This thread is for discussion of this week's "From the Director's Chair: 2012", which goes live Wednesday morning on magicthegathering.com.
New Gideon looks like he came out of some scrubs custom card creation thread. The formatting is really awful. WotC should be ashamed. I don't want this garbage representing magic.
I don't see the problem, original had pretty much the exact same large-test ability except with 6/6 rather than x/x.
Seems awesome to me, athough you better have a token opponent or the 2nd will be useless after an ultimate.
I think the year overall was a success. I don't play upper-tier competitive (I play drafts and sealed now and then, but mostly just casual). I will say I disagree with the claim that DKA made for a more interesting draft environment... Innistrad had an amazing draft environment, so I didn't really expect DKA to make it that much better, but I also didn't think it would drag it down as much as it did. It just felt unfocused and scatterbrained. You provided lots of Tribal-ness to DKA, but there wasn't much to play off it in Innistrad, so unless you forced/got lucky with spirit tribal it just didn't pan out. Still better than Avacyn Restored though...
As far as Commander's Arsenal goes, I feel part of it's negative reaction was from the price (We all know that much cardboard doesn't cost $75) and partially from the name itself. Commander's Arsenal just sounds like it's almost something essential for playing/being successful in Commander, but then you make it an extremely limited release and it shifts it to make it feel like you want Commander to be the new Vintage in that you need this crazy rare/expensive cards to be successful (this also goes back to the price). It just seemed to clash with the spirit of Commander as a fun casual multiplayer game.
Avacyn Restored managed to sold that much by piggybacking on Innistrad and Dark Ascensions success, and the buildup they created for the 3rd set resolution of the story. But Avacyn Restored failed even THAT, as the story that was presented felt like a hastily written wrap up that left many questions and ultimately was a huge let-down. When you're being as successful as you were in 2012, a huge punt like AVR can go relatively unnoticed and not do much damage, but you really shouldn't call it a success.
Gideon is fairly sweet. Although, it is fairly redundant to give him damage prevention and he has indestructible. It truly is.
One irony about AVR is how Aaron says they "can't destroy the world every time!" but in a way, they kind of did. They drew a curtain of fine plot wrapping that completely destroyed horror plane and turned it into heaven on earth. It can certainly be returned to, and it will, but it will be very difficult to restore the plane's bleakness without a retcon or awkward cover story. I like forward to neither, despite wanting to return.
If you want to get real information about what people do and do not like about magic, go visit some card shops and ask the regular joe players you see there what they think. Talking to pro players and people that use twitter is not going to get you unbiased information. I noticed a big chunk of your "positives" are about pro play stuff, which most regular players think is a waste of WOTC money that could be used for more prizes, player rewards, ect.
Gideon, Champion of Justice - an amazing card that will be priced beyond my budget, out of the gate.
I have curiously opposite reactions to the two mentions of miracle in this article.
I'm somewhat startled to see the $40,000 Bonfire topdeck listed as part of one of the "good" list. It's literally the randomness of a coinflip, at the highest levels of Magic. And yes, every topdeck is to some extent, but Miracle just amplifies and draws attention to that. I'm mystified why people can think of this as a good thing.
...And yet, I do identify a lot with the mention of how Avacyn Restored was popular with casual crowds. I'm a casual player, not a tournament player, and I did greatly enjoy the soulbond and Angels from AVR. (On the flavour front, I'm in favour of ending a block on a positive note, but the plotline was a bit too deus-ex-machina for me as Nyktos said, so those rather cancel each other out too.)
(I also really don't care about tournaments, so I don't have any interest in points 9, 8, 7, 6 or 2. I was glad to see Aaron comment on points that might not have been mentioned by his hardcore tournament-player Twitter followers.)
As for Return to Ravnica: I enjoyed it, don't get me wrong, but it doesn't seem to have the sparkle that Ravnica had. RtR feels somehow more formulaic. Populate is great, but doesn't play at all well with all the Saprolings from Rav. Overload is fine, but not at all Johnnyriffic like I'd hope from an Izzet mechanic. (Especially as it doesn't even have the explode-in-your-face potential that's so much a part of the Izzet alchemist flavour, with the more boring all-upside wording.) Things like imprint or gating feel much more Izzet. Unleash fits Rakdos mechanically but the flavour is very dull. And RtR just doesn't seem to have that... excitement about it that the original Rav did.
Maybe it's just that Glogari and Rakdos are both boring to me, and when Izzet are disappointingly un-Johnny and Azorius don't represent what white-blue is really about , those five guilds were always going to fail to excite me. Most of my favourite guilds are coming in Gatecrash, so maybe that'll save the block for me.
Honestly, my biggest disappointment of the year, was the Commander's Arsenal quanitities. Especially, when I really only wanted it for oversized Sliver Queen, and Karn, the sleeves, and the unique life counter. On the plus side... you guys brought back RAVNICA. And, that pushes out my gripes. It was the first block that I began trying to play in Friday Night Magic tournaments, with, and other than Time Spiral, nothing else has topped my joy for that block. So, having it back, and having new cards for my favorite guilds is, awesome. I can't wait to see what else Gatecrash gives me! RtR had all of the guilds I hated. Gatecrash has all of the ones I loved!
One of the biggest disappointments that should be listed is the volume level on all the mtg videos uploaded to youtube. You have to crank your volume up to "11" just to be able to hear the dialogue. And you had better hope you remembered to turn it back down before you play an mp3 or something, lest you blow out your speakers.
It's 2013. In a world where my 3 year old son can navigate around my wife's tablet to load up and play angry birds, certainly the wotc crew is tech-savvy enough not to repeatedly run into this issue again in the upcoming year.
I think it is also important to note, in the "disappointments" section, that horrible program known as the Wizards Event Reporter. Though this does not matter to the vast majority of our players, every judge I've talked to (including myself) thinks the program is one of the worst ever designed. I'm not saying this to be insulting or degrading, but it's just how it is right now. I think the entire judging community would be thrilled if it could be improved, and it would make tournaments everywhere run more smoothly (making customer service improve) if it were made more transparent and easy to use.
I came to this thread excited about the new planeswalker and looking for other magic player's opinions on the new Gideon. Once again I leave a Magic: The Gathering thread having broken the world record for most eye rolls in less than 5 minutes.
Under the "Magic Online Issues" header, I wonder: does that include the outcry over the removal of 4-Booster Sealed and the Cube Ticket payout system, or does that just mean technical bugs? I do hope it's the former.
I'm glad to see that RtR is such a success, but I'm hoping that Wizards will still take more risks in the future; RtR is a surprsingly risk-free set, and risks are what shake up the game and make it interesting.
Good to see some recognition of the "what went wrong" stuff, as that's always going to happen, and without looking for it, the game won't improve. Just the fact that a section like this exists encourages me as a player of the game. (In particular: Pack Rat and Trigger Troubles.)
However, I really hope that this thread is also read by Aaron, as there are some further excellent responses and issues made. (In particular: Criticism of Bonfire/Miracles and further analyses of Avacyn Restored.)
Regarding Gideon: Seems pretty cool. Not quite sure he's got Wolverine's claws turned into paper measuring tape, though. Effectively the opposite of an army in a can yet still a finisher. I must admit, I'm disappointed he isn't W/R...:P
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