Should Mechanics Get Mythicfied?

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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.

Continue reading “Should Mechanics Get Mythicfied?”

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In a World Where Words Can Get You Killed…

There's a passage I got memorized: Ezekiel 25:17.

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I like to consider myself a writer. And, as a writer, I choose which words exit my fingers. Sometimes my brain thinks I’ve written the word that I thought of using there, but not all the time. I like to think of it as my fingers are stumbling to try and catch up to my thoughts. But most of the time, I believe that people tend to get the general idea of what I’m trying to say.

That leads us to the announcement from Monday: Wizards is printing Magic 2012. Shocking, I know (unless you haven’t played in a while, in which case Core Sets come out every year now). The biggest issue that people found interesting was the tagline:

Gather Your Allies

Now, if you have been paying attention to The Great Designer Search 2, you’ve noticed that all of the contestants have been forced to write loglines for their world. This is important, because it seems either the left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing or it knows excatly.

Continue reading “In a World Where Words Can Get You Killed…”

Design Class – You Win Some, You Infuse Some

Kinkiest Magic card art ever?

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I feel bad for using a MaRo-type puny title; it must be all the designing I did this weekend.

Yes, with GDS2 now at a pause between rounds 3 and 4 where the final 101 will cut to the Top 8, we can go back and take a look at what we did and over-analyze and complain that we should’ve had more time. Let me make this clear: I doubt any one of us who entered is a professional card designer. Our entries were as polished as they were going to get with the time constraint and knowledge we all had.

I want to thank everyone for helping me out. Hopefully Team Color Pie will continue on and a Top 8 will be in sights and I’ll need even more of your help. But for now, let’s talk about design since I learned quite a bit this weekend. If you didn’t see any of the wiki or discussions, this will help you understand at least the process of the whole situation.

And no, this isn’t going to score me more points on the GDS2, this is just a cathartic release after a few intense days. I don’t know how MaRo can keep it bottled up for 18 months, but I’m willing to learn.

Continue reading “Design Class – You Win Some, You Infuse Some”

Slice of Pie – Things That May Only Interest Me About M11

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After looking through the spoiler a few dozen times, building decklists and playing a little bit on MTGO, you start to notice some things. While this isn’t a funny “ha ha” type of list, it’s just things that I find interesting. Yeah, a little anti-climatic explanation, but you read the title, you knew it was coming.

There are 15 mythics in M11. Each color has three (The Titan cycle and the Planeswalker cycle), except Red. Its Mythic is in the artifacts section for Platinum Angel. Platinum Angel has been printed three times before (Mirrodin, 10th and M10) but never in a supplemental product (Duel Deck/FtV, etc). To make up for the lack of another Mythic, Red got an extra Rare.

Of the “Baneslayer” cycle that the rest of the colors got, Blue’s was the only one that wasn’t a creature (which makes sense). Of the two new creatures in the Baneslayer cycle, both are ineffective against the Angel; Gaea’s Revenge has 5 toughness and dies to it because of first strike damage and even with Demon of Death’s Gate trample if the Baneslayer’s controller blocks with said Angel, they still gains 1 more life than they lose. Oh, and the Baneslayer still survives thanks to the protection from Demons clause. In fact, Gaea’s Revenge might be the most “original” of the three new designs; Time Reversal is a fixed Time Spiral (It a “fixed” Timetwister) and Demon of Death’s Gate is a bigger, better(?) Delraich.

Green has 8 rares in M11; 6 of them are creatures, which is understandable since Green’s the creature color. One is part of the Leyline cycle and the other is the intro pack foil rare; that of course being the only one of the that’s not a creature. For comparison sake: White 8 total, 4 creatures; Blue 8 total, 4 creatures; Black 8 total, 4 creatures; Red 9 total, 5 creatures; and Artifacts 6 total, 2 creatures.

There have been no uncommon lands since 10th (the Manlands). This is the first time since uncommon lands were introduced in 4th Edition that back to back Core sets did not have uncommon lands. Of course, some of that reason has to do with the smaller Core Sets in general.

Two of the original five boons are present (Giant Growth and Lightning Bolt). The boons had the effect of some of three for one mana, but there’s the start of another boon cycle as well, this time at two mana. Mana Leak and Pyretic Ritual both do something for three, however two cards in a cycle doesn’t make. In fact, it’s funny that both of Red’s cards in the “cycle” has a counter in the other part of the “cycle”: Bolt deals 3 damage to a creature, Giant Growth adds 3 toughness; Mana Leak makes you pay 3 more mana while Pyretic Ritual adds 3 mana to your mana pool.

Reverberate’s art looks like Michael Jackson.