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AgePosted: 2009-May-15 6:36 am 

Joined: 2009-Jan-23 11:34 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Jedit wrote:
intreped wrote:
to say WoG is symmetrical but Balance is asymmetrical is vastly oversimplifying the matter


I wish people who don't know what they are talking about would refrain from speaking. This being the internet, it's a forlorn hope.

Of course it's possible to make a symmetrical card affect players differently - choosing the most advantageous moment to make a move is the definition of strategy. But that does not make the card asymmetrical. Wrath always destroys every creature belonging to every player. Another card might except a creature from being destroyed, but Wrath itself will never make an exception. That's what "symmetrical" means.

Balance, however, will always exclude someone from each of its three effects. That's what "asymmetrical" means.

Balance has an asymmetrical effect which creates symmetry.


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AgePosted: 2009-May-15 9:15 am 
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Joined: 2008-Mar-24 12:14 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Oakland, CA
Jedit wrote:
[FLAMEBAIT]

. . . Another card might except a creature from being destroyed, but Wrath itself will never make an exception. That's what "symmetrical" means.

Balance, however, will always exclude someone from each of its three effects. That's what "asymmetrical" means.

That's how you've chosen to define symmetry. It doesn't make that the definition.

There are situations in which the result of casting Balance is identical (other than the mana cost) to that of casting WoG. No matter how much you say that "Wrath itself will never make an exception," or that Balance "always" does the opposite, there are situations in which the two do the exact same thing. So I stand by my original position that symmetry in Magic is more accurately measured by a scale than with a "yes" or "no" value.

Regarding your unnecessary introduction to your post, I guess maybe you were having a bad day? It's alright. Try to relax and be civil. If, on the other hand, you truly find the internet such a miserable place, don't torture yourself by posting on internet forums.


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AgePosted: 2009-May-15 12:14 pm 

Joined: 2009-Mar-19 5:01 pm
Age: Wyvern
intreped wrote:
That's how you've chosen to define symmetry.


No, that's how everyone except you defines symmetry.


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AgePosted: 2009-May-22 10:34 am 

Joined: 2008-Jan-25 8:26 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Calgary
Do we define symmetry in Magic by what happened during the effect or the board state after the fact?

I can destroy 50 permanents, lose zero of my own and Magic players will call the effect 'symmetrical'.

There's arguably nothing symmetrical about an effect that does something to one player and nothing to another. The board state shows symmetry after the fact, however.

Can we all start talking the same language here?


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AgePosted: 2009-May-22 2:18 pm 

Joined: 2009-Mar-19 5:01 pm
Age: Wyvern
tarnar wrote:
Do we define symmetry in Magic by what happened during the effect or the board state after the fact?


Neither; we define it by who is affected by the effect, and how. For an effect to be symmetrical, the following conditions must apply:

1) The effect must affect more than one player.

2) All conditions of the effect must apply equally to all affected players.

3) The penalties and rewards of the effect must be equivalent for all affected players, saving only that no player can be penalised for more than they have.


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AgePosted: 2009-May-22 2:38 pm 

Joined: 2008-Jan-25 8:26 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Calgary
Jedit wrote:
1) The effect must affect more than one player.

2) All conditions of the effect must apply equally to all affected players.

3) The penalties and rewards of the effect must be equivalent for all affected players, saving only that no player can be penalised for more than they have.

I have a Zuran Orb in play and no creatures. I float 1W, sacrifice all my lands and play the last card in my hand: Balance.

On point 1, the effect considers all players. I'm not exempt from Balance, I'm just not actually going to have to do anything during resolution. So we can say this point is satisfied.

On point 2 the conditions of the effect are being applied equally to all players, though again I won't actually do anything. So we can say this point is satisfied.

How is point 3 met? I suffer no penalty. Just as though I played a WoG and killed 50 creatures, losing all zero I had on the table.


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AgePosted: 2009-May-23 2:10 am 

Joined: 2009-Mar-19 5:01 pm
Age: Wyvern
tarnar wrote:
I have a Zuran Orb in play and no creatures. I float 1W, sacrifice all my lands and play the last card in my hand: Balance.

On point 1, the effect considers all players. I'm not exempt from Balance, I'm just not actually going to have to do anything during resolution. So we can say this point is satisfied.


Correct - though you've taken it too far. More than one player is affected by Balance, that's all we need to fill this condition.

Quote:
On point 2 the conditions of the effect are being applied equally to all players, though again I won't actually do anything. So we can say this point is satisfied.


Correct also, though I might debate it. But it's point 3 where Balance stops being symmetrical, because it doesn't always apply equally. At least one player is always exempted from all or part of the penalty regardless of the game position.

Example: Players A, B, and C all have cards in hand, A has the least. When Balance is cast, B and C have to discard cards. A does not, even though he has cards to discard. That is the asymmetry - an effect that applies to all players is not penalising them all.

The difficulty people are having with this concept is that they keep coming back to Wrath versus Balance with no guys, which despite the similarity of results is comparing apples and oranges. The main logic failure is thinking that losing 0 guys to my 3 means that Wrath has affected you differently. It hasn't; everyone has still lost all their guys, you just picked a time when you lost least.

Instead, compare Balance to Barter in Blood. If I have no guys and you have two, then when I cast BiB or Balance you lose two guys and I lose none. The difference is that when I cast BiB I still have to lose two guys - I just don't have them to lose. If I had two guys to your four, we both lose two guys when I cast BiB. When I Balance in that situation, you still lose two guys to my none.


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AgePosted: 2009-Jun-15 3:01 am 

Joined: 2009-Jun-15 2:53 am
Age: Drake
draaaak wrote:
i dont know for sure, but my guess is that people thot it would have too damaging an effect in a multiplayer setting...which it prolly could. at the same time tho, its called balance.. and its effect, while annoying to most, does balance the game out a bit. i would like to know what makes balance so unbalanced too..


lol balance is one of the most un-balanced cards they've ever printed, at least when played in any serious deck

its an awful card to have in a casual format


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