Saturday, January 28, 2012

Card of the Day - Elora Bix

I wanted to do something a little different with Elora.  Where planeswalkers generally have 3 activated abilties (with 2 notable exceptions), Elora's only got 2.

Her static ability is useful and simple.
Her +1 is White because it promotes equality; each player has the choice of what to sacrifice.
Her -4 is powerful and also simple.
Another nice thing about her is the fact that she can be brought back with Sun Titan

Here's an updated version that doesn't lock players out of games as badly:


  1. This became my favorite of your designs. I don't think every Planeswalker needs 3 abilities and this is a prime example. One issue is that because "you have hexproof", she can't be damaged by lightning bolt (can't redirect from what can't be targeted). I'm not sure if that was your intent. Maybe an ability like "0: You gain hexproof until you activate another ability of ~" but that's probably getting to wordy...

    I like your last comment, which is the test most cards in my EDH decks have to pass: Can I get this back with Sun Titan or Reveillark.

  2. The fact that she can't be Lightning Bolted was intentional. Thanks for the positive comment!

  3. I feel like that static ability is too powerful for a 3 cost planeswalker, something I would expect closer to 5 mana. besides a 2 cost creature (which can be easily killed), all the abilities that give you as a player hexproof/shroud have been 4 cost or higher (besides solitary confinement, which has a major upkeep cost). So you've created a 3 cost ivory mask that has other beneficial abilities, and fully stops one avenue of it's destruction.

    The +1 ability also feels way over powered (really should be a subtracting ability), and not really white (there's some argument, but philosophically I think it runs against white). In terms of power level, concider this: you're on the play, and your opponent only played lands on turn 1-2 (fairly common for any non-aggro deck). You play elora on turn 3, and you have now completely locked them out of the game, and I mean completely. True you're "stuck" on 3 lands as well, but 3 > 2, and you have a planeswalker out, not to mention your deck will likely be built to take advantage of this, and play 1-2 drop creatures. In terms of flavor, white likes to balance the playing field, not just take way from everyone (even if it is equally). Even most older white cards with similar effects do this (such as balance). There's some argument for world queller, but due to the actual choosing of the permanent type, it's more of a prohibitive effect, something else white is known for. Also at 5 mana and a creature, he's much less likely to lock an opponent out of the game).

    Her ult seems fine, although I think should be a -5 due to being a 3 mana walker (should be harder for them to use their ultimates).

    Overall I like where the card is going and what it's trying to do, and I very much do enjoy static/triggered abilities on planeswalkers, but it's in the details where I just can't get behind this card. Also realize planeswalkers are the hardest cards to design in terms of balance, they create so much card advantage just by having multiple abilities and adding an extra "spell" each turn, that it's almost impossible to make one that won't be broken in one form or another. So good job, and I hope to see more.

    1. Would "Each player sacrifices a nonland permanent" make her more balanced? I feel like the 3 mana cost is important. We can make her starting loyalty 1, as well.

  4. Good changes as she is still powerful but frail which gives it good flavor.