1/10/2014 LD: "Developing a Planeswalker"

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This thread is for discussion of this week's Latest Developments, which goes live Friday morning on magicthegathering.com.

Unfortunately, in the time it took to post this, I forgot all that I had to say about the article.

 

So instead: Great article! I liked the step-by-step process, though I'm sure attention was given to playtesting that wasn't involved, as this seems to be an independant's trip through the multiverse comments, and I'm sure some things that needed to be edited out of discussion due to spoilers. It'd certainly be "novel" for a PW to gain tap abilities, so that doesn't seem like anything really heavily rules-ish, though the once-a-turn rules for PWs already take the place where tap abilities function.

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

Heart of Light

Ghostly Possession

Moonlight Geist

 

Whereas blue has exactly 0 new cards printed in the modern era with that ability.

 

So how is Gaseous Form not in the same camp as Psionic Blast and Mana Vortex?

Wouldn't be the first time UG got an ability that was traditionally white.

TobyornotToby wrote:

Heart of Light

Ghostly Possession

Moonlight Geist

 

Whereas blue has exactly 0 new cards printed in the modern era with that ability.

 

So how is Gaseous Form not in the same camp as Psionic Blast and Mana Vortex?

 

Fog is standard for Green, but Blue can isolate it to a particular object, effectively "bubbling" it. Yes, this ability is White. But it makes sense in Blue and Green. It allows Kiora to protect herself without making tokens (which isn't really Blue) or tapping stuff down (which isn't really Green). But pull an ability that these colors can draw on as secondary aspects of their pie, then they can get it as a unified ability. It also allows

 

Kiora's Touch GU

Enchantment - Aura

Enchant permanent

Enchanted permanent has hexproof.

Prevent all damage that would be dealt to or dealt by enchanted permanent.

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

I really enjoy articles like this. Also, cannot wait to open/play with Kiora.

I still think she's too expensive given her abilities and starting loyalty.

 

Should have been 1GU.

TobyornotToby wrote:

Heart of Light

Ghostly Possession

Moonlight Geist

 

Whereas blue has exactly 0 new cards printed in the modern era with that ability.

 

So how is Gaseous Form not in the same camp as Psionic Blast and Mana Vortex?

They did reprint Fog Bank recently, although the ability happens so infrequently that they probably haven't decided if it should be in one or another.

 

Hotspur000 wrote:

I still think she's too expensive given her abilities and starting loyalty.

 

Should have been 1GU.

 

3 mana planeswalkers tend to get pushed for power in Constructed formats, especially Standard. The desired group that wants Kiora are not necessarily Standard-players, but a broader fanbase brought in by Duels in its first incarnation. Kiora thus had a fan base, and had to be connected to her deck. So, as Stoddard explained and Multiverse comments from Tom LaPille show, her card fits into the deck she used in Duels ... which is no longer Standard legal. The design was thus meant to be more evocative. At the same time, her ability allows her to save herself from a Shock, while at the same time neutralizing an early beater, enough time that at 5 mana you can drop adequate ground defense and help lock down other stuff to get to Kraken Time. Or ... you can ramp her, ramp, then ramp some more, while using her color to help protect her. She's in the colors most attuned with developing her counters other than using loyalty abilities. That is, she is a perfect Casual/non-super competitive Constructed card. She's Johnny, she's Timmy, and she has a splash of Spike. In other words: perfect.

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

Qilong wrote:

 

Hotspur000 wrote:

I still think she's too expensive given her abilities and starting loyalty.

 

Should have been 1GU.

 

 

3 mana planeswalkers tend to get pushed for power in Constructed formats, especially Standard. The desired group that wants Kiora are not necessarily Standard-players, but a broader fanbase brought in by Duels in its first incarnation. Kiora thus had a fan base, and had to be connected to her deck. So, as Stoddard explained and Multiverse comments from Tom LaPille show, her card fits into the deck she used in Duels ... which is no longer Standard legal. The design was thus meant to be more evocative. At the same time, her ability allows her to save herself from a Shock, while at the same time neutralizing an early beater, enough time that at 5 mana you can drop adequate ground defense and help lock down other stuff to get to Kraken Time. Or ... you can ramp her, ramp, then ramp some more, while using her color to help protect her. She's in the colors most attuned with developing her counters other than using loyalty abilities. That is, she is a perfect Casual/non-super competitive Constructed card. She's Johnny, she's Timmy, and she has a splash of Spike. In other words: perfect.

 

Well, if that was the rationale, I can't say I agree with it. Why bother printing a card meant for a deck that was popular three years ago, and isn't even Standard Legal now? Unless they feel that deck could be good in Modern ... that might be one reason, but she still dies right away to a Lightning Bolt. If it's only for the casual players, well ... just seems like a waste of a Planeswalker. 

 

And yeah, she'd be terrible in Standard. She may be 'protected' from a Shock or Magma Jet, but then she'd still be at 1 loyalty, meaning you either have to waste a bunch of turns building her back up again, or you get one card draw out of her and she's already in the graveyard (not to mention a Lightning Strike will still take her out completely too). Hardly worth it for 4 mana, I'd say. 

standard should really try to reach 4 mana

 

casual players often have no planeswalkers

NO WAR

DOD replaces human label with terrorist Blood-Chin Fanatic

[mc]1rubwg[/mc]=

LXD (animation battle) - The Good,The Bad & The RA

 

Hotspur000 wrote:
If it's only for the casual players, well ... just seems like a waste of a Planeswalker.


Please explain why you have the idea that creating cards for casual players is a waste.
 

TobyornotToby wrote:

 

Hotspur000 wrote:
If it's only for the casual players, well ... just seems like a waste of a Planeswalker.


Please explain why you have the idea that creating cards for casual players is a waste.
 

 

Specifically, creating Planeswalkers for casual players. One can argue that all Planeswalkers were designed for casual formats, but some were pushed for constructed (by which he must be distinguishing "competitive") formats. Personally, this was said of Ajani, too, at 4 mana, that he was a "casual" PW ... until people included him as the top of a curve in WW: Dropping him on turn four with a series of power drops on each previous turn, using only his -1 ability, usually equals game over.

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

make Ajani a full cat not a minotuar

 

I understand the familiarity of anthropomorphism

People are also familiar with cats

NO WAR

DOD replaces human label with terrorist Blood-Chin Fanatic

[mc]1rubwg[/mc]=

LXD (animation battle) - The Good,The Bad & The RA

 

I myself am a casual player, so obviously I don't have anything against creating cards specifically for the Timmies out there.

 

But – there are only 3 PWs per set. If you're going to make one, even if it's skewed towards a more casual fan base, why not at least try to make it relevant in the current Standard environment as well? I think Ajani, for example, works well in both cases. Also remember, though, Ajani only costs white mana ... that's another problem with Kiora ... she's two-colour, which already makes things harder to cast anyway. 

 

But in Limited, and, I would imagine, most casual constructed games, Kiora can just die way too easily based on her cost and what you actually get from her. I mean, mostly all her +1 does is protect her specifically ... so that's 1 turn used only to get her up to 3 loyalty. Is that really a great way to spend 4 mana? Look at Jace, Architect of Thought ... at least with his +1, sure, it's meant as protection, but it actually affects all your opponent's creatures. It does more. And this is all on turn 4 (unless you ramped somehow before that).

 

But think if she was 1GU ... dropping her on turn 3 would make a huge difference ... that +1 wouldn't feel like it was slowing you down as much, or, on turn 3 you get a card draw and and extra land drop (which makes more sense on turn 3 because you probably have at least 2 lands still in your hand).

 

I would have no problem with her at 1GU, or at least if +1-ing her got her to 4 loyalty ... but 4 mana is too much for what you get from her.  

Hotspur000 wrote:

I would have no problem with her at 1GU, or at least if +1-ing her got her to 4 loyalty ... but 4 mana is too much for what you get from her.  

Quite a bit of this very article tries to demonstrate that their play testing showed that 4 mana isn't to much for what you get from her. At the very least, two Explore should cost about 4 mana—and these two Explores only cost one card.

"Proc" stands for "Programmed Random OCcurance". It does not even vaguely apply to anything Magic cards do. Don't use it.

Level 1 Judge as of 09/26/2013

Zammm = Batman

"Ability words are flavor text for Melvins." -- Fallingman

Astarael7 wrote:

 

Hotspur000 wrote:

I would have no problem with her at 1GU, or at least if +1-ing her got her to 4 loyalty ... but 4 mana is too much for what you get from her.  

 

Quite a bit of this very article tries to demonstrate that their play testing showed that 4 mana isn't to much for what you get from her. At the very least, two Explore should cost about 4 mana—and these two Explores only cost one card.

 

But there's no guarantee you'll have the extra lands to drop. If you're flooded, then sure, it's a good way to empty your hand, or if you get a land on the draw ... but I just think it's too inconsistant.

 

But even if they felt 2GU was fair, why start her at such a low loyalty? Why make her so vulnerable to removal even after +1-ing her?  

Hotspur000 wrote:

 

Astarael7 wrote:

 

Hotspur000 wrote:

I would have no problem with her at 1GU, or at least if +1-ing her got her to 4 loyalty ... but 4 mana is too much for what you get from her.  

 

Quite a bit of this very article tries to demonstrate that their play testing showed that 4 mana isn't to much for what you get from her. At the very least, two Explore should cost about 4 mana—and these two Explores only cost one card.

 

But there's no guarantee you'll have the extra lands to drop. If you're flooded, then sure, it's a good way to empty your hand, or if you get a land on the draw ... but I just think it's too inconsistant.

 

But even if they felt 2GU was fair, why start her at such a low loyalty? Why make her so vulnerable to removal even after +1-ing her?  

No planeswalker guarantees its continuing existence. You need other cards to do that. No planeswalker says "you can't attack me, cast spells that target me, or have damage be dealt to me." There's a planeswalker (or three) that make a specific point of referencing what happens when they are attacked, or hit. Gideon tells you to attack him. The point of these is that you cannot just drop a planeswalker and expect it to run everything. Even Jace the Wallet Sculptor didn't do this. They tried Kiora at lower cost, they tried her at higher; she plays better this way for their internal tests, and your subjective arguments against her -- the idea that only 3 mana PWs are good, which Jace the Wallet Sculptor defies, and my previous example of Ajani -- seem to be that you just want her cheaper because this will somehow mean you can't do anything else to protect her when you tap out for four.

 

And, as I said before, this may be because she is not designed to be competitive in the same mein as those PWs. She was made, mostly likely for this reason before any other, for Kiora fans, who are not few. She has abilities that work as part of a control shell, but is not a control card herself. No. She is an enabler, like all other PWs.

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

Qilong wrote:

 

Hotspur000 wrote:

 

Astarael7 wrote:

 

Hotspur000 wrote:

I would have no problem with her at 1GU, or at least if +1-ing her got her to 4 loyalty ... but 4 mana is too much for what you get from her.  

 

Quite a bit of this very article tries to demonstrate that their play testing showed that 4 mana isn't to much for what you get from her. At the very least, two Explore should cost about 4 mana—and these two Explores only cost one card.

 

But there's no guarantee you'll have the extra lands to drop. If you're flooded, then sure, it's a good way to empty your hand, or if you get a land on the draw ... but I just think it's too inconsistant.

 

But even if they felt 2GU was fair, why start her at such a low loyalty? Why make her so vulnerable to removal even after +1-ing her?  

 

No planeswalker guarantees its continuing existence. You need other cards to do that. No planeswalker says "you can't attack me, cast spells that target me, or have damage be dealt to me." There's a planeswalker (or three) that make a specific point of referencing what happens when they are attacked, or hit. Gideon tells you to attack him. The point of these is that you cannot just drop a planeswalker and expect it to run everything. Even Jace the Wallet Sculptor didn't do this. They tried Kiora at lower cost, they tried her at higher; she plays better this way for their internal tests, and your subjective arguments against her -- the idea that only 3 mana PWs are good, which Jace the Wallet Sculptor defies, and my previous example of Ajani -- seem to be that you just want her cheaper because this will somehow mean you can't do anything else to protect her when you tap out for four.

 

And, as I said before, this may be because she is not designed to be competitive in the same mein as those PWs. She was made, mostly likely for this reason before any other, for Kiora fans, who are not few. She has abilities that work as part of a control shell, but is not a control card herself. No. She is an enabler, like all other PWs.

 

Now you're just being silly. I never said, or even implied, that. 

 

I also didn't say anything about guaranteed existance ... I said there was no guarantee you'd have extra lands to drop. I regularly use Jace, Architect, Liliana, Ajani, Garruk ... they are all 4 or more, but when I cast them I know exactly what I'm getting -- either a buff to one of my creatures, or a weakening of my opponent's army, or a Swamp in my hand, or a beast token etc. And I also know that while I might lose them on my opponent's turn, there's a better chance of them surviving because they are at either 4 or 5 loyalty.

 

But with Kiora, let's say I have 1 or no lands in hand. I pay 4 for her and draw a card. I get a non-land card. So I play my one land, negating the Explore part of her ability. Or I have no lands in hand and draw a land and play it. Then my opponent Bolts/Strikes/whatevers her and she's dead. Or, I +1 her, nuturing one of my opponent's pernaments, but then he/she still direct damages her and she's dead. 

 

So I just paid 4 mana for a land drop. 

 

You could purposely only play her when you know you'll have two lands to drop, I suppose, but then still, you have to wait for the right time. 

 

All of these drawbacks (not to mention the Simic colours) still make she think she'd overcosted. I don't care if a PW is 4, 5, or 6, as long as you can play them and absolutely get the full value of whatever ability you choose to use, and they have a decent chance of surviving until the next turn. Kiora is not that.

Hotspur000 wrote:
But – there are only 3 PWs per set. If you're going to make one, even if it's skewed towards a more casual fan base, why not at least try to make it relevant in the current Standard environment as well?

 

1. We get 10 planeswalkers every year (5 in the core set, 5 every block). It's hard to make them all matter in standard, unless you want them all obviously pushed like JTMS.

2. Wizards can get it wrong. Some cards are more powerful than they expect, some are weaker. Their intention was to make Kiora playable but not overpowered, so while you can blame them for making the wrong choice, you can't say they didn't try. 

3. Players can get it wrong. Cards are under/over valued during spoiler season all the time. Only after a few weeks of games their true worth becomes known. Also, some cards only start to shine after rotation, after the previous block is out.

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