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Magic: The Gathering |OT| Throne of Eldraine - Will and Rowan's Excellent Adventure

Koz

Member
Sep 5, 2018
229
Damn, they actually did it. I didn't hate OUaT as much as others but I'm not unhappy it's gone either. I think Oko was the obvious pick but I'm so happy Veil is gone. Being a mainly Dimir player may have something to do with that.
 
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SigmasonicX

SigmasonicX

Member
Oct 25, 2017
6,179
Linked earlier, but here are the main points
* For sets Battle for Zendikar through Core Set 2019, they intentionally pulled back on power. Which yes, means they were trying to make Kaladesh a weak set.
* This led to a lack of interest from people who played older formats, and made Standard more sensitive to outliers like Smuggler's Copter.
* Starting with Guilds of Ravnica, the intentionally started powering up Standard sets, with the hope of reaching the level of Return to Ravnica Standard eventually.
* They explored design areas they shied away from in recent years, particularly three-mana planeswalkers, color hate, and combo cards.
* Eldraine is meant to be around the power level of all Standard sets in the near future, outliers aside. It's on the high end, but within the range.
* Oko originally focused more on outright stealing creatures.
* In short, during late redesigns, they simply didn't respect the power of Oko's Elk ability.
* They overreacted to green being unplayable in the past.
* They call out the strength of green's fight ability, likely referring to Wicked Wolf. They'll be pulling back on that. On Blogatog, MaRo suggested that "ETB another target creature you control fights" is a solution they'd be looking into.
* Three mana planeswalkers were riskier than they thought, and they already gave them a lot of credit. They'll still make them, but less frequently, and with greater consideration to the risks of it being strong.
* They put too much stock in attacking planeswalkers being a good way to manage them. There simply isn't enough board presence to handle one on turn 2 or 3. They'll also look into more non-combat ways to deal with planeswalkers. Blogatog indicated they're looking for all colors to have ways to deal with them.
* For strategy counters, Ravager Wurm was too weak and Veil of Summer was too strong. They'll look into having more strategy counters but at a weaker level, so they don't prove to be dominant in and of themselves.
* Field of the Dead was part of a strategy to use the Core Set to tie back into the Standard sets about to rotate out, but players didn't like having to buy cards for a new deck that would rotate out soon, and it proved to be overwhelming even without Scapeshift, the card it was meant to work with. They'll pull back significantly on this strategy.
 

Steve Winwood

Member
Oct 31, 2017
2,543
The play design article was mostly nonsense. Having sets not have massive impacts on eternal formats with 500 sets in them should be normal. And the idea that, to cushion the impact of broken cards, they needed to make the whole set broken is absurd. You don't need to print Oko and OUaT to make Gideon Ally of Zendikar acceptable! You can just, you know, not print preposterous PWs at all! And then the whole section on 3-mana PWs and attacking them -- like, how did they not know this? I'm not sure how the F.I.R.E. thing interacts with this stuff. Do they think playing the same planeswalker subgame every match is fun or replayable?

The power creep over the past year has been unpleasant, and the fact that they're doubling down on Eldraine's power level being normal means I likely will continue not to buy packs or play standard.

Lastly, there seems to be growing acknowledgement among pros that the London mulligan causes more problems than it solves. In conjunction with the power level increase, you have a) decks' primary play patterns are super powerful and b) decks are very consistent at executing those patterns. Leads to a sameness. Wouldn't be surprised to see that on the block soon.
 

Nacho

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,841
NYC
What a happy day! So much better than just Oko being banned. Now we get to see what other busted green cards dominate... :-P

Only half kidding.
 

Bigkrev

Member
Oct 25, 2017
5,009
London Mulligan makes Limited sooooooo much better though.
We had YEARS where EDH used a different mulligan than other formats. I don't see an issue with keeping the London Mulligan for Limited and going back to the Vancoover Mulligan for all constructed formats. "If your deck contains less than 60 cards, do this. Otherwise, do this"
 

Bigkrev

Member
Oct 25, 2017
5,009
Everyone said I was crazy when I said I was worried about the London Mully but here we are haha
I thought it was fine to test, and worked great in limited, and thought it was smart to use it in a Modern PT AKA the most incentive to break it. Then, the mulligan appeared broken as people were just mulling to 4 every game and winning, and they went "Looks good! Lets keep it!", which was weird!
 

Toxi

The Fallen
Oct 27, 2017
9,878
The play design article was mostly nonsense. Having sets not have massive impacts on eternal formats with 500 sets in them should be normal. And the idea that, to cushion the impact of broken cards, they needed to make the whole set broken is absurd. You don't need to print Oko and OUaT to make Gideon Ally of Zendikar acceptable! You can just, you know, not print preposterous PWs at all! And then the whole section on 3-mana PWs and attacking them -- like, how did they not know this? I'm not sure how the F.I.R.E. thing interacts with this stuff. Do they think playing the same planeswalker subgame every match is fun or replayable?
One of the dominant player narratives during the reign of cards like Gideon and Energy was that these overpowered cards would have been a non-issue in many other standards. Wizards of the Coast needs to print some "wow" cards, but in a more powerful standard those "wow" cards are allowed to be splashier for older formats and are more likely to have stuff that keeps them in check.

FIRE is just a dumb corporate acronym, but they were pretty clear about what their approach actually was: Power up the general level of standard to a higher level than the last few years, power things like up hosers and open-ended combo engines that they had been cutting back on.
 
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Oct 26, 2017
3,425
716
I wish they'd just relegate the stuff for eternal formats to sets like Modern Horizons and Commander releases instead of ramping the power of standard to the moon.
 

cagey

Member
Oct 27, 2017
3,651
I would've banned Nissa and Krasis too. Those are stupid cards that I've played a lot in a lot of decks and felt "this is stupid overpowered thoughtless Magic" every time I've cast them.

And one of Oven/Familiar but that's because it's miserable to play or play against on Arena given the UI and click a million times.
 
Feb 16, 2018
1,001
they want to sell new packs to players who don't play standard or limited

also the london mulligan will never really be the fundamental problem with a format. the problem will always be the lack of interaction and wotc's inability to balance the power of answers vs threats (and play vs draw). london mulligan is a very poor scapegoat for poor balance
 

Toxi

The Fallen
Oct 27, 2017
9,878
they want to sell new packs to players who don't play standard or limited

also the london mulligan will never really be the fundamental problem with a format. the problem will always be the lack of interaction and wotc's inability to balance the power of answers vs threats (and play vs draw). london mulligan is a very poor scapegoat for poor balance
Honestly, I think this was also a warning that you need to be careful about how consistent the early game is. There are some decent answers in standard right now, but so many of them are just too slow for the ridiculously consistent turn 1 Goose, turn 2 Oko. Or turn 1 Edgewall Innkeeper every goddamn game.
 

Imperfected

Member
Nov 9, 2017
6,698
This is the point where the limitations of a paper card game really become apparent: because they can't effectively errata or add cards off-expansion, there's now a hole in the cycle of cheap color hoser cards that explicitly leaves the U/B permission/denial part of the pie untouched by it.

Would've been nice if they could have just made Veil of Summer 1G instead, in the way of digital-only card games.
 

aidan

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,131
they want to sell new packs to players who don't play standard or limited

also the london mulligan will never really be the fundamental problem with a format. the problem will always be the lack of interaction and wotc's inability to balance the power of answers vs threats (and play vs draw). london mulligan is a very poor scapegoat for poor balance
London Mulligan leads to repetitive play patterns, which can't be solved by printing between answers to threats.
 

ZealousD

Community Resettler
Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,161
I really don't want to return to the days where playing a game after mulling to 5 feels like an exercise in futility.
 

Mezentine

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,724
Right, the choice here is "more repetitive games vs a higher number of non-games", not "more repetitive games vs more high variance games". The latter is something that no-one seems to have actually cracked yet
 

Arkanim94

Member
Oct 27, 2017
5,387
the london mull is fine if we don't print free card selection.
is not like OUAT would have been fine with the old mulligan rule.
 

TAFAE

Member
Aug 27, 2018
173
Michigan
The non-games are kind of a symptom of the really busted starts many decks across all competitive formats are capable of - like if you know your opponent is likely trying to play turn 2 Oko (or anything else that quickly takes over the game) and your hand doesn't do anything about that, you have to mulligan to prevent a non-game. The London mulligan certainly helps you find a workable hand, but you're under a ton of pressure to do so because it's so easy to effectively win or lose on turn 2. Not to mention that it helps the decks execute that turn 2 plan more consistently, adding to the pressure to find a very good starting hand or get run over.

It's very hard to justify keeping a speculative hand in most formats these days, OUaT and Oko just brought that feel into Standard. There's always going to be some number of non-games because of screw or flood in Magic, but targeting an environment where you can keep, say, a 5 land hand without 1 or 2 mana spells and not immediately lose seems like a decent place to start.
 

Steve Winwood

Member
Oct 31, 2017
2,543
I wish they'd just relegate the stuff for eternal formats to sets like Modern Horizons and Commander releases instead of ramping the power of standard to the moon.
Purely gameplay-wise, I think those formats evolving slowly is perfectly fine with the players involved. IMO planting cards for those sets generally makes things worse. I think part of the charm of Eternal formats is you get to play with cards that have a history, and the format is less fun for having a bunch of Commander plants and cards where being in a supplemental product means they just turned every power level knob to 11 (W6).

Inasmuch as they need to sell packs, sure, I get it. But if they actually think they're throwing a bone to Eternal players by printing Narsets and whatnot, not a fan.

One of the dominant player narratives during the reign of cards like Gideon and Energy was that these overpowered cards would have been a non-issue in many other standards. Wizards of the Coast needs to print some "wow" cards, but in a more powerful standard those "wow" cards are allowed to be splashier for older formats and are more likely to have stuff that keeps them in check.
"Wow" cards are always relative to the power level of the format, though. If they power down Standard slightly (which I'd reframe a bit, too -- even the "low-power" sets were still way more powerful than historical median Standards), they can just print face cards that are strong without being Gideon-stupid.

I remember the "this would be a non-issue in other standards" line being much more a push for printing effective interaction than a desire to ramp up the power level in general.
 

Imperfected

Member
Nov 9, 2017
6,698
Mmyeah, I think I'm done with Standard and Arena. I'll just be an EDH-only player from now on, so I probably won't post much.
 
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Oct 28, 2017
4,857
As a primarily EDH player, I think the format definitely needs a continuous flow of new cards. The recent sets have been good for that and I hope it’ll continue in the form of new commanders and new staples/niche power. The thing EDH needs most though is more varied win-cons. I don’t feel we have found a good place for that when Green’s main win-con is still Craterhoof and Black often still wants to Exsanguinate or Torment.
 

Alternade

Member
Oct 27, 2017
343
As a primarily EDH player, I think the format definitely needs a continuous flow of new cards. The recent sets have been good for that and I hope it’ll continue in the form of new commanders and new staples/niche power. The thing EDH needs most though is more varied win-cons. I don’t feel we have found a good place for that when Green’s main win-con is still Craterhoof and Black often still wants to Exsanguinate or Torment.
This so much. I play 75% decks mainly and the wincons for most colors are solved at this point. I wouldn't mind more color pie bending stuff so long as it doesnt slant to heavy UG/x. What I really want to see are strategies that would normally be counter to what the color/color pairings are used to. UW aggro, RW control, Sultai something thats not graveyard related, Colorless that isnt just artifacts or eldrazi, etc

I really hope Commander Legends brings a breath of fresh air to the format
 

Schreckstoff

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,111
As a primarily EDH player, I think the format definitely needs a continuous flow of new cards. The recent sets have been good for that and I hope it’ll continue in the form of new commanders and new staples/niche power. The thing EDH needs most though is more varied win-cons. I don’t feel we have found a good place for that when Green’s main win-con is still Craterhoof and Black often still wants to Exsanguinate or Torment.
torment was only printed 3 years ago. I think finale of devastation is a better wincon than craterhoof already.

Also my wallet definitely doesn't agree that EDH needs a constant influx of new pushed cards. Heck I'm in the process of cutting my 20 decks down to about 5 since I don't want to have to keep up anymore.
 
Sep 14, 2018
737
I wasn't expecting them to flat out admit they suck at their jobs but it's not like confirmation was needed that this year was a complete trainwreck for mtg, just mistake after mistake after mistake with no end in sight and I barely touched the game this year, I can't imagine actually playing it. I believe 2019 will be looked back on as "the dark year" where magic players were forced to become cannibals at gunpoint.
 
Oct 28, 2017
4,857
torment was only printed 3 years ago. I think finale of devastation is a better wincon than craterhoof already.

Also my wallet definitely doesn't agree that EDH needs a constant influx of new pushed cards. Heck I'm in the process of cutting my 20 decks down to about 5 since I don't want to have to keep up anymore.
Finale of Devastation is great until you realize you use it to fetch Craterhoof.

I haven’t spent much time theorizing what an alternative green win-con should look like, but it should be something. Variety is the spice of life.
 

Schreckstoff

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,111
Finale of Devastation is great until you realize you use it to fetch Craterhoof.

I haven’t spent much time theorizing what an alternative green win-con should look like, but it should be something. Variety is the spice of life.
I don't play craterhoof anywhere so that can't happen

I just don't think with as much power as there is in manadorks anything will come close to some pump everything and swing card for green. Ramp into scapeshift is too inconsistent and capped in damage for EDH so it's usually ramping into eldrazi
 

f0rk

Member
Oct 25, 2017
441
I wasn't expecting them to flat out admit they suck at their jobs but it's not like confirmation was needed that this year was a complete trainwreck for mtg, just mistake after mistake after mistake with no end in sight and I barely touched the game this year, I can't imagine actually playing it. I believe 2019 will be looked back on as "the dark year" where magic players were forced to become cannibals at gunpoint.
While the cards printed have been bad, this has actually been a great year for WoTC given how much Arena blew up. They've made a lot of mistakes with it which has creating a new whiny fanbase but it's still a massive success.

The worst thing about the bans is I assume the stupid slow cat deck is going to get more popular. The Arena triggers really take too long.
 
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SigmasonicX

SigmasonicX

Member
Oct 25, 2017
6,179

I don't think this was posted. There are some interesting tidbits about the types of stories they left out of the fairy tale side, and about the planned second Eldraine set (which was to be in Theros: Beyond Death's current slot).
 

Metroidvania

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,547
" Ultimately, we did not properly respect his ability to invalidate essentially all relevant permanent types, and over the course of a slew of late redesigns, we lost sight of the sheer, raw power of the card, and overshot it by no small margin. "
Lmao, they're saying they 'didn't realize' the Oko being able to basically invalidate other creatures that could threaten it as a second plus ability was too powerful?

Especially in green, which tends to have big creatures to act as walls of its own? And was just recently given protection from kill/bounce spells?

.....I'm in awe of how inept that comes off as.
 

cagey

Member
Oct 27, 2017
3,651
Lmao, they're saying they 'didn't realize' the Oko being able to basically invalidate other creatures that could threaten it as a second plus ability was too powerful?

Especially in green, which tends to have big creatures to act as walls of its own? And was just recently given protection from kill/bounce spells?

.....I'm in awe of how inept that comes off as.
They claim testing was largely using Elkify on their own food and creatures.

Which is super embarrassing to claim.
 

Metroidvania

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,547
They claim testing was largely using Elkify on their own food and creatures.

Which is super embarrassing to claim.
This could have been solved by keeping the plus for your creatures and a minus for opponents.
I guess to be fair, some of the reddit rumors also imply/suggest that Oko was originally limited to only using your own stuff as elk, not any target.

Which....then brings up the question of why the last minute changes that don't seem to get tested enough (which is almost, if not, every design decision that's ended up busted) happened AGAIN, but...who knows.
 

Nacho

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,841
NYC
Oko is just a couple minor number tweaks away from being fine and it sounds like that happened a lot
To be fair, the same could be said for any busted card in the game. So many things are possible and legit in magic, which is why it's infinitely fun, but allowing people to do tricksy shit for no mana cost or have a card early in the game that is essentially giving them infinite value and incredibly hard to remove is BS.

I guess to be fair, some of the reddit rumors also imply/suggest that Oko was originally limited to only using your own stuff as elk, not any target.

Which....then brings up the question of why the last minute changes that don't seem to get tested enough (which is almost, if not, every design decision that's ended up busted) happened AGAIN, but...who knows.
Yeah, no card should go out without proper testing. Last minute changes, before realizing what it actually is until people get their hands on it and then taking an even longer time to ban is is a horrible practice.

Like, just wait for the next set if a card isn't ready. There's no easy way to take shit back but there sure as hell is an easy way to not leave shit like this happen as often.
 

Metroidvania

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,547
To be fair, the same could be said for any busted card in the game. So many things are possible and legit in magic, which is why it's infinitely fun, but allowing people to do tricksy shit for no mana cost or have a card early in the game that is essentially giving them infinite value and incredibly hard to remove is BS.
It's kind of amusing in a macabre sort of way - because green, while not always 'super' smooth, tends to ramp enough to (hopefully) help smooth out land flooding via pulling out lands...

so what do we do? Give Green a free spell that helps smooth out things even more! Because cheating out things for free has never been a 'hard-to-balance' issue for Magic!

It's definitely a trifecta issue for sure, but maaaaaaan, this one hit hard.

(But also made Oko a chase/open packs card for a few weeks, conveniently enough)