Aaron Forsythe is a freaking moron!

Discussion in 'General CPA Stuff' started by Notepad, Aug 13, 2004.

  1. Notepad Seffy Sefro

    In his latest article (http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=mtgcom/daily/af27), Aaron Forsythe went into his mailbag to act as a spouting head for WotC policy. Okay, fine. That's all mtg.com does, anyway.

    But here's where things get fun, when he contradicted himself:

    Aaron Forsythe:
    I do believe, by the way, that there is a great deal of skill required to play affinity decks well. Granted, if no one is prepared for them, a random pile of affinity cards can overpower a bad deck, but in a field full of artifact hate it takes a ton of skill to pull out win after win.


    Good point, but affinity is still strong. Whatever. He then went right to a letter...

    Nik Smith:
    I think R&D did a fantastic job on designing some amazing cards this block. But they all became unplayable the moment artifact lands and affinity for artifacts became printed, because the hate necessary to beat that deck meant the death of any other original deck with an artifact base.


    He has an absolutely good point here. But, rather than admit to the collateral damage effect and prove even further that WotC has no idea how to balance things (not saying anyone could...just that they claim to yet never can), Forsythe pulls this lame excuse out of his rump...

    Aaron Forsythe:
    The phenomenon of which you speak is more the product of an artifact block as a whole than that of the affinity mechanic or artifact lands.


    Oh, so now the hate is all present not to counteract those abusive affinity decks, but just because the block is artifact?

    Makes me have way less faith in his articles. Its hard to even read mtg.com anymore, the way they sit there and try to rationalize stupid decisions. Its like reading memos from the Bush administration.
  2. train The Wildcard!!!...

    i like reading memos from the Bush administration...

    It's aaron... I'll leave it at that...
  3. Spiderman CPA Man in Tights, Dopey Administrative Assistant

    I'm not quite sure what you're getting at, but from what I understand, I agree with Aaron. I think he already acknowledged that they underestimated Affinity in Future League, so there was no way of knowing how much "hate" to put in. They said they didn't want to reprint Shatterstorm or the like to discourage playing artifacts too much (it is the artifact block after all), but there's gotta be some hate no matter what. And since it's the artifact block, you're gonna expect artifact decks, and so you gotta expect some hate in the opposing deck to get rid of it.

    That said, when Affinity rose to become a strong type, it might be you'll face an Affinity deck 50, 60, 70% of the time rather than WOTC's expected 20, 30, or whatever percentage of all expected decks to be out there. So it may seem like hate is geared towards Affinity when it's really just the block in general and you just happen to face a lot of Affinity.

    If that's hard to understand :), I guess I need a further explanatiom of why you think he's contradicting himself.
  4. Ephraim New Member

    I don't think Aaron contradicted himself at all. I think that all of the artifact hate was included in the set because R&D and Development correctly assumed that there would be some powerful artifact deck in the environment. They weren't certain which deck would be the strongest, but they prepared for it by including a slew of artifact hate. Because of this, whatever artifact deck came out on top (it happened to be Affinity) would have to face a field theoretically prepared with the tools to combat it.
  5. Istanbul Sucker MCs call me sire.

    I've said it a hundred times, and I'll say it a hundred more...

    Whenever you design a mechanic that allows people to play their spells much earlier than they normally should, you have to be VERY VERY CAREFUL with power level, as cards that might otherwise be fine quickly become broken.
  6. Oversoul The Tentacled One

    I was under the impression that they thought they had learned that lesson already, what with Mind's Desire's brokennes having emphasized it AGAIN.
  7. Notepad Seffy Sefro

    Hmm, you're right, it ain't contradictory. However, it still reeks of ill-put-together corporate spin. The flow of the logic is just clunky in that part of the article.

    I think the thing that really bothered me most was the "just play hate" message that WotC loves to spill out. They make it seem like you need to play hate, have a maindeck sideboard......even in CASUAL. Yeah, I've commented on this before, in that hate cards are helpful, but it is rediculous that they basically force casual players now to play all tactical like in a tournament.

    Cards like Platinum Angel, and decks like Affinity, just wreck casual games, unless "you just play hate." Feh!
  8. Oversoul The Tentacled One

    Okay, I was a bit unsure as to what you meant earlier, SeFro, but I see what you're talking about now. I agree...

    Although I think this problem is something that's been developing since Invasion at least...

    When Onslaught block was out, decks based around creature types were so popular that I could have maindecked Engineered Plagues and Extinctions in my casual decks if I'd been so inclined. Planar Void or Phyrexian Furnace would have worked wonders against decks during the Odyssey block period, and then there are colour hosers for Invasion...

    I think a problem now is that the cards in Mirrodin are of greater power-level than the previous blocks with this issue. So casually, rather than your opponents often having a glaring disadvantage, they have a glaring disadvantage that it seems you MUST exploit to win (or you could build cheesy decks like myself).

    I was sort of pleasantly surprised when casual players around here started building Affinity decks and I was able to finally have some competition (this is not to say that I am some sort of invincible Magic player, just that most people I play against are scrubs).
  9. Spiderman CPA Man in Tights, Dopey Administrative Assistant

    Well, first, at what point does having simply "removal" become "hate"? I mean, it's the artifact block, you expect to have or face some sort of removal.

    I think it crosses over to "hate" when you have perhaps 8-12 spells devoted to artifact removal, that seems to be an indication of expecting more than normal artifacts.

    Platinum Angel should easily be dealt with casually if you have normal "removal". Pernicious Deed is an awesome foil against Affinity in casual... and just about anything else, so it's not necessarily geared towards artifacts, just board control.
  10. Oversoul The Tentacled One

    That's the problem though, I think. An entire "artifact block" isn't healthy for the game. Which, as I mentioned, is a problem that's been going on since Invasion (actually, Odyssey block has been the least affected by this, but it has the same problem, if to a lesser degree). I think making an entire block focused on something limits the deckbuilding freedom of the players and often leads to the whole "either play this deck or maindeck hate in order to beat it" thing, which is really only one symptom...
  11. Spiderman CPA Man in Tights, Dopey Administrative Assistant

    True, but since it hadn't been done before, you could say that this was more an experiment to see how players would handle it (and also give artifacts their "due" attention, since all the other colors got their time).
  12. Oversoul The Tentacled One

    Wasn't done before? Well, it wasn't done with artifacts, but it was done with gold cards in Invasion, with similar results. It wasn't as bad, I suppose, since the cards weren't as powerful and the block before it had been so completely different. Odyssey's graveyard focus wasn't as bad either, but I think it was still pretty noticeable. Casually, everyone was playing threshold decks for the most part, and many of them used flashback too. Onslaught was perhaps the most redundant block of all, with virtually every card being focused on creatures and creature types, except in the Scourge set, but I'm not sure what the deal was with that set. Storm...crazy. Mirrodin block is probably only as redundant as Onslaught block. I think an important difference is that the power level was stepped up for Mirrodin, so it made a bigger impact on casual magic...
  13. Notepad Seffy Sefro

    True that most players pack some sort of removal. Most white players pack Disenchant. Most green players pack Naturalize. Most red players pack a handful of direct damage spells. Most blue mages pack bounce or counters. Most black players play some kill spells.

    The gripe I have, however, is that WotC has been forcing more and more removal in everyone's decks. What do you mean Platinum Angel can be dealt with easily? What if you only packed two Disenchants? Do you need to play four? What happens then if you don't draw them consistently? Do you need to play more removal? Do you begin to hate?

    It is to the point where players do actually need to pack 8 or so removal cards of various utility just to keep from dying to something totally cheesy like Tribal, Affinity, Platinum Angel (is it obvious I really HATE this card?), Darksteel Colossus, etc.

    That last one. What the hell does a casual player do against it, other than play blue for counterspells? Yeah, there are a lot of removal cards for it, but what casual players has room for them, or budget for the better ones like Swords to Plowshares?

    On mass removal, those tend to be rare, and incredibly annoying. They're also hard to get. Pernicious Deed is an awesome card. No doubt. The problem is if you can play it, you're basically forced to. Logic would dictate you not "leave home without it" because it is so needed in this crazy metagame of oversimple cheese.

    What good is Shatterstorm when an Affinity player has all sorts of ways to counter? What good is Pernicious Deed when it can be removed before you usually have a chance to get a good blast out of it? What good is Flametongue Kavu when its impossible to trade for (at uncommon) and...um, wait, Flametongue Kavu is one of those cheese cards you need to plan for. Wanna play big cost four-toughness critters? Oh, sorry, FTK is gonna fry it. Only nice thing about it, is it kills Platinum Angel nicely.

    I think I'm just being redundant at this point, so I'll shut up before I say things over again and repeat myself restating what I said.
  14. Spiderman CPA Man in Tights, Dopey Administrative Assistant

    Well, admittedly my casual experience is only limited to 3 other guys playing about once every other month, but I didn't see any of those the expansions making definitive impression in casual Magic. I mean, sure, the mechanics were great when the block first came out, but once a new one came, the old ones left. No one still plays with flashback or threshold (at least regularly) or with gold cards, creatures is always strong no matter where they are, and storm came and went. I think the same thing will go for the Mirrodin block once COK comes out.

    Maybe you play more regularly and have a better pulse on casual Magic. :)

    EDIT for SeFRo: Honestly, I have to say too bad. :) It's similar to a complaint that a person might make if they're starting out and decide to play in Type 1. You meet and play against all sorts of cards. Either you try to build a deck against them all, or build a deck that might beat some but lose to others and hope you don't face the ones you might lose to. If you're in a constant setting where you know you're facing the Platinum Angel guy, sure you better adjust. When threshold and flashback was the rage in my group, I built an anti-graveyard with Planar Void and remove cards from graveyard. It would die against non-threshold decks (about half-n-half actually), but I didn't worry about it.

    Some cards you can't do anything about, like the win condition cards. You might face them or might not. But those cards were pretty much meant to be casual anyway.
  15. Notepad Seffy Sefro

    I actually played live for the first time in many months a couple weekends ago. Since then, a few MTGO logins were my only experience. However, those few games taught me that the most abusive of stuff will always be around. Affinity is one of those things we'll see sticking around for a long time. Much like Elf and Goblin tribal.

    Like Deed, Platinum Angel is a card that will stick around. Colossus, perhaps, as well. Cranial Plating, not limited to affinity, seems like it will be around and abusive just like Flametongue Kavu.

    Yeah, fortunately we no longer have to put up with Birds, UG Madness, Psychatog, Obliterate, etc...but the most evil incarnate of their sets stick with us, and haunt us constantly. Ten years from now you'll still have to pack FTKs for those silly Platinum Angels that pop up. Fortunately, such things will be rare then (like having to worry about Mirror Universe in modern times, a horribly "overpowered cheese card" back in the day), but still something you'll need to think about. Then again, these cheesey cards will slowly get replaced with even more cheesy things. It'll just keep getting more and more abusive in casual circles, who aren't as restrictive as a Type II FNM event.
  16. Killer Joe Active Member

    First of all, Aaron Forsythe is NOT a freaking moron. I was very fortunate to have known this guy several years ago when he lived in Pittsburgh. He's a nice guy and is someone who would help anyone who asked. He was not the stereotypical pro-tour guy who snubbed everybody not at his level.

    With that said, I am sure Wiz Co. did their research on finding the best possible people to do the R&D job. Actually, Aaron was one of us at first, for a longtime, too. A casual player. In fact, his infamous Angry Hermit deck started out as a casual deck. He understands the game completely and has the game's best interest in mind.

    A mistake from time to time in any company can happen. It's not like he's made a string of mistakes and is in constant termoil with the Magic crowd. Heobviously has earned the position he has otherwise, or until further notice, he'll continue to be an employee of Wiz Co.

    Remember, Monday morning quarterbacking is way easier than the real thing.


    "Negative", sells.
  17. Oversoul The Tentacled One

    That's what I'm talking about though. I'm sure I mentioned at some point, possibly a different thread, that the modern blocks aren't leaving deckbuilding freedom to the players as much. For example, if you'd looked at the set list for Onslaught before it came out, and I asked you to predict what would be "all the rage" and what hate cards you could pack to beat it casually, you would have been able to tell me.

    If I'd done that with Tempest, there could have been a lot of answers--just like any block prior to Invasion block (answering "brokenness" for Urza's block wouldn't count and besides, that thing was somewhat of an anomaly).

    As far as Type I goes, it's the players who determine what decks are used there, although the restricted list might have some flaws, it's reasonable enough...

    I think that the test for a block would be, well, block format. I think there'd be a clear distinction between the metagames of block formats before and after Invasion...
  18. Spiderman CPA Man in Tights, Dopey Administrative Assistant

    SeFRo: If you're facing the same creatures over and over again, yeah, you'd to have your deck to pack answers. If you're playing with strangers a lot, then that's pretty much what you're going to have to do.

    If you have the luxury of playing a group where more experimentation goes on, then you don't.

    Oversoul: Actually, pretty much the same answer. With the addition that I wouldn't be able to pick good cards out of a set from a spoiler because I just suck at doing that :)
  19. Notepad Seffy Sefro

    Like Randy, being a player doesn't really mean much after a while. They come up with guidelines they have to follow and that is pretty much the end of their free thinking. For example, if Randy had an influence on the game, why is blue being hosed so much? Where is his voice in all this as a player who knows the game so well? Oh, right, busy blabbering the corporate spin.

    I'm of the same mind as Istanbul that they should've known a cost-reduction mechanic would be major trouble. They always are. "Oh, we didn't think people would get more than two or three artifacts into play, even while we were busy bowing to the requirement of Cogs and the idea of artifact lands..." blah blah blah

    Yeah, calling him a moron was wrong. He's no fool. It's just irritating the direction they take with abusive cards, and caring more about profit margins than about making something fun. Of course, they can't make things fun primarily, as a company they have to make money. However, their greed for nothing but profits has caused draft chaff to choke our packs totally into uselessness, and have rampant cheese chase cards all over the place.

    At least they could honestly say they didn't know any better when they printed Ancestral Recall and Gray Ogre. Nowadays, Affinity and Aven Trooper don't have much of a believable excuse, no matter how many friendly faces Hasbro/WotC pushed into the spotlight to spin things as needed.
  20. Oversoul The Tentacled One

    I guess it shouldn't come as a surprise, since the company has always been greedy. Still, it is irritating...

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