Preparing for the Holidays

Hi friends! Full disclosure, I am going to take a break for the rest of this month. It is the holiday season after all, and I have a whole bunch of personal stuff to take care of. I even almost forgot to wrap this article in time, and had to create the card proxies this morning before running to work! I’m glad I get to leave you with a couple designs before I take some time off though, and I reckon I will probably come back at the end of December for a year wrap up. Now let’s get to the cards, shall we.

Snake SpeakerSnake Speaker is a cute little design that I can’t imagine not being printable.

I was somewhat tempted to make something a lot fancier out of it, but I think it is more elegant in this much lower-impact form. It should be a common by the way.
Snake Speaker would probably only be meaningful in a set with a deathtouch sub-theme.

Other than that nothing much to talk about. The illustration is a little weird but I found it within minutes, and I quite like it after all!

Neverending DelugeNeverending Deluge.
This one is a design I wanted to make for a long time. In case you haven’t noticed, the idea is to make really sure nothing on the board survives -except for indestructible creatures of course.

Neverending Deluge wants to catch the tricky cards usually surviving a “wrath effect”. Creatures leaving tokens behind them, most likely, but also maybe creatures who can regenerate, since those will need to do it twice if they don’t want to die like every body else. This also solves the issue of killing your own Banisher Priest.

Nothing too fancy this week, as you can see! It is something I will strive for in the future, as simple designs are the best ones when they are simple for good reasons – clarity, elegances, efficiency, etc. I wish I had time for flavor text but oh well.

Anyways, like I said I will be taking a break for December, but you can look forward for more articles not that long from now, probably just before the end of the year. Enjoy time with your friends and family, and talk to you all later!

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Nonochrome

Hey everybody! Welcome to our 6th article and bonus round of this color-centric cycle: colorless. As you might know, Artifacts don’t have as strong an identity as other colors, and they get to do a little bit of everything, usually in a less powerful way.

Same goes for creatures. Their metallic counterparts are usually tuned down in efficiency and impact. Speaking of which, let’s start with our first card:

Tribe Crusher

Tribe Crusher. In my mind, 3/3 Trample for 4 is a little pushed for an artifact, but not quite too much. Trample is also ok for colorless creatures; I checked and one of them is also a crusher!

I came to this design with the idea of making an artifact that would be protected against its natural enemies Naturalize and Shatter.
By making Tribe Crusher not targetable by those colors, I see that I also protected him against red direct damage and green fight, which is extremely good. I had to make sure you couldn’t target your crusher with pump spells either, to keep him reasonable in limited.

Blade of the Masses Blade of the Masses is another amusing design, though possibly too cute to see print.

You might enjoy it limited, as it could be a “vigilance” equipment for white decks, a “first strike” one for red decks – which sounds better -, etc.
Things get more interesting when used on multi-color creatures, – white black sounds pretty good for example – which is why I didn’t include deathtouch in the mix…

Also note that I didn’t want to use flying for blue, to not make it too strong for limited.

Frozen ObeliskOur last card this week is Frozen Obelisk.

To be honest I’m almost surprised this design doesn’t exist yet. It’s very classic and elegant – by that I guess I mean it’s simple – and I can’t imagine it being overpowered even though it’s a mana stone for only two mana, which is usually pretty good.

I also think Frozen Obelisk isn’t too weak. Maybe it wouldn’t get any constructed play, but limited is littered with less useful “stones” like this one.
I could also definitely see someone exploit its tempo to fairly good effect.

The Obelisk is by far my favourite design this week. Quick shoutout to my girlfriend for helping me fix the flavour text on it, as she often does. I think the crusher could also be made into a pretty good card, possibly just by tweaking its stats. For the sword, I think it’s possible as well, though the design is ultimately a tad too cute. It’s a sword that does something different for every color after all! What better way to close our cycle.

I won’t spend too long on the conclusion, but it’s been tremendous fun doing color articles. It helps giving me focus and I think ultimately coming up with better designs. I’ll probably do more of that in the future!

I’m looking forward to talking to you again next week, and see where inspiration takes us. Until then have a good one!

Whiteout

Forget about puns, it’s hard enough finding a title about white at all! It’s time for the fifth article in the color series, even later than usual but I have an excuse this time: it’s my birthday! Happy birthday to me. Let’s see the cards though, since that’s why we are here.

Battle Exalted KnightBattle Exalted Knight is a limited focused design.

Turns out all 2/3 with vigilance cost 4, have an upside and aren’t all that common anyways. On the other hand 3/3 with vigilance for 4 are few as well, rare cards or – in recent history – have a pretty minor upside.

Knowing this, and the upside on Battle Exalted Knight being fairly nice, I’d say it makes for a slightly pushed, yet reasonable card.

It would probably be pretty solid in limited, but shouldn’t drive people crazy either.

Phasing BlademasterPhasing Blademaster gave me a hard time.
The idea is that it will blink to get through defenders. Before you ask, yes this is a blatant case of “bleeding” in the color pie. Those have to be debated for sure, but can be justified.

I feel like solving the “unblockable” mechanic with something that is very different, and traditionally white, – “blinking” – makes a good case for it.
In the end the design has its flaws, such as how to justify why the card is basically unblockable, yet can be blocked. Why would someone block it? To make its controller pay 2 I suppose. Keep in mind the blink effect could be a fairly important upside.

I like the card concepts this week, but I can’t help feeling like they are still partially unsolved. On the knight it would be a development concern, – costing to be precise – and maybe not even.
For the blademaster though, I am still wondering what is the best way to implement the “blinking unblockable” design. Tell me if you can think of one!

I’m going to grant myself some well deserved rest now, but you can keep looking forward to your weekly posts! Until then, have a great week.

Back in Black

 

Hey again everybody, as per usual recently I’m slightly late but still making it! This is time for our Black article, and what better than black to celebrate Halloween? I hope you had a fun one, by the way. I’m quite happy with this week’s theme, as I came up with a whole new color theme that I would love to explore in a full set. With no further ado, here it is:

Corrupt the FleshThe mechanic I am going to feature is unusual: giving creatures to your enemies! I figured that we could make black a defensive color, even more so than usual. It would have access to powerful spells through giving a 2/2 to their opponents each time. Ideally Black would also be well equipped to deal with those zombies.

Corrupt the Flesh is pretty close to Murder, don’t waste time on that. As Asphyxiate proves, times are hard for straight removal. I think this one is playable, if not exciting. I’m thinking limited here, and bear in mind the block should try and revolve around giving your opponent small-ish creatures.

Bringer of DecayBringer of Decay is another example of that. With his protection and slightly unusual body, he will be able to handle at least one zombie a turn, and this without killing them.

This could be useful, as this wizard actually wants its enemy to keep having more zombies, and losing life because of them!

Black in this block should have a bunch of very defensive creatures, able to block 2/2 creatures with or without killing them, gaining advantage with powerful spells with the downside of actually letting your opponent have more of them. Convinced yet?

Surround with DeathWe have a third card this week, using our new mechanic. Surround with Death offers the possibility of having the freshly created zombies turn against any target creature.

You have to imagine that in this block, black would create fewer zombies for itself, focusing on dominating 2/2’s. Here the upside of gaining zombies is turning into a downside again. Your opponent will possibly lose a creature, and maybe a zombie as well.
This won’t scale formidably, but again try and think underpowered limited removal. Magic needs “bad” cards. Ask Maro.

I’m really excited with this mechanic, I think I haven’t done a perfect job of designing around it just yet, but there are definitely some great ideas in there already. I will probably revisit it again in the future. I would be pretty happy to make it the black mechanic of choice for a custom block, provided that I can balance it.

So, I bet you are dying to know what pun I am going to use for our last article, the white one! You can send your ideas if you have any. Until then, you all have a great week!