Design a Card

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WP&P
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Re: Design a Card

Postby WP&P » 18 Mar 2017, 06:06

Re: Relentless Revenant

I like it, aside from the tracking complexity. In trying to think of a way to handle counter on a thing in the graveyard, I thought maybe it could leave behind some kind of token permanent when it dies, then cause you to sac all those permanents when it ETBs, gaining a counter for each sac.

I guess they've done the "sticky counters" thing before so maybe it's not too much of an issue.

"When RR dies remove all +1/+1 counters from RR and create that many black token enchantments named Relentless Haunting. Whenever RR ETB's sacrifice all enchantments named Relentless Haunting, and for each enchantment sacrificed this way, put a +1/+1 counter on RR. As long as RR is in the graveyard, you may pay (B) for each enchantment named RH you control; if you do, put it onto the battlefield."

This might be a lot stronger, though, as multiples can feed off each other... thus perhaps need to be costed higher.
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Re: Design a Card

Postby chetoos » 18 Mar 2017, 10:54

The game has done sticky counters before with Skullbriar, the walking grave, and I think it's fine. The idea you suggested works with parallel lives a lot better, plus if you have ways of animating enchantments and pumping them, then those things are suddenly a potential threat. I think the design is fine as is.
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Re: Design a Card

Postby SixFootTurkey » 18 Mar 2017, 16:05

Well poop... it just erased my reply... Short version:

Enchantment version is actually more complex than sticky counters, messes with other things (being able to sac permanents/things that care about # of enchantments - would probably be broken with constellation for instance).

It's essentially a 2/1 for BB over two turns - with recursion as an upside.

I would probably tack on the standard 'sorcery speed'/'can't block'/'enters untapped' to prevent instant speed blockers.
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Re: Design a Card

Postby Atifexe » 18 Mar 2017, 16:58

Funny little note inspired by Chetoos' comment - effects that increase the number of counters placed on permanents you control wouldn't function for Relentless Revenant, since cards in the graveyard aren't permanents.

And it does have the Sorcery-speed restriction already. I toyed with the idea of having it enter tapped but be usable at instant speed. I don't quite remember the reason I decided against that.
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Re: Design a Card

Postby SixFootTurkey » 18 Mar 2017, 23:08

Ah so it does - not entirely sure how I missed that. (Enter tapped means you can't use it as a blocker, even if you cast it on your turn. Basically the trade-off is can block first turn vs being unable to block first turn but able to cast it eot. More defensive vs offensively optioned.)
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Re: Design a Card

Postby Tim_McM » 23 May 2017, 22:50

Tried to make a mechanic for "legendary" Instants/Sorceries, not completely satisfied with it but came up with these:

Widespread Rebellion, Sorcery, 3WWW
When you cast Widespread Rebellion, exile any number of cards named Widespread Rebellion from your hand and library, for each card exiled this way copy Widespread Rebellion.
Exile target creature, create X 1/1 white, soldier creature tokens where X is the exiled card’s converted mana cost. Exile Widespread Rebellion

Excess of Knowledge, Instant, 5UUU
When you cast Excess of Knowledge, exile any number of cards named Excess of Knowledge from your hand and library, for each card exiled this way copy Excess of Knowledge.
Target player draws cards equal to the number of cards in their hand. Their maximum hand size is reduced by 1 for the rest of the game. Exile Excess of Knowledge

Distressing Revelation, Sorcery, 2BBB
When you cast Distressing Revelation, exile any number of cards named Distressing Revelation from your hand and library, for each card exiled this way copy Distressing Revelation.
Target player discards a card then each opponent sacrifices a nonland permanent that shares a color with it. Exile Distressing Revelation

Overwhelming Assault, Instant, 3RRR
When you cast Overwhelming Assault, exile any number of cards named Overwhelming Assault from your hand and library, for each card exiled this way copy Overwhelming Assault.
Creatures you control gain one of: +3/+0, first strike, haste or trample until end of turn. Exile Overwhelming Assault

Nature's Rampage, Sorcery, 4GGG,
When you cast Nature’s Rampage, exile any number of cards named Nature’s Rampage from your hand and library, for each card exiled this way copy Nature’s Rampage.
Create an X/X green Elemental creature token where X+1 is the number of creatures you control.
A creature you control fights a creature you don’t control of target opponent’s choice. Exile Nature’s Rampage


In theory they work better the more copies of them you cast at once but can also be effective individually or in smaller bursts when called for, thoughts?
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Re: Design a Card

Postby SixFootTurkey » 24 May 2017, 17:28

(Slight wording fix -- you'd have to specify that you may search the zones for the cards -- see dispossess.)

You have to balance them around having 4 copies on N mana - which is going to be the default case. Yes you _can_ save up some, but there is basically no incentive to do so.

I wouldn't really call it a legendary mechanic - as you're rewarded for stacking rather than limited by legendary. It's closer to Grandeur (which was kind of an anti-legendary mechanic - as it was on legendary creatures to balance out legendary drawbacks).

Quick idea for a possible 'legendary' mechanic for non-permanents: reduce the effect for each spell named ~ you cast that game.
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Re: Design a Card

Postby WP&P » 24 May 2017, 20:54

Could be just as simple as the spell's effect including "If a card named ~ is in your graveyard, exile ~." That way, the first resolved version of it goes and sits in the yard, potentially getting brought back to hand, or counting for spell mastery, etc; the rest just go poof.

I like the suggestion of weakening a spell, though, if it has previously been cast; this could also be a check-the-yard clause. Could even be written as "If there is no card named ~ in your graveyard, copy ~." in order to have a beneficial effect that only happens on the first iteration. That way it would be easier to scale since you can control the effect - like only making one copy - and thus you could avoid having to resort to exorbitant CMCs.
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Re: Design a Card

Postby SixFootTurkey » 25 May 2017, 13:57

There are two main aspects of legendary as I see it.

1) Flavor -- 'only being one', though this is harder to do with spells unless you want to do 'cast only if you haven't cast another spell named ~ this game'. This is a bit extreme, so I'm leaning away from that. (An option would be to do something like [you can't cast another of this card until you've cast N other spells]. Kind of messy, and I'd have to figure out how to word it, but it prevents you from just chaining two of them together.)

2) Multiples -- since Legendary has the downside of drawing two of them (balanced out by power level), you're less likely to want to include 4-of. Making multiples worse is much easier to handle - though the two do go hand in hand fairly well, it's just how we want to start approaching the issue.

I don't like the idea of relying on # in the graveyard, as there are far too many ways to mess with it, thus entirely negating the downside with a bit of building around it. These are supposed to feel like legendary spells, not just another type of synergy cards.

Limiting how many you can include in the deck has come up in the past, but it is not the way to go - downsides in general are bad, though there are exceptions. ('Can't block' style effects fit thematically with an aggressive creature, and so players are more willing to accept it. The Legend/PW rules are necessary/established, and also flavorful enough.) We also want to allow players to play with how they want to build their deck, not set arbitrary limits. (It also runs into the issue of being compared to restricted cards -- if it's not as powerful as a card that makes the restricted list, players will wonder why they will want to run it.)

An option is to go the other way entirely -- take the approach of 'Approach of the Second Sun' or Faerie Miscreants - but make the spell become exponentially more powerful. This becomes more of a combo mechanic though, and if you allow graveyard shenanigans you're balancing around that such that nothing else uses it. (Which kind of leaves us with trying to cast it numerous times.)
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Re: Design a Card

Postby WP&P » 10 Jun 2017, 18:39

Just a crazy idea I had for an Aftermath card; is there any merit to this?

Image

Should The Judge just set life totals to a fixed number, say 7?
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Re: Design a Card

Postby SixFootTurkey » 11 Jun 2017, 06:35

Generally seems fine, though I'm not sure where the blue is in The Judge...

There are only two sources of blue life total setting I can see - Psychic Transfer which allows one to swap if diff is low, and Sway of the Stars that does so as part of making a 'new game'.

Basing life totals on land, I'd be more likely to have it be WG than WU - alternatively you could make it WB, but it looks like you wanted a third color.

Power level... Complain is probably too strong. It is better than doomblade - and that's ignoring that it can target multiple things. Combine that with a symmetrical effect that completely nullifies Complain's downside? And it gets even sillier.
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Re: Design a Card

Postby WP&P » 11 Jun 2017, 17:19

Thanks for the feedback.
Power level of complain was something I kept going back and forth with. I initially costed it XBB, but then I figured that for 1B you get to kill one thing, i.e. Doom Blade's effect, only you pay 1 life for the lack of targeting restrictions. For 2B and 4 life you get to target 2 things, which I think scales well. The "flavor" behind it is the notion that a complaintive attitude hurts oneself as much as it hurts the object of the complaint, but that doesn't stop some people from just going overboard with it.

The blue in Judge came solely from the flavor of judging, as this is an Azorius thing to do. But it doesn't have to be there; it could just be white. Setting life based on land count isn't really all that symmetrical, when you think about it; one can craft their deck towards getting the benefit out of this. So that's why I'm leaning more and more towards just a straight set to 7 or to 10... As an Aftermath effect there's not a lot of room to write out things, so it needs to be simple, and just convey the notion of someone treating all players fairly.
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Re: Design a Card

Postby SixFootTurkey » 12 Jun 2017, 13:39

Something to keep in mind, is that life as a resource is _very_ frequently over valued in design. Take phyrexian mana - something that is basically borked to all heck and back. Also fetches/shock lands -- paying life to gain a tempo advantage is powerful.

A basic comparison: if you kill 3 creatures you will lose 9 life, but assuming you only kill three 2/2s, that is only 1.5 turns worth of damage, and on top of that you traded 3 for 1 and only spent 4 mana to do so. Killing two creatures is 3 mana and 4 life for 2 creatures - Doomblade+Dismember on one card.

If you wanted to build synergy between the two halves instead of just mitigating factors, you could set all players to the lowest life total. This also means if you get too low, there's a risk - you can't just assume you'll get to go back to N life.

I know Arcane is cool - but I would absolutely drop the subtype; there is more than enough going on with this card. I would probably make it a sorcery, bump the cost, or both. A cost of XXB wouldn't be that prohibitive - but may be exclusive with the life element.
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Re: Design a Card

Postby WP&P » 12 Jun 2017, 17:06

Yeah - I like the "lowest life total" as that scales with the format. However, that also converts the life loss from a drawback into a strategem; you kind of want to pay as much as you can, so that you can drag them down with you!

The Arcane was in there for flavor... only there wasn't enough room in the half-card to add a quote: "Okay, is there anything more you'd like to add?" Without a quote like that it doesn't make sense... so out it goes!

Not sure about XXB versus XBB or XB as the cost. I think the low end being Doom Blade cost is right, due to the life loss, but as X goes higher it does seem to need to cost more. Strive, with an additional 1 or B per target may work, but that's getting past the complexity that can fit on this type of card (HINT: maybe this just needs to be a separate Strive card). XBB only really affects the low end.

NOW - here's a crazy thought! What if the card stays cheap to play from your hand, but the Aftermath part of it becomes a potential liability? Like, what if its effect is one that "Any player may play this spell"? Then it wouldn't need to be a "balanced" effect, but rather one that your opponent might get first dibs on, assuming you did not leave enough mana up? Gotta be a simple effect, like "Target player gains 7 life"...
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Re: Design a Card

Postby Phi » 13 Jun 2017, 09:27

Would like some feedback on this design, especially if it is too powerful:

[Name], 1UBG
Legendary Creature - [Type]
Sacrifice a permanent: draw a card.
Sacrifice 2 permanents: [Name] gets indestructible until end of turn.
2/4
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Re: Design a Card

Postby SixFootTurkey » 14 Jun 2017, 14:03

Paying 1 life to remove the 'nonblack' restricting makes it MUCH BETTER than Doomblade, it's not comparable. This takes a doomblade (already very good), then makes it better, then adds scale-ability, and then on top of that, adds a secondary effect you can pay for later on.

Compare to a 'similar' card -- Cut//Ribbons; the initial (removal) half is a sorcery, doesn't scale, and has limited scope of targets (only deals 4 damage).

I like the concept of 'any player may...' in theory, but in practice your opponent is more likely to forget about it - especially if it's from the graveyard. Concept brought about: 'Choose X target creatures. For each creature, destroy it unless its controller pays N life.' (This probably doesn't jive with your design, but the idea intrigued me enough to write it down.)
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Re: Design a Card

Postby SixFootTurkey » 14 Jun 2017, 14:07

@Phi

On the surface, it doesn't look too problematic... but the fact that you can sacrifice lands and tokens and turn any chump blocker into a card makes me think it would be extremely powerful.

As a creature it's a little boring, (not a bad thing) - it feels more like an enchantment. I feel the low power high toughness clashes with giving it indestructible. (It would make more sense to me as a 4/2).
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Re: Design a Card

Postby WP&P » 21 Sep 2017, 22:16

I'm working on some more novelty cards for my brother-in-law's family, as a Christmas gift, and I'd like some critique of some of the cards. I've got the full "set" all roughed out, now I'm in development and it's time for power level tweaking. All of these cards are "cards from art" as they are inspired by the vacation trip photos they took.

Anyway, these are intended to work as an expansion for last year's gift set, and one of the factions there made use of Cycling as a mechanic. That puts cards into the graveyard, and so when I started thinking of a recursion mechanic for this set, I decided that I'd start sending things to exile instead, so that the cycling doesn't get abused. Plus, the exile fits my overall theme, which is based around the Great Eclipse - a world-changer very similar to the Great Aurora in Lorwyn/Shadowmoor.

Fain, as a foreigner planeswalker just trying to get home again, is basically the only being who can pass through the Eclipse unchanged, and thus he is able to recall the way things were before. Mechanically, this is his ultimate, being able to call upon resources that are outside the game.

My question with this is more so with the first two abilities, whether they are in the right relationship and loyalty costs. His first ability is intended to enable an alternate-win milling strategy, which hasn't previously been feasible in the set I designed, so I need it to be strong. Thoughts?

Image
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Re: Design a Card

Postby SixFootTurkey » 22 Sep 2017, 14:56

Random thoughts in no particular order:
  • In your explanation you refer to 'outside the game' -- exile is a game zone, and thus not outside the game. (Confused me a bit when you were talking about the ult.)
  • Power level, the +1 doesn't seem too strong - though I'm unsure about multiplayer. If we assume somewhere around 35% lands, roughly, chance of hitting a land on N is .35|.23|.15|.1|.6 -- or an 89% chance to find a land in the top 5; which should ballpark at around at ~2.2 per activation.
  • Mechanically, the +1 seems a bit at odds with the rest of the card. While ostensibly the +1 synergizes with the ult, it feels like you're dealing with two conflicting win conditions. If you're running this in a mill deck, you're going to be focusing on the +1 and ignoring the ult. If you're running it for the ult, the +1 is just buying you time until you hit a few good cards and can ult. (You are likely going up to 6 and then immediately ulting.) This brings us to:
  • The starting loyalty/ult cost seem rather strong; they have *one* turn to deal with it, or you get your ult. Even if you didn't get anything good with the +1, you now have an emblem for any further Fains/other cards - you really want to consider how easy it is to get this ult, especially when exiling something is an extremely powerful means of removal in its own right - and indeed, temporary removal (oblivion ring) just gets much better with it. Part of this is also because:
  • Exile is used as a place to put things *the game does not want you to get to use again*. Spells that exile themselves when they resolve so you can't use them again. Creatures that get exiled after being brought back with a recursion spell - so you can't chain recur them.
  • On to the -2. This is *very* good. With no interaction, in a 1v1 its *floor* is 'Draw 3, exile 1. Rebound' - this is probably worth 6 mana, or at least 3UU. And it only has upside. The *floor* is a cheaper (but sorcery) Enhanced Awareness that costs your opponent a card or an attack.
  • The design feels a bit scattered - it feels like it's a combined card advantage+mill+ult-wincon. There *is* an overarching idea of dealing with exile, but it comes across more like three different abilities were, in a vacuum, designed to have an element of exile around them, then put on the same card.

Taking a break to do a quick take on my own version:
[3U]
+1: Look at the top card of your library, you may exile it.
-1: Target player exiles X cards from the top of their library, where X is the number of cards you own in exile.
-7: You get an emblem with "you may play cards owned by other players from exile."
[loyalty 3]

What is the goal of this design? Is multiplayer the primary goal, or an afterthought?


[Edit: P.S. These are unfiltered thoughts - any questions are to aid in further feedback/ideas, not to make any judgement about the initial design itself.]
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Re: Design a Card

Postby WP&P » 22 Sep 2017, 16:53

Thank you for the valuable feedback!

First, the goal of design is definitely multiplayer... playing in an environment of completely custom cards, as they are printed with custom backs on paper that isn't quite the same as a real card, so there's no fair way to mix in other actual MTG cards. This means that some potential abuses (like Oblivion Ring that you mentioned) are controlled for, though it's good to bring up the point because the other goal of the design is to play like MTG.

Part of the scattering of abilities is actually intentional; I'm trying to design cards such that they are useful to more than one of the original deck archetypes. I think I like your suggested -1 ability a lot, as a stronger milling option, because one of the other deck mechanics I have to work with is one that sets aside cards in exile... that -1 can function well without any help from the +1. In fact, the +1 is functionally very close to the other mechanic that I have ("Bookshelf N", an ETB trigger that exiles N cards, those cards can be drawn in lieu of normal card draw as long as you control a permanent with Bookshelf).

The ultimate, in both our versions, is intended to be anti-Bookshelf deck tech - I specifically wanted this guy to be both useful and a liability to a Bookshelf player. The other blue players in the format would be focusing on either exchanging control of permanents (a la Zedruu) or unblockable attacks to support ninjas. So maybe I just need to come up with something else as a +1 (or +?) that feeds one of these other strategies.

I will be packaging these cards as actual "random" booster packs, not really keeping track of who gets what, so I want them to be broadly appealing.

Maybe the + can impart unblockable on a guy, and if he deals combat damage then you get to steal or swap a thing? Hmm, cogitating.
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Re: Design a Card

Postby WP&P » 22 Sep 2017, 17:00

I should say, story-wise, the reason Fain has two wands is because he stole one from a manipulative rival planeswalker that played a role in the original set's story line; Fain learns that this planeswalker is actually prepared for the upcoming Eclipse with some special goggles, and in his quest to get back to his home plane Fain learns that he needs the goggles, and he takes the wand in order to disempower his rival so to keep him from pursuing past the realm's borders.

So flavorfully, an ability that sneaks in and steals something really works well.
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Re: Design a Card

Postby SixFootTurkey » 22 Sep 2017, 21:15

Other possible + abilities:
  • +1: Return target creature card from a graveyard to the battlefield. It gains defender. Exile it at the beginning of your next upkeep.
  • +1: Tap target creature. Exile cards from the top of its controller's library equal to the number of tapped creatures they control.
  • +2: Until your next turn, whenever a creature attacks you or a planeswalker you control [or just Fain], that creature's controller exiles the top card of his or her library.
  • +2: Until your next turn, if Fain would be dealt damage, exile that many cards from your library instead.

Late, more thoughts beyond rambles later.
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Re: Design a Card

Postby WP&P » 23 Sep 2017, 11:34

I like how your suggestions for the + ability do the job of giving Fain some protection, which theoretically is something that all planeswalkers need to do. However, I am really liking this version:

Image

The ability set seems to work together well, and it ends up being highly useful to all of my blue players in one way or another. The Ninjutsu player has a way to sneak through more ninjas, and granting evasion is just generally a great way to break a board stall; the Wheel player has cards that tend to set up an impenetrable defense but doesn't have a potent offense, so this can give them some punch.

Being able to "trade" away a creature for an artifact is a way for other players to break up the Wheel player's fortifications. And if the Wheel player (wheel is the give-others-your-permanents for a while mechanic) is passing around some bomb that will be devastating once it gets back to him, Fain can intercept it and get it exiled.

Then the -2 is just your suggested exile-mill, most useful to the Bookshelf player since they build up a stash of exiled cards. But other players can still feed the -2 by using the +1. Other cards in the set have already been crafted to exile things more often than destroy them, and of course one could use this ability on themselves in order to get a pile going.

The ultimate is a vulnerability for the Bookshelf opponent as their set-asides can now be plundered, but it can also be a boon to the Bookshelf player since they can skip the step of needing a draw trigger to get at their bookshelf.

So I think I like the ability set, just need to dial in the loyalty costs. I like starting at 3, but I think -7 for the ultimate is too much, when he's not really protecting himself. Thoughts?
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Re: Design a Card

Postby SixFootTurkey » 23 Sep 2017, 15:13

A quick mechanics check on the +1; you can't have a replacement effect target. While technically you can make the +1 target, you would need to go about it in a bizarre way. Not targeting does mean it gets around hexproof/shroud. If you do want to target, I would probably make it an 'attacks and isn't blocked' delayed trigger. One possibility is to limit the artifact to one of equal/lesser CMC than the creature (or maybe CMC >= power).

An option is to lower the starting loyalty to 1 or 2, make the +1 a +2, and have a high ult cost; that allows early response while still making the ult achievable.
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Re: Design a Card

Postby WP&P » 23 Sep 2017, 23:32

Perhaps by wording it "you may exile it instead. If you do, gain control of target..." this way the replacement effect is limited only to the choice to exile, and the targeting is just triggered by that choice. That's actually the way I had it written to begin with, but then I tried to shorten the text in hopes of getting it down by a line (didn't quite get there).

As for restricting the target based on some criteria, I don't feel this is necessary, and would compound the problem of text length. Vorthos-wise, this is about a little guy getting in there and deceptively stealing a rival's most powerful artifacts anyways.

What about trading the + and - abilities? Then the would-be mill player can just keep milling away, always going up in loyalty. The Dack Fayden wannabe would, on the other hand, be limited to just a few activations.
What do model railroading and Magic: The Gathering have in common?
I don't have enough time or money for either!

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