Every new expansion of Magic the Gathering brings to the table new ways to play the game we love. New creatures, spells, and highly anticipated planeswalkers roam our dreams as we fantasize about that the chance of opening that ONE pack with the ONE foil mythic that instantly makes YOU the coolest badass at your local shop (for the day at least). Other times we lie in bed, brewing up the most legendary turn-three, nut-draw, magical Christmas-land, infinite combo of neck-beard glory. Wizards of the Coast (WotC) puts hours, days, and years into creating cards that make you think those thoughts while also turning grown-ass men into rampant squealing 10-year-old girls when that nut-draw assembles or that chase foil pokes out from behind the dollar rare that made your heart sink. As much as we (myself included) rag on WotC, understand that the few things we claim they are doing “wrong” ‒ rules changes, card mechanics, and banning your favorite card ‒ shouldn’t overshadow the 10,000 things they are doing right ‒ marketing, card design, balancing formats.
That said, let bring to the table the Fan’s Voice #2 Topic…..
… Negative Archetypes and Mechanics!
If you’re lost, let me explain. Personally, archetypes like Bant-ments (suiting up an untargetable creature with powerful enchantments) or land destruction are archetypes fun to play but dreadful to play against. I feel the same way about mechanics like miracle and hexproof. Here are my opinions about this subject to get your gears turning.
Bant-ment – Aggro decks pride themselves on the ability to blast large amounts of damage in the first three turns but can be halted many times by a large blocker, life gain, board sweeper, or a combination of more than one. This style of play preys on players that keep slow hands or decks that lack stabilizing cards (Supreme Verdict, Loxodon Smiter, Boros Reckoner). Bant-ments never cares about the creatures you have or the spells you play prior to a board sweeper. The only goal of the deck is to take advantage of all the playable cards that can’t interact with the hexproof mechanic (discussed later).
Land Destruction – Magic is already a game of variance; therefore, problems like land-screw, color screw, and flooding are already part of the game, giving the opponent the chance to decrease your chances of recovery or turn your three-land keepable hand into you rolling your eyes and staring at the colorless land your opponent left while you draw spell after spell you can’t cast. Cards like Ghost Quarter and Tectonic Edge are fair and can make you opponent stay at 4 or 5 lands or deny one color of mana. Recovery is possible and rewards players for the risk of playing a number of colorless lands to hedge against a utility land or “X” color producing land.
Miracle – Losing to a topdeck is already frustrating but the miracles mechanic glorifies the act and rewards players for trying to do so with top-of-library manipulation or shoving as many as you can into a deck. I feel dirty just casting miracles. So many times I deserved to lose and recovered with a topdeck, revealed before you cast just to make sure your opponent knows the card you just ripped off the top.
Hexproof – Many cards depend on targeting players or permanents to be cast or have effectiveness. This mechanic shuts off your opponent’s targeted removal and creates a safe-haven for all your targeted pump spells. Hexproof has zero consequences! At least miracles could be in your opening hand, making them dead until turn five or six. At least land destruction can’t achieve much else beside destroying lands. Shroud at least gave WotC a chance to create powerful creature while restricting its controller’s straightforward strategies to improve that creature.
In no way do I think these examples and personal opinions validate broken or format breaking strategies. I am merely addressing ways to balance out the fun to be had from both sides of the table.
My question to you is simple.
What needs to changed or adjusted to equal the level of enjoyment from both sides of the table?
Give me mechanics, rules, archetypes, and other aspects of the game that YOU think that would improve the game if adjusted correctly. Also, explain WHY you believe what you believe.
Let YOUR VOICE be heard by leaving a COMMENT below.