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 Post subject: Blood tokens confuse me
PostPosted: Tue Dec 07, 2021 1:12 am 
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Can somebody explain to me what "blood" has anything to do with looting? :confused: Is it like a "blood rush"? That's seems like a huge stretch.

If I gave someone who was unfamiliar with Blood tokens the plain mechanical concept of a token that you can sac to loot and asked them to guess what it was flavored as, I would estimate the hit rate for "Blood" as an answer to be roughly 0% honestly.

How come they don't have any like life payment going on? Am I losing it or is WotC losing it? What's going on here?

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 07, 2021 1:33 am 
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They had a cool looting mechanic in a set about vampires. They really wanted to force a connection. You haven't lost it, WOTC has. You could argue whether it was worth it, but the flavor undeniably suffered.
It's been discussed here. I mean, nobody learned anything on the subject, but it was Huh?'d and complained about.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 07, 2021 2:08 am 
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Ah, right, I kinda assumed there had been talk about it but wasn't sure - I don't follow this subforum at all. The general trend certainly seems like the quality of design by WotC has been lacking for as long as the past decade or so.

Cleave is kind of an old mechanic actually - appeared in GDS2 or so though the execution is questionable here. Basically "kicker" is the current one where it could have been more intricate.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 10, 2021 4:45 pm 
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I think you can make arguments about things like balance or consumer-friendly practices, but I think it's nostalgic rose-colored viewing to think MtG design quality has declined. When I think about sets from when I started playing, card and set design now is much cleaner, cohesive, and thoughtful. Limited design in particular has been a strength the past four years.

This article talks about their thinking for Blood. They basically backed into rummaging as the effect for Blood, but what Blood intrinsically did mattered less, because the point was that the Vampires wanted to eat them for their own use.

That said, Blood tokens rummaging have been great for Limited use.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 10, 2021 6:33 pm 
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Yes bang on. I mean, Wizards was designing sets really well a decade ago don't get me wrong - who doesn't love original Zendikar, Innistrad, or Scars of Mirrodin? But draft one of those blocks 20 times versus drafting a modern format 20 times and you will see which one is better in general. And if you go further back to original Ravnica or something, I mean something like 7 out of the 10 mechanics in that block were utterly duds.

Does that mean modern magic is better than ten years ago? Probably not due to Arena being horribly predatory. And there are way too many extra/supplementary sets now. And they ruined modern with modern horizons. And secret lair/universes beyond is horrible. And Oko and Uro were an original-mirrodin-level oversight in power. But overall, they're a lot better at making standard-legal sets, it's just their corporate decisions are abysmal for the players.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 10, 2021 6:35 pm 
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If you play limited regularly you are much more likely to like blood tokens than if you don't - all of these artifact tokens are lame and repetitive if you consume magic by saying 'look, cool mechanic!' but they really grease the wheels so well in limited.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 03, 2022 8:41 pm 
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 13, 2022 4:46 am 
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Ravnica: City of Guilds wasn't noob friendly, but was one of the best draft/sealed sets of all time.

Both with the complete block and as a standalone.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 07, 2022 5:16 am 
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Obviously blood tokens are good as this sort of smoothening mechanic that stuff like clue tokens, scrying, and cycling are. That does nothing to address the fact that they are a huge swing and miss as far as flavor goes. Something that should be so flavorfully intrinsic as "blood tokens" are now forever relegated to have this obscure connection of flavor and mechanics that just don't connect.

Going to that linked article about blood... How could they possible start with blood tokens with the implicit reason to go for them that they are so deeply tied to the flavor of vampires and represent them flavorfully, only then to conclude that actually the flavor isn't that important after all. Like why the f would make a mechanic that is entirely top-down inspired and not make it resonate properly? The whole concept spawn from blood being so resonant and then you essentially ruin it by attaching functionality onto it that doesn't represent it. It's like, idk, taking the name of some franchise and slapping it onto your movie when it doesn't really have anything to do with, just because that name itself is flavorful but you don't see it being important to fully represent the name. This is absurd.

If you fail to do the flavor of your entirely flavor inspired theme justice, then it's better to drop it altogether and leave it for another time when you can actually come up with something proper - not to use it despite having anything excellent for it and now desecrating it for all time. This is now what blood is - and it's wasted. And it's not only wasted on the blood side, but even on the rummaging side since that's a good general mechanical concept that would be well utilized for something very general that can be reused in different contexts - blood is very much not that. Like a really bad combination here of taking a very general use mechanic and tying it artificially into a very specific sort of flavor connotations to which the functionality doesn't reflect at all.



Oh yeah I think the last truly great set was the original Innistrad so eh. It's not the like the ideas aren't great, these are something which I and many other custom designers have tinkered with previously - an egyptian set, a norse mythology set, a dark fairy tale world, "planeswalker set", etc - the execution just quite isn't there and there are several reasons for it - both in design and in development from what I can see. Like, oh man, this new Kamigawa 2 has me bumfuzzled completely but those rants are for another thread I suppose.

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—The Book of Cataclysm, Syndicate Wars
Deck lists (tappedout.net)
Bunch more of my designs!


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