Ultimate Masters: MMI Review
Magic Market Index for Dec 7th, 2018
Magic Market Index for Nov 30th, 2018
  • posted a message on Killing a Goldfish Review
    I've got an opinion about this topic. It's been making me think about Magic for quite a bit since I read it yesterday. I'll try to be succinct. Mark Rosewater is a very talented and hard-working man who loves his job immensely. I know this because for years I have read his articles and followed his blog and even listened to some of his podcasts. His sheer creative output is impressive. However, I have enjoyed Mason's reviews of old Magic sets because I was around buying packs and making decks and had some issues with them myself. Also I think critical analysis of Magic is lacking. There are many many many people making money off of Magic these days, from individuals selling cards or winning tournaments, to small businesses sponsoring teams of players and pros to write articles about the game, to the company developing the game itself. It's in almost all of their best interests that the game continue to grow in popularity and have increased sales over the last year. And that the player base grows. And that the player base spends more money. And if each person who spends money on magic spends more this year than last year, then Magic is doing well.

    What strikes me about this whole conversation is Mason's comment about art and specifically the Ramones:

    If you’re a musician or know musicians, there’s a very good chance that you could create an album that’s better than the first, self-titled Ramones album. Record those same songs, but with a little bit better, more modern, production quality. The musicianship was pretty bad on that 1976 record, so with good musicians, you could tighten it up. Maybe record slightly more emphatic, more melodic vocals. Add just a touch of autotune.

    Would your album be better? Almost unquestionably, it would improve on the original.

    But would it be a “good album?” Of course not. You didn’t do anything unique. The initial statement that the Ramones made with that album is the important thing, as are all the myriad influences that it had on cultures worldwide. There’s not a punk or indie rock band anywhere that isn’t influenced by that album (even if it came passed down through other bands in between them and the Ramones).

    He's got a point, but the comparison is unfair. The Ramones' first album came out in 1976 and their last album came out in 1996. I'm sure they didn't try to literally recreate their music from that first album over 20 years, but they put out 14 albums. How many of them had problems? How many were really good? I don't know anything about The Ramones but it's fair to assume that at least one of them was not as good as that first album. They were all "works of art" though. Imagine if The Ramones had not died and were instead still touring today. Imagine if they finally got the recognition they deserved and their fanbase started doubling or quadrupling year to year. Now imagine they put out a new album, meant to appeal to everyone. How many Ramones fans would cry that they "sold out", regardless of the album's sales? If it sells well, then clearly they did "sell out" and if it doesn't sell well then it sucked and they can't stay in touch with their fans. How many people would be able to distinguish whether the album was meant to appeal to everyone, or if it was the next Ramones album, another "work of art"?

    This seems like the crux of Mason's argument, that Magic "sold out". Magic today is about appealing to a huge population of gamers, most of them much more casual in nature than people the game was originally played by. But not advertised to. Magic was always trying to reach a massive audience, everything that came out was desperately trying to get you to buy it. They had numerous failed product lines, numerous failed sets (and even blocks) by financial metrics. Today Magic is finally reaching a massive audience and selling well. The design of the game is bent towards this goal, but not necessarily tainted by it. I enjoyed Ravnica: City of Guilds when it came out, so much so that I even have a blog detailing why: http://www.mtgsalvation.com/userblogs/technik4-blog/9362-an-homage-to-ravnica-blocks-development. I also enjoyed Return to Ravnica and bought quite a bit, in fact it was the first time I've ever bought 2 boxes of a set, which I repeated for Gatecrash but not for Dragon's Maze. By any financial metric I enjoyed Return to Ravnica more than Ravnica, after all I spent more money on it. I even convinced my girlfriend to buy a box of each set (again, not including Dragon's Maze).

    My own personal evaluation of the set? Well, I guess it's time to write another blog since this post has wandered off pretty far. I think Mason should too, since he got caught up in his own bias against Mark Rosewater and failed to deliver.
    Posted in: Magic General
  • posted a message on Malicious Affliction - Could this be our new Legacy-playable card?
    I saw this card and thought it may have implications as well. It's potentially one of the most efficient 2:1s black has ever gotten, and I was specifically thinking in a mono-black build it could be very good.
    Posted in: New Card Discussion
  • posted a message on [M15] Running Tally of highest priced cards (Updated Jan 28th)
    As usual, M15 is a mythic-dominated set:
    9 of the top 10 are mythics, but that isn't all that unusual. Remember "mythics are going to be the weird cards, the awkward cards, the cards you rarely want to see, and the legendary cards - they won't be the chase cards for tournaments!" Heheheh, promises promises promises. That didn't last long. At least they always put a couple crap mythics in each set, so people can point to them as evidence Wizards stuck to their assertions.

    Mythics are the least frequent card printed in a modern set, it's incredible how little many of them end up being worth, to me. Don't you feel a little childish remaining upset at a business practice that has increased the interest and sales in your favorite hobby year after year? Mythics still are not the backbone of most standard tournament decks! Look at the devotion decks, do you see lists with 20-30 mythics? No. How about Esper, that plays 3 colors surely it must have more mythics than rares! No. RDW? Hahah, no. R/G Monsters must use the best mythicalest creatures right? No. Standard decks are not completely composed of mythic rares as your tirade seems to imply. Can you compete at the highest levels without mythics? No (of course not?). Can you still have fun and play magic without any of them? Yes. They aren't going anywhere but into more magic products. I have collector friends that love showing off their binders of "just mythic rares". They are popular. They work. They haven't done that bad of a job making sure they are good but not too-good.

    For someone who spends as much time as you do thinking about, selling, and posting about Magic maybe it's time to just embrace the 2010s?

    Other than that minor quibble, nice update and thanks for the tally.
    Posted in: Market Street Café Archive
  • posted a message on Yomi - Sirlin's Card Game

    Check this out and support it if you feel like it. It's more of a pre-order than a kickstarter (no exclusives, everything will be available after the kickstarter). The game is called yomi and it is a card game that simulates a fighting game. Instead of colors you have different characters and all the decks are pre-built. There is no deckbuilding. Despite that, there is a steep mastery curve for most characters and a lot to learn about reading your opponents moves which make it feel more like poker than magic at times.

    We are close to reaching 150k which will include 2 bonus decks if you pledge at least $100. The cards are both better durability and cheaper than magic, since each complete tournament-playable deck is only $10 each. That said, there is no collectible aspect - you don't buy these expecting them to be worth more later. He is going into print production and will be selling the same product on his website next year.

    Also if you're interested you can try the game for a spin on his website, certain characters are free and you can get tokens to unlock others for a few games (or just buy them outright).

    Posted in: Other Card Games
  • posted a message on So, Conspiracy...
    Quote from Rancored_Elf »
    I'm upset on principle only. I know what's going on here, and now a few more people do as well. The rest of ya, keep clapping.

    Your entire position is predicated on the notion that cards should have some intrinsic value. They DO have value, but that value is not necessary to enjoy the game (especially casually). If the cost of a game where they give you all the rules and you live in a society where you can replicate the pieces cheaply bothers you then just side-step it. Of course you can't compete with your fake cards.

    I'm all for reprints, personally. And I'm an older player with potentially lots to "lose". But I have an emotional connection with my collection and only sell pieces of it when necessary. The "value" of it is not really gained or lost since I paid the money and enjoyed the cards long ago and now they just sit in boxes/binders.

    Really the fact that they are worth anything at all is amazing to me and a perk of this expensive hobby.
    Posted in: Market Street Café
  • posted a message on I got 6 packs of Theros in the mail!!!!
    Thanks MTGSalvation! Going to wait to open them doing some sealed with BNG, but just wanted to say thanks!

    -Relaunch Giveaway Winner

    Posted in: Special Occasions
  • posted a message on [[M15]] New Card frame and M15 Preview
    I don't like the border change. I'm rational enough to know that I don't spend much time looking at the bottom of a magic card, that I fan them when I hold them in my hands, and that it ultimately won't matter much. But it still bugs me.

    The holo-foil change is smart, as its getting way too easy to forge magic cards and that makes me wary of buying online. Good change, in my opinion.

    The font needed to go for a long time. Not sure if I like the new "Beleren" font yet. I feel like they could have gone bigger! Made something more noticeable and magic-y. Alas.

    Designer credit is cool, definitely think it should be at the bottom of the card, not used where flavor text belongs.

    Waste Not looks good, I'll be trading for it!
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on 2013 Holiday Promo: Stocking Tiger
    Quote from HipsterVenser
    Huge waste of a booster pack if the cat DOESN'T get damage in.

    Cuz you can't reuse it. Oh wait...
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on [[Official]] Standard Huge Gainers
    I don't play alot of blue and find Swan Song very good,

    I think we figured out why you think Swan Song would be good in standard, when it really isn't. If it was a conditional hard-counter, then you would probably have a point but it doesn't stop creatures or planeswalkers. That's a huge part of the meta, meaning in Standard its best shot is niche sideboard tech.

    Thanks for the tip on Arbor Colossus, I picked up a set for $2. Cool creature, will almost definitely be a part of a mid-range deck in the future.

    Can't wait for the Pro Tour! Hopefully there are some new deck ideas using forgotten cards.
    Posted in: Market Street Café Archive
  • posted a message on September Commander Changes
    Kinda disappointed Omniscience wasn't banned. That card is entirely degenerate in EDH. In just over 100 games with all four players having it in their deck, it was cast 64 times. The player who cast it won in 63 of 64 times (the 64th it was boomeranged). 61 of the 63 times, the player won that turn. Usually without extra turn effects.

    And for you they have "House Rule: Omniscience is Banned."
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on ark42.com closes up shop
    bummer, I loved this little ap. Sorry you had some rough times man!
    Posted in: Market Street Café
  • posted a message on [[THS]] DailyMTG Previews 9/6: Scry lands
    These lands are fine. They are skewed towards control/mid-range, since aggro can't afford to play many lands tapped. Thats fine, Shocklands are good in all archtypes, but especially notable because they are good in aggro. Just like the fast-lands in SoM block. Most lands are better in control, in general, because they play more lands and can afford missing a mana here and there (though it does start to add up).

    Overall I think these will be a great addition to the Standard meta. Budget players can use Guildgates and not feel like they are too far behind. Shocklands will go up, possibly by a lot (get em now, especially the gatecrash ones!) since they will usually be 4-of while these may be 2-4 copies.

    Also, while scrying isn't the most powerful thing, it can be an important decision which good players will take advantage of and bad players will screw up. Giving the game some more room for better plays is always good, in my opinion!
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on [[THS]] Curse of the Swine
    My only beef...er pork with this card is that it should most definitely say "non-God". Boom, then I love it. As it is, I'm not a fan flavor-wise (Circe could not turn Zeus into a pig, sorry). Also the power-level worries me. "Destroy"-polymorphs can be hindered by protection, regeneration, indestructible-ness, and hex-proof. Exile? Only protection and hexproof a mechanic that is primarily in blue...
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on Off Topic: Changing the Standard Rotation
    This is an interesting idea, but I think ultimately it will cause more headaches than is worth the trouble. While its easy to think that when Theros enters, Innistrad leaves, and when Born to the Gods enters, Dark Ascension leaves this will be annoying for deckbuilders with a strong emotional connection to their cards.

    Yes right now in the real world you are coming up on not being able to use any Innistrad block cards anymore. But in your example I could have a gimped werewolf-ish deck (Huntmasters but no Reckless Waifs) when Theros hits. That's MORE cards a new player has to consider playing against. Also, it keeps people from investing in the new Fall set, which is a huge driving point against it since that set is used to determine many metrics for a block's success.

    Finally, for people like me, it never lets standard get reset to its smallest point, which is my favorite point in standard (I'm a huge fan of block constructed but it's rather difficult to get stores to run block constructed events). I like being constrained by only 1 block and the beginning of a new block (along with whatever M-set). I like the deckbuilding challenge that comes with it, as well as finally being rid of whatever juggernaut the last set had in it (lets say lingering souls here, as it was in Dark Ascension and under your proposed rotation would still be legal with Theros). That feeling of finally being rid of some group of cards/mechanics is nice and one of the things I love about Standard.
    Posted in: Articles
  • posted a message on [New Info] [Update 2/13/2014: Announced!] Magic: The Gathering - Conspiracy
    If you were going to make a new mtg product in the style of mafia/assassins/cowboys, dont you think it would also be an awesome place for silver-border non-tournament cards, like an Un-set? I do...
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
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