Bird, Spider, and… Remorse?

Hey all!

I got inspired (get it) while creating the ordeals last time and I really wanted to create more weapons for the new gods of Theros, but this will have to wait. I have started working on yet another project, similar to the previous one but of smaller scope: create limited decks for me and my friends.

So for those who don’t know about limited, this is what happen when players make their deck on the fly with freshly opened boosters. Those commonly contain around 23 cards, so it’s definitely easier to create than a full 100-200 card edition. In fact, I’m already half way through creating my second deck! I want to keep working on it for a little bit, so I figured I could share some of it!

dawnjayDawn Jay.

Isn’t this guy cute? I had a random thought about Birds of Paradise and wanted to make one of my own. I didn’t shoot for something that would be as crazy as Noble Hierarch, or even Deathrite Shaman, but I thought I wanted my bird to be 1/1, with flying obviously, so it meant I had to tune its power down.

Dawn Jay would have been close to as powerful as Noble Hierarch if it had made green mana, and I didn’t need that either. I also didn’t want green to get to much ramp. So here it is. I think it’s good!


Evernight Recluse.

I don’t know for sure this one design is well balanced, but it just looks so good! I liked Dawn Jay too, but this is something else.

Reach isn’t canon at all for black, but I don’t see that being a breaking infraction. To make sure to have a great bear card, I definitely had to cut something though, and not being able to block is perfect for black.

Well this one spider will only block flyiers. I really like it; I hope you do too.



I’m good at flavor! Right?

It was important that I could create some removal that aren’t crazy premium removal like Hero Downfall, since you don’t always have that kind of luck while playing limited.

An example of a no-so-great one is Avenging Arrow. I had this great idea to mitigate the downside of getting hit first by the creature you want to destroy: gain some life back! Makes it quite fun, and guilt is definitely good flavor for that.
I made cool cards for this project, but I will flatter myself and say it would be just awesome if they were all neat little designs like the ones above. Now I still have a lot of work to do on interactions, and the coherent design of a whole set of cards, but it’s nice to feel improvements. It also goes to show that a nice design is made great by the illustration and overall flavor of the title, mechanics and sub text.

Good stuff. I hope this got you looking forward to some more design soon, because I’ll be working on it right now!

Have a good week!

The new God of Theros are sending us on a mission

Hey everybody! How was your pre-release? Mine was great, I got a sweet blue-white heroic deck with two favored hoplites, two vaporkins, wavecrash triton, nymbus nayad, gods willing, and Ephara’s Enlightenment plus three cats from Born of the Gods 🙂

This is not why we are meeting today though. I’m writing to you because I got inspired (pun originally unintended but I’ll own it up) by the new gods of Theros. I realised that Ephara, Xenagos, Phenax, Mogis and Karametra had not prepared ordeals for their champions the same way the five main gods did. Well I’m here to fix this, so with no further ado, I present you…

epharaOrdeal of Ephara. Let’s have a look at the main ideas behind those new ordeals.

As you can see, Ordeal of Ephara costs one mana of each of Ephara’s colors. Same converted mana cost as the initial ordeals, but this time your creature will have to attack four times between it gets its reward. That is if you don’t help it, of course.

When you crack ordeal of Ephara, you get to Scry 3 and draw 2 cards (guess I was tired and wrote discard).

How do you like it? Pretty cool isn’t it.

Ordeal of Karametra.

This one is fun. When you get through the whole ordeal, you will be rewarded with both a 2/2 Wolf, and a 1/1 bird with flying.

Wolves and 1/1 birds aren’t very common in Born of the Gods but that’s nitpicking, I think. There is one card centered around wolves, and a few more cards making 2/2 blue birds though.

And as usual with gifts from the gods, those are enchantment creatures!



Ordeal of Mogis.

This time we are working for the minotaur god!

This one isn’t my favourite, but I figured two mostly evasive gifts could be nice for aggressive decks based around minotaurs. That’s what they like after all.

+1/+0 and first strike is mainly red, and intimidate mostly black. You might have noticed I’m trying to add two effects from two different colors to those new ordeals.phenax



Ordeal of Phenax.

Let’s see the ordeal for the god of deception.

We are staying in the theme of blue black magic, with this hand disruption effect, and some mil added on top. I think the first effect was powerful enough to have the second one be a little less.

Also, did you notice the picture I (re)used for those? I tried my best to re-create a nice vibe for the 5 bi-color gods by picking from the cards of Theros and Born of the Gods.


Ordeal of Xenagos.

Hope you knew that Xenagos ascended to the realm of Gods! Gods of revels. He makes things bigger and creates mana, just like his planeswalker and god cards.

Since we were in two colors, I decided that the effect on those ordeals should be greater, but the ordeal should take longer to finish. Obviously this makes the ordeal create more +1/+1 counter, but having to wait for 4 turns if you don’t have tricks, I think delays this effect long enough.

That’s it! This was pretty fun to do. There is still much more room to be explored with other effects, maybe one single effect that matches both colors’ philosophies, or use even more powerful ones, like destroying creatures or other permanents, or return cards to owner’s hand or libraries. I do think it’s important to make those ordeals harder to activate, and with a bigger upside. They are already in two colors to begin with! This matches the philosophy of Born of the Gods more closely.

Check out the new pantheon now if you haven’t yet, it’s worth a look. And now is time for me to say goodbye and see you next time for more card design adventures. Have a great week!