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Kalium
06-17-2013, 10:09 AM
Undoubtedly Hex will be compared to Magic... one question I would like to ask designers is why did you choose the five resources you did versus creating a sixth resource? I played Magic for years and I've always thought it was a pretty good concept using five resources... then something changed. Artifacts (colorless contraptions) really started to gain ground and your resources didn't matter as much.

In Hex, color cards have thresholds but otherwise are colorless. What is the point of adding artifacts or colorless cards since the type of resource has already been devalued. What if artifacts were their own color? Hex would gain a second meaning like hexagon for six power sources... and the colors would have diametric opposites:

White (Holy) - Black (Unholy)
Red (Elemental) - Blue (Mental)
Green (Natural) - Purple (Artifice)

I accept that this is pretty late in development... but I am curous as to if something like this was mentioned and if so why did you choose to go the way you did.

Thanks for taking the time,
Kalium

Lefto
06-17-2013, 10:19 AM
I like your idea :)
A sixth color instead of the colorless artifacts would differentiate HEX from MTG quite a bit.

cavench
06-17-2013, 10:24 AM
I thought of this same design issue and I'm pretty sure CZE design team thought of it too. I think CZE didn't want to get too crazy from the get go.

And instead of 6 colors I was thinking of 7 (odd-number) colors. So each color would have two friendly colors, two neutral colors, and two rival colors.

snarvid
06-17-2013, 10:24 AM
Nah. Artifacts / colorless fulfills an important purpose in standardizing availability of certain highly useful effects, usually at a premium cost to make up for colorless ness, and also makes available abilities that don't need a specific location in the color pie. Adding it as a sixth color ruins these useful properties.

Sapphire seems to have some artifact synergy, that's close enough.

See - chaos key as universal removal. Charge bot as universal champion enabler. Etc.

BlackRoger
06-17-2013, 10:25 AM
Cards which have no basic color are in general a good idea - it helps opens up alot of interesting deck-building options.

I do agree that Hex's colors are too similar to Magic, like every other mechanisem, which just adds an insult to injury.
Perhaps a new color could be included in a later block when Crypto has more resources to put into balancing everything.

Kalium
06-17-2013, 10:29 AM
Nah. Artifacts / colorless fulfills an important purpose in standardizing availability of certain highly useful effects, usually at a premium cost to make up for colorless ness, and also makes available abilities that don't need a specific location in the color pie. Adding it as a sixth color ruins these useful properties.

Sapphire seems to have some artifact synergy, that's close enough.

See - chaos key as universal removal. Charge bot as universal champion enabler. Etc.

Yeah, I can see how having universal effects would be useful... and at this stage I don't expect anything to change... I'm just curious about development and why they decided to use the "Magic 5 plus Artifacts"... <<< an awesome name for a band.

Kalium

Turtlewing
06-17-2013, 10:30 AM
Well the main advantage in Magic of 5 colors is that every color get's 2 "allies" (adjacent colors), and 2 "enemies" (diagonal colors). And those relationships helped define the multi-color synergies. With a 6th color you either get only one "enemy" or you get 3 "enemies", which ruins the symmetry of allies and enemies.

Hex doesn't seem to be as deep into that same concept as Magic has been historically... but we've only seen part of the first set and Magic didn't really hit the enemy and allied colors thing full force in it's first set either.

Badmoonz
06-17-2013, 10:35 AM
This is the true controversy. The game called Hex, yet there are only have 5 colors.

snarvid
06-17-2013, 10:37 AM
Quoth the Prodigal Sorcerer.

Turtlewing
06-17-2013, 10:38 AM
This is the true controversy. The game called Hex, yet there are only have 5 colors.

The word "hex" does not mean "hexagon". It means "spell" or "curse". The common abbreviation of "hexagon" to "hex" is a much less common and less formal usage overall.


hex [heks]
verb (used with object)
1.
to bewitch; practice witchcraft on: He was accused of hexing his neighbors' cows because they suddenly stopped giving milk.
noun
2.
spell; charm: With all this rain, somebody must have put a hex on our picnic.
3.
a witch.

MugenMusou
06-17-2013, 10:55 AM
Undoubtedly Hex will be compared to Magic... one question I would like to ask designers is why did you choose the five resources you did versus creating a sixth resource? I played Magic for years and I've always thought it was a pretty good concept using five resources... then something changed. Artifacts (colorless contraptions) really started to gain ground and your resources didn't matter as much.

In Hex, color cards have thresholds but otherwise are colorless. What is the point of adding artifacts or colorless cards since the type of resource has already been devalued. What if artifacts were their own color? Hex would gain a second meaning like hexagon for six power sources... and the colors would have diametric opposites:

White (Holy) - Black (Unholy)
Red (Elemental) - Blue (Mental)
Green (Natural) - Purple (Artifice)

I accept that this is pretty late in development... but I am curous as to if something like this was mentioned and if so why did you choose to go the way you did.

Thanks for taking the time,
Kalium

Never heard this argument so interesting.

Personally, I wouldn't mind seeing sixth resource type but then I think we will still need colorless. The color of type or resource are not just for there to limit casting capability. Whenever there is specific parameter, you can always make mechanics based on it.

For example,

Card to boost their ability based on the number of specific Shard on your board. Colorless resource alone will mix everything and won't give their own flavor and basically balancing would be poorer because it applies to everything.

As far as the importance of colorless in my opinion is so that you can mix it into any other shard without worrying about multi-shard balancing. Since you mentioned Magic, like the Zendikar Block's Eldrazi spells in theory you can include them in any deck (obviously hectic casting cost of many creatures required specific Eldrazi supporting card).

The another advantage is more of conceptual thing just like your diametric concept. I can still accept One Shard + Artifact as Mono-Shard deck, and I like mono-shard deck!

Having said all this, I have questioned several times why the game is called HEX and there are really only five shards of HEX. Several told me its the artifact that counts as sixth. It doesn't seem right conceptually. So my other dream/theory is may be sixth shard is something Cryptozoic is hiding from us.

ossuary
06-17-2013, 11:07 AM
You've ruined the surprise reveal of the 6th color shard! Oh noes!!

Keznath
06-17-2013, 11:07 AM
The only question is :

can we yet influence the conceptors of this game or all is already fixed ?

Kalium
06-17-2013, 11:07 AM
Well the main advantage in Magic of 5 colors is that every color get's 2 "allies" (adjacent colors), and 2 "enemies" (diagonal colors). And those relationships helped define the multi-color synergies...

I seem to recall quite a few decks that were "Black & White" and "Blue & Red"... these enemy colors worked well together given the right combinations. In the six I presented it was more philosophical differences in achieving similar goals. Think of it with the following keywords:

Blue: Formula, Logic, Order; Illusion, Telepathy, Control
Red: Fury, Chaos, Emotion; Explosions, Wild Fire, Lightning

White: Faith, Devotion, Compassion; Shields, Healing, Buffing
Black: Blood, Taboo, Necrotic; Undead, Lifestealing, Sacrifice

Green: Natural, Nourishing, Beast; Rapid Growth (size and numbers), Camouflage
Purple: Artificial, Singular (Minded / Purpose); Constructs, Automated Siege, Equipment (Grafting Abilities)

After looking this over you might say that Blue and Purple share some characteristics... you would be right because nothing is exclusive. These ideas can work in tandem with other ideas; however, the core idea has concrete opposition. You could still make an effective Blue & Red deck if you wanted... it's just the cards would tell an interesting story.

Just a thought,
Kalium

Aradon
06-17-2013, 11:09 AM
The only question is :

can we yet influence the conceptors of this game or all is already fixed ?

I'm pretty sure we're at *least* a year too late to add another color into the game. That sort of thing needs to be defined in the pre-development stage, and they're already working on sets 2 and 3. That isn't to say we won't discover a sixth color that's available only to the TRUE BAD GUYS or whatever in the PvE story. Would be an interesting balance point for the craziness of PvE.

Edit:
I seem to recall quite a few decks that were "Black & White" and "Blue & Red"... these enemy colors worked well together given the right combinations. In the six I presented it was more philosophical differences in achieving similar goals. Think of it with the following keywords:

Blue: Formula, Logic, Order; Illusion, Telepathy, Control
Red: Fury, Chaos, Emotion; Explosions, Wild Fire, Lightning

White: Faith, Devotion, Compassion; Shields, Healing, Buffing
Black: Blood, Taboo, Necrotic; Undead, Lifestealing, Sacrifice

Green: Natural, Nourishing, Beast; Rapid Growth (size and numbers), Camouflage
Purple: Artificial, Singular (Minded / Purpose); Constructs, Automated Siege, Equipment (Grafting Abilities)

After looking this over you might say that Blue and Purple share some characteristics... you would be right because nothing is exclusive. These ideas can work in tandem with other ideas; however, the core idea has concrete opposition. You could still make an effective Blue & Red deck if you wanted... it's just the cards would tell an interesting story.

Just a thought,
Kalium

The idea of enemy colors in MtG is not that they can't work together, but that it's harder to make the decks work in obvious ways, and that there are green cards that specifically worked against blue/black. For example, you can print ally dual lands, but not have the enemy ones, making it easier to have allied color decks. Or you could give green a lot of anti-flying spells, that deal with blue's flying. It's not that enemy colors can't be built together (indeed, the opposed natures mean they can complement each other well), but that one color has a lot of tension and interaction with the opposed color, while often having more synergy with allied colors.

MugenMusou
06-17-2013, 11:12 AM
I'm pretty sure we're at *least* a year too late to add another color into the game. That sort of thing needs to be defined in the pre-development stage, and they're already working on sets 2 and 3. That isn't to say we won't discover a sixth color that's available only to the TRUE BAD GUYS or whatever in the PvE story. Would be an interesting balance point for the craziness of PvE.

I don't know. Adding another color may not be that much of an issue in terms of game balance. Obviously, the # of cards may be an issue if one is looking for sixth color to have the identical number of cards compared to other five.

But if they present sixth Shard as the HEX core itself rather than the pieces broken apart, it may indeed make sense to have only few can utilize such powerful power, and cards are limited yet very powerful.

There is still a hope!

Kalium
06-17-2013, 11:19 AM
Never heard this argument so interesting.

Personally, I wouldn't mind seeing sixth resource type but then I think we will still need colorless. The color of type or resource are not just for there to limit casting capability. Whenever there is specific parameter, you can always make mechanics based on it.

For example,

Card to boost their ability based on the number of specific Shard on your board. Colorless resource alone will mix everything and won't give their own flavor and basically balancing would be poorer because it applies to everything.

As far as the importance of colorless in my opinion is so that you can mix it into any other shard without worrying about multi-shard balancing. Since you mentioned Magic, like the Zendikar Block's Eldrazi spells in theory you can include them in any deck (obviously hectic casting cost of many creatures required specific Eldrazi supporting card).

The another advantage is more of conceptual thing just like your diametric concept. I can still accept One Shard + Artifact as Mono-Shard deck, and I like mono-shard deck!

Having said all this, I have questioned several times why the game is called HEX and there are really only five shards of HEX. Several told me its the artifact that counts as sixth. It doesn't seem right conceptually. So my other dream/theory is may be sixth shard is something Cryptozoic is hiding from us.

That would be an amazing reveal but I doubt that is the case.

My greatest confusion comes from that, it seems as though specific resource colors are devalued by color cards only having thresholds rather than hard casting cost... this devaluation continues when you add in artifacts that are not color specific. Since we have one... the other doesn't have a prominent place. By making artifacts their own color it would allow Hex to stand apart from Magic as not only something richer... but something different.

keroko
06-17-2013, 11:24 AM
MTG contains even in standard block cards which will just tear up artifacts - in fact one where artifacts have a win condition 733 for your opponent using artifact heavy decks.

I don't think that lands / resources became less important - well maybe for a little during the original myroddin block.

Adding a 6th color would make it even more troublesome to meet card reqs - and you'd probably also end up with a leftover 'grey' mana allocation for spells.

you see... look at this guy...
734

now imagine you were Keroko - well bred prince of the 9th shin'hare burrowden and you liked to play Green / White.... ahem, wild / diamond.

look at the card "alive and well" above - in MTG one may cast this kind of card 'fused' for both effects to take place, or only one of them.

In our case, keroko wants to cast both fused... well that'll cost 1 white, 1 green and 3 colorless.

Diamond on this card makes sense (white) - its a direct heal and cheap for it too, very typical diamond.
Similarly a stat magnitude boosted crit token dump is a typical green spell (wild), it costs too much on this card due to the fuse potential.

But eliminate the grey mana and we have an issue... if it were 4xG / 1xW to fuse - that'd mean in a split color deck there's very little change of the green component even being used due to number of lands you need to have available at time of potential play of a specific color

take this example stupid expensive Green mtg creature - he only requires 3x green as part of his overall 11!! mana cost.
735

if that were 11 Green, you'd never play him in a 60 card deck where 21-26 of your cards are land and you are not MONO-GREEN with some kind of accelerant / land puller.

so that grey mana is nice. and should stay no? perhaps im missing the point?

Rtsands45
06-17-2013, 11:48 AM
Kereko i believe you are looking at MTG to Hex the wrong way. I prefer to look at the mana symbols as the threshold cost and the total mana cost as the cost. For example, 8GGG is a total cost of 14, but you need to have at least GGG of the 11 to play it. The rest of the spell could be use with Red, Black, Blue, White, or colorless mana.

Playing a lot of Commander/EDH has brought me to this point of actually seeing thresholds to cards. Yes, in mtg you have to use the resources correctly or you may shoot yourself in the foot, however that is also what makes the game unique and fun. It is sort of I can play card A but won't be able to play card B or C, or I can play card B and C, and have to hold off on A mindset. In Hex you may be able to have enough threshold to cast A and B or A and C. It is just easier for new players to comprehend the rules.

ramseytheory
06-17-2013, 11:57 AM
I think adding a sixth colour would require adding either extra cards to boosters or good common mana fixing. Otherwise, getting a decent draft deck together would become impossible.

keroko
06-17-2013, 12:02 PM
I do misunderstand. ok so...?

resources - like mtg land but only a card until played. once played card evaporates and raises mana (resource) pool max as appropriate to color of resource.

I assume this was to keep the playfield clear of lands (you've just stacked the cards as dX die that increment count when more land played) and to eliminate odd deck reqs for multi-colored mana lands.

not being in play (untargetable) also eliminates lands destruction with other spells or effects, or attaching another permanent to a land. in hex, there is no land in play.

i wonder if hex will have any - 'this card makes a black AND white resource, those resources do not become available to their mana pools until your next turn' like dual color lands that come into play tapped.

i wonder if hex will allow destruction of the mana pool directly as offense. or color seal?


It is sort of I can play card A but won't be able to play card B or C, or I can play card B and C, and have to hold off on A mindset.

I do not understand how this is any different than meeting reqs for cast in mtg.

<< simpleton in need of explanation.

ConnorJS
06-17-2013, 01:07 PM
The great thing with Hex is that new card types, resource types or anything like that can be implemented in future updates. Hex currently stands with a better card game (in my opinion) than MTG who have been around for years. Imagine what Hex will be in 10 years, imagine what MtG will be in 10 years...

Turtlewing
06-17-2013, 01:09 PM
I do not understand how this is any different than meeting reqs for cast in mtg.

<< simpleton in need of explanation.

In magic if I have 2 mountains and 2 plains, I can't play two cards with cost: RR on the same turn. In hex I can, because I meet both card's threshold requirements and the actual cost is all colorless.

Fireblast
06-17-2013, 01:45 PM
It was easier to make it work that way.

@OP : Feel free to design and kickstart your own game.

~

Jbizzi
06-17-2013, 01:47 PM
Cory already stated that they used many different models early on in the development and after lengthy (>30 mins.) testing they decided on the current one.

Why mess with a good archetype?

Rydavim
06-17-2013, 02:12 PM
I suspect it's too late to change anything this fundamental to the game. That being said, I think that colorless/shardless cards definitely have a place in TCGs. They can help balance shards that might otherwise be too powerful or vulneral, or visa-versa. They also serve as a good place to put cards that might be too useful or powerful to restrict to a single shard. But good post, this is just my 2. +1

Kalium
06-17-2013, 02:23 PM
...@OP : Feel free to design and kickstart your own game...

Although I do enjoy dabbling in game systems, my intent was to understand why that design was chosen... was it because it was tried and true or did they uncover a fatale flaw that perhaps hasn't been mentioned yet. Either way I am not dissatisfied with Hex, just personal curiosity. No need to come off so hostile.

keroko
06-17-2013, 04:15 PM
In magic if I have 2 mountains and 2 plains, I can't play two cards with cost: RR on the same turn. In hex I can, because I meet both card's threshold requirements and the actual cost is all colorless.

O.o - so you require a threshold of resources but they are not finite per turn? I can spend that RR 2x because I've played at least 2x red as resources already and the rest of the mana is just mag value past the threshold req?

i.e. i can cast our e.g. 2x R R - draining the other color mana pool but being ok because i have a threshold value of at least 2 (for each spell, not considered in actual cost of spell funding)?

ZeroCool
06-17-2013, 04:19 PM
Like they've mentioned "If it ain't broke, we aren't here to fix it".

Hollywood
06-17-2013, 04:24 PM
This is Set 1. Why don't we wait to see what gets implemented in the next couple sets.

Turtlewing
06-17-2013, 04:38 PM
O.o - so you require a threshold of resources but they are not finite per turn? I can spend that RR 2x because I've played at least 2x red as resources already and the rest of the mana is just mag value past the threshold req?

i.e. i can cast our e.g. 2x R R - draining the other color mana pool but being ok because i have a threshold value of at least 2 (for each spell, not considered in actual cost of spell funding)?

I think so. A more formal way of stating it would be:

In order to play a card you must meet it's threshold requirement, and pay it's cost.

When you play a basic reasourse card, it increases one of your 5 thresholds, and increases your reasourse pool.

Threshold acts as a "must be at least this high to play" limit, and costs are payed from your (colorless) resource pool.

A more extreme example: if I have 1 wild reasourse, and 9 ruby reasourses, I can play 10 pack raptors on a single turn because they each only need 1 wild threshold and a cost of 1. However I could not play Techtonic Break because it needs 2 wild threshold (even though it only costs 8).

Kietay
06-17-2013, 05:23 PM
Someone told me the creator of MTG was a math genius and he worked out the most effective balance between colours, cost, and power of cards. If this is true dont mess with it!

Mokog
06-17-2013, 06:01 PM
"New" thought: What if the game is designed for 7 gems and we only see the first 5? Example Magi-Nation. The game had 12 "regions" or colors with a universal card class. To pull this off the resources system as more universal but it is an example of being able to add additional "colors" as the game started with 5 regions + universal. If CZE have developed the blocks well enough we can all be chasing the MTG rabbit while the real surprise is lurking in another set.

Deathfog
06-17-2013, 06:05 PM
MtG intended more colors starting with Yellow in Arabian Knights back before they really hit it big. They decided against it and never expanded as time went on. Hex can do anything they want expansion wise seeing as this is very early in its development. Hex doesn't even have much if any hybrid cards yet between 'colors', so adding a new one is probably not going to be coming out soon.

There is a downside to too many colors, dilution of usable cards per pack goes down the more there are. This also makes drafts much more erratic.

Hex as in curse is derived from hexagram or a 6 sided polygon, the full history is beyond these forums. 6 basic core 'color's would make sense thematically.

Rtsands45
06-17-2013, 06:45 PM
I do misunderstand. ok so...?

resources - like mtg land but only a card until played. once played card evaporates and raises mana (resource) pool max as appropriate to color of resource.

I assume this was to keep the playfield clear of lands (you've just stacked the cards as dX die that increment count when more land played) and to eliminate odd deck reqs for multi-colored mana lands.

not being in play (untargetable) also eliminates lands destruction with other spells or effects, or attaching another permanent to a land. in hex, there is no land in play.

i wonder if hex will have any - 'this card makes a black AND white resource, those resources do not become available to their mana pools until your next turn' like dual color lands that come into play tapped.

i wonder if hex will allow destruction of the mana pool directly as offense. or color seal?



I do not understand how this is any different than meeting reqs for cast in mtg.

<< simpleton in need of explanation.

For example you have Card A which is 2GG, Card B which is 2G, and card C which is 3G. Assuming you have 8 lands in Play but only two Green available.

In Magic you have the choices of playing:
1) Card A 2GG your green sources are used up 4 other resources which are not Green are left
2) Card B and/or Card C. You can use both of your Green sources to cast B and C leaving you with 1 left.

In this scenario getting the most out of each turn may be priority, so spending 7/8 total resources with only two Green producing lands would most likely be the choice.

In Hex if you use the same setup except with Threshold. Card A is 4(GG), Card B is 3(G), and Card C is 4(G). Assuming you have 8 resources available to you with your green threshold at 2(GG) you can play the following scenarios.

1) Play Card A and Card B leaving you with 1/8 available resource point left.
2) Play A and C leaving you with 0/8 left
3) Play B and C leaving you with 1/8 left

Hex is allowing us to do more with less in a sort of way. It makes the game more intuitive being that "oh i have 2 threshold I can play any of these in my hand."

Fireblast
06-17-2013, 10:55 PM
One of the issue with new "colour" is the dual lands.
With 5 colours you have 10 dual lands, with 6 you'd have 15...

Another issue is the draft, you have less cards density the more you have colours

~

AstaSyneri
06-18-2013, 12:52 AM
IMHO CZE is doing the same thing that Blizzard did with WoW: Blizzard looked at the most successful MMO of its time (Everquest) and changed only so much to make things a better experience. They did not reinvent the wheel - they just polished it for the masses.

CZE is looking at the most successful TCG (Magic, obviously) in combination with their own WoW TCG which uses very similar mechanics and goes from there. There are many good CCGs out there (many of them dead, unfortunately), but CZE is targeting the absolutel mainstream and doesn't worry that much about core innovation.

That being said they really have some of that, too - the double backs, the slottable cards, the unlockables, the dungeon puzzles, etc.

ramseytheory
06-18-2013, 03:00 AM
Or alternatively, if you want to put things in Magic terms: all mana costs are colourless, but you need to control the appropriate number of lands in the correct colour (tapped or untapped) before you can play the spell.

keroko
06-18-2013, 07:15 AM
Or alternatively, if you want to put things in Magic terms: all mana costs are colourless, but you need to control the appropriate number of lands in the correct colour (tapped or untapped) before you can play the spell.

hrm, dunno how much i like that yet - rly wanna see some more hex games playthough.

seems oversimplified and almost entirely eliminates land management from deck construction. maybe CZE doesn't find that part 'fun'.

mana screw / flood isnt fun though either - guess we'll see how it all works.

jaxsonbateman
06-18-2013, 07:18 AM
While I do like this threshold system, I will point out one big thing about it: right now, we've only seen a glimpse of one non-basic resource (the diamond/sapphire one). Until we get more, it's going to make two-color decks a little more awkward (especially with cards with thresholds greater than half their cost), and tri+ color decks very wonky and very difficult to be competitive with.

nrflorencio
06-18-2013, 09:08 AM
Although I do enjoy dabbling in game systems, my intent was to understand why that design was chosen... was it because it was tried and true or did they uncover a fatale flaw that perhaps hasn't been mentioned yet. Either way I am not dissatisfied with Hex, just personal curiosity. No need to come off so hostile.


Dont worry, hes always like that... nothing personal.

Void
06-18-2013, 10:42 AM
While I do like this threshold system, I will point out one big thing about it: right now, we've only seen a glimpse of one non-basic resource (the diamond/sapphire one). Until we get more, it's going to make two-color decks a little more awkward (especially with cards with thresholds greater than half their cost), and tri+ color decks very wonky and very difficult to be competitive with.

Let alone trying to pull off five-shard tricks like on Midnight Shepherd (http://hex.potion-of-wit.com/card.php?c=159).

*Edited for formatting, sanity, and aesthetic pleasure.

Turtlewing
06-18-2013, 10:43 AM
hrm, dunno how much i like that yet - rly wanna see some more hex games playthough.

seems oversimplified and almost entirely eliminates land management from deck construction. maybe CZE doesn't find that part 'fun'.

mana screw / flood isnt fun though either - guess we'll see how it all works.

Not really. It's actually more complex than Magic's system as threshold is decoupled from amount of available manna meaning they can be manipulated separately (a card can add or remove a threshold without adding/removing manna for example).

It also doesn't have that much effect on resource color balance. It only rely alleviates one specific case of "color screw", which is when you want to cast multiple cards of one color on a turn. It does nothing to make casting a single card easier.

In practice it will make some types of decks easier to build, but most decks will only rarely notice a difference.

Aradon
06-18-2013, 10:53 AM
It also intriguingly gives the option of having a spell require double-white, but only cost one mana. Theoretically we could see some very cheap & efficient spells that reward playing mono color by having triple or quadruple requirements but cost only one or two mana.

Edit: The only real difference between the systems is that managing your colors per turn will be easier. No more accidentally tapping out of blue, or trying to figure your lands out in an EDH game. You've always got what you've gathered, so you just have to worry about the number total. It cuts out a vector of gameplay and deckbuilding in a manner that simplifies the game, for better or for worse.

Personally, I like the strategy of lands, but I can live with not having to worry about them in EDH-like games.