Ask Wizards

Posted in Feature on May 6, 2014

By Wizards of the Coast

Ask Wizards is a weekly feature that allows you to ask us questions! If you'd like to submit your question please email it to We aren't able to answer every question we receive but if your question is good then it might show up in the coming weeks!

Last Friday, Journey into Nyx Lead Designer Ethan Fleischer did an AMA (ask me anything) on Reddit. Trick showed a few questions in last night's Arcana. For tonight's Ask Wizards, we're going to show a few more. Enjoy!

Mike McArtor

  Q: What classic Greek myths didn't make it into the block? —lansdellicious

A: Ethan Fleischer, lead designer for Journey into Nyx:

A lot of the heroes (Jason, Achilles, Odysseus, etc.) didn't really fit.


  Q: Mark Rosewater always talks about how meeting player expectations is perhaps the most important part of top-down design. However, with Theros block we don't have creature cards representing the three most famous Greek heroes, Odysseus, Achilles, and Heracles. Why was this decision made? —Talpostal

A: Ethan Fleischer, lead designer for Journey into Nyx:

We designed top-down cards representing all of these characters, but they weren't fun enough, so they were cut or changed later in the process.


  Q: How did you prepare for The Great Designer Search? And what was your favorite part of preparation for leading JOU? —Liam_dota

A: Ethan Fleischer, lead designer for Journey into Nyx:

There were three big things I did to prepare for GDS2.

  1. I played a lot of Magic. I started playing with Alpha and played during most of the intervening sets. Shawn Main, a relative newbie, started with Revised. He got second place. Coincidence?
  2. I read pretty much all of Mark Rosewater's articles. These are great sources of game design lessons in general, and Magic design lessons in particular.
  3. I did a lot of collaborative creative work in film and animation. I worked with a lot of people over the Internet during GDS2, and I had to know how to respond to feedback from people who know more about Magic design than I did.

My favorite part of preparing for leading JOU was being on the design teams for Gatecrash, Theros, Born of the Gods, and Commander (2013 Edition). That was fun!


  Q: From one Ethan to another; when you go about making (and finishing up) a set, do you design it in a way where it complements the next coming set? Will there be any mechanics from THS, BNG, and JOU that'll be featured in Huey, or at least will complement them? —EthanHE

A: Ethan Fleischer, lead designer for Journey into Nyx:

Hi Ethan!

We try to incorporate things into a block that will work well with the following block. For example, we put a few extra Minotaurs and Centaurs into Return to Ravnica block in case we wanted to do Centaur or Minotaur tribal themes in our mythology block that was coming up next.

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