Anyone else tired of 1-set blocks?

General forum

Posted on April 5, 2021, 10:59 p.m. by Mcat1999

So I understand why 3-set blocks were ended. Having 3/4ths of a year in one Plane made Standard very symmetrical as the mechanics stuck around for so long that carbon copies became a thing. It didn't make the game fun because there were limited deviations with which to play from.

2-set blocks came and went. Now we are on 1-set blocks. The idea is every set brings fresh and interesting mechanics that shake up and jar the format.

But the issue is, we only get a handful of cards for each mechanic, and with most being terrible this means only one or two cards for each mechanic really are any good. In my opinion, this means that trying to build around a theme or a set or an idea becomes increasingly harder and harder.

I think we should go back to 2-set blocks so each mechanic can marinate longer and have better exploration into what makes them great.

And from a lore-perspective, it means we get huge cliffhangers between set releases and get to watch the heroes fail only to triumph later.

GenericToaster says... #2

I think it would be nice to have longer blocks with the same theme, but maybe with a greater focus on making each set feel like it has its own home within the set (such as Time Spiral block, GOD I love Future Sight), instead of something like OG theros block which literally could have been a single 600+ card set.

April 5, 2021 11:16 p.m.

shadow63 says... #3

We can have any number of sets on a plane it's just wotc has been choosing to do it with only 1 set per plane. But yeah it bothers me we see something cool like adventure Murderous Rider and we get like 5 playable cards and a couple of decent payoffs. Kaldheim was over stuffed with 10 different groups plus the gods so that should of been 2 sets

April 5, 2021 11:28 p.m.

Caerwyn says... #4

The current system is the best possible system Wizards could employ from both a lore and game development stance. The current system is not technically “one set blocks” - more accurately, it’s “each block is however long it needs to be.” This more flexible system provides a huge number of advantages over the rigidity of the older system.

Eldraine would not have been as successful in a two block set - they hit all the classic fairy tales most players would recognise with just the one set. Sure, they could get into The Straw, the Coal, and the Bean, but most players probably wouldn’t find the more obscure fairy tales all that fun.

Conversely, we are getting two sets in the next Innistrad block, presumably because Wizards wants to cover that plane’s post-Eldrazi experience in more depth.

Lore-wise, none of the recent stories have suffered all that much from not spanning multiple sets. They’ve suffered from incompetent writing, but that’s just part of Wizards’ MO.

April 6, 2021 12:09 a.m.

Mcat1999 says... #5

Caerwyn, the next Innistrad block, I thought it was more akin to two 1/2 sets? Aren't each going to have something like 130 - 150 cards, giving us a total of between 260 - 300 which is a 'normal' set?

And what I mean is I find it rather depressing that WOTC comes up with interesting mechanics such as Mutate, Boast and Magecraft yet we only get a slight handful of them and, of those, most are not viable in any format. And so we get to see a really nice and interesting and unique set of mechanics without a solid means with which to employ them.

That, if a block had two sets to them, we wouldn't be limited to 12 or 17 cards but rather 30+. And that increase gives us, the players, more flexibility and potential.

I feel, unlike you, that their current approach limits and suppresses creative exploration in that regards. To me, it seems they would rather go for quantity over quality, and that feels horrible. It makes each new set and each new mechanic feel lackluster and underpowered as a player can not optimize a fun deck or experience with them.

April 6, 2021 2:26 a.m.

Caerwyn says... #6

They confirmed both Innistrad sets will be full sized sets with a full cohort of cards.

As for your mechanics concern, Wizards has been making interesting mechanics that are under-supported for ages. I fully agree that’s a problem, but that problem was endemic to the design process long before they adopted their current release scheme. At least now they seem to be more willing to try mechanics that can span multiple planes. MDFCs seem to be a theme of this standard cycle, and I’d be surprised if Party doesn’t return with Forgotten Realms. So, I really don’t see this as a new problem, merely a continuation of a problem that has long existed.

April 6, 2021 2:43 a.m.

I loved it when they would have to really reach and make a ton of “draft chaff” and filler for the enormous sets; that’s where you end up with a lot of the “themely-but-unusable” cards that I crave!!

April 6, 2021 8:48 a.m.

King_marchesa says... #8

I love two set blocks because then you get more of the set. I would have loved more eldraine or kaldheim

April 6, 2021 10:28 a.m.

plakjekaas says... #9

Back to two set blocks would mean getting rid of Core Sets again, I feel like that would be a shame, the core sets feel really good since they returned. And there's a format where every mechanic can be played: Limited. I thought "One set blocks" were only a limitation in draft format, so the second and/or third set don't need to be constrained by being compatible with the previous (two) set(s) and can focus on being a self-contained format. Guilds of Ravnica/Ravnica Allegiance/War of the Spark felt like a classic three set block, but I'm glad the draft format didn't include 1 pack of each, it would mean War of the Spark would have been opened a lot less, and cards like Nissa, Who Shakes the World and Teferi, Time Raveler would have been a lot more expensive during their Standard run as a result.

On top of that, Wizards has never limited themselves to printing synergistic cards only in blocks that should focus on the mechanics they contain. Some of the best Landfall creatures aren't from Zendikar, just look at Courser of Kruphix and Tireless Tracker and how playable those have been in other formats.

I started actively playing Magic with the introduction of two block sets (Battle for Zendikar) and I feel like availablity of the cards, and consistency of good draft formats, has been greatly improved since then. It's probably more creatively constraining to have to find more unique mechanics to focus an entire set in that go well with Mutate for the second Ikoria iteration, than it would be to just move along and print something like Scute Swarm which happens to work great with Mutate, without the in-plane connection.

April 6, 2021 1:52 p.m.

Shazica says... #10

I rarely comment on these like this, but I would so love 2-set blocks again. This fast-paced 1-set hit 'n' run-style just leaves me fatigued in trying to embrace the lore, the mechanics, and get my fingers dirty in some sweet deck brewing. Sure, I could see why they don't do 3-set blocks anymore (although I have nothing but fond memories from the Return to Ravnica-block as well as the Tarkir-block), but why not 2??? Imagine how much RICHER Theros: Beyond Death or Kaldheim would have felt if we got at least one more set before we moved along. The impact of Elspeth coming back just felt hollow. The 10 (!) different Kaldheim tribes became too overwhelming to comprehend in one set.

April 7, 2021 12:53 p.m.

magwaaf says... #11

They need to being back 3 block formats and block constructed

April 8, 2021 3:27 p.m.

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