Sunday, February 25, 2018

Few Wizards announcements

Lately, Wizards made some announcements. Here is brief summary:

  • in 2018, Magic: The Gathering will launch the official smartphone app, which will allow you to keep track of life totals, to look up card information on the fly including searchable rules databases for card rulings and few other functiones.
  • Signature Spellbook is a spiritual successor to the From the Vault series, but with a signature twist: each Signature Spellbook is themed around a Planeswalker and the spells that define who they are. First one is about Jace. Each Signature Spellbook will contain one premium foil and eight cards that fit with the Planeswalker's identity.
  • Commander Anthology Volume II releases June 8. Four 100-card decks with thirteen premium foil commanders.
  • Commander (2018 Edition) releases August 10. Four 100-card decks with twelve premium foil commanders.
  • Chinese-market-specific Planeswalker Decks featuring new Planeswalkers created particularly for China. We will get a similar English version of the same product created for international audiences. Release on June 22.
  • Battlebond is a completely new set focused on Two-Headed Giant Limited play, releasing June 8. It's a mix of reprint cards and new cards. There are 254 unique cards in total and 85 of those cards are totally new, all of which will immediately be legal in Commander, Legacy, and Vintage. 

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Jace, the Mind Scultptor unban

Modern format has very diversified meta. To support my claim you should know, that Pro Tour, which took place two weeks ago, had 64 different archetypes! There is no deck, which is clearly better than others and it has siginificant percentage of the meta. In spite of that Wizards decided to unban Jace, the Mind Sculptor and Bloodbraid Elf. Here is summary of what is motivating the change:

  • Modern's return to the Pro Tour, shining a spotlight on the format, makes this a great time to revisit past decisions and see if they still make sense in the current era. 
  • The data we gathered both from the Pro Tour itself and from the several weeks of Magic Online play as pro players tested for the event have helped us cross-check our decisions against what's doing well in the real world. 
  • Compared to other B&R windows, this one has the maximum amount of time before another Modern Pro Tour. This will allow the format to breathe and evolve without immediately undergoing the pressures of the world's top competition. 
  • The reprint of Jace in Masters 25 will provide greater availability for our player base.

Over time, competitive Modern has evolved to be a format of fast, proactive threats. The bar for tapping four lands during one's main phase to cast a single spell is quite high, often restricted to cards that threaten to win the game immediately. In my opinion it is good decision, which will not ruin the format. Do you remember what Bitterblossom and Ancestral Visions unbannings did to the format? Literally nothing.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Game loss / warning

Four most common mistakes resulting in game loss / warning and how to avoid them:

1. Deck error.
This is when there is a discrepancy between the deck you present to your opponent and the deck you registered. Commonly, this will be due to a missing or additional card. For example, when you forget to de-sideboard after the previous round or when you "stole" or "lost" a card by for instance Oblivion Ring effect cards. To prevent this fix your deck right after the match, don't wait and don’t let anything or anyone distract you

2. Deck registeration error
It happens when you make a mistake with your deck list. It also applies to mistakes made during registering sealed pools. For sealed pools, I find it very useful to sort the cards into colours, then register the pool. I'm using Roman numerals, instead of Arabic numerals. "I" is better than "1", beacuse you can easilly "I" turn into "II" by just adding "I". Changing "1" into "2" is not so simple.
After all, count the number of cards in each color and check if it is correct.

3. Tardiness
This is where you don’t turn up on time for your round. If a player is not in his or her seat 10 minutes into the round, he or she is issued a second game loss. The most popular reasons include smoking, going for food or to the toilet. If you are a smoker, go for a smoke in the same place the other smokers do, because you will see them going back and not lose track of time. For food the best thing to do is simply bring some food with you to the tournament. If you need the toilet for longer amount of time tell it a judge and you will unlikely get a game loss. Instead, you may get a time extension.

4. Missed triggers
If you are on five life and you miss the trigger on your Dark Confidant you are likely to get a warning. For this reason many players will put a die on their library so that they don’t just draw a card and forget a card that triggers in their upkeep. But still you must remember to put the die back.
Other solution may be to learn a habit to scan left to right with your eyes for the triggers.

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Arena's Economy

So far, Wizards have stated that there will be no trading in MTG Arena. Now, Wizards are revealing how Magic the Gathering Arena economy will work. It is still a beta, so it may change in details throughout testing, but the general concept should stay the same.

So, how could we get cards if the trading is disabled?

  • in eight-card booster packs (5 commons, 2 uncommons, and 1 rare or mythic rare)
  • draft packs (14 cards, land has been removed)
  • individual card rewards: a system where where for every match win, players will receive one card in MTG Arena, up to 30 per day.
  • Vault. When you would collect a fifth copy (or more) of a card, you earn vault progress instead of adding that card to your collection. Once you have earned enough vault progress, you can open the vault and get something of value. At present, opening the vault gives you eight wildcards: 4 common, 2 uncommon, 1 rare and one mythic
  • Wildcards are special cards that have a chance to appear in the place of each card at any rarity in every booster you open. You can redeem a Wildcard one-to-one for a card at that same rarity. For instance, a rare wildcard can become any available rare.

There will be two in-game currencies:

  • Gold: This currency is earned in MTG Arena by winning games, completing quests and wins in events. 
  • Gems: These can only be purchased for real money from the in-game store. So, if you want to speed up gameplay and bypass dull collecting gold you buy gems. Recently, it is very popular business model of game companies.
It looks promising.