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By: one million words, Pete Jahn
May 24 2013 11:21am
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Hammie’s The State of the Program for May 24th

This series is an ongoing tribute to Erik “Hamtastic” Friborg.
 

In the News this Week:

Big Rules Changes Coming with M14: Wizards has announced some significant rules changes, which will go into effect in July. I’ll say that again – they will not happen until M14 arrives in mid-July. (I know I will get players at the paper PTQ asking about them this weekend.) The big news is that your Legends and Planeswalkers will not affect your opponents Planeswalkers.  This means that if you have a Jace, your opponent can also play a Jace, and both stay in play. Same for Geist of Saint Traft. If you play a duplicate of your own legend or Planewalker, one dies, but you choose which one. So, if you have a Jace, the Mind Sculptor with one counter in play and another in hand, brainstorm off the first, play the second and keep that one around. 
 
Cards that got a lot worse with this rules change: Clone. It will no longer kill your opponent’s Geist of Saint Traft or (Thrull, the Last Troll.) I’m hoping for Pyroclasm in M14, or we are going to see a ton of Geists of ST until it rotates in October.
 
Cards that got a lot better: (Gaea’s Cradle), (Serra’s Sanctum) and Mox Opal. Also Tolarian Academy if it wasn’t banned or restricted everywhere. Back in the day, you could play a legendary land, like Academy or Cradle, then tap it for mana before it died to the legend rule. Now you can play one and let the legend rule kill the old, tapped one. Elves is happy, and this may also help Affinity (sorry, Wizards – Robots.) People are also discussing whether Dark Depths and Thespian’s Stage might be a thing. Stage does not come into play with counters, so all you need is it, Dark Depths and 2 mana to get a 20/20 Marit Lage token in play.
 
I am so glad (Umezawa’s Jitte) is banned in Modern. Having two players, both with active Jittes, seems like a judge’s second worst nightmare. (Worst is a paper Eggs mirror match between slow, argumentative players.)
 
Details here and here.
 
Wizards’ explanation is summed up here: Aaron Forsythe@mtgaaron  Phantasmal Image vs. Thrun was at the forefront of this change. We want to be able to make good Clones and good legends.
 
Best reaction I’ve seen so far, from Justin Treadway@GriffnValentine I'm pretty disillusioned with Magic. R&D has had 20 freaking years to accomplish one simple goal: kill Magic. They can't even do that right.
 
But a typical, albeit punny, response among the pros seems to be: Luis Scott-Vargas@lsv The new rules are pretty legendary. I like 'em.
 
One Week Left for Dragon’s Maze Release Events: The release events will end next downtime. Some of these events will move over to the limited queues room, but triple DGM drafts will disappear. Details here.
 
Modern Masters Just Weeks Away, but the Only Spoilers are – M14?: Modern Masters will be coming to MTGO on June 14th.   No info on release events, if any, yet. However, Chris (WotC_K) responded in this forum thread about why there was no info on release events with “we like to finish one release before marketing the next.” 
 
We have very little info on what is in Modern Masters. So far, just one recent spoiler article. (Of course, MM is all reprints, so it’s not like there is anything really new to spoil.) However, Wizards has begun spoiling M14 cards – including the sad little mutants misnamed “slivers.” The rumor sites have almost 100 cards, as I write this, and the number is growing. 
 
The most interesting M14 card might be Scavenging Ooze. It is listed as a promo here. If this truly means Scavenging Ooze is in M14, it would be the first time a chase card printed in a special set (in this case, Commander) was moved into the core set. This makes sense – we have seen cards moved from Unglued to Standard legal sets (e.g. The Cheese Stands Alone became Barren Glory), so we know this can happen, but seeing it reconfirmed is nice. It will be interesting to see what other cards might make the jump. 
 
Update: Just before I was going to submit this article, Heath sent me a confidential file containing the PureMTGO spoilers for Modern Masters. They are interesting, and our do-not-publish-until date is next Friday, so expect some Modern Masters spoilers starting next week. 
 
Pack Payouts Rebalanced: Now that the prerelease is over, Wizards has modified the prize payouts so we get a more balanced mix. Standard 1v1 queues will pay out in RtR, while other queues will pay out in RTR/GTC/DGM. That should help us get our draft sets. 
 
You Make the Card Rules Text Decided: At least it should be, by the time this article goes up. The finals came down to two cards: Blood in the Watering Can and Revenge of Necromancy. Once the choice is made, we will see how the final card is costed. These could be playable, but not if they end up at 4BB.
 
Magic Online Rewards Program Promos for June Announced
 
 
My Mom taught me that if you cannot say anything good, don’t say anything at all. 
 
Moving on.
 

Opinion Section: Wizards, Can We Talk?

It appears Wizards hosted a Modern Spotlight tournament last weekend. At last, that’s what I understand from this thread. I had heard nothing about it. Apparently, it was mentioned during the Pro Tour coverage. I’m not sure if it was mentioned anywhere else.
 
Maybe I missed it.
 
Of course, a large part of each weekly article is the news section. I try to find that news all week. I read and follow at least all of these sources:
 
·        Twitter – I follow most WotC and many employees
·        Facebook
·        The mothership: http://www.wizards.com/Magic/Magazine/Default.aspx
·        The MTGO page: http://www.wizards.com/Magic/Digital/MagicOnline.aspx?x=mtg/digital/magiconline/whatshappening
·        The WotC blog: http://community.wizards.com/magiconline
·        The Wizards forums: http://community.wizards.com/go/browse/forums
·        Reddit
·        Independent websites, including SCG, TCGPlayer, Channel Fireball, MTGO Academy, MTG Salvation, etc. etc. Many of these sites have a breaking news section or box. 
·        Various discussion forums and blogs.
·        The MTGO home page.
·        I also watch Pro Tour and GP coverage, when I can.
 
And I still missed information on a Modern Spotlight I probably would have played in, had I know. I definitely would have included it in my news round-up last week. Maybe Wizards didn’t want the turnout to be too high.
 
I actually approve of Wizards being all cool and edgy by using social media and other non-traditional means of communicating with their customer base. That’s great. The more ways they can find to get their message out, the better. It’s cool that Wizards responds to people in the forums, and that they put information into the Twittersphere.
 
But there’s a problem. 
 
A month or two ago, we hosted a symposium on broadband in Wisconsin. Starting months before that, we spent a lot of time discussing the methods we could use in spreading the word about the symposium. We talked about the following: 
·        Twitter
·        A page on the PSCW website, with a link from the “hot topics” list on the home page
·        Emails to all interested parties we could identify
·        Press releases
·        Letters to municipal and local governments
·        Shipping blurbs to industry, education community action and similar groups, to have them distribute it to their email networks
·        Facebook
·        Inserting a listing on the PSCW events calendar
 
We discussed the pros and cons of each of the above. In the end, you know which one we chose to carry our message? All of them.
 
ALL OF THEM. Because that is how you make sure as many people as possible hear about it. 
 
We could have stood on the roof of our building with an Aldis lamp, pointed it north and flashed out our message. Then anyone who reads Morse and happened to in the right place, looking the right way, could have found out about our symposium. Of course, anyone who was inside at that time, or outside of visual range, or who didn’t read Morse Code would have missed the announcement – which is why we didn’t limit our announcement to just that one method. (And, of course, we don’t have an Aldis lamp.)
 
Yes, the Aldis lamp example is  ridiculous, but so is posting an announcement of a change in policy in post 176 in a forum thread. In that thread – and nowhere else. Seriously, is the number of people who read Morse Code in Wisconsin greater or less than the number of people that read that far into the threads on the WotC forums? Given how hard it is to navigate that website, I’m betting on Morse Code readers.
 
Wizards, we all like a challenge, but the challenges we prefer are logic puzzles and complex interactions – the kind of things that Magic provides. Most of us are not that big on hide and seek. We especially don’t like to hide and seek with news and announcements, when we aren’t even told that something has been hidden.
 
Can we have a bit more communications, please.     
 

Videos of the Week:

I have wanted to make videos featuring Shiny (the new client) for months – since last November, at least. I wanted to help Wizards out, and get people ready for the transition.   However, Shiny kept throwing fits whenever I tried to create a deck. I did one or two drafts on it, and played casually on occasion, but I had a ton of problems. 
 
This week, however, two things changed. First, I had a day off (technically, I took the day off to get the crops in, but it rained heavily. Can’t plant in the mud.) More importantly, I got Shiny working, at least mostly. Drafts worked, so I drafted. 
 
I had a number of DGM packs left over from the prerelease and release events, and I need DGM cards for constructed, so I have been drafting triple DGM. My results have been mixed. Decks I thought were good lost unexpectedly, and decks I was pretty down on won out. Moreover, the format is evolving. A much higher percentage of the people playing – at least during the day on weekdays – know what they are doing.    
 
I uploaded a bunch of videos to YouTube. But here are two drafts for your enjoyment. 
 
Draft 2 video: I like the Moas!
 

 
But it played out – well, not so well. Sorry about the pause in the middle. I meant to edit these videos, but ran out of time. 
 

 
Here’s another draft. I was a bit more focused here. This was the last draft I had time for. The weather was breaking, and I was almost able to get outside. I figured I had enough time to play a round,  or maybe two.   Sorry about the lack of audio on this one.  YouTube muted it, apparently because some background music was audible & copyrighted.  I'll have to see if I can do anything about that.
 

 
This draft went better. I opened a few more good cards. I was still really afraid of the guildgate deck. Spike Jesters don’t like 2/4s. 
 

 

 

 
This draft went a bit better.
 
Note that I played all these drafts in the new client. Shiny does drafts well. However, I also recorded a segment where I tried to import a Standard deck into the editor. I ranted a bit. The program hung, lagged and eventually crashed. Worse yet, it would not admit that I owned the cards for the deck I have been playing on the old client for weeks. I own M10 Acidic Slimes, and Ravnica shocklands, but since the editor decided that the deck was standard, none of those cards showed up as legal. The only Restoration Angels Shiny would let me search for are the promo versions, and I could not find any way of searching for or adding my regular Restos, nor any of my non-promo Farseeks. After messing with the filters, unsuccessfully, for 5-10 minutes, the program crashed. 
 
Shiny is fine for drafters, but for anything else, in my experience, it still stinks.    
 

Cutting Edge Tech: 

Standard:  TCGPlayer sponsored Spring States  nationwide. You can see all of the decklists here. I was head judge of the Wisconsin States, where I watched a Jund Midrange mirror match. Here’s the winning deck.
 
  
Return to Ravnica Block: We had a Pro Tour in the format last weekend. A lot of UW control decks, but when the dust cleared, Craig Wescoe piloted a GW aggro deck to the win. Coverage is here, and Flores reviews the Top 8 here. Look for Craigs decklist online soon – assuming anyone can afford the Voice of Resurgences.
 
GW Aggro
Craig Wescoe, Winner, Pro Tour Dragon's Maze
Creatures
4 Dryad Militant
4 Experiment One
4 Judge's Familiar
4 Loxodon Smiter
16 cards

Other Spells
4 Voice of Resurgence
4 Advent of the Wurm
4 Call of the Conclave
1 Civic Saber
4 Rootborn Defenses
4 Selesnya Charm
13 cards
 
Lands
9 Forest
9 Plains
1 Selesnya Guildgate
4 Temple Garden
23 cards

Civic Saber
 
Modern: We had a pair of Modern Spotlight events last weekend. The winner from the first event was MeliraPod. Same ole, same ole. The second place deck was Jund splashing white for Lingering Souls. We haven’t seen that before – well, not over 100 times. Third place was a Daybreak Coronet build. Fourth place was a blue Urzatron deck with Academy Ruins. That is at least somewhat new. Here it is.
 
Mono Blue Urzatron
THE_WURM_91, Fourth Place, Modern Spotlight #5434713 on 05/20/2013
Creatures
3 Solemn Simulacrum
1 Sundering Titan
4 Treasure Mage
2 Wurmcoil Engine
10 cards

Other Spells
4 Condescend
4 Expedition Map
1 Karn Liberated
2 Mindslaver
4 Remand
4 Repeal
1 Spell Burst
3 Talisman of Dominance
4 Thirst for Knowledge
27 cards
 
Lands
1 Academy Ruins
9 Island
1 Tectonic Edge
4 Urza's Mine
4 Urza's Power Plant
4 Urza's Tower
23 cards

Mindslaver
 
Legacy:  StarCityGames had another Legacy Open last weekend. The first and second place decks were both Esper DeathBlade. Guess I’ll feature that. Go Notion Thief!
 
 
 

Card Prices:  

Notes: All my prices come from MTGOTraders.com. For cards that are available in multiple sets, I am quoting the most recent set’s price. Thus, the price I’m quoting for Garruk Relentless is from M13. These cards are also available from the MTGOTraders Bots,  so check out mtgotradersbot, mtgotradersbot2,mtgotradersbot3, mtgotradersbot4, mtgotradersbot5, CardCaddy and CardWareHouse. These Bots often have the cards in stock even when the online store shows as out. Now, on to prices.
 
Standard prices are generally falling. The one big winner is Voice of Resurgence. Everything else is in a spring slump. This happens most every year. My guess is that the college students are ending their years – and running out of money. I know that my budget was stretched every spring, until I could replenish it over the summer. I doubt that has changed all that much.
 

Standard & Block Cards
Price
Last Week
Change
% Change
$35.26
$28.14
$7.12
25%
$9.75
$15.12
($5.37)
-36%
$8.62
$8.05
$0.57
7%
$4.53
$6.31
($1.78)
-28%
$39.58
$39.77
($0.19)
0%
$32.79
$32.99
($0.20)
-1%
$10.76
$11.94
($1.18)
-10%
$23.42
$26.99
($3.57)
-13%
$8.88
$11.10
($2.22)
-20%
$18.15
$17.98
$0.17
1%
$13.47
$13.13
$0.34
3%
$15.12
$14.58
$0.54
4%
$14.13
$16.94
($2.81)
-17%
$15.07
$14.68
$0.39
3%
$13.47
$17.41
($3.94)
-23%
$18.05
$20.76
($2.71)
-13%
$13.49
$14.61
($1.12)
-8%
$28.95
$32.46
($3.51)
-11%
$6.80
$6.23
$0.57
9%
$6.08
$6.93
($0.85)
-12%
$8.06
$9.30
($1.24)
-13%
$5.82
$6.21
($0.39)
-6%
$13.10
$13.28
($0.18)
-1%
$16.70
$17.52
($0.82)
-5%
$6.06
$5.25
$0.81
15%
$14.13
$13.55
$0.58
4%
$7.45
$8.72
($1.27)
-15%
$14.40
$15.79
($1.39)
-9%
$12.35
$13.35
($1.00)
-7%

Modern prices are falling this week as well, pretty much across the board. The bumps are Scapeshift and THoughtseize. In short, not a lot is happening.
 

Modern Cards
Price
Last Week
Change
% Change
$57.85
$60.76
($2.91)
-5%
$23.69
$24.52
($0.83)
-3%
$9.31
$10.26
($0.95)
-9%
$13.54
$14.67
($1.13)
-8%
$10.50
$10.82
($0.32)
-3%
$17.12
$17.12
$0.00
0%
$20.09
$21.55
($1.46)
-7%
$17.31
$15.66
$1.65
11%
$15.29
$16.13
($0.84)
-5%
$16.45
$19.32
($2.87)
-15%
$19.51
$18.22
$1.29
7%
$10.96
$11.91
($0.95)
-8%
Emrakul, the Aeons Torn
$14.64
$15.40
($0.76)
-5%
$12.57
$14.57
($2.00)
-14%
$5.81
$5.81
$0.00
0%
$3.97
$3.97
$0.00
0%
$8.10
$8.10
$0.00
0%
$25.87
$25.87
$0.00
0%
$9.97
$10.39
($0.42)
-4%
$27.73
$27.73
$0.00
0%
$9.98
$11.10
($1.12)
-10%
$14.65
$15.07
($0.42)
-3%
$28.33
$28.33
$0.00
0%
$9.98
$7.93
$2.05
26%
$6.46
$7.86
($1.40)
-18%
$9.57
$9.87
($0.30)
-3%
$5.23
$5.50
($0.27)
-5%

Legacy and Classic are pretty stable. Gaea’s Cradle is up, probably in anticipation of the changes in the Legend rule. Force of Will has dipped, probably because speculators are selling. 
 

Legacy / Classic Cards
Price
Last Week
Change
% Change
$134.94
$134.94
$0.00
0%
$98.40
$101.00
($2.60)
-3%
Vampiric Tutor
$31.45
$32.08
($0.63)
-2%
$37.83
$39.97
($2.14)
-5%
$55.38
$57.33
($1.95)
-3%
$61.27
$61.73
($0.46)
-1%
$21.59
$22.69
($1.10)
-5%
$31.99
$31.99
$0.00
0%
$25.14
$25.14
$0.00
0%
$18.63
$18.63
$0.00
0%
$63.67
$63.67
$0.00
0%
$12.53
$12.53
$0.00
0%
$16.43
$16.43
$0.00
0%
$21.64
$21.64
$0.00
0%
$14.19
$14.19
$0.00
0%
$46.26
$43.19
$3.07
7%
$25.93
$25.93
$0.00
0%
$24.55
$24.55
$0.00
0%
$15.76
$15.76
$0.00
0%
$45.84
$45.84
$0.00
0%
$21.80
$21.80
$0.00
0%
$75.94
$75.94
$0.00
0%
$48.37
$45.33
$3.04
7%
$10.42
$11.00
($0.58)
-5%
$16.75
$16.75
$0.00
0%
$8.60
$8.60
$0.00
0%

Pauper prices – at least some of them – fell pretty hard this week. With such huge swings, I think prices in this format may be driven by speculators.
 

Pauper Cards
Price
Last Week
Change
% Change
$4.44
$4.44
$0.00
0%
$2.70
$4.04
($1.34)
-33%
$0.99
$1.42
($0.43)
-30%
$6.25
$5.91
$0.34
6%
$1.86
$2.71
($0.85)
-31%
$5.45
$8.14
($2.69)
-33%
$1.79
$3.40
($1.61)
-47%
$11.41
$11.41
$0.00
0%
$1.55
$1.38
$0.17
12%
$4.78
$4.78
$0.00
0%
$7.30
$8.22
($0.92)
-11%
$3.16
$3.56
($0.40)
-11%
$2.86
$4.16
($1.30)
-31%
$2.36
$2.07
$0.29
14%
$1.90
$3.06
($1.16)
-38%
$3.77
$3.43
$0.34
10%
$4.97
$4.97
$0.00
0%
$2.61
$2.69
($0.08)
-3%
$6.34
$6.48
($0.14)
-2%
$2.11
$2.20
($0.09)
-4%
$0.36
$0.78
($0.42)
-54%
$1.97
$2.07
($0.10)
-5%
$2.44
$2.44
$0.00
0%
$2.54
$2.63
($0.09)
-3%

 

The Good Stuff:

The Good Stuff starts with a list of the non-foil, non-premium cards on MTGO that cost more than $25 each. This week, Voice of Resurgence climbed a bit, but Force of Will fell back below $100 each.   
 

Card
Rarity
Set
Price
Lion's Eye Diamond
R
MI
 $ 134.94
Force of Will
R
MED
 $    98.40
Rishadan Port
R
MM
 $    75.94
Show and Tell
R
UZ
 $    63.67
Wasteland
U
TE
 $    61.27
Tarmogoyf
R
FUT
 $    57.85
Jace, the Mind Sculptor
M
WWK
 $    55.38
Misdirection
R
MM
 $    48.37
Gaea's Cradle
R
UZ
 $    46.26
Tangle Wire
R
NE
 $    45.84
Underground Sea
R
ME4
 $    39.97
Liliana of the Veil
M
ISD
 $    39.58
Underground Sea
R
ME2
 $    37.83
Voice of Resurgence
M
DGM
 $    35.26
Geist of Saint Traft
M
ISD
 $    32.79
Vindicate
R
AP
 $    31.99
Vampiric Tutor
R
VI
 $    31.45
Sphinx's Revelation
M
RTR
 $    28.95
Karn Liberated
M
NPH
 $    28.33
Mox Opal
M
SOM
 $    27.73
City of Traitors
R
EX
 $    25.93
Tropical Island
R
ME3
 $    25.92
Batterskull
M
NPH
 $    25.87
Tropical Island
R
ME4
 $    25.80
Tundra
R
ME4
 $    25.55
Bayou
R
ME3
 $    25.26
Natural Order
R
VI
 $    25.14

The big number is the retail price of a playset (4 copies) of every non-foil card available on MTGO.  Assuming you bought the least expensive version available, the cost of owning a playset of every card on MTGO you can own is $22,642.  That is down about $600 from last week. Dragon’s Maze prizes seem to be stabilizing.
 

Weekly Highlights:

Two highlights this week. Wisconsin States was fun. I had a good staff of judges and a great scorekeeper, and the event ran really smoothly. I even got to work with some judge candidates during the slow parts. (As Head Judge, if your staff is good, you get some time where all you really have to do is watch them work.)
 
I also got time to play in half a dozen drafts during the last week. That’s far more than I usually get to do, and I enjoyed them all. 
 
PRJ
 
“one million words” on MTGO.
 

 

52 Comments

Great article by Lagrange at Fri, 05/24/2013 - 11:34
Lagrange's picture
5

Once again; very nice article.

I like the structure and I like your writing style. I even like that I sometimes disagree with you, but it is always your own opinion in the opinion section

Im looking forward to next weeks article!

From a purely selfish by Leviathan at Fri, 05/24/2013 - 11:44
Leviathan's picture

From a purely selfish standpoint I'm not a fan of the legendary rule change. From a flavor perspective, legends are supposed to be iconic, and it makes sense that only one of them is on the battlefield at any time. From a game play perspective, being able to deal with legendary (and usually high powered) permanents by casting your own was an elegant form of removal. And it prevented things like having multiple copies of nutty stuff like Gaea's Cradle on the board at any one time.

What concerns me more, however, is that it appears that the main 2 reasons for making the change are 1) lack of design space, and 2) dumbing down the game.

There were more than a couple quotes similar to Forsythe's above (we want Thrun to be cooler, we can't print Faith's Fetters variants anymore, etc.) Are you freaking kidding me?!!?? With all the vast brainpower at R&D you can't think up creative ways around this problem implementing the rules we already have? I know that coming up with 5 or 6 new sets a year is taxing, but people, come on. I'm sure there's a way around this without significantly changing the rules.

As for 2), I understand that WotC is mainly concerned with new player acquisition, and slightly less concerned with player retention. But it seems like they've worked hard at getting rid of everything that new players find "icky." No more land destruction, less counterspells. Turning MTGO into DotP II. Printing a crap ton of new legends for Commander. But at some point you just gotta stop catering to the lowest common denominator. When I started playing, targeted land destruction was a real thing, and I know there are a lot of other players out there who experienced the same thing. And yet we didn't run away screaming. Basically removing every draw back from the game makes it less interesting to play. End rant.

It may just be me, but I miss by JXClaytor at Fri, 05/24/2013 - 11:51
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It may just be me, but I miss the days of turn one slith firewalker off of a chrome mox into a turn two stone rain.

Mirrodin limited was so fun! by xger at Fri, 05/24/2013 - 12:55
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Mirrodin limited was so fun! (I'm serious by the way, I loved Mirrodin limited. Especially Mesmeric Orb (yes in limited))

In reply to the first poster: I really don't get how this change "dumbs down" the game. I've yet to see someone articulate how it actually dumbs the game down. Really it is just people complaining for the sake of complaining. It goes at the end of a very long list of changes WotC has made that would just kill the game (most recently double-faced cards and infect). The response that was highlighted in the article really sums it up the best: despite years of trying R&D has yet to accomplish killing the game.

Maybe "dumb's down" isn't the by Leviathan at Fri, 05/24/2013 - 13:27
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Maybe "dumb's down" isn't the best way to describe what I was saying. It's probably more of "removing everything 'bad' is super annoying, and pandering to the lowest common denominator doesn't make the game better." What's the point of this move, really? Increasing design space and player acquisition/retention, right? I thought I covered both of those in my first post.

I'm not saying that they're killing the game. This isn't a change that is going to make me throw my digital cards in the digital trash can to never come back again. But they're removing additional nuance and complexity in the game that doesn't need to have removed. And it has a pretty large effect on the only format I play now (Commander in case you were curious). So I felt like saying something.

I've been playing this game since revised. This is the first time I've ever complained about anything that Wizards has done I think. Not that it matters, it's a done deal. But I don't mind pointing out how I feel.

I think we need to remember by Paul Leicht at Fri, 05/24/2013 - 15:47
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I think we need to remember when WOTC does things like this, part of the reason is to troll the players. I don't mean in a malicious sense. But they have stated in the past that they enjoy shaking up the status quo in ways that may make some people outraged and others joyful. Another part is that they have stated they feel the need for changes on a philosophical level. If the game never changes in any fundamental way it stagnates. These are the reasons I would attribute to the changes.

I don't think this change is all that important really other than bonusing the owners of St Traft (woe is me for not having the $$$ for him) and perhaps making some junk rares slightly less junky.

While I agree that the flavor of this sucks (as did mana burn going away) it isn't all that amazingly bad or good. As for nuance, I imagine they feel the game has plenty to spare that they can nudge things in the direction they want without spoiling things. Even if the effect is Bull >> China shop.

I'm all for shaking up by Kumagoro42 at Sat, 05/25/2013 - 04:40
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I'm all for shaking up things. Not a big fan of adding power to power while doing so, though. I believe the general rules of thumb in case of big, more or less groundbreaking changes should be as follows:

1) if the change makes previously weak cards stronger, it's okay
2) if the change makes previously strong cards weaker, it's okay
3) if the change makes previously strong cards stronger, it's NOT okay

The new Legend Rule is solidly Type 3, and I see a contradiction with this and the alleged interest in lessening the frustration of new players. Planeswalkers and especially Legendary Mythics like Geist of Saint Traft are going to see their prices in the secondary market levitate more and more. How is that a good thing for new players who want to try their hands at Standard or Modern Constructed? (Not even pretending that the access to Legacy is a concern at all here, since this is the kind of move that seems to actively work against that).

Bottom line: maybe next time let's shake up things by trolling the lazy players with money cards, not the other way around.

I disagree by one million words at Sat, 05/25/2013 - 07:37
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The change makes Clone weaker, but blue is not supposed to have a way to destroy permanents. Bounce, yes. Counter, yes. But Vindicate an opposing permanent, even one with Shroud, no. That's out of flavor for U.

The clearest example of why Clone should not have acted in this manner was the interaction of clone and Thrun, the Last Troll. Thrun was built to be be green's answer to blue control. It could not be bounced, and it regenerated through Day of Judgement. However, blue could kill it for just 1U. That is just wrong.

Does the change make Hexproof better. Yes. Does that mean that we are "dumbing diwn the game?" No. Blue lost one out of flavor power. It will now have to find other options. Maybe decks need to play Glaring Spotlight, or Wrath, or Pyroclasm effects, or soemthing like Meekstone or Propaganda, or Ensnaring Bridge. Blue lost one trump that killed opponents cards every time, without recourse, in a way that blue shouldn't be able to do. Now it has to struggle to do the same thing, in the same ways eery other color does. That is not dumbing down the game. That is resetting the balance.

This hardly makes clone bad. It is still thragtusk or Angel of Serenity or Acidic Slime or Restoration Angel for 3U (or 2BU for Evil Twin) - and you can still reset it with cloudshift or Resto Angel. Why isn't that enough?

As I said, this isn't really by Leviathan at Sun, 05/26/2013 - 23:06
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As I said, this isn't really "dumbing down the game" despite incorrectly calling that in the beginning. And it isn't really about accidentally giving Blue a form of removal. It's about reducing the complexity of the game to satisfy and acquire players, despite the fact that the game has been able to do both at a good pace recently.

Blue doesn't need to be better, and admittedly this does hurt Blue a little. But what did they expect when the printed Phantasmal Image? A 2 mana clone is going to create issues. And now they think it should be able to do exactly what they designed it to do? The card was created when the current rules were made, they had to have considered its effect on various legends. To me, if they didn't like that Image could get rid of legends, they should have either 1) printed another card, or 2) worked around it (essentially the same as 1)). They're R&D, they have a lot of leeway when it comes to printing stuff. I'm fine with Blue getting the shaft here tho. It's the idea have having 2 different Avacyn's on the battlefield that makes me really annoyed.

"The change makes Clone by LOurs at Mon, 05/27/2013 - 05:38
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"The change makes Clone weaker, but blue is not supposed to have a way to destroy permanents. Bounce, yes. Counter, yes. But Vindicate an opposing permanent, even one with Shroud, no. That's out of flavor for U."

Well I agree according to color pie. But sometime, the color pie isnt the rule : the recent release of Colossal Whale in example (m14), provides to a blue creature a kinda "parallax wave" (sure, parallax is much better for many reason, but the effect amazingly looks like in what it does). And even if the whale would probably remain a detail (the card is pretty weak, probably never see play), its effect is very weird toward color pie rules ...

PS : once again gg for your series I read every week for years now.

The thought occurs that Clone by AJ_Impy at Tue, 05/28/2013 - 07:04
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The thought occurs that Clone effects are NOT weaker. 'I now have a GosT/Thrun/Lady of the Mountain for 1U.' The net effect of parity is the same.

Nuance and complexity by Felorin at Sat, 05/25/2013 - 14:11
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I can't see a control matchup as "losing nuance and complexity" when you go from "I play my Jace, I activate one ability once" and "Ok, I play my Jace, and now we both have an empty board and lands" to "I play my Jace, you play your Jace, we both get a total of 12 activations of abilities over the next 6 turns". THAT is a more complex mirror match!

I share your general feelings by Kumagoro42 at Sat, 05/25/2013 - 04:29
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@Leviathan: I share your general feelings — I also had the definite impression that this move was to make new players think less. I don't buy the necessity of design space, because I can't see one being opened here (as MaRo always says, it's the constraints that generate ideas, not the absence of them: working around the Legend Rule created nice cards like Sakashima and Lazav — whose very recent creation has me really perplexed about who actually thought of this change, and when).
Also, what kind of design space does the reworking of the sideboard open? That's just to avoid players thinking too much between games, simple as that.

This said, I have to strongly disagree on your assessment of what seems to go for "ye good days of olde" when there was land destruction galore, and similar things. Those were NOT fun times. And especially not HEALTHY times for the game. We put up with them, but that was pretty much the opposite extreme of what we're lamenting today. And you can't fight one extreme (the alleged "dumbing down") with the other (the proliferation of frustrating game states. And by the way, there's really nothing smart in casting Dark Ritual into Sinkhole turn 1).

I'd like for a more widespread intellectual honesty about the early days of Magic: kudos to Garfield for the idea, but the practical elements of that game, especially after the first few expansions came out, and in light of a more serious, competitive panorama, were just badly designed. They fixed it in the following years (otherwise, arguably, the game would have ceased to exist long ago, let alone going strong into its 20th year.) I'm grateful for that, I would never want to come back. I'm first generation, and yet I'm glad we lost the P9 pretty fast, because, let's face it once and for all: they weren't just powerful, they were WRONG. As in, "We've made a huge mistake". Playing with them is like when you insert a cheat code to get infinite ammo in a shooter. You maybe have fun, but you can't say you're intellectually stimulated. Indeed, Black Lotus is possibly the dumbest design ever.

Sideboard improvement by Felorin at Sat, 05/25/2013 - 14:18
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Reworking the sideboard changes all those instance of "Oops I have 61. Judge! Ok we don't even get to play that game, move on to game 3" or worse "Let's sign the match slip now", replacing them with "Let's draw cards and play spells and have a game of magic for the next 5-20 minutes" which I think is an experience that involves more thinking, more fun, and less sitting there moping that something brief, boring and bad happened because of a little carelessness or clumsiness.

I don't see how increasing options like "I'll sideboard up to 65 against mill" or other unusual configurations means LESS thinking between games. MORE options means more thinking, not less. There's less "mindless counting to make sure I didn't screw myself over", I don't see how THAT one particular piece of "thinking" makes the game better or more fun. And you can replace that time with a little more time thinking about, oh I don't know, sideboarding strategy?

Seriously, how do you get "less thinking" out of this change? I don't see it.

It is less thinking because by Kumagoro42 at Sat, 05/25/2013 - 16:26
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It is less thinking because it gives you the option to NOT think/agonize/strategize about which card your last hate card has to replace, you can just put it as a 61st and call it a day (I know I will do just that). It gives you the option to shrug it off a difficult choice.
Again, more options doesn't necessarily equal more thinking, if you can immediately identify the option that trumps all the other options.

So the new change gives you by Psychobabble at Mon, 05/27/2013 - 01:40
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So the new change gives you you the choice of:

A) making the hard, but technically optimal, decision to cut back to 60.

B) making an easier, but strictly worse in almost all situations (ie. barring mill), to go above 61.

It sounds like this is adding more complexity and skill to the game. You give people an "easy but wrong" way, some will take it but you've actually just made the game more skill based and complex by doing that, rather than just forcing everyone into the technically correct decision.

As someone who plays Birthing by KaraZorEl at Mon, 05/27/2013 - 12:57
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As someone who plays Birthing Pod in Modern, I have no problem going with a main deck of 61 cards. I like having the extra spot there in case I need another option from the sideboard.

Additionally, the new rule encourages more transformative sideboards. You can put different colored lands in your deck to go up to 75, which usually isn't a problem if you have a lot of draw excel (ie, a Sphinx's Revelation deck that draws 40 cards in one game).

I dunno, I had a lot of fun by Leviathan at Sun, 05/26/2013 - 23:12
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I dunno, I had a lot of fun in the early days that I played, with Armageddons and Stone Rains running around. Yes, the early days of Magic weren't perfect, and there were a lot of goofy cards. But there was everything from Lightning Bolt decks to "The Deck" running around. I'm not saying that land destruction strategies were perfect back then. I lost to them, and won against them. But they were another nuance of the game that you had to plan around, another layer of complexity you had to consider. They figured out that rarity wasn't going to keep the power 9 in check pretty quickly and restricted them. Even still, there was a wide variety of decks running around out there. I'm just saying that getting rid of all this stuff is really frustrating. Maybe I'm an old man telling the kids to get off my lawn, but I'm willing to admit it and say that I don't like this change.

Commander's Awesome by Felorin at Sat, 05/25/2013 - 14:08
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Commander is not part of "the lowest common denominator". Whoever that is, they're probably not playing commander much, if at all. And commander is considered by some (including me) to be "the most awesome and fun format". It certainly sees complex and unusual interactions happen a fair amount.

So I can't see "printing a crap ton of new legends for commander" as part of "catering to the lowest common denominator" in any way. More like "a good idea, thank you Wizards". I don't see it harming standard or modern in any way, it's just a good thing.

Printing all these legends by Leviathan at Sun, 05/26/2013 - 23:17
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Printing all these legends seems to be a cash grab to me. That's part of why I threw it in the group that I did. Something's popular, and we can make a profit off it? Great, let's print more! Admittedly this example is poor since the original Ravnica block had a whole ton of legends. But I can't shake the feeling that a lot of the legendary creatures printed recently are done so specifically to work as Commanders. I dunno, maybe it's just me reaching at straws. I'm willing to admit I was incorrect on this one, despite what my gut tells me.

You forgot on your list of by xger at Fri, 05/24/2013 - 12:58
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You forgot on your list of sources the 3 tumblr blogs: Maro's, Dougs (for creative), and the rules one (I think by Tabak). At least on Maro's and Doug's there was a lot of recent responses to the legendary questions; so having read both the change didn't surprise me.

Changes... by Fred1160 at Fri, 05/24/2013 - 13:20
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By changing the way Clone effects work they just made hexproof a LOT better.
One advantage to running Jitte was that you could deal with the other guy's Jitte if he had one.
The announcement, to me at least, sounded like they were saying, "The problem's too hard for us to figure out! We gave up and changed the rules."

I'm really impatient about by kelvinmai at Fri, 05/24/2013 - 20:06
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I'm really impatient about the modern masters information. I doubt that I'm going to be able to draft it in paper because of the availability, so I want to know info about the mtgo version. At least I have a date now: June 14th.

New rules... oh boy. by PatrykG at Sat, 05/25/2013 - 12:03
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5

@Kumagoro42 - I have to emphatically agree with you on the whole "old times are not necessarily good times" - I too have been around since Alpha/Beta/Unlimited/Revised, and it was definitely not all fun. Sure, Force of Nature was a great card at the time, but Moxes, Black Lotus and the rest of the P9 do NOT for a fun game make. God knows the amount of horrifying game states that can be created with nine little cards... so I concur on that.

However, I agree with Leviathan that the legend rule is going to completely upturn my favorite format, Commander. I mean, what's the point of Sakashima now? She copies Legends but doesn't die... but so does ANY clone now. And Lazav... he's actually LESS than a clone now, because he can become a copy of an opponent's Legend... and so can any clone now. There is no no reason for the line "except that his name stays Lazav". Unless, of course, your opponent happens to have the same legend in play as you do and then it dies, and you copy it, I guess. Clearly NOT as powerful as it used to be, and definitely a much weaker general overall.

I will admit I AM going to enjoy mirror matches again - I liked the whole "commander isn't really a legend" mindset from the old days, so I guess in a way it's going to be different in a completely new way and I'll just have to see.

@PatrykG - Like I said, it's by Kumagoro42 at Sat, 05/25/2013 - 12:51
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@PatrykG - Like I said, it's baffling that they undid Lazav after so little time since its creation, it makes you think when this change was decided since they work several years in advance of releases, so M14 was conceived right after Gatecrash anyway.
But a few cards being lost in a change isn't the issue (we ENTIRELY lost Mirror Gallery too, for instance).

Re: Commander. Wasn't there already a rule (that maybe we never got online?) about commanders with the same name co-existing on the battlefield? Of course, now it's true of all the other legends as well.

(By the way, background check says Sakashima is actually male :)

Mirror Gallery totally lets by Felorin at Sat, 05/25/2013 - 14:27
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Mirror Gallery totally lets you keep 3 copies of the same legend in play, like before. Or 8. A deck of 20 hondens with Mirror Gallery can get way crazier than one without Mirror Gallery, that hasn't changed.

The original "I did it evenings and weekends, can we push it live?" implementation of Commander for Magic Online was the ONLY version that let rival commanders ignore the legend rule, paper Commander/EDH never had any such rule and you were expected to "negotiate" which decks to play so no two players matched. The nice Online variant was a concession to the fact that the matchmaking for games online makes it impractical to discuss commander choices up front. When they modified the online version to more closely reflect the paper version, they made the commanders legend each other out like in paper commander, which made me a little sad. Now we will have "You can always play your commander no matter what other people brought", which I think is a BIG improvement for Commander. Losing a little value on Sakashima and Lazav (really Sakashima just stops being "better than other clones" and other clones got "as good as him", he still does that stuff he USED to do) seems pretty minor, it's only two cards.

Overall, I think both aspects of this change cause the game of Magic to have less "There's one or more cards stuck in my hand I can't usefully play" situations, and more "I can play this card and do something beneficial to me" situations instead. That's generally less Frustration and more Fun, which should be the goal here. I like the change.

Yeah, I don't really know why by Kumagoro42 at Sat, 05/25/2013 - 16:10
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Yeah, I don't really know why I was counting Mirror Gallery out. :)

The new legend rule. It's by greyes3 at Sat, 05/25/2013 - 18:05
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The new legend rule. It's crap. That is all.

The new legend rule is fine by KaraZorEl at Sat, 05/25/2013 - 18:57
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The new legend rule is fine for creatures. I just wish they would have left planeswalkers out of it. Going ultimate with Taimyo leaving her at 1, then casting another Tamiyo and putting the original Tamiyo back in your hand while the second gets to freeze a permanent or draw cards? Not so fun.

Additionally, Scavenger Ooze is going to dominate standard for the next year. But I'm sure you all know that.

If you ultimate tamio and by Psychobabble at Sat, 05/25/2013 - 19:30
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If you ultimate tamio and manage to leave her at 1, you deserve to win the game :). You were also probably going to win the game regardless of the new planeswalker rule, and in fact could have done a play almost as powerful by just ulting tamio the previous turn. The redundant tamio in hand doesn't really add much to your position there...

The same argument can be made by KaraZorEl at Sun, 05/26/2013 - 13:07
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The same argument can be made with a lot of different planeswalkers...

Turn 3: Cast Liliana of the Veil, +1, everyone discards a card
Turn 4: Liliana goes -2, target player sacrifices a creature. Cast Liliana of the Veil, ditch the one from last turn. Activate -2, target player sacrifices a creature.
Turn 5: +1 to Liliana, each player discards a card.

In three turns, you have caused an opponent to discard two cards and sacrifice two creatures. That's very hard to come back from.

Turn 2: Have a creature in play.
Turn 3: Cast Ajani, Caller of the Pride. Use his +1 ability to put a counter on target creature.
Turn 4: Ajani goes -3 to give that creature flying and double strike. Cast Ajani, Caller of the Pride. Ditch the old one. New Ajani goes +1 to put a counter on that creature. You now have a 4/4 double striker with flying.
Turn 5: Ajani goes -3 to give the same creature flying and double strike again.

You have dealt 16 damage to an opponent as a result of the new legends rule.

With Garruk Relentless, it might look like this:

Turn 4: Resolve Garruk Relentless. He deals 3 damage to target creature. He then flips to his other side.
Turn 5: Garruk the Veil-Cursed makes a 1/1 Wolf with Deathtouch. Cast Garruk Relentless, then ditch the transformed one. Garruk Relentless deals 3 damage to target creature. He then flips into Garruk, the Veil Cursed.

In two turns, you have had three effects on the game state:
-3 damage to a creature (twice)
-Put a 1/1 wolf token in play.

These scenarios get even sillier given that Obzedat's Aid will return a planeswalker from your graveyard to play.

Because the Tamiyo situation by oraymw at Sun, 05/26/2013 - 11:52
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Because the Tamiyo situation is so much less of a blowout under the rules as they are now...

DOes anybody know if Modern by smack8001 at Mon, 05/27/2013 - 10:06
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DOes anybody know if Modern Masters will be redeemable?

No, Modern Masters won't be by romellos at Mon, 05/27/2013 - 10:14
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No, Modern Masters won't be redeemable at MTGO.

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Pete said:
"The change makes Clone weaker, but blue is not supposed to have a way to destroy permanents. Bounce, yes. Counter, yes. But Vindicate an opposing permanent, even one with Shroud, no. That's out of flavor for U."

Challenge: Explain Pongify and Rapid Hybridization. I suppose you could quantify Pongify by saying it's in a set that specifically played around with the color pie (Planar Chaos), but that does not explain it's recent inclusion in the new Ravnica block.

I assume they reprinted Pongify as a sly attempt to insert some blue removal into the game knowing that they would ultimately be lessening clone's effectiveness; but the fact that Rapid Hybridization exists at all, in standard, completely nullifies your statement "but blue is not supposed to have a way to destroy permanents." Regardless of the fact that your opponent gets a Frog Lizard, whatever nonshroud nonhexproofy creature you just hosed.. is, well, hosed.

This is just the whole "elimination of mana burn" argument all over again, in a different form. Some people will be angry, some folks may even hang up their Commander spurs because they can't hose a Thrun, but ultimately, like the Simic Guild, we will adapt and continue to plod through and play the game regardless. Yeah blue is a little weaker, but blue has always been infuriating, and I'm still gonna groan when my opponent perpetually has two islands untapped, regardless of this change.

If you are very very concerned about this change, blue mages, start packing some Glaring Spotlights alongside your Pongifys.

I am looking forward to enjoying my legend at the same time my opponent or my teammate does. I am not looking forward to people flush with them internet monies buying 4x Gaea's Cradle just so they could produce 57 million mana in one turn, or this potential Thespian's Stage / Dark depths Combo but we already face folks who have the hexmage combo or for the former, folks with 4 elves out, one of them being Priest of titania, and an Umbral Mantle. so Ya know, it's just more of the same.

As for all the other comments on here. Land destruction SUCKS. Yes many of you play competitively, and I consistently feel like the representative of the voice of the casual player (Sort of like the Mouth of Sauron); I have a kid, a wife, two jobs, and freelance work. To find time to play Magic is difficult for me (for example I am writing this on a break at work); If I load up a game and turn two is sinkhole, turn three is stone rain, then I concede, and 10 minutes of my life is irrevocably taken away. I am not a tourney player on a daily or monthly basis; I am a casual fun player. The shift and trend of less and less land destruction pleases me. Again, you may say this dumbs down magic-- I say it makes you think harder about how to deal with an opponent. Anyone can hose a land, it takes finese to hose your opponent without destroying their manabase. People applaude the victories ar amries when armies meet armies; when strategy clashes with alternate strategy. Not many people applaude starving out your enemy's city for months while your amry is fine. It's just not sporting. I digress a bit here but the bottom line is find somewy to win besides hosing my lands!

Ah, Land Destruction... by Fred1160 at Mon, 05/27/2013 - 16:54
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There are people who cry about the nerfing of countermagic. I cry about the nerfing of land destruction.
My favorite card in Standard is Bramblecrush and my favorite creature is Acidic Slime. I love to destroy
lands and burn cities to the ground! Mwahaha! The look of pure despair when my opponent is discarding
because he is totally and irrevocably mana starved! Mwahaha! Sphinx's Revelation for one so that you can maybe draw a land? Mwahaha!
That's a lot more fun to me than to say, "Counter that," "No, you may not," "Dissipate that."

and this is why wotc doesn't by Psychobabble at Mon, 05/27/2013 - 18:06
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and this is why wotc doesn't print land destruction at a competitively viable cost anymore (good luck beating naya blitz with your 4 mana do nothing sorcery). Griefers/trolls/horrible people exist, they don't want to give them the tools to ruin their opponent's games...

Land destroying does not make by Paul Leicht at Mon, 05/27/2013 - 18:41
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Land destroying does not make one a horrible person. Unless you are actually out there blowing stuff up for real.

Griefing may be unpleasant but lets not confuse morality with role playing.

Personally I love Armageddon. Does that make me evil? I really don't think so. If you do perhaps your perspective is a tad bit bound up in the game and not so much in the world.

"The look of pure despair by Psychobabble at Mon, 05/27/2013 - 20:36
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"The look of pure despair when my opponent is discarding because he is totally and irrevocably mana starved" pretty much sums it up for me. i have no issue with land destruction in the abstract, but actively enjoying executing pure lockdown strategies like that is simply anti-social, there's no two ways about it. If your idea of a good game is strip mine into life from the loam then you're not interested in playing a game with another person, you're just trying to grief them.

Amen by Adam_the_Mentat at Mon, 05/27/2013 - 21:24
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I am 100% behind this sentiment. Mana is the tool in which your entire game hinges on using to build a strategy. Removing it from your opponent takes all the strategy out of trying to win by using your wits. If you are playing football you don't destroy the other teams helmets and shoulder pads before the game and then declare yourself a super awesome winner.

HUH? by Fred1160 at Mon, 05/27/2013 - 22:04
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Comparing blowing up lands to destroying the other team's equipment so they can't play football is ludicrous. Want a football comparison? How about making a coffin-corner punt so that the other team is backed up so far they have no room to operate. That's what landkill does: it locks them up so they have no room to move.
There is no moral implication to landkill. How about counterspells? Is a player "morally pure" for countering his opponent's spells? What about burn? Does that make one morally pure?
Right now, landkill is great. So many people run greedy manabases that it's not even funny. I saw where someone earlier said Bramblecrush is useless. Wrong answer. Every deck runs targets for Bramblecrush. Got a planeswalker? Have a Bramblecrush. Got a Rakdos Keyrune? Eat a Bramblecrush. You've only got one source of white mana? Chew on this Bramblecrush. The days of being able to blow up every land they play are long gone. But, if they come out slow and stumble on their land draws?
MWAHAHA!

See I think this is where by Paul Leicht at Mon, 05/27/2013 - 23:12
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See I think this is where players diverge into demographics. Timmy hates LD because it stops the player from having fun. Spike uses it because it works (when it works) and is another tool in the box and Johnny ignores it for being boring and not really an inventive way to play. (And usually LD is pretty boring.)

Each will justify their position because everyone likes to feel they are right. But being right is beside the point in M:TG. Did you win? Good. No? Examine what you can do to fix that. If winning doesn't matter then did you achieve whatever goal you do have? No? Fix it.

Etc.

I agree that LD is about locking down a player's board position. The analogy of equipment destroying seems very emotional and evocative but not very reasonable. After all a land screwed player CAN get out of it. The land destruction player may run out of gas, and or just not have enough to begin with.

"Griefing" is hard to apply to M:TG as a concept because it really mostly refers to MMOs where the idea is to make players quit playing and honestly if you quit playing because of LD or Hand Denial or counterspells etc you might not have learned enough about the game to really enjoy it for what it is.

Lots of people think they know what M:TG is all about and obviously it isn't about certain things anymore that it used to be: anté for example. So the game does morph and change. Land Destruction has not been relevant at a professional tier for a really long time. (Ponza is the last deck I can think of that was super successful with this strategy.)

Partially the reason for this is because of the emotion outcry of players who don't like having to wait for a top deck to start getting their game plan in motion. And also the large Timmy contingent that typically are the majority of starting players and thus represent an important voting block for Wizards.

Obviously some mana screw is inherent to the game already (cf: the great mulligan debates) so it is perceived as unnecessary to add to the pain of those who hate being locked down. I think this is a bad thing because a good player should be able to at least acknowledge all parts of the game and know how to deal with them without tilting or feeling put upon.

But to say that someone who enjoys locking down their opponents is somehow less moral than you who employ creatures to beat on them or cast spells at their dome is just ludicrous. If they were tearing up your cards and laughing, I would be the first to condemn them. Just the same as if they were hitting you or otherwise doing things to make you unhappy outside of the game itself.

there's a huge difference by Psychobabble at Tue, 05/28/2013 - 00:00
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there's a huge difference between bramblecrush - which no one woud have any problem with - and stuff like turn 1 dark ritual into braids into turn 2 sinkhole into strip mine etc. etc. In the former, the land destruction is just an tool which might restrict your opponent's options after they've already had a chance to get into the game. Nothing wrong with that. In the latter you're executing a game strategy which just stops the opponent from doing anything and ensures that they have a miserable game. If your plan works, your opponent doesn't play a game. If it doesn't, you don't play a game. There's no interraction, it's just stupidity.

It's not a question of passing a moral judgement, but playing those kind of decks is in a very real sense anti-social. You're saying to your opponent "i don't care about your experience in this game". In some settings, particularly competitive ones, that's par for the course and within social expectations. but in a casual environment, eg. commander, I would suggest that most people would disagree. If you are just trying to take away my ability to play a game with you then I have no reason to play with you.

Bruce richard wrote a good article on the subject recently:

https://www.wizards.com/magic/magazine/Article.aspx?x=mtg/daily/sf/244

The social contract is by Paul Leicht at Tue, 05/28/2013 - 03:06
Paul Leicht's picture

The social contract is another thing entirely and is separate from what you feel about strategies. I enjoy using Armageddon and other ld effects that are efficient but I would never consider using them in a group where I know the players dislike those strategies and in general I have not done so on MTGO because the majority of players have a consensus about why not: Armageddon and the like really slow games down unless you can kill everyone quickly afterward. Long games are a considerable waste of time when the majority aren't having fun.

Now in one vs one games social aspects tend to be ignored unless you arrange for something else. Also every player has their own idea of what is acceptable and what isn't. "Casual" magic has a range of definitions from no "griefer" strategies to "no holds barred". (CF:About 19 years of arguments over the definition.)

Sure you can argue that Land destruction is anti-social but the same can be said of any strategy that frustrates your opponents. For example, if you play Meddling Mage naming a combo piece you know I am playing with you are stymieing my ability to play the game. I will have to top deck some removal to win now.

If I play a combo that wins on turn 2 I am stymieing your ability to play the game because you didn't have time to stop my combo with your meddling mage idea. If you counter my turn 2 combo with Force of Will... If I hit your Force of Will turn one with a Duress... If you counter my Duress with a Mental Misstep... and it goes on and on.

All kinds of ways of playing magic may be considered anti-social given the right social rules. If two players are not in agreement about what the social rules are then neither can be said to be anti-social. At most they can be said to be a-social. And this is the normal state as I said unless agreed upon prior to the match.

Now, all that said I believe the best way to play Magic is with people whom you enjoy playing against. For different people that will mean different things but my personal goal is not to merely enjoy the game but to make it enjoyable so I forgo some of my pleasure in playing mass destruction cards by not doing so around those I know who are offended by it.

I also go out of my way to chat and be sociable in the game so that my opponent does not feel they are merely in a video game. But this is my personal way. There is no one way. The way is as individual as each blade of grass and each snow flake and each person.

My apologies for the dissertation but I wanted to make sure your misapprehension of what I was saying was cleared up.

Re: land destruction. There's by KaraZorEl at Tue, 05/28/2013 - 09:03
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Re: land destruction.

There's a point in playing the game where you can cross the line. You go too far in advancing your strategy. Playing against a non-interactive combo deck is tough because there's nothing you can do (and I'm a huge combo player myself). Playing against a land destruction deck is even worse. During the time when Boom/Bust decks got popular in Modern, I found other things to do- not because I have never succeeded in that format. I simply did not want to start playing derpy things like Terra Eternal just because land destruction stopped me entirely too much.

For now, the targeted land destruction is five cmc or greater. Even then, it has very limited uses (ie, sealed play). People can (and do) play whatever they like, such as abusive Sinkhole/Stone Rain decks. However, while these decks may win, they also discourage other people from coming back to try again. This, I believe, is one of the primary reasons why people don't play Legacy online: Wasteland and Rishidan Port. The experience simply is not fun. Never mind the cost of entry.

The ultimate result of players using successful, consistent land destruction deck will be that people will find other stores or other formats to play. Events will not fire. Suddenly, the player with the best deck will find themselves showing up alone. They won't win any prizes. In the case of paper play, they'll likely have driven a long ways for nothing. The store won't make money by holding the event. They may even feel discouraged from hosting another event in that format (ie, Legacy/Vintage). All this because one player played a non-interactive, abusive and trolling one-sided deck.

You can always do something by greyes3 at Tue, 05/28/2013 - 11:40
greyes3's picture
5

You can always do something against "non-interactive" combo decks. It starts in the deck editor. Saying that playing against land destruction is even worse, is just more nonsense. The MTG community is better off without people who hold these types of opinions. You going to cry about getting your land blown up? Get the hell out of here.

Adam_the_Mentat's picture
5

you can always do something about people who leave jerky comments too. You can ignore them. Then you can make the correlation that he/she is pro-LD and also leaving hostile cranky comments telling people to get the hell out of here, and suddenly your whole Land destruction-is-antisocial argument is proven for you...

Except Boosh you know better. by Paul Leicht at Tue, 05/28/2013 - 15:50
Paul Leicht's picture

Except Boosh you know better. I haven't left any cranky antisocial commentary yet my basic arguments equate to the same thing (Without the get off my lawn part.) Same thing with Fred though he admits to cackling gleefully (for shame!) he hasn't indicated any malice other than that.

People have been making by Adam_the_Mentat at Tue, 05/28/2013 - 18:11
Adam_the_Mentat's picture

People have been making generalized comments all day. I'm not saying that one dude proved ld lovers are all jerks jeezus. Paul you just left me a semi dicky semi cranky response to something I posted in one of cottons articles and it seems a lot of your comments are just arguing with ther folks comments so I'm not sure what you think you are proving to me.

Land destruction vs anti ld = republicans vs democrats = redsox vs Yankees = Xbox vs Ps3

Everyone has valid and invalid opinions And we aren't going to see eye to eye. I should have just removed myself from this thread once it got ridiculous and people whom love griefing started getting all uppity about some of us like the fun aspect obte game and don't equate winning by any means needed as fun

Actually, no... by Fred1160 at Tue, 05/28/2013 - 14:34
Fred1160's picture

His comment doesn't prove LD is anti-social. Of course, I could choose to interpret his comments as, "People who complain too much are anti-social." Sounds like a winner to me!
I gotta side with Paul Leicht on this one. There are many strategies in the game and more than one way to win. When they start saying, "LD hurts people's feelings, so let's get rid of it," where does it end?
"Mill strategies hurt people's feelings, so let's get rid of 'em." "Decking strategies hurt people's feelings, so let's get rid of 'em."
I have encountered a bunch of people who think the only "fair" way to play the game is to throw a bunch of creatures together, toss in a few Giant Growths, and call it good. Not everyone thinks turning Grizzly Bears sideways is the only way to have fun with the game.
By the way...if you show up at a tournament and you don't like/get mad because of the deck choices people make, then I recommend that you stay home. People play in tournaments to win and they don't care if you think their strategy is unfair; they just want to win.