Storm Scale: Throne of Eldraine Through Strixhaven

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Posted on Dec. 20, 2022, 8:24 p.m. by DemonDragonJ

Today, Mark Rosewater posted his newest Storm Scale article, covering Throne of Eldraine through Strixhaven.

I agree with all of Rosewater's rankings, and have no major complaints about his assessmets of each mechanic. What does everyone else say about this?

wallisface says... #2

Nothing particularly noteworthy as far as I could see.

I'm almost-surprised Kicker is at a 3 when Wotc get a lot of grief for "Everything being Kicker"... I would think distancing themselves from this mechanic would allow them to do more functionally interesting new abilities without having to deal with that baggage. But I do get that it's a strong and enjoyed ability.

December 20, 2022 10:26 p.m.

TypicalTimmy says... #3

Seems fair with those he reviewed. He left out a ton of other mechanics, though. For instance, he left out Magecraft from Strixhaven just as one quick example.

Going on what I have observed from Magecraft, if I were to rate it;

  • Popularity: Popular. It seems to have been a mechanic many players enjoyed, as casting spells and getting free value out of them is always a positive reward for players.

  • Design Space: Medium. Many planes within Magic's universe rely heavily on spell casters. This can easily be situated on worlds such as Dominaria, Ravnica, Kaladesh and more. This does not mean it would fit everywhere, however. For example, Magecraft might not make sense on Zendikar or Innistrad, where spellcasting schools are limited, or non-existent.

  • Versatility: Neutral. The entire idea of Magecraft is that you gain value for casting or copying spells. While casting is easy enough, it is the copying aspect that is a bit more difficult. Because the copying effect would also need to be considered, this was lowered from Flexible to Neutral. Otherwise, the mechanic is only functioning half-way.

  • Development/Play Design: Neutral. While it may be incredibly tempting to say that this is not problematic, the truth is that it really is. Special care must be given to ensure a player can not go infinite. For example, if a player were to Twincast a Reverberate, they can loop these together and create infinite Magecraft triggers. As long as care is taken with R&D, this shouldn't be an issue. Alas, because this issue potentially exists, it can not be any higher than Neutral.

  • Playability: Playability not affected. It is an incredibly straight-forward mechanic, that is very easy to use. Casting spells, and to a lesser extent copying them, is literally how the game works. Magecraft essentially rewards the player for playing the game. It can't be any easier than that. And while it is tempting to say that, in this light, it is unbalanced one must also consider Landfall in the same light. Players play the game by primarily playing lands, which Landfall rewards you for. So if the game can reward a player for playing a land, it should also be able to reward a player for casting (or copying) a spell. This is no different than having attack triggers, upkeep triggers, end step triggers, draw triggers... the list goes on. Therefore, isolating Magecraft for the rewards of casting (again, and copying) spells would actually run against many other established mechanics, making the argument nonsensical in nature.

Result: 2/5ths are positive and 3/5ths are neutral or in the middle. This should result in a Storm Scale of around 3 or 4, with it likely leaning toward a 4 as it would really depend on which other mechanics are being chosen for development at that time. For example, having Magecraft in the same Standard rotation as Landfall might incur too much power and unbalance within the games. What would likely result is players constructing decks primarily focusing on those abilities to "min-max" their value, creating mirror matches within the community. So really it is a 3.5, simply depending on what else is coming down the chute at the time.

December 20, 2022 10:35 p.m.

Caerwyn says... #4

I think Rosewater made a mistake with Adamant. A large part of its 7 ranking comes from the mechanic’s unpopularity - but that unpopularity likely stems a lot more from the fact that the Adamant cards suck. Rosewater and Wizards do this often - they blame the mechanic for unpopularity rather than themselves for just doing a bad job with it.

Adamant is a great concept for a mechanic and fills an important need for the game. Wizards has spent the last few years homogenising the color pie, return to make mono-coloured decks able to do more. Adamant takes the other perspective - giving more powerful in-colour-identity payoffs to make up for the lackings of a mono-colour.

Additionally, with multicoloured decks becoming more expensive, having more investment in mechanics like Adamant and Devotion would be great to provide competitive budget options.

December 20, 2022 11:34 p.m.

I second Caerwyn’s comment, and appreciate the connection being made between adamant and devotion. I would love to return to the mono-colored decks, though it seems as though they might be (in a way) the reason for some of the color pie violations. Are there people complaining “my red goblin deck still has no lifelink” or whatever? Is that driving some of the violations? Are most of the complainers playing green and white? Lol

December 21, 2022 8:26 a.m.

shadow63 says... #6

Caerwyn I think you nailed it with adamant I just looked at the 18 cards that have it and the only one I use and could ever see myself using is Once and Future. There was one or two that might have made the cut in standard but yeah over all the cards are just bad. It seems like they just tried to play it too safe.

December 21, 2022 8:30 a.m.

KBK7101 says... #7

TypicalTimmy At the end of the article, he says the second part is coming out on the 3rd, which covers the rest of the mechanics. I agree with your assessment of Magecraft. Curious to see his thoughts on Foretell, Boast and his updated thoughts on Snow. (This is my Kaldheim bias showing again lol)

I know everyone likes to talk about how Wizards is "killing the game" these days, but seeing that Mark Rosewater and team realize just how badly they messed up with Companion and the fact that it will probably never come back gives me a slight glimmer of hope for the future.

December 21, 2022 1:20 p.m.

TypicalTimmy says... #8

I must have missed the part at the end where he mentions focusing on other mechanics in future articles.

It'll be interesting to see how well, or poor, I rated it then ^_^

And I could see Companion coming back ONLY during one of those Commander Legends sets. Perhaps they mingle a few Partners, Backgrounds and the five mono colored Companions at very low impact, but enough to make drafting a bit more interesting.

Three Commanders for Draft? Could be fun. Though with Draft in mind, the restrictions the Companions being would need to be very easy to work around. For example, "Your starting deck may only contain spells with even mana values and land cards" would be next to impossible with regards to the randomization of isolated packs.

It would have to be something more akin to, "Your starting deck must contain one third, rounded up, of all spells as creature spells."

For a mono green Companion, that's easy to accomplish.

December 21, 2022 1:33 p.m. Edited.

Epidilius says... #9

On the topic of Adamant, I wish they had just used that keyword for Steel Exemplar. That card is so hard for me to read.

December 21, 2022 1:58 p.m.

SpammyV says... #10

I find Food being rated so highly kind of funny because it feels like the rating is not because of the ability of the Food token, but because of all the cards that care about Food tokens. Clues, Treasures, and Blood tokens are things you'll actually pay their costs and use, but Food tokens just wait to be used to get back a Cauldron Familiar or for Urza to make them into a Mox Sapphire. If Food tokens had no ability I don't think their Storm score would be affected.

Give Companion a 10. Just delete the mechanic from the game.

December 21, 2022 2:15 p.m.

Caerwyn says... #11

As a point of order Epidilius, Adamant is an Ability Word, not a Keyword. Keywords have specific rules meanings; ability words are basically glorified flavour text signalling the grouping of certain effects.

Personally, I would like to see a greater use of ability words. There are plenty of cards with the trigger of Landfall, for example, that could have the ability word Landfall added. That would make both remembering triggers and searching the Gatherer easier. Presently, they only use ability words if the function is common within the set; would be nice to see it applied more often. I do not think it would be all that confusing to see one or two instances of the word Landfall (or other ability words) showing up per set, even without it being a dedicated mechanic for the set

December 21, 2022 2:15 p.m.

wallisface says... #12

Caerwyn you’ll be happy to know that Landfall (and Surveil) have been updated to be deciduous, so for any sets going forwards, those words will be printed on cards (and, many older cards have retro-actively had that text added).

December 21, 2022 5:45 p.m.

TypicalTimmy says... #13

My belief is that if the if an ability shows up, without the name, it deserves to automatically be made deciduous. For example, Tireless Tracker is Landfall, without a doubt. The only reason she doesn't have "Landfall" printed on her card is because she's from Innistrad, and Landfall is a Zendikar mechanic.

December 21, 2022 9:41 p.m.

Kret says... #14

I'd love to see Companion mechanic returning to the game. I'm hoping for less restrictive ones like maybe "at least half (50) of your starting deck has to be creatures/spells/enchantments/artifacts/cards with a certain mechanic/etc" to promote playing fun cards. Maybe we can get tribal Companions or Companions that boost certain mechanics like scry, kicker, multicolored spells, keywords, graveyard recursion. I think the opportunities here are almost endless.
I'm playing Umori as Companion in one of my decks and it is the most fun deck that I own because of the restriction that I can play only creature spells. I can't play the most optimal 1-2 mana ramp spells, the best 2-3 mana spot removal spells and the best 4 mana boardwipes.
Commander was intended to be played with fun cards that we like that don't fit faster formats like legacy or modern and people often forget it when they go sol ring into 2 mana mana rock on turn 1 (or some other powercreeped bs)

December 22, 2022 10:51 a.m.

shadow63 says... #15

Kret the thing is with having to have your deck only meet the requirements half way it's very easy to cheat

December 22, 2022 12:36 p.m.

shadow63 says... #16

TypicalTimmy but that's not how wotc denotes what is deciduous. Sure we may get a card with pseudo landfall here and there. But deciduous mechanics usually show up at least once a year in standard

December 22, 2022 12:38 p.m.

DemonDragonJ says... #17

Here is part two of the article, and I again agree with every rating except for the rating of magecraft, which I feel should have been only a 3 or 4, since it is good to focus on card types other than creatures, and I also agree that making every equipment automatically attach to creatures would be very bad, as that would essentially render auras obsolete.

Now that this article is concluded, do you have any opinions on it?

January 3, 2023 8:20 p.m.

SpammyV says... #18

I wonder how many of Party's problems came from the fact that they made an adventuring party-themed mechanic that they did not support in the slightest in the actual D&D sets, except for two cards from the Commander Legends 2 commander decks.

January 6, 2023 2:53 p.m.

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