Magic Market Index for October 12th, 2018
 
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  • posted a message on Upcoming sets will be Vikings and/or Western
    Quote from void_nothing »
    Quote from mikeyG »
    I think a Western set has two issues that it would need to overcome.

    1) Regional Interest. Westerns as a genre historically have great popularity in the US, but less so abroad.
    I can unequivocally say this one's not true. Germany is one of the countries where Magic is popular and Germany also happens to be the country besides the US where the Western genre was biggest in the early to mid 20th century. Other countries across Europe would also be likely to "get" Western tropes. Can't say for sure that's true everywhere but I know Japanese pop culture loves cowboys (look at the American pro wrestlers who performed there in the 80s-90s).


    I don't think that disproves my point. I only said that the popularity of Westerns is centralized in America, and less popular overseas - not that there doesn't exist places in the world outside America that Westerns are known or held popularity at one point. I think there's a global recognition of the genre, but the interest in it varies wildly depending on region (with America obviously being the largest audience for it), which can affect global interest in the setting. It's not impossible to do, but WotC would be wise not to overestimate the interest in Westerns in foreign markets and carefully layer in additional concepts popular in regions where a Western setting itself may not be a draw. Which they have been doing in recent sets where the setting itself may not be as understood/appreciated/etc on its own.

    And I think it's a mistake to reflect on Westerns' popularity 25-75 years ago because the genre (in film, anyway) has been slowly fading for the better part of the past 50 years. It sees momentary surges in popularity, but those are rarely sustained and typically fail to hit historical highs (which, in fairness, would be nigh impossible given the prevalence and popularity of the genre from 1910-1980). That said, there have been some successful attempts at adapting the genre to modern audiences so it's definitely not an entirely dead genre, just one that is heavily tied to a time and a place and that may pose a challenge for WotC should they adapt it.
    Posted in: Speculation
  • posted a message on Upcoming sets will be Vikings and/or Western
    I think a Western set has two issues that it would need to overcome.

    1) Regional Interest. Westerns as a genre historically have great popularity in the US, but less so abroad. It's a uniquely American genre (with of course a level of appreciation in the rest of North America to a lesser degree) that may face an uphill climb when it comes to marketing it abroad. And the audience for Westerns (at least in film, but I think it affects the genre as a whole) is increasingly older and white even within America. A Western setting may have a lot of interest regionally, but MtG is sold globally and tepid interest in a setting could be an issue. So, like Ixalan (with dinosaurs and pirates), a Western set would need to incorporate themes to extend interest in it beyond just being Western. Not impossible, but definitely a challenge WotC would need to address.

    2) Indigenous Involvement. There is a tension between audience expectations and WotC's responsibility to treat real world concepts with respect. I think a great deal of the audience would expect "Indians" in their "Cowboy" set (like expecting "Ninjas" and "Samurai" in their Japanese set). Executing that without doing so disrespectfully would be near impossible as it would inherently play into "stuck in time" tropes seen so often in this genre. I've seen coding other MtG races as 'Indigenous' to work around this, but I'm not sold that does the job much better. There are absolutely ways of exploring some Indigenous concepts in MtG (though obviously those concepts aren't part of a monolith and there is no one standard Indigenous mythology or culture to draw on), but the Western genre has historically depicted Indigenous peoples in negative, stereotypical way and navigating that with respect would be difficult.

    Can these issues be overcome? Certainly, but those are choppy waters. But, like has been mentioned, Ixalan on paper sounded like a complete cluster**** but was executed rather deftly. A Western set could be executed well, too, but there are issues to face.
    Posted in: Speculation
  • posted a message on Ever-Watching Threshold
    Well, this specific deck may not need this, but I have at least four decks what would be happy to have one of these. My playgroup skews more political and this sort of card really tests folks. If you can manipulate the political context of the board and the boardstate, you can trick less savvy players into giving you cards while nullifying their attacks with instant-speed answers and you can bluff with more shrewd opponents into dissuading attacks and giving you space. I think the value here is contextual because technically the opponent chooses which benefit (not being attacked or a free card) you get, so you have to ensure that they do what you need more or that either result is good regardless.

    It's a pretty good card that can be exploited with the right decks and right players.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on Tuvasa the Sunlit, commanderin' preview
    Well, even though enchantment-based card draw is redundant in the deck itself (though I guess it does largely negate the risk of getting 2-for-1'd on Auras), having a Bant Merfolk commander is great. Too bad it didn't better bridge the 'tapped matters' theme of WU Merfolk, Islandwalking of mono-U Merfolk, and the +1/+1 counters theme in GU Merfolk. But that's a tall order, we can't have everything, and Tuvasa is already a fairly solid card in decks that can exploit it.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on Arixmethes, Slumbering Isle
    Hahaha, that art is wonderful. I love that there's a town on him, sucks to be them when he wakes up. Plus he's a giant rock lobster, and that will lead to a lot of falsetto singing when I sling this down.

    This is the exact kind of card I love from these Commander products: a bit off the beaten path, kooky, flavorful. I'm not sure how I'm going to use this, but I'm damn sure going to.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on Canada is putting a tariff on playing cards

    How about Canada starts with dropping its ridiculous dairy tariffs of between 250 and 295% on imported dairy products from the US?


    Hahaha, good luck with that. Trudeau has been struggling to keep Liberal support above 40% for much of the past year - actually pretty good given that Canadian politics has four/five major parties so achieving 40% popularity is fairly good. But the Trump-lite Conservatives are polling right behind him, and like Trump, are great at stoking insecurities and ignorance and turning that fear into engaged political support. Trudeau has seen some level of galvanized support because of his actions re American tariffs and any perceived weakness on his part will be purchase the Conservatives will absolutely use against him to close the gap in the federal election next year. Politically, I'm not sure Trudeau can afford to bend on longstanding dairy tariffs. Not when 75% of Canadians want him to keep things as is - and the American government has done nothing to change that.

    That said, the Canada-US dairy tariff drama is hilariously complex. I've been reading up on it all month since this trade war crap started up, and it is dense. At the end of the day, dairy trade represents a miniscule amount of Canadian-American trade and dairy propaganda in Canada has been pointed for a very long time so the Canadian people by and large will not be okay dropping those tariffs (even if it would mean cheaper prices for Canadian consumers), plus America has a dairy surplus with us (around $400 million, we're the US' second-largest dairy trade partner because of exploited loopholes). After all my research, my opinion can basically be summed up as 'meh'. It's much ado over not much at all, a political ping pong ball being used now to sway and/or solidify political support when the issue itself isn't as huge as it's being blown up to be. It's really just not worth all this.

    A playing card tariff is simply a targeted attack, I'm willing to bet that if we looked into where most standard playing cards are made, it'll be a deeply Republican stronghold to put the screws to Trump's base. It'll affect Canadian stores and consumers, but I have yet to see any significant Canadian backlash. The sentiment I've seen from friends and acquaintances has largely been ambivalent, or if anything resigned to Canada needing to take action but willing to do their parts if it means sticking it to Trump. I don't think this is going to result in any significant push from Canadian gamers for Trudeau to back down.

    Ironically, I'm lactose intolerant and only buy MtG cards a few times a year so I'm not particularly invested in this battle in either direction.
    Posted in: Magic General
  • posted a message on Planeswalker Deck Tezzeret & Liliana (partial leak)
    Quote from Etherium Sage »
    Quote from mikeyG »
    Quote from Etherium Sage »

    Ob Nixilis Reignited is a fair planeswalker with decent effects, but the problem with him is that he's very "boring". This criticism was leveled at the card long before now. His first two effects are just generic black things that just tick the checkboxes for what a "good" planeswalker card is supposed to do (give you advantage and protect itself), and those are what you'd expect to use him for 99% of the time. His ultimate is a bit more interesting though.


    Interesting, thank you. I wasn't following things when that card came out, I never knew it was considered boring. I use it a bunch for budget utility and he serves that role well,I guess I just never thought about how exciting the card is. Hmm.


    One thing to consider here is that planeswalker characters need to have their cards do things that differentiate themselves from the others, or they'll eventually look too similar to tell apart.

    Liliana, outside of one card, does necromancer things. Sorin usually has drain effects or creates Vampire tokens, because he's a vampire. Vraska routinely kills things because she's a Gorgon assassin.

    Ob Nixilis Reignited was so generic that it didn't really establish what his cards are supposed to do as a rule of thumb.


    I dunno, isn't his thing that he hates everyone/everything and spite drives him more often than not? I kinda see how that feeds everything he does. He punishes people for asking him for help, he slaughters, and he hurts opponents for trying to gain the upper hand. And he enjoys that suffering. It's loose, sure, but I got a sense for who Ob was from that card when I didn't really know much about him as a character. All four of his cards have that theme running through them.

    I won't argue that Reignited is an exciting card, but I think it does give a good sense of who he is even if none of the abilities are particularly iconic.

    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on Planeswalker Deck Tezzeret & Liliana (partial leak)
    Quote from Etherium Sage »

    Ob Nixilis Reignited is a fair planeswalker with decent effects, but the problem with him is that he's very "boring". This criticism was leveled at the card long before now. His first two effects are just generic black things that just tick the checkboxes for what a "good" planeswalker card is supposed to do (give you advantage and protect itself), and those are what you'd expect to use him for 99% of the time. His ultimate is a bit more interesting though.


    Interesting, thank you. I wasn't following things when that card came out, I never knew it was considered boring. I use it a bunch for budget utility and he serves that role well,I guess I just never thought about how exciting the card is. Hmm.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on Planeswalker Deck Tezzeret & Liliana (partial leak)
    Quote from Jivanmukta »
    I'll take 100 of that Tezzeret over 1 Vivien/Ob Nix in terms of design.


    I've seen a few references to Ob Nix being a bad design in the last day. Is there something I'm missing? I have never seen that criticism before the Core spoilers.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on New and returning mechanics for return to Alara
    Quote from Creedmoor »


    An interesting idea, which might be useful in your set design, would be to instead change your mechanics to fit color pairs instead of factions. This would show a blending of Alara factions. For example, Supreme could be a RED/GREEN ability, as it blends perfectly with the powerful beasts of Naya as equally as it does the powerful Dragons of Jund. This would allow people to play a Red Green deck, or a Naya deck, or a Jund Deck... and still get the advantages of "Supreme". This idea also works fairly well with your Award ability as a hybrid between Esper and Bant in BLUE/WHITE, although I might change the name to better fit the crossover.


    I get why that is an organic step, but I think it's a mistake for a set billed as a return to Alara to not utilize the trait most players would remember Alara for. It also steps on the toes of what players expect from a set taking place on Ravnica. Some planes have specific mechanical aspects baked into their DNA for most players. Mirrodin is artifact world, Lorwyn is tribal, Innistrad has double-sided cards, Kamigawa is Spirits and Legends, Ravnica is centred on two-color guilds, Alara was the world of five tri-colored demi-planes. Alara shifting mechanical focus to color pairs is encroaching on Ravnica's mechanical space.

    Yes, as the Alara block progressed there was bleeding between Shards, but I think if any return to Alara did not have significant focus on the five tri-colored factions, it would be a big issue for the set. I think it's also important to demonstrate how those five worlds evolved after reunifying, not doing so would also be foolish, but in the balance a return to a plane needs to also be a return to what players found mechanically memorable in the first place.
    Posted in: Custom Card Creation
  • posted a message on Full spoiler is up
    Quote from itazuranarisu »


    TBH I forgot all about the Dryad. Definitely vulnernable, but interesting. I'm thinking Brawl might also be a place for saproling shenanigans.



    Edit: I also have to wonder if we may get Thallids in the new Core set since they have the leeway to do a lot of reprints. I'd definitely love to play a half decent Thallid deck with Slimefoot and the new lord.


    I think they'll be pushing Brawl and seeding sets with necessary tools and supports. Saprolings are a common recurring theme, I'd be shocked if we didn't see supports for a potential Slimefoot Brawl deck in the new Core set. Even a Dreampod Druid, Tukatongue Thallid, Jade Mage or Sprout reprint may help. None of them are powerhouses on their own, but in the context of a Brawl deck for Slimefoot, they could be support. The Druid, in particular, is interesting in light of the RW Dominaria theme of Auras (and Equipment) and the speculated return to Theros in the fall.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on New and returning mechanics for return to Alara
    Quote from Etherium Sage »
    My main concern with an Alara return is that the shards probably should have some color bleed to indicate that the plane has reunified. You see that to some extent with Alara Reborn and some of the Alaran characters that came out in the Commander sets.


    I think you're correct, but I think that can be accomplished through mechanical synergy. Award making artifact tokens that Utilize can tap, for example. Bloodthirst making creatures larger for Supreme. I think that if there's some clever inter-Shard mechanical synergy, it would convey the feeling of the Shards coexisting and bleeding into one another.

    In that vein, the glaring issue is Morbid, as it has zero synergy with the Shard mechanics adjacent to Grixis. It's a perfectly goof mechanic, with a good flavor for Grixis. Perhaps a subtheme within Grixis cards about sacrificing permanents and/or remove counters to generate effects? Like the flavor of harvesting vis to power magic. That feeds into Morbid, and creates that synergy with Esper and Jund.

    Naya and Bant's overlap is relatively narrow, but with the right card design and support from both Shards, attacking with one creature that gets boosted by Award will help boost Supreme for combat tricks and second main phase stuff. I think that synergy would need a bit of encouragement via card choices and design to feel on par with other Shard pair synergies. Flavor choices will help sell that, as well as the bleed in general.
    Posted in: Custom Card Creation
  • posted a message on Full spoiler is up
    Quote from itazuranarisu »
    Quote from mikeyG »
    Quote from itazuranarisu »
    Overall, pretty neat. I'm a little disappointed that I really can't see a Saproling/Thallid deck emerging from what's in the set.


    Hahaha, is that sarcasm? Or are you speaking specifically to a particular format? I think the prevalence of the theme at common and uncommon with actually useful cards could make it a potential G/b draft archetype. If nothing else, Slimefoot and their thallid buds will inspire EDH decks without question, with the DOM offerings for the theme giving those decks a lot of framework to build off of.

    What makes you think the Saproling theme won't make a splash?




    Oh yeah, for sure in draft. I guess I'm just having trouble seeing an actual Saproling / Thallid tribe deck for constructed. Though I should probably also temper my expectations since it's rare for a tribal deck to be super competitive.


    Oh that's totally fair. I don't know that I see a deck like that taking traditional competitive environments by storm, either.

    Edit: I was hoping for something similar to original Thallids. Something to make a stream of tokens that isn't a 7 drop.


    Tendershoot Dryad probably isn't going to make a splash or make this deck competitive, but I think it's a fair supplier of Saprolings. More vulnerable than Verdant Force, but cheaper and provides a big boost for the swarm rather quickly. Perhaps Gwb with Annointed Procession? I doubt that's enough to really make it in T2, but casual constructed is probably all over it.

    Edit #2: I actually really do like Slimefoot conceptually. I was excited to see that ... it? ... was a member of the Weatherlight crew. Even kinda made me want to make a myconid character in Pathfinder or D&D.


    It's fun, I enjoy the character design. Its card is good times.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on Full spoiler is up
    Quote from itazuranarisu »
    Overall, pretty neat. I'm a little disappointed that I really can't see a Saproling/Thallid deck emerging from what's in the set.


    Hahaha, is that sarcasm? Or are you speaking specifically to a particular format? I think the prevalence of the theme at common and uncommon with actually useful cards could make it a potential G/b draft archetype. If nothing else, Slimefoot and their thallid buds will inspire EDH decks without question, with the DOM offerings for the theme giving those decks a lot of framework to build off of.

    What makes you think the Saproling theme won't make a splash?
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on "Spore Swarm"
    It's a very fungal morning, it seems. All the Saproling cards are a great throwback to the Burst days, and this trick is exceptional. With lords out, they can take out attackers. With a Slimefoot out, they can chump and Blood Tithe. With the Saproling Enchantment, you'll get at least a bit of life and a card. There's a lot of ways to get flexible value out of those little stinkers.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
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