Hello everybody and welcome to episode 139 of Ominous Designs. New week, new mechanic! I feel like I have done a good job creating more of those this year. I glad to have all that material to revisit and perhaps even a couple of those mechanics could be hand picked, tweaked added to a custom set!
Today’s mechanic is pretty ambitious as we are trying to create cards that can either be lands or creatures, and I am hoping to do so at lower rarities as well.
Sproutling is the mascot for the mechanic Surface.
Lands with surface can basically awaken themselves. If you do use the ability, Sproutling well be a 2/2 for 1G, which is fine though not particularly popular these days for green creatures.
If you don’t so it’s simply a land that comes into play tapped and produces green mana, which obviously isn’t great but not awful either. It becomes amazing when you can choose between the land and the bear. Hopefully we can keep the power level in check by limiting it to either small or over-costed creatures.
Reef Elemental is the blue flyier herald of our mechanic. You will get a tapped Island or a 2/2 flyer for the high-high price of 4 mana.
Now let’s think about the implications being able to fetch such cards: this was the reason I could not default those to be creatures. They might be low-powered, but you still don’t want Primeval Titan to just get two of those and put them directly into play. Is it okay for fetch-lands to get you various small creatures in hand? It’s hard to say but the gut feeling would be that it might not be. It is still hard to imagine a constructed deck bothering to pull such antics for a 2/2 but maybe we still want to not give it access to abilities like flying.
And this it for the week. A particularly difficult balancing act this time, as I have gone through at least three iterations of the mechanic. Power level will also have to be closely monitored but I wouldn’t be surprised if this is the kind of challenge Wizards try to tackle in the near future. Do tell me how you think you would implement it.
This is it for real this time, episode over. I’ll see you next week for number 140. Until then have a good one and play responsibly!