Saturday, February 19, 2011
Thursday, February 17, 2011
How to Build a Better Battleship(A guide to post-Florian Magic: The Gathering)
PEOPLE PLAYED SERRA ANGEL IN CONSTRUCTED.
I start with that fact, because in a few years time, it maybe impossible to imagine.
Elvish Archer used to be good.
Birds of Paridise used to be a ten dollar card. Forsythe fought to keep it in Standard. And are you playing it?
Here's a joke. What costs six mana and more than 20 dollars? Almost everything.
The point of that rambling is this: Stop thinking like you know how to play Magic right now; You don't. I estimate that few players do. Even if you just took first at a Grand Prix and shaking Patty "Be still my heart" Chapin's hand as he hands you a deck to play next week, you do not know how to play Magic.
The philosophy of fire is washed out and who the beatdown is couldn't mean less.
Tempo and card advantage are flawed principals that haven't been reevaluated in ages.
"Hark" screams the madman, "Tear the tablets of old asunder!" (Is basically what I'm saying)
The bottom line is that I drank the kool-aid and I loved it. Wizards of the Coast, and the fine gentlemen in R&D have spent the last few years being incredibly capable in creating a new way to play magic. The problem is magic players haven't figured it out yet.
We're still playing aggro vs control vs combo. We're still using terms like tempo.
There is no early game, there is no mid-game, there is no late game.
Forget everything you've ever heard. Your friends, your opponents, the articles you've read with premium subscriptions. Everything you know is wrong.
Ok, with that clear, we'll take a quick look over the basic principles of Post-Florian Magic:
Mike Flores is accredited with crafting a large portion of current magic theory-where in basically, the variences in tempo and events of card advantage determine your likeliness to win.
In Post-Florian Magic, decks either end the game extremely early or engage in conflict. There's not enough control that keeps up with the incredible access to powerful cards. So, the only viable route is to out class your opponent. It essientally marks the "nuclear era" in magic--- everyone has nukes but no way to defend. So---you either fire first or make the blast bigger.
So, rather then emphasis on a set of varying values--- there is a contest of strategies based on cards that been made functional, and almost three dimensional, and interact with each other with that high-level of functionality. The power and toughness of a creature is near unrelevant. What it does when it comes into play, turns right, or is put into a graveyard from play is now what wins games.
But to make it explicitly clear, there are two major differences.
1.) Florian Magic has three gamephases(early, mid, late). Post-Florian only has two(Entry, where decks either set up, or try to win early, and Conflict, where each deck plays out it's overall strategy).
2.) Rather then card advantage and tempo, "turn value" is the only relevant measurement in magic. Turn Value is the measurement of critical plays the deck has on each turn.
There are a few more radical perspectives that are also inclusive with PFM but those are two core principals that differ. Our next section will focus on the two gamephases and the cards that are being printed that support this style of play.