You Can’t Always Get What You Want: The Lack of a Decktype

Oh no, my Angels!

Rosterbation is a term that I learned from the great Seattle Mariner’s blog USSMariner (couldn’t find it’s true origin). When talking about dream lineups and rotations and trading players the term gets thrown around a lot in comments and forums (as well as the verb “Stop Rosterbating”). The ability to make the dream roster using whatever players there are in the game is something that passes through the mind of almost any sports fan and engages in great conversations. It’s not a bad thing, and in fact can be a healthy from time to time.

Magic has it’s own semi-related term: “Magical Christmasland” as coined by Brian David-Marshall (@Top8Games) (or Michael Jacob). It presents what the best situation is to get the most explosive opening hand draw. If your deck worked exactly like this every time it would be unstoppable. Of course, with Magic there is randomization and the very real possibility that you may never get a hand like that. When players are looking at new cards for the first time, it’s always the Magical Christmasland situation that gets people up in arms about how good a card actually is. It’s the hope that drives people to play those decks for the one time it does work.

Rosterbation is about what you would love to have but can’t get for a set of something while Magical Christmasland is the order that you would prefer it to be. There is cross-over in both areas: In baseball you want your lead-off guys to get on and your 3 & 4 hitters to drive them home (Magical Christmasland).

Today I’m going to talk about the other side: rosterbation for Magic. No, it’s not about acquiring cards that you need to build a deck, but having access to the cards needed to build it. Confused? Well answer me this: can you build a reanimator deck in Standard at this current time: (SHA, CON, REB, M10, ZEN, WWK)?

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Too Rare or Not Too Rare, That is the Question

Alas poor Darksteel, I knew him Horatio...

Alas, poor Darksteel! I knew him, Horatio...

As begin the second block with the Mythic Rarity included into the game of Magic, it’s time to take a look and see how’s it been so far and how’s it going into Zendikar block. It’s been a source of controversy and a source of tension between developers and players.

MaRo first announced the Mythic rarity June 02, 2008. What most players remember is this quote:

This now leads us to the next question: How are cards split between rare and mythic rare? Or more to the point, what kind of cards are going to become mythic rares? We want the flavor of mythic rare to be something that feels very special and unique. Generally speaking we expect that to mean cards like Planeswalkers, most legends, and epic-feeling creatures and spells. They will not just be a list of each set’s most powerful tournament-level cards.

And from Aaron Forsythe’s Twitter account in the past few weeks here:

My definition of mythic rare: cards that are jaw-dropping to some part of the audience.

And here:

The mythic definition should be broad, not “planeswalkers + cards that aren’t very good.”

By taking these two definitions (Epic-feeling creatures/spells, non-staples/most powerful tournament, jaw-dropping), let’s take a look back at what’s been printed so far and how they fair to these definitions. But to make one more definition of our own: What is a staple card? Cards that are staples can be used in a variety of decks, not a very narrow deck that is very good. Staple cards include: Cryptic Command, Tarmogoyf, Bitterblossom, Reflecting Pool. Non-staple cards are Mistblind Clique, Doran the Siege Tower, Arcbound Ravager. Continue reading

Random Thoughts About Random Things

39-scourge-grip-of-chaos-mark-tedinEditor’s Note: While the title ties in to MaRo’s post this week, my post doesn’t. This is not an After MaRo post.  Warning: There are non-Magic related items in this post.

- I hope everyone had a good release event for Alara Reborn and pulled some amazing things or amazing plays.  I really like how this format is really playing out.  Cascade is amazing.  There’s a reason you only find them on multi-color cards (besides the fact that it’s only in Alara Reborn): it is too broken of a mechanic if it was mono color.  Imagine if Blue had a cascade card reading:

Cascade Spell – 2U
Sorcery
Draw a card.  Cascade.

While there are some ideas of having a Cascade/Hypergenesis combo in Extended (you have to have the creature in play for it to work), it would be really broken if you could fit cascade mechanics into any deck.  Cascade has to be a multi-color keyword or it’s too degenerate.  I hope this is something Wizards will bring back (they sound more open to the possibility to reuse good mechanics).

- I was going to have a post last week before it got all busy on me getting ready for Opening Day of boating season here in Seattle (I was filming it).  Of course, you knew that if you were following me in Twitter.  Follow me and most likely I will follow you too; a tit for tat kind of thing.  I still don’t know what I should tweet (besides new posts going up) and I want to hear your opinions on what I should post there:

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If Alara Reborn Art Were Movie Posters

Summer movie season starts next week with Wolverine, and that’s when Alara Reborn releases.  I decided to celebrate my two favorite loves (after my wife): Magic and Movies.  Let’s do some Mash-Ups and see what would happen if some art from Alara Reborn were movie posters:

Every Summer seems to have a Horror Film, and this one looks awesome as if Dead Rising, Alara and George A Romero mixed all in one.  With Romero directing you know there’s some underhanded political message.  It doesn’t matter, it would look awesome.

movie-poster-zombies-reborn

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