"When cards go bad"

Discussion in 'CPA/WOTC Magic Issues' started by FoundationOfRancor, Feb 1, 2002.

  1. Melkor Active Member

    Um, when they print the U: Draw 4 cards card, Ancestral doesn't become weak, hell play them both but of course I understand the point that was trying to be made. My main problem isn't with cards that are sort of weird and useless, its with more straight forward cards that obviously don't need certain disadvantages. Stuff like Elephant Graveyard, I mean the effect isn't that good to begin with so why should everyone get it? Or things that could obviously stand to be an instant instead of a sorcery, or cost 1 less. It's those sort of little things that weaken the card and move it from, "I'll consider putting it in a deck," to "never leaves my binder/stacks of cards". Generally I agree with most of the comments in the article though.
    And yes, Craw Wurm was the best card in existence. We refused to play one of my friends who had 4 in a deck on account of their power.
  2. FoundationOfRancor The Gunslinger

    Melkor is saying alot of what I am.

    Some cards could be more balanced with no effect to tournment play! Cards like Limestone Golem, just crap cards. The only use the see is in limited, and even that barely.

    I dont like the fact that Mr. Rosewater is playing all these bad card rational theories as if they have a purpose there thats beneifting the consumer. Cards like Limestone golem are in packs so we will buy more packs in a struggle to get a balanced or overpowered card

    Again, I fear Im not explaining this well.
  3. TomB Administrative Assistant

    So what's so hard to understand here Casey? :confused: Or is it just that it makes you mad?

    I thought that issues like this is why the CPA was formed in the first place...;)

    And Gizmo, I'm sorry, but I don't give a hoot about "limited environments", and the concept of having to make bad cards so it's easier to separate good players from bad ones. Good players, theoretically, should be able to win regardless of what their inferiors are playing - just by being better players - shouldn't they?

    Besides, since the Internet and the phenomenon of NetDecks does anybody, even the bad players, really still play with truly bad cards in tournaments? Or is it meant to be a test of who has Internet access, and who doesn't...:(

    At least, that's how I see it...

    I think what irritates me even more than the fact that some cards are just plain bad is when a bad card becomes good, like when the Waylay loophole was found, and the company went out of it's way to shut it down, and shut it down fast, because the card was "meant" to suck.

    Oh well...:(
  4. Gizmo Composite: 1860

    Ok, well, I think saying that you dont care about limited, and thus it shouldnt be a factor in how Wizards designs cards, is a little bit selfsh, dont you? There are a lot of players out there who DO care about how good limited formats are.

    And the argument of 'won`t good players beat bad players anyway'... well maybe, except you`ve just taken away like half of the skill involved in playing the game (telling what cards are good and what cards are bad). Maybe Wizards should leave advice on the cards telling players when to play it for maximum effect, just to be on the safe side? I mean ... good players still win dont they?

    Bad players DO play with bad cards. Its not about internet access at all. MY teammate Richard Hagon has been playing for four years, has daily internet access, and has actually been to a Pro Tour (he got lucky in the PTQ)! But he was convinced that Life Burst wasnt 100% awful, which of course it is - we had like a two hour blazing row over it one playtest session because I simply couldnt believe how much he was ignoring what the card was actually doing.

    Look at Orims Chant - it`s absolutely terrible, and yet people play it. And if you go on the internet to find out if it is good ... you are told that it IS good! These days internet access makes you a worse magic player than you were without it, because the advice you get is misleading and often just wrong.

    The 'phenomenon' of net decks. Thats one hella long and consistent 'phenomeon'.

    I think you are being irrational about this subject. All the arguments in favor of continuing to print bad cards ARE actually sensible. The only possible argument in response that you can make is to stamp your feet and scream and scream until you are sick just because you dont like getting bad rares in your packs. But there is no really good defensible debating position for them changing the power levels they put into packs.

    Bad cards are good for Magic.
  5. Spiderman CPA Man in Tights, Dopey Administrative Assistant

    Are you truly going to play them both or put in cards that do something other than deck yourself? :p

    Again, another bad example as this came from the first expansion when WOTC was still working out stuff AND a card that I built my first deck around.

    Are you looking at the Graveyard now, with ten "billion cards" in existence or back when it came out, with just "1 million"? I'm inclined to think it was actually not that bad back then. Now of course, it's just for a theme deck but when one of the powerful creatures is a 3/3 trample that you can get out on the 2-3rd turn with not a whole lot else in the power department, I think people were using it.

    But back to your "main point" :)

    There's probably examples like that, sure. But no one here knows the full story behind WOTC's playtesting of each set. Maybe such cards WERE instances or cost 1 less. And they found it was too powerful. Certainly I wouldn't think of their test decks when they test a set, from what little we know (from Rosewater, mainly) of their process.

    Here's the point Rosewater was making and perhaps rakso or someone else who plays Type 1 can answer: In that environment, with access to every card ever made, barring restrictions and banned (which shouldn't affect much), how many "newer" cards (say, past Ice Age block or Mirage block) do you see played in competitive decks? Even I can name off Cursed Scroll, Morphling, Masticore, Survival of the Fittest... but compare that to the winning "decks of the day" and what cards they used. How many overlap? How many don't?
  6. FoundationOfRancor The Gunslinger

    Tomb, it doesent bother me that there a buisness trying to make money.
    What bothers me is the way they justify it without using their honest reasons Do you see what I mean?

    Gizmo brings up an interesting point, what would limited be like if there wasnt bad cards? The only problem I would see with it would be that it would be harder to choose colors for your deck.

    And I dont think bad cards are nesscary for the game - I think unique and creative cards are.

    Also, I just dont like pulling crap commons, uncommons, and rares- but thats a debate against capitalism, not magic.
  7. Spiderman CPA Man in Tights, Dopey Administrative Assistant

    Why do you seem to think those aren't the honest reasons? Do you have some other insider information or something? :confused:
  8. TomB Administrative Assistant

    Whoever gave you the idea I promised rationality?

    Certainly not me...;)

    Gizmo, try to keep this in perspective - mine is just one man's opinion. I do not propose that I am speaking for the multitudes - I am in fact just one person who found himself spending hundreds of dollars annually on this game yet could not build a competitive deck due to lacking the cards, and so I found myself priced OUT of the game.

    So please forgive my selfishness...:rolleyes:

    Spiderman I think what FoR is referring to in terms of honesty is the way WotC uses what I'd call "Advanced Corporate-speak" when delivering to us their reasoning for why some cards "go bad", instead of just coming right out and admitting that they print so many bad cards so people like us will have to buy more cards to get to the quality stuff.

    Welcome to corporate America, Casey...:(
  9. Gizmo Composite: 1860

    Because I honestly dont believe that they print bad cards to make more money.
  10. Spiderman CPA Man in Tights, Dopey Administrative Assistant

    Well, perhaps that's true in a roundabout way, but
    • No one says you have to buy more cards, there's always the option of trading for them. That's why it's called a CCG. And that's why they DO put in "bad" cards, so you, as a more knowledgeable person, may unload them (and if you feel bad about it, make the trade in their favor)
    • As Rosewater said, I bleieve there's really no way to make a "block" of 700-900 great cards (or however many there are in a block). You have to take couple of hundred or so and spread them out. Does this mean there's a faulty premise of block construction to begin with? Perhaps... but as a company who has to keep putting out expansions (at least the way I see it; if someone has suggestions how to keep Magic fresh without doing that, feel free to mention them), I think it's probably the only way to go.

    I also feel we seem to be talking about power tourney cards. If you don't play in tourneys, you ought to be able to find uses for most of the other cards, whether you have to play Highlander or Starter Deck format or theme decks or special multi or whatever. There's probably only really a "handful" of truly unplayable cards in ANY format you can think of.
  11. Melkor Active Member

    First thing, I meant Elephant Resurgence, from Prophecy, not Elephant Graveyard, sorry for the mix up.

    As for what goes on with the developers, there was an article that was a "Developer's Look at Odyssey" in a Sideboard I don't know when exactly. But I remember them talking about making an Unsummon like card and originally it was really undercosted. Then they jack it up to UU2 and make it a sorcery, thereby making it unplayable in anything but limited. Even there its the type of card that I know I'm going to curse at some point when I try to play it as an instant because obviously an overcosted Boomerang couldn't also be a sorcery.
    That's what angers me, random stuff that weakens what I would already consider a weak card. I don't play Type 2 because I can't stand the power level, and also I can't afford to but that is a different point, though related. Since I play a powered down Type 1 I know exactly what Rosewater is talking about where new cards aren't as good when put into a larger frame. Look, like I said before, I agree with most of the reasoning in the article, but I just think that when it comes to more straight forward Rares they should err on the side of making the card slightly better, which they most often don't do. It's funny, but I don't think many things out on the market have their companies tell us that sometimes you'll get a bad product when you buy them.
  12. rkoelsch Angel Boy

    I think you have to look at it like football cards(Originally was baseball but I know squat about baseball). That is really it's closest type. You go along and find players for your team and what if they aren't any good that year. Their value goes down. I think rookie cards are especially comparable. You take a chance on them and sometimes they are superstars and sometimes duds.
    with the madness mechanic all of those discard effects go from being drawbacks to being maybe being useful. Who knows maybe Mishra's War Machine could be a good card. Oh nevermind;)
  13. Spiderman CPA Man in Tights, Dopey Administrative Assistant

    You have to separate out the arguments between "bad cards" and "bad rares".

    As Garfield said long ago, rares were meant to be "narrow, specialized, and powerful" uses. I think people overlook the first two. So generally they're not going into all decks; you kinda have to build decks around one to make it "useful".

    I don't know the story behind your Unsummon-like card; I guess you'd have to know what deck R&D used to "break" it.
  14. Thallid Ice Cream Man 21sT CeNTuRy sChIZoId MaN

    You ought to be able to find uses, but in way too many cases you can't find that many. I understand that not every card has to be interesting, because there should be a large group of cards that are simple enough for beginning players to use "effectively" (even though they're probably boring cards), but in some cases boring cards are made that really beg the question of whether anyone actually spent any time at all making them. Of course, people would probably argue that instead of focusing on creating the card idea, the set designers focus on making sure the set as a whole functions well. This is good reasoning, but just for once I wish designers would make a set where a fairly large proportion of the cards that don't matter in the big scheme of things appear to have some interesting ideas behind them. To decrease the chance that any of these cards might be used in combos, they could be made to have one-shot effects or to be small creatures.
  15. Hetemti The Wide-Awake Nightmare


    That's because people look at the commons and uncommons the first few packs, see three of the 56 cards were playable, and start to ignore them.

    If the C/Unc cards weren't usually unworthy of consideration, we'd not expect the power of the booster to lie within the rare.

    That's all we really want...more power per booster...no matter the rarity of the card(s) that are blessed with the power.
  16. Gizmo Composite: 1860

    Forget this, you just can`t reason with these people. If you try to they just change their complaint.

    One final word - Wizards R&D arent a faceless money making machine. They are a games company. Run by people who enjoy playing games. For people who enjoy playing games. They have no interest in producing a product that doesnt work as an enjoyable product, because thats how they lose customers.

    Magic is a great game. Period.
    Made by people who LOVE that game. Period.

    Them getting their hands on your money is simply a side effect of them making that game, and in fact is in no way a consideration in the design process.

    The people who design the expansions get paid the exact same amount of money no matter how many of those boosters you buy. The only concern they have is to sell a certain base level figure that would ensure the game doesnt die, and in fact preferably gains in popularity. The only way to do this is to make the expansions as rewarding as possible for people to buy.

    Whatever your complaints are, and they seem to be legion. They are based on misleading and misinformed views of how Wizards R&D goes about producing sets, and what their intentions are.

    The most powerful and useful cards will continue to be common and uncommon... Invasion block broke that trend a little by the high proportion of powerful gold spells, almost all of which were rare... but you can see from Odyssey and Torment that the return has been made to powerful commons and uncommons (Psychatog is virtually entirely commons and uncommons, for instance, as are a number of the most viable decks).
  17. Spiderman CPA Man in Tights, Dopey Administrative Assistant

    TICM:
    I'm not sure what you mean by "boring". Again, it's probably dependent on the environment, especially whether it's Constructed or Limited.

    And I'm not sure what you mean by "interesting ideas behind it". With the above environments in mind, you have to make sure the card set is not skewed towards one, making the other unplayable.

    Hetemti: Perhaps what you say is true of top tier tourney decks. But I would guess that when you're just playing and trying out deck ideas on friends, the uncommons and commons have plenty of worth (at least for me).
  18. Melkor Active Member

    I remember back in Urza's Saga I bought packs in order to get Priest of Titanias and I was lucky to pull a bunch of Rancors in Legacy so I didn't have to search for them but that is sort of the exception rather than the rule.

    Anyway my only point is this, that a large portion of the Rare cards in Magic could easily stand a minor increase in power that I feel would not upset the game balance and greatly help out people like me who only buy a few packs and need to play with the cards in those packs and cannot get many of the 300 or so tournament worthy cards that they put in the cycle. That is all.
  19. Spiderman CPA Man in Tights, Dopey Administrative Assistant

    I agree with that in theory, but with the recognition that if you only buy a few packs, the power level of your decks will be correspondingly lower as compared to one who might have at least one of every card in the set (and I'm just talking multiples of cards that might make your deck better, not commonality).
  20. Dune Echo CPA Founder, Idea Man

    I feel that I must point out that Olle Rade's Snake Basket Type 1 deck included 4 copies of Lion's Eye Diamond for the fast mana it provided. Also, coupled with the new Madness mechanic and given the ability to refill your hand quickly, Lion's Eye Diamond has jumped much higher on the "Good card/Bad card" ranking.

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