Hi everybody! Let me introduce this week’s article with a little story about how I picked its subject. A little while ago, I had the good idea to note down my ideas for future articles. Some of them I already thought about in the past, and others I even made cards for.
During the week, I mentioned in passing that I had never played with two face cards. Then on Sunday, I was thinking – out loud but mostly to myself – “Oh I haven’t picked what subject I’m going to write about tomorrow”, to which my girlfriend answered “yeah you did, you’re going to do two face cards!”.
Little did she know I wasn’t prepared at all for it. It didn’t take long for me to get the inspiration going though, by the end of Monday I had 4 designs mostly ready do go!
So let’s have a look at what I came up with, shall we?
Lord of Lambholt / Veil of the Night.
The mechanics on this card are fun, but the flavor is amazing! One of the first things I thought about two-faced creatures in Innistrad is that not enough of them were vampires – even though some were.
So I chose the town of Lambholt – you might have met its champion, and gave it a ruler that is also a vampire. Since it was my first card I tried a little harder with photoshop it and make it pretty as a double faced card should be, but I couldn’t get it all perfectly and I reckon I don’t have that kind of time on my hands!
Quickly enough I started thinking about the very great Mayor of Avabruck and from then I couldn’t help creating his vampiric counterpart. In fact, I really like the temporary boost the mayor gives to humans, because it’s meaningful, flavorful, and likely enough not too powerful – especially for my card that costs one more colored mana. What you really want though, is have Lord of Lambolt turn into Veil of the Night! Note the flavor of him turning bad when one of its subjects died. Isn’t that romantic?
When gone bad, Veil of the Night basically turns any lowly 1/2 bat into a full fledged Vampire Nighthawk. Don’t even ask about what it does to the best vampires of Innistrad, it’s ridiculous.
Deep Sea / Abyssal Kraken.
Now we’re getting a little wilder. Deep Sea‘s flavor is the – sometimes – cold and quiet aspect of the ocean. It is an enchantment that will prevent creatures from attacking unless they are blue, have flying or islandwalk. Pretty flavorful so far.
It’s really powerful though, even if imposing on you to never play an island again, so I thought I would also add a high mana cost, and I’m not too sure it’s enough yet. What’s fun though is that if you’d prefer to have a big Kraken to attack with, you can play that island, and you’ll have your monster next turn, ready to attack!
Abyssal Kraken will be your man, and as long as you sacrifice an island a turn to it – restriction made more important in combination with the “don’t play islands” one from the enchantment side.
It can even jump from an island and fly for a turn, though there will nothing left of said island after that. Throwing Shroud in the mix because Hexproof is busted, and Krakens need to be impressive. All in all you are likely to want to use Deep Sea instead anyways because a 6/6 costing you an island to attack once and another island to get some sort of evasion is fairly expensive… But hey, that’s the “free” flip side to a Moat effect, so that’s pretty good!
Unholy Experiment / Biological Aberration.
Ah, another type-change! Artifact to creature. Not too sure about all the ramifications of those in terms of rules by the way, – actually I’m pretty sure there is some sort of special case between those two – but let’s not restrain ourselves now, we’re here for creativity first. The idea with Unholy Experiment is that every time a creature dies you can store and use its body for experiments, and all you have to do for that is pay 2 during that turn. Once you have at least 4 of them, you can decide to get the result of your experiments – you can also wait to gather some more.
Biological Aberration, you’ll have guessed, is a huge horror. It combines the characteristics of the subjects used in the unholy lab in the name of science! And by that I mean it carries over their First Strike, Flying, Deattouch, Haste and Trample. Cherry on top, when the aberration dies, you can start the experiment all over.
While Haste and Flying are a nice touch, having the opportunity to stack up deathtouch with either trample or first strike is a real beating! I made sure it’s pretty hard to get all the way, playing the experiment plus exiling 4 different creatures in different turns, but I wonder if the aberration still needs a downside. I guess 11 mana, at least 4 turns and 4 death that you might not quite control is enough. This thing might be a beating in commander though.
We’re closing the loop with Stasis Chambers / Break Free.
What we want here is to take control over all cards that can transform. It is the second time I try and do two very different things in both sides of the card – the other being Deep Sea / Abyssal Kraken, Unholy Experiement doesn’t count as it’s really only the build up part of the card. It’s a tricky thing to do, since not all decks want to do one thing and another almost completely opposite thing at different times through a duel.
The first side will basically lock down all two-face cards for as long as you have it on the battlefield. Once there is more than one though – which I just realized can’t be the right number, provided that Stasis Chambers is one itself – they will ALL transform.
Which I described with Breaking Free, when all those cards become released and even supercharged. +1/+1 haste and trample is going to have a nice little effect on the board, and I’ll throw in indestructible for the noncreature two-faced cards, because why not. It doesn’t fit the flavor but I wanted to cover all the cards and not just creatures.
The other thing that doesn’t fit the flavor is that when there is two many two-face cards, they all go back in stasis, but somewhat I found that more fun than locking them into +1/+1 forever. Do you reckon I shouldn’t have?
What I could have done as well is try and force all two-faced cards to be reset and flipped whenever Stasis Chambers says so, but that would have been hard to implement. As it stands, if you control and Insectile Aberration or a Ravager of the Fells when the chambers hit the battlefield, you will keep them in transformed mode!
Man, this was work. Pretty fun though, I wouldn’t mind making another few creatures like those. There is a great design space open when you can basically add 100% more text and characteristics, and also people like patterns that will answer each other, like for example some weak guy that transforms into a killer…
Maybe I’ll space it out and come back to it in some time. As usual, I hope you liked the cards and wish you a great week!