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更新日 on 2013年 9月 23日

What better way to get to know Magic than from the top minds who make and play the game? Read about strategies, character stories, events, insider tips, upcoming releases, and more.

PRINCE ANAX, PART 1

更新日 on 2013年 9月 20日

Anax ran around the edge of the gymnasium. The scalding summer sun was getting high in the sky. He was sweating and his lungs burned, but it felt good.

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Duels of the Planeswalkers

更新日 on 2013年 9月 19日

Ignite Your Spark with Magic 2014Duels of the Planeswalkers and join Chandra Nalaar in a quest for revenge, introducing you to new stories and new characters! This latest version of Magic's hit Duels of the Planeswalkers video game franchise introduces players to the new sealed play game mode and makes Magic available for the very first time on Android tablet devices.

Magic 2014 is available on Xbox LIVE® Arcade, PC via Steam®, PlayStation® Network, iPad®, and Android via Google Play and the Amazon App Store.

Magic 2014 is the best way for new players to discover Magic and learn how to play the Magic: The Gathering trading card game. Players who are already familiar with Magic will enjoy the strategic challenge that Magic 2014 offers.

Timmy, Johnny, and Spike

更新日 on 2013年 9月 19日

What Does That Mean?

First of all, be aware that if you are listed as having two or three types (such as Johnny / Spike), your most prominent type is listed first.

Now that you’ve taken the test, I’m sure you’re asking questions like what the heck is a Timmy, Johnny, or Spike? Here in Magic R&D our job is create a game that makes players happy. In order to do this, we have to find out what players like about our game. Doing so has been a long ongoing process involving numerous factors. We’ve done questionnaires. We’ve done focus groups. We’ve lurked on Magic web sites and bulletin boards. We’ve talked to players in person. Heck, we even see what articles you read on this site.

After numerous years, we’ve come to the conclusion that there are three basic types of Magic players. The fancy term for these categories is "psychographic profiles." A psychographic profile separates players into categories based on their psychological make-up. What motivates that player to play? What kind of cards do they like? What kind of things encourages that player to keep on playing?

Because R&D loves naming things, we have given each of these three category types a name: Timmy, Johnny, and Spike. In this column I am going to explain each type and talk about how we came up with the goofy nickname.

One last thing before I start. Very few players fall into one specific psychographic profile. Most players have elements that overlap numerous profiles. This is why, for example, some of you who took the test got a combination of profiles rather than just one. I will talk about the hybrids after I explain each profile.

Timmy

Timmy wasn't the first profile we created, but it was the first profile we named. Timmy’s naming happened by accident during Tempest design. We were talking about whether or not Verdant Force would be popular. I happen to have a flair for the dramatic (if you haven’t caught on yet), so I started one of my little speeches: (Incidentally, I’m not 100% sure why I chose the name "Timmy." I wanted to personify the kid so I gave him a name and Timmy had this innocent little-kid quality to it that must have struck my fancy in the heat of the moment.)

“Imagine a kid goes into a game store. Let’s just call him… 'Timmy.' Now, Timmy doesn’t have a lot of money. So, he buys one pack of Bogavhati (Tempest’s codename). He rips it open and starts tearing through the cards to find the rare. And then he sees it. It’s a big green creature. Seven power. Seven toughness. It’s huge. Huge! He’s eyes keep moving. He glances up at the casting cost: 5 ManaGreen ManaGreen ManaGreen Mana, blah, blah, blah. Boring. Move on. Timmy looks at the rules text. There’s a bunch of words. Timmy reads. Every turn Timmy gets another creature. Another entire creature. It’s small, but in ten turns, he’ll have twenty creatures. A 7/7 creature with twenty 1/1s. How does his opponent stop that? It can’t be stopped! Timmy finally exhales. He has found the Holy Grail.”

For some reason, the name Timmy stuck.

Timmy is what we in R&D call the "power gamer." Timmy likes to win big. He doesn’t want to eke out a last minute victory. Timmy wants to smash his opponents. He likes his cards to be impressive, and he enjoys playing big creatures and big spells.

One of the misconceptions is that Timmy has to be young. While its true that younger players are more apt to fall into this category, players of any age can be a Timmy. What sets Timmy apart from the other two profiles is that Timmy is motivated by fun. He plays Magic because it’s enjoyable. Timmy is very social. An important part of the game is sitting around with his friends.

Timmy cares more about the quality of his win than the quantity of his wins. For example, Timmy sits down and plays ten games. He only wins three games out of ten but the three he wins, he dominates his opponent. Timmy had fun. Timmy walks away happy.

Each set, R&D makes sure to design a certain number of cards for Timmy. Timmy cards, as we call them, tend to be big creatures or spells with big effects. In general, Timmy cards are exciting but not too economical. The more efficiently costed ones will catch Spike’s eye. Good examples of Timmy cards are: Krosan Beast, Iridescent Angel, and just about any dragon.

Johnny

Johnny was the second profile to get a name. During Urza’s Saga development, R&D had accepted the Timmy and "tournament player" profiles, but I believed that there was an important profile missing. You see, I wasn’t really a Timmy player and I wasn’t really a tournament player. I was this missing third type. While trying to explain who he was, I stumbled into calling him "Johnny." Like Timmy, the name stuck.

Johnny is the creative gamer to whom Magic is a form of self-expression. Johnny likes to win, but he wants to win with style. It’s very important to Johnny that he win on his own terms. As such, it’s important to Johnny that he’s using his own deck. Playing Magic is an opportunity for Johnny to show off his creativity.

Johnny likes a challenge. Johnny enjoys winning with cards that no one else wants to use. He likes making decks that win in innovative ways. What sets Johnny apart from the other profiles is that Johnny enjoys deckbuilding as much as (or more than) he enjoys playing. Johnny loves the cool interactions of the cards. He loves combo decks. Johnny is happiest when he’s exploring uncharted territory.

Like Timmy, Johnny cares more about the quality of his wins than the quantity. For example, let's say Johnny builds a new deck that has a neat but difficult way to win. He plays ten games and manages to get his deck to do its thing… once. Johnny walks away happy.

Each set, R&D designs some cards for Johnny. Johnny cards are cards that have unique effects that Johnny can build cool decks around. In general, Johnny cards are the kind of cards with real potential. (Some of them will eventually excite Spike.) Good examples of Johnny cards are Holistic Wisdom, Radiate, and Battle of Wits.

Spike

Although Spike was the first profile R&D was aware of, it was the last to get a name. In fact, "Spike" is the only nickname I didn’t come up with. None of R&D did. You see for years, R&D just called them Timmy, Johnny, and "the tournament player." But at some point we explained the three profiles to the Magic brand team. They felt the tournament player needed a name, so they named him. Why "Spike?" The best I’ve been able to figure out is they felt Spike sounded like a serious, play-to-win-type name.

Spike is the competitive player. Spike plays to win. Spike enjoys winning. To accomplish this, Spike will play whatever the best deck is. Spike will copy decks off the Internet. Spike will borrow other players’ decks. To Spike, the thrill of Magic is the adrenalin rush of competition. Spike enjoys the stimulation of outplaying the opponent and the glory of victory.

Spike cares more about the quantity of wins than the quality. For example, Spike plays ten games and wins nine of them. If Spike feels he should have won the tenth, he walks away unhappy.

R&D makes plenty of cards for Spike. Unlike the Timmy and Johnny cards, Spike cards are relatively easy to make. Spike plays what wins, so if R&D makes a card good enough, Spike will play it. Good examples of Spike cards are Call of the Herd, Shadowmage Infiltrator, and Fact or Fiction.

The Hybrids

Many players do not fit so easily in one box. These players have bits and pieces of multiple profiles.

Timmy/Johnny or Johnny/Timmy

The Timmy/Johnny player likes the cool big effects but also enjoys the creative side of the game. A perfect example of a Timmy/Johnny card is Haunting Echoes. The card has a huge effect that attracts Timmy but offers cool deck potentials for Johnny. The Timmy/Johnny wants to smash his opponent, but with style.

Timmy/Spike or Spike/Timmy

The Timmy/Spike player wants to win, but also like to indulge his fun side. When picking a deck, Timmy/Spike will always pick the good deck with the biggest creatures or effects. A good example of a Timmy/Spike card is Rith, the Awakener. Rith is a big dragon, but one that’s costed aggressively with a good special ability.

Johnny/Spike or Spike/Johnny

The Johnny/Spike player wants to win but only on his own terms. Most of the rogue tournament deckbuilders are Johnny/Spikes. They go to great lengths to be able to win with original decks. Even when they have to use a pre-made deck, they will always tweak it to give the deck their own spin. A good example of a Johnny/Spike card is Basking Rootwalla. The card is cool and offers interesting deckbuilding opportunities but still has the raw power needed to win.

Timmy/Johnny/Spike (All Three)

The Timmy/Johnny/Spike players want it all. They want to play big cards, have innovative decks, and yet still win as much as possible. This hybrid is a rare breed as few players are pulled in all three directions. As such, R&D does not design too many cards that hit all three profiles at once. One example of a card that appealed to all three groups was Verdant Force. Timmy liked its huge size, Johnny appreciated its combo possibilities, and Spike liked its utility in reanimation and Natural Order-based decks.

There you have it. These are the profiles R&D considers when designing (and developing) cards. Be aware that these profiles apply to the motivations of the players and not the formats they play. Timmy can play in tournaments and Spike can play multi-player games. In a future article I will talk more about how R&D designs cards specifically for competitive and casual play.

Anyway, that’s all for this column. Hopefully, it will give you all a little insight into one of the many facets R&D considers when we design (and develop) each set.

Join me next week when I explore the italic.

Until then, may you always flip heads.

Mark Rosewater

MAGIC 2014 ANNOUNCEMENTS

更新日 on 2013年 9月 19日

The Magic 2014-Duels of the Planeswalkers Expansion release begins tomorrow! Here are the planned release dates per platform/region:
 

September 18 -

  • Steam/PC - Released!
  • XBLA - Released!
  • Android (Google app store) - Please read HERE.
  • Android (Amazon app store) - Released!
  • iOS (iPad) - Released!

September 24

  • PSN/SCEA (North America)

September 25

  • PSN/SCE-Asia

October 2

  • PSN/SCEE (Europe)

October 8

  • PSN/SCEJ (Japan)
 
The Magic 2014 team endeavored to release the content as closely between platforms as possible, but as you can see above, Playstation Network users will have a delay, albeit a slight one. For those excited to grab the Expansion in the coming days, make sure you check out the Decklist Directory thread which now links to the 5 new Expansion decklists.
 
Like the 10 decks that come with the base game, the Expansion decks also include 10 promo-unlocked cards that are available on Steam, XBLA, PSN, and Android versions (iOS will automatically recieve these cards with updates):
 
1. GKSNDR
2. DWNNDR
3. TRCKSC
4. FTHPTH
5. PRSTTT
6. RSNGSN
7. XBXBDZ
8. PXPRMD
9. MGCCTN
10. JRHPRD

Announcements

更新日 on 2013年 9月 19日

Theros Prerelease and Release Events Announced

Theros launches in Magic Online October 7, but the fun begins early with Prerelease events on Friday, October 4. Prerelease events give you a chance to start playing with the new card set before official release. Choose your Hero's Path and enter to get your new avatar and promo card specific to your chosen Path, and join in the launch celebration!

You can find all the details in the Theros Prerelease and Release Events announcement!

Banned and Restricted List Announcement

Temporal Fissure and Cloudpost have been banned in Magic Online Pauper format play, effective October 2, 2013. Read the DCI Banned & Restricted List Announcement for a complete explanation of the change.

Only Two Modern Masters Mondays Left!

We've passed the halfway point through September, and that means there are only two more chances to participate in Modern Masters Mondays, and have a shot at winning From the Vault: Twenty, 300 Phantom Points and 6 QPs!

On Monday, September 23 and 30, running every two hours, you can play Phantom Modern Master 64-Player Drafts.

Maintenance

更新日 on 2013年 9月 19日

Magic Online is running longer than planned. Current estimated up time is 2:00 PM PDT. We'll keep you updated on the status. You can also follow us on Twitter #MTGO for updates.

Chandra Contest

更新日 on 2013年 9月 19日

As you might know, Magic 2014—Duels of the Planeswalkers launched this week. Launching a game title on five platforms at once is seriously hard work. It also takes a surprising amount of incineration, combustion, and a general need for burning things. In other words, Chandra's work schedule is completely full. Wizards of the Coast has started interviewing stand-in Planeswalkers to take care of minor tasks such as photo shoots, publicity appearances, autographs, and feeding the office basilisk. This is where you come in. Enter a photo of you auditioning to be a Planeswalker, and you could win a sweet prize!

Submissions (one entry per person) received from June 28, 2013, through September 9, 2013, are eligible to participate. The grand-prize winner chozen by Wizards will receive a trip for two to the PAX of his or her choice in 2014. The grand-prize winner will also select a WPN store of his or her choice to win a pizza party. Ten runner-up finalists could be voted the fan-favorite winner, who will win the second-place prize of a laptop with Magic 2014—Duels of the Planeswalkers.

Watch the video and enter the contest! You can also go here for the complete rules.

You also may recognize a few people starring in the video. Felicia Day from The Guild, Dr. Horrible, and Geek & Sundry stars as Chandra. Kathleen DeVere from LoadingReadyRun fame and Michele Boyd of the group Team Unicorn also make appearances!

Pardon the Imposition…

更新日 on 2013年 9月 19日

IT HAS BEEN SAID that Magic is a battle, largely, between iconic two-drop creatures. The linear centerpieces, Wild Mongrel and Arcbound Ravager, were champions of their respective Block Constructed formats; the most popular two-drops in their respective Standards; and longtime competitors—including against one another—in big formats as far afield as Extended, Modern, and Legacy.

The Invitational Wizards, Meddling Mage and Dark Confidant, have both torn up combo decks and enabled combo decks. They have blocked key cards, drawn extra cards; stood alongside Isochron Scepters and Dark Depths; fiddled with Sensei's Divining Tops and laughed gleefully at blind Counterbalances. Oh, and Snapcaster Mage, of course, has more recently joined their jeesh.

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The banned Squire, Stoneforge Mystic, is so good they didn't even have to give her 2 power. She has dominated almost every format they let her play in, so hey—preemptively pink-slipped in Modern.

And Tarmogoyf? Tarmogoyf has been everywhere! Seen everything! A singular two-drop of singular size, staunch friend and fearsome foe to every single color.

Stoneforge Mystic
Tarmogoyf


 

THE ICONIC TWO-DROPS TELL A STORY. Or, rather, many stories—a story (and more) each. They are the first pages (second pages, really) of the stories we have become so accustomed to. Wild Mongrel is followed by Arrogant Wurm (often during combat) or Wonder gives players an all-new way to be mana screwed. Arcbound Ravager's supporting cast of Skullclamp and Disciple of the Vault were like a parade of banned beaters.

Stoneforge Mystic made for an apt swords(wo)man and looked really good thanks to Sword of Feast and Famine in Standard; Umezawa's Jitte made an ideal partner in Legacy, but it was Batterskull—allowing Stoneforge Mystic, essentially, to drop a Baneslayer Angel mid-combat—that proved Stoneforge Mystic's too-good mettle against the rest of the field.

Umezawa's Jitte
Baneslayer Angel


 

IT IS KNOWN that the white two is about the most competitive slot in the history of fantastic creatures. Garfield did it right the first time around with White Knight. White Knight—first released in Alpha—has been a persistent performer, almost whenever it has been legal to play. White Knight analogues like Silver Knight in Onslaught Block and Hand of Honor in Kamigawa Block took down a great many tournaments each. But White Knight itself proved good enough to help Craig Wescoe score a PT Top 8 as recently as 2010... when his opponents were setting records with Bloodbraid Elf and Jace, the Mind Sculptor was making its big debut. Although not the centerpiece of any deck, White Knight was always the picture of efficiency. A 2-power creature for only two mana loaded with abilities, both anti-spell (protection from black) and anti-creature (first strike). White Knight was a "hate bear" when Necropotence was big; a removal dodger in a variety of formats; and a perfect point on the curve nearly every time, across the many generations.

Commitment

更新日 on 2013年 9月 19日

Today I am going to talk about commitment.

There are different philosophies in deck building, of course. Some are super straightforward: Playing "the absolute best cards, or the best cards in your chosen color(s), regardless of synergy" is one philosophy, and has been a successful one. Picking nine or ten cards you like and playing four copies of all of those along with twenty to twenty-four lands is another; it has also been successful, especially in beatdown decks or other proactive strategies (although you will often be accused of playing a little-kid deck). These sorts of philosophies can rack up just as many big wins as seemingly more complicated ones... but they are not necessarily the most fun or mentally engaging.

Part of what makes Magic so addictive is the deck building element of synergy, and the inter-card dependencies that are implicit to synergy. I can still remember the moment, nearly twenty years ago, when it not only dawned on me that I should play my Revised-era Kird Ape in a deck with Forests, but that there was such a thing as Taiga, and that all of these cards could link hairy arms and serve me as a sum greater than its individual parts (which was not a great leap for a 1/1 Kird Ape).

Decks relying on inter-card synergies require a bit more commitment to deck building than those with cards that all stand on their own. I am not talking about putting together a Deceiver Exarch and a Splinter Twin. Not a combo.

I am talking about commitment.

Commitment to the gang.

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