Magical Poultry

Hi all! This year I have been encouraged to make a thanksgiving special episode. Since it isn’t easy to create straight forward magic designs about holidays and eating a lot, we are getting an Un-article today!
As you might know Unglued and Unhinged are the two silver-bordered, humor-driven sets brought to us mainly by Maro. The designs you are about to see are made in a similar fashion. We have 4 cards today! Might as well get started right now.

Young FeatheredYoung Feathered. Our first turkey card!

Let’s first acknowledge quickly that it is a terribly cute creature.

This one sports a powerful version of the Rootwalla ability that also comes with the Thanksgiving twist of having you express your thankfulness.

At the risk of overloading the design, I opted to add a “vegetable” clause as well, to help with this theme I am trying to push for and you will see more of in the next cards.
How do you like the little turkey-bear?

Feathered CannibalFeathered Cannibal. Not so cute anymore…

When I saw this illustration I knew it had to become a card for this article, and it was pretty clear as well it was going to be black.

Sacrificing turkeys seems obvious as well, though I will admit that the card ends up looking too much like a regular magic one.

This un-article was somewhat of an improvised thing, so I actually didn’t have a genius funny mechanic ready. Have players come up with things to say is an amusing thing to do though.

To-FeatheredTo-Feathered. Get it? Like Tofurkey…
There had to be a card for vegetarians as well; we don’t discriminate here.

I am pretty happy with both vegetarian themed abilities but I have to admit the “illusion” part definitely overloads the design. It is coming from the joke of it being an illusion of a Turkey, since it’s not actually a bird… I hope you find To-Feathered at least a bit funny because it was the whole point!

Compared to Gossamer Phantasm and Phantasmal Dragon I suppose it is under-costed.

Memory Leek

Memory Leek.

As a final entry for this article, I want to re-post this design I made a few months ago since it inspired the “vegetable” theme you can see in the turkey cards.

Memory Leek is some sort of Shadowmage Infiltrator focused on milling your opponent, and it desperately needed more vegetable cards to be played in its limited environment.

While I actually only made one today, you can see how I pushed for that design space on other cards.

That will do it for this foodie episode of Bullzzai designs. Now I want to mention something about the teaser I published last week. I still need to take more pictures and make time to do a full post about it, so instead of publishing the whole story today I will give you another picture and confirm that yes, my girlfriend managed to download over 200 designs from this blog and have them printed! We have play-tested them twice so far and it’s a blast.

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Look forward to knowing more about those! Until then, hope you have a great thanksgiving and I’ll see you next time.

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Nothing is Lost, Everything Propagates

Hi everyone! I am quite pleased to announced that today we are going to look at a brand new mechanic I created for the Simic combine. Introducing Propagate, with three new cards! No need to waste any more time, better check those beauties out.

Apex BeetleApex Beetle is our Propagate variation on bears.

As you can see the mechanic is somewhere between Graft and Scavenge, giving you the opportunity to turn your creature into counters provided that you have the mana to do it right when it dies.

For the power level, I mostly based the design on Drudge Beetle. Provided that Propagate is quite a bit harder to pull off than Scavenge, especially on a low cost creature with a high cost ability, I gave a little boost to the effect. At the end of the day it’s a 2/2 for 2 with a nice upside, which is always nice.

Adaptive DrakeAdaptive Drake is the flying creature bringing Propagate to blue.

Along with Grizzly BearsWind Drake is one of the most commonly adapted design when coming to a new mechanic in a new set.

Being more powerful than bears to begin with, and since blue should probably not get too much beefy abilities, I kept Propagate to the lowest possible.
It allowed me to use a very affordable cost – one that would be much easier to have saved up when it dies – which makes drake for a very powerful card in limited, possibly an uncommon.

Apex WurmApex Wurm is our two color rare and last card.
You always need a rare when trying to showcase a new mechanic. A 6/6 for 6 with trample is a very nice start but if it dies on your next turn when you have the mana available to pay again, you can get 4 counters back onto another creature!
I added the cute ability that lets Apex Wurm propagates its trample as well when it dies, making sure you still have a powerful threat left on board.

I am now realizing that if the wurm gets killed right away, you most likely won’t have the mana to use its ability. With such a downside, I guess I could have bumped the ability to 6 counters.

And that’s it! What do you think? Baring some power balance I think we are on a good track. The issues with Propagate would be that you need to have mana available to use it when the creatures are dying, but that doesn’t seem too hard to make happen for the Simic, sporting the colors of flash, especially if you bend the format somewhat towards making it easier. People love mana sinks and instant speed effects anyways.

The other issues would be that the flavor of the mechanic isn’t quite ready to print yet, but that’s also something that can be improved on. I wanted to evoke the idea of some sort of symbiote that transmits some of itself away when the host dies, but without using a word that would sound too black like Parasyte for example. For the flavor of the cards themselves I had to try and bend to the illustrations I had handy. I’m still quite happy with the results! You’ll tell me what you think.

That’s it for this week. I have some exciting news coming up but I haven’t fully finalized my preparations to publish them so for now I will leave you with a spoiler image.
Have a great week and see you later!

 

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Pick Me!

Hey all! Welcome to Bullzzai, November 11th edition. This week we are going to look at a couple build-around-me card. From two different formats, but you are about to see that so might as well get to it.

Rethik Scout InstructorRethik Scout Instructor is our first card, and has been inspired by the Remaking Magic podcast contest.

The idea is that this guy would be a limited build around uncommon, giving you a good incentive to draft more haste and first strike creatures. First strike can be a great ability to have in red, as many creatures have a greater power than toughness.

My first idea was actually to have scout be a red card that only gives first strike to haste creatures, but I couldn’t resist the symmetry of having it go both ways and be a Boros card.

Ylhen Flamefeather WhispererYlhen, Flamefeather Whisperer.
This one is a top-down design, one I love the flavour of. Phoenixes are undying birds made of fire, right? What if we had a legendary creature resurrecting birds into phoenixes? This one begs to become your new commander.
What should a phoenix token be though… I played around with haste but it didn’t make much sense after a death trigger, so I settled for a dragon-like token.
Weirdly enough, the hardest part was to pick a color for this creature. I start with Gruul colors, but had to somehow force white and blue as those are the bird colors in magic…

And that does it for today! Hope you enjoyed this week’s food for thoughts, this one in particular might inspire you some combos, deck and other creations as this is what build-around designs are made for!

Time for me to stop talking Magic custom designs and start… Well working, really. See you next week!

Snap Snap

Hi everyone. Welcome to a new episode of From the Vault: Custom Designs. I came up with this theme a week or two ago, which feels a bit like cheating compared to me scrambling for ideas to write this week’s article but it really shouldn’t.

The theme in question is trying to add colors to a Snapcaster Mage cycle. In case you didn’t know there is already a Dualcaster Mage in red. It is a tasty card, even though not as powerful as his blue cousin but let’s be honest, we DO NOT want that anyways. One all-formats powerhouse is enough for now. We will look into Golgari colors today, let’s start with black.

Ghastcaster MageGhastcaster Mage.

What should a black creature do with your graveyard? Reanimate creatures!
This one was plain obvious to me and the main remaining goal was to make it not broken. Using Ojutai’s Command as base I figured we were safe but looking at Gravedigger I am wondering…

This one is a rare with a different mana cost and a restriction on the target so I’m still not fully certain. One thing is sure though, it has a crazy interaction with Snapcaster, in a way that reminds me of Shouta Yasooka’s Eternal Command deck.

Thorncaster MageThorncaster Mage.
When trying to make a green creature for this cycle that wasn’t Eternal Witness, I naturally gravitated around land reanimation. I had to push my design enough so that it wasn’t worse than witness though, hence the idea that it could put the land directly onto the battlefield.

This would provide ramp when used with fetch lands, which I now realize would also mean you have to lose life again. I didn’t want this card to be an instant speed ramp that comes with a body for only 3, but looking at all the restrictions on it I now wonder… Thoughts anyone?

Those are it! Green and black snapcasters would probably revolve around similar themes I have used today though I think they would definitely need balancing. Do let me know if you have other ideas about what those could be, as well as inspirations for a white one if you can come up with it!

Now is time for me to wish you a great week and say goodbye. Until next week!