Leveling up – rares that should have been mythic

If you haven’t read it already, check out my evaluation of mythics and let me know if you agree or disagree. Overall, I found I was pretty happy with the hit rate on mythics feeling like mythics.
The corollary question, of course, is whether any rares feel as if they ought to have been mythic instead. With that in mind, I did the same set-by-set run through of rares (from those sets that also have mythics) with an eye toward identifying rares that push my ‘mythic’ button.
Fascinatingly, I noticed that my emotional response to most rares during this review was either “meh” or “seems good.” That is, a rare either doesn’t interest me or strikes me as a good, functional card. Sometimes I found myself thinking, “Yeah, this clearly needs to be rare for Limited,” but I almost never found myself thinking “This card is awesome!”
To be clear, I think some of the rares are very good, or even amazing – Stoneforge Mystic comes to mind. But they don’t trigger the “awesome” response that I’ve noticed I tend to attach to mythics. It often feels like rares are rares for the sake of Limited, but mythics are mythics for the sake of awesomeness.
So, applying the same, “Is it exciting to open this card?” standard, which rares really should have been mythic? Click through to the extended entry to find out.

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The mythic hit list – mythic or not?

So what makes a good mythic? What differentiates a mythic from a rare? Why do I have a Princess Mononoke themed Thornling side-by-side with the real card?
As a regular listener to any number of Magic podcasts, I’ve heard variations on this question come up again and again. My take on the idea behind what makes a mythic is very simple:
Opening a mythic should be awesome.
Just that. Something about the mythic, some combination of its traits and flavor should make that experience of opening a pack thrilling – something that makes me glad I’m opening packs.
To clarify, I only ever open packs if I win them as prizes. Nonetheless, I think this is the clear best standard for mythics, and it’s one that I’ve experienced with the Uniques in Mechwarrior and the Very Rares in Star Wars Miniatures.
With that in mind, I’ve gone through all the mythics to date and rated them on how appropriate they are as mythics. Click through to the extended to see how close to the mark Wizards are in making mythics, well, mythic.

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The case for Force of Will

Last week I wrote about possible design solutions to keep Legacy healthy in the wake of the firming up of the reprint policy. Prior to that, I talked about why I have non-power-card reasons to want reprints, and since then I’ve put together an estimate of the total number of dual lands in the world. Now, I want to turn toward something else interesting…
Are Legacy staples all necessarily overpowered?
Click through to the extended entry to read more.

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Work at Wizards

A design position has opened up at Wizards:
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Games on the (imaginary) docket

At any point in time, there are a number of games I’d like to design (or, at the very least, magically have exist). Here’s what’s on my mind at the moment:
Venator.jpg Ace and Admiral – The Star Wars Miniatures Starship Battles game came with a lovely set of miniatures and a desperately poor rule set. Although the rules were derived from the popular Games Workshop game Battlefleet Gothic they were simplified far too much. The game is now sort of like chess without nearly as much tactical depth. Sadness. I currently have a draft going for a game that should, I hope, more directly model the feel of fleet combat in Star Wars, with lumbering battlecruisers and swarms of fighters desperately trying to take them down.

Stormtrooper.gif Star Wars minis – Unlike the Starship Battles game, Star Wars Miniatures is a good game. It is, however, focused on very small actions, with just a few people on each side. I’d like a version that plays quickly and has a little room for officers, squads, and other organizational bits. Basically, I want a fast, easy, and still Star-Wars-feeling game that lets me use my big squads of Stormtroopers, my AT-STs, and so forth.

BattleofOmarion.jpg Fleet Action – Every so often, I’ve thought about a Star Trek starship combat game. Many years ago, a friend and I made a super-super simplistic one that really replicated the original show (it had about two paragraphs of rules, and a critical hit table that had results like “Ship spins wildly”). These days, I think that trying to model ship-to-ship combat on a tactical scale is kind of unfun in the Star Trek universe, but I’d love to have a larger-scale game that tracks movement of ships, with larger-scale objectives and so forth, so you could play out a Federation-Romulan war, or run an Ogre-like scenario with a Borg cube. To really catch the flavor, I’d go for a Card-Driven Game, or CDG. FYI, the picture I’m using is from the Battle of the Omarion Nebula, which looked like it was going to be a totally cool episode of DS9, and turned out to be an okay episode of DS9.

Epic.jpg Salient – A revised set of rules to go with the mountain of 6mm miniatures I have. I’ve always enjoyed the epic scope of battles allowed by this miniature scale, and as a consequence I over time accrued a ton of 6mm minis to play with various editions of Games Workshops’ Epic line. These days, I’d like a system that taps into ideas of morale a little bit more, especially as I’m enamored of the idea of Tyranids being without morale — it makes for really interesting “people versus the bugs” battles. Cool beans. I have some drafts of this, but I want to simplify dramatically more from what I currently have.