Wizards of the Coast
Wizards of the Coast has been experimenting with Magic: The Gathering lately, but it looks like they're aiming to settle one thing within a year, and that's the damage vs. life loss debate for black cards.
Dominaria set had black cards dealing damage to players, Core Set 2019 had life loss, and we recently found out that some black cards in the soon-to-be-released set Guilds of Ravnica is back to black dealing damage. When a fan pointed out that fact and asked Mark Rosewater, the Magic Head Designer gave a clear answer.
"The experimentation ends soon (sometime in the next year) with R&D landing on a singular solution," he wrote on his Blogatog.
For decades, we've seen several black Magic cards with either damage or life loss effects, so it's nice to hear that they're aiming to finally settle the damage vs. life loss experimentation within a year. Pestilence is a classic example:
In Dominaria, we've seen cards like Demonlord Belzenlok and Rites of Belzenlok that deal damage instead of life loss.
In Core Set 2019, black cards like Epicure of Blood and Fell Specter brought back life loss but Guilds of Ravnica showed the return of damage-dealing black cards like this:
For the most part, there's not a lot of difference between using damage or life loss but there are times when it matters. There are certain cards that prevent damage effects but has no effect against life loss. I'm glad that they're finally figuring this one out for black.
Guilds of Ravnica will feature five guilds: Selesnya (green-white), Boros (red-white), Golgari (black-green), Izzet (blue-red), and Dimir (blue-black)
The following set, Ravnica Allegiance will feature the other five guilds: Azorius (blue-white), Rakdos (black-red), Gruul (red-green), Simic (green-blue), and Orzhov (black-white).
Guilds of Ravnica will be released on October 5. Prerelease events will take place on September 29-30.