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  • posted a message on What energy card will get banned (if any)?
    Quote from udwdreams »
    ok so I was not too far off, but the decision to ban Ramunap Ruins rather than Hazoret is puzzling. Well, maybe RR would survive without Hazoret, but it's not clear it's that crippled without Ramunap Ruins. I guess they want to make RR still viable.


    RR is still viable, but losing Ruins was quite a hit, losing Ferocidon is going to suck against Vamps and tokens, but the deck definitely has a chance.

    Ruins gives it extra reach. If the deck doesnt kill in the early turns of the game, it runs into trouble because the opposing deck has time to build up. Ruins gives that extra bit of reach you sometimes need. Ruins definitely has won me some games, but nowhere near a majority. I have not played RR since Ixalan though, so I havent tried it with Ferocidon.

    I have been making janky home brews and getting schwacked by energy lately Smile


    Ramunap Red's extreme late game presence is almost entirely due Ramunap Ruins, both directly and indirectly. It obviously provides late game reach on its own, but it also allows RDW to run 24 lands without losing its damage potential, which in turn allows it to consistently hit 4 mana on turn four for both Chandra and Hazoret, as well as reliably hit 5 mana for Glorybringer. All of this in a deck that can actually reasonably win by turn 4 with its explosive starts. Getting rid of Hazoret would solve the issue of the deck's innate late game inevitability and late game presence, which is supposed to be a weakness for aggro lists. Getting rid of Ruins means that the deck will actually have to make some meaningful decisions on which direction it wants to go, as you can no longer reliably get the best of both worlds with no real investment.
    Posted in: Standard Archives
  • posted a message on Is Magic Attendance and Sales dropping?
    Quote from idSurge »

    I was involved in a lot of the drama involved in Dungeons and Dragons 4th edition. When you say WotC is behaving like a corporation, I think back to my experiences in that era, and what I saw is that while the people making the games were mostly geeks, there seemed to be an unusually high number of lawyers involved in everything.

    In my opinion, it’s simple. MtG needs Standard to be healthy, and it has never been less healthy.


    I think this is true, but when I look at this latest set, it just seems like they forgot what makes Magic fun to a lot of people. I wont buy...a single thing from this set, not a single chase card to me.

    I dont play standard, but I was for a good while there buying a lot of cards, to build Modern decks.

    Now, I dont even do that. It does feel a lot like 4th Edition.


    You're not wrong. I feel that the problem is that they have become over-focused on Archetype drafting, and forgot that a big part of the game to a lot of people, even in draft, is exploring the depth of the game. Everything just seems so canned, and purpose-driven. I mean, take Innistrad, for example. While archetypes certainly existed, there wasn't obvious cards that tell you to go into X or Y, and you weren't punished for picking X card because it went into 2-3 different archetypes in the format. You weren't in a canned, pre-determined decklist, and instead were allowed to explore various synergies without feeling like they meant for you to go that specific route.

    This is why I feel Dominaria has a good chance of being very good: Garfield understands that what people love about this game is making it their own, not playing out a predetermined canned experience. Players want to look at the cards and figure it out for themselves, and the cynical paradigms of R&D are inbred nonsense. While there is a point to making things work together in a synergistic way, they go well and above this to the point where a lot of cards are just not good at all outside of their archetype.

    As for constructed, the only rare/mythics I actively want are Zacama (Inner Timmy), Wayward Swordtooth (Seems like a very good ramp card), Blood Sun (For the jankiness), and Journey to Eternity (For EDH). I wouldn't mind Tetzimoc to toy around with, however, and might toy with Twighight Prophet and Champion of Dusk. None of the commons or uncommons really get me going, however. And that's about it. Usually around spoiler season I'm looking forward to 15-20 rares/mythics and a host of uncommons and commons. This year, there just is nothing.
    Posted in: Magic General
  • posted a message on Is Magic Attendance and Sales dropping?
    Quote from Greyimp »
    https://magic.wizards.com/en/articles/archive/play-design/block-monsters-and-how-we-avoid-them-2018-01-05

    Melissa DeTorra's recent article that admits Energy is a monster and she explains how they're hoping to avoid it happening again.

    While recognizing the problem is good, what the article doesn't address is if they've done anything to put out the fire. Rivals isn't feeling particularly potent especially because of the 'rails' they've put on too many cards as theman points out above. Which by the way his post hits the nail on the head.

    Disappointing DeTorra and crew either didn't see or didn't get listened to opening up the general spells and interaction cards so they could be used in any tribe. There's no reason to hook every card in a set to a particular tribe, it's counterproductive and makes for a crap draft environment people get sick of quickly.

    Recently I'd talked with people about the next ban and I was thinking they won't/shouldn't ban anything again.
    Now with the full set revealed I'm not so sure.
    I do think the timing is bad. If they do ban things it should be before people have decided what they're going to build for a new block and bought cards.

    I couldn't find the date of the next ban but if the new team and balance aren't confident that new Strats are going to out compete or at least be level with what's killing Standard right now maybe they should kill Aether Hub. It could serve to force more green into Temur land base and make the deck less perfect on curve. I know there's a loud minority that get colicy whenever you talk ban but really value has been wrung from these cards already and if no one is playing Standard you don't exactly get any use out of any of your cards.

    WotC needs emergency medics on standard right now. They should be begging people to play at this point.

    Talk about a hugely creature centric set... I don't see any premium, efficient removal in this new set that would indicate they've thrown out the idiot ways that got us here.
    Moment of Craving is the closest and that's just weak. Red only has Bombard and I know it's going to draft with Ixalan which has a lot of removal (and that's the whole large/small set thing) but omg talk about midrange creature smashfest. Impale is fine for limited yay less than 5cmc but Doomblade where for art thou?



    Moment of Craving is actually a good card; it is reminiscient of Pharika's Cure, which saw heavy sideboard play in MBC even though the deck had Doom Blade/Ultimate price. This is a better version of that card, and really is good *and* on the level of power needed given previous precedent (As Cure was played right next to Doom Blade). We still need Doom Blade, but I have no issue with Moment of Craving at all.

    Your point stands, however. The only actively good non-creature card is the Divinationnvariant that draws you three if you have Citys blessing. Most control decks begrudgingly run Divination, amd one with significant late game implication is very good. One of the more distressing things to see is that the reason they weakened removal was as a result of it being much better than the creatures, yet they have continued to push creatures to a point where near everyone is a must answer threat.
    Posted in: Magic General
  • posted a message on Is Magic Attendance and Sales dropping?
    I have taken many long breaks from this hobby, including most of the modern era, but I can’t recall it ever being this bad when it comes to Standard, not for this long a period of time. People seem to hate and avoid it, where it previously was the dominant format for most of my experience.


    You aren't wrong on this. I'm having a hard time personally coming up with 2-3 year stretch where Standard was just unpleasant for the entire run. There have certainly been worse Standards than current, and many of them (CoCo, CawBlade, Affinity, etc.), but I have a hard time figuring out when the last time we have had a consistently poor Standard environment for 2-3 years in a row.

    The problem is that the R&D paradigms they fostered leading into BFZ (Which was starting to be visible in Khans) permeated well into current set design before it came apparent that Standard was falling apart.

    I said it before, and I'll say it again: Somebody(or a group of somebodies) should have been fired after CoCo nuked the format and Standard continued to decline. Fundamentally, they need to just abandon all of their paradigms they *think* they know, and start from scratch with zero assumptions (Except the obvious ones). Particularly involving removal, which is just an egregious problem right now, as well as printing so many damned spells that require creatures to work. While it's fine to have some, they have moved so significantly into that space that there just isn't much non-creature worthy spells of interest, at all. I'm not even talking Removal, I'm talking interesting Instants, Sorceries, and Enchantments.

    They also have definitely not learned how to make a good Tribal limited format, and fundamentally do not understand why Tribal limited formats tend not to work very well. If most cards are only good in a given archetype, then the drafting tends to devolve into an on-rails experience; the problem with this is that due to the semi-random nature of draft, it is very easy to get screwed in pack 2 or 3 out of your Tribe for not other reason than it was opened poorly. When you construct your entire limited format around this, it turns into a damn unpleasant mess.

    Lorwyn had the right idea, executed somewhat poorly. They simply had too many different Tribal synergies going on, and wasn't quite focused on what it was trying to do. Having creatures with two different creature types in a tribal set means that a lot of creatures can slot into at least two different draft archetypes with relative ease. The problem is that R&D has gotten, frankly, lazy. Really bloody lazy, and don't want to revisit their paradigms. Even as Standard was falling apart, they refused to admit their paradigms were fundamentally flawed and wrong. Even still, it is apparent that they are resistant to it. There needs to be some major cleaning house going on of some sort, even if it is reshuffling their teams. Things need to change, and they need to become more cognizant of what their job is and what the decisions they make lead to. They also need to realize that Draft formats that are cookie-cutter on-rails archetype experiences are not enjoyable formats, particularly when removal is so ***** that people can't branch out into a Good-Stuff deck if they want to.
    Posted in: Magic General
  • posted a message on Is Magic Attendance and Sales dropping?
    Quote from Greyimp »
    The format was healthy when we had 1 CMC mana dorks, thoughtseize, and lots of removal/sweepers.
    Bring it all on! I miss Sylvan Caryatid


    The *only* problem with RtR-THS standard was Born of the Gods. That said was so incredibly bad that the only thing it really added to the format was three cards; two of which actually made the best deck better (Bile Blight) and Drown in Sorrow), and one of which made the Fourth-ish best deck better. This ensured that the format just went nowhere, and fast. One Journey came into the mix, the format opened considerably and an actual Constellation deck showed up, and a few other interesting inclusions to the format came with M15.

    Bad sets don't impact standard, is where I'm going.

    Posted in: Magic General
  • posted a message on Is Magic Attendance and Sales dropping?
    Quote from Greyimp »
    Quote from Greyimp »
    I wasn't aware that Commander had sanctioned events anywhere.
    It doesn't that's why Wizards of the Coast/Hasbro needs to officially sanction it like they recently did with Pauper. The point I was trying to get at earlier is that EDH/Commander has replaced Standard as their flagship format in Magic with new set releases reinforcing this recent shift in design philosophy.

    With too many new cards being printed/reprinted for casual markets it doesn't leave as much incentive for competitive players to play Standard, Modern, and Legacy. Local game stores are still an important venue for casual players just as much as it is for competitive players.


    I completely agree with you on their need to support stores and casual players but I have to say Modern is the flagship right now. Hell my LGS had 81 players do Modern at FNM last weekend. Eighty-one.
    Standard didn't fire.

    Maybe your local players are hard into Commander but it's not quite so popular here. Your LGS should support what people want to play.
    I feel like the Commander releases are part of their multi-angle push to get people to buy more product as they've been releasing Commander boxes for several years now predating the spear they hurled into Standard. The only reason standard isn't doing well is because they've messed it up.


    To be honest, they've been more or less knocking it out of the park with their Commander releases, particularly over the last few years. While they are far from perfect, they are largely enjoyable and reasonably well executed products.

    I'm hoping that they have a big push in R&D to fix their standard issues, and frankly re-examine their paradigms. It seems that the Play Design group has some of the right idea, as they are a large part of the reason that Abrade exists; they just need to push for more damn doom blades in Black and White, and we need them post haste. Among other things, but I feel that would help the format immensely.
    Posted in: Magic General
  • posted a message on Is Magic Attendance and Sales dropping?
    Quote from Colt47 »
    Quote from thememan »
    Quote from Colt47 »
    Quote from Greyimp »
    Quote from drmarkb »
    Fundamentally, the whole mess has come about through chasing new players at the expense of the old, and designing the game according to data of what people like, not what makes for a good game, and the end product has been an anaemic mess.
    Purely and simply, reactive data driven approaches ultimately fail, Maro has failed to grasp that. He needs to reevaluate the whole approach, starting from the point of view "what makes a good game?" and not "what do people get upset by/like?". The aim that should be nailed to the wall should be "ten deck standard". If people leave Standard because they "did not play magic", that is great, they will go and play it in Commander most likely. As it is, those people who have Vintage, Modern and Legacy decks won't play Standard not because they can't afford it, but because the game is a pale representation of what they can do in the older formats and very few cards can be used in the older formats.

    The day someone said "we don't want Lilly OTV in Standard" was they day Mtg started on its path to where it is now.



    You nail it on the head when it comes to Maro. Stop crap data collection and design with the principals used when the game was good.

    It's not like they have to reinvent the wheel. RTR was a great block. Dragons of Tarkir was a great block. It wasn't that long ago that things were good.

    GO BACK to what was good even if it's cloning at this point to get players interested in that 10 deck standard.
    I may sit and wait for Dominaria. There's not much that a small set could do at this point to shake anything up.
    And why buy cards when there's no one to play?


    The NWO is getting in the way of Maros own strategy is the thing. Under NWO they can never do something like what Force of Will does with Nyarlathotep, the Realized Truth + Crimson Sanction and red sealed cards. Basically, a sealed card gets stronger if there are X number of lands in play and Nyarlathotep unseals the cards. Crimson Sanction is basically a shock that once gets unlocked turns into a full lightning bolt vs players and flame slash vs creatures. Also I got things to say about the return to dominaria, but at this point they probably aren't really worth saying because there isn't anything I can say that people probably don't already feel is coming.

    The entire reason the game has gotten to where it is started a long, long time ago after Innistrad. They decided that they wanted to make the game more accessible so they invented NWO and made it so only very basic stuff could show up at common, got themselves stuck in a common power creep scenario because there was no other direction they could take other than reprint a bajillion versions of squire, storm crow, etc, and forced all the complex strategies into the rares, which in turn got everyone buying more singles than sealed product, etc.


    NWO predates Innistrad by a good margin; it was introduced in 2008 largely in response to poor pergormance of Time Spiral block, which actively drove players away due to its complexity. The purpose of NWO is actually rather sound. Innistrad, after all, was fully developed under NWO paradigms. To much [b]meaningless [/b] complexity can ruin a format, and drive people away from it. The problem is that they have taken it to an extreme that they themselves warned against wgen introducing the concept, and having adopting the "lower rarities are inherently weaker" paradigm whole-heartedly, which was never the intended purpose of NWO. NWO isnactually a goodnidea that has been executed well in the past (INN, RTR, KTK), its just that they do not seem to have forgotten the purpose ofnthe paradigm shift and, much like many things, have taken it for granted.

    Note that this isn't a brand new concept in game design at all. By the time Rosewater and the like started talking about NWO, tjat sort of concept was already bybamd large how most other game with a similar sort of randomization element design their games. It was moreso Wizards catching up than it was them coming up woth a new idea.


    I know NWO does predate innistrad and that Time Spiral was confusing to new players, but declaring a restriction on the basis of one single block? Name some other set that people complained about the complexity. That and even though NWO was declared in 2008, the effect of the restriction would have taken at least 2 years given how they designed sets. So case in point, the earliest people could see NWO would have been 2010. Regardless, it was a reactionary movement that was completely unnecessary.


    Time Spiral wasn't *just* confusing to new players; it was also unpleasant to a lot of players except the most enfranchised drafters. The problem you are having, and to an extect current R&D is putting, is that both you and they view it as a restriction; rather, it was originally intended to be and should only be a [b]guideline[/b] of design. Put most simply in game turns, cards with 2-3 (And especially more) different abilities should probably be uncommon for the most part, for the simple reason that seeing too many cards with that sort of design tends to make the drafting of the format a slog and a bit of a convoluted mess. [b]Which is fine[/b] in both theory and practice, as evidenced by Innistrad, RtR, and KtK being pretty damn good draft formats all around while following NWO paradigms. This doesn't mean that it's always used well; we need look at various other sets with have pretty poor draft formats to see this.

    Essentially, it is the difference between Conspiracy and Conspiracy: Take the Crown. One of the bigget complaints about Conpsiracy: Take the Crown is how damn complicated it is, and how so much of this complication doesn't matter much in the end. Meanwhile, Conspiracy (Proper) is widely considered a fantastic draft format, even though a lot of what is going on in the set is much simpler (Particularly at common) than the second one. NWO simply means that generally speaking, simpler cards should exist at common. Which [b]does[b/] work, and has worked very well in the recent past. The fundamental problem, however, is that they have taken it to mean that common cards [b]must[/b] be very simple, and now we get to the modern day. The more apt way of looking at it is that commons should be designed to be [b]elegant[/b] and feel like a natural part of the draft format, not a hot mess that just is a clunky mess. A huge part of Innistrad's success is because it successfully utilized NWO paradigms properly.

    It's not NWO that is causing the problems that you talk about, it's that R&D have taken every damn thing for granted, including NWO, and are not cognizant about their decisions. They focus only on the "good" things that come about from their decisions, without thinking about the potential fallout of what happens when you do X or Y. NWO is actually intelligent set design, to be blunt. Hell, it isn't even new to Magic at all. Its creation isn't even entirely because of Time Spiral; rather Time Spiral made them realize that they needed to be cognizant about what they were doing, and not just slap ***** together. It's not that NWO was originally reactionary, but rather it was spelling out a design philosophy they had from the beginning of the game, had its edges honed in the Invasion-Odyssey era, was near perfect (by accident) in the original Ravnica era, and then abandoned in Time Spiral. All NWO is codifying what they already "knew", so as to [b]guide[/b] future development. That is why the two large sets that were likely two of the first fully developed sets under NWO are considered some of the best draft formats in the game (Innistrad and RtR), while Time Spiral is liked only be a very small fraction of extremely involved players (And not all of them). NWO seeks to strike a balanced gameplay for both new and old players, and it [b]was[/b] successful in both Innistrad and RtR, as both new and old players loved the draft formats. The thing you need to realize is that Time Spiral didn't cater to Enfranchised players; even enfranchised players were giving up on the draft format because of how dumb it was. It catered to a very small subset of enfranchised players, and that was it.

    The problems were are seeing are the same ones that created the Time Spiral mess, but expressed differently. Namely, they are charging forward and forgetting the important lessons they have built up through out the game's history, while not being cognizant of the pitfalls of their decisions. All NWO is was R&D acknowledging the Design principles developed by Richard Garfield, as everything stated in NWO is exactly why every set Garfield touches is absolute gold. NWO is best described as "Sound design theory", and the fact that R&D needed to codify it at all should indicate to you that there are problems with their internal philosophies. At the end of the day, NWO isn't revolutionary, it isn't interesting, and it's bad. It's just regular-old set design principles that R&D needed to be told existed. The problem is they are charging head long into development without being cognizant of what NWO even means anymore or why it exists; much like many other principles, they have taken it all for granted.

    This is why I have high hopes for Dominaria; Garfield knows all about "NWO", and knows how to use it well. The reason he knows all about it is that he was using it correctly without ever needing to be told about explicitly, which is why Odyssey, Ravnica, and Innistrad are some of the best sets for both drafting and constructed that have ever existed. The reality is that NWO is best described as "Common sense", of which there seems to be lacking a lot in R&D at times as they rest on their laurels of success rather than wondering [b]why[/b] things are successful.






    Posted in: Magic General
  • posted a message on Is Magic Attendance and Sales dropping?
    Quote from Colt47 »
    Quote from Greyimp »
    Quote from drmarkb »
    Fundamentally, the whole mess has come about through chasing new players at the expense of the old, and designing the game according to data of what people like, not what makes for a good game, and the end product has been an anaemic mess.
    Purely and simply, reactive data driven approaches ultimately fail, Maro has failed to grasp that. He needs to reevaluate the whole approach, starting from the point of view "what makes a good game?" and not "what do people get upset by/like?". The aim that should be nailed to the wall should be "ten deck standard". If people leave Standard because they "did not play magic", that is great, they will go and play it in Commander most likely. As it is, those people who have Vintage, Modern and Legacy decks won't play Standard not because they can't afford it, but because the game is a pale representation of what they can do in the older formats and very few cards can be used in the older formats.

    The day someone said "we don't want Lilly OTV in Standard" was they day Mtg started on its path to where it is now.



    You nail it on the head when it comes to Maro. Stop crap data collection and design with the principals used when the game was good.

    It's not like they have to reinvent the wheel. RTR was a great block. Dragons of Tarkir was a great block. It wasn't that long ago that things were good.

    GO BACK to what was good even if it's cloning at this point to get players interested in that 10 deck standard.
    I may sit and wait for Dominaria. There's not much that a small set could do at this point to shake anything up.
    And why buy cards when there's no one to play?


    The NWO is getting in the way of Maros own strategy is the thing. Under NWO they can never do something like what Force of Will does with Nyarlathotep, the Realized Truth + Crimson Sanction and red sealed cards. Basically, a sealed card gets stronger if there are X number of lands in play and Nyarlathotep unseals the cards. Crimson Sanction is basically a shock that once gets unlocked turns into a full lightning bolt vs players and flame slash vs creatures. Also I got things to say about the return to dominaria, but at this point they probably aren't really worth saying because there isn't anything I can say that people probably don't already feel is coming.

    The entire reason the game has gotten to where it is started a long, long time ago after Innistrad. They decided that they wanted to make the game more accessible so they invented NWO and made it so only very basic stuff could show up at common, got themselves stuck in a common power creep scenario because there was no other direction they could take other than reprint a bajillion versions of squire, storm crow, etc, and forced all the complex strategies into the rares, which in turn got everyone buying more singles than sealed product, etc.


    NWO predates Innistrad by a good margin; it was introduced in 2008 largely in response to poor pergormance of Time Spiral block, which actively drove players away due to its complexity. The purpose of NWO is actually rather sound. Innistrad, after all, was fully developed under NWO paradigms. To much meaningless complexity can ruin a format, and drive people away from it. The problem is that they have taken it to an extreme that they themselves warned against wgen introducing the concept, and having adopting the "lower rarities are inherently weaker" paradigm whole-heartedly, which was never the intended purpose of NWO. NWO isnactually a goodnidea that has been executed well in the past (INN, RTR, KTK), its just that they do not seem to have forgotten the purpose ofnthe paradigm shift and, much like many things, have taken it for granted.

    Note that this isn't a brand new concept in game design at all. By the time Rosewater and the like started talking about NWO, tjat sort of concept was already bybamd large how most other game with a similar sort of randomization element design their games. It was moreso Wizards catching up than it was them coming up woth a new idea.
    Posted in: Magic General
  • posted a message on Is Magic Attendance and Sales dropping?
    Masters 25 and/or Dominaria will determine whether or not If Wizards of the Coast/Hasbro really gives a damn about the actual game instead of looking to make things worse for local game stores like what they've been doing over the past year. Then again I don't think it's entirely the company's fault for neglecting local game stores when the reality is that Trading Card Games / Collectible Card Games aren't as popular as they once were. Most people expect way too much out of a hobby as this one isn't as sustainable as the Video Game Industry was but that too seems to be dying out in favor of other gaming genres that are more "convenient".


    I do think a great number of people at WotC, at all levels, do care to varying degrees on the success of LGS's for different reasons. I imagine, for instance, that having IMA in big-box stores was as a means to get product to markets that don't typically have Brick & Mortar stores more than it was to just get it printed everywhere, and screw the LGS. Not for altruistic reasons, mind you, but for business reasons. As a short story, I got into the game largely because of K-Mart; I lived 2 hours away from the closest Game Store, and the only place I could buy anything locally in 2001 was at K-Mart (which is where I bought my first pack). There are good reasons why they went to Big Box, even if said good reasons ended up being bad, poorly thought out decisions. This is one where I think that hindsight will be 20-20, and they inform themselves in the future to never do this again given how poorly IMA sold and is selling. Basically, I think they didn't realize that this would cause such issues for stores, and assumed all it would do is increase the markets that IMA was available at without having any adverse affect on other markets. Bone-headed and near-sighted, certainly.


    Posted in: Magic General
  • posted a message on Is Magic Attendance and Sales dropping?
    Quote from Colt47 »

    I seriously do not understand why Wizards spends so much money flooding the market with products no one really wants. If they want to release an Ixalan board game, include it in the bundle or booster box to give added value to the set. If they want to help people get into the game, make starters that can compete with the main set and have stronger cards in them. On top of which, make the cards that are unique to the starters on par with the main set, not weaker than the main set. It's like they just want to waste paper in some pretend lala land or just make these secondary products the most expensive advertising campaign ever for MtG. Also the card development for this game is just horrific compared to some of the competition. So many obvious mistakes being cloaked as "we're just making the higher rarities more open ended because it makes them valuable" garbage. There's two ways to end up with an expensive standard:


    Market saturation. Some higher-up likely passed it down the line that the rest of company needed to print more product. Not to increase sales, but to saturate the market as much a humanly possible in order to push out the competition. It's basically spending (and losing) money now in order to build your name recognition by having Magic: The Gathering plastered all over stores in the form of products and the like. It's not a completely idiotic idea, but it certainly isn't a great one all the time. The problem is that I don't think that Magic is a brand which reasonably profits off of the strategy.


    1) Few people are drafting standard so there aren't a lot of copies.
    2) A single strategy dominates and only a tiny subset of cards in the entire set is carrying it.

    Guess which one of those describes the sorry state the game is in right now. The only reason the prices aren't completely out the window is that attendance for standard is so low that the demand for anything from standard is almost non-existent. The only thing holding card prices is the expected resurgence once they spoil rivals.


    I will say that my LGS has oddly old out of a lot of the staple rares from Ixalan. They didn't under-open it much, so I'm guessing that a lot of people actually want to play standard but don't due the state of the format.
    Posted in: Magic General
  • posted a message on Is Magic Attendance and Sales dropping?
    Quote from Greyimp »
    When someone starts an article with 'I don't play MTG' I automatically don't give a flying **** what they have to say. They don't get anything that we're talking about and why the hell does their opinion rate at all with the community?

    We're talking in this thread about standard, why it's failing, how they can fix it, and I at least hope they will but all the evidence right now is pointing to dumpster fire. If 81 people at one location are playing Modern and under 8 want to play standard WotC has a big problem that MARO and CO are not fixing.
    The few left who want to play, can't. You need numbers for the game to work and they aren't there because of BAD DESIGN.


    Not going to lie; I think Rudy hit the nail on its head with his latest video: Rivals of Ixalan is going to be "meh", and Dominaria needs to knock it out of the park. I have a good deal of optimism from Dominaria; it is, after all, involving Garfield in the set design and it will largely be the first full-fledged set where the Play Design team has had enough time to really hash things out and figure out the format. Garfield has a very strong pedigree with Design; he was involved with Innistrad, which is largely regarded as one of the best draft and constructed sets ever created. He was also involved with Odyssey block, which was just straight fantastic almost entirely (With some minor issues with Torment in limited). He was also on the team for the original Ravnica, and according to MTG wiki had a hand in Unstable (Though he is uncredited). All of these sets are considered fantastic with great design and development.


    While things don't look great until Rotation and Kaladesh leaves, a great Dominaria might be able to hold things off. That said, I don't see the game itself going anywhere any time soon. We are in rough times, but the game will continue for years to come still. If they fix the R&D issues in the game, which they seem to be working on, and not fall back into their absolute nonsense decisions that contradict the very lessons they discussed just a few short years ago, then the game will come out fine. It's a tall order, and requires people like Stoddard and Rosewater to abandon some of their core philosophies, but it's hardly insurmountable. There have been worse spots in the game's history.
    Posted in: Magic General
  • posted a message on Is Magic Attendance and Sales dropping?
    Quote from Colt47 »


    I'm more interested in the contents than the writer as his points about the legal text have been shared by multiple people at this point. Likewise, if you want to start arguing about the writers own integrity that is a completely different subject. Perhaps you prefer Breitbart or maybe Jon del Araz? At this point does it even matter as the entire situation is just a giant pile of madness?


    The point I'm making is that this article is an Op-Ed, and not some hard-hitting investigative article coming at it from a neutral stance. Op-Ed's are fine, however presenting as anything more than the writer's personal opinion on the matter is utterly dishonest. A writer's integrity is important, and shattering that integrity brings every single assertion made in one's piece suspect. This is doubly concerning considering that the article presents rumor as fact, and makes a great deal of assertions without any sort of sourcing for them.

    To a significant degree, I would vastly prefer Breitbart; at least they straight up tell their agenda from the outset. This article claims it is neutral, when the reality is that it was pretty written in no small part with the help of Hambly himself, and done so to help Hambly more than fairly present the situation. This is a rag piece written in a manner that gives it the false air of neutrality while jut presenting the opinions of the author with very little actual factual basis to anything in it.

    The reason I don't touch on the actual content of the article is because I don't really care about his opinion on the manner, and don't feel like debating it. He's allowed his opinion. Rather, I take great annoyance to the notion that an Op-Ed piece is some stalwart of journalistic neutrality on the subject at hand, and has anything to do with anything.
    Posted in: Magic General
  • posted a message on Is Magic Attendance and Sales dropping?
    Quote from Colt47 »
    If anyone is interested in the entire affair and wants an even opinion on it, I found this guy to be about as even tempered on the entire thing as possible.

    Lou Colagiovanni's article. I like his article mostly because the guy doesn't play Magic at all and is just looking at the thing from an outsider in. Basically, while we are here worried about Magic the gathering, it's really the entirety of WoTCs product lines that are in jeopardy from this disaster. Dungeons and dragons along with Duel Masters have much smaller communities and an exodus from them would just outright kill the games.


    It's hardly anywhere near as even as he makes it out to be at all, and it is hardly anywhere near what I would call an intellectually honest piece. Your first major red flag should come from the fact the he allowed Hambly not only to have an advance copy, but also he allowed Hambly to publish portions prior to the article being published. This should cause pause for anyone, at all, who thinks that he is writing anything remotely akin to a neutral stance. The next red flags that come up are that he accepts and present, without any actual source whatsoever, completely rumour and innuendo as fact towards the motivations of the anti-Hambly individuals. While this might be forgivable if he had done proper research, the simple fact of the matter is that he makes it damn well clear that the only person he interviewed is Hambly. So not only are we reading an article that is being intellectually dishonest from the outset by claiming a neutral position while obfuscating his own biases(as it is clear he worked closely with Hambly on this piece to primarily present Hambly's viewpoint), as well through presenting rumor as fact, he also is intellectually lazy because he makes it clear he never even bothered to try and interview the subjects of this piece, at all, aside from Hambly. While he makes some valid points towards Hambly's position, the simple fact is that everything else is damn well lazy and intellectually dishonest to the extreme, as well as near unethical.

    Simply put, there is a reason why he hasn't seemed to have written a single article in two month, and his CV page on facebook essentially is just the ame damn story where he is mentioned once as being the friend of someone involved in Anthony Wiener's case. He's a bloody hack, and doesn't know journalistic integrity if it bit him in the ass, and this article damn well shows it. Of course, I shouldn't expect much from a guy who proclaims incessantly he is some sort of major journalist whom personally orchestrated Wiener's downfall. When the only mention that ever exists of him is that he is a friend of the person involved in the whole scandal, and who very occasionally writes minor articles on minor events.

    While journalists all have opinions on everything, and all have some varying degree of agenda, they at least put some effort into their investigations aside from "Interview this one guy, and assume everything else". Simply put, this guy is trying to make a career, and that is it. He is a narcissistic nit who sees an opportunity to write complete rags, while presenting complete rumor as actual fact, while dressing it up as being "fair" by admitting that Jeremy is an ass.

    The guy's a hack and the piece is a rag.
    Posted in: Magic General
  • posted a message on Is Magic Attendance and Sales dropping?
    Quote from Greyimp »
    Quote from thememan »

    Equally, the reason why answers need to be far more efficient than threats is because answers do not win the game. Threats do. You can have a hand full of threats, and you can win the game. If you have a hand full of answes, there is a good chamce you can lose.


    Absolutely. The furthest they've ventured into answers being as robust as threats is Vraska's and CMC 4 isn't good enough.
    When 3 CMC threats come with 3/2 body, +energy, +card answers also need to be destroy, +card, +lifegain for 3 CMC. 2 CMC threats should exile and gain life. Sweepers should be 4 CMC without the downside because threats are over efficient!
    What's not very funny is they've poo poo'd cards like Sphinx's Revelation and Supreme Verdict but those are exactly the kinds of cards they need to have in standard to bring us back to balance.



    I will say that answers that deal with almost every threat, and have upside beyond that, are perfectly reasonable to be cost more. Vraskas Contempt is fine, as is Cast Out. The problem is that that is mostly all there is in the format; White has actively nothing to deal with the early game at all, and Black has Push, which is not very good against the premier archetype in the format. Hence why Black is really just a different sort of Attune/Refiner package that runs a Contempt or two, and white just hard loses to aggro.
    Posted in: Magic General
  • posted a message on Is Magic Attendance and Sales dropping?
    Quote from Greyimp »
    This! I hope the people who like to say 'there are plenty of answers' read the details of at least the first half of this article. This is why standard is stale and people aren't playing it. It's WotC's design direction and they still haven't let go of proper hate cards.

    http://magic.tcgplayer.com/db/article.asp?ID=14365&writer=Craig Wescoe&articledate=12-29-2017



    The article is pretty much straight on point.

    I will add that to his last point, the reason we need more efficient amswers is because it dramatically opens up the format. Just going with Doom Blade, a big part ofnthe problem right now is that we have one efficient all purpose removal spell in the format in the foem of Harnessed Lightning, and two others tjlhat are alsonred (Abrade/Lightning Strike). This is our only Doom Blade. If a player wants to play a deck that plays Doom Blade, they are by necessity an Energy based deck. If there were 5 or 6 different Doom Blades in the format, you could reasonably play a deck that wants Doom Blade but is not energy. Right now we realistically have three general purpose efficient answer cards on the level of Doom Blade, all of which are red (Abrade, Lightning Strike, HL) and one arguable in Black (Fatal Push, which is more of a scalpel in Standard). Ultimately, Pileofremoval.dec is not a serious archetype anympre, largely because threats are significantly better.


    Equally, the reason why answers need to be far more efficient than threats is because answers do not win the game. Threats do. You can have a hand full of threats, and you can win the game. If you have a hand full of answes, there is a good chamce you can lose.
    Posted in: Magic General
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