Magic Market Index for July 20th, 2018
Magic Market Index for July 13th, 2018
Magic Market Index for July 6th, 2018
  • posted a message on Lord Windgrace from DOM artbook - possibly from C18?
    MaRo just confirmed that Lord Windgrace will head a C18 deck.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on Changes to Evergreen? I.E. Where is Prowess?
    Quote from WizardMN »
    I don't know that there were that many variations. Either it was all noncreatures or it was Instants and Sorceries.

    And UB seems to be leaning towards Flash as its shared Keyword.
    It's more than that, though.

    "Whenever you cast a noncreature spell..."
    "Whenever you cast an instant or sorcery spell..."
    "Whenever you cast an artifact spell..."
    "Whenever you cast an enchantment spell..."
    "...this creature gets +N/+N until end of turn."
    "...this creature gets +N/+0 until end of turn."
    "...this creature gains keyword until end of turn."
    "...creatures you control get +N/+N//+N/+0//gain keyword until end of turn"
    " some other effect."

    The possibilities for a keyword that plays of noncreature spells, even when limited to +N/+N effects, are numerous. +1/+1 may have been the best standardization of the ability across many creatures, but there have been more than enough alternative effects to prove that it doesn't deserve a keyword.
    Posted in: Speculation
  • posted a message on Changes to Evergreen? I.E. Where is Prowess?
    I don't see why they keyworded Prowess in the first place. Like unblockable, there are too many variations of the ability to justify keywording only one. I think it should be dropped altogether.

    That leaves UR and UB still without evergreen creature keywords, but what else is new.
    Posted in: Speculation
  • posted a message on Commander 2018 themes and art
    Quote from Monkey222 »

    You're right. I am ignoring it. That's because that information had nothing to do with the stream at all. The stream was going to reveal the themes and some art. It did just that.

    It's not WoTC's fault you looked at information from elsewhere and thought that it was relevant to the stream.

    You state it yourself. They were only showing themes and art. You then state that many people are disappointed because they showed what they said they would.
    Firstly, you're not going to sway me or many others by taking snippets of my arguments out of context.

    Secondly, as I have said I think three times now, we aren't looking at information "from elsewhere." Everything that shaped MY expectations came from Gavin, the commander product page, AND the preamble to the stream. In other words, they all came from Wizards of the Coast. Not leaks. Not rumors. Not alleged conversations with investors. Actual direct quotes from actual WotC personnel. And at least two of these three quotes are directly related to Commander 2018. Gavin's quote was admittedly vague, but as a few others have already said, given the timing and upcoming products, the most likely context for his hint IS Commander 2018.

    Again, whether WotC intended to or not, these three things painted a picture in my mind of what Commander 2018 is supposed to look like, and the information from the stream hasn't yet come close to resembling that picture. I'm speaking for myself here, but I'm sure I'm not in the minority on the matter.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on Commander 2018 themes and art
    Quote from Monkey222 »

    WoTC literally said that this stream would reveal deck themes and some art. That's exactly what they did, yet people are disatisfied and claim that WoTC isn't meeting their expectations.

    Claiming that it's WoTC's fault that you wanted more than what they showed is ridiculous.

    You're right that they should try to manage expectations, but they literally said exactly what was going to happen, and people expected more. Not their fault.
    You're ignoring the two important bits I've mentioned multiple times already: Gavin's quote and the commander product page's description.

    Whether or not they intended to set the expectation that these four decks would be built around planeswalker characters or that they might have something to do with Kamigawa, that's what happened. It's on WotC to recognize that and proactively try to correct it before giving us more information.

    Yes, they told us that they would be revealing art and themes only, but most of us were expecting to be told which planeswalkers these decks would be built around (themes), or at least see art of recognizable planeswalker characters to get us excited, or literally anythig at all that's related to Kamigawa, but instead, we got random new planeswalker we've never seen before (which means 1 fewer old character to get a card) and generic Zombie #4759. So, yeah, we have reason to feel let down and partially mislead.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on Commander 2018 themes and art
    Quote from Gutterstorm »

    This is also disingenuous. No one said there would be Kamigawa cards or themes or anything else in the commander decks. He said that fans of Kamigawa should "stay tuned." It was fans who made the association between commander and the Kamigawa comment.
    But it IS WotC's fault for not meeting our expectations. Both the commander product page AND Gavin are ground-0 sources and both said very specific things that created very specific expectations. Maybe Gavin's comments weren't directed toward the stream, but there's no defense for the fact that the product page sold us on four decks built around planeswalker commanders, then they come back and tell use that's not true.

    It's WotC's responsibility to control our expectations, and that means clarifying what needs to be clarified before releasing contradictory information, or better yet, not letting the first thing we see about a product point us in the wrong direction.

    So, you're correct in saying that they never specifically said anything about what the commander decks would be like before this stream, but there was enough stuff floating around that can be traced directly back to WotC that the public's expectations were evidently way off-base. That's not our fault, it's theirs.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on Commander 2018 themes and art
    Oh my god i'm getting really tired about this...
    ...5 images are ******* nothing! Maybe your precious Choryu is there, maybe not. You can't ******* know right now.
    Okay but that's kinda the thing. They promised us information and made us sit through a stupid conversation about limited fodder for a set nobody cares about only to show us a handful of images that you yourself just said is nothing. This is such an insignificant amount of info to go on that they could have just made a text-only post on twitter about the deck themes and it would have caused a much more positive reaction. This is one of those "less-is-more" moments that they kinda bungled and it's gone on to frustrate a lot of people.

    And about people getting frustrated that it doesn't look like certain characters will appear, those complaints, while unconfirmed, aren't really baseless. We can't assume that WotC would have gone out of their way to include requested characters if they aren't perfect fits for the deck themes.

    The problem here is that certain expectations about the decks were set months ago by the commander product page mentioning planeswalkers. It sort of implied that the characters would be the focus of the decks, and therefore appeared the best opportunity to bring back requested characters, but this new info seems to contradict that now.

    So, yeah, it's cool that we finally have a bant enchantment deck and an izzet artifact deck, but it's not exactly what most of us hoped and expected to see. That's why we're all bitching. And telling people to stop bitching isn't gonna improve anything. If we don't like something, it's our responsibility to be vocal about it, especially on a popular forum WotC is bound to dip into to gauge public opinion.

    It's fine if you're excited and want to discuss WHY we're bitching, but it's rude and counterproductive to tell other people not to voice their opinion.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on Commander 2018 themes and art
    Quote from vandertroll »
    I'll be mildly annoyed if they don't reprint Sensei's Divining Top in a deck that the top of your library matters.
    I hope you're ready to get Crystal Ball instead and be extra annoyed
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on Commander 2018 themes and art
    What a waste of time. I think WotC just convinced me not to buy any M19 OR C18 with that train wreck.

    Seriously, they call this the "Era of Feedback" while they delete chat messages because they mention a desire to see C18 stuff instead of stupid M19 crap. They clearly have no clue how to handle feedback that isn't unconditional praise.

    And the art here is extremely disappointing. They might have shown us the art of six random commons from M19 for how much we can speculate about them. Sure, we got maybe one piece of cool planeswalker art, but it's not any recognizable character, so there's no reason to get at all excited.

    Terrible way to hype a product.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on Kamigawa - Vision and Expectations
    Okay, so since conversation about Kamigawa has spiked again, I thought it would be interesting to think seriously about what an undertaking a return set would be. So here are some questions:

    1. What is the biggest reason to go back? If story-related, can you think of a specific and believable story reason that would warrant a return?

    2. Flavorfully, how much has to change? What needs to stay the same?

    3. Mechanically, is there anything worth keeping? Where do you start when imagining mechanics for a better Kamigawa?

    4. What bits of the remaining flavor must be represented mechanically? For example, assuming the Samurai creature type remains, must there be a named mechanic for it like there was with Bushido, or can Samurai be more of a background element like with Jackals on Amonkhet?

    5. After everything messy or unnecessary has been cut away, what direction do you move toward to fill whatever void is left? A more anime-esque focus? What genre? Maybe something more mainstream? What exactly does that mean in the context of Kamigawa/Japan-world? What about an overall mechanical theme?

    Here are my stabs at answering some of these questions:

    1. I believe that the most compelling reason to return to Kamigawa is to revisit the Japan-world concept without having to create a new world. I imagine that, with solid pretense and explanation, Kamigawa can change fairly drastically to accommodate the more modern standards a normal expansion is required to meet, and still satisfy a majority of the people who specifically want a return to Kamigawa and not a new Japan-world. Something like "this expansion takes place a few thousand years in the future, prompting some significant changes to Kamigawa as we currently know it" should suffice with minimal complaints while maximizing the opportunity to push Kamigawa in a better direction.

    In short, returning to Kamigawa presents the opportunity to check off two short-list requests with one stroke, if done properly: Return to Kamigawa, and Proper Japan-world. This still presents a very large challenge with next-to-no room for mistakes, and the reward isn't much bigger than any other expansion offers for all it's increased risk, making Return to Kamigawa dangerously close to "doing it to prove we can."

    2. and 3. Flavorfully, Kamigawa presents a challenge very similar to that of Dominaria's return. For Dominaria, it had so many popular (and some less popular) themes, both mechanically and flavorfully, that choosing a focus for the set was very difficult. Kamigawa has the inverse problem, with so much of the original block being a failure that choosing what to latch onto for a starting point is just as difficult. There are a handful of things from Kamigawa that seem necessary and potentially resonant for a Japan-world, and those things are pretty much exclusively creature types. Samurai, Ninja, and Spirit are the big three that I can think of when it comes to what Kamigawa really needs, so that seems like the most solid starting point.

    Given the success of Dominaria's legend theme, I would have also suggested starting there, but it's because of Dominaria that I decided not to. Kamigawa would essentially end up looking like discount Dominaria with 90% fewer recognizable characters to choose from anyway, so I don't think a legend theme will work for Kamigawa.

    None of the other mechanics from Kamigawa are even close to usable in today's design world, so there really isn't much to choose from. To make matters worse, the three creature types we have latched onto comprise a very weak starting point. With creature types as the starting point, one would think that Tribal is the obvious way to go, but I don't think there's nearly enough design space to give any one of these tribes a decent mechanic or even draft archetype, with Spirit already having representation in Innistrad and Ninja already having been fleshed out as much as I can imagine is possible.

    Basically, with all that I've eliminated and the handful of things I've decided to save, I'm basically working with a blank slate, and not in the good way. With this in mind, my next step would be to start looking outside Kamigawa-related stuff for inspiration. For example, using Sagas as a way to incorporate Kamigawa's past seems like a good way to nod to the hardcore Kamigawa fans while not shackling myself to the mechanics present in the original block, but we're running back into Dominaria territory and not accomplishing much more than creating a few easter-eggs.

    So I guess we'll come back to this.

    4. I don't think anything we've held onto needs any hard mechanical representation (though some soft mechanical identity for tribes like Ninja and Spirit would probably be okay). Again, this leaves us in the middle of nowhere.

    5. Seeing as how basically all we're left with is a huge void with some small tropes to cling to, deciding where to go from here is very difficult. To answer this question, I would refer to the story for inspiration. Let's say, just for the sake of giving us as much to work with as possible, we're visiting a rather more advanced version of Kamigawa after a thousand-year time-skip. Let's also allow ourselves to derive as much inspiration from as many resonant sources as possible, mainly Anime, tv, and movies, although the latter two will be more difficult as movies generally tend to be more grounded in history, which isn't the most fantastical of sources.

    This, of course, begs the question of what specific genre of anime/movies/tv to pull from, as there's a whole lot of those. Given our tiny list of creature types, we can at least narrow it down to something like Bleach, or a similar mystical-shonen vibe.

    Again, just for the sake of trying to achieve something and having much more experience with anime than anything else we could use, I'll go on assuming that this version of Kamigawa is basically Anime-world with some historical features.

    So given this more solid starting point, I'll start throwing out words that have meaning in both Magic and this source material:

    Equipment (as in mystical weapons n such)
    Transform (as in "this isn't even my final form")
    Exert (as in "special attack")
    _____ Human (as in anthropomorphic races, like Kitsune or Leonin)
    Fight (as in one-on-one battles)
    Nonhuman Legend (as in talking animal characters)

    Anywa, that's just a few things to start with, which is better than what we had before. I think the most promising item here is definitely Transform. Level and Monster are both resonant in anime, but mechanically, Transform fills both roles very well. Transform has been used so far in three ways: on Innistrad it was designed for and primarily used by Werewolves to show them switching back and forth between two very different forms, and to a lesser extent used on scary things to show them becoming scarier; in Magic Origins (and now M19) it was used to show a planeswalker's ascension; and on Ixalan, it was used to represent a journey and a destination. Anime-world Kamigawa gives us the opportunity to use transformation in a different way: showing a character becoming stronger.

    This brings us to characters. I imagine Kamigawa would still have a higher-than-average number of legendary creatures, but definitely nothing close to original Kamigawa block or Dominaria.

    The rest of the list leaves us with a lot of small tropes we can include, but nothing substantial enough for a mechanical theme. I think our best option is to try a new execution of Spirit-tribal for at least one common-level theme. We could also have a +1/+1 counter theme as a nother way to represent the weak growing stronger.

    I should also mention that certain inclusions are sort of obligatory due to their persistent existence in the MTG multiverse and story at large: Moonfolk, due to Tamiyo; Nezumi, due to Tamiyo's story circle; Orochi, due to their recent inclusion in a Commander deck (although it's not clear how much time may or may not have passed in-world since then). I'm sure there are a few more, but that's what I can think of off the top of my head. As these are all creature types, none of which are really begging for mechanical theme, their inclusion sjouldn't be that consequential.

    Now let's take a step back and look at what we have so far: an Anime-inspired Kamigawa with transform, Spirit-tribal, a +1/+1 counter theme, more-than-average legends, and a handful of tropes, maybe with some Sagas and making sure to include most of the creature types from before.

    In short, we may as well be making a re-skinned Innistrad without most of the tribes. Nothing here is new or innovative so far, and we're still grasping at straws for some kind of mechanical identity. Maybe if we had something like a card-type or multicolor archetype to start with, we could try to innovate from there, but we don't even have that to work with.

    I can think of some individual designs that would fit well in Anime-Kamigawa, but the set still lacks a unique identity. It's also worth mentioning that a good portion of the Kamigawa fanbase is already upset that so much has changed and I can't imagine a set like this would generate enough excitement to bring in enough players to make up for it.

    So where do we go from here? How would you guys tackle this differently? Are there any obvious opportunities I'm missing to push Kamigawa forward? How would you guys answer these questions?
    Posted in: Custom Set Creation and Discussion
  • posted a message on Possible Kamigawa?
    I don't think we're ever gonna go back to Kamigawa for a whole set. Stretching the odds as far as they'll go, this is more likely a hint towards a new Japan-world, but even that's far fetched considering the Kamigawa community would have a tantrum at them over it.

    This is probably just Gavin reassuring us that we'll continue to see nods like Tamiyo and random story articles on Kamigawa or inclusion in supplementary products like Commander or Planechase.

    Tl;dr, nothing has changed, don't get your hopes up, etc.
    Posted in: Speculation
  • posted a message on Ral Zarek and a few other PW pics
    Quote from Raptorchan »
    Daretti is coming, too.
    Is it just me, or does he appear to be on Kaladesh?
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on SDCC Magic Exclusives Revealed
    Why does Jace look like a wimpy highschool/college kid with George Clooney's face????
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on SDCC Magic Exclusives Revealed
    It's interesting that they chose Nissa, Vital Force and not Nissa, Steward of Elements, considering the latter is newer.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on Ral Zarek and a few other PW pics

    The problem with Theros are the Gods. 14 or 15 of them across two sets is a lot and impossible over one set.
    I could see Theros having a Masterpiece enchantment series which includes the original multicolored gods, allowing the main set to focus on the monocolored ones.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
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