivers are commonly found in bulk bins compared to other countries that perhaps didn't pick up Magic on a large enough scale until much later? Thus they do not have nearly as many copies of pre 10th edition cards. If an 'average' player is now one in China instead of Renton, it would be nicer if that was communicated instead of Maro making it sound like we should obviously know why old slivers and new slivers are so unlikely to cross paths for the average player.

     

My problem with the new slivers is that they feel like a complete slap in the face to the people who have a sliver deck that they've been playing with since Tempest (or since Legions, or since Time Spiral, or even just since Premium Deck Series: Slivers). There are concerns about the possibility of a match involving both new and old slivers. Well, it's okay: that will never happen, because all the old slivers are now obsolete!

Making a strictly better Winged Sliver and a strictly better Gemhide Sliver and whatever else you do is horrible, because now basically the old ones are worthless. To me, the entire appeal of slivers is that you have three different blocks worth of cards to choose from, and you get to pick the best ones from each and mix them all together. But now, these new M14 ones are just better than all the old ones, and if you've been tuning a sliver deck for ten years, you're probably best off just throwing it out and starting over.



Well I'm angry that my deck of Legends legends is obsolete because they keep printing stronger creatures.

Get over it. Power creep happens. And you have to admit that the boost Manaweft Sliver has over Gemhide Sliver is so insignificant that you don't even need to bother replacing it.

If anything, you should be happy that you can now have 8 Gemhide Slivers in the same deck.
In a game claiming to be for smart people, where cards are designed by doing whatever seems obvious

Yeah, there'll be a lot of claims of "dumbing down" like this. 

I just wanted to mention that removing the computational overhead of the old-style slivers means they can add new cards exploring complex aspects of the rules that have never before been plumbed.   Strionic Resonator is a fantastic example.

I'm not keen on making this massive change to Slivers because of the way that Slivers are such a kitchen-table race and most kitchen-table players have no concern in the slightest for formats like Standard or Modern. But, oh well. 

The game is still great. It includes many cards that aren't for you, but many cards that are as well; whoever "you" are.
Honestly, I think they made the right decision, design-wise. Yes, there have been times when my friends and I all grabbed our Sliver decks and had a massive, insane mirror match, but the vast majority of the time the new design will be either a non-issue or an improvement. The change is unfortunate in mirror matches featuring both old and new Slivers (As an aside, these will happen. The new Slivers might be "stirctly better", but mirror matches are not so common that it's likely to be a big issue to consider when building a deck). The brainspace required to keep track of not only all your own creatures and all your opponents' creatures, but which ones are which type of Sliver, is vastly more than "Add up all Sliver abilities and apply them to everything". If a Sliver deck ever becomes popular enough to show up at a Modern tournament in numbers, it's going to be miserable. Barring that (hopefully) corner case, however, the new Slivers should be fine.

The new Sliver creative, on the other hand, I find completely detestable. I've only seen a few pieces of Sliver art (Hive Stirrings, Blur Sliver, and kinda Striking Sliver) that I can look at and say "Yeah, I can see how that is an evolved Sliver". If you can't look at it and tell it's a Sliver, there's something wrong. And most of these Slivers are very, very wrong.
Rules Nut Advisor
Well I'm angry that my deck of Legends legends is obsolete because they keep printing stronger creatures.

Legends are not a tribe.
blah blah metal lyrics
Well I'm angry that my deck of Legends legends is obsolete because they keep printing stronger creatures.

Legends are not a tribe.


That's true. I still made a deck with a lot of them and it has still been made obsolete.

...As have a lot of other old cards, especially creatures, which was my original point.
I don't care at all about the templating. The art, however, is inexcusable, both for abandoning the sliver visual identity and for being ugly even if they hadn't been slivers.

I'm also holding out hope that M14 draft isn't ruined by boring, linear sliver decks. We'll see.
Ever since seeing them spoiled weeks ago, I tried to wait for the official articles to see if they could explain all these changes. The short story last week was an interesting peek into the difference in look, but unless there's a lot more coming, this is a massive failure on the part of WOTC. 

I mean, I'm not the smartest player in the world, I'll admit it, but the time I was most involved with the game (like FNM almost every week) was the Onslaught era, and you'd better believe I was playing slivers and mirror matches were considered the only reason to play slivers. The back and forth maneuvering of getting just the right slivers in place to give yourself just enough of an advantage over the other guy's slivers was the entire point of the game. It's one thing to simplify where you can, but slivers were popular for a reason - they created interesting game states and people apparently understood them. 

And the art failure is just astonishing. They could have gone a dozen different ways to create some variety within the insectoid form factor, but instead they pushed the Easy Button. "Just draw people with armor plating!" I mean, jeez, they could have at least had them be sliver/human hybrids or something. That just might have been enough high octane nightmare fuel to make me feel better about these changes. 

I had been thinking that changing only one of factors, either the art style or the mechanic, would have been okay (I would have preferred the mechanic stayed the same and just pretended not to see the art), but maybe it's better to just rip off the Band-Aid in one fell swoop.

And this is twice in a week's time I've been told that R&D is completely onboard with something that the community at-large knows the opposite to be true. I was the one that asked Matt Tabak on his tumbler why "mill" isn't considered a keyword, and he said "nobody" in R&D thinks of it that way, and now we're being told "nobody" in R&D had a problem with changing the slivers. With so many WOTC employees coming from the community (the Pro Tour, the GDS, etc), I'm beginning to wonder if they're given some kind of neuroshock therapy when they start to clean out any ungood thoughts about the game, leaving only the parts that can make new shinies for the kiddies. 

Slivers now suck. If you're one of the new players that WOTC has dumbed them down for (yes, dumbed them down), then you also suck.  


Although now I'm wondering if this means a near-functional reprint of Sliver Queen... 
Proud member of C.A.R.D. - Campaign Against Rare Duals "...but the time has come when lands just need to be better. Creatures have gotten stronger, spells have always been insane, and lands just sat in this awkward place of necessity." Jacob Van Lunen on the refuge duals, 16 Sep 2009. "While it made thematic sense to separate enemy and allied color fixing in the past, we have come around to the definite conclusion that it is just plain incorrect from a game-play perspective. This is one of these situations where game play should just trump flavor." - Sam Stoddard on ending the separation of allied/enemy dual lands. 05 July 2013
Your comment misses the point. It is comparitive, and based on this from the article regarding Time Spiral slivers vs Today "The reason Magic currently has so many more people playing than when Time Spiral was out is because we've spent a lot of time and energy to keep the new players from leaving because things didn't make sense when they start to play. This is about far more than the lord issue, but the key to some big changes are lots of little ones."

Did Time Spiral slivers sell in smaller numbers than expected M14 sales because of changes like the ones made to lords and the sliver template or because of broader, global changes not necessarily in WOTC's control-outside of having worked hard to establish itself worldwide?



That quote from the article is not about Slivers.
And this is twice in a week's time I've been told that R&D is completely onboard with something that the community at-large knows the opposite to be true. I was the one that asked Matt Tabak on his tumbler why "mill" isn't considered a keyword, and he said "nobody" in R&D thinks of it that way, and now we're being told "nobody" in R&D had a problem with changing the slivers. With so many WOTC employees coming from the community (the Pro Tour, the GDS, etc), I'm beginning to wonder if they're given some kind of neuroshock therapy when they start to clean out any ungood thoughts about the game, leaving only the parts that can make new shinies for the kiddies. 

Slivers now suck. If you're one of the new players that WOTC has dumbed them down for (yes, dumbed them down), then you also suck.


"The community at large" includes far more people than just the ones on this forum. And even then there is dissent.

So, important question. Does "dumbed down" mean "changed in a way I don't like" or "changed at all"? People seem to be working with both definitions on this forum, and I'd like some clarification.
I'm a player that started before slivers first came out in Tempest and I like the mechanic change. I think the original mechanic was a mistake. It just came down to who had the most creatures since they all had the same abilities. But I guess of you're a fan of stalled board states, then a mirror match with the old slivers is for you. The only real arguement I've heard against the change is the fact that it's a change. If the roles were reversed and the new mechanic had come first, people would still be outraged at the change. But put side by side the new mechanic is better. AlexTfish made a good point... if you don't like the change, there are enough of the old slivers that you can still build a good deck without having to supplement it with the new stuff. Now as far as thw art goes, I'm not a huge fan. I think they could have shown a progression without going so far off the reservation. I think Time Spiral did a really good job of giving each slivers its own identity and feel. The new art I've seen so far seems to have digressed... it seems like you could interchange the art between them and not really notice. I don't find myself thinking, "Now this is definitely what a mana producing sliver looks like," or "this is what a double striking sliver looka like," when I view them
Eyeball Frog, I think what most people mean by "dumbed down" is any change Wizards makes that makes the game easier to understand. I like the fact that Magic is an intelligent game, but it's complicated enough without having to try and find ways to make it overly complicated. Not every change to "dumb down" the game is a bad change. This new mechanic makes more sense for gameplay and makes it more fun. Not because it's easier, but because the game state of individual games will be better.
New slivers are retarded, end of story. There is no reason to call them slivers at all.
Wizards: Our consumer research indicates that X is true.

Forum-dweller: I, and several other forum posters, believe that X is false.

Wizards: OH SNAP WE NEVER CONSIDERED THAT. THANKS FOR TELLING US WE'LL CHANGE EVERYTHING NOW. 

Forum-dweller: Hooray! We have saved the game from being dumbed down yet again! 

 

Goblin Artisans
a Magic: the Gathering design blog
If I ever see one of these new slivers at my gaming table I'm gonna stab it with a fork and eat it. Just because the new art is so silly.
In a game claiming to be for smart people, where cards are designed by doing whatever seems obvious

Yeah, there'll be a lot of claims of "dumbing down" like this. 

I just wanted to mention that removing the computational overhead of the old-style slivers means they can add new cards exploring complex aspects of the rules that have never before been plumbed.   Strionic Resonator is a fantastic example.


Well technically I didn't say "dumbing down".  What I have said is that on a scale from "challenge how players think" to "the obvious move is the correct one", they're trying awfully hard to pin the needle on the right side.

Second, if you're attempting to claim that cards like Trickbind and Rings of Brighthearth have been unprintable up until now, I think history disagrees with you.  In fact, I think rules complexity replacing on-board strategic complexity is exactly the opposite of their stated goals.  If the intention is to make an interesting game that's newbie-friendly, I dare say Crusade is a heck of a lot more approachable than Sundial of the Infinite.  


The reason cards like those and Strionic Resonator exist is because it's a bone to Johnny-types that comes at infrequent rarities.  That hasn't really changed.

If you're on MTGO check out the Free Events via PDCMagic and Gatherling.

Other games you should try:
DC Universe Online - action-based MMO.  Free to play.  Surprisingly well-designed combat and classes.

Planetside 2 - Free to play MMO-meets-FPS and the first shooter I've liked in ages.
Simunomics - Free-to-play economy simulation game.

Your comment misses the point. It is comparitive, and based on this from the article regarding Time Spiral slivers vs Today "The reason Magic currently has so many more people playing than when Time Spiral was out is because we've spent a lot of time and energy to keep the new players from leaving because things didn't make sense when they start to play. This is about far more than the lord issue, but the key to some big changes are lots of little ones."

Did Time Spiral slivers sell in smaller numbers than expected M14 sales because of changes like the ones made to lords and the sliver template or because of broader, global changes not necessarily in WOTC's control-outside of having worked hard to establish itself worldwide?



That quote from the article is not about Slivers.



How? Can you not read? Question:'Why change SLIVERS for new players when new players in the past have not had an issue with SLIVERS even in Time Spiral block?' Then Maro explains that at the time, people did have issues with SLIVERS. It gives other material, but at the end of the day, it says they've made changes, like the ones to SLIVERS and lords that have increased the popularity of the game. I ask if it is really these changes or other, broader global changes. 

Is WOTC asking for trouble when the two meet, and based on other parts of the article, why is Maro so confident that mirror matches and various incarnations of slivers being in those decks so likely to rarely happen? It's not like the place to see it is standard data. It is at less formal venues. Assuming these games are rare, then even if slivers aren't one sided, it will rarely matter. Now players have 2 different wordings of gemhide sliver to figure out. I don't see that as the less complex way of playing the game.  
On the subject of dumbing down the game:

I think a lot of people miss the problem here by just focusing on it at an individual card design level. The real problem that "dumbing down the game" has caused is at the deck-building level.

They have made many changes to the game in the last few years that greatly reduce choices in deck-building, and it's obvious a lot of people are not happy about this. With NWO and Limited-focused design basically stripping Common (the largest rarity) of most of its Constructed playables, the reduction of set sizes cutting the number of card options available each year, the power creep of creatures pushing deck archetypes to be more creature-focused, the use of Mythic Rare as an excuse to push a card's power level forcing deck-builders to draw from the same extremely-small pool of cards (often to the point of one "must play" card per color, or even across all colors), the reduction of drawbacks taking away moments where the deck-builder has to weigh the advantages and disadvantages of a card's inclusion... it's no wonder they've been having so many problems with there being "only one deck" over the last few years. The game was definitely complex and interesting enough to handle a few of those changes, but Wizards pushed it too far.

And as a final note, using Rare cards (or Mythics) as a counter-example that they're not really dumbing down the game completely misses the point of what NWO has done to Magic. There are a very small number of Rares (and Mythics) each set, compared to the number of Commons and Uncommons. Even if the higher rarities have gotten slightly more complex (which I do not believe to be the case), it's still a change for the simpler overall.
IMAGE(http://images.community.wizards.com/community.wizards.com/user/blitzschnell/c6f9e416e5e0e1f0a1e5c42b0c7b3e88.jpg?v=90000)
I've been a fan of slivers since Legions ( started in Onslaught), and everyone I know ( including myself) thinks sliver mirror matches are dumb, and we intentionally avoid them. ( I know anecdotal evidence isn't worth anything, but apparently the market research agrees with me in this one.) So the templating change pretty much doesn't matter.

I don't like the art change though, but that won't stop me from buying the new slivers
Well, obviously they had to change the way slivers work. Affecting all slivers is unintuitive to new players - most of whom can barely hold a card correctly without hurting themselves - and let's be honest it's not like R&D has some sort of magic text that can serve as a reminder for returning mechanics.  They didn't do it with Bloodlust, Exalted, or Scry. How could it possibly work for slivers?

I had been thinking that changing only one of factors, either the art style or the mechanic, would have been okay (I would have preferred the mechanic stayed the same and just pretended not to see the art), but maybe it's better to just rip off the Band-Aid in one fell swoop.



I agree that one or the other change would have been better, with the template change better than the art.  Still. as others have said, new slivers will intremingle with old and confusion will begin.

Also, I agree with NWO screwing up common.  I'd love to get back to Constructed magic, but it is too expensive now.
This is just a quick and easy cash grab for wizards. I have yet to see a single new sliver mechanic. Just rebranded old ones that took no thought at all. They also said they were running out of ideas for different ways to draw the 1 handed, triangled headed sliver, so they took the easy route of drawing something very generic looking vague fantasy rubbish. Minimal effort to cash in on a very popular race.
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