1, Nov, 21

We Have A Very Specific Complaint About Cleave

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MTG shouldn't feel like work, but here we are, about to edit a card.
Article at a Glance

We’re pretty sure everyone can agree that Crimson Vow looks absolutely great so far. The previews we’ve seen have been incredibly exciting, and there are loads of new cards that we can’t wait to get our hands on.

However, while we feel that way about most of what’s coming with the Voldaren wedding, we’re significantly less keen on one of the mechanics. Shockingly, it’s the one that’s going to make us think about work every time we cast them

Let’s talk about cleave

Cleave is a new mechanic that reads “You may cast this spell for its cleave cost. If you do, remove the words in square brackets.” In essence, it’s an alternate casting cost, and while we do like those, this one brings a new way of doing things that involves a bit more work. The thing is, while it’s not actual work for everyone, it sure does feel like it for us.

For the record, this could easily have been done as an MDFC, or a split card, but here we are with the mechanic cleave instead. We don’t hate the idea behind it, and that’s not what we’re saying. In fact, with some cards like Path of Peril, it’s very easy to understand, and we love that. It’s also yet another way to up the potential value of your spells as you end up with more mana.

However, there are some cards where it involves having to mentally edit the card as you go, and while we can do that, we don’t want to. Look, we literally write every day of the week, we don’t want to have to think about sentence structure and stuff when we’re casting a spell.

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No more editing

While some cards are fine, others definitely require what we’d consider work. Take Dig Up, for example. This is a one-mana green sorcery that reads, “Search your library for a [basic land] card, [reveal it,] put it into your hand, then shuffle.”

Now, the cleave cost is four mana, and reads, “Search your library for a card, put it into your hand, then shuffle.” Four mana to search up a card is a fairly standard rate at this point, so we’re not exactly screaming about how good the card is, but having to skip over the brackets when casting it just makes us feel uncomfortable.

Again, we know this is a very specific complaint, we’ve literally addressed that, but good lord, was there no simpler way of doing this? Anyway, off we go to write and edit some more. We love the job, of course, but not literally in our card game.

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