Let me rephrase: I like Magic art however my expertise is not art, it’s design. I appreciate looking at art and I have several art prints of Magic cards up in my home office area (I’ve got the John Avon Unhinged basic land cycle at my actual work office, and I still have this print even though it’s not hanging at that card store at the moment). If you asked me what made X piece of art so good I couldn’t tell you besides “It’s pleasing to my eye.” I pick up lessons here and there, especially from constantly name dropped on my blog Mike Linnemann (You might have seen his work here).
So when he asked me to help promote this Kickstarter for the GP Vegas Art Show (http://kck.st/2nqMGGf) even though I won’t be able to attend, I was more than happy to help. Why?
If I had to pick between design and development, I’m pretty easily sitting on the design side. Sure, I can hunt and peck and guesstimate development, but it’s not something that’s my strong side. I know that and I can live with the limitation. So why did I take on one of the most develop-y things I could do: building a cube?
Because it’s fun.
Plus, what else am I going to do with cards that aren’t in my Commander decks?
When I decide to get expensive/foil cards, Commander is still my preferred format. But I’ve wanted to get into some more drafting so I decided to build a cube. If you don’t know what a cube is, watch this helpful video from Tolarian Community College:
So I built a pauper cube and it was fun for a while. I followed around Adam Stybroksi’s pauper cube and it fun but I wanted more power, more umph. But I didn’t want to strip my Commander decks full of cards to get a cube going. So I set up some rules for myself:
Modern legal only
This was an easy one. Sure I might have missed some great cards if I dipped into Eternal formats but this way I only get a few broken cards instead of full colors. This allowed me to keep the Reserved List out of the cube and keep costs lower than what it could be.
No foils or exotic cards
Cube is the other format where players like to foil out their decks or get the Russian foil whatever to make their cubes stand out. Those type of cards are for my Commander decks. Plus, I feel as if I keep everything non-foil, I won’t hesitate to take it out for a better card. I’ve discovered I’ve had this problem in my Commander decks from time to time. Of course I feel that’s ok in Commander since I’m not a cutthroat kind of guy in that format (except when I play my Sygg, River Cutthroat deck).
Something else was missing. Being a Johnny, I wanted to make the cube unique. Building a Modern-legal cube seemed fun, but I had fears it wasn’t going to be too different than the rest of the cubes I’ve seen. So I started to think about what could make this cube different.
But, what if it was all one set?
I’ve seen people build set/block cubes, like with Ravnica and Innistrad. That seemed kind of fun. It wasn’t really what I was going after.
What if it was a set, like Modern Masters?
Well a cube is kinda like Modern Masters…
What if rarity mattered?
What if each color, color combination, and colorless had so many mythic, rare, uncommon and common spots?
On a long enough timeline, the survival rate for everyone drops to zero.
Today, WotC announced that Emrakul is the huge threat on Innistrad. This came as a complete non-shock to many and received a “Ho Hum” from the internet. All of the clues were laid out for those that wanted to follow them and it was pretty spelled out. Sure, I was on team Marit Lage (The Planeswalker/Cosmic Horror from Dark Depths), but I mean I knew it was the Great Spaghetti Goddess.
But players, like they always do, complain that this wasn’t some great twist. As if we were expecting something like a Sixth Sense ending (or to play off this title’s connection, Fight Club (Explanation of the other part of the title can be found here in the story)). Instead we get something that everyone was expecting; Mike Linnemann (@VorthosMike) had been going on this for a while. But, it makes sense storywise. Let’s all calm down breathe deeply and take a look at why this was an okay move for WotC. Continue reading “I’amrakul’s Complete Lack of Surprise”
Today on the Mothership, they announced an “Announcement Day.” In this Announcement Day, WotC announced the future products for the rest of the 2016 year. The announcements are as follows (announced release order):
August 26: Conspiracy – Take the Crown Draft Sets available at mass market stores.
September 2:Duel Decks: Nizza vs. Ob Nixilis
September 30:Kaladesh – Fall Large Set. Previews begin PAX weekend (September 2)
November 11:Commander 2016
November 25:Planechase Anthology
Janurary 20, 2017:Aether Revolt – Winter Small Set.
I have a very interesting perspective in all of this leak discussion and I’m going to be a little vain and egotistical for a moment. I apologize in advance for that.
For the first five years of the PAX party here in Seattle, I felt that I had a job I had to do. For those that don’t know, the PAX party held every PAX Prime shows off the new plane for the upcoming year. During that party WotC prints up a bunch of oversized cards from the new set for people to see. It’s been my “job” to get the photos of those cards onto the internet, mainly through my twitter feed (@MTGColorPie, shameless plug). Is this a job that’s be officially sanctioned by WotC? Am I getting paid for this job? No. But when the party happens, there were members of WotC who let me know if other preview cards are coming up (Pay attention to those cards on the wall, something might happen to them later – Innistrad Flip card debut), or making sure I get all of the ones that were on display.
Let me tell you something, it’s a rush to be able to be one of the first ones to see a new card. Take a photo of it, and send it off to the internet for the community to digest. There’s a bunch of pride there; I’ve seen my images from PAX being used on eBay auctions to the rumor forums to Tumblr and a bunch of fan sites. That feeling of that it was you who “previewed” this card is thrilling and you felt like you did the community some good.