Non-Magic related news: Wife and I had the baby last month (if you haven’t been paying attention on Twitter). Everyone’s doing well and learning their new role in our family. Obviously this is why I haven’t updated recently. I thought, “Sure, the baby will be up at 2 am, I can write then.” Ha! Anyway, this isn’t the place to talk about such matters, but yes, this will be covered in a future post. You’ll recognize it when you see it.
Onto Magic Design.
Last month, former WotC employee Gregory Marques wondered aloud in his Avacyn Restored Soulbond review a very interesting design issue:
The [Soulbond] rarity distribution is reasonable, though I’m not sure why no mythic. Someone should do an analysis of new mechanics appearing at mythic. I might guess they usually get one, but without researching it I’m not going to make any claims about that. Even if they always do, not making one is not necessarily a bad thing.
Sitting at home between feeding, burping, changing and playing with the baby, this seemed like a fun little project to do. The Mythic rarity is heading into its fifth year of print with Return to Ravnica (Worst. Set name. Ever), and an analysis of how the rarity has evolved should be an interesting topic, but that’s not something we’ll cover today. Instead, we’re going to look at the mechanics of a set and find out how many of those appeared at Mythic, to fulfill Greg’s passing fancy.
This is where it gets a little murky: what counts as a mechanic? Much like the debate between which Zombies you choose in a apocalyptic nightmare, there has to be some cut off to what you consider a mechanic or everything is a mechanic. What we’re looking for is two main ideas: keyword mechanics (What most people think of as mechanics), and mechanics named by Wizards that aren’t named on the cards themselves.