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  • posted a message on Holiday Card 2014 - Mishra's Toy Workshop
    Finally, another card which can predict the future like Equinox.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on Just how good is KTK?
    I think it's both a really good format and a really bad format. It all boils down to why you're drafting.

    If you're drafting for fun, it's great. There are lots of really fun and interesting games. There's enough variety that I expect it to stay interesting longer than the average format.

    However, if you're drafting competitively, it's pretty bad. The variance is significantly higher than normal. The percentage of games where either myself or my opponent never stood a chance is noticeably higher than normal. And the variance applies to the draft stage as well as the actual games. I've been in drafts where my 3 colors were decided early and remained open throughout the draft, but where I saw few if any relevant fixing. Sitting next to people going 5c can ruin your chances.

    This isn't the first format like this...I think RoE is another good example of a format which is really fun but not the best competitively.
    Posted in: Limited (Sealed, Draft)
  • posted a message on Cheating on camera at SCG Open?
    Quote from Anteaterking »

    Here's the problem with your analogy. These crimes don't leave evidence. There have to be victims who know they are victims. If your real life villain was robbing abandoned homes, I wouldn't be surprised if the police only found out after someone caught it on video.

    Even if the villain was just robbing abandoned houses, the police could send officers to patrol around abandoned houses to try to catch the person.

    Cheating isn't new. WotC has known that cheating is happening, but they haven't taken any steps to actively prevent it.

    If you've read enough things about mentalities of cheaters and the like, you'll have seen that countless times the person who is cheated sticks up for the cheater, saying that he wasn't doing anything suspect, etc. There's no problem with the Wizards system. There's a problem with people not recognizing and reporting cheating. The player to judge ratio is sort of a necessary evil. If your opponent repeatedly commits rule violations and you don't notice or do anything about it, nothing will happen to that person.

    But that is exactly the problem with the Wizards system! They're relying on the worst possible person (the victim) to detect cheating.

    And even when the opponent does notice (as sometimes happens with these cheaters) and calls a judge, usually the cheater gets away with a warning at most. A good cheater makes sure to have plausible deniability.
    Posted in: Magic General
  • posted a message on Cheating on camera at SCG Open?
    Quote from ThoughtXRiot »
    What is your proposal?

    The first step is to recognize that the person in the absolute worst position to detect Sleight of Hand is the intended target. So you can't rely on the cheater's opponents to detect the cheating.

    So we need more eyes actively looking for cheaters. One option is to have additional specially-trained judges roaming around specifically looking for cheating. The second option is to expand the use of cameras. You don't need every table covered, but at least enough that in the later rounds everyone in contention is covered. We know that people are willing to trawl through hours of footage looking for cheaters, so take advantage of that.

    I realize that this costs money and will lead to an increase in entry fees. That's unfortunate, but I think people are willing to pay a bit more for a fair tournament.

    Additionally, some rules changes might help. There used to be a rule which allowed you to cut your deck once after your opponent shuffled. That could have prevented the latest rounds of cheating.

    Quote from johnkorean »

    In your analogy, when you say the criminal goes on a crime spree, periodically committing various crimes, are you stating this as an omniscient narrator? Or are you also suggesting that the police were aware that crimes had been committed but did nothing to investigate them? If it's the latter, your analogy doesn't hold, because no one had any reason to suspect anything shady was going on until someone came forward with either: a. a personal anecdote suggesting foul play, or b. someone happening to notice something fishy in the video. Once someone said, "Hey, maybe a cheat/crime has been committed," it would be fair to take WotC to task if they still sat around and did nothing.

    As it stands, yelling at WotC for not investigating cheats they had no reason to believe existed is like yelling at the police for not conducting random dead body searches of houses.

    The former. I'd say it's like yelling at the police for just sitting in the police station rather than going on patrol.
    Posted in: Magic General
  • posted a message on Cheating on camera at SCG Open?
    Quote from Sene »

    2) I very much disagree that saying "good job" for how the handled this situation isn't appropriate.

    Analogy time. A criminal goes on a crime spree, periodically committing various crimes. This goes on for over a year and the police are unable to catch him. Finally, an private citizen publishes multiple videos of the person committing the crimes. After several days of deliberation, the police send an officer to his house to arrest him.

    Do you tell the police "good job"? I don't think so. Sure, their actions at the very end were proper. But that doesn't change the fact that they completely failed to do their job in the case.

    Quote from johnkorean »
    I'm not sure how you guys envision WotC HQ operating, but they aren't ESPN. They don't have an army of paid/unpaid interns assigned to view and review every minute of every video shot of every tournament. They also probably don't have the ability to detect a "disturbance in the force" when someone cheats at a tournament, but I admit that's pure speculation on my part.

    People had concerns, they brought their concerns to WotC's attention, WotC investigated, WotC concluded cheating occurred, WotC issued 3 and 4 year bans. The system worked exactly as it was designed to.

    The system worked as it was designed to. The design of the system is the problem. It takes a very passive approach to detecting cheating. This means that cheaters who are smart are very unlikely to get caught. Even those who aren't careful enough to not cheat on camera (like this guy) are able to cheat for a very long time (and profit from it) before they get caught.

    Until they change the system to take a more active approach to stopping cheaters, they will continue to fail in their responsibility to protect the integrity of their tournaments.
    Posted in: Magic General
  • posted a message on Cheating on camera at SCG Open?
    Quote from Sene »
    Good job WotC.

    Thumbs Up

    I don't think they deserve praise. They didn't do a good job. They failed to protect the integrity of their tournaments for an extended period of time, allowing this guy to walk away with significant Ill-Gotten Gains. They never caught him; that was done by people independent of WotC.

    All they did was actually ban the guy after overwhelming evidence was gathered by third parties.

    I shudder to think about how many cheaters there are out there who have the good sense not to cheat while on camera. When they start actively going after these people and catching them, then they will begin to deserve our praise.
    Posted in: Magic General
  • posted a message on 2014 World Champs to feature Real-Life Vintage Masters
    Quote from TorelAschente »

    I thought that only happened once and with only 1 card?

    And that happened in a time when they could have printed foil versions of the Reserved List cards - and that loophole was quickly covered up after they did it with the last card being Phyrexian Negator.

    Which could mean if they tried to do that today, they would end up having to patch the loophole first and put that 1 card back on the list. And then nothing happens.

    The Negator/foil loophole incident isn't what he's talking about.

    In 2002 they decided it would be a good idea to remove a bunch of cards from the list. They asked people to vote, and the results were 5510 in favor and 570 against. So they changed the policy to no longer promise to not reprint those cards.

    And that's why we have reprints of cards such as Clone and Juggernaut which were originally on the reserve list.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on 2014 World Champs to feature Real-Life Vintage Masters
    I'm thinking they will just have printed proxies for all the stuff they can't print. Something with a different back or border, not allowed to be played anywhere else but the event. It makes the most sense since they won't print the real thing.

    If they did that, the official proxy power 9 would be far rarer than the real thing and would probably end up being worth more, despite not being tournament legal.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on [Limited] We'll miss you, Birthing Pod.
    Quote from Cardoc »
    I'm in the same boat as Bateleur with the lack of time to draft as much as I'd like. Definitely enjoying draft much more than sealed, I think sealed is much more reliant on your pool than most limited formats.

    I agree with this. I'm still enjoying the draft format, but I'm really hating Sealed.
    Posted in: Clans
  • posted a message on [[Official]] Official Complain About v4 Thread
    Quote from silph »
    so, um, anyone seen those Q4 Hasbro reports yet? (or are they even out?)

    From the Q3 Report:

    MAGIC: THE GATHERING also grew globally, increasing in both the U.S. and Canada segment and International segment. The response to the July release of the Magic 2015 Core Set and September release of Khans of Tarkir positions the brand well into 2015. We believe there is tremendous future potential for MAGIC: THE GATHERING as it continues to grow around the world. We are investing in the brand, both in digital and analog play, through technology and storytelling.
    Posted in: Other Formats
  • posted a message on [Limited] We'll miss you, Birthing Pod.
    I'm starting to get worried about KTK limited.

    Seems the trend is towards 4-5 color decks. A lot of the fun/skill in Limited is predicting what your opponent has and playing around it. But when people are playing all colors they could have anything and so it becomes a guessing game. It also makes drafting/deckbuilding less interesting as you just play your fixing and the best cards.

    Hopefully as the format evolves people will move back towards clan-based synergy decks.
    Posted in: Clans
  • posted a message on [Limited] We'll miss you, Birthing Pod.
    Quote from Puddle Jumper »
    Sealed I think strongly favors Abzan, but if there's an aggro deck to be had in the format, it's more likely to come out in draft than sealed. So I guess we'll see.

    I don't think Sealed favors Abzan. At its core, Abzan is a synergy deck, with outlast cards granting abilities to other outlast cards, Kind of like Allies/Slivers, which were much stronger in Draft than in Sealed. So Abzan should be even stronger in Draft.

    The problem with aggro decks in this format is that all the common/uncommon fixing lands ETBT. So I wonder if aggro decks will want to just be 2 colors. Of course, by just being 2 colors you give up a lot of power.
    Posted in: Clans
  • posted a message on [Limited] We'll miss you, Birthing Pod.
    Can someone fix the title of this thread? Khans is a wedge set, but this isn't a wedge block.

    Quote from Sene »
    Yeah, I was pleased with the pace and play of the games today. Seemed just about right. I'm liking this format so far.

    My main concern at this point is balance. It seems that some of the clans are just structurally stronger than others. It wouldn't surprise me at this point if a typical balanced draft table has half the players or more in Abzan.

    Quote from Sene »
    Unless you're very aggressive, I think Singing Bell Strike is awful. So I think it was the right call not to.

    (this is just in theory; I've never played with or against the card)

    The evaluations of that card (from people who are good) range from bad to one of the best commons. It will be very interesting to see who turns out to be right.
    Posted in: Clans
  • posted a message on [Limited] We'll miss you, Birthing Pod.
    Quote from Puddle Jumper »
    Well, if you say so. Equip costs of 4 (or even 3) tend to turn me off equipment pretty fast, unless I'm getting a lot more than just a stat boost. It's too easy punish you for spending your mana that way.

    You're getting a big stat boost. One enough to turn even the smallest creature into something your opponent must spend one or two cards on. Even if your opponent kills your creature in response, they've still spent a removal spell on your 1/1 token.

    The weakness of the Convoke deck is the inability to break through defenses, since your guys tend to be smaller. You can get a great draw of raise into triplicate into seraph, but if your opponent has removal for the seraph and a spider for the spirits, suddenly you can't do much. Plate Mail is a finisher which can't be hit by most removal.
    Posted in: Clans
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