Tuesday, 12 June 2012


Now, I'm going to take a deviation from my usual card reviewing (don't worry, I'll still post a card review today) to talk about powercreep. What is powercreep? It's that term for the gradual escalation of power in a game, in this case, it refers to how cards are getting more and more powerful with each new set. I'm not about about to go on an old-man rant about how "things were better in my day" though; I'm going to present a case for a severe downgrade in power levels for M14.

Let's look at two artifact destruction cards, one from M10 and one from M13: Shatter and Smelt. Shatter costs one and a red to cast whereas Smelt costs just one red. It's definitely an upgrade from Shatter, giving you extra mana to play with, but where can it go from there? You can't really make a cheaper version of the card, it already costs 1!

Here's another example: Apocalypse from Tempest and Worldfire from M13. Once again, they both exile all permanents and Worldfire does cost a lot more than Apocalypse (6 and 3 red versus 2 and 3 red). But Worldfire goes a step beyond by exiling all hand and graveyards and reduces all life totals to 1. What more can they put into a card? It already essentially ends the game and there's not much more they can do with it.

Finally, let's examine Murder from M13 and Go for the Throat from Mirrodin Besieged. Go for the Throat was the top kill spell in its time, every Standard and Modern black deck ran some. Even with all of its power, it still had a downfall: it couldn't affect artifacts (it also made sense flavourwise). Murder just kills everything (how do you murder a Myr?!) and it only costs one black more.

What I'm trying to get at is that Magic really has nowhere else to go because of powercreep. Everything is pretty much as powerful as it's going to get. Sure, playing with a flamethrower can be fun, but once you realize that you can take anything out pretty much instantly, it loses all challenge and becomes boring, and that's what Magic is really in danger from. M14 really needs to cut down on the power levels (go back to 7th or 6th edition) and makes those tournament wins a challenge rather than a speed competition. Sure, some people will leave, but some will actually come back to they game they loved back when it was more like chess instead of tic-tac-toe like it is today.

1 comment:

  1. I prefer it when there is a card that would stink in any other deck, but becomes an amazing boost due to synergy with your own.