Custom cards - Playability assessment

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Re'ozul
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Custom cards - Playability assessment

Postby Re'ozul » 06 May 2014, 11:44

I recentlymade an MtG card for fun for a fanfiction and found myself to like doing that.

So I was wondering if a thread for player-made cards would fit in this Forum, complete with people assessing them for playability and grade (the Limited Resources Scale possibly)

So far I have two:
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Re: Custom cards - Playability assessment

Postby Myrph » 06 May 2014, 13:31

My first concern is that these cards should probably be legendary, just because they are really actually quite strong, and having 4 out simultaneously would be baaaaaad.
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Re: Custom cards - Playability assessment

Postby Kapol » 06 May 2014, 14:17

EDIT: I realized that feedback like that isn't likely what you were looking for, cause my brain is a durdly. So for limited grades for the cards, it'd be something like:

Skitter: B+/A-. Given it can dodge most removal and pump out a creature every turn, it's hard for an opponent to recover in a limited game. This would depend largely no just how much board wipe and the like is in the format, but it's something that'd be really hard for an opponent to recover from if you drop it on turn 3 (or 2 depending on ramp).

Lung: A. A 4/4 for 6 fails the vanilla test I think, but the abilities make up for it. It's got pseudo-bushido that doesn't have it go away, it can get flying after swinging in for a few turns, and it can potentially just wipe the board. Not to mention the fact it regenerates for one mana, meaning that most removal just won't be anything more than 'I tap your guy down for a turn.' The triple red is a bit harsh and makes it stupid to splash. But if you've got a solid amount of fixing or mountains, you're good to go. And if you're mono-red (which this card would make me want to be), you're likely going to win when this hits the table.

(original post:)

Click to Expand
So, a few things:

-If these are meant to be uncommon, they're too powerful. Both of these would be first-pickable in a draft and very strong in a limited event.
-'Sharded' seems really awkward as a subtype. It seems like it's an adjective, which doesn't really work for types. It also makes it feel like there are too many subtypes on Lung.
-Both of them seem like they have way too much text on them. Lung has five separate abilities. Skitter has four. That's quite a lot to put on one card.
-I agree with Myrph that they do feel like legendary creatures more than anything.
-Regenerate isn't a red ability. There are only 4 cards that have red regen, and they're all older (and therefore likely before stuff like regen had been settled into the color pie). The 'do two damage' thing is VERY strong. Like, almost brokenly so. That wipes out fast agro, and in mono-red, it can even wipe out most midrange. And these abilities combined make it a very powerful creature.
-All of the abilities that make Lung more powerful are oddly worded. I feel like the 'put +1/+1 if blocks or is blocked' should just be if it is blocked, given that's a more red ability. The phrasing for the second should likely be "Lung has flying as long as there are three or more +1/+1 counters on Lung."
-I feel like Skitter doesn't need 3 different 'make a token' abilities. Like, I think the simple 'tap: make a guy' ability should be removed. being able to just tap to make a guy is very, very strong. The green one shouldn't be an option honestly. It should be one of the two, and given it's an insect, likely the one with flying. Adding in multiple options just gives it more versatility (and more relevantly more complexity) than necessary. The last tap ability is fine.
-The last ability is very weirdly worded. For one, there isn't supposed to be anything you can do about a card getting exiled. Exiled is a very different mechanic than destroy for a reason, and that's one of them. Hence why even the gods of Theros can be exiled. Being able to return it to your hand is also very awkward in W/G as well as very abusable. I'd say in terms of being a mechanically-working card, cutting the return to hand and if it would be exiled clauses out entirely. They just don't work honestly. If you wanted to get rid of exile chances, giving it hexproof is the only real way to go that's mechanically sound.

You could, alternatively, put it on the last tap ability. Like something along the lines of "W, Tap: Put a 0/2 White Swarm Clone token with "sacrifice Swarm Clone: Target Skitter gets hexproof until end of turn." The hexproof could be replaced with regenerate, but that ability is very strong. On top of making dudes, it means the card is almost impossible to get rid of. That isn't a good thing even if it makes sense in terms of flavor. It might be fine depending on the set and how much 'it can't be regenerated' clauses there are. But... at that point, what's the point of even being able to give regen?


Keep in mind, these are just approaching it from making these actual cards rather than something to do for fun. If you enjoy making the cards, have fun with it. These are just what came to mind in terms of feedback.
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Re: Custom cards - Playability assessment

Postby Re'ozul » 06 May 2014, 14:56

On a whole:
They are based on Superheroes/Villains of a webnovel. I thought about making them legendary, but in the story there are multiple events where clones of characters gain similar or outright the same abilities on being made, hence why I am hesitant to include them being Legendary on a flavour basis.

Sharded is due to superpowers actually being there from 'Shards' of a multidimensional Gestalt being attaching themselves to people. Though as I don't think I'll include normal people all that much (aside from as tokens) I may do away with them.

The 'too much stuff' thing bothers me as well, but is something I decided to include to better reflect the abilities of the characters. Though yes, if I make a set out of these it would be a very wordy one.

Is there something similar to regnerate that Lung could have? One of his main ability in the story is pretty high powered regeneration. Maybe an activate negate/reduce damage?

Lung thrives on any form of conflict, hence both forms. Is there a "When X enters combat" wording somewhere in magic?

Skitter controls bugs of all kinds. She also tends to use black widows or even brown recluses on heavy hitters. hence the option to have either flying or deathtouch. I agree the single tap ability is possibly too strong, my thinking was that she comes out on turn 3 so the earliest she can make a critter is turn 4 and by rurn 4 a single 1/1 without specialty isn't particularly great. But at the same time she makes free chumps.

I guess I'll remove the exile one. I approached exile with the wrong mindset. The idea was to make an ability that equals an enemy having been fooled and having attacked a swarm clone instead of her. so maybe "Whenever Skitter becomes the target of any spell or effect, you may change the target of the spell to a swarm clone you control"


I honestly had not expected them to be that strong.
I had aimed at what LR calls Bs Cards that would make you want to play that color but aren't actually Big Bombs.

EDIT: How much would it change if I made the flying and featureless tokens for Skitter unable to block?

Further EDIT: Lung is also a Dragon because the more he fights and gets stronger, the more turns into a big silver dragon fueled by rage.

Even more EDIT: Looking at Keywords, I may replace Lung's regenerate with Persist? Or would that be even worse?
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Re: Custom cards - Playability assessment

Postby ElFuzzy » 06 May 2014, 15:05

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This thread reminded me of my guess at the new Ajani's abilities awhile back. I figure this is standard playable.
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Re: Custom cards - Playability assessment

Postby Volafortis » 06 May 2014, 22:55

They're all far to wordy to really consider, not to mention how badly they both break the color pie.

I understand why you make 1/1 flying tokens with green (bees!), but that breaks the color pie, hard. While Wizards has made bees in the past, They are pretty universally regarded as mistakes in terms of the color pie. Green gets flying VERY rarely- certainly not on tokens.

As for Lung; red doesn't get regenerate. Period.

Also, Uncommon is wrong for both of these. These are both rares.

Let's try to clean these up though.

Skitter - 1GW
Legendary Creature - Shard Human - Rare

1GG, T: Put a 1/2 spider with deathtouch and reach onto the battlefield.

(4), Sacrifice an Insect: Exile ~, then return it to the battlefield at the beginning of the next end step.
1/2

Lung - 2RRRR
Legendary Creature - Shard Dragon - Mythic? Rare

Whenever ~ is dealt damage, put that many +1/+1 counters on ~.
If ~ has 4 or more +1/+1 counters on it, ~ gains flying.
Whenever ~ blcoks or becomes blocked, put a +1/+1 counter on ~.
Whenever ~ deals combat damage to a player, remove a +1/+1 counter from ~.
RR: ~ deals 1 damage to each other creature.
4/4

As for Limited, these are both massive bombs that are very first pickable.
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Re: Custom cards - Playability assessment

Postby Re'ozul » 07 May 2014, 04:06

On breaking Colors:
I am basically building them based on motivation/intent and the colors that represent that on the color wheel. Due to the fact that this is not always in accordance with what has over time been established as 'in color' with cards, some breaking is sadly unavoidable for me.

On wordiness:
I'll try to pare it down somewhat but with many heroes/villains having similar powers or at least being able to do similar things, some amount of wordiness is necessary to keep the idea of those characters intact.

Currently reworked Cards:
Click to Expand
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New card:
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Re: Custom cards - Playability assessment

Postby korvys » 07 May 2014, 16:03

For the sake of templating (ignoring the playability) that should probably be written as:

Code: Select all

Put a fatigue counter on Panacea: Untap Panacea.

At the beginning of each end step, if there are 3 or more fatigue counters on Panacea, exile it.


I'll try to pare it down somewhat but with many heroes/villains having similar powers or at least being able to do similar things, some amount of wordiness is necessary to keep the idea of those characters intact

One option to alleviate this, is to move some of the abilities off the character, and onto instant and sorceries that represent the particular things the character might have done. Like for Skitter, you could have spells that create insects, or even just other insect creatures cards, with lots of flavour to make it clear it's related to Skitter:

Code: Select all

Skitter's Swarm - 1GG

Put 3 1/1 Green Insect creature tokens into play

"Blah Blah Skitter loves bugs blah blah flavour text"


Then simplify her abilities down to just something like

Code: Select all

At the beginning of your upkeep, put a 1/1 Green Insect creature token into play.

Sacrifice 3 insects: Exile Skitter. Return it to the battlefield under its owner's control at the beginning of the next end step


Still good, but requires a deck to be really good, and not just a single card. Plus, while I don't know the characters, wouldn't it be flavourful to say that if she's in a situation where there are no insects, she would be a lot less powerful?
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Re: Custom cards - Playability assessment

Postby Volafortis » 07 May 2014, 18:57

Pretty much agreeing with everything korvys said. You shouldn't be trying to bog down your designs with so much redundant mechanical baggage, just because you want to eke out an extra modicum of flavor.

The Swarm Clone tokens are useless, from a design standpoint, so the best option is to look at way to remove them (Which honestly isn't hard at all, since the insect tokens are there to pull your mechanical weight).

Lung still has major wordiness issues, and the use of -1/-1 counters and +1/+1 counters on the same card is a big problem, because in gameplay, it can become a major memory issue.

Panacea is probably the closest you have to a clean design, but it still has some mechanical baggage, and the templating is wrong.

For instance, Panacea can get the same general gameplay from:

Panacea - 1WW
Creature - Shard Human

W, T: Regenerate target creature.

Put a -1/-1 counter on Panacea: Untap Panacea.

1/3
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Re: Custom cards - Playability assessment

Postby korvys » 07 May 2014, 19:23

To elaborate on my point, look at Chandra and Liliana.

They each exist as a several Planewalker cards, but they also have a number of cards that reflect things about them, and their role in the world.

A more recent example might be the gods, like Thassa. She is a card, but she is also mentioned in the flavour text for a whole lot of cards which help fill out her character, and her conflict with Kiora.
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Re: Custom cards - Playability assessment

Postby Re'ozul » 08 May 2014, 03:33

All good points.
I guess I am just a bit weary of instants and sorceries, just as I generally am weary of one-off items in RPGs.

I like korvys' two abilities idea for Skitter.

Would it be too wordy to add: Insect creatures you control have Banding?

(I know its an abandoned keyword, but I really like it as a way to express Skitter's ability to control and consolidate tiny insects.)
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Re: Custom cards - Playability assessment

Postby ForOhFor Error » 09 May 2014, 15:02

Banding is probably not a mechanic you'll ever want to use.
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Re: Custom cards - Playability assessment

Postby tamaness » 10 May 2014, 03:56

Banding is SWEET on defence. It's just confusing.
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Re: Custom cards - Playability assessment

Postby WickedBoy6 » 17 May 2014, 08:38

Just for shiggles, I found an old thread on another site that had some of my old custom cards. Some were goofy, some were serious.

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Re: Custom cards - Playability assessment

Postby Lord Hosk » 17 May 2014, 11:26

If the prismatic lotus is being removed from play/exiled, why does it tap?
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Re: Custom cards - Playability assessment

Postby susu.exp » 17 May 2014, 12:11

I think the comes into play tapped rule is relevant for that...

It's still super strong - it's not exactly a black Lotus, but it is easily stronger than dark ritual and that hasn't seen print for an age for a reason...
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Re: Custom cards - Playability assessment

Postby WickedBoy6 » 17 May 2014, 13:43

Lord Hosk wrote:If the prismatic lotus is being removed from play/exiled, why does it tap?

susu.exp wrote:I think the comes into play tapped rule is relevant for that...

Pretty much that, yeah. Also, you can't tap it if it's tapped, and during the time it was made, Icy Manipulator and Twiddle were still very relevant, and none of us in my circle were smart enough to sac in response, so that was always a nice catch on it.
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Re: Custom cards - Playability assessment

Postby Re'ozul » 17 May 2014, 13:50

Fireball of Ages seems unplayable due to not having at least haste.

Rekop Fiend is funny, but would need immense rules clarification (are colors suits, is only CMC relevant etc)

Paradoxodarap is actually very interesting if you are running a combat trick heavy deck. I mean it says "as if they were auras", so they stay instants or sorceries and once they are there I don't think they can be removed.

Megaton Hammer is silly good, but expensive to get on the board.

Prismatic Lotus is just plain awesome.
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Re: Custom cards - Playability assessment

Postby WickedBoy6 » 17 May 2014, 15:04

HASTE! Why did no one tell me it didn't have Haste? That should've been ability one! Well, there goes my dreams of ever being a card designer. :P

I did think that Rekop Fiend could use more clarification, but it's already lines-heavy as is. Explaining more might make it completely avoided.

And yeah, that's the point of Paradoxodarap, for Auras to be Instants, and Instants to be Auras. Which is why the rainbow color and the horrible P/T. I mean, think about it, dropping two Giant Growths on him makes him a permanent 6/7. Anything that gives him unblockable, indestructable, or hexproof for a turn - you know, I think I may have to errata him. I didn't realize how strong he actually was.

Megaton Hammer was always a popular card, but I could never get the balancing right. It's good, yes, but I always wonder if it's TOO good. Would a casting cost of 3 and activation of 5 make him better? Or leave the ability as-is and just lower the casting by one or two points?

And yes, every color should have a Dark Ritual, conditionally, of course.

EDIT: Went back and made some changes to the original five: Added Haste, expounded on Rekop, fleshed out Paradox a bit more, made the Hammer cheaper to come out, but more expensive to use, and the Lotus...well, it's perfect as is. Also, I added what may be a new cycle in my made-up expansion: Dictate of Praetors.

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Re: Custom cards - Playability assessment

Postby Re'ozul » 18 May 2014, 10:00

After looking at it a bit more:

Fireball of Ages: Probably doesn't need an upkeep. A rare 6/3 trample haste for 8 seems okay. Firebreathing gives him more presence, but he fails at blocking so it evens out.

Rekop Fiend: Colors might actually not be a good thing to include unlike I first thought. Basically it would create problems with Colorless Artifacts and Monocolor decks would always have at least a flush.

Megaton Hammer: I think a cost of XX3 for the ability would be okay. It would allow for usage in the round after being cast and a destroy for 5 isn't OP i think. It only really gets very interesting with 4 destroys for 11 and actually getting there is likely rare.

Dictate of Elesh Norn: A bit too samey to the actual Elesh Norn. Most Dictates do something similar to the gods but different and I think affect both players equally. So maybe a +/- 1 effect instead and affecting the currently active player in each round. (Its harsh, but that is seemingly how the dictates work).
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Re: Custom cards - Playability assessment

Postby WickedBoy6 » 18 May 2014, 10:12

Well, most of these cards were developed back before Urza's Block was a thing, so we had yet to see anything truly OP, and wanted to make sure we didn't create any. Of course now, we see Vulpine Goliath, but back then, we used to play Craw Wurm and be happy about it. Sounds like I'm waving my walking stick, but MAgic was young back in the late 90's.

So, cut Upkeep from Fireball, maybe remove color from Rekop and just go by number? I'm told that Megaton would be better as a one-use, since you could kill your opponent's field pretty much in two turns of it dropping to the table. Still wondering if I should or not. And yeah, I had a Dictate up for all of the Praetors, but really, they were just cheaper enchantments of their abilities. Maybe something LIKE their abilities, but not exactly would be better. Could bring their cost down, too.

EDIT: Also, seems like I'm late to the party, but I'm with korvys about Skitter. The flickering seems like a really good idea for it.

For Lung, I don't see Persist working, since the mess of +1/+1 and -1/-1 tends to bog down how straightforward it could be. The other abilties seem fine, though. Unless it's too wordy, maybe have it's 4/4 be 4 +1/+1 counters when it enters the battlefield? Or remove a +1/+1 to regen it, as a replacement for persist?

Finally, Volafortis' suggestion for Panacea seems solid. No need for it to make new counters. Then again, the -1/-1s make it very weak to opponent effects, ruining the original point. Hexproof or Shroud, so that way all it can do is regen others?
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Re: Custom cards - Playability assessment

Postby AdmiralMemo » 23 May 2014, 11:11

The card in this comic is supposed to be over-powered, for plot reasons, but the author was wondering if it was too OP to be a real card.
So I'm putting this to you: What do you think of this card? Is it merely really powerful, or is it super-busted to the point that Wizards wouldn't make it? (This card is from the parody's version of the Innistrad block.)

----

O.P. Aladrakrala
CMC: 5 (most likely 4B)
Mythic Rare
Legendary Creature - Vampire

Flying, Shroud
Whenever a creature damaged by O.P. Aladrakrala dies, put a +1/1 counter on O.P. Aladrakrala.
Other vampires you control get +X/+X, where X is the number of +1/+1 counters on O.P. Aladrakrala.

5/5

----

I personally think it should have a CMC of 6, not 5, and have it be at least 4BB. The other option I could think of is to have a CMC of 5, but have it in 2 colors, so maybe 3BR.

Either of those wouldn't be super-busted to me.
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Re: Custom cards - Playability assessment

Postby tamaness » 23 May 2014, 11:59

Seems fine at 4BB, depending on the environment. Maybe have it come down as a 4/4 instead.
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Re: Custom cards - Playability assessment

Postby WickedBoy6 » 23 May 2014, 15:52

I think either 4BB at 4/4, or 3BBB at 5/5.
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Re: Custom cards - Playability assessment

Postby Re'ozul » 23 May 2014, 16:07

WickedBoy6 wrote:I think either 4BB at 4/4, or 3BBB at 5/5.


Would that really matter all that much? Considering his abilities target vampires you'll be heavy black anyway most likely.

Still.

5/5 for 4BB should probably work as Shroud is pretty bad for you here.
Is it actually really Shroud?
It might just be the wording, but it specifies only spells, so abilities might still be able to target him.

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