You Make the Card 4 – Round 2 (Run Off)

YMTC - Blank

Well, that happened.

26 votes? That’s a margin of error in almost any poll (Though electronic voting does make recounting so much easier). Because the voting was so close, WotC has decided that it’s going to do a run off between the top two card choices:

Enchantment vs. Land

Yes, they reran close voting in previous YMTC, so this was expected. I mentioned that it was possible that people were going to vote for a card type that hadn’t been done before (Creature, artifact and instant). This is really not a surprise. But some of you seem to think that we can “force” WotC to do whatever we want. That’s not the case with this contest. They are letting us create a card together. After we submit ideas, R&D are going to go through them and pick out 10 or so of the ideas they like. The ideas could be whatever the focus of the block is, a truly unique idea, or just something that’s really cool (Subjectively speaking). We get to choose an idea that WotC approves of.

Listen, I know that a good portion of you really like the idea of designing a land, but for this contest I think that choosing to go the land type is the wrong way to go. I can guess what a majority of the land designs are going to be:

  • A Strip Mine or a Dust Bowl effect.
  • A fetchland (ala Polluted Delta).
  • A “Man-Land” (ala Mishra’s Factory).
  • Something that taps for more than one mana.
  • Something that taps for every color of mana.

None of those choices are sexy. You really want the card that the community makes to be a utility land? How exciting. Yawn.

I’m telling you again: don’t vote for land. And here’s why. Continue reading “You Make the Card 4 – Round 2 (Run Off)”

You Make the Card 4 – Round 1 (Card Type) Discussion

YMTC - Blank

So, Great Designer Search 2 Winner Ethan Fleischer announced that WotC is doing another “You Make the Card” contest. I’m excited, and you should be excited as well. If you missed the first three (And you might have since the last one was Coldsnap, around the last time we were in Ravnica), it goes something like this:

Each round the public votes on something that R&D gives us. Slowly, over the course over a year or so, we get to make decisions through voting that will make a real card. From type of card, to name, to art to what the card actually does. Now, R&D has to test the card, so we can’t just get something very powerful for very little cost or get a card that will break the Color Pie (Like a Black Disenchant or Red life gain). The card goes through any process like any other card that WotC would print. It might seem slow, but when you’re holding the card in your hand after you’ve opened it, it’s actually a pretty cool feeling.

Ethan’s announced the first decision, and I’m sure that some of you have voted. If you haven’t, I would like to talk to you about the options that you have and maybe nudge you in a direction. I don’t expect everyone to agree with I’ll say, but hopefully it’s enough to get you thinking and not throw away your vote. Here are your options:

  • Artifact
  • Creature
  • Enchantment
  • Instant/Sorcery
  • Land

No Planeswalker (Way too many issues for a YMTC and it would most likely be another Jace), and no Tribal (Most likely not about to see print). Just the basic card types Magic introduced. Let’s get to it.  Continue reading “You Make the Card 4 – Round 1 (Card Type) Discussion”

The Superfriends are The Legion of Doom

That's the Legion of Doom headquarters for all you young whippersnappers out there.
Thanks to Evan Erwin for letting me use his image

It seems like a bad Jay Leno joke: “Hey, have you seen the price of Mythics lately? It’s like Wizards of the Coast decided that they were going to print money instead of cards!” Ha! Good one, Jay.

This hasn’t been the first time I’ve taken a look at Mythics (where I predicted that three Zendikar Mythics would be over $10 a piece), and most likely it won’t be the last. Now that we have two full blocks and a Core Set printed with the Mythic rarity, we can revisit a look at why Mythics are spinning out of control in price. Besides discussing on how to beat Jund, the rising cost of Mythics have been one of the hot topics of Magic lately. Paying $70 of a single card in Standard? Aren’t you glad there’s a Reserved List to protect such cards from losing their value in the future?

What, the Reserved List doesn’t cover cards in the past 10 years? Oh. Ignore that last sentence then.

The most recent hot deck in Standard right now is a deck called “Superfriends” which includes 4 planeswalkers (i.e. the Superfriends). Taking down the evil known as Jund, these 4 superheroes were supposed to usher in the new metagame where we aren’t supposed to be afraid of that evil deck. But to summon these superheroes to fight you have to bring the cash money.

Magic the Gathering Links for this WeekElspeth is $40 a piece.

Gideon is $50 a piece.

Jace is $70 a piece.

They aren’t superheroes but mercenaries for hire.

Continue reading “The Superfriends are The Legion of Doom”

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)?

Continue reading “You Can’t Always Get What You Want: The Lack of a Decktype”

Design Class – How Much Fetch Could a Fetchchuck Fetch, Ohh, You Get the Idea

Admit it, you'd pay $30 for this card.
Admit it, you'd pay $30 for this card (or at least your #1 Dime)

Editor’s Note: Some of you might have read some of this before. I accidentally hit publish when I was still working on my draft. Sorry about that. Here is the full post. Also, I hate Jeremy Fuentes for picking the best title ever (Stop Trying to Make Fetch Happen).

Fellow blogger Kelly Reid runs the amazing blog Quiet Speculation about his love affair with a certain Judgment uncommon instant the financial value of Magic. On his blog he recently ran a letter complaining about the horrible effects that Fetchlands have on the Game of Magic, both from a financial and play standpoint. Mike wrote this:

I recently bought a box of Zendikar cards: $85 bucks paid partially in store credit and partially in cash. I’m working my way though the packs slowly and so far, in about 8 packs, I’ve opened up two fetchlands. A quick search of the internet tells me that this small portion of my packs is worth a little under $40.

See, like you, I’ve been making a lot of decks in preparation for the new standard format. I’m trying to be realistic with what I can spend money on, and the last thing that I want to do is spend $80 per playset of lands in order to just get my deck off the ground…

…To say it more briefly, fetchlands are boring. Dual lands are boring. Mana fixing is boring.

What if mana fixing was all in the uncommon slot? Sure, there could still be rare lands like Oran-Reef the Vastwood or Mutavault that have additional effects, but what if the foundations of deck building were more readily available?

This is a very interesting idea; making something like that uncommon. There are two facets to this issue, as a business model and as design.

Magic started off as a collectible card game (Hence, the CCG). Dr. Richard Garfield created a game to be played in between sessions of D&D, where he got the fantasy influence. Never in his wildest dreams (alright, maybe in his wildest wildest dreams) did he ever think that Magic would become so popular, that 17 years later people would be dropping hundreds of dollars every few months. So, he took an idea from D&D when making the game: different rarities. Continue reading “Design Class – How Much Fetch Could a Fetchchuck Fetch, Ohh, You Get the Idea”