Should Green Be The Land Color, Randy?
I don't understand him. You know, that Randy Buehler guy. The one that works for Wizards? Yeah - him. He's got more credibility than some of R&D's employees, since he is a former Pro Tour player. He has successfully played in the real world. Since he's in Development, we can be sure he won't suggest cute things like leaving the abilities on the animated enchantments with Opalescence.
And thankfully, he doesn't inherently suffer from the self-pepetuating myth that R&D is doing a good job because people keep buying cards. Lemme tell you, people like the game. People like new cards. People liked Saga when that came out. People liked Masques when that came out.
What people don't like is R&D assuming they know what's best for us.
They had a chance to learn something with"You Make The Card!" but all of those fantastic ideas fell on deaf ears. Mark Rosewater reasons:
"A third popular trend was creatures that could activate to counter spells. I chalk this up to all the players who helped blue come in second to green. Perhaps in denial, many of them turned in their blue creature ideas."
Maybe people want green to do something other than attack for two. Call it a hunch.
But back to my point: In last week's"Latest Developments," Randy takes at length about Blue and White. He takes a stab or two at White's other allied color, Green. While I like the overall course of action by R&D with the Mechanics Pie, it seems as if the Pie gives R&D the chance to screw over green more than ever before.
Thanks, ya jerks.
Randy begins stating his ignorance with"Scryb Sprites also disappeared, because green should have to pay heavily for flying." Huh? Isn't green the creature color? Since green has no removal, shouldn't they have all of the creature abilities? Perhaps it should pay more than blue does for flying or more than white does for first strike... But wouldn't Nature bestow its creatures with the ability to fight on whatever playing field was relevant?
And we're not talking about Fat Moti-type flying, here: We're talking Scryb Sprites. We're talking about cards that are unplayable in tournament environments; if Suntail Hawk proves playable, then it's solely because the rest of the environment was designed with"Let's make Flying Men a tournament-level card!" in mind.
Pay heavily? I think that a 1/1 flyer for G is just fine. As a friend points out, trample is like fractional flying; instead of doing all of your power in damage to your opponent, you do a fraction of it. Llanowar Elite was a bad card and it's got Trample and another special ability. What's wrong with Sprites? Shouldn't"pay heavily" only be a mana more, since green allegedly is the creature color? Wouldn't a 1/2 flyer for 1G be fine (and unplayable outside of Limited)?
Randy continues:"During our ongoing pie discussion, we had already decided that white should get the best weenies in the game." White should, I suppose, get many of the best weenies in the game. Elder Land Wurm hasn't won many games - but Savannah Lions, pump Knights, and Ramosian Sergeant have all proven their worth. It also works with White's mentality of playing cards like Crusade.
But what about green? Most of Green's best decks are the low land-count Stompy variants. Green can't get card drawing, so it uses deck thinning like Land Grant to increase its threat density. And since it's running few lands, it plays lots of little threats like Ghazban Ogre and the like. By cutting off green's good weenies, you neuter the color more than ever before.
Buehler continues showing his complete lack of understanding green with"we had been thinking of green as the creature color, and so it was getting the best creatures up and down the mana curve." Perhaps it's because Green is the Creature Color. That's all it has! There's not a Fog Color. There's not a Creature Pump Color. There are already four Creature Removal Colors.
Should Green be the Land Color?
"What are you playing at the PTQ? That new broken U/x deck?"
"Nah, I was thinking of bringing my monogreen land deck.... BWAHAHWHAH. I'm bringing U/x, of course - I mean, I wanted to win, right?"
But then he just takes the cake:
"Really, though, green should get the best fatties and white should get the best weenies. Creatures are simply too important to Magic to give one color all the best ones."
He offers this enlightening comment, providing no reasoning or precedence for this. Has the man ever played Limited? Has he ever opened packs with no removal? (I constantly do. I haven't seen a Crippling Fatigue or Faceless Butcher in over a month now.) Can he honestly say that creatures are too important to give to one color... But that removal isn't important enough that it's okay to deprive an entire color of it?
Can he say that Green's Only Win Condition should be shared with other colors? Red's"main" win condition isn't burn; it's creatures, backed up with flexible burn. Blue's main win condition is Counterspell. Black wins by generating obscene amounts of mana and using it for powerful spells, whether it's undercosted creatures, combo pieces, or huge Drain Life effects. White wins by playing creatures and then Wrathing if it gets behind, or casting Armageddon (in formats where that's legal) when it's ahead.
Green meanwhile just attacks, plays another guy, and says"Go."
Yeah, that seems like it's breaking the mechanic pie right in half.
Buehler then makes me take back everything positive I've ever said about him:
"So enjoy your Wild Mongrels and Basking Rootwallas while you still can because they're a bit better than what we plan to give to green in the future. For 2 mana, green isn't going to do much better than good old Grizzly Bears...."
People aren't even playing Mongrel and Rootwalla. Yan Margolin's Northeast Regionals Top 4 deck doesn't even bother with these two cards and instead goes straight for Spellbane Centaur and Call of the Herd.
Too good? Really? Mongrel and Rootwalla seem best in a U/G Madness deck... And they are used only because Roar of the Wurm and Arrogant Wurm are in the same color. Mongrel and Rootwalla are good precisely because of their special abilities (a discard outlet and zero-cost Madness, respectively) and not because of their pump abilities. Contrast this to a Green/Red deck, where it's the pump that makes them worthwhile.
The rest of Buehler's paragraph is laughable. He goes on to state"we felt we were better off erring on the side of green being too good for a little while rather than continuing to be weak. Well... Mission accomplished, and then some." Again, I don't understand how he can claim green's superiority in the current Standard metagame, when the metagame is dictated by Psychatog and Trenches. Sure, Squirrel Nest/Opposition is solid, but Mongrel and Rootwalla are good because they support the rest of the deck. It's certainly not named Mongrel/Opposition. And while Squirrel Nest can be game-breaking (OBC, 5-Color, Type 1.5), Buehler does't even mention this as one of green's strongest cards. An oversight, perhaps... But the ability to pump out 1/1s doesn't sound like the sort of thing R&D envisions for future green.
And the 5C and 1.5 combos with Squirrel's Nest use Earthcraft, a card banned in Extended.
Beuheler concludes"that if we give green all the best creatures - weenies and fatties - that it's too good." I'm left wondering why. The powerful Rootwalla/Mongrel combination isn't even being played in Green/Red decks, which I dare say are"more" Green in feel than Blue/Green. They haven't added any efficiency to the Type 1 monogreen decks. Wild Mongrel comes into Type 1.5 beatdown decks as the worst two-drop creature, replacing such stellar picks as Spectral Bears and Albino Troll. Heck, Rootwalla even pops in to replace a Troll. Let me assure Randy that Mongrel is no River Boa. Monogreen made no waves in Odyssey/Torment OBC. And Green/Red is playable (but probably not top tier) in the current Standard environment only because it's so consistent (always its strong point). There's no Blastoderm and there's no Saproling Burst - and I would say that most Magic players would agree that those two cards are more"broken" than Mongrel and Rootwalla.What do YOU think? Share your opinion with the community and you just may walk away with some FREE Magic cards... courtesy of your friends at StarCityGames.com!