Storm Scale: Mirrodin and SoM
Posted on June 11, 2018, 10:01 p.m. by DemonDragonJ
Mark Rosewater has posted another storm scale article, as seen, here. Given that it has been more than a year since his previous storm scale article, I believe that this one was long overdue.
I will not quote the entire article, but I will instead summarize it, as follows:
Storm Scale: Mirrodin Show
Affinity for Lands: 6
Artifacts Lands: 10
Poison Counters: 5
Battle Cry: 4
Living Weapon: 6
Phyrexian Mana: 8
I agree with most of Rosewater's ratings, except for artifact lands, entwine, indestructible, and Phyrexian mana; I do not think that indestructible should be a "1," because of how powerful it is, and I wish that artifacts lands, entwine, and Phyrexian mana were lower, because I am very fond of them due to their power and versatility. I also am very surprised that equipment is not rated as a "1" because of how popular and versatile it is.
What does everyone else say about this? What are your thoughts in this article? Hopefully, Rosewater will not take another year to write another article, because I would like to know his thoughts about the Alara and Lorwyn/Shadowmoor blocks.
I agree with your thoughts on indestructible and equipment. Lately, each set seems to have at least one good common equipment, with some more flashier stuff at rare. Meanwhile, indestructible is very tough to deal with, and I can’t actually remember a lower rarity card with it since Amonkhet (Seraph of the Suns at uncommon).
I don’t actually know what I want to see come back, but it’s interesting to see his opinions on the matter.
Also, congrats to living weapon for beating out battlecry as best new mechanic in the set
June 11, 2018 11:29 p.m.
maxon - the Storm Scale is a metric of measuring how likely a particular mechanic is to return in a future set. Among other things, it takes into account the power of the mechanic, how popular the mechanic is, and how game-breaking the mechanic is.
1 on the Storm Scale is used for evergreen keywords--deathtouch, flying, etc. The keywords used in every set. 10 is used for mechanics that are highly unlikely to return in standard--such as Storm.
DemonDragonJ Regarding the abilities you mentioned:
Indestructible needs to be evergreen--it allows Wizards to make high costed creatures players are not afraid to cast. It ensures exile effects are well received. It is easy to understand. Most importantly, Wizards is really good at costing indestructible cards so they're not broken--they have years of experience with this keyword after all.
Artifact lands are too powerful--they interact with far too many synergies to work as-is. It's for good reason they hit a 10.
Entwain - I really liked Rosewater's explanation on this ability's cost. Quite an interesting look into the challenges of R&D.
I would have guessed Phyrexian mana would be a 9, but 8 seams reasonable to me. Wizards vastly overestimated the value of two life, and would need to work pretty hard to figure out how to actually balance the mechanic.
I was also surprised at equipment being 2, since it's been an evergreen mainstay for so long. Fascinating to think that it's on the chopping block every single set, yet still manages to survive.
June 11, 2018 11:38 p.m.
"I wish that artifacts lands, entwine, and Phyrexian mana were lower, because I am very fond of them due to their power and versatility."
Yeah, that's why they're rated so high. Because they are so powerful and versatile.
Indestrucible is ok, It's a very Timmy effect which makes newer players feel safe, but generally indestructible stuff is over costed or very vanilla.
I think with equipment, they will always have it to some extent, however the quality of the equipment varies. There are sets which are very equipment heavy (SoM is a perfect example) but a lot of sets have maybe one good equipment and that's it. So it's not so much a questions of "Will we haev equipment" but more "Will the set focus on equipment?"
As for the Alara blocks which bring cascade into the fold, the storm scale is somewhere between a 10 and an 11. Similar to Annihilator, I doubt we will ever see cascade happen in standard again. It's just too much value (as opposed to Annihilator which is big impact becuase everybody hated playing against). I mean, the standard deck of the day was Bloodbraid Elf cascading into Woolly Thoctar.
June 12, 2018 2:51 a.m.
Entwine is the only weird one - I mean, they just printed escalate last year, which is entwine with an extra option. Maybe they will explore that more. The most surprising one is poison counters - it is the most divisive mechanic ever - you either love it or hate it (so maybe the score of 5 is right).
June 12, 2018 3:32 a.m.
cdkime, the Storm Scale measure's a mechanic's likelihood to return in a standard legal set; eternal/non-rotating formats are much more flexible and liberal about what they allow for reprints. Also, it is strictly Mark Rosewater's opinion, not the opinion of WotC overall.