The Rosewater Rumble

Posted in Making Magic on March 11, 2013

By Mark Rosewater

Working in R&D since '95, Mark became Magic head designer in '03. His hobbies: spending time with family, writing about Magic in all mediums, and creating short bios.
 

One day, many years ago, I was working on Innistrad design and I figured out that it was my thirteenth lead design and I thought that was cool (being that thirteen was a mini-theme of Innistrad). A few days later, I realized I'm bad at counting and that Innistrad was, in fact, my fourteenth lead design. I then realized that I was just two lead designs away from having my sixteenth. Why was that important? Because I've always loved head-to-head competitions where players vote each day on a theme-based bracket. Doing this requires a power of two and I hadn't thought of it when I got to eight.

Then and there I decided that as soon as my sixteenth set came out, I was going to have a head-to-head rumble. Well, Gatecrash is my sixteenth lead (technically co-lead, along with Mark Gottlieb), and after years of waiting, I was ready to rumble. I called my head-to-head competition the Rosewater Rumble. I ran it across my social media outlets (Twitter, Tumblr, and Google+) with all the votes taking place on Twitter. Hundreds of players joined in and we had quite the rumble.

After I set up how it was done, I'm going to take you to the bracket and then I'm going to walk you through what actually happened. If you haven't had the chance to see the rumble, it will give you an opportunity to decide how you would have voted before each outcome is revealed. When that is done, I'm then going to explain how it would have turned out if I was the only one voting—what I'll call the Mark Rosewater Rumble.

Here's how it was put together. The following are the sixteen released Magic sets I was lead designer for. In chronological order, they are...

Tempest
Unglued
Urza's Destiny
Odyssey
Mirrodin
Fifth Dawn
Unhinged
Ravnica
Future Sight
Shadowmoor
Eventide
Zendikar
Scars of Mirrodin
Innistrad
Dark Ascension
Gatecrash

The Countrymen design team (Ethan Fleischer, Dan Emmons, Matt Tabak, and myself—Erik Lauer was also on the design team but was sick this day) seeded the sets as follows:

  1. Ravnica
  2. Innistrad
  3. Tempest
  4. Zendikar
  5. Mirrodin
  6. Unglued
  7. Gatecrash
  8. Shadowmoor
  9. Dark Ascension
  10. Scars of Mirrodin
  11. Future Sight
  12. Urza's Destiny
  13. Unhinged
  14. Odyssey
  15. Eventide
  16. Fifth Dawn

We then put it into a traditional Top 16 bracket. Seeding ensures that the sets most likely to win don't meet until later in the pairings.

We had our bracket. It was time to rumble!

The only thing I said when I posted the pairings was that, for each match-up, I wanted the players to pick the set they liked the most. The criteria was completely left up to each voter to choose for him- or herself.

I am now going to go through round by round. If you haven't had a chance to vote yet, you will be given a chance to decide which set you would vote for before the outcome is revealed. Remember that the voters were my followers on Twitter, making them a slightly more enfranchised crowd.

Round 1: Shadowmoor (#8) vs. Dark Ascension (#9)

The first round is the battle of the dark sets. Also, the battle of persist versus undying.

Shadowmoor included: Dark Ascension included:
• persist • undying
• wither • fateful hour
• conspire • new tweaks on double-faced cards
• the untap symbol • new tweaks on flashback
• monocolor hybrid (nicknamed "two-brid") • additional morbid cards
• a major "color-matters" theme • stronger monster tribal theme
• extensive use of hybrid mana  
 

Choose which you would pick and then see the outcome.

>> Click to Show

The first match-up was close but Shadowmoor defeated Dark Ascension with 60% of the vote. The reason I believe Shadowmoor won is that I feel large sets have a huge advantage. Not only do they have more cards but they also come with all-new mechanics. Most of the mechanics of a small set, especially a middle set like Dark Ascension, are using those first seen in the large set that preceded it.

In the end, I think the love of hybrid overcame the love of "more Innistrad."

Round 2: Gatecrash (#7) vs. Scars of Mirrodin (#10)

The second round was the battle of returns. Which set do you choose, the return to Ravnica or the return to Mirrodin?

Gatecrash included: Scars of Mirrodin included:
• battalion • infect
• bloodrush • metalcraft
• cipher • proliferate
• evolve • new tweaks on imprint
• extort • lead up to Phyrexian invasion
• new charms and guildmages  
• new Guildgates and guild leaders  
 

Choose which you would pick and then see the outcome.

>> Click to Show

The second match-up was equally close with Gatecrash defeating Scars of Mirrodin with just 60% of the vote. After looking at all the results (I asked players to explain why they were voting the way the did), Gatecrash's victory seemed to hinge on people voting against Scars of Mirrodin. With multiple controversial mechanics and an oft-criticized Limited play, Scars of Mirrodin is a very polarizing set. Also, Gatecrash enjoyed the boost of being the set currently on everyone's mind. And to be fair to Gatecrash, the set also has proven to have many popular mechanics.

In the end, both sets had a lot of fans but the current set had just a little bit more.

Round 3: Unglued (#6) vs. Future Sight (#11)

This round was the battle of the silly sets. Future Sight has jokingly been referred to as the third Un-set because it is the craziest black-bordered set ever designed. It goes up against the first Un-set.

Unglued included: Future Sight included:
• dice rolling • future-shifted cards
• physical components • mix and match cards
• verbal components • tweaks on scry, suspend, vanishing
• new frame usage • ten new keywords and keyword actions
• full-art lands • the pact cycle
• token cards • introduced deathtouch, lifelink, reach, shroud
• humor, including parody  
 

Choose which you would pick and then see the outcome.

>> Click to Show

Future Sight was not only the first upset of the competition, but it also defeated Unglued soundly, taking 80% of the vote. The silver border of Unglued, making it unplayable in tournaments, proved to be a huge handicap, especially when its competition was an equally crazy set printed in black border. Future Sight was also home of the future-shifted cards from potential futures of the game, including such fan favorites as Tarmogoyf, Narcomoeba, and Steamflogger Boss. (On the list of requests I get, contraptions is still in the top five.)

In the end, black-bordered silly defeated silver-bordered silly.

Round 4: Mirrodin (#5) vs. Urza's Destiny (#12)

This round was a set from the Artifact Cycle taking on a set from the Artifact Block. (Urza's Saga was referred to as the Artifact Cycle—part of the storyline—on packaging, even though the main theme of the block was actually enchantments.) Do you pick the artifact set or the enchantment one?

Mirrodin included: Urza's Destiny included:
• affinity • "reveal" mechanic
• entwine • "lobotomy" mechanic
• equipment • "flickering"
• imprint • "cycling from play"
• artifact lands  
• a major "artifacts-matters" theme  
 

Choose which you would pick and then see the outcome.

>> Click to Show

Mirrodin defeated Urza's Destiny with 65% of the vote. Urza's Destiny had lots of things going against it. It was a small set up against a large set. It was an older set going up against a newer set (I mean "newer" as less old). Urza's Destiny was the weakest set in its broken block. Urza's Destiny also had a less coherent theme.

In the end, the set with the record for being "the best-selling set of all time" the longest takes the victory.

Round 5: Zendikar (#4) vs. Unhinged (#13)

This round was the battle of the full-frame land sets as the "land set" takes on the second silver-bordered one.

Zendikar included: Unhinged included:
• allies • gotcha
• landfall • fractions
• quests • "artist matters"
• traps • donkey theme
• a major "land-matters" theme • humor, including parody
• introduced intimidate  
 

Choose which you would pick and then see the outcome.

>> Click to Show

For a second time, the silver-bordered set was smashed in its pairing, with Zendikar defeating Unhinged soundly with 80% of the vote. While many voters appreciated the silver-bordered set, they didn't feel they could vote for it over a solid and popular black-bordered set. Many stated that landfall was their favorite mechanic of all time and that they loved the adventure world flavor of Zendikar.

In the end, the less popular silver-bordered set never stood a chance.

Round 6: Tempest (#3) vs. Odyssey (#14)

This round was the battle of the old sets, as they were the first two large sets I ever worked on.

Tempest included: Odyssey included:
• buyback • flashback
• licids • threshold
• shadow • "graveyard-matters" theme
• slivers  
• connected to story  
 

Choose which you would pick and then see the outcome.

>> Click to Show

It was a pretty close match-up, as each set had its fans, but in the end Tempest managed to defeat Odyssey with 65% of the vote. What I think gave Tempest the edge was that Odyssey was a very Spikey set (the most Spikey set I've ever designed) and turned off many players who didn't enjoy card advantage being turned on its head. ("You see, the correct play here is to dump your entire hand to give this creature first strike even though it doesn't need it.") Also, Tempest was the beginning of the Weatherlight Saga (with the Weatherlight expansion being the set-up), a storyline beloved by some older fans.

In the end, Gerrard and company took down Wild Mongrel and company.

Round 7: Innistrad (#2) vs. Eventide (#15)

This was the second battle of two dark worlds. (The planes of Innistrad and Shadowmoor also fought in the first match-up.)

Innistrad included: Eventide included:
• curses • chroma
• double-faced cards • retrace
• morbid • new tweaks on enemy hybrid cards
• "Werewolf" mechanic  
• tweaks on flashback  
• introduced fight  
• top-down horror design  
 

Choose which you would pick and then see the outcome.

>> Click to Show

As we get to the top seeds, the match-ups begin to be more of a smashing. Innistrad handily beats Eventide with 85% of the vote, the largest defeat yet. Innistrad was the lead set of one of the most popular blocks of all time, while Eventide was a lackluster follow-up to a less-enjoyed world (although, to be fair, there are many who loved the dual world of Lorwyn and Shadowmoor).

In the end, the horror set proved to be a far scarier competitor.

Round 8: Ravnica (#1) vs. Fifth Dawn (#16)

This final Top 16 battle was between a set that encouraged you to play two colors and one that encouraged you to play five.

Ravnica included: Fifth Dawn included:
• convoke • scry
• dredge • sunburst
• radiance • "cogs matter"
• transmute • more affinity, equipment, imprint
• hybrid mana • five-color theme
• the guild model  
 

Choose which you would pick and then see the outcome.

>> Click to Show

Ravnica proves its top-seed position with the strongest victory in the Top 16. It defeats Fifth Dawn with a whopping 90% of the vote. Fifth Dawn had its fans but nothing could stand in the way of the guild-city juggernaut,Ravnica, which spawned the current Return to Ravnica block.

In the end, Fifth Dawn never had a chance.

Round 9: Zendikar (#4) vs. Mirrodin (#5)

We come to our first quarterfinal match. It's "land matters" vs. "artifacts matters." Adventure World vs. Metal World. Who will win?

Choose who you would pick and then see the outcome.

>> Click to Show

Zendikar came out swinging to defeat Mirrodin with 70% of the vote. Mirrodin's downfall was twofold. First, Zendikar is one of the most popular sets in recent years. Second, some players associated Mirrodin with the degenerative Standard environment it created, causing many to leave the game.

In the end, landfall defeated the set responsible for Standard's downfall.

Round 10: Tempest (#3) vs. Future Sight (#11)

A set from the past with slivers takes on a set about the future with slivers.

Choose who you would pick and then see the outcome.

>> Click to Show

Future Sight continued its path of upsets (the only set thus far in the competition to have an upset) by defeating Tempest with 70% of the vote. Tempest is considered to be a groundbreaking set, but as the oldest set in the competition, it was both unknown to some and considered a bit stodgy by others. Future Sight has proven to be a much-beloved set by the more enfranchised players (and players who follow me on Twitter, on average, tend to be more enfranchised).

Round 11: Innistrad (#2) vs. Gatecrash (#7)

This quarterfinal round is the large set I designed last block versus the one I designed this block.

Choose who you would pick and then see the outcome.

>> Click to Show

Innistrad had another blowout, defeating Gatecrash with 85% of the vote. Gatecrash is popular, but being so new it really hasn't had time to find its footing yet. And it was competing against Innistrad, which some argue is the best Magic set ever made.

Round 12: Ravnica (#1) vs. Shadowmoor (#8)

This round is the set that premiered hybrid versus the set that made it matter most.

Choose who you would pick and then see the outcome.

>> Click to Show

Ravnica won this match-up pretty handily, winning 75% of the vote. Shadowmoor has its fans, but as we haven't done Return to Shadowmoor yet, it's pretty clear that Ravnica has more.

Round 13: Ravnica (#1) vs. Zendikar (#4)

Our first semifinal round pairs two very popular sets against one another. Has Ravnica finally met its match?

Choose who you would vote for and then see the outcome.

>> Click to Show

Up until this round, Ravnica was winning by huge margins. All that ended when we had the closest match-up yet. Ravnica eked it out with a mere 52% of the vote. Zendikar had lots of fans and made a good run at beating Ravnica, but in the end it just wasn't able to overtake the #1 seed.

Round 14: Innistrad (#2) vs. Future Sight (#11)

Future Sight has upset every round thus far. Can it continue against one of the most popular sets of all time?

>> Click to Show

Nope. Future Sight is beloved by many, but not as much as Innistrad, which takes the match-up with 57% of the vote. Future Sight was overflowing with cool concepts but it didn't have the overall cohesion of Innistrad.

Round 15: Ravnica (#1) vs. Innistrad (#2)

It comes down to the match everyone (including the people seeding the rumble) expected. Who walks away the winner of the Rosewater Rumble?

>> Click to Show

Ravnica had some of the best win records of the tournament but, in the end, it couldn't take down the popularity of Innistrad. Innistrad takes the ultimate battle with 60% of the vote.

Now that we've seen how the Rosewater Rumble went, I want to do this one more time, except with a voting audience of one—me. I want to go through the match-ups, picking in each case which set I thought was the better designed. Being that I did them all, it's easy to remove the ego and just make an honest assessment as to which set I thought was the better design.

When I asked the public to vote I left the criteria up to each voter. For my personal Mark Rosewater Rumble, I've decided to vote for the set that I personally believe is the better design. Be aware that this is highly subjective but, hey, that's what things like this are all about—stating (and arguing) one's opinion.

Round 1: Shadowmoor (#8) vs. Dark Ascension (#9)

What did I choose?

>> Click to Show

This first match-up is a pretty easy one for me. Shadowmoor was a groundbreaking design. It was the one that took the large/small/small block model—what up until then had been not just the default, but the only, option—and smashed it with a hammer. It showed that we could reevaluate how a block was put together. I also was proud of both wither and persist as mechanics and I think the draft environment was an interesting one that allowed a huge amount of freedom of choices.

Dark Ascension built nicely on Innistrad but nothing was too revolutionary. The best new mechanic of the set was undying, which was a riff off persist from Shadowmoor. I'm proud of Dark Ascension, but to be honest with myself, Shadowmoor was a better design.

Round 2: Gatecrash (#7) vs. Scars of Mirrodin (#10)

See which I chose.

>> Click to Show

I'm happy with Gatecrash but most of the design was derivative (on purpose, mind you)—some from original Ravnica block and some from Return to Ravnica. I feel I added my own twist and I believe the new guild mechanics are all strong, but none of it I feel tops either infect or proliferate, both of which fall into my top ten favorite mechanics of all time. I'm also proud of how the mechanics helped shaped the flavor of the set and the conflict between the two sides. I think a lot of what I was able to do with Innistrad came about because of lessons I learned on Scars of Mirrodin.

Round 3: Unglued (#6) vs. Future Sight (#11)

I felt this was the toughest match-up in the Top 16.

See which I chose.

>> Click to Show

This is probably my most controversial pick, especially when compared to the fan vote, so let me explain. These two sets might be the two most difficult sets I've ever designed. Unglued started with an open-ended request to make a silver-bordered set (where silver-bordered was merely defined as "not tournament legal") while Future Sight had the daunting task of "hinting at the future of Magic." Both sets paved the way for what future sets would do. Each was experimental and allowed me to explore new design space.

Both sets have gone on to have a cult status with diehard followings. The reason I lean toward Unglued was that its goal was to be a niche product. It wasn't designed with a mass audience in mind. Future Sight was. It was meant to be an expert expansion with wide appeal. In that regard, Future Sight was a failure. It sold poorly because the majority of the audience couldn't follow it. Yes, those who understood it loved it, but that was a minority of the intended audience (although a possible majority of those enfranchised enough to follow me on social media).

I know it angers some of my audience every time I call Future Sight a failure, because it was such a success for the segment that got it. I refer to Future Sight as my "art house picture." It got rave reviews from all the critics and had a terrible opening weekend. If I have to judge my design I have to take into account the target I was aiming for. Yes, Future Sight ended up this wonderful thing, but it wasn't what I was supposed to be making and, to be blunt, I missed with a giant segment of the audience. I can't just look at the reactions of its fans, I also have to look at the reaction of the many players who just didn't understand it.

Another stark contrast was that Future Sight was extrapolative design—that is, it was designed to be what players expected the future to be, whereas Unglued was true blue-sky design. Both were difficult but if I'm honest with myself as a designer (an ongoing theme in my rumble), Unglued was a lot more challenging. I know this pick will result in the most criticism, but this exercise is me being honest with myself as to which design was stronger and, in my opinion, it was Unglued.

Round 4: Mirrodin (#5) vs. Urza's Destiny (#12)

Which of these two sets from the two most overpowered blocks did I choose?

>> Click to Show

Urza's Destiny is the set I designed all by myself. Of all the sets I've done, it has more build-around-me cards percentagewise than any other set I've done (i.e., it's the most Johnny-friendly design I've made). I'm very proud of it. That said, it doesn't hold a candle to Mirrodin. Mirrodin is the first truly cohesive world I did where the design mechanics helped define the feel of the world. It introduced Equipment, which became an instant evergreen mechanic. It had affinity, imprint, and entwine, all of which I think are good mechanics. (Affinity had some power issues but I do still believe in the mechanic.) It was chock full of a bunch of iconic cards like Mindslaver and Platinum Angel.

Urza's Destiny was good but I feel Mirrodin was better.

Round 5: Zendikar (#4) vs. Unhinged (#13)

Which one did I choose?

>> Click to Show

While there are a lot of individual cards in Unhinged I am proud of, I feel the set as a whole was a bit of a letdown. In particular, I now believe that gotcha was one of the worst mechanics I've ever designed and it sucked the fun out of what was supposed to be an extra-fun format. Zendikar, on the other hand, is a contender for one of the best sets I've ever designed. This pick was clear.

Round 6: Tempest (#3) vs. Odyssey (#14)

Who wins the battle of the old sets?

>> Click to Show

This is another blowout. I consider Tempest to be one of my best and Odyssey one of my worst. Odyssey proved to be the set I learned the most from, but that is because I did so many things wrong. The biggest error was to make a super-Spikey set that alienated much of the audience because they didn't want to do what the set made them need to do.

This match-up is an easy pick for Tempest.

Round 7: Innistrad (#2) vs. Eventide (#15)

Who wins?

>> Click to Show

The high/low seed pairings are pretty predictable. Innistrad is a contender for my best design ever and Eventide was full of mistakes, the biggest being the choice to switch over to enemy hybrid. The 180-degree turn was hard for players to adapt to. There are pieces of Eventide I like but the set as a whole doesn't hold together.

Round 8: Ravnica (#1) vs. Fifth Dawn (#16)

We come to the final Top 16 match.

See who wins.

>> Click to Show

This was the biggest sweep in the public vote and probably the same in my personal one. Ravnica is one of Magic's highpoints and introduced all sorts of cool things (the guilds, hybrid, lots of iconic gold cards, etc.). Fifth Dawn was a crazy third-act turn (necessitated by earlier mistakes in the block) that wasn't properly set up. The best thing I can say about Fifth Dawn is that it made us realize the value of Aaron Forsythe and got him into R&D.

Ravnica by a landslide.

Round 9: Zendikar (#4) vs. Mirrodin (#5)

Okay, now it starts getting hard. (Well, Unglued vs. Future Sight was hard.)

See what I chose.

>> Click to Show

Choosing between one's babies is inherently difficult, but this match-up really made me think hard. Both sets introduced cool new things to the game. Both sets set up a cool world using mechanics to help give it the proper feel. Mirrodin's mechanics (affinity, entwine, Equipment, and imprint) had a higher quality average, but Zendikar has landfall, which is tied for my favorite keyword mechanic that I've designed (the other being flashback).

Each set was me proving something different as a designer. Mirrodin was trying to show how the mechanics could be an extension of the world. Zendikar was me trying to show that we could maintain a high quality while also making New World Order work. In many ways, it was trying to do much of what Mirrodin did but with a more restrictive set of tools. I'm happy with how Mirrodin turned out (remember that power level is a development issue, not a design one) but I was happier with Zendikar.

It was a squeaker but Zendikar pulls it out.

Round 10: Tempest (#3) vs. Unglued (#6)

It took ten rounds but we finally get to a match-up that was different than what you all voted on.

See what I chose.

>> Click to Show

Man, the quarterfinals are hard. I love what I did with Unglued and I do believe it is some of my best individual card design, but it's going up against a set that historically redefined design for Magic. Mirage introduced blocks to the game, but Tempest shifted how we made them. It was the first set to really interconnect story with mechanics. It was the first set to start to tie together the different mechanical components synergistically. It was a big leap forward. Yes, it looks stodgy by today's standards, but then, so does the Model T.

As a historian of design, I have to give it to Tempest.

Round 11: Innistrad (#2) vs. Scars of Mirrodin (#10)

We now come to the second altered match-up.

See how I voted.

>> Click to Show

I'm happy that we got back to Mirrodin. I love how we reshaped the world; how we reintroduced Magic's big bad, the Phyrexians; and how we managed to finally get poison back into the game. But Scars just can't hold a candle to Innistrad. Scars of Mirrodin started the fifth age of design but Innistrad took a big step up. It redefined how we could make a Magic block and put top-down block design in a whole new light (previous attempts had always gone a bit sour).

Many of the quarterfinal match-ups have been hard but this one was not. Innistrad easily wins.

Round 12: Ravnica (#1) vs. Shadowmoor (#8)

We come to the final quarterfinal match.

See how it turns out.

>> Click to Show

This one wasn't close with the public and it's not close for me. I adore many things that Shadowmoor did, but it's just up against one of the most groundbreaking sets I've ever done. This isn't a fair fight and is one Ravnica wins without breaking a sweat.

Ravnica again by a landslide.

Round 13: Ravnica (#1) vs. Zendikar (#4)

And so we begin the semifinals.

See how it turns out.

>> Click to Show

This match-up makes the quarterfinals look like a cake walk. Both of these sets are among the best I've ever done. Which is better? It's not an easy choice to make. Each has one of my all-time favorite things I've done—hybrid for Ravnica and landfall for Zendikar. Both are worlds where the mechanics are an integrated part of the flavor. Both are chock full of lots of fun individual card designs. In the end though, Ravnica has the guild model, which is a step slightly above of what Zendikar created.

Ravnica squeaked by in the public vote and does the same in my personal one.

Round 14: Innistrad (#2) vs. Tempest (#3)

And this brings us to the second semifinals.

See how it turns out.

>> Click to Show

This is the altered semifinal round where I get a different vote than all of you. It's one of my latest and greatest against my first design. Both of them were original and both influence all the designs that follow them. In many ways, this isn't a fair fight because I've learned so much since designing Tempest. Innistrad is the result of years of design technology improvement and it results in a superior product—one which I believe will also be shined upon by history.

You never forget your first, but I have to pass it by to pick what I think is the better design: Innistrad.

Round 15: Ravnica (#1) vs. Innistrad (#2)

In the end, my personal rumble matches the public's. Did I vote the same as them?

>> Click to Show

Of all the match-ups this was by far the hardest. When we seeded the sets, I kept going back and forth on what was supposed to be Seed #1 and what was supposed to be Seed #2. I guess even then I knew this was not an easy decision.

Both sets introduced amazing things and came together to make memorable blocks. In the end, I made my choice with this decision with the following question: How close was this set to the best I could do? When I looked deep inside and was as bluntly honest as I could be, the answer was clear. Innistrad was closer to perfection than Ravnica. I consider radiance to be a mistake. The design didn't have enough of a city feel. The synergy between guilds was uneven (for example, Golgari overlapped beautifully with Selesnya but not as well with Dimir). Ravnica had much go right but I believe I made more mistakes.

That's not to say Innistrad couldn't be improved, but it was closer to the bull's-eye. Innistrad does have six more years of design technology and six more years of experience, so maybe it's not the fairest fight, but then the rumble was all about forcing comparisons between sets.

So when the dust settles, in the Mark Rosewater Rumble, just as in the regular Rosewater Rumble, Innistrad is the winner.

The Fight Is Over

Whew! I'm tired, so let's call it a day. I'm curious, as always, to hear your take on my take. How do you think my rumble went and how did you feel about the public one? Let me know in my email, in the column's thread, or in any of my social media (Twitter, Tumblr, and Google+).

Join me next week when I look at Dimir.

Until then, may you have the chance to see people fight passionately over your creations.


Drive to Work #24—The Mana System

Today's podcast is the third in the Golden Trifecta series where I talk about Richard Garfield's three genius creations when he made Magic. Two weeks ago, I talked about the trading card game genre; last week, I talked about the color wheel; and today, I talk about the most maligned of the three: Magic's mana system.


 

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