Thursday, November 6, 2014

(Limited) Mechanical Animals

So I said this at Reddit's Magic forum, in response to revelation of Angelic Field Marshall.

People didn't like that. For those of you who don't want to click the link, here's what I said:
I generally do not like mechanics that are focused on specific formats-I think that any Magic card should be useful/playable in any format. (This is setting aside questions of 'quality'). AFM's ability only triggers in Commander and I think that's a negative.
This mechanic is also a clear reply to the problems that Oloro presented that people (rightly, in my opinion) complained about. It should be interesting to see how the next Commander set tries to set against what we don't like about this Commander set.
However, so long as cards with this kind of drawback are infrequent, I can't fault WotC for poking around in that design space a little and this card is a pretty solid one. Giving all your dudes Vigilance is a nice way to mess with combat math.
It's strange that people took such a dislike to what I said, because I wasn't rude about it. I just had an opinion: All cards made for Magic should be fully playable in any game of Magic. It isn't a radical idea. Hell, it's even really easy to fix! Just have the Angelic Field Marshall ability be contingent on controlling a Legendary creature. Boom. It's even a much better ability.

But then, of course, WotC wouldn't get to shove Planeswalkers as Commanders in and have the Lieutenant ability work. And to that I say: So what? I would rather have a card that I can use in any format of Magic than the Glory Of Cool Things.

What was worse was that it felt like nobody really read what I wrote. I had people asking me if I had an issue with cards that were only usable in Draft like Ainok Tracker or thought that I hated Conspiracy.

Ainok Tracker is fully playable in any format of Magic and yes, I wish that the cards in Conspiracy that had abilities that were only playable in draft (the Constructs being the clearest example) they had found a way to make playable in every format. However, the impact of that Draft mechanic was shallow and so long as it stays that way I'm comfortable with it. In addition, I rather enjoyed the set.

Those aren't radical notions but they certainly seem to create havoc. Which had me fighting to not be reactionary because people were being...people.

Comprehension before response. This might be a good mantra. Wise in reading, wise in Magic.

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