One last round

We passed the 50th article mark last week, and now is time for a last article before I’m off for a week on holidays! I’ll make it worth your time though, by posting a whole cycle of 5 cards. This one is about pushed 2 drop creatures with a downside, in allied color combinations. Sounds good? So let’s see what we have in store for Azorius, Dimir, Rakdos, Selesnya and Gruul.

Harsh SergeantAzorius isn’t the easiest color combination for downsides. Sending your own creature to your hand would be an obvious solution, but it can be used as an advantage too easily. I figured that detaining your own creature could be an interesting downside. It also makes it so that you can’t play it before having another creature, which I now realize resonates a little too much with another creature we will see later on.

The body on Harsh Sergeant was much simpler to figure out. Flying was obvious, and I needed a good creature, so 2/3 sounded like a fair deal. I do feel like 3/2 would have been too strong.

Frenzied Ghast
Frenzied Ghast
was my original idea for this cycle. I just wanted an unblockable 2/2 for 2 and tried coming up with a reasonable downside.

Losing 1 life every time might be too much, as it really only gives you 1 life margin, but if you ever boost Frenzied Ghast or give it lifelink you’ll be good to go!

All in all this is not the most powerful of the cycle but I believe it is still an ok card.

 

Helian Protector Helian Protector brings with him the perfect Selesnya downside. The conclave is all about all inclusive symbiosis. Selesnya creatures want to have their friends with them. This is why Helian Protector needs you to have another creature before he will even consider entering the battlefield.

As I was mentioning before though, I now feel bad for including basically the same downside and more into Harsh Sergeant as well. The two creatures basically have the same power level as well – even though they are obviously meant for different usages. But I guess they don’t have to have the same power level either, so just let me know if you think one isn’t well balanced!

Tortured RevenantIt is hard to come up with varied downsides for black creatures. You want a downside that hurts. Most likely sacrificing life, permanents, or cards. I did consider making Tortured Revenant‘s controller discard a card instead of sacrificing a creature, but opted not to. It’s hard to have enough gaz in an aggressive deck.

The idea was that in Rakdos, you want to attack fast with a lot of fairly small creatures. It isn’t too hard to imagine having one to sacrifice, especially as it might have done its damage for the turn already. If it’s too small to attack through blockers, at least it will be used by Tortured Revenant.

Also keep in mind that if no better option presents itself, the zombie warrior can sacrifice himself, after having killed all his friends and hopefully done some damage to the opponent. Not so bad for two mana. It can also trade up for more expensive creatures, and you won’t even have to sacrifice anything else in that case. Tortured Revenant would be great with undying creatures.

Tollan BruteTollan Brute is based on my childhood friend Rogue Elephant.
Making its transition to the Gruul clan, an extra red mana will get you a 4/4 trampler, much similar to the deadly Ghor-Clan Rampager. You also get the choice to sacrifice a forest or a mountain, better than forcing you to do away with a certain type of land when you might not have several.

Note that Tollan Brute will be considerably worse in constructed format, the more you play non basic lands. Ravnica shocklands like Stomping Grounds will still work though, as they are both Mountains and Forests.

And that wraps it up for this week! I will try and make enemy colors 2 drops for my return in two weeks. Until then take care of yourselves and have a great two weeks!

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Confidence

Hi all! I have some news this week, let’s get right into it.

main_1First I wanted to give an update about my app‘s new design. Here it is! As you can see our first task has been to redesign the top level menu.

How do you like it? We are pretty happy with it. Details might still get changed – like fonts or spacing – but this is the idea.

I think the icons are great, and so is the black and white version of the logo.

The idea is that everything will be white and transparent white, and the background color will change.

Bxg-tw2CMAARDI_Second news is I went to ticketfly offices this weekend and participated their 24 player Return to Ravnica block sealed event. I made 2nd place and won an original Dark Confidant!

As you can see in the picture I made a Sultai deck – also known as BUG – and I am fairly satisfied with the way I played as well. 5-0 until the finals!

Keeper of the Sacred GardenWhich gave me the idea for the card of week: Keeper of the Sacred Garden.

I’m sure you can see that this guy is a green adaptation of confidant. I feel mixed about its power level, seeing that it works like Dark Confidant when it doesn’t cost any life. You might say it’s a best case scenario, but confidant wants you to draw cards all the time! Powerful ones.

So it might not be that crazy powerful. I can also think of it as a tiny Courser of Kruphix, with no upside of gaining life, and no downside of revealing all your cards or being an enchantment.

Fun stuff, isn’t it? Next week, we will have passed Khans of Tarkir pre-release, so if you haven’t seen the spoilers yet, you might want to! We will see if those inspire designs… Until then, have a great week!

Colorshifted!

Hey all! I think we’re getting to a good place with the new article size, themes, and the use of Magic Set Editor. This week we will revisit a plane we are going to say goodbye to very soon: Ravnica. By now you probably know that Khans or Tarkir is just around the corner, and will make it in standard along with Theros. Today let’s celebrate our departure from Ravnica, with staples from the block, re-mastered in different colors. Because we can – and because someone gave me the idea.

PPack Oozeack Ooze is quite obviously the green version of Pack Rat.
Now you might want to discuss the likelihood for such card to exist. Slow incremental gain doesn’t sound like a very green thing to do. Black is much better suited to protect its rats with surgical removal, and turn after turn, make them into a huge army.

Green play style doesn’t favor that, and also rarely brings any type of card advantage to the table in order to motor it, but I can’t say the existence of Pack Ooze couldn’t be, since obviously it wouldn’t be overpowered.

Bramble WeirdBramble Weird.

I could have only color-shifter Frostburn Weird. I felt like making the card a bit more white-green feeling though. As I made it, it’s still mostly balanced, and would trade with a Frostburn, though Frostburn would have to pay twice before Bramble started caring.

I also understand that Bramble Weird can boost its defence as much as it wants, to which I answer: Groot. Personally, I like it!

 

Master of WindsBonus Card: Master of Winds.
This one isn’t from Ravnica, but it’s too fun not to showcase. Devotion has this way of making a card deeply liked to its color, which makes it all the more interesting to shift.

Here I can see a big issue: white can take advantage of token strategies much better than blue. That being said, I don’t imagine it would have been so powerful that the whole meta-game would have shifted. I could be very wrong. I can imagine it would have been played in competitive play but maybe not into a top tier deck as powerful as blue devotion has been recently.

Wasn’t this great? I know Magic colors have a very strong identity, but in the end there is a fair space to work with and around each of the factions. It’s probably for the best, we don’t want design to be overly stiff in that area. The colors of magic, much like people, have several dimensions to them and that makes them all the more interesting!

Hope you had a great time, enjoy your week and see you next time!

4-in-2

Hey all! I’m happy to be back in the good old rhythm of weekly couple-of-cards, away from the madness of the design contest. Here are a couple of cards that are doing more than just being a land, or just being a creature.

Cunning BattlemageFirst is Cunning Battlemage.
If you aren’t familiar with New World Order, I suggest you read up on it; it’s interesting, and it’s also the future of Magic. Long story short, we are going to see simpler effects, better creatures, and one of the ways we can have this is to add spell-like effects to creatures. One example of this, Snapcaster Mage ended up being immensely strong though.

To make it more balanced, I opted to chose which spell the creature would come with, and make it a little more expensive. Cunning Battlemage is basically Snapcaster + Brainstorm in one card.

My first version of this card costed 3U, but I figured nobody competitive enough to care about brainstorm would want to pay 4 to have a meager 2/1 coming along with it. I’m not sure that I’m correct, but I’m thinking that what makes Snapcaster so good is its modularity, so power level should still be in check here.

Prismatic GrasslandsPrismatic Meadow

Rainbow Fields features something I wanted to play with for a while: land tokens. It is obviously difficult to balance a land that produces two mana of any color, and my first idea was to let your opponent fetch for a basic land. Knowing how amazing Path to Exile is in constructed formats, I figured that it might not be the best idea. Letting them fetch a non-basic land wouldn’t be very good either, so I took the token route!

I could have made any of the lands/token come into play tapped, but giving your opponent such an advantage also wouldn’t have been very fun. Each player getting an extra mana seems like a fair deal to me, though as it is I guess it is still pretty dangerous on turn 1, especially in very powerful formats like vintage or legacy, where players are trying to kill each other in a turn or two. Tell me what you think!

Hope you like this week’s card, I tried to shuffle things up and keep it eclectic. Tune in next week for more, and until then have a great one!