Making_Magic

Looking for a Good Mechanic

  • Boards
  • Print
Author Image
 

EXT. WIZARDS OF THE COAST OFFICE BUILDING

The shot starts with a wide angle of the Wizards of the Coast office building. We begin at the street but as we quickly track forward we end up at the glass doors to the building. On the right door is a sign that clearly was printed off of a computer that reads:

SIGN: Common Green Mechanic Auditions
Go To Third Floor

The left door is opened by a person going out and we enter the building.

CUT TO:

INT. R&D CONFERENCE ROOM

MARK ROSEWATER sits at the end of a conference table. On the table in front of him are several pads of paper covered with writing as well as numerous card files (stapled stacks of paper).

MARK
Who's next?

CREATURE PUMP enters.

MARK
Hey G.G., how's it going?

CREATURE PUMP
Good, can't complain.




MARK
What do you have for me today?

CREATURE PUMP
I've been working on a little tweak.

MARK
Adding trample?

CREATURE PUMP
No, I thought I'd encompass one of the block mechanics.




MARK
Let's see it.

CREATURE PUMP DEMONSTRATES.

MARK
I like it. Familiar but with a little twist. Development will probably have to fiddle with your numbers.

CREATURE PUMP
I'm in?

MARK
Green would be lonely without you.

CREATURE PUMP
That's great!

MARK
I'll let you know as soon as I slot you in.

CREATURE PUMP EXITS.

MARK
Next?

LIFE GAIN enters.

MARK
Life Gain.

LIFE GAIN
Maro.

MARK
What were you thinking of adding to Green?






LIFE GAIN
How about a vanilla sorcery?

MARK
That doesn't really tie into the set's themes.

LIFE GAIN
How about I use one of the new keyword mechanics?

MARK
Creature Pump's already covered that base.

LIFE GAIN
I could be a rider on a spell. I'm an excellent small bonus. I'm clean, I'm simple. The new players adore me.

MARK
I'm tight on spells. I have plenty of space for you in white. Why don't you come back on Thursday?

LIFE GAIN
I love white, white's great. And I'm looking forward to also doing good work in white. But here's the thing. I got range. I can deliver in more than one color.

MARK
I like your attitude. Maybe I can squeeze you in on a "comes into play" ability.

LIFE GAIN
I can do "comes into play." Some of my best work is "comes into play."










MARK
Let me fiddle with the file a little and see what I can do. I'll give you a call later in the week, okay?

LIFE GAIN
That's all I can ask. Thanks Mark.

LIFE GAIN EXITS. HASTE RUNS IN.

HASTE
Just hear me out.

MARK
Haste, how many times do we have to go through this? You're not primary in green. You're not even secondary. You're tertiary. That means no common cards.

HASTE
Let's not be hasty. Well, okay, I'll be hasty of course, but let's stop at me. My point is that I do excellent work in green. I'm all about creatures and green's the creature color.

MARK
I might have something for you at a higher rarity, and I stress might, but there just isn't any room for you in common green.

HASTE
Give me one good reason.

MARK
I'll give you several
trample, reach, vigilance, shroud, regeneration, flash. There's just other keyword mechanics that are more iconic for green.




HASTE
Creatures want to attack. That's what I do. I let them attack. Who respects creatures attacking more than green?

MARK
That would be red and probably white. I'm not saying you don't have a place. You do. Just not in common.

HASTE
I don't understand why.

MARK
Because you can't be everywhere. You're already in common red in every set and in common black in more sets than not. To keep you special we have to keep from overexposing you. Plus there are other keyword mechanics that need love in green.

HASTE
But green likes me.

MARK
Yes, it does. Unfortunately, green doesn't need you. At least not in Limited. And common is all about Limited. But I promise, we'll try to find a sexy tournament rare card for you.

HASTE
Fine.

HASTE RUNS OUT THE DOOR.

MARK
Next.








LAND FETCH ENTERS.

MARK
Okay, Land Fetching, sell me.

LAND FETCH
I was thinking of using a block keyword mechanic.

MARK
You and everyone else.

LAND FETCH
How about a repeat? I do awesome repeats.

MARK
What did you have in mind?

LAND FETCH
Rampant Growth?

MARK
It's in the base set.

LAND FETCH
Lay of the Land?

MARK
Could we have something a little more exotic? Something players remember fondly ... Why don't you go take a peek at Gatherer and then come back?

LAND FETCH
Going and getting stuff is kind of like my thing. Will do. Thanks!

AS LAND FETCH EXITS, TRAMPLE ENTERS.






MARK
Trample, come on in.

TRAMPLE
How's the family?

MARK
Good.

TRAMPLE
How's Rachel enjoying third grade?

MARK
You're overstepping bounds again. Let's keep this professional.

TRAMPLE
Can't a creature keyword mechanic show some interest in your personal life?

MARK
No. No, you can't. Our talk should be about what creature to put you on.

TRAMPLE
Let me guess—a 3/3 or 4/4.

MARK
It's not always a 3/3 or 4/4.

TRAMPLE
Right, you put me on a 1/1 every once in a while for giggles.

MARK
You've been on a few 5/5s. I even remember an 8/4.

TRAMPLE
One time, twelve years ago. I don't think that counts any more.



MARK
Mechanics are coming here begging for a slot, for anything, and you get something every set. Sometimes more than one card. I don't see why you're complaining.

TRAMPLE
I'm not complaining. I'm happy for the work. I'm also grateful that you started throwing some common red work my way. It just seems like it's always the same thing.

MARK
You're a creature mechanic that works best on larger creatures. Green tops out at about 5/5 in most sets in common. That doesn't give us lots of room. We've started putting you on more Auras recently. That's something new.

TRAMPLE
You're right. I shouldn't be complaining.

MARK
Look, Creature Pump's messing with the new mechanic, but there's some chance we might be able to find room for you with Creature Pump. How does that sound?

TRAMPLE
I do like working with Creature Pump. Thanks, Mark.

MARK
No problem. Send the next mechanic in.

TRAMPLE LEAVES. ARTIFACT DESTRUCTION AND ENCHANTMENT DESTRUCTION ENTER.

MARK
Hey guys.

ARTIFACT DESTRUCTION
We have an awesome idea for a two-card mirror.




ENCHANTMENT DESTRUCTION
We'd each have the same side bonus.

MARK
Guys, I only have room for one card. You're going to have to work together.

ARTIFACT DESTRUCTION
We love working together, we really do, but we were just hoping maybe this once we could solo in green.

MARK
You get to solo in red, and E.D. gets white. That's how it works.




ARTIFACT DESTRUCTION
The players loved my work on Oxidize.

MARK
The next time we have an artifact block, we can talk, but right now, what I got is one common slot. Possibly a repeat.

ENCHANTMENT REMOVAL
Please not Naturalize. Yes, it's our best work, but do we have to go back to it every other time? Can't we stretch a little?

MARK
Every set needs a little familiarity, and we're definitely getting back into wanting more repeats in common. Naturalize is just perfect. It's powerful, it's straight-forward. It's aesthetic. It's a classic.

ENCHANTMENT REMOVAL
How about a tweak? What's the block mechanic?



MARK
It's spoken for.

ARTIFACT REMOVAL
Is it Creature Pump? He always steals the block mechanic. It's not fair.

MARK
I'll see what I can do. Just be prepared to work together, okay?

ARTIFACT REMOVAL AND ENCHANTMENT REMOVAL
Fine.

MARK WRITES A NOTE ON HIS PAD. HE LOOKS UP TO SEE FLYING.

FLYING
Let me just say one thing.

MARK
(sigh) Go ahead.

FLYING
Lots of things fly in nature.

MARK
It's not a philosophical issue. Yes, green can encompass the concept of flying. The game is just better if we differentiate the colors. That means you shouldn't be prevalent in every color. You always have multiple white and blue commons and at least one black common. You even sometimes get a sucky red common. Can't that be enough?

FLYING
People loved Scryb Sprite. You loved Scryb Sprite.







MARK
Somebody has to hate you, so we chose the two enemies of the color that most supports you. That means Red and Green just aren't for you. And even then we break that rule constantly in red rare.

FLYING
Ah, good old dragons.

MARK
We don't limit you because we don't like you. We limit you because we want you to be as good as you can be. If you're everything to everyone then you're nothing. As is, you're already the most represented creature keyword. Some R&D members even refer to a creature with flying as being a vanilla card.

FLYING
Here's an idea. Give me reach's slot for this set. I can block flying.

MARK
Get out of here! I'll see you tomorrow.

FLYING
Just a little creature. That's all I'm asking. A 1/1 ....




MARK
Out!

FLIGHT SULKS AS IT LEAVES. REACH WALKS IN AS FLIGHT WALKS OUT.

REACH
What was flight doing here?

MARK
He's just doing what he always does.

REACH
He gets in every color. I'm lucky to show up in green. How come every other keyword's branched out into multiple colors and I'm still basically mono-green?

MARK
I'd love to get you into white. White has archers. Besides, you're not alone. Fear's locked in black.

REACH
But you've publicly said you'd change fear if you could.

MARK
Of course I would. The mechanic can only go in black. I mean, what's with that? At least with you there's some hope. You also have a lot of fans among the rules gurus.

REACH
So you didn't promise Flight anything in green?

MARK
Green's anti-Flying. You know that. It's what keeps you in sets.

REACH
You could just do more Flying destruction in common.

MARK
I don't like doing Flying destruction in common. It just fights the "Green doesn't kill creatures" vibe.






REACH
But green kills plenty of creatures.

MARK
In combat, fighting, as it should be.

REACH
Do I have to be on a spider?

MARK
The players love spiders.

REACH
How exactly do giant spiders keep showing up in every world?

MARK
The same ways dragons and angels do. There's a correlation between how popular you are and how frequently you populate a plane. Popular equals populate.

REACH
Could I have a power greater than my toughness?

MARK
Reach, that's just not your thing. You're a toughness-based mechanic. You're defensive.

REACH
Fine, I guess.

MARK
Don't worry, I have a good creature in mind for you.

REACH EXITS AS REGENERATION WALKS IN.

MARK
Regeneration, what do you have for me today?

REGENERATION
What do you think of this?

REGENERATION SHOWS ITS THING.

MARK
A creature enchantment? I don't know. You can get a little annoying if you get on the wrong creature.

REGENERATION
How about an instant? I never get on instants anymore.

MARK
You do occasionally.

REGENERATION
Not like I used to. Not like when you let me in white.

MARK
We gave you white in Planar Chaos.

REGENERATION
That whole set was just a big tease. No color wants to hear about how they could be in another color philosophically, but just aren't.

MARK
I can't promise anything but there's some chance I can swing you on a creature. It might go to uncommon though. You can be a little annoying if you show up too much.

REGENERATION
Green needs some way to break through.




MARK
We make you more aggressive in black.

REGENERATION
Then make me defensive. I'm fine with that.

MARK
When you get too defensive it can lock down Limited, thus why we often push you to uncommon.

REGENERATION
You'll at least consider me for common.

MARK
I have to see how the keywords fall out, but yeah I'll keep you in mind.

REGENERATION
That's all I can ask.

REGERATION LEAVES.

MARK
Next!

TOKEN MAKING ENTERS.

MARK
Let's see it.

TOKEN MAKING DOES ITS THING. IT MAKES TOKENS #1, #2 AND #3.

MARK
Cute. I'm not sure if you can use the new mechanic.

TOKEN MAKING
Why?

TOKEN #1
Yeah, why?




TOKENS #2 & #3
Why?

TOKEN MAKING
Did you promise it to Creature Pump?

TOKEN #1
Did you?

TOKENS #2 & #3
So did you?

MARK
He's got fewer numbers to fiddle than you do!

TOKEN MAKING
But at common you only ever let me make 1/1s.

TOKEN #1
Yeah, why is that?

TOKENS #2 & #3
What's up with that?

MARK
Could you please ask your tokens to keep quiet?

TOKEN MAKING
I just make them. I can't control them.

MARK
I'm tight on spell slots so I can't promise you anything.

TOKEN MAKING
I'm not a spell slot. I'm a creature slot.

MARK
In practicality you are but technically you're not.





TOKEN MAKING
But you can fudge that.

TOKEN #1
Yeah, you do it all the time.

TOKENS #2 & #3
All the time.

MARK
Everything can't be an auto-include. You're on the short list. I'll be honest that your fate rests more with synergy with the block than any other factor. Also, White's been elbowing in on this design space. It is the army building color after all.

TOKEN MAKING
But you can make something happen, right?

TOKEN #1, #2 & #3
Right?

MARK
Maybe. I can't make any promises. Check back later in the week when I post card lists.

TOKEN MAKING
Whatever. Let's get out of here.

TOKEN #1
Let's go.

ALL THE TOKENS TURN THEIR CHINS UP AT MARK AND TOKEN MAKING AND THE TOKENS LEAVE. VIGILANCE PEEKS HIS HEAD IN.

MARK
Vigilance, come in.






VIGILANCE
Um, hi. I didn't mean to bother you, but you asked me to come by.

MARK
Yeah, I got a good idea for you.

VIGILANCE
When I heard you were doing green commons, I assumed that you had other mechanics to work with.

MARK
Vigilance, you have to start accepting that you're secondarily in green now. That means you get common cards once in a while.

VIGILANCE
Why green? I always assumed if I went somewhere else I'd go into blue.

MARK
The problem with sticking you in blue is that it doesn't really make many new cards. In green, we can create some stuff that white never would, but in blue we'd have the two colors fighting for similar space. Green is a much better fit from a design perspective.

VIGILANCE
If you say so. Can I go now?

MARK
Just check back later in the week.

VIGILANCE EXITS. LAND DESTRUCTION ENTERS.

LAND DESTRUCTION
I'll make this simple. You put me in or I trash your desk.







MARK
Have you seen my desk?

LAND DESTRUCTION
Why is it like pulling nails to get me into green common?

MARK
Because green is your secondary color and you are, frankly, an annoying mechanic. I find you what common work I can in red but that's about the best I'm willing to do.

LAND DESTRUCTION
Even red's not as consistent as it used to be.

MARK
If you made games more fun I'd consider throwing you in common more, but I hate to break this to you—keeping other people from playing the game isn't fun.

LAND DESTRUCTION
But I have other uses.

MARK
And when those uses make sense for the environment, that's when we put you in.

LAND DESTRUCTION
I'm out of luck?

MARK
Maybe not. You might fit here. Let me fiddle.









LAND DESTRUCTION
You do that.

LAND DESTRUCTION STORMS OUT. SHROUD PEEKS IN.

MARK
Come in, shroud.

SHROUD ENTERS.

SHROUD
How's it looking?

MARK
Not great in common. R&D's a little down on you right now.

SHROUD
Why?

MARK
You're noninteractive. R&D has found that in volume you and flash can be annoying.

FLASH SUDDENLY APPEARS.

FLASH
I heard my name.

MARK
I was just saying that you guys are going to have to lay low for a while. R&D's gunning for you.

FLASH
Why?

SHROUD
That's what I said.







MARK
Shroud, if we're not careful with you, we can create threats that can't be answered. And flash, you really warp how creatures are supposed to work. A little is fun. Too much can be quite annoying.

FLASH
(under breath) Stupid Faeries.

MARK
I'm looking for places for each of you. From a design standpoint you both offer something unique. The key is to find cards where you add specific value.

SHROUD
Do such cards exist?

MARK
They do and I'm looking for them. I'm optimistic. The cards just might not be common.

FLASH
Thanks for doing what you can.

FLASH TURNS TO SHROUD.

FLASH
Catch you later.

FLASH RUNS OUT.

SHROUD
I should get going too. I'll hope for some good news.













SHROUD EXITS. MARK SITS DOWN AT THE TABLE. HE LOOKS THROUGH HIS NOTEPAD. KEN NAGLE ENTERS.

KEN
How's it coming?

MARK
What do you think?

KEN
Too much to do and too little space?

MARK
Exactly.

KEN
Here's an idea. What if you put the new mechanic on the Giant Growth?

MARK
Ha ha.

KEN
Why don't you get some lunch? You look like you've been staring at mechanics a little too long.

MARK
Good idea.

MARK GETS UP, PUTTING DOWN HIS PAD.

MARK
Maybe if I put this aside for a little while I can figure out how to get Reach onto something other than a spider.





KEN
You have to put reach on a spider. Spiders are awesome!

MARK AND KEN EXIT.










  • Planeswalker Points
  • Facebook Twitter
  • Gatherer: The Magic Card Database
  • Forums: Connect with the Magic Community
  • Magic Locator