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 Let's Talk About Magic: the Gathering

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Tequila Sunrise
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PostSubject: Let's Talk About Magic: the Gathering   Sat Apr 05, 2014 8:30 am

Any planeswalkers in the 4enclave?

I drift in and out of the game about once a year; I think because overall it's a great game, with a couple of very grating design philosophies. A game where me and my friends get to be powerful mages in a duel to the death? Yes please! A game where the vast majority of its 13,000+ cards suck, because the devs intentionally make some cards better than others? And the sheer brokenness of the best cards is considered 'balanced' because MtG takes the 'save-or' out of save-or-die? Talk about rocket tag! Ugh.

I think MtG is in need of some 4e design philosophy; and because I know it'll never happen officially, I've begun a Magic Rebooted project just for personal kicks.

Anywho, what are your feelings and ideas about Magic?

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PostSubject: Re: Let's Talk About Magic: the Gathering   Sun Apr 06, 2014 12:11 am

Played since 3rd Edition. Got out after the Urza Saga's. Sorta got back in for Zendicar and Ravnica. Love the Planescape decks too. Not too happy with the lack of decent stories though after 2010 core set release. Don't get me wrong, the refocus of the different colors to make them more streamlined was nice and refreshing, but I wished they didn't drop the ball on quality stories.
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PostSubject: Re: Let's Talk About Magic: the Gathering   Sun Apr 06, 2014 8:15 pm

Don't you mean Planechase? Or maybe mentioning Planescape was a freudian slip on your part -- it is D&D's greatest setting. Wink

Anyway, what are your favorite Magic stories? I read a few of them as a teen, but the only one I enjoyed enough to reread as an adult is The Brothers' War. In fact, I've wondered if Jeff Grubb's other fiction is equally as compelling.

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PostSubject: Re: Let's Talk About Magic: the Gathering   Fri Apr 11, 2014 11:04 pm

Yes, I meant Planechase.   geek 

The Brother's Wars was a great book.  Jeff Grubb is by far one of my favorite Magic the Gathering Writers.  If you haven't read them yes, I would recommend the Ice Age Saga books (The Gathering Dark, The Eternal Ice, and The Shattered Alliance).  All great reads.

Another author I enjoy is Ari Marmell.  Agents of Artifice was very well done.  Both writers also have a very different philosophy on summoning creatures.  Personally, I like Jeff Grubbs take on it over Ari's, but it is a fictional preference.  Smile
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PostSubject: Re: Let's Talk About Magic: the Gathering   Wed Apr 16, 2014 9:59 pm

I got into MtG right when 4th was released. I think it was 1994? I had a friend that owned a comic book/game store and we would sit down there and play for hours. I bought at least some cards from each set up until about 6 years ago? I don't even remember what the set name was. I still have all of my cards. And I also inherited the masses of commons and uncommons from all of my friends so I could "round out" my collection and have the cards I needed to build decks. I think there are about 10-15,000 cards in boxes in my garage right now.

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PostSubject: Re: Let's Talk About Magic: the Gathering   Thu Apr 17, 2014 11:13 am

thanson02 wrote:
The Brother's Wars was a great book.  Jeff Grubb is by far one of my favorite Magic the Gathering Writers.  If you haven't read them yes, I would recommend the Ice Age Saga books (The Gathering Dark, The Eternal Ice, and The Shattered Alliance).  All great reads.

Another author I enjoy is Ari Marmell.  Agents of Artifice was very well done.  Both writers also have a very different philosophy on summoning creatures.  Personally, I like Jeff Grubbs take on it over Ari's, but it is a fictional preference.  Smile
Added to my reading list! Good game fiction is exceedingly hard to come by, to the point where I actively avoid it without positive recommendation.

skwyd42 wrote:
I got into MtG right when 4th was released. I think it was 1994? I had a friend that owned a comic book/game store and we would sit down there and play for hours. I bought at least some cards from each set up until about 6 years ago? I don't even remember what the set name was. I still have all of my cards. And I also inherited the masses of commons and uncommons from all of my friends so I could "round out" my collection and have the cards I needed to build decks. I think there are about 10-15,000 cards in boxes in my garage right now.
*whistles*

I used to have a collection of...I dunno, maybe a couple thousand cards. But I stopped buying sometime during the Urza block, I think, and then sold my collection. Yesterday I discovered that a college student coworker has a few older cards that were given to him, but that he's never bought any cards of his own. I had to agree that while Magic is a very fun game, it's also a scam. WotC has to make money of course, but to have any kind of a reasonable chance of winning, you have to either play pauper or be ready to spend hundreds if not thousands of dollars on the good cards.

So I buy card protectors, and print out proxies to play with!

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PostSubject: Re: Let's Talk About Magic: the Gathering   Sun Apr 20, 2014 10:53 am

Just want to share a MtG blogger's opinion, and then my opinion:

http://mtgcolorpie.com/2011/10/31/the-5-scariest-design-mistakes-in-magic-history/

If you scroll down to 2 – When the Planeswalkers Roamed Wild, you'll see what he says about the powerful Planeswalker cards, and specifically about the most broken one of all, Jace the Mind Sculptor:

No, it’s not about the card Jace itself. While there are some broken things with it, I don’t think it was the problem in general. Being banned in Standard is a huge deal (Stoneforge will get her shout out soon), but the fact that this was banned has more to deal with its environment than the card itself. Ok, the card was a problem too, but more of it dealt with getting rid of it.

To paraphrase this section of the blog post, the author writes that 'Jace is really really powerful, but not broken per se. If there had been good and/or more ways to nuke Planeswalkers when Jace was printed, he wouldn't have been banned.' And this sort of sentiment is very common among Magic gamers -- "It's okay for a card type to be really really powerful if there are ways to nuke it."

If you've been playing D&D for more than six years, this should sound eerily familiar to you: 'It's okay that casters are overpowered because of dispel magic, antimagic field, antimagic zones, monsters with arbitrary magic immunities, etc....' is a common refrain among the old guard of the game.

I don't buy this argument in D&D, and although cooperative and competitive games don't share all the same standards, I don't buy it in Magic either. I posit that if something is too powerful without ways to nuke it into oblivion, it's just too powerful. 'Balancing' overpowered options with nukes means that everyone has to have an arsenal of nukes to survive, and that's lame.

Even with Jace being banned, I don't like Planeswalkers, because they exemplify much of what periodically makes me fed up with Magic: Every one of them is not just rare, but mythic rare -- because apparently three rarities wasn't enough for WotC -- which means that you've got to lay down the $$$ to get a piece of that sweet sweet action yourself. ("Because only noobs buy boosters lol!") And as discussed previously, their gonzo power level forces everyone to have Planeswalker 'answers' at the ready.

Other opinions?

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