Limited but not restricted

Hi all! Our friend Maro – Mark Rosewater – loves and almost-maybe-coined the following sentence: “Restrictions breed creativity”. The idea is that imposing some parameters on your design will inspire you to come up with original designs.
Restrictions could mean different things: designing commons, – simple and not too powerful – designing within a block, – need to follow the block’s theme and mechanics – or even designing while keeping the color pie in mind.

For us, the restriction will be to design cards focused on limited play. I guess that makes us both restricted and limited, but all the more creative!
What makes a card a limited minded one? It’s actually not so obvious to say until you get a feel for it, by playing draft or sealed. Limited magic is less powerful, less synergistic than constructed in general, due to the fact that you make with what you have – and what you have is about 70% commons, statistically speaking 10 out of 14 cards in a pack. It is more focused on basics, playing creatures and bashing your opponent with them.
Let’s see what kind of cards I came up with. As you’ll notice, couldn’t quite do only commons. Commons are not impossible nor boring to design, but still most of the time when you do top down designs – which is what I do most of the time – the card ends up being too powerful or complex for this rarity slot and needs to be at least uncommon.

anarchistKorr Anarchist.

As a good anarchist, our guy fights the man.

Namely, he will make any card in your hand into a Shock against the strongest player or creature around.

Being a 3/3 for 5 is what makes the card good for limited, but way behind  the curve for constructed play. Repetitive damage or soft removal is also amazing in limited.


necrophagistVampire Necrophagist.

Always on flavor, this 2/2 for 3 vampires can eat another creature from your graveyard to come back as a 3/3.

This card could have been a common if it came back only once, but the fact that you can do it multiple times makes it almost too powerful as it is, even for 5 manas.

In limited, repeatability is extremely precious as it means card advantage. This makes both today’s cards pretty powerful, even for uncommons.

Making simple yet well designed cards is very rewarding. It feels like I could be making a whole expansion – not that I haven’t tried before.
I do hope you liked them and guess what, I found myself a theme to work on next week. It was inspired by something I wrote in this article. If you can find it, you’ll win a prize 😉
See ya!

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