Monday, February 27, 2012

Card of the Day - Jackrabbit

Green's entry is simple, but effective.  I made this one a long time ago, and I still think it holds up.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Card of the Day - Swooping Crow

This week's cards are a response to Bob's Challenge.  I have made my common aggro creatures.  Enjoy!  Today's card is blue's entry, which is good at being control-y in a black/blue deck, but is also awesome aggro in a monoblue deck. I pushed this one quite a bit.

Edit: 2 possible fixes.  Both are more reasonable, but less aggro-y.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Card of the Day - Blight Worm

This is an old one.  Designed right around the time Urza's Destiny came out, this card uses one of the mechanics designed for that set.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Card of the Day - Brainspurt

A simple card draw spell with an interesting drawback.

On Being Basic


The Basic card type is one that's been around since the inception of the game. Until now, it's only been on five cards. We all know that when you make your deck, you can put in any number of basic lands; this has been the rule that we have all gone by since we learned to play. A lot of design is questioning the tenets set before us. Why are we only allowed to have 4 of each card in a specific deck? The answer is more complicated than one might think.

Imagine if you will: A world where there are no restrictions on the amount of each card you can play. In this world, Spike decides he wants a deck with 20 Lightning Bolts, 20 Browbeat, and 20 Mountains. This makes for some very quick games. Also, there are only so many Lightning Bolts and Browbeats in the world. If Spike's deck wins some tournaments, everyone is going to want to try and get 20 Browbeats, driving the price sky high.

I propose a hybrid. I've created a few unique cards that, while not very powerful, can be effective in multiples. These cards have the Basic supertype as well as reminder text to let players know that they can have more than four in a deck. This past week's cards of the day have been showcasing a colorless cycle of Basic sorceries. Here is a cycle of basic creatures to show off a little more of what being Basic can do.

 Frontline Spearman is good by itself, but can be brutal against a ground assault in multiples.

Splitting Starfish is a card that is great defensively, and worthwhile to have quite a few in your deck.  Be careful, though.  They can only hold off an offensive deck for so long.


Everyone knows zombies are scary when there are a bunch of them.  This card shows that off.  The set this will go in shouldn't have many zombies at common.


The flavor for this card is a bit silly, and I like it that way.  I've always felt that most goblins just want to be left alone to drink goblin wine or somesuch.  This guy wants to share his drink with some schmo on the battlefield, preventing the other guy from actually fighting for a little while.  Fun and dangerous in multiples, just like goblins should be.

These guys are the first basic creature I designed, and probably the most powerful.  A deck with a bit of acceleration can get quite a few of these out in a short amount of time.  It's possible they should cost 2G, but I'd have to playtest a bit to be sure.

One of the things I want to stress about basic cards is that the rarity of them shouldn't be higher than common.  If you make a basic rare card, it will be problematic; not only because of cost, but for just being able to get enough to build a deck with.  These cards should be easily accessible.  I feel that they should one per pack, like basic lands. If there are five or six basic cards in a given set, getting enough of them shouldn't be a problem.

I hope that these designs have helped you see a little bit more how the Basic supertype can be implemented in ways that can create decks that have 14 of a specific card instead of the maximum of 4.  These cards can be great skill testers for experienced deckbuilders as well as newbies.  Figuring out how many is the right amount can bring about much discussion.

Also:  If there is anyone in the Fargo area willing to do some playtesting with cards created by myself or others, let me know.  I don't have a lot of time to spare for such things, but I think it would be fun.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Card of the Day - Mill

I made sure to make each of the basic cards less powerful than comparable cards of the same rarity.  For example, compare this to Tome Scour.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Card of the Day - Burn

It's difficult to gauge how many of a basic card you want in your deck.  Once you get the choice to put as many basic cards as you want, your deckbuilding skills get tested in a new way.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Card of the Day - Gain

I like that these cards are not very powerful, but can be useful in the right deck.  They're actually pretty basic. (See what I did there?)

Edited: 4 life for 2 mana.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Card of the Day - Devoted Empath

This is another Violet Dawn card.  The Ngakoi are a race of psions.  Here's a cheap one that gets better if you're behind on the creature race.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Card of the Day - Sulwyn Crystal

This is one of those ancient relics I was talking about the other day.

The Cost of Vanilla at Common

I've been trying to figure out some vanillas that don't exist, so I made a chart.  There are a lot of things on the chart that I found interesting. For example, there's no red common vanilla 2/2 for less than 2R.  A good push would be RR for a 2/2.  For this week's article, I'm just going to post a bunch of common vanilla creatures that don't exist yet.


Shield Trooper
W
Creature - Human Soldier
0/4

Loxodon Brawler
3WW
Creature - Elephant Soldier
4/4

Serrated Crab
4U
Creature - Crab
3/4

Giant Squid
1UU
Creature - Squid
3/2

Goblin Kickpuncher
RR
Creature - Goblin Warrior
2/2

Conduit Fiend
1RR
Creature - Elemental
4/1

Lowbrow Thug
1BB
Creature - Human Rogue
4/1

Armored Bandit
2B
Creature - Human Rogue
1/4

Elvish Front Line
1GG
Creature - Elf Warrior
4/2

Elmroot Sentry
2GG
Creature - Treefolk
3/5

Steel Hulk
6
Creature - Golem
5/5


The numbers for all of these guys were extrapolated from existing cards. If you notice the lack of pictures in this article, I won't be mad. I didn't feel like finding art for a bunch of vanilla dudes.  Okay, okay! You can have ONE.

Edit:
For those of you interested, here's a link to the spreadsheet I created.  Remember, these are just for commons, and multicolored cards aren't included.

 See you next week.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Card of the Day - Extraplanar Spine

The Xxyth are the Baddies in Avadnu.  Think Lovecraft.  They come from some weird far-away plane that has only slimy things that are really really evil living there.  Also, they want to eat everything that's around, so there's that.  A lot of the struggle on Avadnu is everything vs. the Xxyth.  They're real mean.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Card of the Day - Kukri

The Zeidian are the protectors of the current population of Avadnu.  They feel that it is their duty to protect the other races from the Xxyth (which we will be seeing tomorrow.)   I chose Reinforce as the Zeidian mechanic as they are good at working together and sacrificing for the greater good.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Card of the Day - Orb of Seeing

I chose Scry as one of the Mistji keywords, because they are the most magically aligned of all the races of Avadnu.  This card lets them show off a little.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Card of the Day - Ranger's Mantle

The Sulwynarii are an ancient race that fought against an unspeakable evil many years ago.  Their race is dwindling and the only thing they have from their past are relics.  This card keeps them hidden from the evil and helps them hide others.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Card of the Day - Thar-chak

Ok, so there are a few things weird going on with this week's cycle.  First of all, it's Tribal, which is something Wizards has said that they aren't going to do much anymore.  Second, it's a colored artifact.  (Not that weird these days, but when I created this card it was.)  Third, WTF is a Skarren?!

Well, to answer your ever-so-well-put question:
The Skarren are a nomadic barbaric race from the Plane of Avadnu
One of their most prized weapons is the Thar-chak.  Which makes it better if one of them is wielding it.  I started making these cards about 8 years ago for my first set:  Violet Dawn.

The world was created by some friends of mine in the early 2000's and I latched on and made a ton of cards based on the world.  Enjoy the week!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Card of the Day - Farm Gnome

This is probably my favorite card I've ever designed.  You'll see some more Gnomes later.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Card of the Day - Mycoid Bloom

A mana producer that feels both black and green.  And also slimy.  Ewww.

Forged-ing Ahead

This week, I'd like to introduce you to Forged.


This is the actual wording of Machina Serpent.  (I had to hide the keyword before.)  Forged was created when I was attempting to find another colorless keyword for a set I was working on. Machina Serpent shows off both abilities quite well.  When I was creating cards for these keywords, there seemed to be a large number of creatures that could have either ability, for example:


The Unaligned drone needs 2 colorless mana to be cast.  The Forged one is more powerful because you have more options on how to cast it.  You can cast it as a 1/1 if you have no colorless, or a 2/2 if you only have one Power Plant out.

 Here's another example:




 Although these cards are fundamentally different, you can see the overlap.  Now that we've seen what they can do the same, let's look at the differences.





Both of these guys get really mean when cast with colorless mana, but can also be put out quite early if you're paying with colored mana.  

While not necessarily a Forged enabler, this little beaut can help get your Forged guys even bigger than they could get on their own, while simultaneously helping to cast guys you shouldn't be able to otherwise. 




I guess when it comes down to it, Forged is just a variation of Sunburst.  I don't see why we can't use charge counters on non-creature permanents with Forged in the future.  Thanks again for listening, and as always, I welcome any comments.


-Olaf

Edit: New templating on Mana Scrubber, taken from Fist of Suns.  Fixed templating on Stoic Automental.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Card of the Day - Raise the Wretched

I wanted to make something a little different than Zombify for the black card in the cycle, and here you have it.  It can still get lots of good little dudes, and it costs half as much to cast.


Edit:  Changed from power 2 or less to mana cost 2 or less.  Less Reveillark, more Unearth. Also changed it to an instant to give it a Makeshift Mannequin feel.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Card of the Day - Ancient Scroll

This is the only instant in the cycle, as it doesn't return a permanent to the battlefield.  It does, however, let you recycle counterspells and other goodies.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Card of the Day - Salvage

This was the card that inspired the cycle.  I thought, "Why isn't there a Zombify for artifacts?" and voila!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Card of the Day - Lava Elemental

My favourite thing about this card it that it kills itself when you activate it.  This is a good card for all those Johnnies to abuse.  Try it with Incandescent Soulstoke!  Or Red Ward! Or Charisma!

Updated with suggestions in place.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Card of the Day - Revoke

I worded it specifically this way so if you cast it with no other cards in hand, you can still counter a spell.

Unaligned - A New Look at Colorlessness


Most of the blog posts I've done so far involve Snow as a theme, and I'd like to do something a little different today. Let's start with a past Card of the Day. (For you new folks, I plan to post a new card every day until the end of time to exercise my brain.)












The mechanic on this card is Unaligned. Basically, it says you need to cast it with colorless mana. This guy is pretty good, because you don't need a lot for him to be effective. If you compare an Unaligned card to a colored card, if it costs 3 unaligned, it's the same as it costing GGG; not an easy cost to manage. That said, using Unaligned means you have to have a pretty solid colorless mana base, be it The Uzra Lands, Cloudposts, Supply Roads, or maybe one of these:



It's a lot harder to have more than one color in a deck with Unaligned cards. It might be easiest if you only use other colorless cards, or at the very least, cards that only need one or two mana of a specific color.

Let's explore Unaligned a little bit.



We'll start with an enabler. 1 and a card for 2 seems good. It can help get that extra colorless mana you need.

This should cost 2, but Unaligned makes it harder to cast.  Therefore: Discount!
 
The last enabler is a creature. He reminds of Metalworker a little bit.
Here's a few Unaligned creatures to play with.

Unaligned creatures tend to be larger because if their restrictive costs.
Colorless is pretty powerful when left alone!
This guy seems to be the unofficial Unaligned Lord.

The Clockwork Giant really likes it when you play with Power Plants. Luckily, in this set, Power Plants are in the basic land slot along with the other lands. Tournament Organizers will have these handy to pass out with other lands when needed.





Another thing to note: Right now, the only creatures that have Unaligned are Constructs.  I'm not saying there couldn't be other creature types that are Unaligned, I just haven't designed any yet.


 


Here's a sorcery:


 
Tough to play, but might have a home in EDH someday.

Next week, we'll take a look at another colorless keyword: Forged.

Thanks for reading!

-Olaf

Updated Factories to Power Plants.