An Interview With A Wizard: Designing The New Amonkhet Invocations Masterpiece Series
A few weeks ago I was at Wizards HQ and was treated to an exclusive interview regarding the design process behind the new Amonkhet Invocations series. As spoilers season has now begun, I can share the exclusive information that I was given.
So, on a surprising dry day in Seattle, I sat down with the lead designer for Amonkhet, Mr Smith and he shared with me the reasons behind the changes for Amonkhet block.
“We received a lot of criticism from players that enjoyed the artwork of past Masterpiece series. They were upset that they never opened one and feel that they missed out on owning something really cool. So we sat down and decided that we had two possible paths that we could take to address this. We could make Masterpiece cards more common, giving more players the chance to open a piece from a booster pack, but doing this will reduce the excitement of opening one if anyone else is opening one too. Saying that, we realised that if we made the new series of Masterpiece cards ugly, then players would not want to open one, thus reducing the number of people who are disappointed by not opening a Masterpiece”.
He proceeded to show me a folder of the upcoming cards which at first looks like a bad Photoshop job, with hard-to-read text and different layout. I asked where the inspiration for the card design came from.
“Ancient Mew, you know the promo Pokemon card back from the second movie. We’ve drawn inspiration from the card, from the layout, the hard-to-read text and all around ugliness was inspired by this card.”
Slowly sipping the complimentary tap water, I asked if there were any other ideas that went into the design process of theses cards.
“Oh yes, picture this, it’s Amonkhet launch day draft at your LGS and you just opened one of these Masterpieces, now the question is on you; Do you play with the card, making your deck better, but risk damaging it at the same time all in hope of winning another booster or two. Well, with this new design, it will be clear that most players will not think twice about playing the card in hope of winning something decent in their prize pack, hell most would not even blink at playing unsleeved to save on buying sleeves.”
I could not help but admire the genius which has gone into the design, they really thought about everything when they designed this set. I asked if there was anything else that had gone into the design of the set.
“The last main focus was trading, now we predict that some people will– for some reason –love theses cards, I can’t see how, maybe they are also the type of person that thinks Storm Crow is a good card. Anyway, people who open one and don’t want it will be dying to trade it away for any value they can get their hands on, this will mean more movement in a market we continue to pretend not to care about.”
I finished my water and thanked the man for his time, clearly a new age was dawning for Magic: the Gathering, an age where players are hoping not to open the “chase cards”.
If you’re unfortunate enough to open an Amonkhet Invocation, don’t worry, you can trade it in to Manaleak.com