After MaRo – In the Year 3000

Mark Rosewater, In the Year 3000
Mark Rosewater, In the Year 3000

M10 has had it’s pre-release and hasn’t even had it’s release to the public yet. Is it time to focus on the Core Set (M11) for next year? According to MaRo, of course it is! From his Twitter account:

We’re working on M11. What advice can you give us from your experiences with M10? I’d like both things to change and things to do again.

For those of you who think that this is a little early to start to forget about a set that hasn’t even been released then you are right. Well, in the case of designing a set then it’s not too early. It’s not like these sets get thrown together at the last second (right?), they need planning and debating and seeing what would fit and what doesn’t. I think it’s time we look into the future.

MaRo: (Walking into the room from behind the curtain) The future Robby?

Robby: That’s right MaRo. Let’s look into the future, all the way to the year 3000*.

Randy Buehler: (Singing) In the year 3000. In the year 3000!

Robby: Green will once again have a 2/2 bear for 1G. The name will change again, only this time its flavor text shall read, “Only you can prevent forest fires.”

Buehler: (Singing) In the year 3000. Continue reading “After MaRo – In the Year 3000”

You Like to Buy Geek Stuff? Of Course You Do, You’re a Geek

9844_live_0008_largeI’m not ashamed to admit it, I’m a geek. By most accounts, if you’re reading this blog, so are you. I have various geek related purchases in my life that wasn’t cards or DVD’s. I’ve bought objects such as a Rorschach figurine, a Boba Fett bobble-head, and Magic art prints from the artists when they come to Seattle and hang them on my home office wall (I’ll put up a pic sometime). But not all the time does my love for Magic make it easy to buy things. Sure, you can pick up Magic playmats (Some which look really cool) and deck boxes and sleeves and binders, but these are all related to gaming in general. I’m not talking about video games either (I still love the MicroProse version and still play it), I’m talking the other merchandise that geeks normally buy.

Wizards and RYZ Wear just finished up a contest to design a shoe. Not bad, I thought to myself and I played around with designing a shoe it with the Mark Tedin Textless Fireball art and it looked pretty cool but I didn’t enter it. The winner was decided by fan vote and that’s what the pair of shoes are up there designed by Extremeicon. Would I buy a pair of shows like that? I was pre-ordering them until I saw the price: $99. Either buy a pair of shoes, or buy a box of M10 (plus, I wear a 13, so they didn’t have my size. I know, I’m a freak)? Then on MTGSalvation, someone posted that in select pre-releases there would be Jones Soda giveaways with the labels as the Planeswalkers. EDIT: They’re Selling them for a limited time only! How awesome is that? Mouth-watering. What do these two things have in common? They’re both the type of marketing that Wizards needs to do more of: stuff people would want. Continue reading “You Like to Buy Geek Stuff? Of Course You Do, You’re a Geek”

The Magic 2010 Core Set That Could’ve Been

27a_m10_spys5Warning: Again spoilers about reprints in the Core Set.

Not every Core Set is going to be great. Sometimes Wizards puts in cards that go great in the environment, other times, you think a rare is so good, then you never play it for two years.  I’m not talking about money spike rares that you have to play with to win, but sometimes even they don’t cut it in the environment (See: Troll Ascetic).

But sometimes you’re tired of seeing the same rares over and over again in the card pool and no one plays them. Sure there will be those people that do play the decks and that’s who you have to consider, but sometimes even they don’t have a need for 5 Flying Carpet decks.

With M10 adding new cards and throwing some repeats in there, I was tired of seeing some of the same rares over and over. So I thought, “What if they replaced a previously used rare with one that hasn’t been printed in a Core Set before?” Brilliant! So, as we say goodbye to the old Core Set and Hello to M10, I want to toss out some rares that have been printed at least twice in the Core Sets and throw in new rare cards that haven’t got the second chance that I believe they deserve.


I agree that Mesa Enchantress should be in the Core Set (plus I was really high on this card for Planar Chaos) and no other white cards have been reprinted.  But, I wanted the list to be ten cards added in, so I chose a White enchantment that would see some play again.

Solitary ConfinementNothing Out -> Solitary Confinement

Why: White is the champion of trying to protect itself and what better way of doing that then putting yourself in a bubble? While this enchantment would slow down the game a little (and who wouldn’t be opposed to that at the moment?), it would allow control decks to prosper a little better after WoG and Cryptic Command leaves. Plus, it would have White with a marquee control card for M10.

Other Possibilities: Pristine Angel, Promise of Bunrei, Reverence Continue reading “The Magic 2010 Core Set That Could’ve Been”

Monthy Mailbag – Magic 2010 Edition

What has become a tradition around here is introducing new columns (including after breaks of time where I’m busy making money working for the man).  I get messages and e-mails from readers wanting advice on creating cards or why Wizards did certain things in their sets.  Well, my mailbag was full of questions about Magic 2010, the new Core set coming out later this month and I wanted to share with you some of those e-mails today.  Let’s just dive right in and see what we pull up.  Note: these deal with the spoiled cards found on a certain site.  I won’t names site, but you should know where it is.

Will this be the only time we see Counterspell in a non-promo new border?

What a minute, they’re bringing back Lightning Bolt and Duress, but not Counterspell? What gives?  Counterspell is way less powerful than either of these two cards. Wizards is giving every other color but Blue cheap, powerful spells like Silence in White.  Why can’t I get my Counterspell back?

Yeah, because Blue hasn’t been powerful at all; it’s always gotten the shaft when it comes to card selection. The reason why there isn’t Couterspell in Magic 2010 (note, you do get Cancel and other counterspells, just not the card Counterspell) is the fact is the card is too powerful. There’s a huge difference between Coutnerspell and Duress.

If I was going to play Cryptic Command and you play Counterspell, I had to spend 4 mana while you had to spend 2.  You have used up half as much mana preventing my spell as I did playing it, which is why so many people like to counter spells.  I you play Duress and discard my Cryptic Command, I didn’t use up any mana and you used up one. You still got the same effect (nullifying the spell and putting it in the graveyard) but both are different means for different colors. (I won’t go into the full math of card values in the hand while in play; this is just the basic logic of it).

Plus, Counterspell can stop any non-land card, Duress can only hit non-land/non-creatures and Lightning Bolt can only hit creatures/players.  This is a huge difference.  At only costing two mana, Counterspell gives you enough leeway early on to stop their spell and play something else if you wanted to, making it really efficient. Cancel, at three mana, is enough to where it’s good, but not too good and is more acceptable as a hard counter. Don’t worry, Blue will still have other toys to play with. Continue reading “Monthy Mailbag – Magic 2010 Edition”

Better Know a Card Type – Tribal

better-know-a-card-type-tribalTo help you design better cards, I thought it would be a good idea to know what you can do with this card game.  First I looked at colors (something I’ll come back to again), and now is my overarching look at Magic.

Welcome to part 1 of my 19 part series: Better know a card type.

Today’s card type: Tribal; The Fightin’ Tribes!

Tribal is a new card type introduced in 2007 with the release of the large expansion set Lorwyn.  For those that want to argue that it was infact Future Sight that first debuted Tribal you’re wrong.  That set was in the future brought to us in the past by a man in a DeLorean going 88 mph.  Great Scott!

57-lorwyn-nameless-inversion-jeff-miracolaAt the moment there are only 50 cards that have the card type Tribal in it’s card type.  It’s the second smallest major card type and the third one to only feature inside a single block.

MaRo-Type Aside: For those of you wondering why I’m calling it a major card type is there have been alot of card types that have been printed.  Some are still in use (Artifact) while some have been left behind (Mono Artifact).  While I combined Mono and Poly artifacts into just artifacts, I’m giving some of them their own part in the series because you have to know the past to build toward the future.  Yes, I’m even covering the card type with one card.  Sigh, that brings back memories.

Continue reading “Better Know a Card Type – Tribal”