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Magic: The Gathering news - June 2017 announcement week

LincLinc BardDetroit, MI Icrontian
edited 15 Jun in Gaming

Anyone else enjoy following the evolution of Magic? Frankly, as a product lead myself, I find reading the lead designer's Tumblr and reading articles about the meta decisions around the game as much fun as playing the game. Mark Rosewater is a saint and a sage in my book.

Highlight reel from what's been announced this week:

  • After 4 years of hiatus, the core set returns next summer with some changes.
  • They're getting rid of the "block" format that's been a staple of Magic since '96.
  • Instead, each new set will be free to roam to new locales or stay as appropriate.
  • "Unstable" is set for Dec release, the first silver-border satire set since 2007's Unhinged.
  • The first set of 2018 will return to Magic's original setting, Dominaria, for the first time in 11 years.
  • Richard Garfield returned (first time in... 20 years?) to help design that set, which is named "Dominaria".
  • They're doing a "Masters 25" set to commemorate the game's 25th anniversary next year.
  • They're laying off the "Masterpiece" series (super rare, super nice foil reprints sprinkled in booster packs) and doing it intermittently instead of every set.

These are all pretty great from my perspective. They're making considered, data-driven changes to the game's rhythm and doing a lot of great fan service. Their rationale for all of these changes and announcements rang true to me as a long-time off-and-on player whose interest in the game has waxed and waned with how compelling (or overwhelming) it was. Stuff like having a Masterpiece series for every set kinda made me throw up my hands because as a collector that's basically an impossibly high (expensive) bar to cross. And while I really liked the 2-set cycles (recently down from 3-set cycles) I agree there's actually no great benefit to being locked to that format whatsoever. And having a set finally named "Dominaria" just makes my nerd heart happy.

Zanthianprimesuspect

Comments

  • MAGICMAGIC Doot Doot Furniture City, Michigan Icrontian
    edited 15 Jun

    I've always been a limited player so I sort of love hate the new 2 set cycles. For me its always I either cant wait for a new set because the new mechanics/cards aren't terribly interesting for limited or its great and I don't have enough time to enjoy a block. All the other stuff sounds awesome.

    MTG has needed to do something to revitalize itself with all the electronic trading card/battle games out there now that have such a huge advantage.

  • LincLinc Bard Detroit, MI Icrontian

    @MAGIC said:
    I've always been a limited player so I sort of love hate the new 2 set cycles. For me its always I either cant wait for a new set because the new mechanics/cards aren't terribly interesting for limited or its great and I don't have enough time to enjoy a block. All the other stuff sounds awesome.

    They talked about R&D having the same love/hate because sometimes they were stretching what was good by needing to produce so many sets per setting, and it limited their ability to revisit places without enough design space for 2 or 3 sets. They're still going to do some for 2 or 3 sets in a row, they just aren't committed to that any more.

    As a fellow casual player, I also feel like the game moves quite quickly, but I also realize that if I did play once or more a week consistently the pace would probably be about right.

    @MAGIC said:
    MTG has needed to do something to revitalize itself with all the electronic trading card/battle games out there now that have such a huge advantage.

    It's interesting because the digital games are quite popular, but I've never heard an anecdote suggesting their popularity came at the expense of Magic. Not only is Magic more popular than ever, but I've never heard of a regular Magic player stopping to play Hearthstone or some other digital variant.

  • CBCB Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ Der Millionendorf- Icrontian

    I am a Magic player who stopped to play Hearthstone.

    Of course, I got tired of Hearthstone and quit that also.

    Linc
  • SodaSoda Ann Arbor, MI Icrontian

    @CB said:
    I am a Magic player who stopped to play Hearthstone.

    Of course, I got tired of Hearthstone and quit that also.

    Hearthstone is not a "delve deep and engross yourself" game like magic is. It's a fun mobile game to play with friends sometimes =P.

  • CBCB Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ Der Millionendorf- Icrontian

    That was what I liked better about it. I didn't have time for the depth of Magic anymore, and I was too far from my friends who played anyway, so casual online Magic was what I wanted. I really only stopped playing Hearthstone because my friends stopped, and playing strangers was boring.

    Soda
  • MAGICMAGIC Doot Doot Furniture City, Michigan Icrontian
    edited 16 Jun

    @CB said:
    I am a Magic player who stopped to play Hearthstone.

    Of course, I got tired of Hearthstone and quit that also.

    I did the same thing, started playing hearthstone because as a mostly limited format magic player I would end up with a huge amount of cards that I had to do something with. The digital format was just more appealing. But, that has also lost its luster as they haven't quite been able to figure out how to balance the game or reward creativity. The only reward is to grind the same top tier deck over and over.

    SodabrightCB
  • LincLinc Bard Detroit, MI Icrontian
    edited 16 Jun

    Do I need to mention there is a standing invite to come over and play Magic in literally any format you want any time?

    • Sealed (my favorite)
    • Booster draft (needs 4+ people, preferably 6+)
    • Constructed (Standard? Modern? Legacy? Yes.)
    • Commander (working on my third deck currently)
    • Pauper (constructed or commander) - Very cheap way to get into it
    • Cube draft
    • Preconstructed duel decks (I have several fun pairs and willing to buy any of them)

    The game works on so many levels it is ridiculous, and I have the cards necessary to do any of them at the drop of a hat.

  • LincLinc Bard Detroit, MI Icrontian
    edited 16 Jun

    My arguments against online/digital variants are basically: 1) the point is to hang out with someone and 2) none of those games know what the hell they are doing compared to the Magic team.

    It's possible they are the premier non-video game design group in the entire world at this point. And even in video games, the only teams I've seen succeed on such a consistent level are Blizzard, Valve, and EA Sports, each of which are multitudes larger.

  • MAGICMAGIC Doot Doot Furniture City, Michigan Icrontian

    If we can find time next week I'd love to play some sealed, draft, or commander. I still have three of their pre-built commander decks that I can bring for folks to play with (that I won winning one of the old Expo draft tournaments that used to be so fun btw).

  • MyrmidonMyrmidon Baron von Puttenham California Icrontian

    @Linc said:

    • Constructed (Standard? Modern? Legacy? Yes.)

    Do you keep standard decks ready to roll?

    Not that I can actually come over and do the thing... but I actually keep up with standard (well... as much as watching SaffronOlive's streams count)

  • LincLinc Bard Detroit, MI Icrontian

    @Myrmidon said:
    Do you keep standard decks ready to roll?

    Usually. Mine are currently a bit dated (BFZ / SOI) so I'll need to update them soon to keep it that way.

  • Creeperbane2Creeperbane2 Victorian Scoundrel Indianapolis, IN Icrontian

    @Linc said:

    @Myrmidon said:
    Do you keep standard decks ready to roll?

    Usually. Mine are currently a bit dated (BFZ / SOI) so I'll need to update them soon to keep it that way.

    Ikr, mine is mostly BFZ. I have updated it through Amonket adding things like Haunted Cloak, Anointer priest and Approach of the Second Sun. But once Zendikar rotates it's toast. RIP Green/White Eldrazi overkill. Not going to take it apart though just going to use it for modern.

  • sharkydartsharkydart KY Icrontian

    A cube draft would be fun!

    Also, I'll bring a deck or two for standard, modern, pauper, commander... is there interest in playing?

    @Linc said:
    My arguments against online/digital variants are basically: 1) the point is to hang out with someone and 2) none of those games know what the hell they are doing compared to the Magic team.

    It's possible they are the premier non-video game design group in the entire world at this point. And even in video games, the only teams I've seen succeed on such a consistent level are Blizzard, Valve, and EA Sports, each of which are multitudes larger.

    What the hell happened with the "Future-future League" (or whatever it is) with being able to determine problematic card synergies before they end up affecting honest players' pocketbooks?! -Refresher on Banned Cards- It's kinda sad that they had to remove both a premier storyline icon from the format (Emrakul), and the most interesting card dealing with the energy mechanic (Aetherworks Marvel).

    I am still tending to the emotional wounds I endured with the change to the split-card rulings. My favorite deck I ever brewed up myself (Brain/Expertise Re-animator) was rendered completely nonviable. :(

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