M11 Pre-Release

The Pre-Release

There were 130 people at the West Chester pre-release, there were 71 people at Cyborg 1’s.   The event was dull.   Two kids were applying to be judges and I ran into a recurring phenomenon of “I know the rules and have no friends, I want to be a judge”.  These types of applicants flounder through their first event as they have no idea how to approach players and haven’t played at enough events to know.  I’m an event and experience judge, not a rules judge (although I know the rules as well as I need to).  At the end of day we did a review of how the judges did and the other proctoring judge and I compared notes.

His List:

  • Did not have full knowledge of how layers worked
  • Did not know differences between characteristics and abilities
  • Not familiar with penalty guidelines

My List:

  • Did not push in chairs or pick up trash
  • Did not smile when approaching players
  • Did not find jokes funny

Thoughts on M11

Quite simply I hate M10 and M11 from a flavor standpoint.  Every Magic set has a story to tell with unique cultures and plots and antagonists and heroes and M-series core sets write over this with a broad brush of generic fantasy.  Flavorful cards that drip with lore and involvement with the narrative are washed away with crap you could find in “AMAZING TALES #19” or some other beige-box malarkey.

Example:  Bloodthrone Vampire

Rise of the Eldrazi Flavor Text: Some humans willingly offered up their blood, hoping it would grant the vampire families the strength to stave off the Eldrazi.

M11 Flavor Text: “The underclass often forget that they are not tenants, or servants, but property.”

The M11 text is pure drivel and references to “underclass” and so on are shortcuts taken by the lazy who can’t convey the idea otherwise.

One area where I’ve always respected Magic’s creative team is that they don’t waste terms.  The very first set included Pearled Unicorn,Thicket Basilisk, and Scathe Zombies setting the template of “adjective + creature” as the naming convention for the game.   M10 and M11 destroy this and we wind up with crap like Crystal Ball (<Scrying Sheets), Stone Golem (< Limestone Golem) and generic verb spells.  Ugh.