Your favorite cards, Part 3

Posted in Arcana on December 6, 2002

By Wizards of the Coast

Wednesday, we showed the results of one question from our Seventh Edition "Godbook" study, specifically "What is your favorite card?" Yesterday, we showed the results of the same question from similar studies done with the Masques and Invasion block sets.

Today's Arcana looks at the results of that same question from studies done during the Odyssey block; the sample was a several hundred person cross-section of Magic players.

Take a look at the lists and then read on at the bottom.

"What is your favorite card?"

"What is your favorite card?"

Odyssey
1. Iridescent Angel
2. Kamahl, Pit Fighter
3. Vampiric Dragon
4. (tie) Traumatize
4. (tie) Mirari
6. Atogatog
7. (tie) Repentent Vampire
7. (tie) Decimate
7. (tie) Mortivore
10. (tie) Roar of the Wurm
10. (tie) Amugaba
10. (tie) Ivy Elemental
Torment
1. Basking Rootwalla
2. Nantuko Shade
3. Chainer's Edict
4. (tie) Laquatus's Champion
4. (tie) Arrogant Wurm
6. (tie) Chainer, Dementia Master
6. (tie) Circular Logic
8. (tie) Mutilate
8. (tie) Ambassador Laquatus
8. (tie) Sengir Vampire
Judgment
1. Glory
2. Anurid Brushhopper
3. (tie) Genesis
3. (tie) Browbeat
5. Phantom Centaur
6. Wonder
7. Phantom Nishoba
8. (tie) Battle Screech
8. (tie) Scalpelexis
8. (tie) Mirari's Wake
8. (tie) Crush of Wurms

Like all the studies shown previously, the Odyssey and Judgment ones were performed about two months after each set was released, and they reveal the normal outcome of players' penchant for big creatures and spells with huge effects.

But the Torment one was done much later, after Judgment was released, and the results are quite different. Whether through continued beatings at the hands of "better" cards, experimentation, or just a more thorough understanding of the set, players gravitate away from the "Timmy" cards and toward the "Spike" cards. Maybe it's what some people call the "Dojo Effect"--the result of copying what successful players are doing--that causes this shift. Or maybe people learn through trial and error and find they tend to like cards that actually help them win games. But in any event, the eight-mana fatties give way to the efficient removal spells, tournament-quality creatures, and (gasp!) counterspells on people's favorite card lists as time goes on.

Then, players latch on to the next set's fatties.

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