Gallery of best designs

I created a small compilation on my facebook page, with designs from 2013 and early this year. Many of them I featured here, but also some I haven’t, and some more I will, including cards from my upcoming edition 🙂

Screen Shot 2014-01-27 at 9.03.37 PM

I just wanted to mention it, and leave a link for you guys to check it out. I have plenty more ideas and plans for 2014, some of which you will about soon! Until then have a great time at the pre-release for Born of the Gods, I will have the usual 2 headed giant experience with friends myself 🙂

Advertisements

Multi-faceted Gods

Hey everybody! There has been a few more Born of the Gods spoilers, but as I said last week I don’t intend to reveal and comment everything. What I do feel like doing though, is talk some more about the new Gods of Theros. In my previous article I have introduced Ephara, God of the Polis. There is something I missed in my review though, her ability triggers at the beggining of each upkeep! This changes a lot, because you don’t need to be casting creatures with flash for her to take effect. Every time you will cast a creature on your turn with Ephara on the board, you will get a free card at your opponent’s upkeep!

This is great, but not the main topic. Let’s introduce a new god for the sake of today’s presentation. I just decided that I don’t even need to show you all the ones that I’ve been revealed so far; instead I will showcase one god with a sweet, sweet illustration from the up and coming Peter Mohrbacher: Mogis, God of Slaughter.

Mogis-God-of-Slaughter-Born-of-the-Gods-SpoilerYeah, pretty badass. Now here’s about how to activate them. For each mana symbol among the permanents you control, check if the the symbol is of the right color (here red or black). The way it does NOT work is “add red and black devotion”. Let’s see what the difference is with two distinct board states.

Image (1) ImageDevotion to Red: 5

Devotion to Black: 2

Devotion to Mogis: 5

Not 7! Because there is 5 colored symbols on the board, and they are indeed black or red. Mogis isn’t a creature.

Image (4) Image (3) Image (2)Devotion to black: 3
Devotion to red: 5
Devotion to Mogis: 7!!!

Go ahead, crazy you, attack with that magnificent Minotaur God. Nice board, by the way. Somehow I thought this was more unintuitive, but looking at it now it doesn’t seem so bad. Just remember to count each symbol only once. What it means though, is that you don’t get freebies for hybrid mana, apart from the fact that those often have only colored mana in their casting cost. It will enable bi-colored decks to try and play the god game, but I can’t help wondering how efficient you can make it, and this for a simple reason.

Who is playing gods in standard? Mono-color decks, for the great majority. If they have 5 colored mana symbols on the board, they will be of the colors of their god. Now what about a red-black devotion deck? It will need 7 colored mana on the table, 7 distinct ones. At this point a mono-colored deck would have a devotion of 7 too, so the commitment to the board would be the same, but in practice we have seen that it can get tricky reaching a devotion of 5, let alone 7.

SPOILER ALERT: Now what might be the exception to the fact that mono-colored decks are the ones running gods? Gruul (red/green). Because of the color combination being a classic one for mana ramp, with green’s great ability to make green and multi-colored mana, and a couple cards like Burning-Tree Emissary and Xenagos the Reveler. So maybe the Gruul god has a good chance to be played then? Is it good? Well here is our spoiler. I present to you Xenagos, God of Revels!

XenagosGodOfRevels

Excited for the pre-release yet? I sure am! I would love me some Xenagos in limited, that’s hell of an ability for a gruul deck. Maybe I will pick some more cards to show you until then… Either way, have a great week!

Born of the Gods

Hey all. Wizards started the spoilers season with a whole lot of cards this time, and they feature all the mechanics of their next edition, Born of the Gods! Let’s have a look at them and their mechanics. First the ones we already knew from Theros.
fpJ3hmJ2Xh_EN
LGuIRMawV3_ENZXFIIYtWAw_EN

Scry lands. They are fun, they are fairly powerful, they are pretty, they are probably 5 but so far we get the Selesnya, Azorius and Rakdos ones.

alGiK6hUEB_ENSkyreaping.

Somehow mass damage to all flyers isn’t the most natural thing to fuel by devotion to me, but it’s more a gut feeling than anything. Should be a pretty powerful card. I don’t remember Theros being that big on flyers, but I would already totally side that to get rid of some Vaporkin and Nimbus Nayiad. Looking forward to discovering how many cool birds there will be in Born of the Gods.

 

 

 

4TIOn3XtQW_ENoqoKAhnhtO_EN

Everflame Eidolo / Nyxborn Shieldmate. Seeing how wizards insisted one the bestow cards cycles being very symmetrical, one more eidolon could mean a full cycle of eidolon. Actually I just checked and only Black and White have eidolons so far… How about: there will be 3 more eidolons, and black and white will get bestow versions of Holy Strength and Unholy Strength (check out the new illustrations on those, they are goregous)? If that’s the case, the black one might be very powerful!

bCXl3Zxdwu_ENAshiok’s Adept.

I’m having a hard time with Heroic. It does work, but it’s annoying to have to target creatures for a different reason than “this creature wants that spell, enchant or combat trick”. This is only moderately problematic when you are playing aggressive heroic creatures who actually need those, but how about defensive creatures with defensive heroic abilities?

Well I guess you could apply defensive auras, bestows and possibly tricks to them… Instant speed discard is sweet though.
22FOAgZ8mm_EN

Ephara, God of the Polis. 

Here is the first two colors God! Really pretty illustration on that one. It’s interesting how the required devotion to the two colors got bumped all the way to seven. At first I thought you would need 3 devotion to both white and blue, and I do feel like either are slightly confusing.

Also interesting how this girl has only one static ability, unlike the mono-colored Gods, and hers hints strongly at a “flash” creatures theme… Exciting.

 

lrH1kO2K5a_EN

Archetype of Imagination is the first card that doesn’t contain a mechanic from the previous block, and it’s announced to be part of a cycle.

Interesting to try thinking about what kind of ability the green or black “archetypes” will grant to your creatures, and if they would “steal” those from your opponent’s creatures as well. Deathtouch? Lifelink?

Also interesting to see that those are enchantement creatures without bestow, which to me hints at a possibly even stronger enchant theme… This guy (girl?) will rock on limited!

art-04fina

Oreskos Sun Guide.

Here is our first new mechanic card! “Inspired”, will apparently trigger when the creature untaps. A generic ability that just needs you to attack with your creature (or tap if for an effect if you can)… That’s fairly boring as a mechanic if you ask me.

I’m sure it’ll be well balanced and this one is fairly powerful, it’s just not especially exciting because too simple as far as I’m concerned.

 

 

BXfs2Ih8NH_ENPharax Giant features the “Tribute” mechanic.

And there I strongly dislike. Again, I understand those will probably be balanced and powerful enough, maybe even fun, but why would you want to play cards that give choice to your opponents!?

If you have read my very first article, you will understand I find it annoying, and it will give your opponent an edge if he’s a better player than you, or just a good player with access to information you don’t have… But oh well, I’m sure those will be playable, and I sure will enjoy deciding for my opponent when they play one!

1604625_10153673740000307_1934404069_n

This just in: another “Inspire” card, Pain Seer.

The new Dark Confidant, though less powerful. It is a bit weird to have to attack with your little card advantage guy, but why not… Maybe there will be some combos, or more mid-range strategies to empower it.

I do enjoy their attempt of making more 2 drops with this ability though, much like Blood Scrivener, which actually looks like he likes to hangout in the same dungeon! (see illustration)

So here it is! Even though I don’t fully subscribe to the design choices, this is exciting stuff, and bound to be enjoyable to play. I won’t comment on all the spoilers from now on, just know that there will be a couple of a new ones every day on daily mtg and be sure to check their updated gallery containing all of them! Pre-release is on the 1st of Feb, I’ll talk to you again before then!. Have a good week!

I’m the Simic Oracle!

What? I need catchy titles, you know. Here’s what this one is about. Do you remember a post on this blog in October, mentioning an important Planeswalker named Kiora that has not been printed on a card yet? I made a couple version of her, trying to capture the essence of her character.

1381373946 1381373143

Well, guess what. Kiora, the Crashing Wave has been revealed to be part of the upcoming Magic extension Born of the Gods! Here is what she will look like.

kiora

As you can see Kiora is indeed of Simic colors, though that much was known. She has a medium/low cost, similar to what I designed but that’s mostly lucky. She also has a pretty low starting loyalty.

The merfolk queen (I’m assuming she is one) has an ok defensive +1, which on my side was absent in favor of a minus ability. If her ability turns out to be efficient enough though (which I’m not 100% sure about), it’ll do her much good, obviously, as she will be able to progress nicely towards her ultimate, which is ridiculous as expected.

You see, Kiora was actually known to like big beasts, as you can sometimes find them in the depths of the see. Krakens, Leviathans, Octopus, even giant lobsters, she loves them all like her own children. My own blue version of Kiora has a pretty similar ability, and to be honest I think I might have designed the exact same one, in an earlier stage. Though I guess I went for something a little less ridiculous overtime and a little more instant effect, which in the end is probably even crazier.

urbanNow the middle, “minus” ability is the nicest. I reckon I have seen other designers play around with this one. You see, one way you can fairly easily design a planeswalker is to pick known cards, and make them abilities. And one or two designs I’ve seen for Kiora did have Urban Evolution stapled to it. Obvious downside is that it would be way to powerful of an effect as is. To be honest I think the designs I’ve seen were at least “-2” abilities, and were enabling the user to draw “only” two cards. Kiora, the Crashing Wave has a very nice twist to the ability, keeping it to one card for one loyalty counter.

Will Kiora crush in limited? Probably somehow. I’m still wondering about her being VERY powerful though. 4 Mana for a 2 loyalty… The defensive ability will protect her only from one source, so if you can afford to spend two resources one her, she’ll be vulnerable. Worse, a Lightning Strike and she’s fried shrimp! That’s a little sad (and delicious). Her ultimate is obviously over the top, but that’s all she’s working for if she pluses (is that a word?). On the other hand her minus is very nice, especially for control decks who just love drawing and playing lands. I guess Simic or Bant control might be back in force next month, stay tuned to figure out!

Talk to you soon, have a great week.