Monday, January 28, 2008

Less than stellar cards

It seems that I get the most response when I write about programming and Magic together. (After all that is the purpose of this blog.) My previous post was all programming, so this one is all Magic. I hope everything evens out :) I want to write about "Has MTG Forge improved your Magic skills" but I want more time in order to make it perfect.

It is amazing if you think about it, most cards in Magic are inferior. Every card drawing spell since Alpha’s Ancestral Recall is plainly second-rate, yet they are still used. Lightning Bolt is the best burn spell ever, so why would anyone ever use Ghostfire? (Admittedly Ghostfire has some nice art compared with the bland Lightning Bolt.)

Obviously people use “inferior” cards because it is part of the format: constructed, limited, etc… The odd thing is that Magic is fun even when using these substandard cards. Maybe the fun and challenge is how to make the most of the cards that you have, like in sealed. I really enjoy sealed formats, at first I shunned them because there were less skill intensive, but I like reworking my deck with different color combinations. I do still smile if I play a 2/2 that costs something other than 3, and almost laugh if it costs 4. I laugh because it is seriously overcosted, yet very usable depending on the environment (aka card pool).

Less than stellar cards help to balance the environment. Ghostfire is probably the worst burn spell in Magic’s history, but in a desert even a handful of water is precious.

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