I’amrakul’s Complete Lack of Surprise

On a long enough timeline, the survival rate for everyone drops to zero.

Emrakul Scooby
Those Meddling Planeswalkers

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”

When Story Dictates Design (Shadows Over Zendikar)

Hold your breath. Make a wish. Count to three.

tumblr_inline_o3oyizxtry1qhstyx_500Battle for Zendikar and Shadows Over Innistrad both have easy to digest stories: The Eldrazi are destroying Zendikar, something is making everything on Innistrad crazy. Two big objects are changing the plane (Eldrazi vs the Moon). Battle for Zendikar focuses on the things that are close to the Eldrazi while Shadows Over Innistrad focuses on the plane and its inhabitants. The design focus is then on the Eldrazi vs. the plane of Innistrad. Going big vs going wide.

Hey, let’s design everything around the Eldrazi (Going big).

Hey, let’s design everything around horror and madness is affecting the plane (Going wide).

Going big vs going wide leads us into two different directions of design. Neither of these ways of design are bad, they’re just opposite ways of thinking on how to approach the set. Continue reading “When Story Dictates Design (Shadows Over Zendikar)”

Tomorrow Comes Today – Announcement Day for Future Products

Way better than Big Block of Cheese Day

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Saheeli Rai, Planeswalker

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.

And the following changes:

  • Intro Decks become Planeswalker Decks
  • Fat Packs become [Set Name] Bundle

Let’s take a look at each one and what all of this means. Continue reading “Tomorrow Comes Today – Announcement Day for Future Products”

Non-Comprehensive Thoughts on Unofficial Leaks

Mana LeakI 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.

Continue reading “Non-Comprehensive Thoughts on Unofficial Leaks”

Everything That’s Pretty Okay with Battle for Zendikar

Ugin's InsightEditor’s Note: I’ve been sitting on my PAX report for a while after some delays (my brother getting married, life and work). I’ll visit it later; it hasn’t come out the way I want to.

Earlier this week, Pro Player (and notably better Magic player than I) Paulo Vitor Damo de Rosa put out an article on ChannelFireball.com called “Everything That’s Wrong with Battle for Zendikar.” In it, he explains why he doesn’t like the philosophical direction that BFZ has gone and believes it’s a bad set. He came from the angle as a competitive player completely acknowledges that angle; that’s what I want when I read something from him. While I don’t fully agree with his position I want to take a look at this groundswell I’ve seen online about the hatred for BFZ.

There has been a little bit of an issue with Channel Fireball moving his article around trying to hide it so it doesn’t effect sales of the new set in their store. I’m not looking to comment on this as I’ve had my own issues with a large online retail site/store before with their content. I’m all for an author writing what they believe without being tied to sponsors; that’s the major reason why I don’t have advertisements on this blog. If I write something like Paulo had and a sponsor didn’t like the content and this article might hurt sells, I might be pressured into writing something different or censoring myself. Paulo wants to start a conversation while giving his thoughts on the topic, and I fully applaud that even if I don’t agree with him. Continue reading “Everything That’s Pretty Okay with Battle for Zendikar”