[Off-Topic] Community Chat Thread

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benjameenbear
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Post by benjameenbear » 1 month ago

@JWK
Amen to this, comrade. I stopped caring about the MTG storyline since the WAR debacle. I was (am?) an enfranchised player and I've been completely alienated by their handling of multiple characters and stories. I don't even care what they're doing with who knows what character because I know that they'll somehow, some way, eff it up. For me, this impacts my buying behavior significantly. I used to feel excited about legendary creatures that were mentioned in stories and found myself brewing decks around them pre-WAR because I found their stories so compelling. I think of the short-story about The Gitrog Monster. I think of Bolas in the Hour of Devastation story. JAce and Vraska's blooming affection for each other in Ixalan.

Now? WOTC creative storywriters can go... places. And my desire to create decks around MTG characters has all but withered. Osgir is the only one I've been excited about in nearly 18 months, and that's because he's a mechanically interesting card that allows Boros colors to do things it normally shouldn't do.

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Post by materpillar » 1 month ago

JWK wrote:
1 month ago
I am so, so tired of story after story of interesting places inhabited by what should be cool characters who are rendered incompetent to be the stars of their own worlds in order to have these planar interlopers show up and do everything. You have a school full of archmages, founded by ancient elder dragons, yet none of them do anything of actual importance in the main Strixhaven story, or can even figure out what/where the actual threat is, while Will and Rowan save the day. Ugh.

I would like to see a year or so with no new planeswalker cards at all, or at very least extremely minimal planeswalker presence... maybe things like Tamiyo showing up somewhere to observe and figure things out but not take direct action.
This... so much this. Please tell me there's no planeswalkers in the D&D set?!

Also, sounds like you read the storyline, I haven't ever bothered with that. Why didn't Liliana just dumpster the evil mages instead of Will/Rowan?

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DirkGently
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Post by DirkGently » 1 month ago

I've had multiple opponents in the past week use removal on an innocuous card of mine because they "had to use the mana". Both times I won off threats that could have been removed with those answers.

Also had a guy blow up another's Phyrexian Arena, land, and mana rock with his Casualties of War when they were both basically screwed and digging for answers against me. I had an elspeth emblem (1.0) and he didn't want the mode to "go to waste" (he used the pw mode to kill my elspeth 3.0 which was definitely correct, I would have gotten a third emblem lol).

People really are not good at threat assessment. Especially in commander.

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JWK
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Post by JWK » 1 month ago

materpillar wrote:
1 month ago
This... so much this. Please tell me there's no planeswalkers in the D&D set?!
I will be surprised if they don't do Elminster - who has done a lot of planar travel - as a planeswalker. Same with Mordenkainen, if they ever do a follow up.
Also, sounds like you read the storyline, I haven't ever bothered with that. Why didn't Liliana just dumpster the evil mages instead of Will/Rowan?
The bad guy teleported Lili away. I don't remember the specifics. It made about as much sense as the rest of that storyline, i.e., not that much.

In other dumbness, Rowan and Will win in part because Rowan taps into the ambient power of the Bibliowhatever the heck and goes all Phoenix (as shown in the card Crackle with Power), and then afterward feels somewhat empty, like she's missing a part of herself. Meanwhile, during the fight Will loses a leg, and rather than let the Strixhaven mages craft him a prosthetic, he fashions one of his own out of metal and ice.... which sounds really not very efficient. I guess having them stay the fun-loving young wizards taking joy in their power as in Battlebond isn't edgy enough, they have to be tortured in some way. I guess we can just hope the powers that be don't decide to turn them into MtG's answer to the Lannister twins in some future set.

Meanwhile, after leading the mage slayers in their attack on the campus, Lukka just lurks away when things go south.... and Kasmina just watches him leave, considering him unimportant. I guess she's not wrong, but if you can't be bothered to go after the guy who just sent a bunch of murderous monsters after a bunch of scholars and students, I'm not sure what purpose she was really serving in the story either.
Last edited by JWK 1 month ago, edited 1 time in total.
I have 68 active EDH decks, with more in progress. I don't consider this a problem. Do you?
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Post by materpillar » 1 month ago

DirkGently wrote:
1 month ago
I've had multiple opponents in the past week use removal on an innocuous card of mine because they "had to use the mana". Both times I won off threats that could have been removed with those answers.

Also had a guy blow up another's Phyrexian Arena, land, and mana rock with his Casualties of War when they were both basically screwed and digging for answers against me. I had an elspeth emblem (1.0) and he didn't want the mode to "go to waste" (he used the pw mode to kill my elspeth 3.0 which was definitely correct, I would have gotten a third emblem lol).

People really are not good at threat assessment. Especially in commander.
Who needs threat assessment when you just goldfish Chulane, Teller of Tales into Craterhoof Behemoth? No salt here.

I've grown to hate people who roll to randomly decide who to attack over this past year. That's a huge red flag for bad threat assessment for me.

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Post by JWK » 1 month ago

DirkGently wrote:
1 month ago
People really are not good at threat assessment. Especially in commander.
You aren't wrong. In one recent game I was in recently, someone Counterspelled my Beast Whisperer, when it was 100% telegraphed the Aesi player was going to go off on his next turn. Sure enough, he did, casting Aesi and drawing more cards than I likely would have been able to draw all game off the Beast Whisperer, then casting Koma on the turn after that. Mr. Counterspell's reaction: "Oh, yeah, maybe I should have saved that." He had no other counterspells - or other removal - in hand, naturally enough.
I have 68 active EDH decks, with more in progress. I don't consider this a problem. Do you?
I am also one of those barbarians who enjoys winning by turning creatures sideways.

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Post by duducrash » 1 month ago

I enjoy the story from some distance. I like knowing what is happening and some themes, eventually if a story is good I'll read on it. But looking too close is definitely a bad idea.


I feel like Im somewhat bad in threat assesment tbh, specially because I rarely play in store I sometimes take a while longer to figure it out what is coming. I do appreciate other players pointing out though.


My friends decided we should all have 1 budget deck. Super budget. Should be similar power levels and alternative cards. I was thinking anout General Tazri but no idea how to work the mana base

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Post by Legend » 1 month ago

I've never read a single novel. As early as Mirage, I could tell from flavor text that the story and the writing is absolute trite %$#%. LEGENDS told the best Magic story ever before any books about it were ever written.
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Post by cryogen » 1 month ago

I read Arena in high school when I first started playing. It was bad enough that I never had an interest in reading anything else beyond the cards. Which, let's be honest, I don't do either.
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Post by Guardman » 1 month ago

I was thinking about this as we've been discussing this and I realized I have an unusually high tolerance for bad writing as long as its fun and pulpy. Which is why I love bad, pulpy romance, vampire, and vampire romance novels. But a lot of the stuff they write, isn't just bad, but has the far greater sin of being boring or off-putting. Bad is often just as enjoyable as good (and sometimes even more - Looking at you The Room). But War of the Spark (the last magic thing I really read) hints at something more fun than it actually is. If they went and decided to go big and full on pulp, the novel would've at least been an entertaining read. Instead the novel was kind of boring, the action pedantic (seriously, the action scenes either were hard to follow or not really all that interesting), the characterizations weak and racing from one character to the next, and the plot... eh. That might be the novels greatest sin as really the entire concept sounds like it should be amazing fun.

Also, I just have to get this off my chest, but for how controversial Dack's death was, it was completely pointless. One of the worst deaths I've ever read. He existed only in the story to die. To show that there was some stakes. But his death wasn't some grand spectacle or noble sacrifice, it was basically "I've been touched. Ugh. Now I'm dead."

On the bright side, I do have high hopes for the Magic Netflix series. The Russo Bros., if nothing else, know how to make something fun. And I've been really impressed with Netflix's animated series overall.

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Post by pokken » 1 month ago

Guardman wrote:
1 month ago
I have an unusually high tolerance for bad writing as long as its fun and pulpy
I've read scores of badly translated Russian LITRPGs so I can definitely stomach some bad writing. For me the issue with Magic fiction is the intersection of vapid ideas and bad writing. I need good ideas. Most of the ideas and themes we run across in Magic fiction are just so painfully derivative.

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Post by JWK » 1 month ago

Yeah, Dack's death was like in the big comics crossovers when they pull out some character that hasn't showed up in a story in three years, just to kill her/him to give the %$#% story some false gravitas. He played no actual role in the story except to be a corpse that happened to have a name. It was pointless and dumb, like most of the rest of that crappy book. And yeah, the action sequences ranged from boring to making no sense whatsoever.
I have 68 active EDH decks, with more in progress. I don't consider this a problem. Do you?
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Post by toctheyounger » 1 month ago

DirkGently wrote:
1 month ago
People really are not good at threat assessment. Especially in commander.
Hard agree. Virtually every game I play corroborates this. And that's not a high horse thing either, sometimes I'm referring to myself.
materpillar wrote:
1 month ago
I've grown to hate people who roll to randomly decide who to attack over this past year. That's a huge red flag for bad threat assessment for me.
I do it with my Varina, Lich Queen build often when I want to make it clear that no one is an established threat as of yet and I just want the attack trigger. It's more just not wanting too much ill will on the crackback. Once I know who the dominant threat is I focus up. That being said though, combat is becoming a lot less relevant in our format these days - most games I play end by combo tbh - so by rights in a lot of games it doesn't really matter at all.

Back to lore, I tuned out of the recent stories a little while ago. Partly it was hiding them behind a paywall, and partly it was just that the recent characterisations have mostly been pretty flat. Like I said earlier, I loved Ixalan, because Jace and Vraska actually showed some depth of character. Aside from this (and bearing in mind I haven't read the Eldraine pieces) most of the characters are very one-dimensional, the story is somewhat predictable, and I just don't wanna. If we were still in the days where Crovax becomes cursed with the limitless phyrexian power of being Yawgmoth's chosen thrall and is named Evincar after besting both Greven and Volrath in combat, I'd be a bit happier. Those stories weren't without flaws, but they were enjoyable. These days the story just seems a little bland.
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Post by materpillar » 1 month ago

I haven't read any magic the gathering books and I don't intend to. Why would I read them when I could just go read Dune, Foundation or the Dresden Files? No one has every described them as anything other than mediocre.
Guardman wrote:
1 month ago
But War of the Spark (the last magic thing I really read) hints at something more fun than it actually is. If they went and decided to go big and full on pulp, the novel would've at least been an entertaining read. Instead the novel was kind of boring, the action pedantic (seriously, the action scenes either were hard to follow or not really all that interesting), the characterizations weak and racing from one character to the next, and the plot... eh. That might be the novels greatest sin as really the entire concept sounds like it should be amazing fun.

Also, I just have to get this off my chest, but for how controversial Dack's death was, it was completely pointless. One of the worst deaths I've ever read. He existed only in the story to die. To show that there was some stakes. But his death wasn't some grand spectacle or noble sacrifice, it was basically "I've been touched. Ugh. Now I'm dead."
War of the Spark is everything I hate about mtg fluff now a days. What if we took all the cool world building and just did planeswalkers? Like Ravnica? Well... we're just going to ignore everything interesting about it and planeswalkers! All the planeswalkers! I wish Bolas had eaten every planeswalker spark just so I'd have to stop seeing 2 of them every set. Soul Diviner is my favorite card from the set because it means I never have to see Domri Rade on a magic card again. Domri was the epitome of replacing a really cool character with just another planeswalker, good riddance. Seriously, Borborygmos has more personality in one line of flavor text than Domri in total.

That being said, Gideon's Sacrifice referencing Confront the Past did give me some feels so I don't hate all Planeswalker plotlines.

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Post by toctheyounger » 1 month ago

materpillar wrote:
1 month ago
Dresden Files
I read one and honestly hated how cheesy it was. Point made though, I don't read much, so why waste my time on subpar fantasy? Replace Dresden with Malazan and The First Law and you've got me.

I just personally think WotC doesn't have any clue what they're doing with lore nowadays. Ideally to improve their quality it'd be a better idea to have a couple of well-known authors on retainer for short pieces that have a better directive control over characters and plots. It's telling that they literally had to put out PSA's following the WotS story to walk back the homophobia Greg Weisman baked in. It tells me they just said 'here's who wins and loses, ya got 300 pages, get it to us by xyz date, go wild'. It's almost like they don't really believe in what they're doing and don't want to commit to solid lore content until they know if it can be successful. They're dipping their toes rather than committing enough to do a good job. I'd rather they did nothing at all than do it half assed.
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Post by RxPhantom » 1 month ago

materpillar wrote:
1 month ago
I've grown to hate people who roll to randomly decide who to attack over this past year. That's a huge red flag for bad threat assessment for me.
That's one of my biggest pet peeves. They only do it because they think it won't draw the table's ire; they want everyone to think that the dice did it, not them.

On the flipside though, people don't know what to do when you assess threats properly and allow that to dictate your actions. In one recent game, I attacked a guy as a result of what I consider good assessment. When I attacked again, he asked why. I told him it was because he had ramped more, had the most cards, and a better board than the rest of the table. His response was "or we could play a friendly game." He basically expected me to spread around the damage (rarely a good tactic, btw) out of politeness.

Later, another opponent started to gain some steam, so I shifted my focus to them, and that player basically reacted with the same indignant attitude as the first guy. It was supremely irritating.
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Post by materpillar » 1 month ago

toctheyounger wrote:
1 month ago
materpillar wrote:
1 month ago
Dresden Files
I read one and honestly hated how cheesy it was. Point made though, I don't read much, so why waste my time on subpar fantasy? Replace Dresden with Malazan and The First Law and you've got me.
The Dresden Files books have a lot of flaws. That being said they're basically a summer blockbuster action movie except in book form. They scratch that particular itch for me extremely well.

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Post by toctheyounger » 1 month ago

materpillar wrote:
1 month ago
toctheyounger wrote:
1 month ago
materpillar wrote:
1 month ago
Dresden Files
I read one and honestly hated how cheesy it was. Point made though, I don't read much, so why waste my time on subpar fantasy? Replace Dresden with Malazan and The First Law and you've got me.
The Dresden Files books have a lot of flaws. That being said they're basically a summer blockbuster action movie except in book form. They scratch that particular itch for me extremely well.
Yeah I can see that. That's very much the vibe. That's just not what I wanna read.
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Post by WizardMN » 1 month ago

RxPhantom wrote:
1 month ago
materpillar wrote:
1 month ago
I've grown to hate people who roll to randomly decide who to attack over this past year. That's a huge red flag for bad threat assessment for me.
That's one of my biggest pet peeves. They only do it because they think it won't draw the table's ire; they want everyone to think that the dice did it, not them.
I tend to get aggravated at this as well. Just own your play. I sort of get it towards the beginning where there isn't a good reason not to attack but even then a) just go after the person based on something (usually the general) and b) it is only a couple points of damage. Which, of course, ties into the people that get really indignant at getting attacked for 3 points of damage on turn 3. You have 40 life dude; suck it up.
He basically expected me to spread around the damage (rarely a good tactic, btw) out of politeness.

Later, another opponent started to gain some steam, so I shifted my focus to them, and that player basically reacted with the same indignant attitude as the first guy. It was supremely irritating.
I don't play a lot of decks where spreading around damage matters but Gisela and Kykar are two where it very much does. Kykar already isn't dealing a ton of damage so Kykar is just going to go after the same person every turn (usually) and Gisela is trying to just win fast. It is going to lose if it tries to spread around damage. I just played a game online where a Killian player tried that and I think ended up losing because of it because they never took me or another player out. And no one else was a major threat yet. I get the idea that people want to play but certain decks, especially voltron, just can't afford to do that so it shouldn't be expected they do.

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Post by BeneTleilax » 1 month ago

I wish they'd go back to world-based, rather than character-based stories. Worlds are easier to convey in the scattered medium of card flavortext, art and names than a linear, character-driven plot. Also, they're easier to decentralize, because you no longer have to wrangle some underpaid, underperforming shmuck to write the whole plot, but can have a bunch of writers and freelancers all building corners of the world. Also, bring back weird crap that doesn't directly fit in to the main plot, characters or setting thematics. Stuff like the nephilim, or Yargle goes a long way towards creating the illusion of depth.

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Post by Dunharrow » 1 month ago

People who get salty over being attacked are kinda annoying to me. Maybe you think that someone else is a bigger threat. But maybe I have something in hand that neutralizes that other player and I am more concerned about your combo potential. There is hidden information.
The only exception being attacking someone who is clearly way behind. Then it make sense to be salty.

I like rolling dice to decide who to attack turns 1-3 when nobody is ahead/has a threatening commander.
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Post by 5colorsrainbow » 1 month ago

toctheyounger wrote:
1 month ago
It's telling that they literally had to put out PSA's following the WotS story to walk back the homophobia Greg Weisman baked in.
Just like to point out the homophobia wasn't on Greg nor the creative team, it was made by the franchise team. Weisman has for years included lgbtq+ characters in his shows and I believe him when he said he had a different idea on how and why Chandra and Nissa would break up.
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Post by BeneTleilax » 1 month ago

5colorsrainbow wrote:
1 month ago
Just like to point out the homophobia wasn't on Greg nor the creative team, it was made by the franchise team. Weisman has for years included lgbtq+ characters in his shows and I believe him when he said he had a different idea on how and why Chandra and Nissa would break up.
Weisman still couldn't write for %$#%. They got Branderson Sanderson to write stuff for them, but still decided to mutilate his contributions and give the book culminating the last three years of plot to some absolute clown.

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Post by toctheyounger » 1 month ago

5colorsrainbow wrote:
1 month ago
toctheyounger wrote:
1 month ago
It's telling that they literally had to put out PSA's following the WotS story to walk back the homophobia Greg Weisman baked in.
Just like to point out the homophobia wasn't on Greg nor the creative team, it was made by the franchise team. Weisman has for years included lgbtq+ characters in his shows and I believe him when he said he had a different idea on how and why Chandra and Nissa would break up.
Oh dear. I wasn't aware of that. That's very telling in terms of how 'on the pulse' Wizards are in terms of general community acceptance - which is really disappointing considering that there's some big names in MtG that are lgbt+. The passages that cover the breakup are pretty overt, too. There's no real hateful language, but it's pretty clear what whoever wrote the passages was intending. It's pretty frank language.
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Post by TheAmericanSpirit » 1 month ago

RxPhantom wrote:
1 month ago
materpillar wrote:
1 month ago
I've grown to hate people who roll to randomly decide who to attack over this past year. That's a huge red flag for bad threat assessment for me.
That's one of my biggest pet peeves. They only do it because they think it won't draw the table's ire; they want everyone to think that the dice did it, not them.

On the flipside though, people don't know what to do when you assess threats properly and allow that to dictate your actions. In one recent game, I attacked a guy as a result of what I consider good assessment. When I attacked again, he asked why. I told him it was because he had ramped more, had the most cards, and a better board than the rest of the table. His response was "or we could play a friendly game." He basically expected me to spread around the damage (rarely a good tactic, btw) out of politeness.

Later, another opponent started to gain some steam, so I shifted my focus to them, and that player basically reacted with the same indignant attitude as the first guy. It was supremely irritating.
The way that I've personally subverted this type of reactionary salt is by being consistently merciless and aggressive. This is not to say I'm mean-spirited about it, but people eventually learn that if I can attack them profitably, I will. And I'll never apologize for it because creature combat is about as fair as the game gets.

Sometimes strangers in pickup games will complain about my proclivity to reduce life totals quickly, to which I (usually) respond with "I'm the one doing all the work to keep the game moving. Either start helping or play blockers, I can't help you otherwise."

Seriously, let's not drag this game out needlessly. I promise to kill my opponents as efficiently as I can, I want other players to do the same. It's a matter of honor imho. I didn't challenge you to a duel for you to just shoot in the air. I challenged you for satisfaction, and I will have it.

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