Designing While Asleep at the Wheel?

Posted on Thursday, February 19th, 2009 by ein
More articles by
Posted in mtg

Wizards Preemtively Bans Five Cards from Fall 2009 Set

In a surprise announcement, Wizards of the Coast (WotC), a Hasbro subsidiary (NYSE: HAS), has banned five cards from their upcoming block, codenamed “Live/Long/Prosper”. While still intending to print, package, and distribute these five cards, they are henceforth illegal in all formats (including casual, internal testing leagues, and all draft formats), due to their game-warping abilities. According to Mark Rosewater, a WotC designer, the decision was made “after careful consideration of the five’s current and future effect on the game, as well as the design team’s desire to not design any more cards for this block.”

When pressed further as to why the design team decided to waste five slots with so obviously broken cards in a set that hasn’t even made it to the printers yet, Rosewater, with anger in his voice, said, “[…] and we are expected to design three sets a year. Three sets. Do you realize how many cards that actually is? I can’t even count them it’s so many (he is gesturing wildly with his arms here — ein). And players are expecting cards with mechanics they’ve never seen before, in addition to all their favorite old mechanics, and of course more gold cards. We just don’t have enough time to come up with good ideas, so sometimes powerful cards slip through the cracks unnoticed. You would probably like it if every card were as balanced as Tolarian Academy, Astral Slide, Scryb Sprites, and Skullclamp, wouldn’t you? Good design takes time man.”

What then, you may be curious, do these cards actually do? In another rare misstep, the WotC website, (you must click the link below the balls or you can”t get past them) accidentally released the pending Oracle text of each of the cards in the announcement of their banning. They are listed here in their entirety:

Gambling for Fun (and Profit)

During your upkeep flip two coins. If you win both of those flips, yYou win the game.

Some people will only gamble on a sure thing. Some people don’t understand “gambling”.

Catch Them All

If at any time you control all the creatures in play, you win the game. (if there are no creatues in play, you still win the game)

Having toughness and determination is good and all, but killing your opponent before the fight starts is better.

Eager Defense

During your upkeep, if you control two or more creatures, and none of those creatures have a toughness greater than 1, you win the game.

Putting your kids on the front line shows you’re serious.

The Benefits of Home Ownership

If mana from a basic forest was spent to play this card, you win the game.

Don’t worry, it may not look like much but it’s rent-controlled.

The Death of Intelligence

If, during your upkeep, you have fewer cards in your hand than your opponent, you win the game.

Getting ahead isn’t about having the most knowledge, it’s about ramming your agenda through by force.

“We thought these cards would liven up the game, and since Battle of Wits was so well received, we thought we’d try again. But BoW decks are big and complicated to play, and require lots of time to shuffle, so we wanted to do this series so that the conditions were easier to fulfill.” Rosewater explained. He went on, “Were the new ones too easy to fulfill? Since they’re banned, I guess we’ll never know for sure, will we?”

You may be wondering why the Future League or Future Future League failed to expose the power of these cards. According to Rosewater, “Seriously? You’re surprised this wasn’t caught? I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned before that everyone here thinks enchantments are jokes. No one plays those things.”