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April 13th, 2020 B&R Announcement

Melkor

Well-known member
Yeah, it's interesting to me how vehemently Rosewater defends the color pie system, and that even the slightest break undermines the game; but how other seemingly fundamental rules, like starting with a random 7 card hand, can be completely up for grabs.
 

Oversoul

The Tentacled One
Saw people on other sites have been digging this up, and it is kind of surreal now. It's an imaginary conversation about unrealistic stories that reflect actual card design lessons. Kind of a goofball experimental format for an article, but Mark Rosewater is into that sort of thing...

"Okay, I call this first one 'The Message in the Mirror.' It all starts many years ago, when R&D was working on the set called Tempest. This story is about Maro and two young interns whose names are lost to time. Most people don't know this, but Maro wasn't actually hired as a designer but rather as a developer. He was eager, though, to prove that he could design, so he got Richard Garfield to agree to work with him on a new set. That was enough to allow the head designer at the time, a man named Joel Mick, to give him a shot leading a design."

"His first time designing was leading a set? That doesn't sound very plausible."

"Let me tell my story and then you can decide for yourself whether it's true or not. Anyway, there was a lot of pressure on Maro to deliver an exciting design, so he decided to push the boundaries. He made a new mechanic that allowed you to choose to start with the card in your opening hand. If you chose to do so, you had to begin with one card fewer."

"Just one card fewer? That's all? There wasn't a life loss or something?"

"The cards were weaker than normal, so you were opting to start with cards that were of a lower power level. Maro was excited by this idea. Everyone gets frustrated when they can't get the card they need. What if you had the ability to guarantee that you could have the card you wanted in your opening hand? But it was a bit of a crazy idea, so Maro knew it needed to be playtested. Luckily, Magic R&D had two young interns who were available for playtesting. He asked them to play in a room with a one-way mirror so he could secretly observe. The playtesting went on all night and Maro had had a long day, so several hours in, he fell asleep."

"What happened next?"

"Early the next morning, Maro awoke to see a message written in lipstick on the mirror, reversed so he could easily read it. It read: 'DECK VARIANCE IS THE LIFEBLOOD OF THE GAME AND UNDERCUTTING IT WITH THIS MECHANIC HAS LED TO THE MOST UNFUN PLAYTEST GAMES WE HAVE EVER PLAYED. IF THIS IS THE FUTURE OF MAGIC DESIGN, WE WANT NOTHING TO DO WITH IT.' The interns were gone and haven't ever been seen since. Maro took the new mechanic out of the file and never talked about it again."
 

Oversoul

The Tentacled One
While we don't have the real cards out yet, MTGO results are already proving how utterly silly this idea was. Mark Rosewater's imaginary interns of five years ago got it right. Should have listened to those guys...

Latest MTGO Legacy Challenge Top 8:

Lurrus
Lurrus
Yorion
Lurrus
No Companion
Lurrus
No Companion
Lurrus

Latest MTGO Vintage Challenge Top 8:
Lurrus
Lurrus
No Companion
No Companion

Lutri
Lurrus
No Companion
Lurrus

Latest MTGO Modern Challenge Top 8:
Lurrus
Lurrus
Lurrus
Lurrus
Yorion
Lurrus
Lurrus
Lurrus

Latest MTGO Pioneer Challenge Top 8:
Lurrus
Lurrus
Lurrus
Lurrus
Lurrus
No Companion
No Companion

Obosh

Latest MTGO Standard Challenge Top 8:
Keruga
Keruga
Obosh
No Companion
Keruga
Gyruda
No Companion
No Companion
 

Oversoul

The Tentacled One
Let's check in again! How about those Challenge results?

Latest MTGO Legacy Challenge Top 8:
Lurrus
Lurrus
Lurrus
Lurrus
Lurrus
Lurrus
Zirda
Jegantha

Latest MTGO Vintage Challenge Top 8:
Lurrus
Lurrus
Lurrus
Lurrus
Lurrus
Lurrus
Lurrus
Lurrus

Latest MTGO Modern Challenge Top 8:
No Companion
Lurrus
Lurrus
Lurrus
Lurrus
No Companion
Lurrus
Lurrus

Latest MTGO Pioneer Challenge Top 8:
Lurrus
Lurrus
Obosh
Zirda
No Companion
Yorion
Lurrus
Lurrus

Latest MTGO Standard Challenge Top 8:
Lurrus
Yorion
Yorion
Yorion
Yorion
Yorion
Keruga
Obosh

Come on, tournament players. You can crank those numbers all the way up to 100% Companion decks. I believe in you. :rolleyes:
 

Oversoul

The Tentacled One
Oops, forgot one more thing. There's also this...


One week from today on 5/18 will be the next Banned & Restricted update, impacting the Vintage, Legacy, and Brawl formats. MTGO Leagues for those formats will end at that time and be restarted with the updates.
I am not optimistic about this. And from the reception I've been seeing this announcement get, neither is anyone else. Yikes.
 
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