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Saturday, April 17, 2010

your set review sucks

Almost all set reviews are terrible.

People read articles about anything for a few reasons. Usually, it comes down either to be entertained, or to learn something new. When writing a set review, hopefully you should be doing both of these, but very few of them do. They're usually rather dry, with some terrible attempts to nickname cards thrown in if you're Evan Erwin or somewhere approaching as dumb as he is. But more importantly, they don't tell people jack shit, despite how absurdly common they are.

Everyone has kneejerk reactions. That's why they're kneejerk reactions; you don't need to do any research or put any work into anything to have them. People (with the exception of the truly soulless, such as market researchers) don't care what others' kneejerk reactions are- they have theirs already, what do they need more for?

If you're considering writing a set review, please do the world a favor and think in advance about what you're giving the world by writing it. Do you have some unique insight into a format that gives you more authority than most, and thus better-than-average kneejerk reactions? If no, have you done the slightest bit of work to determine whether your hypotheses were accurate at all? It would be a hundred times more useful if, instead of mashing your keyboard to tell us which cards seem good in some vague archetype that will probably never see the light of day, put that time into researching one card in one archetype, and report back on the results.

For example, the new card All Is Dust looks pretty cool. Some people think it might see play. Will it? I haven't the slightest idea. I haven't cast it or seen it cast, personally, so you tell me. However, I've thrown together a GW deck and played against the world's worst players on mwsplay, and can confidently report back that Vengevine is as good as people think it is. See how much cooler that is? I confirmed my hypothesis! Holy shit!

Conclusion: stop writing set reviews unless you have something to say.

4 comments:

Y2J said...

fuck sc2, let's get some real content in this bitch

A Fuller Understanding said...

Perhaps you should have done the world a favor and thought about what you're contributing by writing THIS. Who cares if there are a lot of set reviews? It sparks discussion and gives the magic community something to talk about, even if they are rather basic. I agree that a shift to more focused reviews of individual cards would be an improvement, but calling other figures in the community like Evan Erwin stupid is childish and needless. Don't agree with what Evan thinks? Then write an article explaining why he is wrong instead of wasting our time with fluff like this.

KBR said...

I don't make up nicknames in my articles (thought I should), but you'll be damned to tell me the ones I give when I play don't stick.

Lavaclaw Reach-Around is a name that will live in infamy.

The Author said...

set reviews spark a lot of discussion. boring, uneducated, speculative discussion.

i'm calling evan erwin stupid because he is in fact stupid

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