Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Magic 2010

Well, first off, let me start with this: Magic 2010 should never have been made.

Magic 2010 brings back a card that I use, but don't think should be back, Lightning Bolt. Okay, here is my opinion on Lightning Bolt. The designers of Magic: The Gathering made Lightning Bolt, and then realized that it was too powerful, not so much so that it needed to be banned, but enough that they needed to get rid of it in Standard. So, while they had never banned Lightning Bolt, they didn't want it around, and thus created Shock, a card that is strictly worse than Lightning Bolt. For the exact same cost, you do 2 damage instead of 3. Still, Shock is a really good card, so much so that it was used in lots of decks and reprinted in core set after core set. There was literally no reason to bring Lightning Bolt back. Absolutely none. They had let it die before, and now they brought it back. Since the last time Shock was printed was in 10th, with 2010, Lightning Bolt is in Standard, where Shock isn't.

Magic 2010 brings back a concept that was used in the few Portal sets, making a card that does the exact same thing as something else, but has a different name so that you can then have more than 4 of that card in any given deck. Now, most people will recognize cards like Grizzly Bears or Remove Soul, which are commons that appeared in core sets. Grizzly Bears is a 1G creature that has 2 power and 2 toughness, with the creature type "Bear". Remove Soul is a 1U instant that reads "Counter target creature spell." Now, both are not game breaking, but both are very simple and straightforward, and good in any generic green or blue deck. With 2010, we got Runeclaw Bear, which is a 1G creature with 2 power and 2 toughness with the creature type "Bear" and Essence Scatter, which is a 1U instant that reads "Counter target creature spell." To me, who started around the time 7th edition came out, and even stopped before Mirrodin and got back in Ravnica, Grizzly Bears and Remove Soul were cards I knew and recognized and was fine with. I just didn't realize that they were also cards that were remakes of other cards. Grizzly Bears also has counterparts named Bear Cub, Balduivan Bears and Forest Bear, that all are the exact same card as Grizzly Bears, with a different name. Remove Soul also has counterparts named False Summoning and Preemptive Strike, that are all the exact same card as Remove Soul with a different name. So, while at first, I was just horrified at them creating more of that same card, I realize that it was something that was done before, and doing it now is just silly, and maybe allows reminiscing (and the best deck ever, which people I know will soon have to face, mwa, ha, ha, ha!)

They also brought the concept of making something better, with cards like Warpath Ghoul. See, in prior core sets, there was a card named Scathe Zombies, which is a 2B Zombie, with 2 power and 2 toughness. The card has been in every core set, starting with Alpha (being in Beta, Unlimited, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th and 10th), all with the exact same flavor text even. Warpath Ghoul is a 2B Zombie with 3 power and 2 toughness. The card costs exactly the same, with the exact same effect, except 1 more power, which makes it better. Warrior's Honor was a remake of other cards (like Remove Soul was), specifically, Virtuous Charge and Warrior's Charge, which are all 2W Instants with "Creatures you control get +1/+1 until end of turn." There was, in Mirrodin, before they had printed 10th, a card called Roar of the Kha, which was a 1W Instant that was "Choose one - Creatures you control get +1/+1 until end of turn; or untap all creatures you control. Entwine 1W (Choose both if you pay the entwine cost)." Even without the entwine, it is outright better, as it is cheaper for the same effect, but with the entwine, it is outright better. Why they reprinted Warrior's Honor is beyond me, but they didn't in 2010, replacing it with Glorious Charge, a 1W Instant that does everything Warrior's Honor did, except for 1 mana less.

This just brings me to the part that I hate the most (well, aside from Lightning Bolt). The rules changes that were made were just annoying to me. Let's go over them:
1) Simultaneous Mulligans - No reason to exist, as mentioned in the article, most people did that anyway. Doesn't change much.
2) Terminology Changes - Again, pointless, and only a few cards actually are affected.
2A) Battlefield - Annoying, as it is a longer, clunkier word, that doesn't help me (although could help others, maybe?)
2B) Cast, Play, Activate - Meh. I'm fine with play. Sure, I guess it helps some people could get a benefit between playing and casting, but honestly, not worth it.
2C) Exile - Again, annoying. I am used to "remove from the game" as it is just a term used. Exile just feels weird to use as a term. Oh, and while it affects almost nothing the wish cards (that could get cards from outside the game) can no longer get exiled cards, as they are no longer outside the game.
2D) Beginning of the End Step - The only one I am okay with. I understand end of turn, and was even able to explain it to my mother (who doesn't play M:TG) such that she gets the basics of it. Still, it is a confusing concept (where things that trigger at end of turn trigger before the turn actually ends).
3) Mana Pools and Mana Burn
3A) Mana Pools Emptying - Not something I really care about, but it can be annoying, if you have effects that add mana and you have to use it before points in time that you normally wouldn't.
3B) Mana Burn Eliminated - Annoying. While I don't like mana burning myself, I appreicate that the concept exists. So, when my friend uses his Elves and adds 14 mana to his mana pool with one card, he had to spend it all or take damage. Makes sense to me. Well, now it just doesn't matter. So, with my Naya deck, that gets too much mana occasionally, it doesn't matter, and I can let it go to waste, as opposed to getting guys like Spearbreaker Behemoth or Beacon Behemoth that have a 1 colorless ability that can be used any number of times.
4) Token Ownership - It actually makes sense, but for most of the time, will do nothing, but when it does, helps stop silliness. I approve.
5) Combat Damage No Longer Uses the Stack - Dear God, this is complicated. Their explanation is 6.5 pages long (sure pictures are involved, but still), for crying out loud! Now, I get where they are coming from, design-wise. It doesn't make sense that a guy throws a punch, vanishes, then the punch hits somebody, in terms of the story of games. Now, it does affect certain things, such as that I now have to try to kill as many things as possible (before, if you didn't want to, you didn't have to, provided that there was enough toughness, aka, you can spend your damage however you want to, putting it all on a guy who just got protection from your creature, because you don't want anything to enter the graveyard, or something), and now Mogg Fanatic (and other such cards) are much worse off. Honestly, it is just annoying, and I don't like it.
6) Deathtouch - Yes, it is simpler now that it is state-based. But, now it is also more annoying, as you can't get hit with deathtouch and then respond, you have to respond before. Not much changes, but annoying.
7) Lifelink - Sigh. Yes, it can now save your life in a game, as it is state-based, and so when you take the damage, you gain it at exactly the same time, still, I miss having multiple lifelinks, like with Battlegrace Angel. Now, I might take some out of my Bant deck, because I only need a couple in there, because I only need one now, and the others are just expensive Exalted creatures.

In short, I hate Magic 2010 because it has done stupid things. Sigh...

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