Core Set Comes Home – A Perspective

ajanis-welcome-core-set-2019-art
Art by Eric Deschamps

Core Sets used to be the set every couple of years that allowed the game to do a few things: reset the story, help with the metagame, reprint cards from years past and offer an easier entry point for newer players. The frequency then ramped up to once a year in the summer when WotC wanted to print four sets a year with their three set blocks, then disappeared when the decision was made to make two set blocks.

The Core Set was missed.

But now, like all things, it’s back. Continue reading “Core Set Comes Home – A Perspective”

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Dominaria Preview – Unwind (Melvins are from Time Spiral and Vorthos are from Dominaria)

A problem is only a problem if you don’t have the tools to correct it.

Welcome one and all to my little blog on the internet. I know all of you came for the preview card but I just want to display the beautiful art so much:

Dominaria - Unwind - Anna Steinbauer
Unwind – Anna Steinbauer

The art depicts Captain Jhoira, the captain of the new Weatherlight. Anna Steinbauer has been a relativity new artist to Magic but has already painted a good number of cards.

I know you’re here for the card (in fact I bet most of you have scrolled by this to look at the card and closed the tab). This isn’t my first exclusive card, but one in a very long time. But if you stick around I’ll be discussing the nostalgic differences between Time Spiral and Dominaria. That’s interesting, right? Right?

Anyway, here’s Wonderwall:

Unwind_EN

Will this be played in Pauper? I don’t know. Secret tech in Brawl? Sure, why not. What I do know that Unwind has me feeling more nostalgic than this card:

197

And why is that?

Continue reading “Dominaria Preview – Unwind (Melvins are from Time Spiral and Vorthos are from Dominaria)”

GDS 3 – Round 1 Essay Answers

Number 10 will shock you!

As of this blog post, the first round of the GDS3 has ended and applicants were to submit their answers to 10 questions. I thought I would post mine since we’re now allowed to.

For WotC, there’s no “right” answer, you just have to explain why you thought that way. Multiple people are going to give the same answer on a question (There’s only so many keywords in the game, especially evergreen keywords), so along with the multiple choice question and the actual designing of the cards, it’s how you think about Magic and if you can covey that idea that they’re looking for. I don’t believe that there’s “wrong” answers for anything, but there are some far unlikely to be taken more seriously, like making Cumulative Upkeep evergreen (apologies to the one person who suggested that).

So don’t be surprised if I have the same answers as your submission, we just thought along the same path. Hopefully, I’m able to explain my thinking about how I got there, which is the important part of the test. I feel like you needed to explain both parts of the question: the setup and the resolution. I deleted plenty of drafts where I didn’t feel as if I had answered them in the fashion that I wanted to. In the space of 250-350 words that we were asked to write, it’s hard to have that intro-setup-resolution-outro that one can be completely satisfied. I know I ramble on in my intros far more that what should be (which could be my defeat when it comes to this), so it was doubly hard for me here. See, I’m rambling here.

Right now, it all comes down to the multiple choice quiz and if I pass that the card design section. I feel comfortable, obviously, but you never know.

I am leaving out my answer to the first question because it’s just me talking about me. There’s one or two things in there that I’m not gonna share at the moment in the first question. IF I make it to the Top 8, and they post the essays, then that will be a different story, I guess.

Continue reading “GDS 3 – Round 1 Essay Answers”

Let’s Talk About Ascend

Let’s talk about all the good things
And the bad things that may be

6Hey, a timely post.

First, if you came over from the Beacon of Creation Podcast where I was a guest, welcome. If you’re just hearing about this Beacon of Creation podcast, take a listen. Adam and Bradley host a podcast about Magic design and the lead up to the Great Designer Search 3 (more info when that kicks off). I’m on Episode 5, which you can find right here.

We talked a bit about some of the Rivals of Ixalan cards that had been previewed that day (we recorded on the first day of Rivals previews). There was one new mechanic in the set that we briefly touched upon that I would like to go further indepth.

Ascend (If you control ten or more permanents, you get the city’s blessing for the rest of the game.)

Ascend is a Threshhold mechanic meaning it needs a criteria to be met for it to turn on (ala, Threshhold from Odyssey block). What’s the most interesting part of this mechanic is that it can’t be turned off. Once you have Ascend, you can’t lose it, even if you have no permanents left on the board.

This was done on purpose.

To understand Ascend, we need to go back a few sets, to Conspiracy: Take the Crown. Continue reading “Let’s Talk About Ascend”

Mining Unstable for Future Design Space

We’ll fix it in the flavor text…

I have this habit of calling Unstable, Unhinged. As I wrote the title of this piece, I did just that. I always thought that Unhinged would be the last Un-set unless something drastic happened. Well, no matter how much people try, the world hasn’t ended and we received a new Un-set.

I always believed that the Un-sets were a great way for Magic to poke for at themselves and do things that couldn’t be done in “normal” Magic. Some of the favorite “non-traditional” things have come out of Un-sets: Full art lands, split cards, tokens, ability words (think “Gotcha to Landfall”), etc. And Mark Rosewater has said that besides the printing technology, one of the reasons to push Unhinged was to explore possible future space.

Well, what can we find in this new Silver-border that we might see in Black-border land a few years from now? Let’s go exploring for possibilities. Continue reading “Mining Unstable for Future Design Space”