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11th Edition: Initial Reaction February 24, 2009

Posted by James in : all, reviews, previews, speculation , trackback

Wizards of the Coast has just released a great deal of information about 11th Edition, also known as “Magic 2010.” In particular, the following six facts:

  1. It will have a more classic fantasy feel.
  2. Half the cards are new (not reprints).
  3. A new core set will be released every year.
  4. There will be planeswalkers and mythic rares.
  5. There will be new dual lands that don’t involve damage.
  6. It will be released July 17, 2009.

It will have a more classic fantasy feel.

I’m glad that they are returning to being a land of minotaurs, hydras, goblins, and griffins. As soon as Wizards of the Coast started making up Thrulls, Kavus and other weird creatures, I was already turned off by it. They weren’t that great looking, they weren’t memorable, or majestic. They were just forgettable weird things. I figured Wizards of the Coast wanted to do this to “brand” Magic: the Gathering for copyright reasons and future merchandising. Magic: the Gathering the RPG, World of Magic: the Gatheringcraft, and so on could all have their unique set of Magic: the Gathering trademarked monsters.

Half the cards are new (not reprints).

The most notable new card is Silence, which is a weaker version of Orim’s Chant. Also notice that it says, “cast spells” instead of “plays spells.” This is an intentional return to the game’s original “flavorful” fantasy appeal. Also, notice the name of the card, “Silence” is quite generic but in many ways more “flavorful” than Orim’s Chant. I don’t know anything about Orim’s Chant in real life, but I can imagine that a Silence spell could do something similar. I expect many more generic card names to be introduced in future core sets.

Overall, I am happy that there will be new cards. Part of me always wanted to do away with core sets entirely and I appreciated the fact that core sets didn’t bring new cards to the game because it saves me money. However, I am tired of Shards of Alara and I want to stop playing it sooner rather than later. Three months of drafting Eleventh Edition will be a great way to take a break from Shards of Alara.

There will be planeswalkers and mythic rares.

I have no problem with planeswalkers being in a core set or even with mythic rares. However, I don’t like that some mythic rares will be new. This just makes the game more expensive for no reason.

There will be new dual lands that don’t involve damage.

Many people expected the Ravnica shock lands to be reprinted in Eleventh Edition, but Wizards of the Coast decided that new players want something more “fun.” In particular, they don’t like to take damage from lands. Although this move has been criticized for the fact that “new players need to learn that taking damage from a land can be well worth it,” I actually find it somewhat unimaginative for a dual land to involve damage. This has simply been done to death. It’s time for dual lands to have some other weakness (or no weakness.)

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My next article will be posted on Friday 2-27-2009.

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[…] Four months after 2010 was announced, the Magic 2010 Spoiler was completed. I am not a big fan of Core Sets, and I see little reason for them to exist. The reason that block constructed can be played without the core set should be proof that it is unnecessary. The main idea seems to be to have an easy set for beginners. 10th Edition was a step in the right direction: […]