Friday, August 29, 2014

Card of the Day - Fuzzy Mindmelter

This card is based off a tweet by @inkwell_looter.  I made it in the old frame since he was wondering if he'd make the cut for Alpha.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Playtesting Frostmere - Day 2

If you're not up-to-date on my current project, you can start here. Part 2 is here.

There have been quite a few changes in the few rounds of playtesting that I've done.  This may be the most fun I've had since creating this blog. 

I'll be posting original versions of cards and then the "fixed" version, explaining the reasoning for each one.  The new versions are going to be playtested soon, and I will give a full report on those cards, as well.

First, we have our snow "tri-lands."  Since the Coldsnap duals just entered the battlefield tapped, I wanted to something a bit different.  My original version didn't have enough drawback, so I tried again.  The Legendary status creates a flavorful experience, while at the same time being enough of a drawback where this wouldn't be an automatic 4-of.  This card is also promoted to Rare on account of the Legendaryness of it.

A small change here, but a significant one.  This card, along with Disciple of Gargut, can be backbreaking.   A slight tweak is all it needs, methinks.

While I previously thought a small tweak we necessary here, after a few more rounds, it turns out that this is the 2nd most powerful card I've played with.  (The 1st most powerful is a doozy!)  The changes are numerous here.  Mana cost, power, rarity, and activation cost tweaks should make this guy a little less broken.  We will see soon enough.

Oh, Icy Excavation. This card is, by all accounts, the #1 most broken card I've played with.  Every time this card was cast, it was the end of the game.  When you pay 4 mana to draw 8 cards, there is a problem.   I changed the mana cost to make it less disgusting and hopefully that's enough.

One small tweak to make this feel more like a weird hybrid between a shock land and a fetch land.  I think it succeeds in that regard.

 Mammoth Lair is still functionally the same, with better language.  Playtesting helps you figure that stuff out, too. I modified the wording from the Hidden cards in Urza's Saga. 

  Another wording fix along with a slight toughness boost for the sake of easier math.  I also feel that this should be a common. 

Winter Bolt as a sorcery fixes is a fair trade for the ice counter.

That's all for today!  Stay tuned for the next episode of Playtesting Frostmere.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Playtesting Frostmere -- Day 1, Part 2

For part 1, click here.

Thanks for coming back!  The second deck that I made was a Red/Black ice deck.  It manipulates ice counters to do mean things.  Here's a rundown on some of the more important cards in the deck -

Below Zero was busted in its original incarnation.  Originally it only gave a counter when it ETB, but at the beginning of your upkeep, it dealt damage equal to the number of ice counters on it to a creature or player.  In combination with a few of the other cards in the deck, its original abilities made it way too strong.  What you see is the nerfed version.  We haven't tested this version yet, but it seems more reasonable.

These four cards form the rest of the core of the Red/X Ice counter deck.  Disciple of Gargut was less impressive than I expected, but still really good.  I was thinking about adding 1 colorless to his mana cost, but more playtesting is needed. Cover in Frost is the card that, when combined with Below Zero, is an absolute killer.  I like it in this deck to help get rid of a creature with the Disciple, and I think it will play nicely with the rest of the Ice counter team.

Both of these cards are singletons in the deck, but only Icy Excavation came up.  When I cast it, I drew 6 cards and lost 1 life.  This card needs to be tweaked.   I'd say adding an X to the mana cost and getting rid of the life loss might be the right fit.  A verdict is still out for the Parasite, but a colorless Control Magic probably needs to cost more, even with the drawback.

 Snowy Apex (and the rest of the cycle) was completely overhauled.  They originally only read" 1: Add R to your mana pool."  The clever part was that they were snow lands, so you could filter for a single color and for snow mana.  When I overhauled the snow costs to make it easier for players unfamiliar with the snow rules, I added the ability to tap it for S. It just feels bad not being able to tap your land for mana unless it's a really cool land (see Mammoth Lair from yesterday).

The last card I wanted to mention was Set Fire.  This is an homage to Electrostatic Bolt.  It's also awesome.

Thanks again for listening.  Make sure to tell your friends to check out the blog, and follow me on twitter and like the page on Facebook.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Playtesting Frostmere - Day 1, Part 1


Hollee and I spent the better part of three hours playtesting a pair of decks I put together using mainly cards from Frostmere, a set I'm designing. 

Here are a few highlights from the first of the two decks:

Deck 1 - Hollee:  Since Hollee enjoys playing Green/White, I made her a Selesnya deck focusing of the Snowfall mechanic.  Here are a few key cards:

Brenish Hunter is the cornerstone of a good landfall deck in limited environments. When his ability triggers more than once a turn, he gets really mean.

This is the core of snow lands.  If you're familiar with how snow mana works, the main rule is -- Whenever you get mana from a snow permanent, that mana has the snow supertype.  In other words, you can use it for any costs that require snow mana.  To alleviate some of this confusion, I've added it as an option on each snow land that can produce mana in Frostmere.

Side note, all of these lands besides the Basic land changed from when we first started playtesting.  Hidden Embankment didn't tap for mana, and the Icicle Glade had a useless ability word, Frigid.  Frigid was supposed to read -- This enters the battlefield tapped unless you control another snow permanent.  I only ever put it on the two color lands, and it seemed unnecessary, so I removed it. The Mammoth Lair had a triggered ability to sacrifice it and put a token into play, but this version just feels better.

These two creatures, while not being snow themselves, really go along with the theme.  The Badger, while being immensely fun, is a hard guy to block.  It turns out that ability is a really good way to make blocking generally turn out in the Badger's favor.  The Paladin is also a really good card.  It turns out that an 8 point life swing for 3 mana might be too strong.

One other card worth mentioning is Justice of Ice.  This is part of a rare cycle of Snow Enchantments that have a Snowfall bonus.  This one  works really well with Brenish Hunter and is also cray in multiples.  A limited powerhouse, for sure.  This was costed at 1W originally, and it was WAAAYY to cheap, so I fixed it.

That's all for tonight, but don't fret. I will post the other deck's analysis tomorrow, so stay tuned!  Remember to follow me on twitter @madolaf, and like the Facebook page ( to keep up on updates.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Tuesday, August 12, 2014


I won't be posting cards for the next week or so, since I'm going to GenCon tomorrow.  I will be back next Tuesday with a new card!

Card of the Day - Kill Party

Because everyone loves a TPK.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Card of the Day - Savage Cold

While I was making this card, I had some trouble finding the best wording. Here are two other versions that might work, as well.

Let me know which version feels the best, and is the most grokkable.