Tuesday, August 26, 2014

kill reviews: invasion block

Last week, Magic was at its dreariest point in the game’s history. It needed something good to save it.

Mark Rosewater wrote an article about things that many people said were going to kill Magic, but guess what, they didn’t. I found this piece profoundly annoying because of its smug, “heh, look at how silly people were to think this would kill Magic” attitude, while leaving out things that genuinely came close to killing the game. A few sets, and their immediate aftermath, are in this category.

The seven-month gap after Fallen Empires probably should have killed Magic, or if not, then the eight-month gap after Homelands could have finished it off. Urza Block saw tournament players fleeing in droves. Masques Block didn’t sell for shit. We can very easily look back on the introduction of Sixth Edition rules, which happened between Urza’s Legacy and Urza’s Destiny,[1] as a great thing now… but that’s because we’re used to Wizards going, “no, really guys, we’re sure this is great for the game long-term. Just trust us on this one.” Who, after those last two blocks, still had faith in Wizards? No one rational. The logic surely went, “they clearly have no idea what in Christ they’re doing with making cards, so why should we assume they know what they’re doing with the rules?”

[1] Yes, Sixth came out two months after Legacy, and was followed by Destiny two months later. They changed the entire ruleset of the game while printing those absurd cards.

After a suck-awful set like Prophecy, the statistically-minded would imagine that the following set, Invasion, would regress to the mean and be better. It turned out to be the most revolutionary expansion printed to that point.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

a gp portland story (guest post by Cool Magic Pro)

06/26/2015 update: I've never removed a post from my blog before. Then again, this was also my only-ever guest post. Cool Magic Pro didn't have anywhere to post it at the time, so we talked, and agreed to post it here.

Cool Magic Pro now has their own tumblr. If you'd like to read this (extremely good) story, please read it here:

Monday, August 18, 2014

kill reviews: masques block

This review available in podcast form thanks to hitting my goal on Patreon:

Mercadian Masques continues the tale of Gerrard and the crew of the Weatherlight as they go to different planes or whatever, there’s some stuff with a court, blah blah blah, this block fucking sucks.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

kill reviews: urza block

Everyone has their nostalgia sets. The sets come out at the right time for them, where they’re introduced to Magic, or have an opportunity to devote more time to it, or hang out with a lot of people that play Magic all the time. The Urza sets are my nostalgia sets.

I didn’t start playing with it, exactly. After my friends showed me some cards, my dad got me the Portal intro pack and a 5th edition tournament pack for Christmas one year. As an only child, I played countless games with those cards against myself on the floor of whatever room I was in. I then played a lot against my best friend at the time, whose mom’s patient had given this friend a huge box full of Revised and other assorted cards from that era.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

kill reviews: the rath cycle

This review is available in podcast form thanks to hitting my goal on Patreon:

Last week, we reviewed Mirage block’s attempt to tie more than one set together. This week, the Rath Cycle takes things a lot further: they had a real plan for an entire block (rather than just a set or two) where everything is tied together by the story of Gerrard and the Weatherlight.