Planswalker Corner

Hello everybody, welcome to Ominous Designs episode 126. I had to improvise a recording on Monday night again, and it turned out to be the most catastrophic of all episodes! You can check out the video and see by yourself, though fortunately not all the issues I encountered ended up on this week’s episode.

I do have a theme for today – as ever so subtly evoked in the title – and that theme is Planeswalkers.

Kal Guardian of the SparkKal, Guardian of the Spark.

After I came up with the theme, I quickly thought of doing something similar to Sylvan Advocate.
I immediately fell in love with the idea, even though there just aren’t that many planeswalker that can turn into creatures.
In addition to them being red and white, – namely Gideon and Sarkhan – I felt they could potentially be green in the future, hence Kal’s colors. I also think that the ability itself feels green.

Worth noting too, I decivded a base of 4/4 with Trample is acceptable for a legendary 3 color card.

Keht Void IncarnateKeht, Void Incarnate.
Here is our weirdest card of the day, possibly week, month and year. I wanted to make a Planeswalker with a bunch of zeros and found the execution of that to be extremely challenging. The result is a less than satisfying card, but some interesting things to think about.

It is hard making a “minus” ability with a cost of 0, as you can’t bound its power. This turns Keht into a 4 mana unconditional removal that might stick around, which is already very strong.
The “ultimate” is the same deal: hard to define and to balance, ultimately cute but mostly functional.

As I said, our cards today are the byproducts of urgency and how little time I had for the article. The “zero themed” planeswalker was definitely something I would have to work hard and a long time on to make work. The result is definitely lacking, but in a way I am happy with how far we got in a relatively short time.

This weeks designs are still definitely worth considering and thinking about, so I hope you enjoyed them for what they are. Now is time to say see you next week, and have a good one!

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Transformalicious

Hey everybody, welcome to episode 125 of Ominous Designs. This week we’re going back to the designs of Innistrad and with a couple of cards revolving around the transform mechanic – hence the title. Let’s get started with actually not a transform card, but a removal spell.

Gloom Moons CurseGloom Moon’s Curse is a fringe removal, way more useful than you might expect in Innistrad, considering the plethora of tokens present in the format like humans, devils, spirits, etc. If you have played with Dual Shot in limited you should agree.
It isn’t the best solution against them but in a pinch, it will do.
Now the really interesting part to is to put this aura on creatures that will transform, especially ones that can’t help it. This is almost better than Bound by Moonsilver for things like werewolves or even Archangel Avacyn herself.
All in all a nice little package that you might even want to main deck in limited.

Ulvenwald Ranger // Hungered Howler

Ulvenwald Ranger

The idea behind this one was to create a werewolf who could punish your opponents for not playing any spell several times in a row. The issue with the usual lycanthropes of Innistrad is that in order to transform to their wolf selves they need to be human first. This ranger doesn’t have that issue since he is able to master the beast within and flip himself back just before turning wolf again automatically because your silly enemies spent another turn doing nothing.

Deciding what ability to give such a werewolf was the tricky part, as the idea was to make the repeatable. I toyed with the idea of adding +1/+1 counters and the issue here would have been that flipping back to human would do very little – the counters would have stayed on the creature. Instead I ended up creating a werewolf who is always hangry for one turn only, then I suppose digests his meal before becoming human and hopefully turn back again very soon. Thankfully, being a 2/2 for 2 there is a lot of space in what you can do with the upside, and I think this one is still pretty sweet.

Those are your designs for the day. Another example of good ideas that I wish I had more time to do delve into. The cards aren’t perfect but pretty fun and hopefully will start some interesting conversations.

I hope you enjoyed, now is time to say have a great week and see you next time!

 

Simpler Things

Hey everybody, welcome back for Ominous Designs Episode 124 (video here). This week, for the first time in about a month we’re straying away from the plane of Innistrad, and back to simpler designs.

Mana SingularityFirst one is Mana Singularity.

The lost child of Fetch Lands and Evolving Wilds is surprisingly simple in design and at the same time not-so-obvious to evaluate in terms of playing power.

I am mostly tempted to call it a low power, in the realm of multi-color lands like Mana Confluence – which I’m now realizing is also a cousin in name.
It’s only upside is to be able to get any color, untapped, for a front cost of 2 life, with a major downside of forcing you to play all sorts of basic lands in your mana base.

Torii at MinamoTorii at Minamo is next.

This one came to me with the idea of a flock of birds, something like a 1/4 flying. I am a bit afraid to give a flying token producer any attack so I tuned the design down to a durdle-y defender that could be fun to play in a limited control deck.

0/5 for 5 is pretty bad in terms of defensive power but if you can afford it, you have yourself a good attack deterrent, especially if you can already threaten to race with a bunch of other blue flyiers. I definitely didn’t push the envelope on that one, but if it gets there it should be fun to play with.

That’s it! Straight forward, yes? This one is a classic case of cards being nice and fun, and having little idea of their exact power level… Which honestly is still the part I enjoy the most anyways, coming up with the creative designs. Hope you enjoyed, I am now off to publish all this content online and tell you

Have a good one and see you next week!

 

More Darkness

Hello everybody, welcome to Ominous Designs Episode 123. This week we are adding two more designs to the gothic horror themes of Innistrad. You will see that those are all about flavor and I’m quite content with where we landed for that.

Summon the BeastThe first one is Summon the Beast.

What is there to say about this one? First, I hope you got the reference. You are meant to form the Number of the Beast by a combination of permanents, life total and cards and your graveyard. I think it is doable, but only the most dedicated Johnnys will try. As such, the card is most definitely not a overpowered but another one of those fun alternate win conditions.

I could envision someone trying to get to 6 life by just casting milling spells and playing lands until they can play Summon of the Beast.

Key to the MysteryNext up is Key to the Mystery.

It has been a couple of weeks I wanted to create a a card of the new artifact subtype Clue. Here it is, and it is a legendary one! I want to keep this clue in the realm of drawing cards or card selection and as it turns out there aren’t that many things left out because of Tamiyo’s Journal.

I opted for a recurring scry effect and the same draw ability as other clues, but on steroids. You can also see Key to the Mystery a divination for 4 colorless mana in two installments, which sounds amazing for a base.

That’s it for the week! I think the designs today were pretty straightforward and very flavorful. Not the most challenging for balancing either, the Key to the Mystery might still be on the powerful side though.

I don’t know if you noticed, but I also created a cute little new edition symbol to match with the Ominous brand. I’m pretty happy with it.

I’m looking forward to next week, when we’ll figure out if I still have more Innistrad designs in me. Until then, I hope you all have a great week see you next time!