Thursday, August 24, 2017

Commander Design Handoff Doc

I find this document, setting up what Wizards had planned for Commander 2017 to be fascinating.

First, it's an interesting window into corporate life and the art that goes under it. Codifying the process is one that I find to have a lot of depth because of how much work actually goes into making something that, when we see it, may look effortless. This is especially true of tribal decks, which can appear to just have "jam a bunch of awesome dudes of that type" mirage, when in truth a lot of work has gone in to constructing and balancing that mirage.

Second, it will be interesting for me to see how well they executed on point number 3, "Create cards that can support other tribal decks" because tribal is an inherently narrow theme on what is Wizards most common (and frequently most popular) card type: creatures. Vampires work with vampires, not with cats. That leaves a very easy out in other card types but the question remains; how supportive and successful are those?

As an addendum to that, it would be interesting to see how these decks play against each other. Early word from fans is that the Dragon deck is a mess because the mana is just so bad.

Third is the recognition that abilities from the Command zone are problematic. Mentioning Oloro as being too powerful is a political move-one I wouldn't be surprised of as edited in, especially since it was Derevi who was the real problem from that set (although they weren't the only ones). However, as with many mistakes WotC makes, they seem to be fairly willing to learn that lesson and try a new twist on it in order to make a better mechanic.

It doesn't always work (Looking at you Untap mechanic {yay} vs "inspired" {no}) but you have to take risks.

Fourth is seeing them take from other games with the 'vendetta' mechanic, which is right out of Hearthstone. More of those is cool by me.

Finally, are the deck overviews. I'm quite curious to see how these decks play out, given what the overviewer has to say about them.


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