Thursday, November 12, 2015

I hope there's not a Return to Kamigawa

Kokusho, the Evening StarHi Everyone!

It's pretty well known by old timers and regular readers of Mark Rosewater articles that Homelands is considered the "worst Magic set" by Wizards of the Coast.

I'm going to challenge that idea with this, Kamigawa was the worst block, and all three sets are worse than Homelands.

Mark Rosewater argues that Homelands failed on flavor and power. Kamigawa only failed on power. This is an accurate statement but it's not a valid arguement to reach the conclusion that Homelands is the worse set.

For example, being last place in all categories on an employee evaluation isn't good, but it's sure better than being the guy that has a 10 out of 10 on not controlling anger. I suppose the point is that "scoring" a set is not 50% flavor and 50% power.

I'm saying Kamigawa was the worst because the flavor wasn't absent (like WOTC claims is the case with Homelands) it's just a bad taste. The mythology of Kamigawa block was so typical of other games, in fact, I remember a game called Legend of the Five Rings that I played in Junior High, that had the exact same theme as Kamigawa block. To me Kamigawa was a block that beat a dead horse. It had been done everywhere and just wasn't great.

So the lack of Homelands flavor is much better in my opinion of the public bathroom flavor of Kamigawa.

Second, the power level.

Granted, Homelandicap was a word that was used to describe a rule that players had to play with cards from each set because no one use cards from certain sets....cough couch homelands cough

Had Homelands been compared cards from other sets (specifically creatures) they were about the same. They weren't insane and weren't great (no creatures really were).

It's been acknowledged that earlier Magic design was much different than current design. Early design produced far too many overpowered spells and a lot of weak (by todays standards) creatures. Homelands was bad, but it was just like other sets.

Additionally, when you come off the most powerful standard ever (excluding combo winter) you can't produce a set like Kamigawa, Wizards should have ramped power down over a few blocks if power creep is really a concern.

Anyway, worst block ever: Kamigawa. I hope we never go back there. (Seriously, in Saviors the mechanic was "7 cards in hand" and "hand size matters". I can't even think of a better way to prevent people from playing Magic during a game of Magic than with a stupid mechanic like "hand size matters".

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