Saturday, January 27, 2018

GDS3 — Jay's Trial 2 Answers 1-25

I took copious notes during the test so that I could review them here with you. Additions in italics.

To discuss your own or others' responses to the GDS3 Multiple Choice Quiz, visit the GDS3 Trial 2 Open Thread and look for the thread relating to the question at hand.

Click through to see my first 25 answers and my rationale. 26-50. 51-75

1. What is the MOST appropriate color for this card?
Scrappy Survivor
[converted mana cost (CMC): 6]
Creature —
Menace, prowess

I noted that rarity and creature type were unspecified; sometimes what's missing can be informative too. 

I checked Mechanical Color Pie 2017 (MCP):
Menace—Primary: black and red
Prowess—Primary: blue—Secondary: red—Tertiary: white

Red's the only color to get both these abilities, so the answer's pretty clear:
>>RED<< 99%

2. What is the MOST appropriate rarity for this card?
Scrappy Survivor
[CMC: 6]
Creature —
Menace, prowess
Mythic Rare

It was immediately clear to me this is either uncommon or rare. It's too big and strong for a red common, and not remotely splashy enough for a mythic.
This is a bit large for a red uncommon, but a bit underwhelming for a rare.
Ripscale Predator is uncommon and Granitic Titan is common. Adding prowess doesn't change that.

>>UNCOMMON<< 98%
Granitic Titan has me less confident now, but that card was pretty exceptional for a red common.

3. You are changing one of Scrappy Survivor's keywords to another one. Which of the following combinations would result in a card that couldn't be monocolor?
Scrappy Survivor
[CMC: 6]
Creature —
Menace, prowess
Lifelink, menace — could be black
Menace, vigilance — not monocolored
First strike, prowess — red
Hexproof, prowess — blue

Lifelink—Primary: white—Secondary: black
Vigilance—Primary: white—Secondary: green
First strike—Primary: white and red—Tertiary: black
Hexproof—Primary: blue—Secondary: green—Tertiary: white
(The only cards that mention both menace and vigilance mention "all" the keywords.)
Scrappy Survivor reminded me how important Gatherer is to these tests. I was going to feel bad about forgetting to remind people of that, but I'm confident you all knew that or figured it out fast.

>>Menace, vigilance<< 99%

4. What is the MOST appropriate color combination for this multicolor card?
Come Work for Me Temporarily
[CMC: 4]
Gain control of target creature until end of turn. Untap it. It gets +1/+1 and gains haste, hexproof, and trample until end of turn.
Blue-red - Good. Blue also steals permanents, and can provide hexproof.
White-black - Worst
Red-white - Bad
Red-green - Good. Green can provide hexproof and supports trample and +1/+1.
Black-green - Worst

Stealing permanents, temporarily—Primary: red
Haste—Primary: red—Secondary: black—Tertiary: green
Hexproof—Primary: blue—Secondary: green—Tertiary: white
Trample—Primary: green—Secondary: red—Tertiary: white, blue, and black
+N/+N (on spells)—Primary: white and green—Secondary: black

Traitorous Blood adds trample as a {1}{R}{R} common
Traitorous Instinct adds +2/+0 as a {3}{R} common and uncommon
Mark of Mutiny adds a +1/+1 counter as a {2}{R} uncommon

My first instinct here had been blue-red, but I eventually decided that—even though red has plenty access to trample—the combination of +1/+1 and trample made this more green then the cousin-fact that blue steals things permanently.

>>Red-green<< 65%
>>Blue-red << 35%

5. What is the MOST appropriate rarity for this card?
Come Work for Me Temporarily
[CMC: 4]
Gain control of target creature until end of turn. Untap it. It gets +1/+1 and gains haste, hexproof, and trample until end of turn.
Common — Good. +1 mana for +1/+1 and hexproof and trample is slightly generous. This is a lot of stuff for common.
Mythic rare — No
Uncommon — Good. Act has been uncommon recently. +1 mana for +1/+1 and hexproof and trample is slightly underwhelming.
Rare — No

The hexproof doesn't matter much because your opponent is less likely to target their own creature.

>>Uncommon<< 90%
>>Common<< 10%

6. If we aren’t planning to change the color combination, which change are we LEAST likely to make to this card?
Come Work for Me Temporarily
[CMC: 4]
Gain control of target creature until end of turn. Untap it. It gets +1/+1 and gains haste, hexproof, and trample until end of turn.
Change from "trample" to "this creature can't be blocked by creatures with power 2 or less."
Change "sorcery" to "instant."
Change "haste" to "double strike".
Change from "hexproof" to "this creature must be blocked this turn if able."
Change "+1/+1" to "+2/+2."

"Daunt" (This creature can't be blocked by creatures with power 2 or less.)—Primary: green
Trample -> Daunt is fair if this is RG and out if it's RU.
"Sorcery" to "instant" opens this up for blocking, which makes haste and trample irrelevant, and also red has only done that on Turn Against. Would feel slightly more RU than RG.
"Haste" to "double strike" means we can't attack with this. What's the point? Colors irrelevant.
"Hexproof" to "this creature must be blocked each turn if able." This change would be ideal, pushing us toward RG from RU.
 "+1/+1" to "+2/+2." is fine. More {GW} than {RU}.

Replacing haste is a deal-breaker. Unfortunately, that means we don't learn anything about #4. (Three incorrect answers pushed toward green and one toward blue, but we can't infer anything from incorrect answers.)
(We're making a single change. -Haste +Instant would work, but that's not an option.)

>>Change "haste" to "double strike".<< 100%

7. Which of these phrases is a follower of white's philosophy LEAST likely to say?
"Violence is never preferred but is occasionally necessary." — "As a rule, white believes in nonviolence, but black is such a danger that white makes an exception."
"A system without structure is a system asking to fail." — "By creating rigid structure."
"Nothing can go wrong if you act from your heart." — uhhh, seems red
"Sometimes the individual suffers so that the larger group can thrive." — definitely white
"Evil must be preemptively stopped." — "white sees its enemy as a source of danger and feels it has to proactively stop it before individuals come to harm."

While the correct answer stood out from the beginning, it took a bit of scowling on The Great White Way Revisited to fully verify the other answers were wrong.

>>"Nothing can go wrong if you act from your heart."<< 98%

8. Which of these phrases is a follower of blue's philosophy LEAST likely to say?
"Every person has the ability to become anything." — blue
"You are shaped more by your genes than your experience." — green
"Action should only follow thought." — blue
"A fear of change is dangerous.” — blue
"Tools are an important part of any society." — blue

I should've manually verified these, but I didn't. True Blue Revisited

>>"You are shaped more by your genes than your experience."<< 99%

9. Which of these phrases is a follower of black's philosophy LEAST likely to say?
"The weak serve a purpose; they are a resource of the strong." — black
"Only I choose what path I walk." — black
"I didn't create the system, I just understand how to take advantage of it." — black-ish
"Sometimes you have to put others ahead of yourself." — white
"The difference between success and failure is a willingness to do what needs to be done." — black

I should've manually verified these, but I didn't. In the Black Revisited

>>"Sometimes you have to put others ahead of yourself."<< 98%

10. Which of these phrases is a follower of red's philosophy LEAST likely to say?
"The greatest regrets are about things you didn't do, not things you did." — red
"Mistakes should be avoided at all costs." — blue
"A life without passion is a life unlived." — red
"Life is messy." — red/black
"The fewer rules, the better." — red

I should've manually verified these, but I didn't. Seeing Red Revisited

>>"Mistakes should be avoided at all costs." << 98%

11. Which of these phrases is a follower of green's philosophy LEAST likely to say?
"You are born into your role." — green
"Adaptation is a slow process." — uh? green-ish
"All life is interconnected." — green
"Killing for sport is just a part of life." — uh? black?
"The key to happiness is accepting that the world is as it's meant to be" — green

I should've manually verified all of these, but I only double-checked that green disapproved of black's needless killing, and tried to find something to confirm that green thinks adaptation is necessarily slow (and failed). It's Not Easy Being Green Revisited

>>"Killing for sport is just a part of life." << 90%
>>"Adaptation is a slow process." << 10%

12. If we were to bring back the battle cry mechanic in a Ravnica set, which guild would be the BEST match for the mechanic?
Boros — Great. (Arguably too similar to battalion, but 'cmon.)
Azorius — Bad
Gruul — Fair
Selesnya — Solid
Rakdos — Weak

Battle Cry was red-white in Mirrodin Besieged.

>>Boros<< 95%
>>Selesnya<< 5%

I had to give selesnya a tiny nod just because they're the faction that would most benefit from battle cry due to their numbers.

13. Which effect is usually seen on more instants than sorceries?
Discard effects — only sorcery (16 < 76 in Modern)
Land destruction — only sorcery (5 < 58)
Direct damage — usually instant (273 > 230)
Land fetching (getting a land out of your library) — usually sorcery (15 < 55)
Reanimation (putting creatures from the graveyard to the battlefield) — largely sorcery (14 < 28)

I was instantly sure, but Gatherer confirmed.

>>Direct damage<< 100%

14. What is the biggest problem design-wise with this card?
Long-Acting Giant Growth
Target creature gets +3/+3 until end of turn. At the beginning of your next upkeep, that creature gets +2/+2 until end of turn. At the beginning of your next upkeep after that, that creature gets +1/+1 until end of turn.
The spell requires you track things for three turns without any way to mark it. — Great. Memory issues.
The spell should get bigger over time, not smaller, to build in excitement. — Fair
The spell should be an instant so that it can work in combat. — Weak
The spell is too cheap. — False
The spell should let you target different creatures because the first one might die. — Good

>>The spell requires you track things for three turns without any way to mark it.<<85%
>>The spell should let you target different creatures because the first one might die<<15%

Prey's Vengeance is relevant. Unfortunately, rebound addresses both these issues. Ultimately, though, the memory issue will make players feel bad about themselves, while the commitment issue will only make them feel bad about the card.

15. If this card was a hybrid creature, what colors would it be?
[CMC: 4]
CARDNAME's power and toughness are each equal to the number of cards in your hand.
Blue-black — Black is only tertiary in flash and doesn't maro.
White-blue — White is only tertiary in flash and doesn't maro.
Blue-red — Red is only tertiary in flash and doesn't maro.
Black-red — Way-off
Green-blue — Both colors get both effects primary or secondary.

Flash — Primary: blue — Secondary: green — Tertiary: white, black, and red
"Maro" ability (This creature's power and toughness are equal to the number of cards in our hand.) — Primary: Blue and green

>>Green-blue<< 100%

16. What is the MOST likely rarity for this card?
Mysterio [CMC: 4]
CARDNAME's power and toughness are each equal to the number of cards in your hand.
Mythic rare

All the Maros are rare except Tishana, Voice of Thunder. Adding flash does not make this a mythic.

>>Rare<< 95%

17. What ability could be added to this creature without changing its colors? Use your answer from question 15.
[CMC: 4]
CARDNAME's power and toughness are each equal to the number of cards in your hand.
CARDNAME must be blocked if able. — green
Whenever CARDNAME deals damage to an opponent, draw a card. — blue/green (not "combat damage?")
Whenever a creature dies, put a +1/+1 counter on CARDNAME. — black/red
CARDNAME can't be blocked by more than one creature. — green
At the end of your turn, untap CARDNAME. — green or green-blue…[%22during%20each%20other%20player%27s%20untap%20step.%22]

"Stalking" (This creature can't be blocked by more than one creature.) — Primary: green
"Curiosity" (Whenever this creature deals combat damage to an opponent, draw a card. — Primary: blue — Secondary: green
Untaps itself — Primary: blue — Secondary: white — Hm, this definitely used to be green too.

Untap might be right, but curiosity is definitely right.
I have to conclude that untap ~ is now green and not blue.
This threw me off for a while because the non-standard wording made it ambiguous exactly what ability we're talking about. And Urban Burgeoning doesn't have an entry in the MCP. While many such cards are green and blue, ultimately I found that there are mono-green examples and not mono-blue examples. While this ability could absolutely be justified for a {GU} hybrid, curiosity doesn't require justification (even when it's suspiciously missing the "combat damage" qualifier).

>>Whenever CARDNAME deals [combat] damage to an opponent, draw a card.<< 95%

18. A player finishes their first game of Magic. Which of the following do we care MOST about?
They see the potential depth of the game. — Fair
They want to play again. — Great
They have a favorite card. — Weak
They understand the cards in their deck. — Fair
They have seen MOST of the card types, and MOST of the evergreen keywords. — Awful

>>They want to play again.<< 100%

19. When designing a card for Spike, which of the following is MOST important:
The card is very open ended. — Weak
The card tells Spike what the deck is about. — Fair
The card lets Spike feel they outplayed their opponent. — Great
The card produces card advantage. — Good
The card has a low casting cost. — Weak

I was pretty sure, but Developing Cards for Spike confirmed it.

>>The card lets Spike feel they outplayed their opponent.<< 95%

20. Design considers a card “too slow for tournament play.” What does that mean?
The card will make games take more than fifteen turns. — could be; this would be a problem
The player with this card will monopolize too much of the play time in tournaments. — what? uh, maybe.
The card will make too many matches run over time in tournaments. — same as A, but more precise
The card will cause problems for coverage, as it will require too much commentary devoted to it. — nah
The opponent will call the judge too often with a request of “slow play”. — conceivable

Not finding any data on this. I spent quite a bit of time searching Daily MTG, judge stuff, google, Blogatog and even the Drive to Work transcripts and never found anything that helped me answer this. I ultimately chose the thing that seemed like the larger concern for design.

>>The card will make too many matches run over time in tournaments.<< 75%
>>The opponent will call the judge too often with a request of “slow play”.<< 20%

21. You're working on the next Commander decks. Which is the MOST important goal?
The colors are equally represented. — matters
Each deck has a brand-new theme. — relevant
Designing new cards for Legacy and Vintage. — purely bonus
The commanders inspire people to build new decks. — Oh. This.
The decks are based on popular Commander decks. — Nope.. uh maybe? Nah.

Based on, Each deck has a brand-new theme..
Based on "One of the many goals of each Commander deck is to deliver a fun and engaging experience out of the box, but also be something that a player can tweak and tune to fit their personal play style." allowed me to see that the latest Commander set doesn't represent the colors equally, so that can't be most important.

I also spent a ton of time searching design and development articles about Commanders 2012-2017 to help find the answer or narrow this down, and never got anything concrete. I went with inspiration, because I did find that we want to excite Commander players, and we can assume we've accomplished that if they're building new decks with our stuff, but clearly the product is also a success if a ton of people just buy the decks and play them as-is. While each year has had a new focus (how many colors each deck is [except 2017's tribal focus] and some shared mechanic), those have been shared across decks; so I think each product has a new theme, but not each deck?)

>>The commanders inspire people to build new decks.<< 70%
>>Each deck has a brand-new theme.<< 20%
>>The colors are equally represented.<< 10%

22. Which of the following creatures is the weakest in a typical Standard-legal Draft format?
1G 2/2 — weak for green, playable
3G 4/4 — great
5G 6/6 — good
7G 8/8 — expensive
9G 10/10 — prohibitive

>>9G 10/10<< 80%
>>1G 2/2<< 20%

You'll never cast a ten-drop in a normal Draft. That's worse than a Runeclaw Bear.

23. Which of the following creatures is the strongest in a typical Standard-legal Draft format?
1G 2/2
3G 4/4
5G 6/6
7G 8/8
9G 10/10

>>3G 4/4<< 90%
>>5G 6/6<< 10%

It's very interesting to see this perfectly linear scale of mana:stats with a completely un-linear EV. A Rumbling Baloth is pretty great in Limited because there's a very good chance you can cast it on turn 4 and outclass your opponent's board for a few turns, long enough to do 8-12 damage, which is amazing for a four-drop. 6/6s can change a game once they're out, but often don't hit before turn 8.

24. The lead of a set has removed a black instant removal spell from their set, and asks you to create potential replacement designs. Which of these qualities is MOST important for your designs?
It's an instant. — important
It's a removal card. — very important
It's a black card. — Required
It's a powerful card. — irrelevant
It's an innovative card. — irrelevant

>>It's a black card.<< 99%

This one might catch a few people. While you generally want to replace a card in a file with one of the same type and purpose, you're always keeping it the same color. Color balance requirements for a set are hard and fast. If you give me a shock to replace my torture, you're going to have to also replace another red card with a new black card, and that's just silly.

25. Why do green's common creatures tend to be a bit more efficient than white creatures?
White has stronger removal. — true
White is the enemy of black and red. — bad and irrelevant
Green players love powerful creatures. — true, but we can argue players love green because it has powerful creatures
Green is the enemy of blue and black. — irrelevant
This is the way it has always been. — bad

What matters more here? The mechanical justification despite rarity obfuscation, or why players love green?

>>White has stronger removal.<< 70%
>>Green players love powerful creatures.<< 30%

I know which answer should be correct here, but I'm not confident that's the case. Green should get powerful creatures because green players love them, but they wouldn't be green players if green didn't always get big creatures, which it does because it's always had the worst removal.

If you're eager to discuss something I've written here, please do. If you want to share your own answer or discuss a specific question, the GDS3 Trial 2 Open Thread is the better place.


  1. 23.I think bears are always important in limited environments, which is why I thought it was the best. 25. was a really tough one for me.

    1. I agree that bears are often to pick important due to format speed, but a vanilla 2/2 for 1G is below the curve these days while a vanilla 4/4 for 3G is above it.

    2. and I do not like subjective questions, like which is the best or most fun.

    3. Power level like that is a bit more than subjective. Green has beeen getting cards better than 1G 2/2s for quite some time. a 3G 4/4 is actually a bit above curve given that at common (the only rarity these would go at) the closest we get is 2GG 4/4

  2. For 11. Green believes it can speed up nature, so I thought adaptation was something they thought they could control, but I was split between that and killing. For 6. given the card being red-green, I doubt they would make an instant and MARO has specifically said against instant steal for red.

    1. The thing is, if you replace haste with double strike but don't change it into an instant, the card does practically nothing (and the trample part does literally nothing unless the creature gains haste some other way). There are more instant-speed temp-steal spells than temp-steal spells that don't grant haste.

    2. The card can remove a blocker or give you cool static abilities.

    3. A threaten effect will never not give haste because it ceases to work as a thresten effect.

    4. on 11: green believes in hunting for sport. Garruk (while still green) and hunt the weak, tenacious hunter.

      on 6: is this green red
      Come Work for Me Temporarily
      [CMC: 4]
      untap target creature. It gets +1/+1 and gains doublestrike, hexproof, trample and can't block until end of turn.

      hence I would argue it is a needlesly complicated completely in colour spell for RG while instant threaten is not

    5. Green hunters for survival/food, not for sport. Hunting for sport is a black/red activity because it's killing for the sake of fun.

  3. I had the same answers for all of these, though you were a bit more confident than I was on some of them (like the Spike one). Feeling good.

  4. We had the exact same answers for 1-25 in all but two questions.

    I made scrappy survivor at common. Granitic Titan was a good card in draft, but a lot of the power came from cycling, which usually justifies extra cost on the cards it shows up on. Trading cycling for prowess and a point of toughness doesn't push this out of common for me. I think it's up to development and not design to push this to uncommon. It doesn't have any red flags, and red has been getting a large common of late, usually one per set. This might be towards the top of that curve, but a lot of that is relative. As an elemental this could fit right in setting-wise in Zendikar the first, but I'd never pick it. I'd pass this off to development as a common and let them test it.

    I marked the bear as the strongest for limited. The frequency and quality of two drops is the strongest indicator of format speed, the more of them the better. That said, I was on the fence about the four drop, but in most sets in a vacuum I pick the two drop because it's more likely to be relevant in more games, and that's the slot I most need to hit a critical mass in.

    Other than that we had basically the exact same thought processes.
    Additional thoughts: Come Work for Me Temporarily is redflagged for line count and you can't tweak it down until 5 lines of flavor text. It's also a multicolor threaten and new players be be confused about how hexproof works on creatures another player owns ("It's really my creature, so do I get to target it or do they?")

    1. My instinct on Scrappy Survivor was uncommon, and I think that skewed my evaluations a bit, even after seeing Granitic Titan. Red is starting to get a 4/4 or so, like every other set, but I just felt like Titan was an aberration. Could really go either way.

      Ooh, I hadn't thought about hexproof being confusing on a borrowed creature.

    2. It reminded me a lot of Charging Monstrousaur.

      Also both Maro and Stoddard noted they like to put the "Air Elementals and Serra Angels" at uncommomand this felt very much like that type of card. Evasive big dude that runs away with the game if unanswered.

      Also the play pattern of forcing a double block and then getting blown out by literally any instant is not something I would put at common.

    3. Both red-including French vanilla Prowess creatures with another keyword ability (Monestary Swiftspear and Stormchaser Mage) are Uncommon, and a 5/5 at common is very rare. That’s what put me into Uncommon.

    4. It really was a coin flip for me. I think development would many sets push it up to uncommon, but I don't know that the card in a vacuum warrants uncommon status. Since it was the environment and dependencies on other cards that would push it to uncommon, I put it at common. I won't defend the choice very strenuously, though, and can easily see this as a situation where I talked myself into the wrong answer.

    5. A second point for me on the bear vs baloth debate was that a deck with all bears will beat a deck with all baloths way more than half the time. Games might be decided before they even play the first four drop. A four drop doesn't decide if I keep my opener.

    6. The fact that prowess could blow out a double-block cements this 5/5 at uncommon. Good call, Jim.

    7. Is that true? If I'm on the play you've dropped two bears when I drop my first baloth and have hit me for 2. From that point forward I play a 4/4 every turn and you play a couple 2/2s until you run out. Your bears always trade 2:1 with mine, and I can block forever. I think 4/4s win at least on the play.

    8. On the play, baloths can win if they hit every land drop through four. That happens in only 80% of games, only 64% of them involve 3 land openers (I wouldn't really feel comfortable with a 2 land or fewer opener, because you'll only get there about half the time). Bears will win most of those remaining 20% and half of that questionable 16% where you keep a two lander. This is all very surface level treatment, but it boils down to bears will win a non trivial percentage of games on the draw, and an overwhelming amount of games on the play.

      More practically speaking, you don't build decks like this. But when I'm looking at an opening hand in draft, I'm not counting four drops to see if I keep it, and the early turns can make or break too many games. Four drops was easily in the top two, I just don't think it holds as much marginal utility. I'm usually happy to slam the sixth reasonable two drop. I'm leery of the third or fourth four drop.

    9. You could narrow it down to the Bear and the Baloth and then check scryfall. When is the last time we got a vanilla bear in green? Its been outclassed for a while? When is the last time we got a 4/4 for 4 in green? It cost 2GG, heavily implying a 3G 4/4 is above curve.

      Also just as a limited junky a vanilla bear is pack filler nowadays.

    10. Also Prowess in itself is considered a bit problematic at common. So a Double scoop french vanilla prowess on an evasive body thats ALSO bigger than what red usually gets at commom is another red flag. Riverwheel Aerialists is the right comparison; common only in a masters set.

    11. Thanks for the thoughts on #1 y'all! I went with my instinct of "simple = common" and some bias of "cool, there's a common, uncommon, rare, and mythic rare on the test!" So I didn't bother to review gatherer but it looks now to me like uncommon was correct.

  5. 2. I said common. Uncommon designs that are just two evergreen keywords tend to be very aggressively costed (e.g. Charging Monstrosaur, Gifted Aetherborn). This doesn't qualify. The common precedents I leaned on were Granitic Titan and Gastaf Arsonists.

    4. I had more confidence in red-green, based on MCP saying blue and red don't do +N/+N. (This surprised me too, but Scryfall search confirms that it doesn't happen often.)

    14. I had more confidence in the "track things" answer. If you realize that this is strictly worse Unstable Mutation as a sorcery, it becomes easy to eliminate the other four options.

    20. I had trouble with this too, but I think your answer is right.

    25. Another one that gave us both trouble. I think this question wasn't written by Maro, because all the answers are weak from a design/color-pie perspective.

    1. Check that... not strictly worse Unstable Mutation because it never kills your creature. But pretty close.

  6. I did everything identically except for 25, which I put "green players like powerful creatures." I picked it because green's powerful creatures is because of the nature of itself and its players, not because of its relationship to other colors. I liked picking something affirmative there. I can see being wrong though.

  7. That green white question effed me up. If they said because GREEN likes powerful creatures its a slam dunk, but making it about the PLAYERS shifted me over to the color balance issue.

    White removal being so good is why they have the worst card draw and selection so extending that to creatures is logical

  8. Menace prowess guy is basically red Riverwheel Aerialists. Definitely uncommon. As for the “too slow for tournament play” one I can make that definite for you 99%+: check the old extended ban rationale for Sensei’s Divininf Top. They banned it for making too many matches run to time.

    My only disagreement was on the most important goal for commander. There’s a comment on Commander 2017 about choosing tribes to get every color in 2 tribes, and a comet about making sure every color got a cycle representative lest players who favor a certain color feel bad. So I picked color balance but was very unsure.

    1. I'd say that color balance is important (obviously), but I don't think it's the most important. In C17 each color was represented at least twice, but that was the only restriction. Some colors ended up more represented than others.

    2. If you notice all of them weteabout time concerns but that one of the longest concern.

      It doesnt just make a game go long but by pushing so many matches to time it makes the whole EVENT go long and makes other players wait.

  9. Cool. I now agree with just about all those answers. I screwed up two, I didn't consider "for sport" in greens killing description. I knew commander wanting commanders people built around was more important, but I guessed the right answer was equal colours anyway, oops.

    For 25, i think it should be "it always has" but I bet it isn't.

    Ok,mostly right but two silly mistakes is about what I expected.

  10. The data I used to support 20 was the Second Sunrise ban. They specifically said that Eggs as a deck was banned because it was making tournament rounds go on for too long.

    You could point to the Top ban as the basis of some other answers, but it was also the lynchpin of Miracles' broken interactions with Counterbalance and Terminus. Sunrise was banned SPECIFICALLY for causing issues in tournaments.

    1. You're looking at the wrong Top ban. Look at the old Extended ban. It's VERY clear that the matches running to time was the issue.

      From the Extended ban: "Such a pervasive performance during a single season created a different problem as well: it made tournaments take too much time.

      The constant activating of Divining Top bogs games down, which ultimately leads to an increase in the number of matches that go to time and beyond, which in turn leads to tournaments running much longer than they have historically."

      From the Legacy ban: "Sensei's Divining Top comes with its own host of issues that center around the timely conclusion of matches in a tournament setting."

      I 100% guarantee this is the correct answer.

  11. 2) I'd put this at common. It's a bit pushed, but red gets one "big" creature at common and a 5/5 menace fits that bill pretty well. Wayward Giant, Granitic Titan, Lathnu Sailback, Desert Cerodon all set a good precedent for this.

    Also, this may just be pattern setting, but having this at common means you have every rarity represented in example cards for the test.

    Otherwise these feel spot on. Nice work!

    1. I thought #2 was interesting because it felt like a mix of the first cards in GDS1 and GDS2 (both of which were uncommon, hmm). We've got a big red giant and a double-scoop french vanilla.

      I think any number of things on this card could be done at common, but altogether it seems to deserve uncommon. This would rival green's biggest threat at common, and I don't really think that's ok.