Theros notably went above people's head with the references a lot of times and wasn't that popular IIRC.Let me put it this way: Theros didn't give us a card called "Heliod, Lightning God King"
It took themes and character concepts from Greek mythology and made new things based on those things.
This set is giving us "literally the thing from the fairytale, but we changed the name".
It doesn't feel interconnected with itself, let alone the other, Arthurian Legend, half of the set. And it doesn't feel like Magic's take on classic fairytales, it feels like a fairytale version of that fanmade Star Ward set that one guy did.
I don't think Theros' problem was the mythology being too hidden, though I do wonder if the Greek mythology stuff is really popular enough to carry a product even if it were more direct. I feel like it just wasn't that exciting of a set that was followed up by two weaksauce expansions. That said, I feel like this set being closer to a direct analog might increase its popularity with casuals or even non-Magic folk.
You're thinking Kamigawa. The unpopular part of Theros was Born of the Gods because it was a really bad small set. Theros overall was popular just not Earth shatteringly so.
This is what I'm missing. This stuff is so on the nose that I'm looking for any kind of diegetic or metatextual explanation for why this stuff is happening in Eldraine, for why all the magic here is whimsical.
I wouldn't call it working out when there's almost no legendaries from Theros people remember but part of that is surely most of them being trash.Theros came upon the solution of leaving the more obscure references to rare, and in that regard, I think that worked out. Kamigawa was the "what even is this" block. Theros's problems were entirely on a card design level, and choosing not to have anything interesting storywise happen in the second set.
Here's what I think I'm missing: why are there so many one-offs in Eldraine? All the fairy tale stuff doesn't feel like worldbuilding, it just feels like weird stuff that happens to be occurring. The full set review could prove me wrong, but I don't get a sense that these fairy tale tropes are pointing at anything consistent underlying them.for most of these stories, there isn't actually a way to convey the meaning of the fairy tale AND put an original spin on it AND keep the cards simple
the reason innistrad worked well for these kinds of designs was because they got to choose both halves (theme & mechanics), so they could be flexible with either part to make the whole card work
here they're stuck with really complicated themes and can only add 3 mechanics to magic's base rules to convey them. you're not going to get more than 5-10% of the fairy tale across in a card, and it's hard to satisfy 100% of people that way
i think they could have gotten the camelot stuff done right if they had an entire set for it. my main gripe with this set is that it's spread too thin across too much different stuff. it's a good approach for a supplemental product, but i'd prefer a deeper dive for the standard expansions
but at the end of the day, as long as the cards play well i won't really care
Ah, that's what you meant earlier.
The gods are pretty popular.
there are unmemorable cards from every set, though. so if that's what you originally meant it's not very illuminating imo.
I mean isn't this true of basically any set? Once you remove all the major legendary characters, people forget the minor ones. You think people are going to remember Lannery Storm or Kopala from Ixalan?
There are unmemorable cards in every set but a set that's drawing on the likes of Herakles, Orpheus, Leonidas, Achilles, Pandora, Helena,... for legends shouldn't have troubles making memorable ones beyond what the gods ended up being
I mean, it's not like they're consistent in how they design dragons.
T1: Sigarda's Aid
Auras, Equipment, and Vehicles are all common subtypes with rules meanings. Food is pretty much the same thing as Clues.