Pattern Recognition #55 - Artifact Sets
1 February 2018
1 February 2018
Hello everyone! My name is berryjon, and I am TappedOut.net's resident Old Fogey and part time Smart Ass. I write this series, Pattern Recognition, as a means to entertain, educate and something else that starts with an E.
I've teased you long enough with the subject of today's work, and so now I will give you the comment that sparked it off;
I would love to hear your thoughts on what it would take to develop an artifact set that does NOT result in bannings in standard.
Vincent Price, sir? Would you mind expressing my feelings, please?
So, earlier this week (being the time I am writing this, and not the time you are reading this), Wizards handed down their quarterly update to the Banned and Restricted list. And what an update it was! I haven't seen a Standard this gutted since Mirrodin!
While the contents of the bannings are not the subject of today's article, what [i]is[/i] is the larger problems behind Artifacts and the sets that they dominate. Urza's. Mirrodin. Scars. Kaladesh.
There are a lot of words that could be said about the problems, real and imagined with Artifacts and their sets, but given that these are my own thoughts on the matter, I have decided to take up what I think is the single worst problem, and then how to fix that.
To begin with though, a history of Artifacts. They have been in the game since the beginning, and there were 47 of them in Alpha.
And naturally, they have been in every set since then. So, they are kinda here to stay, and I'm not even going to pretend to be sympathetic to the haters out there. I know about you. I've seen you.
Artifacts, and by some extension, all colourless spells thanks to the Eldrazi, fit into a unique position on the Colour Pie. You know, this one..? (source is magic.wizards.com)
Quick! Point to Artifacts on that!
At the start of the game, Artifacts were never meant to be a large part of the game. They existed because, well, what is a good fantasy without some form of mysterious construct that grants powers to the heroes or villains? OK, I admit to stretching there, but when you look at the initial selection of artifacts, what do you see?
If you can't figure it out, or rather, see what I'm seeing, let me tell you. Artifacts were of minor utility. That is, they did things that were either uniformly applicable to all players who had them, such as the Ivory Cup, which works whenever anyone casts a spell. Or perhaps the ever-loved (HAH!) Howling Mine, which gives all players an extra card to draw each turn. Or the Commander staple Sol Ring.
Or the 'what are you thinking?' Sunglasses of Urza.
Yeah Wizards, what were you thinking?
This is not to say that Artifacts were underpowered. There's a reason why six of the Power Nine are Artifacts first printed in this set (the others are Blue. Go figure). But rather, the initial intent behind Artifacts was that they would provide some small backing for each colour, and to allow them to share some small commonality. Or perhaps, as was the case of the Moxen and the Black Lotus, to facilitate cooperation between colours in the dark days before reliable mana fixing.
Then came Urza's Block. This block combined Artifact and Enchantment focus into one block, and suffered massively for the lack of proper oversight that Wizards put into it. Please allow Aaron Forsythe to dredge up some old developers comments about these cards. What little remains in the system.
While it would be easy to blame the developers in the past for their mistakes, and to excuse the same for a game that was still less than five years old, there is more to the problems than that.
Let's take what is perhaps the most quickly banned card in the game: Memory Jar. Go ahead, tell me what you could do with seven extra cards in your hand, all for the low, low cost of exiling an artifact. This card was so powerful that it was banned within days of being printed. And Masticore, which was a colourless and repeatable source of direct damage to a player.
I could spend a very long time complaining about this set, but that's not the point. The point is that Wizards tried, and failed. You'd think they would learn something from this. Right?
I recently talked about The Great Machine that came from this block, but there is more to it than that.
Mirrodin introduced Equipment - which I have also addressed previously as a good thing, and one of the most metagame destructive keywords (ugh, gotta stop using that word for a while) in the game. Affinity. Why is this bah-roken?
Free cards. And if there's anything more destructive to the game than Phyrexian Mana, it's being able to cast spells for free. And when you can play Artifact Lands, they then pull double duty! I mean, sure, if you play two Artifact lands on your first turn, you can cast Frogmite on Turn 2 like it was a bear, but what if you also cast, say ... Arcbound Worker on turn 1, then before you cast Frogmite, you cast Bonesplitter on turn 2. Suddenly, you have Frogmite's cost reduced to , and you can equip the Arcbound Worker with the Bonesplitter for the 1 mana you still have available, and swing with a 3/1 on turn 2, that if it dies, makes the Frogmite even bigger!
Oh, that's one of the simpler, easy synergies you could get without even trying. But the real problem with this set came from the Artifact Lands, which cost 0, could go into any deck, and, oh yeah, cost nothing.
So you see the problem here? Artifacts fed into artifacts, and drove the costs of cards down to the point where they were free. Which is a bad thing. Do you hear me? Free cards are bad!
And you'd think that Wizards would have learned their lessons, right?
Oh god, Scars block. I ... I have words I want to say about this, but they will have to come later. There's something here I need to address, that I've been dancing around for a while now, and it is the crux of why Artifact sets need major changes to the assumptions in how they work.
Finally, the set that has caused the most recent kerfluffle. Kaladesh. As an Artifact block, it did a lot of things right that the previous ones missed. However, it also did a couple of things wrong. The first is first exemplified by the banned Smuggler's Copter.
This card is a great many errors compounded onto a single sheet of cardboard. First is that it is more efficient than so many other creatures with a converted mana cost of . It's a 3/3 flyer! Whenever it attacks or blocks, you can Loot! All for the low, low drawback of only needing 1 power to Crew.
I've said this before, and I'll say it again. Rarity is not a factor in card balance. Anyone who says otherwise doesn't understand how the secondary market works. So if anyone wants to say that because Smuggler's Copter is a Rare, it is balanced, I pre-emptively laugh at you.
But believe it or not, it's not actually this poor over-achieving card that's bending Standard over its knee, though it certainly did a good job of it. No, it was Aetherworks Marvel that really got the ball rolling on just how bad Kaladesh made things.
No, not because it was essentially a free casting of Emrakul, the Promised End thanks to the addition of aggressive Scrying effects. It was all for the low, low cost of 6 Energy.
Energy. Energy. I've played games with multiple resource types, and here's the thing - from Settlers of Catan on up, alternate resources have a degree of equivalency. Which is what Energy fails at having. Take, for example, the also-recently-banned Rogue Refiner. Stripping it down, it's a a Bear, a 2/2 for , but when you add the to the casting cost, it suddenly gets +1/+0, you get a cantrip effect (which by itself costs ), and two Energy! Does this mean that Energy has a negative value when compared to simple mana?
What the hell, Wizards?
Ok. So, alternate resources are a problem. Energy was an experiment that needs some serious work, but it can work. It needs to have a firm equivalency in mind when compared to other resources, and just slapping it onto cards at random (coughAttune with Aethercough) doesn't work.
And here it is. Time to back track and pull out one of the primary reasons why Artifact Sets get such a bad rap, where Wizards really dropped the ball, and let Design and Development get their heads up their asses. And I mean that.
Mutha'fukin NEW PHYREXIA.
If that doesn't get your blood boiling in anger, you're a Spike, Power Gamer.
For those of you who are confused, allow me to explain. Phyrexian Mana, as you see in the five symbols above, allow you to replace a single coloured mana (but bot as that came later) with the payment of two life.
This, after a moment's though, is horribly, horribly broken. Fetchlands, sure, they pay two life for a land, but the land isn't one-use. You can use that land as many times as you want for the initial cost in life. But then, I want you to compare the banned-in-Modern Gitaxian Probe with Peek. You see the difference? The people who made this set decided that they could do better by allowing you to pay life for a card, rather than a mana cost.
When I worked for my LGS, I did some Deck Doctoring. Which meant I would give feedback on a deck to people who asked, assuming I had the time. It was a store, you know, and Doctoring didn't earn money except through what I could sell to help improve the deck. Anyway, this person wants me to check out their deck, so I flip through it. It's a pretty standard Tier 2 RW Land Destruction Deck in Modern, except that it had four Gitaxian Probes, and no sources of Blue mana.
Because the card was effectively free, it replaced itself, and to this player, the 2 life didn't matter! Their deck got to be 56 cards, effectively!
So, here's the crux of the problem; Phyrexian Mana broke the colour pie. With it, you didn't need to have coloured sources, you just needed a life total. And as I, or any Spike, Power Gamer will tell you, the only point of life that matters is the last one. Your life total became an alternate resource, and one that you could trade in place of a mana cost, instead of in addition to it.
But how does that tie back into Artifacts? Because, when you look at it, Phyrexian mana went on non-artifact cards. In fact, I don't see any Artifacts with Phyrexian mana in their costs at all!
It's because Artifacts break the Colour Pie. When you get down to it, having something that can go into any deck, regardless of mana base, or colour distribution, and be an effective, if not key component in that deck, then you have to consider the possibility that something has gone wrong. That Smuggler's Copter did so many things, and was accessible to all colours made it even more effective at what it did. To the point where more decks had it than not!
Artifact sets, in effect, dont' work because they blur or outright remove one of the most fundamental aspects to the game: That Colours are Different. I mean, I just spent four weeks pointing out how they are different at the Combat step for Urza's sake!
And so when you get a set that favours colourless without restraint, you get problems.
So, back to the question at hand; how would I, or anyone design an Artifact set that doesn't result in bannings in Standard?
Well, if I could do that, I would have done in less than 12 man-hours of work what Wizards' Design and Development teams have failed to do for 20 years. I'm good, but I'm not that good! But, I do have a couple of ideas.
The first way is divided into two parts. The first is to go the route of Sarcomite Myr and Mage Slayer - Artifacts that have innate colours to them, allowing you to treat them like just another piece of the colour pie. The Shard of Alara "Esper" () did this, and I think it worked out great! Artifacts were their own thing, but they didn't dominate as they incorporated aspects of their parent colours like any other permanent.
The other half would be to keep the generic casting costs, and have the cards do something, but allow them to be better or more through the use of coloured activation costs. Such as with the Puzzleknot Cycle from Kaladesh. This cycle is exactly the sort of thing to bridge the gap between "anyone gets full power" and "everyone gets something, but you have to invest to get the full deal".
Option 2 is to not bother. Leave Artifacts as a minor support structure in the game. Don't try to go overboard with them. But that won't happen. I mean, I measure time in Magic by the appearance of the next Artifact Set (every 7 years, give or take)! Which means the next one should be in ... 2023. Let's see what lessons Wizards has learned for that one.
Artifacts are an indelible part of the game. In a way, the system doesn't work without them as they provide a solid backup to each of the colours, and act as a form of glue to keep them together. It's just when the sets start being about them, rather than having them that things go wrong.
Thanks for hearing me out, and I'll see you next week when I talk some math, and why one of the assumptions people make, from beginners to experts is wrong.
Until then, please consider donating to my Pattern Recognition Patreon. Yeah, I have a job, but more income is always better. I still have plans to do a audio Pattern Recognition at some point, or perhaps a Twitch stream, and you can bribe your way to the front of the line to have your questions, comments and observations answered!
"In fact, I don't see any Artifacts with Phyrexian mana in their costs at all!"
Not sure if you meant to say "Colourless" here, because there are several (a prime example of which is Birthing Pod). Apparently, there are 12 total.
February 1, 2018 4:07 p.m.
In artifact sets, it seems there are a lot of artifacts that do things that come from one part of the color pie. The Masticore you gave the example of has the red direct damage and the green/black regenerate. However, one of the problems here is that it's not at a high enough premium to make it not worth it, especially when it dips into multiple colors. 2 mana for one damage is bad if you're in red, but it's worthwhile for other colors. Up that cost to 3 mana and the card still offers the advantage without being broken.
Or simply just define "this is what artifacts can and can not do unless colored mana is paid" and stick to that. Give them a more solid identity, and then they can make artifact blocks that don't break the game.
February 1, 2018 4:32 p.m.
wereotter: Wizards considers Indestructible to be the primary domain of Artifacts, though I would like to see more Artifact based Scry sources as well, to help reinforce the utility aspect of them.
Epidilius: Eh, me missing things happens. I just see red (but not ) when looking at New Phyrexia cards, and I recognized that there were Artifact Creatures with P.Mana, but I just didn't go looking hard enough.
February 1, 2018 9:24 p.m.
White has a pretty strong hold on indestructible too see recent cards like Make a Stand, Survive the Night, Built to Last and any version of Gideon. I don't recall many indestructible artifacts that aren't made of darksteel.
Maybe what you want from artifacts are things that are niche towards certain archetypes. Like Throne of the God-Pharaoh is good for token/swarm decks, so elves, goblins, most white-green decks. So making it an artifact makes it good for all of them but still fits a niche. Same with some we've seen in Ixalan, things like Vanquisher's Banner that are good for tribal decks of any color, and Primal Amulet Flip is good for any type of spell slinger build. Maybe that kind of utility is where artifacts should remain, though that doesn't really solve what to do with artifact heavy sets....
February 2, 2018 12:34 a.m.
OMG, my comment got selected for an in-depth article blushes Thank you senpai!
I like how artifacts were handled in Ixalan. We have the flippy thematic artifacts and some flavorful equipment, with minor filler 3artifact creatures and minor vehicle theme because ships.
It was entirely non-intrusive and flowed very well. The importance you give to artifacts in a set, the tougher the balance.
February 2, 2018 11:08 a.m.
I'm of the opinion that Phyrexian Mana could have worked, but that they formatted literally every single card they put it on wrong. For pretty much exactly the reason you listed. They always used them to replace every instance of colored mana on the card. That's the real issue behind it imo. Cards like Birthing Pod could've worked if there was still a solid in the cost, or at least in the activated ability.
Gitaxian Probe was doomed from the start though. It's either going to cost and be straight worse than Peek, or it's going to be as is, and banned. I suppose they could've printed it for and given it a bit more, so it wasn't strictly worse than Peek, but eh.
But take Apostle's Blessing for instance. If this costed instead of I bet it wouldn't have seen as widespread play as it did/does.
Or Dismember for ? Heck maybe even ?
February 2, 2018 4 p.m.
The possibility of paying coloured and Phyrexian mana still runs into the problem that you're paying life for mana in any colour. Now, if this was limited to / and given limited utility, I could see it. Maybe. Then Vault Skirge makes a mockery of even that.
Pyrexian Mana delenda est!
February 2, 2018 8:05 p.m.
Fair. I can agree that paying life in place of mana is firmly a Black thing on the color pie. Paying life for anything at all is a Black thing to do. If Vault Skirge had been printed to cost say... , would that have been reasonable?
I'm not trying to excuse the mechanic, it's poorly executed and poorly designed imo. I'm just trying to think of constructive ways they could have gone about things.
February 2, 2018 8:16 p.m.
I am glad I'm not the only one with a hatred for New Phyrexia. That being said...
Ironically, Spike, Tournament Grinder seems to have a fairly healthy grasp on Phyrexian mana balance. The 4-Pmana cost in her activated ability is powerful and on-color, but this isn't Griselbrand where you can activate it more than once a game.
Seems to me like P-mana in activated abilities, when paired with tapping as a cost, (or "until EoT" text, or maybe self-sacrifice) could be a way healthier system than P-mana in the casting cost. It also helps you tie the Phyrexians more firmly to the color pie. Imagine, for example, if Vault Skirge were with lifelink and ": Vault Skirge gains flying until end of turn". Now, that's a color pie bend, probably, but with a bit of tweaking it work better mechanically.
February 3, 2018 11:57 a.m.
I honestly think that there is no general problem with artifact decks. Let me explain why.
Your forst example was basicaly memory jar in urzas block. But thats only one card. Sure its absolutely broken and wizards recognized it and emergency banned it. There is no lesson to learn for artifacts if you print one thats over powered.
Mirrodin: that problem is different from UrzaBlock. There was skullclamp which is similar to Jar a design mistake. Nobody will deny that the card is broken. The other parz of the problem where basicaly the artifact lands. They allowed for artifact decks to be to synergistic and powerful. Wizard just underestimated the way that those would influence deck building. Thats not problem of artifact blocks its the problem of several cards being over powered.
Second Mirodin block:The problem of phyrecian mana is a problem that is similar to artifacts because they break the color pie. But thats not a problem of an artifact block its a problem of a mechanic that was created for an artifact block.
Kaladesh:Again there are of course several problems in the block non of whichAre related to the block beeing focused on artifact.Saheli + cat. Undesireble in standart of course. But this combo is not problematic because its an artifact block, its simply a problem in the design of the flickr cat. Energy is similar to phyrexian mana a mechanic that is not well designed (but much better than phyrexian mana) but its just a coincidence that it was created in an artifact block, there is no reason to say artifact blocks are bad those mchanica could also be placed in a non artifact block and would cause the same problems.Smuglers copter is another example of a card thats simply to good but its not broken as skullclamp or memory jar.
Non of the problems that artifact blocks have created are reasoned in the nature of the block. They more or less coincently happened in an artifact block. Thus really cant see any strictural broblems in sets that have a strong artifact theme.
February 4, 2018 7:45 p.m.
Your comments do not address the pattern that Artifact Blocks/Sets tend to cause more problems than they solve, something which cannot be said of any other theme in the game.
You are trying to disagree with me by countering my specific examples, but again, you fail to address the larger metagame trends and far too many of your arguments reduce to "No, there is no problem here, move along".
If you have a point, it needs to be presented better.
February 4, 2018 11:20 p.m.
Even in said examples, being Artifacts is no coincidence. It's a large part of the reason that they're broken on a level of banworthyness. Artifacts are by nature colorless and accessible to all archetypes of deck. This inherently makes them more fragile to balance, and cards that would otherwise have been fringe cases as enchantments of a certain color become downright oppressive and metawarping when literally any deck can just slot them in.
February 5, 2018 4:22 a.m.
The point is besides the first mirrodin block there where only single artifacts causing problems
Phyrexian mana, not an artifact problem energy as well those mechanics could have been printed in any non artifact related block.
Of course i attack your examples because they dont justify to say that there is a problem with artifact blocks.
Sure there is a problem with artifact block but again phyrexian mana energy and a broken saheli combo have nothing to do with artifacts. Of course there are examples of overpowered artifacts in these blocks but there are overpowered cards for every type.
If there is a pattern than its that alternative resaurces are causing problems everytime they are introduced.
Energy was to strong , delve was to strong. Phyrexian mana and other cards with lofe as a recaurce are also to strong.
February 5, 2018 5:03 a.m.
I kind of do not agree with that.
Phyrexian mana is an artifact problem - it makes spells colorless essentially, plus the block in standard had artifact problems too like MYstic+Batterskull, the second most broken equipment after Jitte. Energy is far from a problem - it was dominant but before any energy cards or infinite combo cards were banned, Marvel and Copter were the banned cards of the set, which is more than single artifacts.
If there is a pattern, it is that artifact-centric blocks have caused bannings of artifacts in Standard every single time.
February 5, 2018 5:55 a.m.
Well phyrecian mana is defenitelx not an artifact problem.It could have been printed in any set so sayibg that its a problem of artifact blocks is simply wrong.
Marvel was banned because ebrgy is to strong not because its an artifact deck.Copter was banned because they decidet tgat they want to ban a amcard from every of the top decks not because its artifact.Thwre are currently more non artifacts banned in standart so saying that every artifact set caused artifacts to be banned is not an actual pattern.
Batterscull also was a problem of jtm and sfm being to strong for standart not from batterskull
February 5, 2018 6:02 a.m.
You are dancing around the real issue in every line of that post.
Phyrexian mana makes spells colorless and/or free. Being able to be printed in any set is not really a thing - any card is printable in any set. Remember, bannings in stadart have happened only when artifact sets are introduced.
Marvel being able to put the biggest thing into play for free devolved games into the t4 roulette. The fact the energy cards were used to power it meant nothing.
Copter was the best thing to cast on turn 2 for any deck in standard, it was the second coming of jitte of sorts. Batterskull was not a good card until it the printing of SFM, but the same can be said about SFM - it is not a good card unless it can fetch Batterskull and/or Jitte.
more non-artifacts being banned in standard is also not correct - the cards were only banned
I kind of get where you are coming from - artifacts sets are OK, everything else like free mana or alternate resources is bad. Well, you are partly right, these are a problem. But the bigger problem is artifacts without opportunity cost - Jitte, artifact lands, Skullclamp, Marvel and Copter, Phyrexian mana/Batterskull - these are cards that are good and present no cost to using them, only empowering their archetypes for no sacrifice.
There is no opportunity cost to playing artifacts. When an artifact is strong, it can be plaed by any deck, making any deck more broken. You can play the broken things in 5 color decks, making the cost of including them 0.
This is the biggest problem - artifacts remove deckbuilding constraints. You no longer have to worry if you can support that card with your manabase, any manabase can do it, so every deck does it and it becomes painfully obvious when everybody is playing something. From the article:
"That Smuggler's Copter did so many things, and was accessible to all colours made it even more effective at what it did. To the point where more decks had it than not!
Artifact sets, in effect, dont' work because they blur or outright remove one of the most fundamental aspects to the game: That Colours are Different."
February 5, 2018 6:50 a.m.
Well i aggree that phyrexian mana and artifacts are the same problem because they are a violation of the color pie.
But smugglers copter is one card, how could could say that kaladesh as an artifact block does violate the color pie because here is one overpowered artifact?
I also totaly aggree with the issues from mirrodin block. Skullclamp and artifact lands are to powerful.
But again all the other problems have nothing to do with the blocks being artifact centric.
Phyrexian mana is the problem because it violates the colorpie much more. Sfm jtm and batterskull and the sword are a problem but only because they were standart legal at the same time.
Efficient energy producers and busted combos are a problem not one good card that violates the color pie.
There is no problem with artifact sets (besides mirodin) there is a problem with certain cards from artifact sets.
If one argues artifact sets dont work they are wrong. Artifacts tend to do off colorpie things but way less effective than the actual effect in the color. If this principle is violated (which was violated no doupt) no matter by artifacts or by whatever than its a problem.
February 5, 2018 7:15 a.m.
Ok, lets elaborate on that - artifact sets are not busted per se, but only individual cards in them.
For me that is dancing around the issue I posed in the original question - artifact/colorless cards are either unimpactful or format-defining. There is no middle ground with those.
Once again - if broken artifact cards are chiefly present in artifact sets, doesn't that means that artifact sets are the problem?
February 5, 2018 11:22 a.m.
No because they also come from non artifact sets and its normaly only one per set, there are also broken non artifact cards.
February 5, 2018 12:03 p.m.
Once again, avoiding the issue, and this time you're moving goalposts around as well.
February 5, 2018 4:32 p.m.
well honestly i dont know what you are talking about.
Broken artifacts from artifact block, broken artifacts fom other blocks whats the problem? there will always be broken cards. thats not a problem of artifacts. Strong violations of the color pie are a problem but they happen very rarely. and are not the only reasons a card can be broken.
Again i think you are avoiding the issue besides mirrodin there is one. In numbers 1 artifact that might violate the color pie to strong (smugglers copter) could you please answer to this argument or are you just going to tell me that i am avoiding an issue with im not.
February 5, 2018 5:18 p.m.
The difference is that its harder in normal blocks to pair together cards into broken combos because of color restrictions. They can place the pieces across three or four colors and the hurdle of getting appropriate mana to cast all of them makes it more trouble than its worth. Whereas in artifact heavy blocks, the chances of getting those combos together are much higher since mana is no longer a restriction.
February 5, 2018 5:53 p.m.
Well then tell me of a busted artifact related combo besides the first mirodin block? In modern mavic that acured in a standart. Because thats what we should talk about. Not over 15 xobsets or about lantern control or affinity in modern.
February 5, 2018 5:59 p.m.
lukas96: Please stop. Just stop. You're only digging yourself deeper. Moving Goalposts, Whaboutisms, Appeal to the Stone, Begging the Question, Cherrypicking evidence, Circular Logic, Echo Chamber, Divine Fallacy, Proof Reversal....
(Yes, I am guilty of an Ad Hominem myself here)
You cannot make a position, then support it with nothing but your opinion. When I make my assertions, I try to back it up with evidence, pattern recognition (hey!), quotations from primary sources, and by showing my train of thought. And when I do reach out of those bounds, I make it clear ahead of time that my personal opinion is on display, and all I say should be treated as such.
Be that as it may, there will be no PR this week as another project has come to the fore and this one keeps getting bogged down as I try to convert math into english.
February 5, 2018 10:40 p.m.
Wrll i attackef your examples said that they dont proove your point you are dening to respond to that so thats just not a usefull discussion.
You are wrong and not able to discuss so i will stop this now
February 6, 2018 2:12 a.m.
lukas96, you claimed:
"No because they also come from non artifact sets and its normaly only one per set, there are also broken non artifact cards."
Could you elaborate on that? I do not get it. I state that broken artifacts come primarily from artifact sets and cited Jitte as an obvious outlier, but could not think of any more. If you could provide more examples, that would be great towards toppling my point. Otherwise, I think it is a solid argument.
In the discussion of artifact sets and cards, it makes no sense to claim, even though it is true, that there are OP non-artifact cards.
Please provide examples and justifications and demonstrating your logic, rather than just stating your opinion over and over.
February 6, 2018 4:01 a.m. Edited.
There is honestly only one broken artifact from a modern artifact set and thats skullclamp.
There are not many broken artifacts how could i give examples for that?
The problems artifact sets made where not artifact related.
Please tell me which artifacts besides the original mirodin block caused problems because they where from an artifact set?
February 6, 2018 4:15 a.m.
Well the orginal premise is: "I would love to hear your thoughts on what it would take to develop an artifact set that does NOT result in bannings in standard."
So, if we are going by banned artifacts, there is Copter, Marvel, skullclamp, the artifact lands, jitte, memory jar. Every time Wizards have tried to make an artifact centric set, it has resulted in some amount of bans in Standard.
Artifact sets = bans in standard
February 6, 2018 5:15 a.m.
Yeah thats true no argue about that.
Mirrodin is completely out, there were to many artifacts and the aynergie was to good. Not even talking about skullclamp.
How to create artifact sets without bannings?Well what about not creating an artifact that lets you cast thinks without paying mana in the same standart where there also are 10+ cmc creatures.
What about not creating alternative way to pay for effects. Those have always been broken.
The problems mirrodin suffered are completely different from the problems kaladesh suffers.
So i doupt that those problems are artifact block specific thats my point :)
February 6, 2018 5:44 a.m.
OK, we are getting somewhere!
You say these problems are not artifact set related. I looked up all cards ever banned in standard. There are 43 of them. 21 are artifacts or work only in conjunction with them (for example, Disciple of the Vault, Tolarian Academy and Stoneforge Mystic are included in those 21). That is 50% of the cards banned in standard ever.
Now of those 21, Jeweled Bird was banned because Ante, while Black Vise was a card from alpha, but it was only restricted. The other 19 are all from artifact sets. Jitte was never even banned in standard!
Source:Banned cards in Standard
So, backed up by data, which you always fail to provide, every single artifact card that has ever been banned in standard has been from an artifact-centric set. That is not a "single card problem" this is obviously a design problem.
February 6, 2018 6:01 a.m.
Srew it my internet sucks, so i have to write this again.
I always said several times that im only including post Mirrodin setsfor obvious reason, so your data is misleading.
Because you seem to be a fan of hard numbers let me present my own.
After mirrodind rotated out of standart 7 cards were banned in standart 2 of them were artifacts. Thats about 29% Felidar guardian also comeys from an artifact related set but its a design mistake that is not artifact related so im excluding that.
Scars block the second artifact block im looking at never got any card banned. SFm works with artifacts yes but thats its own problem not the ones of artifact sets.
The problem with this so called "data" is of course that its not significant because the sample size is to small, so as i pointed out in an earlier post we have to look at the banning of each of those indiviudal cards (which is not difficult because there are only two of them)
The problem with marvel is that you were able to pay 0 mana for emrakul or later ulamog. "cheating" cards into play is always a problem and not artifact or artifact block specific.
Smuggler Copter was never oppresive, it got banned because wizards decided they want to be harsher with bannings and that they want to weaken all tier one decks at once (which they did again with the last standart banning).
Again. there is no problem with Scars or Kaladesh. Each indivudual card has its own history and reasons that lead to its bannings. Non artifact block since mirrodin had ever been oppresive on its own only with the help of other (cawblade shell or cheatable eldrazi).
February 6, 2018 10:33 a.m.
Thats actually 11 cards sorry for that.
February 8, 2018 2:20 p.m.
Well of course i wouldnt aggree on that in general. But this discussion is about the impact on standart that artifact sets have.
And bew phyrexia was not the set that caused problems for standart.
Zendikar was the problemThats what in talking about.