After MaRo – The 2009 State of Design Response

MaRo from UGMadness.net
MaRo from UGMadness.net

This is the 5th State of Design that MaRo released since his tenure as Head Magic Designer who is the mouthpiece of Wizards. But this is quite an important one as now, after this amount of time, he has developed a pattern. Before we look at the present (and the “future”), we must look at the past.

MaRo always has goals that he wants to do for design for the upcoming block. This is always an easy task because *shock* they have already designed and close to printing the future block that MaRo is wanting to make goals for. It’s easy to make goals for something you’ve already done. Maybe goal in the traditional sense (the act of throwing, carrying, kicking, driving, etc., a ball or puck into such an area or object), should be replaced with another definition (Synonyms: 1. target; purpose, object, objective, intent, intention. 2. finish). Um, let’s use intent. It’s their intent (goal) to do hit these marks and make them go over well.

Taking a look at the past year’s “goals” there is a pattern going on here (MaRo says humans like patterns). Let’s take a look at them for each year and see what the goals were with what they accomplished:

2005 – Ravnica: City of Guilds Block

1. Institute block design (Have colored pairs throughout the block rather than one set)

2. Design between blocks (Don’t have Ravnica beat up Champions, let them work together)

3. Design and create integration (Create more Spirits!)

2006 – Time Spiral Block

1. Continue with the past goals (Past-present-future, cards that work with multicolor, mix dredge/hellbent with flashback)

2. Embrace the tools of the past (Use old mechanics)

3. Find ways to surprise (Surprise! Psionic Blast is back! Surprise! Wrath of God is now Black! Surprise! Magic is making contraptions!)

2007 – Lorwyn/Shadowmoor Blocks

1. Go back to our roots (Creatures smash and Blue/Black get the best spells)

2. Find innovation that doesn’t shock (Besides that four sets a year thing. Two/two blocks (race-class, friendly hybrid/enemy hybrid))

3. Be all inclusive (Spikes got Faeries/Cryptic Command, Johnnys got hybrid and Timmys got the entire Lorwyn block)

You gotta diversify your bonds!
You gotta diversify your bonds!

2008 – Shards of Alara Block

1. Give things more time and space to breathe (The middle set? No new mechanics)

2. Embrace Flavor (5 shards each with their own keyword/theme)

3. Don’t be afraid to diversify (We about to go to war, invest in some nuclear bombs)

2009 – Zendikar Block

1. Explore new areas of design (No set around lands yet? Brilliant!)

2. Bring more resonance to the game (It’s a Trap!)

3. Continue to challenge expectations (Third set? Yeah, it’s big)

What does that mean? Do MaRo’s goals actually mean nothing then just big giant spoilers for the whole block? Is the cake a lie? Continue reading “After MaRo – The 2009 State of Design Response”

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If Alara Reborn Art Were Movie Posters

Summer movie season starts next week with Wolverine, and that’s when Alara Reborn releases.  I decided to celebrate my two favorite loves (after my wife): Magic and Movies.  Let’s do some Mash-Ups and see what would happen if some art from Alara Reborn were movie posters:

Every Summer seems to have a Horror Film, and this one looks awesome as if Dead Rising, Alara and George A Romero mixed all in one.  With Romero directing you know there’s some underhanded political message.  It doesn’t matter, it would look awesome.

movie-poster-zombies-reborn

Continue reading “If Alara Reborn Art Were Movie Posters”