Comments from Matt Place
Wow. This is a daunting task. I have to argue against Aaron Forsythe why Hurricane is better for 10th Edition than Earthquake. I won’t lie, I am a little intimidated. I have been getting Aaron his coffee and handy wipes for nearly three years now, so this is quite the “step up” for me. Well, here it goes!
Red has had many different X spells that deal damage and while some are powerful and used in standard, red certainly isn’t in need of another one. Green on the other hand has very few ways of dealing direct damage to the opponent. Combo and control decks hardly fear tapping out against green because they don’t expect anything like Fireball, Ball Lightning or Persecute coming from a green deck. But if Hurricane is around they would always have to worry that green’s mana acceleration could at any time power a large direct damage spell and finish them off.
As a developer I have to answer the question “Is this something green should have?” Direct damage is not in green’s color pie, so how is Hurricane justified? I personally love to see cards that stretch the boundaries of the color pie and are top down. By “top down” I mean that they have such good color flavor that they justify their mechanic. Form of the Dragon is a great example of a top down card.
To sum up, Earthquake does fit the color pie better than Hurricane, but Hurricane is a great top down card. Hurricane does not overlap with many other cards in its color like Earthquake, and Hurricane adds power to green that could be very interesting in Standard.
Comments from Aaron Forsythe
So, they've decided to pit this poor Matt Place fellow against me in a series of card-versus-card arguments. Once I had Randy Buehler point out exactly which guy Matt Place was, I decided to play along. Easy pickin's.
I'm supposed to defend Earthquake against Hurricane. Come on. When I think of Earthquake in Standard, I think of Chris Benafel's Ponza deck that took him to within a hair's breadth from winning US Nationals 2000, the dominance of Fires at PT Chicago 2000, and World Champion decks from Kai Budde and Jakub Slemr. When I think of Hurricane in Standard, I think of a deck Nate Heiss took to Regionals one year.
Let's put it this way: When Richard Garfield designed Alpha, he made Earthquake a rare and Hurricane an uncommon. Perhaps he was on to something? “Have all the Hurricanes you want,” his decision implies, “but Earthquake is the Holy Grail of X spells.” Later, Hurricane was reprinted in Ice Age, again as an uncommon, and Earthquake was nowhere to be seen—guilty of being too awesome.
Hurricane is a desperate answer to an infrequent problem. Earthquake is a devastating sweeper that single-handedly crushes several decks. Sure, Hurricane lets Green do something it normally can't, but Earthquake is the pinnacle of doing what Red does best—killing little creatures and killing little opponents.
What else is there to know? Go forth and vote.
For Selecting Tenth Edition, eight cards will be getting new art with your help.
This week, you'll get to assign two artists to each of those cards. Below is a list of the artists you'll be assigning. For each of them, you can click on their name to bring up a Gatherer search showing cards they've illustrated. (However, note that some may not show up depending on which name was used, such as "Anthony S. Waters" (Aven Fateshaper) as opposed to "Anthony Waters" (Dream Coat), so if you have a specific piece you're looking for you may have to try a couple variations on some of the artists' names, or look the card up by its title instead.)
- Michael Sutfin
- Dave Allsop
- Terese Nielsen
- Ralph Horsley
- Thomas M. Baxa
- Aleksi Briclot
- Vance Kovacs
- Anthony S. Waters
- Zoltan Boros & Gabor Szikszai
- Dan Scott
- Matt Cavotta
- Jeremy Jarvis
- Daren Bader
- Christopher Moeller
- Dave Dorman
When you get to the voting page, just assign each artist to the card you'd most like to see him or her sketch. Once the results are in the artists will go to work on their pieces, which you should be able to start voting on in July.
Basic Land Art Vote
For this vote, we'll start by finding out the four most popular blocks of all time when it comes to basic land art. So, when you get to the voting page, just put a check in the boxes next to the four blocks with basic land art you'd most like to see return in Tenth Edition. Starting next week, we'll then vote on individual slots from those blocks, one block per week. (So, for example, next week will be a vote for the best Mountain, Forest, Island, Plains, and Swamp art from Block #4).
Here is the list of blocks so far that you'll be able to choose from (sorry Ice Age). Need to review? Click on any of these and you'll go to a page showing all the land cards from that block.
- Ravnica block
- Kamigawa block
- Mirrodin block
- Onslaught block
- Odyssey block
- Invasion block
- Masques block
- Urza block
- Tempest block
- Mirage block
Head to the Polls!
As any fan of the Magic Invitational will tell you, we're in the process of overhauling the technology of how voting is handled on magicthegathering.com. That means for this vote you'll be using your message boards account to log in. (The voting doesn't happen on the boards, but we will use your boards account to verify that you are who you say you are.) So, if you don't have a boards account yet, you can go here to create one. (Questions about what your boards account can do, or why you would want one? Just check our Forum FAQ.) Once you've done that, or if you already have a message boards account, you're all set. You've got until the site updates Sunday night to get your vote in, so click the link below to launch the polling page and go make your voice heard!