I'm not going to judge whether I was naughty or nice this year, but just in case EDH Santa thinks that I was good, I'll put together a wish list. The list contains mostly stuff that I don't have too much control over as opposed to, say, banning a card. Some of them are really out there, but you never know.
Before we get to that, I'd like to mention an event that's happening in January. Friend of the show and Alabama judge Blair Simpson contacted me about the fact that they unexpectedly lost a member of their community, Chris Donaldson, and are running a memorial event in support of Chris' family. Here's the link: Chris Donaldson Memorial Magic Tournament. Please support it if you can.
The Armada Games EDH League is currently on hiatus for the week before and the week after Christmas, so I won't have any updates from that for a while. We just finished Week 5, which was loads of fun, both during League and the games I played before. It got me thinking about how much more fun games have become without Primeval Titan. I still love the card, and I'm still glad we banned it. Are there still decks that can race out to huge leads? Sure. There just seem to be fewer of them around, and letting games unfold a little more slowly seems to have really improved the mood, at least for us. I understand that your mileage might vary, but I've seen very little "we really miss Prime Time" chatter on the forums.
I'll also remind everyone that we've synched our banned list updates with WotC's. It just seemed more convenient for everyone involved (especially the online programmers). Now you won't have to remember specific dates, just "set release." This means you won't see one on 20 December. The next one is scheduled for 28 January 2013.
Foil Dual Lands
Hey, it's a Wish List, right? Sure, they're on the reserved list—which I'm pretty sure isn't going away any time soon—but as long as we're wishing, how about full art foil duals? That would be, as my friend Marshall Sutcliffe says, sweet. Okay, this isn't so much a wish as a dream that I know it never coming true.
I wish that someone (Hey, Pete!) could pony up for an EDH Invitational. I'd pick all the great supporters of the format: Michael and Aaron Fortino, Bennie Smith, Sean McKeown, Adam Styborski, Uriah Oxford, Aaron Forsythe, Patrick Jarrett, and Andy from CommanderCast, add the RC, and have them all descend on my house to play three days of poolside EDH. We'd blog it, video it, stream it, and do whatever to have as many people as possible be able to join in on the fun and hijinks. We'd eat great food and make a significant dent in the wine cellar. Perhaps we could run some sort of contest for some fans of the format to be able to come Embrace the Chaos with us.
EDH Celebrity Invitational
There are a few celebs that I know play the format. I wish that someone (Hey, Pete!) could pony up for me, Chris Kluwe, Brandon Sanderson, David Williams, and Wil Wheaton to play together. Other celebrities who I wish would play the format include Charlize Theron, Monica Bellucci, and Kate Winslet. The event with the latter three would also DEFINITELY be here at the house, and there would be hot tubbing involved.
It's well past time, and I think it's the one thing that players routinely ask for which our friends in R&D haven't yet been able to do to their own satisfaction. I understand that every time someone has tried to develop a four-color guy it's always been about the missing color, but why not embrace that? How about making them in a cycle where they all have landwalk of the one type that they don't contain? Or protection from the color they don't have?
I see the design space as wide open, but I understand the difficulty with making them. One of the problems is finding an identity for each four-color pie-minus-a-slice. If you're just doing something each of the individual colors does well, then you might get a lot of duplication across the five cards. I suppose a consideration could be weaving the guilds into each one, a marriage of the two so to speak. Dune-Brood Nephilim, for example, is Rakdos plus Selesnya, so perhaps the new guy of those colors could gain you life while your opponents can't or spit out tokens that have unleash. Obviously, we'll need to wait for Gatecrash to see what the other five guilds have in store.
Foil Treatments of Older Cards
I know we might run into more reserved list issues here, but there are cards like Fault Line, Gilded Drake, and even Night Soil which get played in the format and aren't available in foil. What about a swag set of all the not-already-in-foil cards which aren't on the reserved list? Perhaps the next Commander bling product could be foiling all of the new cards in the Commander precons. If I'm believing in Santa, I can believe in this.
More Transforming Cards
It doesn't matter whether it's double-faced cards, flip cards, or split cards, cards that change in play or offer different ways to play them are strategically and thematically really interesting to me.
I don't mean format-specific, but cards that interact specifically with commanders. Like a cycle of Minions in each color which make Commanders of that color cost less. Maybe Shard Minions which make their specific Commanders cheaper, like:
Commanders which are black, green, and red and no other colors cost 2 less to cast.
Again, the design space here is wide open, although obviously you'd only want to put cards like this in a Commander-specific product. I wouldn't mind seeing a sorcery that searches your library for your Commander and puts it back into the command zone, hoping to quiet the debate about the tuck rule, which isn't changing. Perhaps there could be a card that buffs a creature but buffs it more if it's your commander or diminishes it if it's someone else's. Ooh or Lairs specifically for certain commanders, just like there are for the Invasion Dragons. They'd need an extra ability, like "Until end of turn, Kresh the Bloodbraided is indestructible." Cue Marshall again.
I'd also like a card called "Where Legends Fear to Tread." I don't even care what it does, so long as it's as cool as the name.
The tokens that come in packs are already decently cool. Now it's time to step it up a notch. Foil tokens. Hard-to-get tokens. Tokens that fit together to form a larger piece of art, or tokens with backs that fit together into a treasure map (for your Magic and D&D crossover!). 3D tokens, which obviously don't come in booster packs. Tokens that specifically go with particular Commanders, like Hazezon Tamar Sand Warrior tokens that somehow evoke the original art done by Richard Kane Ferguson himself. I'd also like a token that's just a set of handcuffs to put on to creatures that are detained.
The Skyrim Set
I get that there would be copyright issues. You have built-in races, conflicts, spells, items, and dragons. Maybe Dragonborn could be a new card type, like a planeswalker with more shouting. The Holds could be legendary lands. Of course, this set can't come out until they get the freaking expansions out for the PS3 version, but I'm not bitter in the least.
Like on Meglonoth. "Whenever ~this~ blocks a creature, ~this~ deals damage to that creature's controller equal to ~this creature's~ power." Although if people would refer to it as "blample" (blocking trample), I would withdraw this request.
Thrun Actually Being the Last Troll
This is a little wider in scope than just the format, but if I could even spend a day online without it being full of trolls, I'd be happy. I understand trolling your friends in good fun (for example, I considered Boom-Tubing Todd Palmer in his Christmas card), but I don't get the need to do it to strangers. I thank the moderators on the various forums for doing a reasonable job of keeping stuff like this in check. I know it's sometimes real drudgery, but we appreciate the effort.
Remember the scene in Star Wars with the holographic creature battle? Seeing combats take place in 3D space above would rule. Maybe it could also be like that one James Bond film where there's a feedback loop—you get shocked every time you take damage. I'm pretty sure nothing bad could happen.
More Daniel Day-Lewis
Okay, this is completely unrelated to Magic, but that guy is amazing. If you haven't seen Lincoln, do so before it leaves the theaters. The movie is a little one-sided and romanticized, but his performance is absolutely one of the best things you'll see on screen. Ever.
Reasonable Secondary Market Prices on Lands
I understand how supply and demand works, so no need to "Econ 101" me. Nonetheless, I'd like to find some middle ground for prices on lands. Most of the cards I've yet to foil for decks are lands (in fact, 33 of 51), and it would cost a boatload to finish them out. I understand and don't mind that competitive formats drive up the price of things, but I wouldn't mind EDH players having access to Yavimaya Hollow and the like without having to sell a kidney. I will happily rescind this request after Pete funds those Invitationals I mentioned above.
Personalized and/or Custom Sleeves
I know it's a matter of economics again, but I'd love to be able to go to the Legion website, upload an image, click a few buttons, and get it on a custom set of sleeves. Wouldn't it be cool to have your Norin the Wary deck in Norin the Wary sleeves? Yeah, copyright protection and all, but we're still wishing here. Or sleeves that simply have your name on them. I was going to say "name and picture," but our driver's license photos are never that good. Next up after that: sleeves with pleasant aromas, like coffee or apple pie. Or Pinot Noir.
More Full Art Lands
I'm unnaturally attached to the full art lands. I still want to keep them special, so I wouldn't put them in every set, but every second or third year wouldn't hurt. I imagine Jeremy Jarvis and his team could even put together a design for full art nonbasic lands (3/4 full?) which only produce mana, but I imagine that that could get really awkward as well. I would love to see the Innistrad block basics redone in full art—perhaps as some kind of swag package.
A Legendary Elephant
I mentioned previously having someone sit down while I was spellslinging at Gen Con a few years back with a legit playtest card from the mid-90s that was a legendary Elephant, but we haven't for realsies seen one yet. I know there are people just itching to build Elephant tribal, but they're leaderless for the moment.
Ending the Casual vs. Competitive Argument
This is my biggest wish. In broad strokes, there are two sides to this, and they're simply never going to agree. What I'd really like to see is both of them just accepting that and not trying to force the other into their style of play or being critical or dismissive of the other. The major problem is mixing folks from both sides of the aisle in open forums, like game shops and leagues, where the social players will always be at the mercy of the competitive ones. I know what won't work (such as a giant banned list), but I'm not sure I have a real solution here. I'd just like for everyone to be able to get along and have a good time playing the format.
Peace on Earth, Good Will Toward Men
A brother can hope. Merry Christmas to you and yours.