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  • posted a message on Game etiquette: Offering to shake after a brutal game?
    There's really no one-size-fits-all-situations rule. There's always going to be edge cases.

    I would strongly recommend paying attention to your opponent, seeing how they're behaving, and taking their feelings into account when you go into the post-game ritual. I think most people will get better results doing that than simply insisting on one universal rule - although I will admit that most of your post-games are going to play out largely the same regardless.
    Posted in: Magic General
  • posted a message on Why mana sources don't use stack?
    Quote from illakunsaa »
    Quote from alpinefroggy »
    Because as matt tabak put it one time, when you tap your forests you should just get green mana. In other words mana abilities are just parts of the game that you shouldnt be able to respond to.

    Did mana abilities work differently back when magic was created?

    Like people said even if the land blows up you still get to respond by tapping mana. So I don't see why mana aren't just normal abilites from the begin with.

    Especially for a beginner "mana ability" seems like a confusing term.

    It's more for keeping the game rules from blowing up at higher levels of play.

    See Lion's Eye Diamond. Being able to play the ability "only as an instant" introduces a timing restriction that means you can't announce the spell (removing it from your hand), then crack the Diamond to pay for it, because isntants can't be cast during the "announcement" part of casting a spell.

    There was a time when the "announcement" process (a long, long time ago) didn't permit activating mana to pay for a spell once it was on the stack; this caused players at tournaments to lose, because they didn't tap their mana before saying "Bolt your guy", and so they wouldn't have the mana to pay for the bolt; the game would rewind, and their move would be broadcast. Sometimes the judges were lenient; other times they weren't. It was an unintuitive rule that players just didn't grok at any level of play; it was removed in favour of the current implementation. Search "Dave Mills and the Pro Tour Riot" if you want to know more; here's the summary (there's lots of other similar stories about the odd rulings that happened because of this thing):
    1) Dave Mills and the Pro Tour Riot

    Where and When? Pro Tour Los Angeles 1997

    What was he DQed for? Playing his spells before tapping his mana.

    The Scoop: For those of you new to the game yes you read the DQ reason correctly. Dave Mills was disqualified in the finals of Pro Tour Los Angeles for repeatedly playing his spells and then tapping his mana. This was against the rules back in the day (and in fact for the first decade of Magic more-or-less) — and after several warnings against playing in this style Dave was disqualified out of the Pro Tour without prize.

    The Aftermath: This disqualification led to a riot (as much as one can be called at a Magic Tournament) where several players stormed the stage during the trophy ceremony grabbed the microphone and demanded justice for David Mills. The entire Pro Tour had been decided on something that quite honestly every casual player has done with every spell they've ever cast ever. Seeing the light Wizards eventually changed this rule to allow people to announce a spell and then tap mana.

    This disqualification was so unpopular that Wizards eventually relented on the “no-prize” part of this DQ and gave Dave Mills a full second-place share of the Pro Tour money.
    Posted in: Magic General
  • posted a message on Why is WotC Even Using Time Travel, At All?
    Except that there are far too many unknown factors and variables; there is no way to predict what outcome may result from said time travel, nor any guarantee that the result shall be what the traveler (in this case, Sarkhan) desires. How can Sarkhan be certain that he shall get exactly the result that he desires if he alters the history of Tarkir? The situation that results may be even worse than the current one.

    It's not like this is a real world and WotC has no choice but to accept the inevitable consequences of its decisions. Depending on what they want, Sarkhan will either get exactly what he wants, or something else, and either way is perfectly all right. Hell, even if Sarkhan is absolutely, one hundred percent sure he knows what he's going to get, it's still within WotC's power to change the result if they want a better story.
    Posted in: Magic Storyline
  • posted a message on Rules being changed due to player intuition (Now with damage on the stack discussion!)
    Second I can mention the Cascade ability; When you cast this spell, exile cards from the top of your library until you exile a nonland card that costs less. You may cast it without paying its mana cost. Put the exiled cards on the bottom in a random order.

    Cascade is different, because the entire effect is resolved within the action of Cascade; it's known exactly when the cards are going to return - plus, resolution is the one period in time when normal zone-change rules are suspended (for example, SBEs aren't checked, so the rule about tokens going "poof" in the graveyard is suspended until the normal rules of Magic reassert themselves).

    Oblivion Ring was the first card of its kind of use its mechanic in a long time - before then, it was the Horrors of Odyessy Block. There wasn't any call to modify the comprehensive rules for one card, when ORing worked "well enough", and there just wasn't much room to exploit a single card with instant-speed bounce effects. Now, with a practical guarantee that two or three cards in every set are going to use that technology, it's worth it to update the comprehensive rules to close the edge case of bounce interactions. Not because it's especially powerful, but because the technology has withstood the test of time and, like any other mature technology, has evolved to become more intuitive and user-friendly.
    Posted in: Magic General
  • posted a message on Is this a Good Way to Evaluate Mana-Generating Artifacts?
    I think a better way to evaluate mana rocks is to see how quickly they ramp you, relative to not playing them, assuming you play them on-curve.

    For example, Mirage Diamonds, and Everflowing Chalice, give you four mana on turn three. That's an increase of 33%.
    The Ravnican Signets give you four mana on turn three, as well, again an increase of 33%.
    Manalith, the Obelisks, and the like give you five mana on turn four. That's an increase of 25%.
    Thran Dynamo gives you eight mana on turn five, an increase of 60%.
    Gilded Lotus gives you nine mana on turn six, an increase of 50%.
    Sol Ring gives you four mana on turn two, an increase of 100%.

    (For the purpose of this evaluation, coming into play untapped is simply a nice bonus, but obviously, it can only improve a rock's status.)

    The reason this seems to be a better way is because the primary (assumed) purpose of mana rocks is to ramp, as opposed to fix or smooth mana curves/solve land-drop issues.

    If you're using your rocks to do something other than ramp - for example, using the Lantern to fix your colours - then I'd agree that time-to-recover-mana-investment might be the more important concern, and you might favour versatility over pure ramping power. Very few decks use mana artifacts solely to fix mana, though - and even under those circumstances, they'd prefer better-ramping cards over more-versatile cards (For example, in Modern, the purpose of Signets is more to make the appropriate colours than strictly ramp - but even then, they play the Ravnican Signets over the better-fixing Chromatic Lantern).

    Another reason why I would say this is the "more correct" evaluation is because your evaluation seems to underestimate the actual power of the Mirage Diamonds. Speaking as a player with a lot of EDH experience, I have seen and experimented first hand with just about every single mana rock that exists, and I'm very confident saying the Mirage Diamonds are up with Signets, not down with the Obelisks and the Cluestones, despite having a similar time-to-recover stat.
    Posted in: Magic General
  • posted a message on Rules being changed due to player intuition (Now with damage on the stack discussion!)
    If the way to win a football game started involving pole vaulting, do you think current football fans would feel that it was the same game? I mean, pole vaulting is impressive, no doubt about that. But the people watching and playing would not feel like they were watching football, because the skills and actions involved in winning would be completely different. The strategy would be different. No one is arguing that pole vaulting takes skill, but making it so that you have to pole vault in order to score a goal would ultimately make for a completely different game.

    Only if pole-vaulting had been included in the game of Football from its very beginning would I think this analogy valid.

    Same principle applies. No one is arguing that bluffing and reading your opponent isn't a skill, it's just not a skill that's traditionally involved in games of Magic. Magic has traditionally been a game of outplaying your opponent with the cards, not with mind games. And, let's be honest here, most Magic players are socially awkward, and for the people who aren't gifted in terms of social skills, it's basically putting them at a disadvantage that wasn't there before to make the game all about something that involves being social. Full disclaimer here: I am one of them. I have full-blown social anxiety, to the point where I'm scared of talking to the clerk in a supermarket. So for me, if the game became all about reading cues and bluffing and whatnot, it would simply no longer be accessible to me. Sure, I can do it just fine when it's stuff like trying to predict what's in my opponent's hand based on his actions within the game. But for example I played against a guy at one of the stores I used to play at who would reshuffle every time I had shuffled something (Including his deck after he had done it - I'm fairly certain that's not allowed, but I was scared to say anything in case I was wrong). He was very abrasive and his movements when putting down his cards and whatnot were swift and, for lack of a better word, aggressive. His draws were always incredibly lucky after I won the first game, while mine were quite the opposite after that - which is when he started shuffling every time, without asking permission. Now, it's very possible that it was just a good game for him and a bad one for me, I'm not going to call anyone a cheater just because I lost to them. But I am saying that if he had been cheating, he would've gotten away with it due to his behaviour. If this sort of thing becomes a large part of the game, trying to psych out your opponent instead of just playing the game, then I just can't play it. Maybe that's good for the game as a whole, but it's pretty bad for me as a player.

    Bluffing and mind-reading have been a part of Magic from the very first Pro Tour. The very earliest "great Magic plays" have been stories of players representing cards they didn't have, or intuiting their opponent couldn't respond optimally based on the cards they'd already played. The very best Magic players have always been better at that sort of play, and many of them have even gone on to success at games such as Poker.

    As I was trying to point out, Wizards is trying to expand the game beyond the audience that solely wants to play card-rule-interaction puzzles to a wider playerbase, and that includes shifting some of the focus of the game. Card interactions are still very much a part of it, but other skills and strategies are now enphasized more than they were in the past (though I do reiterate that Magic has never been primarily about card-rule interactions, and the period of tournament Magic where it was solely about card-rule interactions is now called "Combo Winter" and is derided as the low point in Magic development and tournament play.)

    I should also point out that your example is already covered by the rules, and that the Floor Rules are always being worked on to explicitly eliminate methods of intimidatiion. "Mind Games" aren't intimidation, and correctly determining your opponent's next line of play based on his previous ones definitely doesn't require being "people-person"; it mostly requires you pay attention to what your opponent is doing more carefully and consider why they might be doing it that way, based on your knowledge of their deck. In other words, paying attention to something other than just your own cards a little more.
    Posted in: Magic General
  • posted a message on Rules being changed due to player intuition (Now with damage on the stack discussion!)
    Quote from Renasce »
    Quote from thg »
    Simple and consistent rules does not mean a less complex or "dumbed down" game.

    Chess and Go have very simple rules, for instance. Better, in my opinion, to have very simple rules and allow the positions or interactions to generate the complexities than to make a complex rule set that only a lawyer could love.

    If you read the thread, you would realise that it's more about card design than the rules.

    That seems fair, but I think the argument still applies. "Piece design" in Chess and Go is rudimentary at best, and you can't even customize your piece layout and composition. (Fairy Chess excluded, of course).

    Of course, Wizards has to keep in mind the "psychic load" of their game, too. While there is a significant population of game-players who will absorb any arbitrary rule complexity without even noticing it, the widest possible set o game-players tend to prefer complexities arising from player interaction (bluffing, reading your opponent correctly) and overarching strategy (as opposed to micromanagement of game pieces). Removing elements with a high psychic load from regular rotation in any given set is "dumbing down" the game along the complex-rules axis, but arguably "smartening up" the game along the player-interaction and strategy axes. In other words, the fewer games that are lost because you don't understand the subtle timing intricacies of a three-card combo, the more games you lose because you didn't read your opponent's bluff correctly, or failed to make the correct play in the face of that bluff. After all, you have to lose some way.

    I've noticed a lot of experienced players tend to discount "reading" one's (inferior) opponent as a valid skill in Magic, mostly because they're very used to simply being able to outplay them using card interaction rules alone. The very best players I've known have instead started honing that skill, and as a result, they're still playing circles around inferior opponents - interestingly, it's often by making the "wrong" choices (i.e., blocking "incorrectly"), because they've intuited that their opponent isn't going to take advantage of the error, based on their previous play.

    Posted in: Magic General
  • posted a message on What trait bothers you most about an opponent?
    No, in other words, I am going to be polite no matter how immature my opponent is being

    It's not "polite" to taunt someone, and it's not "polite" to needle someone, even if the words you're using are usually polite. The polite thing to do if your opponent is in a foul mood is to not provoke him or her further, or make of point of saying something you know your opponent is not going to take well.

    How can it possibly be polite to intentionally irritate someone? Especially when you're doing it in a way that gives you the cover of social sanction - "Oh, I was just saying a polite pleasantry, it's my opponent's fault they didn't take it well."

    If your opponent isn't participating in your idealized scenario, forcing it on them is rude, no matter how you slice it. If your idealized scenario is going down, then *you already know* they're going to take "Good game" well. What I'm talking about is the opposite situation - where you admit you know your opponent isn't going to take it well - and you go ahead and do it anyway.
    Posted in: Magic General
  • posted a message on What trait bothers you most about an opponent?
    Quote from shamizy »
    Magic players are the only people I have ever seen complain about people saying "good game" or something similar after a game. It's common courtesy in competition, even in a blowout. Have none of you ever played sports? Some of you read way too deep into something so simple. Unless they have a derpy look on their face I wouldn't expect any malice when someone is saying "good game" to you after a match. I mean come on.

    I've played sports quite a bit, and inevitably, the handshake at the end of the game comes *after* the final play, and *after* the celebration of the victory.

    Magic players often don't recognize that the formality of the handshake in sports is important to taking any potential sting out of it. Saying "GG" before (or while) you're swinging for lethal, or saying GG before your opponent has conceded the game or accepted defeat, has become a normal part of the process and unfortunately, when "Good game" is offered quickly, perfunctorily and as early as possible, it no longer feels like an acknowledgement of a good game, but rather a formalism the player doesn't truly respect and by extension, doesn't respect the opponent, either.

    There's also the fact that "GG" is regularly used as a taunt in online forums. That's a real problem, and Magic players in person need to be aware that there's multiple ways to take the phrase, so they need to make it as unambiguous as possible.

    Seriously? You just assume that every time you get crushed your opponent is saying GG with an implied "ha it was so easy to beat you" tacked on? Do you realize how crazy that sounds? Have you never, ever played a team sport? After every. single. game. every non-immature, non-douchebag walks up to the other team and says "good game" to each of the other players. Even if it wasn't. Even if you got crushed/crushed them. Even if you're mad about something. It is the polite thing to do. No one is saying "good game" to you after a round of magic to rub in the fact that you were mana screwed. They are just being polite. There are no negative connotations to good game except the ones you make up in your own head.

    No. I'm saying it *has* been used that way, is being used that way, and if you intend for your "good game" to be taken as the polite phrase you mean it to be, you'd better be aware that there's ways it could be taken the other way. Refusing to acknowledge the reality of the phrase doesn't make you more polite than anyone else, it makes you less polite. A truly polite person isn't going to insist that his or her opponent's feelings are irrelevant to the post-game pleasantries. A truly polite person isn't going to be totally unaware of the phrase's context and its misuse, either.

    Also, in regards to the team sports analogy: See above. Formality and ceremony are important in the post-game handshake.

    Unless you specifically ask me not to say GG, I am going to say it, no matter how salty you seem.

    In other words, you're totally aware that saying GG isn't going to be received well by your opponent, and you're going to needle them anyway. That's not polite at all; in fact, it's using GG as a taunt, precisely as was described above. I don't see how this puts the phrase in a good light.
    Posted in: Magic General
  • posted a message on What trait bothers you most about an opponent?
    GG has come to just mean "I enjoyed playing against you," or "this was an enjoyable experience."

    Sometimes with the implied undertone "I enjoyed playing against you... because it was an easy victory." or "This was an enjoyable experience... for me, I don't really care that you're frustrated."

    That's the problem, in a nutshell. GG has too many different connotations. It should be used more carefully. If it's used casually or inappropriately, you're reinforcing the negative connotations at the expense of the positive ones.
    Posted in: Magic General
  • posted a message on Jeskai Elder and tri-lands
    Quote from ktkenshinx »
    So I actually don't mind this mechanic. It makes combat much more interesting and dynamic, and leads to a lot of fun play lines. It's solid, but it's also safe and uninteresting.

    There are two things I don't like about this mechanic and the discussion surrounding it. First, my original criticism holds; Prowess N would have been just as flavorful and just as balanced as Prowess, but it would have opened up a few more design options. You could have most of the Prowess cards be Prowess 1. Then you get a few guys with Prowess 2+ and do cool stuff with the card design there. There really isn't much to lose in doing this. This card in the OP still keeps Prowess 1. Most cards in the set keep it too. But then you can have a few guys with bigger Prowess values, which are cooler in limited, casual, and constructed circles alike.

    My second issue with this card is the belief that Wizards thoroughly tested it and we should take that at face value. Wizards makes design mistakes. Wizards makes testing mistakes. They also have successful designs and successful testing runs. All I will say on this is that I am curious to read the KTK articles that discuss the mechanics; I am sure they will have a note about Prowess N vs. straight up Prowess, and I am curious to see their rationale for picking the latter over the former.

    To me, it reads like Delver-lite; it rewards an aggro-control builder for doing what she will be doing anyway, which is playing a small early threat and riding it to victory through a combination of counters, bounce and CA/draw spells. It just changes when the spells are best timed, basically. Given that counters like Mana Leak aren't going to be a part of Standard for the foreseeable future, this isn't asking a lot of the Jeskai player; they wouldn't be keeping counter mana open anyway in the upcoming Standard.

    Now, I'm not saying that this dude's going to be the next Delver; but I think the mechanic might be stronger than it first appears, and I'm not sure it's entirely "safe". It depends on how many aggro-control components exist in the Standard it's in. Given that we're beyond the point of Ponder/Preordain making it into a set, and Void Snare is replacing Unsummon, it will probably be all right. It's definitely safe in the context of the non-rotating formats, but it's interesting in that it gives Storm players another way to win; not that it triggers off of Storm itself, but the cards that build up the Storm count will also be creating an enormous Elder to swing with.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on Are there Any Lands that Produce Two Mana of One Color?
    The "depletion lands" (e.g. Remote Farm) will make two mana of the same color.
    Posted in: Magic General
  • posted a message on Ut oh! New direction on removal from wizards!
    Yes, but they weren't predicated on a single threat, either.
    Posted in: Limited (Sealed, Draft)
  • posted a message on Artifacts that can keep you alive early game?
    I remember Grand Architect was a fringe in a Standard that had a strong mono-white aggro deck in it, with cards like Dispatch and Leonin Relic-Warder to exile Architect's artifacts and creatures. This seems similar.

    Part of the solution was to run Grand Architect with 1- and 2-drops that can block as opposed to mostly 3- and 4-drops. Blue has a few options in that regard - Kraken Hatchling stands out there, but Hedron Crab is an option, and Phantasmal Bear is surprisingly good - most 2/2s die to any removal your opponent was running anyway, and a 2/2 for U often trades with your opponent's early creatures, before they get cross-pumped. Vedalken Certarch was often an option, because you ran enough artifacts that it was "on" most of the time.

    At 2 CMC, you can run Chief Engineer (sort of a back up Grand Architect), or cards like Fog Bank. Again, they're good at blocking early stuff.

    The idea is to cast, as much as possible, a 1-drop, 2-drop, Grand Architect, and then tap them all immediately for a strong, hard-to remove creature that establishes board control, like Wurmcoil Engine, although against a white weenie deck, you might do similarly well with Triskelion, or a card that doubles as removal and a blocker, like Duplicant, or the not-much-seen-anymore Contagion Engine to wipe his board. For situations where you can't curve perfectly, you include a few 4 CMC artifacts that would work, such as Silent Arbiter. If you're running Chief and Grand Architect, Myr Superion is very easily cast in your deck, and it's going to block just about anything they put out.

    Then, on your subsequent turns, you just turn up the mana advantage with Treasure Mages. Eventually, they won't be able to keep up, particularly if you're running other draw spells.

    This strategy is a little different from what was suggested above - running Propaganda, Ensnaring Bridge, etc - but it might be more in line with how you want your deck to function, which seems to be a blue ramp deck that does shenanigans on turn 4 and higher.
    Posted in: Magic General
  • posted a message on Ut oh! New direction on removal from wizards!
    Quote from Vitezen »

    If your opponent has removal saved to kill your bomb, you haven't been playing a strong enough game. The game isn't just played on the battlefield, it's in the cards in each player's hand as well. If you're dropping your expensive "win now" card when it's unsafe, that's a bad play. If you like having different valid playstyles, you have to recognize that the control deck with nothing but removal and one game-ending threat is just as valid as rushing your opponent down with creatures.

    I don't think it's that simple, particularly in Limited. First, because your opponent is likely saving quality removal for your bomb as long as possible, but second, because removal at common but bombs are rare means there's going to be more removal in any given Limited pool than there are bombs; while you might have been lucky enough to draft a Soul of Theros, your opponent could very easily have picked up two Pillars of Light at the same table.

    If the common removal isn't situational like Pillar, but instead quality, like Doom Blade, then your opponent is probably going to be running all of it. Which means they could very easily be using their removal on your bait creatures while still holding a piece for the bomb that your smart play is building towards. On the other hand, if the common removal is situational, they're not likely to have put three Pillars into their main deck, which means they're as likely to have their removal as your are your bomb, and it's possible that your smart play could have forced them to use it too early.

    Quality removal at common makes control decks like you've described less likely, not more. Game-ending threats are rare or mythic. Beaters that a Limited control deck might have to settle for tend to be just large without much in the way of being hard-to-remove or hard-to-block. If most players can expect quality, unconditional removal at common in a draft environment, it would be foolish to draft a deck that relies on a single threat. Limited control decks are reduced only to decks able to draft an Aetherling and not the M15 control decks that don't have the advantage of such a strong curve-topper. M15 control, where is exists, relies as much upon the removal answers to its threats being less commonly main-decked as it does on its central threat. Those sorts of decks couldn't exist if every player could have access to something like Pacifism or Doom Blade at common.
    Posted in: Limited (Sealed, Draft)
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