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Ultimate Masters: MMI Review
  • posted a message on Guildmages
    Quote from Metaethics »
    A rose by any other name would smell as sweet. But a shoe called a "rose" still stinks.

    Your proposal is interesting design space (it doesn't "stink"), but they're not guildmages. Should they replace them? That's a tough call; people expect guildmages because, in many sets, Guildmages were both fun and good. No guildmages in Ravnica is like no lords in a core set... possible, but disappointing.

    Would you be against both cycles in the same set?
    Okay then, let's call these "Guildwizards," then Smile

    And yes, I am against having both, because while they approach it differently, they fill the same role.

    I've never thought of the Guildmages as being a requirement for a Ravnica set anyway. They're neat, but so are charms and the new CCDD cycle, and charms haven't made a return.
    Posted in: Custom Card Creation
  • posted a message on Guildmages
    Quote from Metaethics »
    Watchwolf,

    Innovation for innovation's sake is not necessarily a good thing. Fortunately there is plenty of design space to explore.
    Consider:
    1. Selesnya Guildmage
    2. Vitu-Ghazi Guildmage
    3. Conclave Guildmage

    It seems the design space is clear:
    Name Guildmage :symwg::symwg:
    Creature - Elf Shaman (U)
    [small mana cost],T: Small Effect
    [large mana cost],T: Big Effect
    2/2

    For example:

    Renewal Guildmage :symwg::symwg:
    Creature - Elf Shaman (U)
    :symwg:,T: Each player creates a 1/1 green saproling creature token.
    1:symwg::symwg:,T: Destroy target artifact or enchantment. Its controller creates a 3/3 green beast token.
    2/2

    The design space here is pretty clear; it's full hybrid, so you don't need to run it in a 2 color deck to get both effects. It taps, so it's not an absolute mana sink (although I'd be for a non-tapper as well)

    Your "spells matter" design might be okay, but I don't think they occupy the same design space as guildmages.
    You act like doing something different with the guildmages is a crime. I think it's about time Ravnica got a bit of a shake-up in its tropes.

    It's not as though my model is problematic or plays poorly. They're just different. And yeah, we can fiddle around with different combinations of hybrid and gold and tap abilities and repeatable abilities and such until the death of Magic, but I can't be the only one who thinks the third time around has been disappointingly stale. I want to experiment with Ravnica and explore new ideas. Personally, I think that the inclusion of guildmages at all is a bit tame.
    Posted in: Custom Card Creation
  • posted a message on Guildmages
    Ahhh... Guildleader not Parun.
    Yeah. As we don't know who all of the paruns are, using their names would be difficult Smile
    Posted in: Custom Card Creation
  • posted a message on Guildmages
    Quote from user_938036 »
    How married are you to the costing exactly 1 mana of the opposing color. The guildmages have always had varying costs for their effects and keeping them to no more than 3 extra on cost could give you a much wider range of abilities to choose from.
    I'd rather explore the 1-cost effects first. If it happens that I can't find a good 1-cost effect for each color combo, then I suppose I'll bite the bullet and look into more expensive effects, but I'd really rather the abilities all be equal. It would be different if they were activated abilities, but since these are like add-ons to spells, I want to avoid making spells of one color easier to enhance than spells of another.

    If it comes to that, then I'd at least like to keep the costs the same on the same guildmage. That way one color doesn't feel favored over the other by being easier to reward. For example:

    Vannifar's Guildmage GU
    Creature - Mutant Wizard
    2/2
    Whenever you cast a blue spell, you may pay 1G. If you do, put two +1/+1 counters on target creature.
    Whenever you cast a green spell, you may pay 1U. If you do, target creature has base power and toughness 3/3 until end of turn.
    Posted in: Custom Card Creation
  • posted a message on Practicing with Commons - Three Cards
    Quote from Metaethics »

    I think this mindset is a mistake. Many people enjoy trying to "break" weird or seemingly useless cards. Many people like tribal decks that are comprised of (U) or (R) tribal synergies and (C) creatures that wouldn't be good enough on their own. Many people enjoy Commander, a format where you can only run 1 card with each name.

    Even if you agree that some cards are primarily designed for limited, designing a "useless" card is tantamount to giving up. Designing such cards for (C) can be especially difficult, as (C) cards should be easy to read and relatively not complex, if only to help with draft and deck building. That said, I see no reason why you can't make a fair green (C) card that plays the role of "good enough limited big body" but also has some constructed application. Myr Enforcer played that role too well in Mirrodin standard, being a 4/4 for like 4 or 5 in limited most of the time, but being a 4/4 for like 1-2 in standard constructed. Keep in mind that's a vanilla (C) card.

    If cost reduction is not on the table, one can always add rewards for deck construction, or even Spirit of the Night-style ingredient potential.

    Finally, the "fills a limited role ONLY" cards you propose really are something to make at the end of a set; you can't tell on day 1 that you need a sorcery speed removal spell that costs 6 mana at common. (In fact, I'd argue, you can tell on day 1 that you don't *need* that.) But there was a time in the RIX card design where they said "We're looking for something like Colossal Dreadmaw"... at which point they should have done Imposing Sailback 4GG Flash, This spell cannot be countered. 6/6 just to say "It's different, but fulfills much the same role."
    I get why you feel that way, but the unfortunate fact is that both "useless" cards and lenticular commons exist and they both serve an important purpose. Yes, everyone likes a common with some hidden depth and potential, and yes, ideally every single card in every single set should have a home somewhere, but when a typical set includes something like 150 commons, making sure each and every design has some practical application outside of being limited fodder is just infeasible, at least for WotC. And for us, who aren't bound by a release schedule or any constructed environment, there's no real point in or way to craft every single common such that it is as dynamic as Myr Enforcer. As designers of sets which only might be drafted one day in some casual playgroup, and nothing more than that, we have to accept that some cards will end up being worse than others. and not every common will have a home.

    And your proposed replacement for Colossal Dreadmaw is neither common, nor does it fill the same role as Dreadmaw. It may have been a bit unexpected, but I see no problem with them reprinting a throwaway common from the last set because it accomplished what it needed to.

    In the context of 1110mystic's card, it's not as though the card will spend every draft rotting away in the unused pile of peoples' card pools. It has a decent body with evasion and a little extra incentive to participate in combat. I can see plenty of scenarios in which I'd play this card in limited, so it's not actually useless. I just meant to say that if it ends up being limited fodder, like Colossal Dreadmaw, that gets last-picked and then tossed in a bin at the end of draft night, that's okay. We designers need to be okay with that possibility.
    Posted in: Custom Card Creation
  • posted a message on Guildmages
    I have pretty much decided on using triggered abilities because I like the concept so much. It pushes players very effectively into being more active throughout the game, especially in the colors of your guild.

    As for the abilities, I've settled on a few that I'm happy with. I'll try to post them later.
    Posted in: Custom Card Creation
  • posted a message on Practicing with Commons - Three Cards
    Intimidate is retired because too much color-hate can feel like entire decks get arbitrarily hated on just for not playing a certain color. It's non-interactive and unfun when used in the amounts that warrent having a keyword. Menace is a healthier option and was just designated as the black-red evergreen creature keyword.

    I think Unrolling Scenery is fine. Let's compare three cards: Evolving Wilds, Wastes and Crumbling Vestige.

    Two cards feature only one ability with no drawback. The last features two abilities with a drawback. It follows, then, that one abikity is free, while two abilities needs to be balanced out with a drawback.

    That means that, in theory, there should be nothing to worry about when we take Crumbling Vestige and swap out its tap ability for the tutor ability, as both of those abilities can appear on a card alone without a drawback, making them theoretically equal.

    As for the way the card plays, it trades the moderate speed of Evolving Wilds being able to activate straight away for some short term fixing with an extra turn of waiting before the long-term fixing. It's just more instant-gratification at the cost of delaying a better effect, which I think is an interesting change of pace.

    As for the Vine, nobody likes designing useless cards, but they're important in that they allow the more exciting cards to stand out. It's a tool for draft to push players toward picking some cards over others, which can speed up drafting rounds. I've played enough power cubes where every card is first-pickable to know that that leads to very long, painful, drawn-out decision-making. Bad cards make the choice a bit easier and double as determining the baseline power level of that draft environment.
    Posted in: Custom Card Creation
  • posted a message on Practicing with Commons - Three Cards
    All of these seem fine I think.

    Intimidate is a retired keyword, but there's no rule preventing its use.

    I really like Unrolling Scenery.

    The Wurm seems, if anything, a tad weak. This is another case where playtesting will reveal whether it needs changes.
    Posted in: Custom Card Creation
  • posted a message on Guildmages
    While working on a Ravnica set, I was pondering the Guildmages. We have three cycles so far, but I wanted to include a cycle in this set. I also wanted them to be different this time around and thought about how to do that. What I came up with is this:

    Niv's Guildmage UR
    Creature - Human Wizard U
    2/2
    Whenever you cast a red spell, you may pay U. If you do, target creature an opponent controls doesn't untap during its controller's next untap step.
    Whenever you cast a blue spell, you may pay R. If you do, target creature attacks during its controller's next combat if able.

    So here are the changes:

    The naming scheme this time is Guildleader's Guilmage.

    The abilities this time are triggered, not activated. Each ability triggers off of casting a spell of one of the guild's colors, and allows you to pay mana of the other color to add an additional effect. This rewards players for playing spells of the guild's colors by sorta turning monocolored spells into gold spells. It also lets the player enhance gold spells with both triggered abilities.

    At this point, the only challenge I'm running into is finding enough triggered effects at an appropriate power level to cost one extra mana of a different color. I'm looking for suggestions here, so any idea is a good one.
    Posted in: Custom Card Creation
  • posted a message on Practicing with Commons - Three Cards
    I think they're all good at common, though the red one is a bit of a pie bend. 7 damage is essentially a Murder, which makes that a black effect. Usually you only see large amounts of damage on red effects if they're scaled versions of smaller effects or if they're costed really high. With the design you have, I would lower the damage or change it to a black card that just says "destroy target creature that was dealt damage this turn" instead. If you have any ability word in the set that upgrades spells by meeting a certain condition (like Addendum), that could also be used to turn the 7 damage into a scaled effect. For example: "~ deals 3 damage to target creature that was dealt damage this turn. If you did (insert condition here) this turn, ~ deals 7 damage to that creature instead."
    Posted in: Custom Card Creation
  • posted a message on Practicing with Commons - Three Cards
    These are better.

    Misery could probably just say "Up to two target creatures each get -2/-2 until end of turn." That's sorta pushing the limits, but I think it would probably be fine.

    Inebrimancer seems fine, though its cost and stats might need to be adjusted. It seems a bit small for 3 mana to me, but it's so ambiguous that only playtesting will get you where you want to be.
    Posted in: Custom Card Creation
  • posted a message on Ravnica Allegiance Mythic Edition
    Aside from Karn and Domri, none of the art here is bad. The crappy frame design just takes away from the look of the cards, especially on the multicolored cards. Ajani looks especially dry. I would have liked the UMA boxtopper frames a lot more here.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on Practicing with Commons - Three Cards
    By NWO, none of these would be common.

    Advocate having three repeatable abilities, one of which affects combat math at instant speed (which is a hard red-flag for common) and the others being very potent at controlling how combat plays out, pushes it to rare, easily. If you remove the pump ability and add T to the first two, it should be fine.

    Misery is a two-for-one hard spot removal, which is normally too impactful for common. Yeah, you see small direct damage or -N/-N effects that can hit multiple creatures every once in a while, but pretty much never outright "destroy" effects, especially when they can target creatures bigger than the typical 1-drop. Uncommon is a better spot for this.

    Inebrimancer is also just too impactful for common. This is usually universally true of draw effects and discard effects of three or more cards as well as random discard, especially if any of this affects opponents. Uncommon, again, is the best spot for this.

    Note that you don't always need follow WotC's example in your set designs, but a good rule of thumb when designing commons is that they should represent the norm of gameplay for the set. The flow and power level should be at its most stable and relaxed at common, while the uncommons, rares, and mythic rares should be the cards that create the more exciting moments and shake things up. There are, of course, exceptions to every rule, but three commons that are all as splashy as these is not a great idea, unless you're designing a very high-powered, high variance set.
    Posted in: Custom Card Creation
  • posted a message on Possible name of the upcoming set
    Wow, that's pretty neat, I guess. I would be a lot more hyped if the set logo wasn't literally just the name typed out in WotC's favorite generic font. I really miss the days when set logos actually looked cool and evocative. Look at Innistrad and Shadows over Innistrad. Look at Kaladesh. Even sets like Theros and Amonkhet were more creative despite being a bit more minimalist. Everything since Battlebond just feels like they fired the logo designer to save money. I know it's not a huge deal, but just imagine seeing the next Spider-man movie announced with its logo just typed out in Times New Roman. That's how I feel about this crap.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on Macabre Mockery (Possibility Storm preview)
    I honestly love the flavor text. It's possibly the most Rakdos-y flavor text I've ever seen.

    The card seems cool, although the variance of relying on what's in your opponent's graveyard usually kills a card in constructed. I do hope we eventually get a 4cmc unconditional reanimation spell.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
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