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Leveling Up

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his is the end of Level Up Week on DailyMTG.com. Today I'll talk about two parts of the design and development process that the level up creatures went through.

Magic is a game of decisions. Most players who have played Magic for a while like staying active in a game by making decisions. Limited games that go on for a long time can make players feel that their decisions don't matter anymore. Rise of the Eldrazi games were going to go longer than most games. This risked making it feel too non-interactive. Brian Tinsman patterned the level up mechanic after his popular card Figure of Destiny. We, the developers, liked how level up kept players engaged through long games. We chose to put it in the common rarity to ensure that level up cards were in Limited decks.

The level up ability can be played only when you could cast a sorcery. Some players have expressed disappointment about this. Magic is a great game because it is challenging to play. We don't think that challenge should come from difficulty processing what the cards on the board do. Level up creatures that leveled at instant speed would have been very hard to process in combat because they change in unpredictable ways. We print some creatures that change size in combat already. We print them in ways that make them easy to process. We also try to print them in small quantities. Putting level up creatures at common with instant-speed leveling would have made board states harder to process than we like. This is why level up is a sorcery-speed ability.

Leveling Up has commas and semicolons.

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