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CardName: GDS Multiple choice answers Cost: Type: Pow/Tgh: / Rules Text: Flavour Text: Set/Rarity: Conversation None

GDS Multiple choice answers
Updated on 15 Feb 2018 by Jack V

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2018-02-13 15:36:57: Jack V created and commented on the card GDS Multiple choice answers

The first half of Mark's answers to the multiple choice test are up. I care a lot less now the conversation has moved on, but I looked through the answers anyway.

Most of the answers were what I expected for the reasons I expected based on Jay's and other experienced designer's answers on reddit. But one or two were different and I hadn't noticed before.

Only one did I feel like I learned something. The answer to "is temporary steal hexproof trample RG or RU" was RG because they try to have an effect from each colour plus a joint effect, roughly. I think my intuition sort of got there, in that in RU U didn't seem to be contributing enough, but I didn't have the specifics to have been able to explain that.

I don't remember them talking about that in any articles though they probably mentioned it sometimes; it makes sense once they explain it.

He didn't touch on one of the considerations I wondered about, that hexproof is much less valuable for a single turn, on a creature the opponent has good reason to avoid killing anyway. And trample is a bit less valuable too, as it's only getting damage through once. I guess we weren't supposed to consider that, just look at what the keywords were.

The other questions I took note of ones where I hadn't been absolutely sure. I think the answer usually followed the logic everyone expected for that answer, but didn't add much to why that was better than the logic for the other possible answer.

12 & 36. As expected, battle cry is boros. His answer focuses on why it's a good fit for a martial themed aggressive weenie guild. He doesn't just say, "which guild is R/W, duh?" which was how I thought about it. (I did double check it didn't make more sense elsewhere, but it didn't.)

  1. As I expected, curiosity is GU. He didn't raise the question is that was disqualified for being "damage" not "combat damage".

  2. Green has better creatures than white because white has better removal. That's what I thought, but I do dislike this question. If you're asking, "why not make W creatures as good as G creatures", that's the reason. But why DOES it? I argue, because G got there first, and W removal is stronger partly because it can be, because W took second place to big creatures.

  3. Flying vigilance = BG. But he doesn't address the obvious question of "If large flying vigilance can't be UW why are all the large flying vigilance creatures in reality all UW?" and "G only gets flying in GU or three colour, not even GW, so what's the chance GB gets to be flying at all? ever?"

  4. As expected, the answer about play design is "ask", but I still think it's a badly worded question, if they were clear how often this was happening, it would be better. I mean, I know they don't mean "You want play design to like ALL your cards, you can't ask them to cost your cards every time, THAT'S YOUR JOB" but that's more like what they said.

All the other questions, I think I thought the official answer was clear and reasonable.

We put land destruction effects mostly on sorceries because instant-speed land destruction in response to a spell being cast confuses some players.

Hmm, I've never encountered that, but I guess it could indeed be a problem though less than Silence I would imagine. Not sure if I've just forgotten this or...

Presence of the Master is out of white's color pie. That leaves Mana Drain as the one card whose effect we would be most willing to redo at another cost.

For this particular question in the mock up test I chose Mana Drain since it's always douchey to just straight-up prevent someone from doing something like with Presence. However, with MaRo's explanation in mind I might have gone with Presence over Drain. I mean, counterspells are supposedly secondary in white - even if only when they tax or whatever. That, and the effect of "counter all enchantments" is pretty much just codeword for "enchantments can't be played" that fits well within the {w} pie. Blue doing colorless ramp is something I would personally list as less of a thing even though they've been recently printing it more frequently. I'm not really feeling the ramps match {u}'s style.

I would list having a secondary in counterspells (especially when no secondary really exists in counterspells) as more of an important point rather than having a tertiary in ramping. Counterspells thematically fit {w} as well if not even better than in {u}. Half of the flavor texts of counterspells are some variant of "No" and that's pretty darn {w}. On the other hand, there's barely any coherent flavor sense in colorless ramp within {u}. Are we still so {u}-biased that we can only keep growing it's pie while remaining strict about not giving any other color access to {u}'s abilities?

I disagree with your analysis. White only gets answers that you can work around, so straight up preventing enchantments also wouldn't be allowed. It can get silver bullets against specific cards, but that's it. And blue ramp is supposed to play into its love of artifacts. It can colorless ramp to play its colorless artifacts (not counting that one morph card, but that's just a bend since blue already got colorless ramp).

White only gets answers that you can work around, so straight up preventing enchantments also wouldn't be allowed.

First of all, this isn't an answer any more than a Silence on an Isochron Scepter is... or Iona, Shield of Emeria. It doesn't generally affect any card that is on the board or on the stack - only those that might be. Second, barring enchantment removal delivered in the form of enchantments, this is as answerable as Banishing Light is - and that actually is an answer.

I also don't see clearly the line between "only gets... so... also wouldn't be allowed" there.

­Ashes of the Abhorrent has some similarities as well even if it would considered more of a sideboard card (or silverbullet as you meantion) - but enchantments are rarely that widely played either so that Presence could be run in the main list. Since it applies to you as well, it's pretty likely to affect you (more than anything) in deckbuilding given you are playing {w}.

Other stuff I would also list as bearing some resemblance: Overwhelming Splendor, Solemnity, Curse of Exhaustion, Leyline of Sanctity, ...

And blue ramp is supposed to play into its love of artifacts. It can colorless ramp to play its colorless artifacts ...

Yeah, I know that, but here with this reworked Mana Drain, as with Deranged Assistant, that reason would be used as an excuse since that mana definitely would not only be used on artifacts. So it would be a bend unlike Presence IMO; that is to say, MaRo's conclusion is right, but his reasoning for it not much so.

It can colorless ramp to play its colorless artifacts

And that's why we have Sailor of Means? Clearly that one ramps and fixes.

I disagree with the other side of this argument as well since they insist somebody is strict about giving access to blue's abilities... while it's harder to think of a recent addition to red's common design space that isn't (rightfully) taken from blue... Mind's Desire, Mental Discipline, Mana Vapors all are red now.

Maybe it's just the same old anti-{u}-bias. ;)

There has already been at least two spiritual successors to Mana Drain: Plasm Capture & Scattering Stroke. So the effect is definitely fine for reprint. That is, the issue with MD's power level is only due to its low mana cost, not the effect. Thus perfectly answers the question asking to re-cost the card.

Well, Plasm Capture doesn't really work as an argument in favor of the effect being okay in monocolored blue considering it is a gold multicolor card including green.

While I agree that Mana Drain is okay in blue, there is a good argument to be made that it's better to consider it a category of spells that is generally a bend in monocolored blue - with Scattering Stroke being a bend that is clearly made to reference the original spell.

An issue here is that changing context and changing who utters the word "fine", "okay" etc. might have different meanings - and specifically these two meanings are often miscommunicated:

  • this is in-color, core mechanics
  • this is a bend, but totally acceptable for this color

Or shorter: Some people give a card a pass because it's no break, some people give a card a pass only if it's no bend. And sometimes people use both meanings depending of their reading of the context.

I haven't gone through all the questions with the mindset to distinguish this, but maybe that's a detail to consider when it comes to questions discussing the color pie.

And that's why we have Sailor of Means? Clearly that one ramps and fixes.

I have to admit it's pretty wonky that {u} got more of those than, say, {g}. Seems like a forced theme/archetype (pirates) made in favor of color pie consistency. I was under the assumption that all colors got those in those sets, but after a quick gatherer search I see that the treasure token generation is mainly limited to... grixis?

I disagree with the other side of this argument as well since they insist somebody is strict about giving access to blue's abilities...

Regarding the ones you list, let's dissect them:

­Mind's Desire: Why is/was this {u} again? Hasn't the effect always been {r}?

­Mental Discipline: Especially now that's it's 'official' I think there's a general consensus that rummaging should've been {r} from the very beginning.

­Mana Vapors: This is at the experimenting stages and we're yet to see how it pans how. I find there to be an issue there. While the end result is something similar to what {r} does, the method isn't. So it feels much like 'fake land destruction', which even by its description still is pretty {u}.

Can you think of effects in other colors where they are the sole color possessing the said effect? Ie. there are no secondaries in it? What I'm saying is: Where are my {g} clones? {r} bounce? {w} counterspells? Time's up {u} - time to pay up and share your toys!

­{b} isn't the only color to destroy creatures. Red isn't the only color to deal damage. White isn't the only color to gain life or to remove enchantments. Green isn't the only color to fight. Etc, etc, etc...

­Tilonalli's Skinshifter is no more secondary in cloning than Act on Impulse would make {r} secondary in drawing cards. Self-bounce in {w} is something I would list as 'hardly even tertiary' since given a bounce spell that can target anything the ratio of you wanting to target your own stuff vs opponent's stuff is heavily favored towards the latter.


Anyway, my original point of contention was with MaRo's statement of saying that Mana Drain is more in-color than Presence of the Master.

I'm not saying the effects don't belong to red. I'm saying changing the color pie is a slow process and it works against years/decades of momentum that need to be turned around - and they obviously focus it where it is most needed (hence a lot of new red effects that have variants that can be used at common).

The issue is that while I can see the argument that Mana Drain should be considered a bend, it is not (at the moment; as far as I know). So in the context of this test, answered at this point time, Presence of the Master is a bend, while Mana Drain is not.

Perfect worlds are perfect. Ours is... different.

First, Wotc just is very afraid of counterspells in general. So bleeding them into other colors would somehow cause terrible repercussions to the game. They think they can contain the terribleness by keeping it to one color. At best, they will add a color to make counters gold, rather than nonblue altogether.

Second, there are certain abilities that are basic to the game, and thus no color has a monopoly on. Producing mana, dealing damage, life gain, draw card, creature (token). However, countering spells is not one of the basic function that needs to be shared across colors.

Despite Maro's answer that Presence is outside of white, the effect is just hard to find a good time and place to reprint. It's a hoser, too narrow and too oppressive at the same time. Banning entire card types usually come with an exit clause or workaround. Otherwise, there has never been another card in history like this.

First, Wotc just is very afraid of counterspells in general.

This is a bit more on the side of speculation I think. They don't like draw-go decks, which is warranted, but I don't think they abhor counterspells in general. They've been printing stuff like Disallow recently. I would assume most people would call that a 'good' counterspell.

Second, there are certain abilities that are basic to the game, and thus no color has a monopoly on.

Counterspells are the only stuff that can affect the stuff on stack and along discards one of the few ways to interact with decks that don't really play in terms of permanents (combo being the common example). You might consider it niche, but it's a crucial part of the game: in the older formats it's probably more common than going about with creatures.

It's still also worth of note that most, heck, if not all, monopoly effects are somehow concentrated/limited on {u} specifically. That's appalling. I don't think other colors have such a long list of (if any) effects that they have a monopoly on. I'll welcome people to correct me on this if they find this not true.

It's a hoser, too narrow and too oppressive at the same time.

Yes, and that's why I said that the option is right to that particular question, but not the reasons MaRo gave for choosing that option.

Sometimes I'm confused whether Shunt is a counterspell or just doesn't affect stuff on the stack.

Okay, perhaps 'only' was an overextend without specifying common rarity or whatever. Shunt variants are very, very rare are not even likely to be seen in every set unlike counterspells.

I'd really love to discuss whether more common spells that don't technically interact with the stack but do have interactions with spells on the stack from a holistic point of view (e. g. granting hexproof/indestructible at instant speed) should be taken into account.

But that's kinda leaving the topic behind.

This whole card thread is pretty much asking for off-topic IMO.

For the particular example I gave (decks that don't really play in terms of permanents such as combo) these don't help, but yes, technically those spells can have derived effects on spells in the stack. If you really go about it, wouldn't also Presence of the Master affect spells (that would enter) on the stack?

Maybe 'interacting with the stack' is not the description I'm looking for counterspells in this scenario?

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