Saturday, July 25, 2015

why i hate devourer (and why ADC sucks)

We all know the fantasy for playing ADC: you perfectly synergize with your support to crush the opposing bot lane, you get a ton of farm, and you take the tower. Now, you have your Infinity Edge, you’re somewhere around level nine, and you’re ready to take on the world. Then their level eleven Master Yi shows up for the first time and two-shots you.
Devourer caused a sea change in how junglers interact with the rest of the team in solo queue. The jungler has long been a servant of the lanes, a noble, selfless figure that shows up out of fog to valiantly assist the carries in their quest to kill the other carries (and maybe destroy the nexus, but that’s a secondary pursuit). Sure, laners gave the jungler a quick leash at the beginning of the game, but that’s because they literally have nothing better to do with their time. The Devourer jungler is not there to win your lane. The laners are there to buy the Devourer user enough time to win the game by themselves.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

kill reviews: core sets (magic 2010 through magic 2015)

Last week, I opened by comparing Alpha to the Bible. I had one more reason for that analogy that I didn’t mention: much like American conservatives love the Bible, Magic’s conservatives love Alpha.

It’s this love of Alpha that inspired Magic’s shift from its renaissance period (Kamigawa through Lorwyn/Shadowmoor blocks) to its conservative era (starting with Shards of Alara). While Magic 2010 didn’t kick off this period, it summarizes the ethos of Magic conservatism better than any other set.

Conservatives (specifically, reactionaries) are defined in part by their desire to return to a mythical “way things used to be,” back when everything was wonderful and kids had respect for their elders and traditional social institutions. There’s been a good deal of research proving the stereotype that people tend to get more conservative as they age, so it should come as no surprise that as Magic (and its designers) age, the game grows more conservative in ideology as well.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

kill reviews: core sets (alpha through tenth edition)

Alpha is basically the Bible of Magic. It came out a really long time ago, people are constantly referencing it, and anyone can make it mean anything they want depending on what ideology they want to advance.

Alpha(1) has been by far my most-requested set to review, and by itself, it’s a rather difficult subject. I started this series with Arabian Nights because I just didn’t think I had anything to say about Alpha. It invented Magic, so everything in it is something it did first.