Monday, May 27, 2013

Suvnica Week 4 Review, Part 2: Learn and Burn (Izzet)

Moving right along, let's look at some of the visions we thought up for {U}{R}.

Zefferal's Vision

Tricksters often use their wit to make a person averse to change see the futility of their stubbornness. They open people's eyes to alternative viewpoints not through direct statements of their opinions and beliefs, but by subtly nudging their target in a direction to reach the same conclusion on their own. Tezzi adherents want to show the world the futility of bureaucratic systems, of allowing individuals to be controlled and suppressed, but they do it not through the outright aggression of Red, but through the teachable moments of Blue.

Lobster667 added some card ideas to this vision:

Fits right in. If we're maintaining the illusion that this set takes place in an alternate universe instead of Ravnica, then hybrid as a cost might be premature, but I don't think we need to be too strict about that.

Feels tricky enough, and arguably mythic, but it doesn't feel very red (creature type aside). Interestingly, I think that if you limited the card types that you could play to Instants and Sorceries that would shift it much more in red's direction (and if limited to creatures, to Green's), but the any card feels either more pure Blue or {U}{B}.

lpaulsen's Vision

I'd go a little bit beyond the "trickster magician" role. Tezzi really isn't that interested in teaching people, just in using superior knowledge to get ahead at their expense. Their Blue element isn't intellectual knowledge alone: it also includes cleverness and street smarts. This is the classic thieves' guild, plus a bunch of other assorted characters: pranksters, street magicians, entertainers, and con artists. Crucially, they aren't in it for the money or the power (that would be Dimir): they're doing what they do because it's *fun*. Mechanically, this means that we lose the instant/sorcery theme and go for the weenie approach (which is something Blue needs more of anyway). Members of the Tezzi are small, fast, hard to block, and cause trouble when they hit you.

I really like this evolution of the idea I proposed. I think that the two visions could be right in tune with eachother, and illustrate the guild's internal conflict - Blue wanting to teach through trickery, and Red just in it for the laughs.

Here's the cards:

Solid design, but probably not at common. Acts of treason start at uncommon.

This is interesting. Johnny would have a field day figuring out how to abuse this, but the fact is, if Johnny can abuse this, do we really want the direct damage in {U}?

Ben evolved the idea with this, which feels a little less questionably blue. It loses some of its puzzle-solving appeal, since four to the face is four to the face, but the challenge to figure it out is still there.

lpaulsen wanted to emphasize saboteur abilities in this guild. I like this guy. I especially like that he doesn't have a triggered sacrifice, so if you can boost him a little bit and have him survive.

Another variation on the Saw in Half idea. This one I like significantly less, since it's more or less all downside. There are much fewer ways to exploit this ability without it turning into a major drawback.

A cross between Lobster's Shrewd Goblin and Invisible Stalker. Good design, but I think if R&D were considering this today, they would test the hell out of him before sending him to the printers.

I absolutely love this card, but it really should never be printed for all the obvious reasons.

Jules' Vision

The Tezzi know that the biggest limitation to freedom isn't somebody else imposing their will upon you: it's not knowing what your choices mean. Without knowledge and understanding of the consequences "free choice" is nothing more than randomness. So the Tezzi seek to give everyone an understanding of how any action they take will affect the future.

Jules hit a few of Red's keywords in the description (freedom, randomness), but this guild doesn't sound very red at all. It's very Blue, with a possible dash of White as far as looking to consequences.

Here's the cards:

Very nice design. Picking the best of the possible futures.

This is a wonderful design. Feels super {U}{R}. The name does too, even if the vision it speaks to doesn't.

An interesting counterpart to Nin, tPA. It kind of feels like it should be Black (Sign in Blood). I think that if you could hit creatures or players it would push it back into Red's comfort zone a little more. A nice rare all the same.

That's it for Izzet. Next up - Cycles!


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  2. I generally agree on Sniggering Faerie, but it could be worth including for Johnny in a set with a Power of Fire variant at common (and some good enters the battlefield triggers on 1 toughness creatures).

  3. I'm not as confident about Sniggering faerie being "all downside". I used to play a game where that effect gave rise to a significant lock deck. Although the differences between battle in YGO and MtG are big, we shouldn't forget that red and blue are the better colors at manipulating the attack phase.