A couple of weeks back, Mark Rosewater, Magic's lead designer, ran a tournament of sorts: The Rosewater Rumble.
He asked all of his followers on his numerous social media outlets to pick their favorite set of the 16 sets he had been the lead designer for.
A bit boastful, yes, but I would brag too if I had made that much of an impact on the game.
Today I offer some of my own opinions on the outcome of the poll, how I voted et cetera.
Or I would have, had I remembered what I had to say, but it was three weeks ago, and in that time I've forgotten some of the undoubtedly profound things I had to say.
I guess I'm going to wing it.
I want to highlight some of the sets I favored and why.
In his personal reviews, Mark speaks somewhat pessimistically of Mirrodin and Urza's Destiny. And not for no reason, they were two of the most overpowered sets of all time. They ushered forth some of the most poorly developed cards of all time that turned tournament play into a stagnant wasteland of salty tears.
But I kind of liked that. yes, those sets had some really bad issues, but their poor development stands in stark contrast to most of Magic's history where tournament play always had some semblance of balance. I feel that the unique circumstances that lead to these sets being so broken also led them to be unique in all the best ways. So many cards, so many cool cards, from these sets simply would not have ever happened in a set with a tighter leash.
I also personally voted very high for Shadowmoor and Eventide. I started playing just after Shards of Alara was released, so everyone I played with at the beginning had loads of decks full of hybrid cards. I came to play with and against a ton of the cardpool from the two sets, and even as my tastes and skills matured, I always had a soft spot for the sets. It seemed to me that as some quirk of hybrid design that the two sets had fewer cards that most players colloquially referred to as "limited chaffe", cards that are playable in limited, but pretty much nowehre else.
That's pretty much it.
Those are the only opinions I had that stood apart from the standard.
What did you think of the results of the Rosewater Rumble?
Why did you like or dislike the design of the various sets in it?
I'd love to hear what you think about it!