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Duelist Issue 20, Page 71

The Making of Tempest

The letter T!he following members of Wizards of the Coast's Research and Development team worked hand-in-hand on the Tempest expansion. Here's a look at who they are and what makes them tick (in alphabetical order).


Charlie Catino

"Charlie doesn't want cards that are gonna cause trouble. He signals his displeasure by crushing them with his softball bat." -Richard Garfield
Charlie Catino

Age: 31

Education: University of Pennsylvania, '88, Biology

Began working at Wizards: February '95

Job responsibilities: "Play games."

Other expansions worked on: "I playtested original Magic and Ice Age, helped develop Homelands and Alliances, helped design Visions, and helped design and develop Mirage."

Favorite expansion set of all time: "Alliances, because I was so thoroughly involved in development and playtesting, and there were so many interesting (read: ba-roken) cards with which to build decks and play."

Three favorite cards in Tempest:

  • Dismiss: "Who in the world wouldn't want to stop an opponent from playing a spell and draw a card to boot?"
  • Mana Severance: "It's got to be broken."
  • X4B: "It's a spell so good you can just call it by its casting cost."

Best aspect of working on an expansion: Arguing.

Mike Elliott

"Mike's mysterious and unpredictable, yet strangely familiar. Cold and calculating, yet not without a heart." -Richard Garfield
Mike Elliott

Age: 35

Education: California Polytechnic Institute, '86, Biology

Began working at Wizards: January '96

Job responsibilities: "Design and development, and project manager for Magic." Other expansions worked on: Alliances, Mirage, Visions, Portal, Weatherlight, Fifth Edition, and Vanguard.

Favorite expansion set of all time: "Tempest, though I'm probably a little biased since I did a lot of design work on this project."

Three favorite cards in Tempest:

  • Living Death: "It's a fun combo card that interacts with sacrificial creatures."
  • Aluren: "I like alternate casting-cost mechanisms."
  • Fool's Tome: "Another good combo card."

Best aspect of working on an expansion: "Designing new cards and seeing how the players react to them once they're printed."

Richard Garfield

"Watching Richard design is like watching a magic act. Amazing things appear and you wonder where they came from." -Mark Rosewater
Richard Garfield

Age: 34

Education: University of Pennsylvania, '93, Ph.D. Mathematics (combinatorics)

Began working at Wizards: From the beginning

Job responsibilities: "New game development, R&D vision."

Other expansions worked on: Arabian Nights. Favorite expansion set of all time: "Alliances. I consider this expansion the first 'modern' expansion. It was loaded with good ideas and got all the elements of a good expansion correct." Three favorite cards in Tempest:

  • Unstable Shapeshifter: "A cool combination card with some weird possibilities."
  • Ertai's Meddling: "I've wanted a time-delay effect of this sort for a while. This card reeks of amusing situations."
  • Marble Titan: "I like the humor of this card."

Best aspect of working on an expansion: "Every time I play Magic and wish I could do something [different] but can't, I make a mental note. Working on an expansion allows me to clear that mental notebook."

William Jockusch

"William is a cross between Sleepy and Einstein." -Bill Rose
William Jockush

Age: 30

Education: Carleton College, '88, Math

Began working at Wizards: October '95

Job responsibilities: "Create card text for Magic expansions; discover as many 'broken' cards as I can before they go to print."

Other expansions worked on: Alliances, Mirage, Visions, Portal, Weatherlight, Fifth Edition, and Vanguard.

Favorite expansion set of all time: "Ice Age, because it introduced cantrips, which represent the best new concept that's been added to the game."

Three favorite cards in Tempest:

  • Whispers of the Muse: "Because all Magic players think it's a weak card-and they're all wrong."
  • Hero's Resolve: "Because it shows there may yet be hope for creature enhancements."
  • Winds of Rath: "See Hero's Resolve."

Best aspect of working on an expansion: "Building a deck with some broken card, then beating on the card's designer with it."

Bill Rose

"If Bill can't get what he wants one way, he'll get it another way." -William Jockusch
Bill Rose

Age: 35

Education: University of Pennsylvania, '86, Economics

Began working at Wizards: October '95

Job responsibilities: "Sometimes an expansion lead designer and developer; sometimes just an R&D grunt."

Other expansions worked on: "Alpha-I was one of the original playtesters. I also playtested Ice Age, and was on the Development team for Alliances. I was the lead designer and lead developer for Mirage, Visions, and Portal. I've also worked on Weatherlight, and Fifth Edition."

Favorite expansion set of all time: "Code name: Power Lunch. It hasn't been published yet, but Juzam would get its butt kicked in Power Lunch. The experimental Power Lunch is being designed for one player to take on two opponents working as a team."

Three favorite cards in Tempest:

  • Dismiss: "My two favorite things are drawing cards and countering spells."
  • Dregs of Sorrow: "The next best thing is killing the creatures I couldn't counter and drawing cards."
  • Avenging Angel: "The card most likely to drive my opponent mad."

Best aspect of working on an expansion: "Taking a jumbled collection of cards and ideas, and turning them all into Mirage or Tempest."

Mark Rosewater

"Getting an idea from Mark is like trying to take a drink from a firehose." -Richard Garfield
Mark Rosewater

Age: 30

Education: Boston University, '89, Broadcast and Film (Major: Screenwriting; Minor: Creative Writing)

Began working at Wizards: November '95 (freelance: February '94)

Job responsibilities: "Game designer and developer for Magic; editor in chief of The Duelist; co-author of the Weatherlight saga; and jack of all trades at all Pro Tour events."

Other expansions worked on: Alliances, Mirage, Visions, Weatherlight, and Vanguard.

Favorite expansion set of all time: Tempest

Three favorite cards in Tempest:

  • Scragnoth: "I dreamed up the idea of an uncounterable creature three years ago and have been dying to see it make it into the game."
  • Duplicity: "Another wacky idea that gnawed at me for more than a year."
  • Recycle: "I love cards that have the potential to spawn weird deck types."

Best aspect of working on an expansion: "Seeing the audience's response when the set finally comes out."

Henry Stern

"If it's not a Type II card, Henry couldn't care less about it. -Bill Rose
Henry Stern

Age: 29

Education: UCLA, '90, Engineering, M.S. '92

Began working at Wizards: August '96

Job responsibilities: "Magic design and development, events."

Other expansions worked on: Alliances (playtester), Visions, and Weatherlight.

Favorite expansion set of all time: Arabian Nights

Three favorite cards in Tempest:

  • Mana Severance: "High risk, high reward."
  • Living Death: "A great card since decks can be built around it."
  • Selenia, Dark Angel: "She's big, she flies, and she's tough to kill."

Best aspect of working on an expansion: "Having a hand in determining Magic's future."

Tom Wylie

"Tom never thinks the cards are too complex. He understands them." -Mike Elliott
Tom Wylie

Age: 26

Education: UC Santa Cruz, '92, Linguistics

Began working at Wizards: December '94

Job responsibilities: "Oversee the rules for all Wizards TCGs, create and maintain the Oracle, design and development for BattleTech, whack deserving people upside the head."

Other expansions worked on: Ice Age and Alliances.

Favorite expansion set of all time: Mirage.

Best aspect of working on an expansion: "Not actually being involved in design or development leaves me plenty of time for games I'd rather be working on."

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