After the Maths

Hello everybody, welcome to episode 122 of Ominous Designs. Today we are finally going to see the mechanic I teased last week: Aftermath. It took me a whole day to upload my video this week but I had recorded it a day early so everything is fine. Since our mechanic is so interesting and pretty easy to come up with cards for, we are going to see three of them today. Starting with…

Survive the SlaughterThe first card is Survive the Slaughter.

As you can see, aftermath is a variation of flashback where the second time you cast the card causes a different effect. It was pretty hard to find a template for it and I don’t think I came up with the best one yet. Either way as you can see Survive the Slaughter is a mass removal spell that hopefully will give you a creature back.

I wanted the card to be over-costed enough so that it isn’t too oppressive but it definitely will still be very good, especially when combined to other removal spells.

Toy with MindsOur second card is Toy with Minds.

This one is very straightforward. It starts with an over-costed mind rot and follows up with a very over-costed divination.

We obviously don’t want a card of the sort that doesn’t cost something like four extra mana, because it is a 4-for-1! I still think it’s good as it is.

I decided to go for black cards with an aftermath cost of an other color, and that’s entirely arbitrary and mostly an esthetic choice. We could play with any color combination instead.

Succumb to RageFinally, we have Succumb to Rage.

This one is either two combat tricks or a removal, albeit conditional.
I didn’t want a card to be a removal and also two efficient combat tricks, but as a result the trick parts seem fairly boring. I’m pretty sure we can do better but then again there is the whole “trick + trick + removal” upside.

As it is, the deathtouch part can give you a 1-for-2 and sometimes a 1-for-1, while the aftermath can give you a 1-for-0 so even playing it that way is somewhat acceptable.

And that’s going to do it for today! Aftermath is worth thinking about and coming up with lot of new cards, as well as other wordings or templates. Let me know if you can think of other designs I’ll be happy to look at them.

Before I leave, I want to announce a couple new features for Ominous Designs and Responsible Gaming. I am still updating our branding, you might have noticed a couple changes on this site’s header. I also booked the url www.responsiblegmg.com, you can now go check out Responsible Gaming portal there, which contains most of my social links. You can also contact me at ominous@responsiblegmg.com, which is pretty sweet.

That’s about all for this week, once again thanks for reading/watching. I hope you liked the cards and all have a great week. See you next time!

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Scary Things

Hi everybody! This is Ominous, writing to you for episode 121 of Ominous Designs. This week we are still playing around the dark themes of Innistrad, with new scary designs. We will probably hang around here for another week or two, so I hope you like gothic horror setting. Now let’s get started, shall we?

Staff of PunishmentOur first card today is Staff of Punishment.
This design was inspired by the /r/custommagic community which is currently looking for a cheap artifacts for their cube. I wanted to make Staff the cheapest possible artifact that can ping. One is the cheapest I can do and I really want to keep one mana as well for the activation cost, to protect against crazy combos. I’m relatively convinced that for this cheap it needs to hurts its owner as well.

On top of just trading up or even destroying small creatures, it can be used just to reduce both players life total every turn, like a small Sulfuric Vortex.

Aymon Who Cheats DeathNext is Aymon, Who Cheats Death.

This one gave me some trouble. I wanted to make demon that would grant you cards for killing your opponent’s creature. The problem is if your opponent has a sacrifice outlet they can kill you on the spot by making you draw your entire library!
I had to limit this to the first time each turn to prevent endless activations. It’ll be challenging, do make your opponent’s creatures nearly immortal and I don’t know for a fact that it’s worth it to transform kill spells into cantrips that do nothing. At the very least it’s interesting to think about. Play with Decree of Pain for added Hilarity.

It’s going to be it for today, we’re making it a short article. I hope you enjoyed the designs, I’m keeping some very tasty mechanics for next week. Hope you look forward to that and until then I’m wishing you a great week

Spooky Things

Hey all! Welcome to Ominous Designs episode #120, available in video form here on youtube, as I’ll remind you until I manage to advertise properly on this website.

Today we are going to look at cards inspired by our imminent return to Innistrad, hence the spooky. Only one of them truly is but both are for certain related to the mechanics included in the upcoming edition. As such if you really want to be spoiler free, consider this your fair warning: I am using several concepts from Shadows over Innistrad. Let’s do this!

Kerathan PhasewalkerKerathan Phasewalker.

Well look at this sweet little wizard. Admittedly I have done a lot of copying and redirecting spells recently, but I wanted to make this last one as it was interacting nicely with the reprint of Madness.

I have checked that copy effects on creatures can cost all the way down to 2 manas, so I figured that for 3 and a card we should be safe. On the other hand I felt like pushing the envelope on stats in order to see if we could play him instant speed and have some fun. This makes for some very nice French Vanilla creature! Hope that’s ok.

Argus, Unhinged Detective // Argus, Tainted by the AbyssArgus Unhinged Detective

How could you not love the flavor and coolness factor on this one!? It features many – one might say too many and I would likely agree – mechanics from Innistrad. First it’s a cheap creature that lets you investigate every time you pay a madness cost – not sure yet about the wording for that. So far Argus is fun and all, but not too powerful. I’m not even sure that blue will be a color that plays with madness this time around, have to get back to you on that one. On the other hand though, if you do manage to get 3 clues, he will transform! Something tells me that it shouldn’t be too hard in the new limited format, perhaps even constructed.

As Argus, Tainted by the Abyss, our detective will let you cash in the clues you collected for a smaller price – including some blood of yours – and a greater reward: 4 cards! This is a fine pay-off but nothing completely crazy either. Sort of a Painful Truths on steroids, and you still have to work for the clues. Since we are talking about this, there is yet another ability to Argus! With Delirium – curtesy of Shadow over Innistrad – you will be rewarded an extra clue every time an opponent’s creature dies. That should help!

All in all I think Argus I possibly a tad too powerful and most likely too loaded with complex abilities, but I can’t help liking him – them? You will tell me what you think.

That wraps it up for the day. Give me all your comments and feedback on the usual social outlets, I’ll be waiting for them. Time to say see you next week and until then have a great time!

Planeswalker Appreciation Week

Hey all! Welcome to Ominous Designs episode 119, as per – recent – usual available on Youtube for your viewing pleasure. This week we are going to play around Planeswalkers, which should definitely be an enjoyable ride. Wanna get started?

Watchful FamiliarOur first card is Watchful Familiar, and it features the new mechanic Disciple.

As you can see Disciple cares about you controlling a planeswalker at your upkeep. I opted for that particular template so that I could open the mechanic to multiple types of triggers, – such as dealing damage, draw cards, any type of effect really, but this also means that the toughness boost here will have to be until end of turn, each turn.

A 2/2 flying vigilance that turns into a 2/4 and gains you life a turn sounds exiting for 3, isn’t it?

Domesticated WurmDedicated Wurm.

Wurms are out of fashion but I am actually a huge fan of them. I even have a small collection I brought back from home after my last holidays!

This one is very powerful and if you do control a plainswalker – notably not the most frequent thing to have happen in those colors – you will get an even bigger pet, as it will virtually be a 6/5 trampler thanks to the free damage. At the very least it will actually be a 5/5, which isn’t too shabby.

For some reason I really like it! Hope you do too.

And now for a little bonus, I present to you Tibalt, Nephalian Outcast.

Tibalt Nephalian Outcast

Isn’t he pretty? If I learned one thing from making that card, it’s that double face planeswalkers are truly hard to balance. One thing I really wanted for him is to be as close as possible to a sorcery speed Terminate with ‘planeswalker upside”. This is what we achieve with the first -2. Both +1 are mostly kind of cute and such is the -3 on the flip side, and there is a reason with that. If a 2 drop planeswalker isn’t actively bad, – see original Tibalt – it really needs to be kept in check in terms of power level. Turn two is so early to drop a planeswalker that actually does something, legacy would have so much fun dropping it on turn 1…

For the 0 ability, the one that transforms Tibalt, I was into the idea of having it be the same on both sides, in great part for simplicity reasons. Now getting a -1/-1 counter every turn on a 2 loyalty planeswalker, is that too much? I’m having a hard time telling but it think it might be.

It was a good week, wasn’t it? Hope you enjoyed the designs. One thing is sure though, it took me a while to make the live episode! That was also because I came in with little to no idea about the cards I would make, but if you enjoy almost an hour of card making you’ll get a treat this week. Either way, let me know what you think about those, I will talk to you again in seven days. Have a good one!

Doing Several Things

Hi everyone, it’s good to be back! Those holidays were long and eventful and I am now here to resume our little weekly habit. I am somewhat rushed today as per that other habit of mine – work – but I’ll do my best to entertain! We are going to get right down to it though, as today we are looking at Instants that do several things, and as it turns out they both contain the Izzet colors.

Ward Against AllFirst is Ward Against All.

The idea came to me that we could have counterspell and misdirection in the same card.
What prevents this card from being too powerful is that there aren’t that many opportunities to have two targets for both sides of the spell. Correct me if I’m wrong but I am not aware of Double Negative being a staple.

What I just realized though, is that the mere flexibility of doing either one effect might be very good. Do you think it’s too much for a 4 mana counterspell? My gut feel is that it’s not.

Master the ArtsMaster the Arts.

This one comes from the cute idea to have a tempo spell / combat trick / removal doing a little bit of an effect for each colors of the Jeskai clan.

For the low low price of RWB you will get to deal 2 damage, bounce and tap up to 3 respective targets. I think the main contention point here is to be able to remove a small creature and bounce another one for only three mana. On the top of my head I can only think of Far/Away or Silumgar’s Command doing that for at least one extra mana, but not three colors! Is that a deal breaker?

I would be interested in hearing your opinions on the power level for both cards so don’t hesitate to let me know on any outlet of your choosing – Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, etc. Now though, is time to get back to work, it’s like I never left!

I hope you are all doing as good as when I left, I will see you again next week for article #119. Have a great one!