Saturday, January 27, 2018

GDS3 — Jay's Trial 2 Answers 26-50

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 second 25 answers and rationale. 1-2551-75

26. Which color gets the second fewest common creatures in a typical set?

I knew this, but double-checked:

>>Red<< 98%

27. Which of these green keywords does design have to be the MOST careful when using?
Hexproof — these are uninteractive
Vigilance — these big creatures can attack and prevent all attacks
Deathtouch — don't make a 1/7
Trample — don't make a 20/N
Reach — fine

Rarity unspecified.
Hexproof can create an unbeatable monsters, but without evasion isn't at its worst.
Vigilance can slow a game down... But the fact that vigilance only matters if you're both safe attacking and blocking just makes the race a bit lop-sided.
I tried to find a specific quote about hexproof or vigilance, particularly in a green context, but couldn't. I also checked Standard for how many green creatures had each keyword at a given rarity. There were slightly more vigilant creatures and they were slightly more common. One hurdle was whether to evaluate these keywords in a universal context or only on green creatures—hexproof is much more dangerous in blue than in green, because it's easier to make an evasive creature big than it is to make a big creature evasive (largely due to +1/+1 counters and equipment). I decided to go with my gut and call out the keyword that's been called out hardest before.

>>Hexproof<< 70%
>>Vigilance<< 30%

28. We try to avoid making two-color cards where the card could be done as a monocolor card in one of the two colors. Given that, suppose you have a two-color 4/4 creature with flying and vigilance (and no other abilities). Which of the following color combinations would be the best choice for this card?
White-black — fair
Blue-black — no vigilance
White-blue — great
Green-white — good
Black-green — no what I noted originally and is false.

Rarity and cost unspecified
Flying — Primary: white and blue — Secondary: black and red — Tertiary: green
Vigilance—Primary: white—Secondary: green

The size could factor, but since this could be rare or over-priced, I think it doesn't.
WU gets this combination much more on Gatherer. GW never has.
What's with the extraneous first sentence?

>>White-blue<< 95%
>>Green-white<< 5%

29. Which of these is the MOST important quality for a set to have?
It's fun to play. — great
It matches the story. — weak
It has great strategic depth. — good
It has powerful cards. — weak
It's easy to learn. — great

It's unspecified whether we're talking about expansion sets, or all sets.
If it were expansions or beginner-products, being easy to learn would be huge.
I guess it doensn't matter if it's easy to learn, if it's no fun.

>>It's fun to play.<< 90%
>>It's easy to learn.<< 10%

30. Which of these creature keywords tends to have the MOST value in a control deck?
Trample implies you've left creatures on their side of the board. — weak
First strike is useful for defense. — good
Menace is evasion provided you keep their numbers low. — fair
Haste is surprise damage. — weak
Lifelink keeps you alive while you get control of the board. — great.

>>Lifelink<< 95%
>>First strike<< 5%

31. When Set Design holds a draft, MOST of the time there are exactly eight drafters. Why?
We have tables that sit eight drafters. — bad
Our smaller booster boxes hold 24 booster packs. — bad
That's the MOST common number of drafters in the real world. — great
We want four Spikes, three Timmies/Tammies, and one Johnny/Jenny. — ha
Our teams have eight people. — bad

>>That's the MOST common number of drafters in the real world.<< 100%

You've probably noticed that every instance of 'least' and 'most' is in all-caps. I did a search-and-replace early to make sure I never missed those words.

32. You've designed a card, and you want the Play Design team to like it. How should you choose your casting cost?
It doesn't matter; they'll fix the cost if you get it wrong. — true but not relevant
Use your intuition. — bad
Find a similar card as a basis for the casting cost and then make it one cheaper. — good
Ask someone from the Play Design team to choose the casting cost. — great
Pick the strongest cost that isn't broken. — weak

>>Ask someone from the Play Design team to choose the casting cost.<< 80%
>>It doesn't matter; they'll fix the cost if you get it wrong.<< 20%

If you really want someone to like something, get them to invest a little bit of themselves in it. Getting their input—letting them decide something about it—is a great way to do that, and the fact that you're asking demonstrates that you care about the thing. But maybe this question is a trick and they just want you to acknowledge that all costs will ultimately be decided by someone else.

33. Which of these evergreen keyword abilities is MOST likely to be put on a common white creature?
Double strike

>>Vigilance<< 100%

34. Which of the following best describes how a counterspell-based blue deck should contribute to a Standard environment?
Standard is the MOST fun when the counterspell player has a way to win quickly and efficiently once they take control. — IF victory is certain, make it quick.
Standard is the MOST fun when the counterspell deck is mono-blue. — Why? No.
Standard is the MOST fun when counterspell decks aren’t competitive. — Right? Although I agree, this feels like a trap.
Standard is the MOST fun when the counterspell deck is the strongest deck in Standard. — No
Standard is the MOST fun when the counterspell player has the ability to stop the opponent from doing anything. — Not really

The question is whether "counterspell player takes control" means they've got a hard lock.
Or if "counterspell-based blue deck" means mostly countermagic / Draw-Go. The author also uses "counterspell-based deck" and "counterspell deck" interchangeably, which was not terribly helpful.

>>Standard is the MOST fun when the counterspell player has a way to win quickly and efficiently once they take control.<< 51%
>>Standard is the MOST fun when counterspell decks aren’t competitive.<< 49%

This was one of the top two questions that I agonized over. I couldn't find any statements from R&D about how competitive counterspell decks should be in Standard, and as you see from the question above, was unsure in multiple dimensions what the questions and answers even meant. I did find a relatively recent Standard decklist in an LV breakdown article on the mothership that had a bunch of countermagic, and despite general recognition from R&D that countermagic plays in the same less-than-fun area of denial as land destruction and discard, they do also keep making a lot of counterspells and many of them are tournament playable. 

35. Assuming the creature is strong enough to see Standard play, which of the following isn't a good quality for a green creature to have?
It can tap to produce mana. — Fine above 1cc
It uses +1/+1 counters to grow to very large sizes. — great
It can destroy an artifact or enchantment. — solid
It has larger stats than other creatures at its mana cost. — totally
It draws multiple cards without attacking or blocking. — un-green (fighting should count, though)

>>It draws multiple cards without attacking or blocking.<< 99%

36. If we were to bring back the storm mechanic in a Ravnica set, which guild would be the best match for the mechanic?
Orzhov cares about life and death, not spells.
Izzet has replicate and overdo (what's it?). Perfect fit.
Rakdos cares about pain.
Simic cares about experiments... on creatures.
Selesnya cares about community.

>>Izzet<< 99%

37. A synergy theme in a set needs you to draw specific cards for it to work. This isn't happening frequently enough. Which of the following mechanics would not help increase the frequency of these interactions?
Transmute — tutors
Scry — smooths
Kicker — allows you to spend extra mana...
Cycling — smooths
Investigate — smooths

>>Kicker<< 99%

38. Which of the following designs from Legends would be the MOST reasonable to recost into a competitive Standard card?
Acid Rain — should never be printed at any cost b/c color hate is inappropriate, especially at that scope.
Mana Drain — could cost 3UU. memory issues? (Spell Swindle)
Land Tax — could reprinted at a high cost b/c that would neuter its card advantage some.
Presence of the Master — is no longer appropriate for white (no counters) or blue (no enchantment hate).
Arboria — No world enchantments

If we can reword it, Presence of the Master becomes most reasonable.

>>Mana Drain<< 98%

39. Which category of player MOST dislikes high variance in gameplay, with “high variance” defined as larger swings in outcome possibilities for individual cards outside of the player’s control?
A player who prefers multiplayer — some overlap with Tammy
A new player — fine
Johnny/Jenny — largely neutral
Timmy/Tammy — most loves it
Spike — wants control

>>Spike<< 99%

40. Which of the following cards is typically the strongest in Limited play?
Lava Axe — conditional
Pacifism — great, we no longer get this at 2cc.
Wind Drake — good
Duress — weak with few targets
Cowl Prowler — good
That articles discusses Pacifism (undervalued by R&D at the time, since it has long since been pushed to three mana at common), Enormous Baloth, and Wild Griffin, just enough to confirm my gut response.

>>Pacifism<< 90%

41. Which of the following are not generally aimed at competitive Standard play?
Mass creature kill — isCounterspells — half of them definitely are.[counter]+[spell]&format=[%22Standard%22]&sort=rating+
Card draw — Standard loves draw, but many aren't good enough (and some totally are).[draw]+[cards]&format=[%22Standard%22]&sort=rating+
One-shot mana acceleration — not 1cc, but one-time. dangerous, but we also don't do this anymore (except treasure)
Direct damage that can hit either creatures or players — is

Check out standard decks? I did not. I decided this question was trying to ask what kinds of cards we want to make for Standard—in which case it's clear that we don't make rituals anymore for that reason—rather than "When we make these cards, are we trying to make them competitive enough for Standard?"

>>One-shot mana acceleration<< 80%
>>Counterspells<< 10%
>>Card draw<< 10%

42. Which of the following iconic white cards is MOST reasonable to reprint in a Standard-legal set?
Swords to Plowshares — not close
Baneslayer Angel — sure
Armageddon — not close
Land Tax — not close
Karma — not close

>>Baneslayer Angel<< 100%

43. Which of the following iconic black cards is MOST reasonable to reprint in a Standard-legal set?
Infernal Darkness — Cumulative Upkeep _and_ mana denial? Nope.
Sinkhole — Undercosted
Demonic Tutor — Undercosted
Demonic Consultation — dangerous
Underworld Dreams — fine

>>Underworld Dreams<<100%

44. The card Felidar Guardian was banned last year in Standard because of an unintended interaction with the planeswalker card Saheeli Rai. If this interaction were realized late in design, what would have been the best solution?
Add "Felidar Guardian enters the battlefield tapped." — Prevents the kill, but not infinite Guardians
Add one colorless mana to the cost of Felidar Guardian. — Insufficient
Change Saheeli Rai's mana cost to UUR so that she is harder to cast in a three-color deck. — Insufficient
Keep both cards as is, but add a flexible instant that can destroy either one of Felidar Guardian and Saheeli Rai. — Insufficient
Change Felidar Guardian's ability to return the permanent to the battlefield at the beginning of the next end step. — Fixed it.

>>Change Felidar Guardian's ability to return the permanent to the battlefield at the beginning of the next end step.<< 95%

45. Assuming all of the following designs are costed at an appropriate power level and win rate in Standard, which would be the LEAST fun to show up in competitive play?
An artifact that taps to add three mana to your mana pool. — Helps us play big things
A sorcery that destroys all nonland permanents. — ultra board wipe
An enchantment that stops all creatures from attacking. — auto-kills most red and black decks, also Magic is combat.
An artifact that causes each player to lose 2 life during their upkeep. — accelerates the game
An enchantment that lets you name a card, then stops the named card from being cast. — less fun for others.

All of these are potentially dangerous and can ruin the game at low costs, but the question requires us to completely ignore that concern, which does not come naturally.

>>An enchantment that stops all creatures from attacking.<< 90%

46. Which of the following cards would we be MOST likely to reprint in a Standard-legal set?
Dark Ritual — never again (storm scale 10)
Swords to Plowshares — never again (storm scale 10)
Counterspell — never again so cheap
Lightning Bolt —  we've done this one. Generally too strong, but so iconic. (storm scale 8)
Llanowar Elves —  we've done this one. But it has been replaced by Elvish Mystic. And we don't do 1cc mana dorks anymore.

This is the other question I agonized about the most. Lightning Bolt is an 8 on the storm scale, which makes it very unlikely to return again. (Although Madness was and is an 8 and came back.) But it's definitely more likely than the first three options. Llanowar Elves seems harmless and since R&D has made no official statements about moving away from 1cc mana dorks or 2cc rampant growth, the pendulum could maybe swing back to fast mana acceleration. Except Runeclaw Bear has forever replaced Grizzly Bears and Elvish Mystic replaced Llanowar Elves because small creatures should be singular and we want more fantastical creatures in the game. So even if we bring back 1cc mana dorks, it'll be Elvish Mystic, not Llanowar Elves.
Except Dominaria is our next set and might just force the issue for nostalgia's sake.
Oh, and do we really believe this question was a trick, meant to secretly test your knowledge of Elvish Mystics?

>>Lightning Bolt<< 60%
>>Llanowar Elves<< 40%

47. From a design standpoint, what is the biggest problem with this card?
Mega Bolt
CARDNAME deals 8 damage to target creature.
It’s too much damage for four mana. — still worse than murder
Players might find ways to redirect the damage to their opponents. — fair, but[%2213%20damage%22]
A card dealing this much damage should be a sorcery. — irrelevant
7 is a more aesthetic number than 8. — not in this case
It blurs the line between black and red. — this

>>It blurs the line between black and red.<< 99%

48. Which of these text boxes would MOST likely be red-flagged as highly complex for a common creature?
Whenever CARDNAME attacks, creatures you control get +1/+1 until end of turn. — "other creatures" would be clearer, affects multiple permanents but predictably
{2}{W}: Target creature gets +1/+1 until end of turn. — affects others; math
When CARDNAME enters the battlefield, target creature gets +2/+2 and gains trample until end of turn. — fine without flash
Whenever another creature enters the battlefield under your control, CARDNAME gets +1/+1 until end of turn. — potentially lethal, but usually only at sorcery speed, self only
{1}{R}: CARDNAME gets +2/+0 and gains first strike until end of turn. — self-only but multi-first strike

Ultimately activated-targeted-+1/+1 requires the same math as triggered-global-+1/+1 the first time, and more after.

>>{2}{W}: Target creature gets +1/+1 until end of turn.<< 90%
>>Whenever CARDNAME attacks, creatures you control get +1/+1 until end of turn.<< 10%

For a while I'd managed to think the white activated ability only pumped itself like the red one, and had been leaning on the Hamlet Captain effect as my answer. Glad I re-read it hard enough.

49. You're playing a multiplayer game. Which pair of mechanics would cause the MOST confusion if they frequently appeared together in a play environment?
Miracle and cycling — Cycling could trigger miracle.
Devour and exploit — One sacrifices 'as' and the other 'when'
Modular and scavenge — just +1/+1 counters
Fabricate and formidable — fabricate always +1s formidable.
Myriad and battalion — Does myriad cause battalion to turn on? No, but it looks like it might.

>>Myriad and battalion<< 95%
>>Devour and exploit<< 5%

50. If we printed an enchantment with the same text as Stabilizer ("Players can't cycle cards."), which color should it be?
Blue — loves cycling (Fleeting Aven, Warped Researcher)
Red — has the fewest cycling cards, loves cycling (Lightning Rift)
Green — second fewest cycling cards (Invigorating Boon)
White — the rule setting color (Astral Slide, Stoic Champion)
Black — (Withering Hex) (Maralen of the Mornsong)

Rules setting — Primary: white — Secondary: blue, black, red, and green

At face-value, white is the rule-setting color, so it's white. But all colors are secondary in that, so I checked if any color has a particular affinity for or against cycling. that's what all those notes are. Maralen is a slight argument that black should get this, but not as strong an argument as just being primary in rules-setting.

>>White<< 90%
>>Black<< 5%

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. I agonized over the reprint also, I really think we need lightning bolt back.

    1. Bolt is just blatantly miscosted. 3 damage to anything for one mana at instant speed HEAVILY warps the format and forces you to push every creature with 3 toughness, make stuff like the Titans, and go to extreme lengths so that Aggro decks that start you at virtual 8 life dont run over everything.

      The only properly costed member of the boon cycle is Giant Growth and even THAT'S a bit op due to the "slap them on an unblocked dude and burn you out of nowwhere" interaction.

    2. Lightning Bolt is inarguably undercosted. They were able to bring it back in M10 without ruining things (though it surely cost some opportunities we're not aware of). But that was before they massively upgraded common creature stats across the board. While Bolt is still too good, it wouldn't be quite as bad now.

    3. They create cards like galvanic blast a lot and try to have a shock, but deal 4 for meeting some cost in every set, in a core set I could see this being bolt, but yes the power level is high.

  2. I haven't read through them all, but on #28, you said:

    "What's with the extraneous first sentence?"

    I read the first sentence as "This shouldn't be multicolored if it could be done in only one color". Meaning that since White has both Flying and Vigilance, this should not be a multicolored white card (essentially because this card is already Serra Angel), so that eliminated the 3 white choices, leaving UB and BG. UB doesn't have vigilance, but BG has vigilance secondary in Green - so that was my answer. It was a very odd question and I'm not certain of my answer, but that was my thought process.

    1. This guy is right. Since White gets Flying and Vigilance one its own, it shouldnt have those effects on a white gold card.

      That eliminated every option but UB and BG. UB doesnt have Vigilance BG is the only answer.

      The Llanowwar/Elvish Mystic scenario was one I thouhjt up but I figured with Core Sets and Domnaria back, the flavor wasnt an issue , I forgot the plural aspect. But given it seemed more Play Design oriented I went with the least broken and format warping card.

      As far as Hexproof on blogatog you see Maro speak on how they monitor it, namely (usually) avoiding mixing it with evasion and a quote on how they are "figuring out how to best use" it.

    2. And now I finally understand Question 28.
      I definitely got that wrong.

    3. RTQETQ :^)

      Seriously though good write ups, rarity questions are always my hardest and its glad to get sighs of relief that I possibly got them all right.

      Thanks for the training JT! See you in the top hundred!

    4. Jim, try not to assume genders of folks you haven't met.

      Hexproof is fundamentally problematic where vigilance isn't. I probably over-thought the question.

    5. Sorry about that, was using the gender neutral guy. The whole Day/Day thing that cropped up in English with gender after we dropped the "were" suffix is my endless etmyoligical bane.

    6. Don't worry, I'm a guy. Even if I weren't, I wouldn't be mad - so no worries.

      I struggled over the hexproof one as well, but I was worried more about deathtouch as it has weird rules interactions with First Strike and Trample. Also, maybe players don't realize how it works on creatures with 0 power? That's what it says in New New World Order (which I realize is an April Fools' article), but it made me think.

      I re-listened to the Drive to Work podcast on top 10 evergreen mechanics and Mark Rosewater mentions that hexproof didn't make it onto his list because it's somewhat problematic and hard to work with. That's what sealed my answer.

    7. I'm still not convinced New New World Order was a prank. (Okay, I am convinced, but I think it hints at some pretty okay ideas anyhow.)

  3. Standard always has a blue control deck, but it is better if it ends the game quickly.

    1. Yeah, there is a major issue in old school Draw Go Proactive Control decks were the game is pretyy much won, but you are still at 20 amd your enemy is doing nothing but countering you. Makes the game TORTURE as it keeps going on and on while you wait for them to finally get a wincom and chip you away. This torture was one of the reasons that style of control was cut and the idea of the big "control finisher" came into being instead of the classic "Buyback Capsize forever until I finally find my single Rainbow Efreet and take 8 turns to kill you" gameplan

    2. Also the wotc company line everytime someone complains about counterspells not being viable is that they are totally FINE with control decks with counterspell, not just "draw,go." Wotc doesnt police deck archetypes out of the format, just certain degenrate VERSIONS of those deck types (with the rare exception of MLD as there is no non degenrate version of that deck)

  4. Sage I agree with your answer and originally said blue/white, I think this is one that is going to be missed by a lot of people.

  5. 26. I knew the right answer, but I was surprised to see that black and red are actually very close when you run the numbers.

    28. Green gets vigilance as secondary. Based on the question statement, the color combo cannot include white because white can do monocolor Serra Angel. So I'm pretty confident black-green is the correct answer.

    34. I'm more confident in "way to win quickly". There was a Play Design column about this at some point.

    38. I too considered Presence of the Master, until I realized it's a straight-up color pie break and the question specified "recost".

    46. My most agonizing question. I had the same thought process but went with Llanowar Elves. Sam Stoddard wrote a column discussing both designs and their Standard availability sometime in the past few years.

    1. I think Mana Drain is the correct answer for 38, Spell Swindle is fringe playable and would be amazing if it cost 2UU. Plasm Capture is also a fun casual card that could easily have been pushed to UUG for a very strong card.

      THAT SAID, I'm surprised that you and Jay consider Presence of the Master to be a color pie break. White is still tertiary in countering, particularly in situations where it's preemptive like this. Seems like a reasonable card, I just think the "competitive Standard card" qualifier rules it out. How is that ever going to be competitive? Best case scenario it's a quirky sideboard card in an enchantment heavy block like Theros.

      46. I like Llanowar Elves the best out of these. Mystics was printed in M15, which isn't that long ago all things considered. Bolt was last in M11 and was INCREDIBLY format warping. I'd be shocked to see it reprinted.

      Also, I really want to see a 3BG Serra Angel. I think that'd be sweet.

    2. They could make her a zombie angel and I would fall in love.

      There are a lot of people that are against the combination viscerally. To that I say: Make it a rare 3BG insect horror and add deathtouch, and it actually starts to feel pretty on point.

    3. I mean, "add an ability that is primary in both B and G and appears nowhere else in the color pie, and this starts to feel like a BG gold card."


    4. I hear you, my logic is that adding an ability either color could do alone can't make the card "more gold" and yet when you add that extra noise in it DOES (at least for me anyway)

    5. "my logic is that adding an ability either color could do alone can't make the card "more gold""

      But it clearly can. The premise of question #28 is simply a lie - they *do* print gold cards that could be monocolor in one of the colors. They do it all the damn time.

      Of all the flying+vigilance creatures in Modern, like 90% of them are either mono-white or blue-white.

      Obviously with the question as written the answer is BG, but if they were actually going to make the card it would be UW, because it always is.

    6. Can you give an example of the ones that break this rule? I looked and the closest I could find was Jelenn Sphinx but that still feels very blue.

  6. For 38 they already reprinted a recosted mana drain.

    1. When they printed it, though, they probably thought it could be.

    2. It didn't end up being competitive, but it's been demonstrated as an effect they think they can tweak. The other four are out of their color or out of any reasonable power level. I could see them making a go of it at a straight reprint at +2 mana. The UG one was too restrictive in color, and the five mana one was five mana. Four has repeatedly proven to be the top end of what people are willing to pay for counterspells. Even Cryptic Command might not have seen play at 5 mana.

  7. 28. It's not an extraneous sentence. This is one of those trick questions. Given that they try not to make multicolor cards where one color could do it all, we have to exclude white from the options, since it literally has 4/4 vigilance flying all by itself. If it can't be white, vigilance means it has to be green. Green Black is the only answer that fits, although I'd be happier with green-blue if they offered it.

    30. First strike can stabilize, but lifelink can neutralize multiple creatures if it's big enough.

    Sam Stoddard talks about cost in this one. He mentioned that testing usually happens with a flat power level, and that most of the costs change. He also explicitly mentions that the easiest way to bias someone towards a card is to make it powerful, but later mentions not too powerful. Based on that, I went with strongest non-broken cost, but my instinct was 'doesn't matter' I'm still on the fence about this one. #anxiety

    34. Melissa DeTora's Philosophy of Control talks about the varying counterspells, and explicitly states that standard is the healthiest when control decks have a strong win condition when they've taken control. I wouldn't be surprised to learn she wrote this question.

    46. I agonized - AGONIZED - about this one forever. I couldn't find anything. Eventually, I googled "swords to plowshares counterspell lightning bolt dark ritual reprint elves" That's all of the card options minus llanowar for being too specific. The first result was Sam Stoddard's A Standard Power Level. In it he talks about how removing counterspell, StP, dark ritual, and lightning bolt expanded design space in standard. In the same sentence. He also mentions earlier in the article that for now the pendulum is away from one mana dorks, and that mystic wasn't removed for being too strong. I could see lightning bolt, and it was my first pick, but this article convinced me to go with elves.

    Again, only a few deviations, most of the questions I had the exact same lines of reasoning.

    1. I think 28 is the only question I failed to understand that I should've been able to. At least I get to chalk that mistake up to being sick.

    2. ...I totally missed the part where he specifically mentions four of the five possible answers. My confidence in Llanowar Elves being the right answer just rose substantially.

    3. And my confidence in Bolt shrank.
      My only hope is that this same article refers to Mystic rather than Llanowar.

    4. I wouldn't be shocked to find he wrote this question.

    5. I'd be surprised if he didn't. Or at the very least, that the author read Sam's article recently.

  8. I picked BG on the flying vigilance one, Land Tax for the Legends recosting (Mana Drain has already been done and it wasn't competitive, and they can change the card's color to green as part of changing its cost), and Elves over Bolt because of the article that was mentioned.

    I can see being wrong about the Legends reprint. I'd be mad if I was wrong about Elves because that whole article is basically an essay about why Elvish Mystic is more reasonable in standard than those other four specific cards.

    1. Land Tax isn't fun, promotes stagnant games, and causes LOTS of shuffling, so I'm really not sure why it's a better choice than a card they've already (basically) reprinted recently.

    2. You can print Land Tax at 1 mana less than an enchantment that says "At your upkeep, draw three cards."

  9. Dude you flu gamed the heck out of this.

    What did it for me was that the one dork was the most recently pulled (we still have one in the current age of design even) All the others were pulled a while ago.

    Land Tax and Mana Drain AGGONIZED ME since the both skirt pie breaks. I moved from land tax since that card doesnt specify "plains" and we just got a Better Mana Drain (at a fair cost)

    1. Hmmm... interesting idea. Does "recosting" include changing colors? A UG Mana Drain works but so does a Green land tax.

    2. The problem with Land Tax wasn't just cost. It pushed people to withhold land drops, and that's a really bad and unfun play pattern to promote. I'd be surprised and disappointed if that's the answer, though I'll admit I didn't consider the color shift.

  10. I AGONIZED over the Black-Green one despite “understanding the question.” I actually had it 50/50 that Jay was right in choosing WU, because G should not get fliers, and I could have sworn that Assault Zeppelid has been singled out by Maro at some point as bad design. But I ended up going with BG because I couldn’t believe they’d put in such a horrible trick question.

    I also had Bolt at 50/50 with Llanowar Elves - ended up going with Llanowar Elves after reading the GDS2 questions and seeing that they spoiled Shriekhorn, hoping that the next set being Dominaria was a “hint” that the Elves are coming back for sure next set.

    1. If it's multicolor then it's not 'green getting flying' though, green is providing the vigilance. If Assault Zeppelid was bad design, I doubt they'd have printed Drakewing Krasis, Empyreal Voyager, etc.

  11. On the "most careful" green ability, 100% hexproof. Here's a quote: “Hexproof, as a keyword, has a lot of problems.” – Sam Stoddard

    That article talks about needing to be careful with it.

    1. On the costing/play design issue, I struggled here but Blogatog has MaRo saying a bunch of times that costing is mostly development's (now play design's) job, and the play design intro articles talk about how play design is involved at every step of the process of card creation. So I assume you're right and it's "ask a play designer."

    2. On counterspell decks, "no counterspell decks in standard" feels like SUCH a trap answer. And I *know* I've seen the thing about wanting efficient finishers for control so the game doesn't drag on. I *know* I've seen it, but probably in some random card preview for some big blue finisher/Pearl Lake Ancient/whatever type card. I couldn't find it, but I'm very confident in that answer.

  12. Cool. I got almost all of these including 28, though that one took I lot of careful checking.

    The two I think are unclear are play design and control deck. If you mean blue control deck, then end fast. If you mean draw go, then don't have it at all. I couldn't guess which they meant. I should have searched the articles for that phrase to see which they meant.

    Likewise, for play design, if I want a card to be particularly featured because its fun in design, I'd ask. But I want play design to like most cards, and would cost them appropriately. The lack of a "cost it LIKE previously similar cards" inclined me to "ask", but it could be "cost aggressively". I think the question should be more clear

  13. I'm out. If the Reddit thread is accurate, I got 71 out of 75.