The *worst* cards ever! Your choice edition!

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Wed, 2017-09-13 20:56
Gorgonzola
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Heyyy guys.
So I am curious and wanna ask you what are the *worst* Magic cards for you (i dunno what to put at the end of this sentence, an exclamation mark or a question mark?)

And by worst I don't mean bad or opposite powercreeped. I mean cards that wake in you a rabid and furious deck-ripping beasts. Cards that you wanna to collect until you have all of them and then watch 'em burn.

TL;DR What are the most rage-inducing cards for you (and I'd be happy if you share your personal experiences with the card)?

I just dont understand why people pay thousands for a piece of cardboard.
Why just don't play some casual? Gee, it isn't even fun to play with, and especially against.

Wed, 2017-09-13 22:20
digiman619
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Are you asking which cards we hate most? And actual ones, not someone's custom cards?

Then I've got to say Worship. It was practically a win button because getting past it if you didn't play white was next to impossible. Black had 2 cards, the only targeted enchantment hate had was Desert Twister, and while red had virtually nothing.

What made it worse was that it was also in the same set as Lifeline, which kept reviving all your creatures and it was a bitch to play against. Absolute Law and Absolute Grace can go to hell, too.

Wed, 2017-09-13 22:46
Cajun
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Quote:
Black had 2 cards, the only targeted enchantment hate had was Desert Twister, and while red had virtually nothing.

Quote:
If you control a creature
?

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Wed, 2017-09-13 23:40
jacqui-pup
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Digi also mentioned Absolute Law/Grace which would make burning your opponents' stuff hard.

[center]"It's exciting to create something that demonstrates how clever you are, that you pushed in a direction that players didn't anticipate. The problem is that the point of game design isn't to be clever, it's to create a great game." --Mark Rosewater

Wed, 2017-09-13 23:44
jacqui-pup
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Also, the top five worst Magic designs ever:

1. Sensei's Divining Top
2. Counterbalance
3. Doubling Season
4. thirteen(?)-way tie between all the Circles and Runes of Protection
5. Spin into Myth

[center]"It's exciting to create something that demonstrates how clever you are, that you pushed in a direction that players didn't anticipate. The problem is that the point of game design isn't to be clever, it's to create a great game." --Mark Rosewater

Thu, 2017-09-14 04:47
WindyDelcarlo
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I wouldn't call Doubling Season a bad design. It's not like they knew planeswalkers would break it in half when it was printed.

So, I know this may come as a surprise to you, given how much I play blue-red, but...

Nothing? There's actually no cards, even Strip Mine or Thoughtseize, that I hate that much. There are archetypes but I'm also slowly finding my way to acceptance on those too

Thu, 2017-09-14 05:48
thehuw
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My personal pet hate is Sylvan Advocate. It's already significantly better than almost any other green two-drop in size terms, and the hoop you have to jump through to make it bigger is so generic that it's barely even a hoop.

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Thu, 2017-09-14 12:23
Tahazzar
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Counterbalance? Give me a break!

In no particular order:

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Thu, 2017-09-14 20:42
digiman619
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@Cajun: Lifeline. As long as you had Worship + lifeline + any two creatures you were virtually invincible.

Thu, 2017-09-14 20:46
Daij_Djan
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Well, but that's a four-card combo just to stay alive.. Imho, combos requiring 3+ cards are always fine and never "broken" by default.

Might add some own card suggestions when I don't have to type via mobile.. A sad 'frowny'

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Thu, 2017-09-14 21:09
marioware2
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Gitaxian Probe is my vote for worst-designed Magic card of all-time. Making a free card that replaces itself and gives you perfect information of your opponent's hand? I don't know who thought that was a good idea.

Thu, 2017-09-14 22:24
Celebi
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I agree on Gitaxian Probe

Could also add:
Skullclamp (Not much of a surprise, since it was a mistake.)
Blood Moon (Seriously. I know we need some cards to keep land-based decks in check, but fuc* you ponza/freewin deck!)
Capsize (*really* should have been 'nonland permanent1!)

I also have a personal Love/Hate for Forced Fruition.

Also, the whole Battle for Zendikar block

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Fri, 2017-09-15 02:22
Guitarweeps
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Tarmogoyf - The design isn't really bad, mostly here cause WTF mythic. It is actually undercosted though.
Blood Moon, back to Basics, and the like - Strong hate on narrow strategies is one thing. But "I win because you played nonbasics" is kinda ridiculous.
Everything with devoid - Worst mechanic ever. At least it does exactly what its name is though...
I am on the CoP wagon too. What a horrid bunch of cards.

Worst design of all though Ancestral Recall; I mean just as good as Healing Salve...

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Fri, 2017-09-15 18:01
Daij_Djan
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Well, there are quite a few old and horrible cards - either by design or by power level (in both ways) - but I don't think judging old cards by modern design standards really works anyway.

When I think about recent designs I hate, three come to mind instantly:

Might think of a few more in the future..

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Fri, 2017-09-15 18:46
digiman619
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@Diaj: With respect, "control at least 2 creatures by the end of turn 3" is a very easy goal to meet. In fact, unless you're playing Izzet, chump blocking, your opponent is playing with tons of counters, and/or you got a bad draw, it's generally assumed that you got at least 2 creatures out by then

Fri, 2017-09-15 19:14
jacqui-pup
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Quote:
I wouldn't call Doubling Season a bad design. It's not like they knew planeswalkers would break it in half when it was printed.

Doubling Season is a card which has the sole function of magnifying what I've come to realize is the worst part of Magic: the Gathering.

Quote:
Counterbalance? Give me a break!

Counterbalance is a janky Planar Chaos-- unless you have a deck built around it, in which case it's totally oppressive.

Quote:
• Capsize (*really* should have been 'nonland permanent1!)

More like "really should have been printed without buyback!" A lot of buyback cards are effectively enchantments that only Blue mana symbol can deal with. I guess everyone can technically deal with Capsize if they have a way to make the spell fizzle? Sprout Swarm might be worse, actually.

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Sat, 2017-09-16 04:54
WindyDelcarlo
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What exactly is the problem with Doubling Season's design? I'm missing something.

Yeah, buyback is really dumb. Of course, it's really annoying when you are trying to do something and someone else is like "in response, doom blade" the thing you're targeting.

Sat, 2017-09-16 16:47
jacqui-pup
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Quote:
What exactly is the problem with Doubling Season's design? I'm missing something.

It is a card that does literally nothing other than exponentially increase the fiddly bean counting that is inexplicably popular among a large set of Magic players despite being largely anathema to the point of the game; indeed, the total absence of tokens and near-total absence of counters from ABU is the one thing from the set that later sets have not improved upon.

[center]"It's exciting to create something that demonstrates how clever you are, that you pushed in a direction that players didn't anticipate. The problem is that the point of game design isn't to be clever, it's to create a great game." --Mark Rosewater

Sat, 2017-09-16 18:39
Daij_Djan
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We might go kind of off-topic here, but why exactly do you consider tokens and counters being the "anathema" to MtG? In contrast, I actually consider +1/+1 counters as one of the most crucial design ideas for creatures ever..

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Sat, 2017-09-16 19:53
jacqui-pup
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One of my friends has a Simic deck. Whenever she evolves a creature, she curses, rips off a little chunk from the piece of paper she's using to keep score, and puts it on the creature card.

This is easy to forget in custom Magic design, where everything is virtual, but Magic was designed to be both portable (e.g., existing solely in a 60-card deck) and tangible (e.g., every in-game element is represented by a card). Counters are neither, which is why, Rock Hydra excepted, Alpha doesn't have any. Tokens might be flavorful, but they are definitely neither-- certainly the unfettered growth of Sprout Swarm is in-flavor, but there's really no practical way to represent that.

[center]"It's exciting to create something that demonstrates how clever you are, that you pushed in a direction that players didn't anticipate. The problem is that the point of game design isn't to be clever, it's to create a great game." --Mark Rosewater

Sat, 2017-09-16 20:02
Guitarweeps
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One of my pet peeves is how there are cards that effect token and nontoken....in the world of magic what exactly is the different between a creature that is a "token" or not?

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Sat, 2017-09-16 20:28
WindyDelcarlo
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The Hive is also a card that existed in Alpha.
There are usually answers to this problem. If you have nothing but a 60-card deck, you can just remember where everything is. If you have tokens, often times we'd use face-down cards from graveyards. Then you start considering dice and actual tokens that WOTC prints, and it's really not all that difficult to keep track of tokens and counters, especially if you're already carrying around a pen and paper to mark down your life total anyways.

The token/nontoken thing has been commented to be strictly gameplay because good gameplay takes precedence over flavor. That's why the Legend rule doesn't stop two Thalias from fighting each other or why the Legend rule is expanding to Planeswalkers.

Sat, 2017-09-16 20:29
Cajun
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Quote:
in the world of magic
Creature spells represent specific creatures the player/planeswalker has encountered and made a spell to be able to summon. Tokens would then be some lower magic power level, like a physical chump, or an illusion or something.

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Sat, 2017-09-16 21:22
Daij_Djan
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@jacqui-pup: As someone who only plays paper magic I kind of get your basic argument - while on the other hand I really don't Winking smiley When I play a deck, I always carry tokens with me (using different-colored sleves than the rest of the deck) - likewise my Cube contains a small box with all possible tokens I might ever need inside. And even if I don't have one of the official ones, MSE is totally fine for token creation imho. And counters.. Well, this might not be an issue for me as I always carry dice with me anyway Big smile

@Guitarweeps: Yeah, that's purely gameplay actually. MaRo (?) mentioned this while talking about the design process behind Illness in the Ranks (f.e.), if I remember correctly..

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Sat, 2017-09-16 22:22
jacqui-pup
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@Wind: Right, but The Hive is a slow, janky rare, and more to the point, it's only one card out of several hundred. When players take cards from their graveyards and turn them upside down to use as tokens, that's a tacit acknowledgement that cards should be a one-to-one representation of whatever they're supposed to represent. Hence why Magic cards were still using "card" in rules text as late as 2003-- because the innovation that made Magic so revolutionary is that 99% of the gameplay was exclusively represented on the cards themselves.

[center]"It's exciting to create something that demonstrates how clever you are, that you pushed in a direction that players didn't anticipate. The problem is that the point of game design isn't to be clever, it's to create a great game." --Mark Rosewater

Sat, 2017-09-16 23:27
ZephyrPhantom
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If I may Break Open this discussion....how exactly is this card useful?


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Sun, 2017-09-17 00:27
Cajun
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Harmless Offering a face-down Unstable Hulk, break it open and Brand it back home.

srsly tho Break Open is the king of uselessness.

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Sun, 2017-09-17 00:57
jacqui-pup
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Incidentally, Unstable Hulk looks fun with manifest.

[center]"It's exciting to create something that demonstrates how clever you are, that you pushed in a direction that players didn't anticipate. The problem is that the point of game design isn't to be clever, it's to create a great game." --Mark Rosewater

Sun, 2017-09-17 07:38
Gorgonzola
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@ZephyrPhantom: Break Open doesn't look rage-inducing to me. It looks rather "eh, drop it into the trash bin"-inducing or "hey, let's make an awesome combo with this piece of trash"-inducing.

As @Cajun mentioned.

Lol.

For me, there are some:

Vintara Elephant - Okay, I may look like a hypocrite now, but it's really annoying when you could one-hit kill your opponent and he gets that three mana from nowhere and you freaking hate him and yourself and die.

Scrambleverse - "O hai luk i got ur Liliana Vess thx for counters and die now cuz i kil u lulz"

I just dont understand why people pay thousands for a piece of cardboard.
Why just don't play some casual? Gee, it isn't even fun to play with, and especially against.

Sun, 2017-09-17 12:35
Tahazzar
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jacqui-pup wrote:
Counterbalance is a janky Planar Chaos-- unless you have a deck built around it, in which case it's totally oppressive.

That depends entirely on how reliable the cards to support it are in the given environment. It's a "quirky" design for sure, but surely you would rather play in a format where Counterbalance was a common occurrence to see in play rather than in one where a card like Divine Intervention, Shahrazad, Chaos Orb, or Amulet of Quoz was a "staple". Those are just on a whole another level of absurdity. They might not even be fully functional, and when they are, they can just utterly destroy your enjoyment of the game in a manner that only a ban could rectify and transform it into something not even necessary recognizable as MTG. In comparison Counterbalance is an exemplar of great design. Even if we ignore all those, I would still rank something like Stasis as worse than Counterbalance.

jacqui-pup wrote:
Doubling Season is a card which has the sole function of magnifying what I've come to realize is the worst part of Magic: the Gathering.

That's kind of nonsensical. It's not the main culprit - it's just a manifestation of it. It would indeed make more sense to blame The Hive since it's likely the inspiration for many of the various token designs later on and possibly started to whole thing. In any case, that issue is too far spread to be blamed on any single card or even a group of cards so it's not really proper for a thread like this. Also, you could easily argue something like that dices and tokens are so common now and that MTG is now so popular that being "portable" is no longer that much of an issue or priority (though I wouldn't exactly agree with that). So, it's an opinion related to a higher level of MTG design meaning that going "Doubling Season sucks!" out of the blue is rather ridiculous.

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Sun, 2017-09-17 12:36
thehuw
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I think your Counterbalance argument is a false equivalence, and a little bit "what-about-ist", if that makes sense. Counterbalance draws more ire than the examples you cite because Counterbalance is a card that isn't, y'know, banned in all formats - ante cards, dexterity cards and so on just aren't a part of Magic as we know it today, so bringing them up and saying "it could be worse!" doesn't mean an awful lot. Yes, "in comparison" Counterbalance is an example of great design, but it's a comparison that has very little reason to be made.

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Sun, 2017-09-17 12:55
Tahazzar
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Well, Divine Intervention and Stasis are still legal in legacy.

The counterbalance argument to me stands too much behind power level, that is it's entirely reliant on the given power the format and the game as a whole has - and that, as we know, shifts slowly all the time. So, sure, counterbalance is bad if it's "oppressively strong", but so are most of the cards. In counterbalance's case, it isn't even that bad itself since it actually requires a very specific and strong suite of support tools to reach those levels of oppressiveness.

From that perspective, given the opportunity to choose/manipulate what's strong at any time, I would focus on determining what are the truly awful designs - regardless of their mana costs - ie. power level comparisons.

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Sun, 2017-09-17 13:01
thehuw
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I think there's an argument to be made that Counterbalance is an awful design partly because it's oppressively strong. Like, power level is an integral part of what makes a design good or bad - I don't think you can separate the two.

(I didn't address Divine Intervention because it's an eight-mana do-nothing enchantment, and I didn't address Stasis because it was edited in after I started making my comment. I agree that Stasis is a horrible design.)

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Sun, 2017-09-17 14:09
Tahazzar
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Yeah, I tend to fiddle with my posts for some time after I've posted them. I hadn't even noticed your post at that point.

Development and design are two different processes that can even sometimes work in isolation from each other. What exact numbers or amounts you place on the upper corner is veeery different from what the card actually does. Placing weight on that is hardly relevant IMO since its so very contextual. Something that's oppressive in standard isn't necessarily even playable in legacy. So, for example, Counterbalance doesn't see that much play in vintage even if it's (currently) a powerhouse in legacy.

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Sun, 2017-09-17 17:00
jacqui-pup
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Quote:
The counterbalance argument to me stands too much behind power level, that is it's entirely reliant on the given power the format and the game as a whole has - and that, as we know, shifts slowly all the time. So, sure, counterbalance is bad if it's "oppressively strong", but so are most of the cards. In counterbalance's case, it isn't even that bad itself since it actually requires a very specific and strong suite of support tools to reach those levels of oppressiveness.

Power level aside, Counterbalance is a poor design because it fundamentally misunderstands why counters are "fair." Counterspell is probably too cheap (or so Wizards says-- I've often advocated for a reprint that costed Blue mana symbolBlack mana symbol), but it's balanced out by its cost-- both its mana cost and the opportunity cost of not being able to use it unless you leave mana open. Counterspell is accordingly a skill-testing card-- when do I hold it, when do I use it, when do I cast sorceries instead?

Counterbalance has none of that tension. It just passively sits there and casts a Spell Snare whenever an opponent tries to do something. Cards like Lunar Force let your opponents play around it; Counterbalance is just in-color Planar Chaos, and sucks for much the same reason Planar Chaos sucks.

[center]"It's exciting to create something that demonstrates how clever you are, that you pushed in a direction that players didn't anticipate. The problem is that the point of game design isn't to be clever, it's to create a great game." --Mark Rosewater

Mon, 2017-09-18 10:06
Tahazzar
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Counterbalance might be a poor design, sure... but poorest? I doubt it.

"The only limit to my freedom is the inevitable closure of the universe, as inevitable as your own last breath. And yet, there remains time to create, to create, and escape. Escape will make me God."